Why I Love… #141: Mayak (The Lighthouse)

Year: 2006 Director: Maria Saakyan Stars: Anna Kapaleva, Olga Yakovleva, Sos Sargsyan Many filmmakers have become enamoured with the cyclical wiring and foibles of memory. Like Jeffrey Eugenides' source novel, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides framed a '70s suburban tragedy through the unreliable remembrances of the local boys who witnessed it. Christopher Nolan went further, … Continue reading Why I Love… #141: Mayak (The Lighthouse)

Why I Love… #140: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Year: 1997 Director: David Mirkin Stars: Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo Seemingly destined to become a cult title from its very release, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion remains a kooky delight nearly 25 years later, and high-key one of the best (and funniest) movies about friendship to come out of the '90s. Trapped in … Continue reading Why I Love… #140: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Why I Love… #139: Johnny Guitar

Year: 1954 Director: Nicholas Ray Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge Everything is explosive in Johnny Guitar. Miners shout. Waterfalls roar. Emotions over-boil. Guns fire. The movie starts with a detonation as developers encroach on the land in the vicinity of Vienna's saloon, setting the tone for the remainder of the picture. In his archival … Continue reading Why I Love… #139: Johnny Guitar

Why I Love… #138: Fallen Angels

Year: 1995 Director: Wong Kar Wai Stars: Leon Lai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Michelle Reis Literally sensational, the cinema of Wong Kar Wai is presently receiving a welcome shot of exposure here in the UK. In part thanks to the Criterion Collection release of eight of his films (I'm including The Hand) in a lavish, pricey, but essential … Continue reading Why I Love… #138: Fallen Angels

Why I Love… #137: L’Avventura

Year: 1960 Director: Michelangelo Antonioni Stars: Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Gabriele Ferzetti The first and possibly most notorious of Michelangelo Antonioni's landmark four-film cycle with Monica Vitti, L'Avventura (The Adventure) might just be the most radical movie of the 1960s. This considering stiff competition from the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Andy Warhol and many besides. The film … Continue reading Why I Love… #137: L’Avventura

Why I Love… #136: Day of the Outlaw

Year: 1959 Director: André de Toth Stars: Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise The Western is a vast country to travel, and I'll freely admit I've only seen a small part of it. But from what I have seen I'd happily call Day of the Outlaw the meanest. Even before the central threat of the … Continue reading Why I Love… #136: Day of the Outlaw

Why I Love… #135: But I’m a Cheerleader

Year: 1999 Director: Jamie Babbit Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Clea Duvall, Melanie Lynskey When I first saw and enthusiastically responded to Desiree Akhavan's fervent take-down of queer conversion therapy The Miseducation of Cameron Post, I had neither seen nor heard of Jamie Babbit's 1999 satirical masterclass But I'm A Cheerleader. Which is not to say I … Continue reading Why I Love… #135: But I’m a Cheerleader

Why I Love… #134: Wake in Fright

Year: 1971 Director: Ted Kotcheff Stars: Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty With much of the UK currently enjoying our annual summer sun (known as a nice weekend in other countries), I've been thinking about movies that reflect or express a sense of heat and hotness. I'm terrible in hot weather. I get grouchy, I … Continue reading Why I Love… #134: Wake in Fright

Why I Love… #133: The Limey

Year: 1999 Director: Steven Soderbergh Stars: Terence Stamp, Luis Guzmán, Peter Fonda Time has revealed Joss Whedon as a less than admirable source of influence, but I do have to tip my hat to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator for leading me to - I'll say it - Steven Soderbergh's finest. Back around the turn … Continue reading Why I Love… #133: The Limey

Why I Love… #132: Ghost World

Year: 2001 Director: Terry Zwigoff Stars: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi I grew up in the rural South West of England, in Devon. Hardly the anonymous middle-America of Daniel Clowes' scabrous graphic novel Ghost World but, also, not totally divorced from that milieu either. I could certainly relate to it. The sense of emptiness … Continue reading Why I Love… #132: Ghost World

Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

Year: 1984 Director: Larry Cohen Stars: Zoë Lund, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn Larry Cohen made cheap, dirty, gritty films. Not the kind that got a lot of respect on release (or, in most cases, later on for that matter). They were often genre pictures that belayed a scabrous social critique. His most popular and irreverent … Continue reading Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

Why I Love… #130: Destry Rides Again

Year: 1939 Director: George Marshall Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Brian Donlevy When it comes to Westerns, I'm a picky sod. I'm not fond of John Wayne (even allowing for the changing of the times I find him priggish and his roles often steeped in misogyny and racism). I'll enjoy a romping adventure but it'll … Continue reading Why I Love… #130: Destry Rides Again

Why I Love… #129: Niagara

Year: 1953 Director: Henry Hathaway Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters Marilyn Monroe's screen presence and charisma are undeniable, it's been reiterated ad nauseam for decades. These qualities made her a star, but they didn't grant her a free pass when it came to dramatic roles. Monroe wasn't a great actor, and the tales … Continue reading Why I Love… #129: Niagara

Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Year: 1976 Directed: John Schlesinger Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, William Devane In the 1970s America was wrestling with a number of demons. Vietnam. Watergate. A decade of politicised assassinations. A country that once sold itself as young and idealistic suddenly found itself wading through an antagonised adolescence (with plenty more growing pains set to … Continue reading Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Why I Love… #127: All is Forgiven

Year: 2007 Director: Mia Hansen-Løve Stars: Paul Blain, Constance Rousseau, Marie-Christine Friedrich Mia Hansen-Løve has had an almost perfect career to date (or, at least, as far as I've been able to see - her 2018 feature Maya is still MIA as far as UK distribution is concerned). The five features we have been treated to have … Continue reading Why I Love… #127: All is Forgiven