Amleto

Next month, on 23 June, I am introducing the film Amleto at the Bristol Watershed. It’s an Italian film, made in 1917, and yes it’s the story of Hamlet. Among all the celebrations of quatercentenarian William Shakespeare, and among almost every book written on Shakespeare and film, you will find no mention of this gem,Read More

Out of it

What is the connection between Balzac’s The History of the Thirteen, Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Hunting of the Snark’, and Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound? Answer – there isn’t one. Or rather there is, in that all three are specifically referenced by Jacques Rivette’s improvisational epic set of films, Out 1 (1971), but whose chief purpose might beRead More

Alluding to Shakespeare

The film programmers among you (real and imaginary) will have noticed that 2016 sees the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and there is an obligation to show something of the man’s works on your screens. With a heavy sigh you turn to the obvious Branaghs and Oliviers, with just maybe Forbidden Planet (perhaps the best-knownRead More

Spotless

I went to the cinema this afternoon to see Spotlight, and I was very impressed. It is fully deserving of its Academy Award. It is not only a gripping, sobering account of priestly child abuse in Boston, but champions the noble practice of investigative journalism, highlighting the best of newspapers at a time when theRead More

Forgotten films of the 1980s

The other night I watched Housekeeping, for the first time in some twenty-five years. It’s the first film that the Scottish director Bill Forsyth made in America, and though it was warmly received by critics at the time, it had few of the trademark comic qualities that made Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero so popular,Read More

Continuous performance

As part of my Picturegoing survey of eyewitness accounts of going to see pictures, I have been reproducing what is among the best pieces of sustained writing on the process of cinemagoing, the ‘Continuous Performance’ essays written by Dorothy Richardson for the film journal Close Up. Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957) was a British novelist, a pioneerRead More