Lost colours

I’ve been adding more images to my Flickr pages reflecting the works of Charles Urban. Having started with pictures from his 1903 catalogue We put the World Before You, I’ve turned to another treasure among his catalogues, the Catalogue of Kinemacolor Film Subjects (1912). Copies of this catalogue are rarer than hen’s teeth, and I’mRead More

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