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

Lumière forever

Most true histories are untidy; early film history especially so. The first years of cinema were a complex field in which the different elements that would make up the medium were ‘invented’ at different stages, in which the many participants engaged in its creation held widely different understandings of just what the medium meant, andRead More