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Esther C.M. Yau and Tony Williams on Hong Kong Neo-Noir

With a goal to look “closely into the many shades and faces that make up the usual and unusual suspects of neo-noir,” and “to illuminate and enrich an expanding range of global noirs” (2), Eshter C.M. Yau with co-editor – and Film International Contributing Editor – Tony Williams present their edited collection Hong Kong Neo-Noir (Edinburgh University Press, […]

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James Jones: The Limits of Eternity by Film International Contributing Editor Tony Williams

James Jones: The Limits of Eternity is the first major study of the entirety of Jones’s published fiction. Rather than claiming him as a war novelist due to his well-known war trilogy From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle, this study aims to claim Jones as a major 20th-century American Writer. His […]

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Creating the Vision: An Interview with Cinematographer Billy Williams

By David A. Ellis. Retired cinematographer Billy Williams (born on 3 June 1929 in Walthamstow, London) began working in documentaries at age fourteen (his father, Billy senior, was also a cinematographer) and then graduated to television and feature films. He had Oscar nominations for Women in Love (1969) and On Golden Pond (1981) and had several BAFTA nominations. In 1982, he won […]

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Master of Italian Gothic – Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker by Roberto Curti

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by a graduate student whom he later hailed as England’s greatest film critic, concerning the merits of destroying all films that did not live up to any canonical cinematic Great Tradition definitions. They both […]

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Ivor and Hitch: the Criterion 2017 DVD Versions of The Lodger and Downhill

By Tony Williams. Although currently promoted mainly as a restoration of The Lodger (1927), a film that its director regarded as his first real film, this two-disc DVD also includes the frequently unseen Downhill, also starring Ivor Novello (1893-1951), a major matinee idol in his time well known as a musical composer, scenarist, and dialogue writer […]

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Taking Stock – The Second Edition of the Criterion Collection’s Straw Dogs

By Tony Williams. In 2003 Criterion issued a two-disk DVD version of Sam Peckinpah’s controversial Straw Dogs (1971) when the issue of the director’s supposed virulent misogyny and sexism still raised critical debate and strong emotions. Fourteen years later a second edition has now appeared with most of the same features of the original version […]

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Eternal Fugitives: Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night from Criterion

By Tony Williams. Again Criterion have provided us with a welcome reissue of a classic film noir now in a new 2k digital restoration with valuable feature material including the 2007 audio commentary by “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller and Farley Granger, now sadly no longer with us. (Though available on older DVD sets of the […]

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Marlon Rides Again!: One Eyed Jacks from Criterion

By Tony Williams. In his 2015 detailed and definitive study The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Paul Seydor lamented the fact that then available copies of the only film Marlon Brando directed were from inferior sources and hoped to see “a proper, responsible restoration and release, preferably on […]

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Super Troopers, or Super Dupers? Superheroes on World Screens, Edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Before you can say “Meryl Streep”, “Mamma Mia”, “Shazam”, in addition to the many superheroes and heroines and recent critical studies, Superheroes on World Screens (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) co-edited by two “Wonder Women” appears. Despite the earlier necessary demolition done by William Klein in Mr. Freedom (1969), the figure […]

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Eldritch Ecstasy!: Everything You Need to Know about Caltiki The Immortal Monster

By Tony Williams. With one exception, this new release does live up to the second part of the above caption. Long revered by devotees of horror, science fiction, and its post-war Italian exponents this notable film of a disputed canonical tradition has not been generally available in a good copy so far. Now, thanks to […]

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