Beginners (2010)

By Jacob Mertens. In the opening moments of Mike Mills’ Beginners we see a vase of dead flowers against a dirty kitchen window. The camera is tight, shallow focus, not letting the room breathe. The film cuts to Ewan McGregor’s character Oliver wandering through a near empty house. He dumps […]

Saving London’s Cinema Museum: Silent Clowns

By Deirdre O’Neill. Sometimes it’s easy to forget film has a history and that silent cinema is that history. And sometimes it is easy to think of silent cinema as a genre. But as Bryony Dixon silent film archivist at the BFI Southbank has pointed out silent cinema is not […]

Larry Portis, 1943-2011

By Daniel Lindvall. ‘Comradeship implies a common “situation” or “position” in relation to social classes, political institutions, historical change and the shared emotional commitment to act on knowledge of what must be done to combat domination and exploitation. “Comrades” are linked in struggle, struggle against either a vicious, merciless enemy […]

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

By Bryan Nixon. Hollywood takes itself too seriously, especially when it should be anything but serious. Common sense dictates that a citizen who is going to the theater to see a film titled Cowboys & Aliens would expect a witty action comedy, in the vein of Men in Black (1997), […]

In Production: Film International 52

‘Based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut’ ‘Disillusioned and beloved, Kurt Vonnegut finally became a man without a country and an American institution. When his books are filmed, the cultural stakes are high. Not many socialist films come out of the Hollywood Hills, and this socialist distrusted this profligate medium. […]

Handsworth Songs Revisited

By Celluloid Liberation Front. “If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” African proverb The recent urban unrest that shook the already shaky scaffoldings of English society – sugar-coated with viral advertising yet hardly reassuring – recurs at a […]

Senna (2010)

By Daria Kabanova. A man walks into a conference room where a Formula One pre-race meeting is about to begin. The camera loves the man’s face, even though it is tired, conflicted, frustrated. The room is full of people, but the camera is only marginally interested in them: it follows […]

The Housemaid (South Korea, 2010)

By Daniel Lindvall. The original version of The Housemaid (1960) is often listed among the two or three best South Korean films of all time by local critics. The film and its director, Kim Ki-young (1922-98), were (re-)discovered internationally a little more than a decade ago. Kim, who started his […]