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  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★½

    I remember there was a lot of fuss about this when it came out. I had a couple of friends who raved about it. I can’t remember why I didn’t get around to seeing it, but I didn’t. Then it came up on TV a few years ago and I’ve only just got around to watching it. It is a film that does what it does in a very clear way – as such, it is a totally successful film.…

  • Rebel Without a Cause

    Rebel Without a Cause

    ★★★★½

    This has always been seen as a star vehicle for James Dean and it was released three weeks after his death which ensured Dean would be the centre of attention. Dean might have been an identification figure for the teenage audience (a new sociological phenomenon), but the film wasn’t much liked by the critical establishment who largely dismissed it as garish melodrama. The exception was in France where the young hoodlums at Cahiers du cinéma put it as their third…

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  • The Searchers

    The Searchers

    ★★★★★

    This film had a big impact on me when I was a teenager. My response to films was still largely intuitive, but I was trying to figure out what directors did and while I was swept away by the epic narrative of The Searchers, I also became aware of the film’s epic style, the imposing landscape and, more importantly, the figures within it. There was a time in my late teens that I would have placed this as my favourite…

  • Gunman's Walk

    Gunman's Walk

    ★★★★½

    In the 1960s the big controversy in English speaking film criticism was about the status of the Hollywood film industry: a new bunch of polemical critics had turned up claiming that many Hollywood directors who had previously been seen as professional hacks were ‘auteurs’, artists whose work should be treated with the same seriousness as the European masters. The older critics shook their heads in disbelief, despair and derision. The proof of the ludicrousness of these auteur critics was when…