• The Rules of the Game

    The Rules of the Game

    ★★★★½

    Well it’s been six months since I made my joke Gatsby review and my what would now be tiny review of PlayTime. I didn’t really think it would escalate from there. But sixty reviews and 79,781 words later and here I am. It’s been a massively rewarding experience doing this, but I simply can’t continue. It’s too draining for me to write these reviews anymore. It’s just of my nature that when I write a review, it has to be obscenely…

  • L'Atalante

    L'Atalante

    ★★★★

    Love, the tried and tested formula for life which flows endlessly over the shores of time, and mercilessly exacts its will over those under its gaze, is where the foundation for art lies. Man’s ability to love is a testament to his privilege and to his suffering.

    Many great minds of our last hundred years have tried to capture love on celluloid. Curtiz’ exploration of the lengths one is willing to go to in the name of their selfless passion…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★★

    Being from Belfast and being of a Protestant background, I suppose this film is meant to resonate with people like me in particular - or at least my ancestors and likewise people of their time. Brannagh shows this idealised depiction of ‘our wee city’ which is quite inoffensive really - a run of the mill coming of age story that has a tasteful but ultimately unoriginal take on sectarian violence. This is a very personal film for Brannagh, who was…

  • Zero for Conduct

    Zero for Conduct

    ★★½

    The most important French director, some might argue, is Godard for birthing modern film and bending the rules in such a manner that it influenced sixty years of subsequent cinema. Some might argue it is Truffaut for being the first of those Young Turks who wrote for Cahiers du Cinéma to make a film, which just so happened to create the French New Wave. Bresson and Renoir who influenced the New Wave and carried French cinema up to its creation…

  • Good Morning

    Good Morning

    ★★★★½

    Good Morning is perhaps the most charming film of Ozu’s filmography, which by default makes it perhaps one of cinema’s most charming films on account of its inherent presence in all of his films. We do indeed live in a world where one of the most pleasant filmic experiences is an elongated fart joke.

    In the familiar shomin-geki style that persisted throughout the entirety of Ozu’s filmography, Good Morning concerns itself with the domestic affairs of a small ensemble in…

  • I Was Born, But...

    I Was Born, But...

    ★★★★

    Early Ozu films are an interesting subject, because they offer an insight on how he developed as a filmmaker, slowly adopting his extremely conservative approach to storytelling and filmmaking. However, what is perhaps more important about early Ozu films is how they offer an insight on the fundamental traits of Ozu which define him as an artist and as a person, establishing firmly the fundamental aspects of the Ozuian style.

    And I Was Born But… is a perfect example of…

  • All About Eve

    All About Eve

    ★★★★½

    I had some initial prejudices about That All About Eve that this would be an inappropriate inclusion in the Best Picture library and perhaps underwhelming. But I have in fact, been pleasantly surprised by its quality.

    Mankiewicz’ adaptation of his own novel actually turned out to be something far more complex and gripping, and technically refined than I had expected. And whilst I would still maintain that Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard likely did deserve the honour for Best Picture that year, this…

  • 8½

    ★★★★½

    It goes without saying that Federico Fellini is a towering figure in cinema; easily one of the greatest directors of all time, and at his peak, the most respected director in world cinema. The crowning achievement on such a career must be something immensely special within cinema.

    is special. It’s an enigma of the moving picture. I don’t think it’s far fetched to argue that no film has pushed the artistic and intellectual bounds of cinematic methods to such…

  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    ★★★★½

    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is one of those rare films you see from a bygone era of cinema, where scale is matched by substance. Up there with the likes of Renoir’s Grand Illusion, Kobayashi’s Human Condition Trilogy, Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Kubrick’s Paths of Glory in terms of social commentary on the matter of war, perhaps even surpassing some of them regarding the specific aspect of war commentary, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a…

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★

    How do you assess a psychosexual fever dream told through the unfathomably creative eye of a maddened genius? How do you analyse something made specifically to be above analysis? To watch Mulholland Drive, you must simply stand still and let the film wash over you; and yet, when it’s finished, and the wave has passed, you are left standing on an empty shore with nothing to pick up.

    I knew upon seeing this the first time, that I was not…

  • The World of Apu

    The World of Apu

    ★★★★½

    The last film in what is surely one of the greatest trilogies of all time, if not the greatest trilogy of all time, Apur Sansar is cited amongst many as the best of the lot; perhaps not as monumental an achievement in cinematic progression as Pather Panchali, but the best product of said trilogy irregardless of such matters. And I must say, I have myself been deliberating on this thought for a while now. It’s nearly impossible to separate the two, but…

  • Aparajito

    Aparajito

    ★★★★½

    Being the second instalment of the legendary Apu Trilogy, Aparajito generally tends to be considered the lesser film of the three. That being said, it’s still a fantastic film and a further display of Ray’s cinematic understanding. 

    Aparajito differs vastly from Pather Panchali. Rural Bengal is now substituted for the streets of Varanasi, and a far greater degree of realism is now present. This is not an observation of life like Pather Panchali is either. This is a development on…