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  • Autobiography of a Princess

    Autobiography of a Princess

    ★★★

    If you’ve ever stopped to ponder the teaming anonymity of city life, specifically that of the cliche of ‘a story behind every door’, then those tales which occur inside the cavernous mansion flats of West and North London should perhaps have the most intrigue or exotic allure. 

    Be it impoverished gentility, down at heel matriarchs or wistful emigres, those rent-controlled mansions of the sky have an allure - and only a short hop from Harrods too - tapping into themes…

  • All That Heaven Allows

    All That Heaven Allows

    ★★★★

    I’m always in two minds as to the latter day adulation afforded to Sirk. Certainly these melodramas are expertly assembled - yes, likely with a wry eye - but to imply these florid essays are lacerating social critiques is wide of the (hall)mark. 

    They are the thing they are: soapy, frothy, sometimes vulgar, concoctions. They belong to a world of Liberace, violet cremes and wistful matinees. Faux resonance over any real insight every time - this is not Hogarth resurrected.…

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  • Dirty Harry

    Dirty Harry

    ★★★★½

    Pragmatism in excelsis; JFDI in practise. A film to reach out to for a periodic tonic, not just for the exhilarating thriller that it undoubtedly is, but for a fantasy manifestation of someone just getting things done in the face of everything. Harry Callaghan: everyday avenging Angel?Almost, but not quite.

    In a world where regulation piles upon regulation, a little reactionary kickback like this can calm material frustration, if not tame the bureaucratic beast from whence the rules spewed. Of…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★½

    Having seen more new BBC television drama over Christmas than I would normally wish to encounter, these programmes tend to coalesce, not just for their seasonal clustering, but for the depressingly similar attitudes and techniques on display. Dracula is perhaps the most egregious example of this gaggle.

    What do you want from a television Dracula, possibly the most adapted piece of fiction in history? Well, given the time and resource lavished here, something that follows the spirit if not the…