Most fiction filmmakers operate according to the great law of ‘show, don’t tell’. The documentary genre often tends to be viewed as an exception to this rule. An audience expects narration, contextualisation, facts and figures and happily accepts them as part of the deal. Yet a truly observant, fly-on-the-wall documentary that only ever shows you scenes and moments, can be just as informative. And that is the great strength of ‘Dont Look Back’. It is a montage of moments, considered…
“Thither we came, and thence down in the moat
I saw a people smothered in a filth
That out of human privies seemed to flow”
- The Divine Comedy, Canto XVIII
Andrzej Wajda’s tragedy of doom and madness is one of the most captivating films to ever portray war. From its opening moments, with buildings collapsing behind the title credits and a long tracking shot following the resistance fighters crossing through the ruins of the city, ‘Kanał’ presents Warsaw in…
It always makes me feel a little melancholy - a grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap. The inevitability of time, don't you think? What do you see?
In ‘Skyfall’, the James Bond franchise found its soul. There are moments where it bridges that elusive gap between ‘cinema’ and ‘mass entertainment’ that Martin Scorsese rightfully takes a stand on. Bond stops in to the National Gallery to ponder the significance of Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire…’ (“A bloody…