The European Masterpieces Part 4: Closely Watched Trains (1966 Jiří Menzel)

Background In 1993, Czechoslovakia dissolved into two independent states: Czech Republic (made up of the Bohemia and Moravia regions) and Slovakia. The 20th Century up until that point had been a turbulent time for the former country. After World War I, it gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and grew into a socially and economically … Continue reading The European Masterpieces Part 4: Closely Watched Trains (1966 Jiří Menzel)

Forty Years of Terror: Halloween (1978) vs Halloween (2018)

I have always been a fan of the slasher-horror genre. The raw and chilling, but sometimes passionate, horror that provides a continuous thrill of the chase in which you never know whether the predator or prey will win. Some slasher movies can be almost comedic but Halloween from 1978 is a quintessential horror classic that … Continue reading Forty Years of Terror: Halloween (1978) vs Halloween (2018)

Akira Kurosawa – A Master of Film Part 3: Dersu Uzala and the Russian Wilderness

Foreword by Robin Stevens Akira Kurosawa (黒沢 明 1910 – 1998) was a master of film craft, and one of the greatest directors of all time. He grew up in Tokyo, watching silent films from around the world and going to see traditional and modern Japanese theatre. He became a painter, and in his 20s … Continue reading Akira Kurosawa – A Master of Film Part 3: Dersu Uzala and the Russian Wilderness

Dramatis Scocie – The Effective Use of the Scottish Landscape in Film

Did you know there is going to be a sequel to Braveheart (1995)? I know! If ever there was a movie which needed a sequel. So many questions were left unanswered. Did Scotland’s nobles universally accept Robert Bruce? How did the writing of the ‘Declaration of Arbroath’ effect the legal position of the Scottish royal … Continue reading Dramatis Scocie – The Effective Use of the Scottish Landscape in Film

Hunting the Cannibal: The Heroes of Thomas Harris, Part 2 – Clarice Starling

As the book The Silence of the Lambs (1988) begins Jack Crawford is already hunting a serial killer nicknamed “Buffalo Bill”. He is short of personnel and resources and he is without his former protégé, Will Graham. He is also dealing with the increasing ill health of his wife as she struggles with cancer. If … Continue reading Hunting the Cannibal: The Heroes of Thomas Harris, Part 2 – Clarice Starling

Hunting the Cannibal: The Heroes of Thomas Harris, Part 1 – Will Graham

Thomas Harris has created some chilling and hideously memorable characters. Of course, everyone remembers Hannibal Lecter (or ‘Lecktor’ in some versions of the character). This is not surprising. After all, everyone remembers Dracula and the Wolfman but few can enthusiastically list all the brave men and women who hunted the monsters. What are the serial … Continue reading Hunting the Cannibal: The Heroes of Thomas Harris, Part 1 – Will Graham