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)

The Two Reviews: Us and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Us (2019, Monkeypaw Productions and Blumhouse Productions) Written and directed by Jordan Peele. Music by Michael Abels. Featuring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, and Tim Heidecker. The brilliant Jordan Peele returns to the director’s chair with another horror film. This time about a family holidaying in Santa Cruz, California … Continue reading The Two Reviews: Us and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Shadows of the Night: Two Progressive Iranian-based Films in the Western Mainstream

If you happened to miss the films A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (released in 2014 and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour) and Under the Shadow (released in 2016 and directed by Babak Anvari), get thee a copy of both immediately and watch them. They are, by my determination at least, two of the … Continue reading Shadows of the Night: Two Progressive Iranian-based Films in the Western Mainstream

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

The Two Reviews – Documentary Special: Dawson City: Frozen Time and The Newspaperman

Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016, Hypnotic Pictures & Picture Palace Pictures) Directed by Bill Morrison; Produced by Bill Morrison and Madeleine Molyneaux As an archaeologist and a film enthusiast, I have always wanted to explore this topic more – the genuine and artful presentation of the fruits of archaeological discovery on film. There is only … Continue reading The Two Reviews – Documentary Special: Dawson City: Frozen Time and The Newspaperman