Film of the Fortnight: Come and see

Come and See (1985) Elem Klimov There are good films and there are great films. There are awful films and there are gruesome films. Come and See is a great and gruesome film. As a skillfully crafted and excellently acted Soviet war drama that takes place during the Nazi German occupation of the Belorussian SSR…

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Film of the Fortnight: The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville (2003) Sylvain Chomet The Triplets of Belleville is a French animated comedy and adventure film like no other, written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. What sets it apart is the animation and the narration. It is skillfully caricaturististic in style, rich in detail and full of surreal touches. Furthermore it features…

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Film of the Fortnight: Ida

Ida (2013) Paweł Pawlikowski Ida is a black and white Polish drama directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and written by Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. The protagonist of the film is a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who is about to take her vows – first she just has to pay her only living relative a…

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Film of the Fortnight: Death in Venice

Death in Venice (1971) Luchino Visconti In 1912 Thomas Mann wrote the magnificent novella Death in Venice. In 1971 Luchino Visconti co-scripted, co-produced and directed a great adaptation of that novella. The story is well known: the middle-aged Gustav von Aschenbach travels to Venice and soon finds himself smitten with the stunningly beautiful adolescent boy…

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Film of the Fortnight: Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue (1997) Satoshi Kon A pop star wants to quit music to pursue an acting career and soon finds herself struggling to separate reality from fiction. That is the premise of Perfect Blue, a Japanese animated psychological thriller that appropriately has been described as “Hitchcock does anime”. Hitchcock is however not the man behind…

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Film of the Fortnight: Heartbeats

Heartbeats (2010) Xavier Dolan A mix between Wong Kar-Wai and Pedro Almodóvar, yet distinctly his own, is one way to describe Heartbeats – originally and more aptly named Les amours imaginaires – by Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan. Dolan is not only the director, the scriptwriter, the co-producer and the costume designer of this superb love…

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Film of the Fortnight: Man with a movie camera

Man with a movie camera (1929) Dziga Vertov Why not start off the new year by watching an 88-year-old film that, while definitely a child of its time, in some regards seems just as likely to have been made during the MTV era? I’m speaking of Man With a Movie Camera, a Soviet city symphony…

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In Memoriam: Carrie Fisher

2016 has been a hard pill to swallow. When a celebrity passes, their loss is felt all over the world. If you’re someone like me it’s especially difficult. I grew up with a love for film and music. If I enjoyed a movie or a piece of music I would play them over and over….

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Film of the Fortnight: The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Henry Selick The king of Halloween Town feels stuck in a rut and wants to try something new: Christmas. This is the premise of The Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop motion musical based on a story and characters by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick. With the exception of…

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Film of the Fortnight: Bad Education

Bad Education (2004) Pedro Almodóvar Mix drama and melodrama with film noir and meta-film, then add a pinch of humor and a splash of musical spectacle, and you have got for yourself possibly the best film ever made by the inimitable Spanish director/scriptwriter/producer Pedro Almodóvar: Bad Education. Admittedly Almodóvar is not everybody’s cup of tea,…

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