Film Review: Initiation

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Blu-Ray Review: Carla’s Song

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Film Review: Zana

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The Greek team lift the trophy

On even years (usually), the normally boring summer period for football fans is enlivened by the prospect of an international competition. Whilst it’s no World Cup, the EUROs (or European Football Championships) tend to produce the bigger shocks and on more than one occasion we’ve seen a winner that could not have been predicted. This …

Anna at work

Regardless of how multicultural western societies claim to be, when it comes to Afro-textured hair there’s usually a need for specialist and expert treatment. You can’t just walk into any old salon and be guaranteed the service you require. This isn’t just the case when it comes to cutting and styling, weaving and relaxing. The …

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a witch hunt is ‘a campaign directed against a person or group holding views considered unorthodox or a threat to society’. The phrase was first made famous by George Orwell but (obviously) harks back to the time of witch trials. Whilst wiccans might not find themselves the (sole) recipients …

Biggie, Suge Knight and 2Pac

Nick Broomfield has been making documentaries for over five decades now. His style and idiosyncratic ways of working have been highly influential on many other filmmakers. The English filmmaker’s most high-profile documentaries have been about musicians. Kurt and Courtney caused controversy and was pulled from Sundance but it’s Biggie and Tupac which probably generated the …

It’s not something you’d probably ever think about but in most of the English-speaking Western world we’re very myopic when it comes to the range of music we listen to. It’s almost all in our (main) native tongue and the vast majority comes from North America, Australasia, Britain or Ireland. It’s very rare to hear …

Whilst documentaries come in all shapes and sizes, it’s often the personal and intimate ones which carry the most resonance. Whilst focussing on a seemingly obscure or niche figure, film-makers conflate their experiences with that of many others. How their lives are a microcosm of a bigger picture. Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and …

Harry Powell's tough love

Charles Laughton was arguably the greatest actor of his generation. He was definitely one of the most recognisable. A huge screen and stage presence, he won the Academy Award for his performance in Alexander Korda’s The Private Life of Henry VIII. He was also magnificent in the likes of Mutiny on the Bounty, The Big …

Petrunya under arrest?

The LUX Prize, or to call it by its full name the European Audience Film Award by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, is awarded each year to a film which raises awareness of socio-political issues in Europe. Past winners have included Ida, Woman at War, Mustang and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In …

Ibrahim and his wives

Often referred to as the ‘father of African cinema’, Ousmane Sembène was certainly one of the original filmmakers to come out of the sub-Saharan region and arguably the most influential of the twentieth century. The Senegalese director was the first from the continent to bridge over into international film festivals and receive international recognition and …

Watson and Holmes

There have been many portrayals of Sherlock Holmes on stage, TV, radio and on the big screen. Indeed, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation remains one of the most popular and recognisable figures in popular British culture. Some of the most memorable performances as the great sleugh have come from Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and Benedict …