Posts in category

Classic Cinema


Hepburn and Grant

Whilst he might not be as well-known today as some of his peers, Howard Hawks is undoubtedly one of the greatest America filmmakers of his generation. What sets him apart from most was his willingness and indeed eagerness to work across a number of genres. The popularity of the likes of Rio Bravo (western), The …

Blu-ray collector's edition

Roared on by the success of Sergio Leonne in Hollywood, a host of Italian directors followed is his wake; making a raft of Spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s. Whilst similar in many ways to their American cousins these films revelled in turning genre cliches and tropes on their head. Instead of the likes of John …

Maria sat on a fence

Andrei Tarkovsky is without doubt the greatest Russian filmmaker of all time. He’s certainly the first name that comes to mind when discussing the movies of the Motherland. Despite making less than ten films in a career which spanned three decades, he left an indelible mark on the history of world cinema. Whilst the likes …

Lau and Cher

For decades now, Chow Yun-fat has been one of the most familiar faces in Hong Kong cinema. He started out in low-budget movies during the 1970s but first made his name in John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow a decade later. Also starring in the sequel and City on Fire, The Killer and Hard Boiled. Whilst …

Anna and Kata

On the face of it, communism doesn’t exactly seem like the ideal breeding ground for feminism to flourish. Whilst everyone was theoretically equal in the USSR, many rich old white men were more equal than other. The narrative pushed by the authorities was that of the heroic Marxist worker, dedicating their life to making the …

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 …

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 …

Mr Prentice and the unhappy couple

Between 1927 and 1943, the year when she retired from feature filmmaking, Dorothy Arzner was the only female film director working in Hollywood. While the situation isn’t exactly perfect now, it was a whole lot worse as we entered the epoch of ‘talkies’. She made twenty films over that period and launched the careers of …

Mr and Mrs Orlac

Robert Wiene was one of the great directors of the German expressionist period at the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed, he’s responsible for one of the best and still most admired films from that movement, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. He went on to make 45 films, mostly during the silent era, and whilst …

Madelaine

By the midway point of the 1960s Jean-Luc Godard was arguably at the peak of his powers. After the success of À bout de souffle, Bande à part, Alphaville and Pierrot le Fou he was one of the most sought-after directors in Europe. Whilst his work had always been political, The Vietnam War and the …