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Eureka


There must be few more unlikely winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture than Delbert Mann’s 1955 film Marty. It was initially conceived as a tele-play, which broadcast a couple of years earlier. It wasn’t exactly taken overly seriously by Hecht-Lancaster Productions in the beginning. One of the stars, Betsy Blair, had previously been …

Kurosawa is a household name for film fans around the world, but Akira is not the only master auteur who possesses that surname. Kiyoshi Kurosawa made his name making creepy and unnerving horror films. Kairo is my favourite genre film of all time and Cure is also a fantastic slice of terror. In recent years …

Director Josef von Sternberg is best known for the films he made with Marlene Dietrich. Indeed, he’s often credited with being the catalyst behind her career. He cast the then unknown actress as his female lead in the first German talkie, The Blue Angel, which proved to be her big break. They went on to …

Sidney Pollock was a strange American director for his time. Whilst he came through at the same time as many of the new American film-makers in the 1970s, his output and outlook were very much traditional. Unlike some of his peers including Robert Altman, Sam Peckinpah, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, he’s not a …

Growing up in the ’80s I was one of those boys who had a fascination with martial arts films. I owned plastic nunchucks and shuriken, watching Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee movies as well as their Western imitators. I wanted to be a ninja, and not having the access to much Hong Kong cinema, I …

Whilst the hangdog appearance of Walter Matthau is easily recognisable, you may find yourself hard-pressed to name many of his films. The Odd Couple, Kotch, The Fortune Cookie, The Sunshine Boys and Hello, Dolly! Are all great films but he never seemed to fit the profile of a Hollywood leading man. In Elaine May’s directorial …

Cruel Story of Youth

Post-War Japan was very turbulent in many ways. The Rising Sun has always been a very conservative and conformist country throughout modern history. The only time the consensus has been rattled was in this period from 1950 until the late ’60s. A youthful population were growing up in a society still struggling with the humiliation …

The Offence

Sidney Lumet had a glittering career, making over fifty films spanning six decades. Beginning with the classic 12 Angry Men in 1957, he’s gone on to make such brilliant films as Serpico, Network, Dog Day Afternoon and The Verdict. In a rich period in the ’70s he was one of the most consistent and influential …

Man of the West

Westerns are a much maligned cinematic genre, but once upon a time they were the Hollywood equivalent of modern action films. Today, we’re often left with the image of an overacting John Wayne swaggering round a town full of tumbleweed. However, there’s been some classic westerns over the years, with Once Upon a Time in …

Wild River

Elia Kazan is often considered to be one of the most influential directors working in post-war American cinema. Responsible for introducing the world to James Dean and Marlon Brando, he was rewarded with two Best Director Oscars for Gentlemen’s Agreement and On The Waterfront. He also received an honorary award from the Academy. His films …