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Masters of Cinema


Kiyoshi Kurosawa is undoubtedly one of the greatest living Japanese directors. With Tokyo Sonata and Journey to the Shore he released two of the most impressive Japanese art-house films of the 21st Century. However, that’s not even half the story. That was just a sabbatical from what he does best; genre cinema. Indeed, my favourite …

It’s no surprise that in an industry powered by ego, narcissism and self-interest, Hollywood is no stranger to making movies about itself. The recent Oscar successes of Birdman and The Artist demonstrate that they’re also quite happy rewarding themselves for it. This is hardly a recent phenomenon. As Sunset Boulevard and Singing in the Rain …

Without doubt, Carl Theodor Dreyer was one of the greatest directors of the silent era. He’s best remembered for The Passion of Joan of Arc, but he made a number of notable films, including Leaves on Satan’s, Master of the House and Michael. Whilst his brief forays into talkies also proved fruitful, it’s his silent …

When it comes to iconic, baffling and outsider cinema, there’s no country in the world which can hold a candle to Japan. Ranging from the intentionally obtuse to the downright bonkers, for decades Japanese experimental film-makers have pushed the boundaries of taste and logic. Whilst the work of the likes of Miike and Sono may …

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creations, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, have graced many books and featured in numerous adaptations, both on the big and small screen. As a double act, they’ve captivated audiences around the world, what with Holmes’ remarkable powers of deduction and Watson’s incredible knack of being in the right place …

The Japanese have a unique relationship with spirituality, death and nature. In a society grounded in ritual and traditions, a mortal’s passing to the other side is shrouded is mysticism and lore. Even in Aokigahara, also known as Suicide Forest, there’s an oddly regimented and ceremonial way of ending your life. In The Mourning Forest, …

After his family emigrated to the United States when he was in his teens, Josef von Sternberg set out on a path to becoming one of the most iconic, difficult and dominating film-makers of the Golden Age of Hollywood. He discovered and ‘made’ Marlene Dietrich, working together with her seven times; most successfully on Blue …

Luis Buñuel is arguably the most influential and innovative Spanish director ever to work in cinema. The father of surrealism, he made films in France, Spain, Mexico and the USA. Working with Salvador Dali, he released his first short (Un Chien Andalou) in 1929. His last feature was That Obscure Object of Desire in 1977. …

Today, there appears to be an increasing desire to rekindle some kind of mythical Golden Age. Nostalgia has risen as a way of combatting the depressing times we’re living in. It’s not a new phenomenon though. Indeed, man has seemingly been striving for something better for centuries. During the 1950s, Japan society despaired at their …

Whilst Henri-Georges Clouzot may have built up a reputation of being difficult to work with and temperamental, there’s no denying the quality of his films. With The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques, he made two of the best films of the 1950s. His speciality was thrillers. However, his first film, The Murderer Lives at …