February 27, 2017

The End of the River (1947)

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This beautifully scenic Powell and Pressburger film is about a young native Brazilian boy who is removed from his jungle village and thrust into the civilized world of modern Brazil, only to discover he is arrested and put on trial for a crime he committed that was accidental and not premeditated. A series of flashbacks of what led to Manoel's displacement from his village home is recounted with a sensitivity that makes the viewer sympathetic to his plight into the modern world. The film … [Read more...]

Pandaemonium (2000)

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Partly filmed in the beautiful English Lake District, this intriguing film concentrates on the relationship between Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (Linus Roache), and fellow poet William Wordsworth (John Hannah). The inner demons of Coleridge, especially, take the viewer to another place, a Bohemian utopia, and a place of `goats, apple trees and a place to sit and write poetry` forever more. This film concentrates on a group of people who were part of the original English anti-establishment of the … [Read more...]

The Bed Sitting Room (1969)

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For any writer who is still an avowed film fan (and doesn’t mind admitting it), delivering critiques of the cinema of the past can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there’s a feeling of immense joy to be had in discovering long-forgotten gems and artefacts. Sadly, we also have to constantly remind ourselves that with a few notable exceptions, such films don't get made anymore, and that many of our favourite performers are gone forever. This in turn leads to a mournful longing for a time … [Read more...]

Old Mother Riley, MP (1939)

“Old Mother Riley, MP” is one of the later films that have Arthur Lucan's brilliant character Old Mother Riley in a role that is both feminist and hilarious as a living caricature of an old lady who will do anything to fend for survival. Mother Riley recognizes her disenfranchised status as a poor person, and plans on doing something about it by running for a Parliament seat. She encounters a number of obstacles on the way there, but manages to overcome them through the support of … [Read more...]

Paranoiac (1962)

OLLIE REED. What a man. The very personification of everything both ‘chap’ and ‘bloke’, fiercely intellectual yet with a burning urge for several pints and a damn good fight. Like his drinking buddies Harris, Hemmings and O ‘Toole, only one of whom at time of writing remains with us, he trod that fine line ‘twixt artist and hooligan, attempted often in modern times by lesser talents with far less convincing results. Lest we forget, he was also a damned … [Read more...]

Young and Innocent (1937)

While it's commonly referred to as being one of Alfred Hitchcock's overlooked gems, “Young and Innocent” is a thriller that takes a common plot, a young man wrongly accused of murder who tries to discover who the real murderer is, and adds a great script, great acting, and of course great directing by the master of suspense himself. Derrick de Marney plays Robert Tisdall, a young man who had a relationship with the murder victim several years earlier when he spent time in … [Read more...]

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)

Originally a radio play by Charles Chilton, and then a stage musical produced by Joan Littlewood in 1963, `Oh! What a Lovely War` was the first film directed by Richard Attenborough. With an outstanding cast including minor but outstanding parts by Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York, this film takes us into the surreal and moving events that shaped World War One. Amongst other things this film can be described as a collection of scenes following working class characters and their … [Read more...]