thu 01/12/2022

British film

Give Them Wings review - down but not out in Darlington

Give Them Wings is the biopic of Paul Hodgson, who seven months after he was born in 1965 was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. If that wasn’t bad enough, he survived his precarious childhood to become a devout fan of Durham’s hapless...

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Blu-ray: Get Carter

Director Mike Hodges's Get Carter (1971) has been praised as the best British gangster film. I would go even further, and put it up against the best gangster films of all time, on the same level as Lang’s The Big Heat (1953), Melville’s Le...

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All My Friends Hate Me review - beware of the bilious

A birthday weekend in Devon goes rather badly wrong in All My Friends Hate Me, the new film co-written by its leading man, Tom Stourton, that looks guaranteed to make shut-ins of us all.The antithesis of the warm-and-fuzzy gatherings proffered...

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The Camera Is Ours - Britain's Women Documentary Makers review - four decades of directors rediscovered

The Camera Is Ours features films made from 1935-1967 by women like Marion and Ruby Grierson, Evelyn Spice and Margaret Thomson, whose names should be engraved in the history of British film-making.Ever heard of them? Probably not as, surprise,...

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Blu-ray: The Gentle Gunman

Ealing Studios’ output encompassed much more than comedy, though a viewing of 1952’s The Gentle Gunman suggests that political drama wasn't one of their strengths.Based on a play by Alexander McKendrick’s cousin Roger MacDougall, and directed by...

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DVD/Blu-ray: South

There is little denying that the Antarctic continent is no longer possessed of the allure that it once was. By all accounts, particularly those unspoken, Antarctica has been betrayed, usurped, eclipsed.Beyond the sober walls of research laboratories...

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Blu-ray: Bleak Moments

That Bleak Moments exists at all is largely due to Albert Finney; the BFI funded Mike Leigh’s 1971 debut to the tune of £100, as an "experimental film", and Finney’s production company supplied the rest of the £18,000 budget. Shot on location in...

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Blu-ray: One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

The fourth feature made by writer-director partners Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing is not as celebrated as the six consecutive masterworks with which they followed it. It’s nonetheless a remarkably atmospheric...

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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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The Toll review - once upon a time in west Wales

Budget constraints. In the hands of the right filmmakers, they can be a blessing in disguise, forcing creativity from simplicity. That’s exactly what works for The Toll, a dark comedy set in the wild west of these isles: Pembrokeshire.Michael Smiley...

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Blu-ray: West 11

The first 10 minutes of West 11 are arresting, with a sweeping crane shot over an ungentrified West London and a zoom in through an attic bedsit window. The credits reveal that the screenplay is by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, from a once-...

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Blu-ray: Radio On

Chris Petit's Radio On, his 1979 debut as writer-director, should be regarded as the first British psychogeography film. Though its protagonist, Robert B (David Beames), a DJ for the United Biscuits Network, drives from London to Bristol in his two-...

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