Friday, 7 November 2014

Book Project: My thoughts/feelings on film

This is a book project that I had previously attempted to write but stopped for some reason. Now I want to make a fresh start and I don't know how long it would take, but I now have more of an idea of structure. I find it hard to find motivation to finish things but I think I will write on and off. The book is basically going to be an organised collection of how I feel about the movies, how they have effected me as well as do some film related essays and reviews/analysis's of some of my favourites. Anyway, here is the introduction which I haven't proofread so excuse obvious mistakes. Let me know what you think and thanks in advance for taking the time to read. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) How sane are you?

"I tried didn't I? At least I done that."
Directed by: Milos Forman
133 minutes

A profound masterpiece examining the thin (very thin) line between sanity and insanity and most of all: society. Hands down, this film shook me to the core when I first watched it 4 years ago at the age of 15. The evil presence of Nurse Ratchet, Nicholson's outstanding performance, the theme of freedom, the at times comical situations: everything. Based on the magnificent book by Ken Kesey, Milos Forman directs a film that would gain Best Picture, and I think it is one of the greatest films ever made. Why?

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Akira (1988) Film 10 of the Allen and Anime Marathon

Directed by: Katushiro Otomo

Animation, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
124 Minutes

I re-watched this after two years, and I was blown away again. The Blu-ray update looked even better, and the audio was simply brilliant! On a visual level Akira will have your eyes wide open; on a story level it will shatter your mind. The high-speed chases, explosions and characters all make Akira the quintessential Anime classic, showing cyberpunk as the sub-genre it is. Akira proves just what can be done with animation, treating it not as a genre; but a whole different level of film.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Japanese Cinema Marathon: Summer Marathon 3#

The Hidden Fortress
To explore more of Akira Kurosawa's films I thought I would begin to look at more Japanese films, both old and new.  Yoshiro Ozu and Masaki Kobayashi are two directors who are new to me and I look forward to seeing their films. Below, is a link to where I will be reviewing the films, and the list of films in this marathon.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Edward Scisorhands (1990) A Walk in American Suburbia

Directed by: Tim Burton
Drama, Fantasy
110 Minutes

Originaly written 2013 on Letterboxd

I really do have a soft spot for this film and I don't care anymore what people say. I really find this film beautiful, and perhaps it is because of how it has grew on me I cannot see any flaws in it. It is one of my cinema experiences that brought me closer to how beautiful cinema was when I was about 13-14 years old. I have seen it about 5 or 6 times since. I love everything. The expressionistic style, the classic Frankenstein-like story, the touching Danny Elfman musical score and the truly fascinating performance from Johnny Depp. It is here we see one of Depp's first best performances, and the start of what is now a long friendship between director and actor.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The 70's Marathon in Review!

The 70's brought many great movies and many directors making brilliant films. Not just Scorsese and Coppola, but Altman, Lumet, Fosse and Herzog too. There are still more for me to see such as Scenes from a Marriage, Dawn of the Dead and Amarcord, but it is good to still have more to look forward to.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Deer Hunter (1978) 70's Marathon 20#

Directed by: Michael Cimino
Drama, War
178 Minutes

It was challenging to recuperate my feelings after watching this film. I was left speechless when the credits came on. The journey, the story, the people; I found it extremely moving and heart-wrenching at times. The script is brilliant, and Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Robert Savage, Meryl Streep and John Savage all give mesmerising performance filling the screen with emotional authenticity. This great Vietnam War-period film went on to win 5 Oscars including Best Director and Picture.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Don’t Look Now (1973) 70's Marathon 19#

Directed by: Nicolas Roeg 
110 Minutes
Horror, Thriller

After reading people’s reviews and thoughts on this film, I was enthused about watching it and was expecting to see something truly chilling and tense. I must say I am a little underwhelmed, but Don’t Look Now is not a bad film. Nicolas Roeg’s editing is experimental, and the story unfolds in a unique fashion. His film has a distinct atmosphere similar to what he done with The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I found the film to be a little boring rather than chilling at times.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fritz the Cat (1972) 70's Marathon 18#

Directed, Written & Produced by: Ralph Bakshi
Animated, Comedy (Not for kids!)
77 minutes

I came across this film whilst watching on TV the "100 greatest cartoons". This was number 56, and struckme as wild, controversial and very different. This was a correct presumption. It has just about everything for someone to be offended at but it has a unique charm to it. Impressively, it’s the first X-Rated animated feature film, so it obviously endorsed a new breed of films of this kind. Director and screenplay writer of the film Ralph Bakshi got quite some controversy over the creation of this film, and today the film is considered a piece of art. Art you could say yes, but pretty raunchy art.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Love and Death (1975) 70's Marathon 17#

Directed by: Woody Allen
85 Minutes

Here is another early Woody Allen film, showing his comedic roots. Films like Bananas and Sleeper show many elements of a silent comedy, and feel more like a series of skits than a full movie. Nevertheless, this structure works, and Love and Death provides some hilarious moments, amongst its filmic references to Monty Python, Marx Brothers and Ingmar Bergman.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Papillon (1973) 70's Marathon 16#

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
Drama, Biography, Crime
146 Minutes

Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman star in this gritty prison film. The drama is excellent and you really get to feel for McQueen’s character as the film goes on due to the brilliant performance he brings to the film. I found the film had a weak last 30 or so minutes, but the film is a look at a friendship of longing and the desire to live on. The film will definitely leave you with feeling and is an excellent 70’s film that was adapted from the autobiography by Henri Charriére, a French Convict.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nashville (1975) 70's Marathon 15#

Directed by: Robert Altman

168 Minutes
Drama, Romance, Musical, Comedy

There are not many films like it before its time, and not very many afterwards. Robert Altman’s large and ambitious story set in the music scene of Nashville has a wide array of characters, and detail that would certainly take many viewings to soak up. With a host of over what would be 20 ‘main’ characters, its satire of folk music and politics are still identified with, and Nashville is regarded as one of the greatest films from the 70’s. Your also in for a musical treat with this one, for it is packed with songs.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Dark Star (1974) 70's Marathon 14#

Directed by John Carpenter

Sci-Fi, Comedy
83 Minutes

It's cheap, it's funny, it's a Sci-Fi; it is Dark Star. This is perhaps one of the cheapest looking movies I have seen, but that does not necessarily mean it is bad. While not outrageously funny or great, it has its moments. Dark Star is somewhat of a cult film today for it's cheap sets, corny acting but most of all satirising Sci-Fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey which will be clear to any fans of that film. From John Carpenter, the director of films like The Thing and Halloween, this is a fun voyage.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Wicker Man (1973) 70's Marathon 13#

Directed by Robert Hardy
86/87 minutes (Theatrical Cut)
Horror, Cult Film
1st Viewing- the Theatrical Cut (Original Cut)
I have seen many horror films, cult films and downright weird stuff from Pink Flamingos to Hausu- but The Wicker Man seems to stand as a film like no other. The Wicker Man is truly a unique movie gives an eerie and chilling atmosphere that takes you on a hypnotic voyage into the remote Island where a pagan cult remains. I ensured to outline this was my first viewing and of the ‘original cut’. This site explains very well about the different versions of the film, which can be confusing as to choosing which to watch first. I will be watching the other versions of the film in due time.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Badlands (1973) 70's Marathon 12#

Directed by: Terrence Mallick
Crime, Drama, Romance
94 Minutes


Terrence Malick has one of the most interesting careers in filmmaking, with only 5 feature films to his directorial name in 4 decades. Badlands is his first feature film, and what a debut it is. Badlands is audacious in its story and character, exploring the mentality of Kit (Martin Sheen) and the impressionable Holly (Sissy Spacek). Rarely does a film show murders and killings without any real meaning or motive, and here Malick makes us look at the psychopathic nature of Kit as the story unfolds. Badlands is truly one of the greats from the 70’s, but the emotional void is off-putting to an extent.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thieves like Us (1974) 70's Marathon 11#

Directed by: Robert Altman
Crime, Drama
123 Minutes

Robert Altman’s 1930’s-set bank heist movie is one of a different approach to the genre that does not consist of theatrical hold-ups and shoot-outs. Instead, we are given a character study of a group of thieves in possibly one of the most dysfunctional families in cinema. Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall and Louise Fletcher all give this film its quality, of showing the strange relationships all these characters have.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) 70's Marathon 10#

Directed by Robert Altman
Western, Drama
120 Minutes

It has been enjoyable exploring the films of Robert Altman along this 70’s marathon, and his style does show. The use of zoom lenses, the way dialogue is recorded, the music choices, the characters- these are among the traits of Altman’s style. The best fantastic set design and costumes absorbs us into the 19th century setting almost invisibly. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie also give memorable performances, which makes McCabe and Mrs Miller somewhat of an overshadowed film of the 70’s.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

MASH (1970) 70's Marathon 9#

Directed by: Robert Altman
Comedy, War
116 Minutes

At the beginning of the 1970’s Robert Altman brought to the screen Richard Hookers novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors- a story set in a ‘Mobile Army Surgery Hospital’, during the Korean War. To those who do not know of the book, the premise of this appears to sets the stage for a gritty drama, but instead we get a roll-on-the-floor comedy full of pranks and laughs. M*A*S*H today is considered one of the great comedies, and one of the best films from the 70’s for its hilarity, and satirising war (and also with subtext of the Vietnam War). It still maintains its comedic elements, and it is easy to see why.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Sting (1973) 70's Marathon 8#

Directed by: George Roy Hill
Comedy, Crime

129 Minutes

After watching the Carnival-styled intro with the song “The Entertainer” playing in the background, I knew I was going to enjoy this film. Anything set in the period of the 20’s and 30’s I truly adore, and The Sting has a terrific story and great characters. Robert Redford is charmingly witty and you cannot help but cheer him on his journey. The film is spot on in the area of nostalgia looking back at the 30’s and the Hollywood genres of yesteryear. Start to finish, you will find yourself surprised, subverted and giving cheesy smiles of relief and awe with everything that happens.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lord of the Rings (1978) 70's Marathon 7#

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
128 Minutes
Animation, Fantasy

One immediately thinks of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy in the world of film, but many should know that this was one of Jackson’s influences for the film adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s adventurous novel. Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation when looking at it now is definitely sloppy in some areas, but by no means a ‘bad’ movie. You can see how he wants to do justice to this world of fantasy, and it must not have been an easy task at all. The films problem is this is a story that simply could not be told in a short time.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Coming Soon to the Cabinet...

I have gotten back into the spirit of movie watching, talking, reviewing, loving and discussing, and in the future I have a few ideas. To get to the point, here is a bullet point list of what I intend to do over the next 4 months here on the blog!

  • Interact with movie-watchers out there and get guest writers from other blogs/websites on movies.
  •  Review weird, strange, obscure and cult films. Everyone knows stuff about classic movies, that are masterpieces, but do not need much more said. So, it is good to spread the lesser-known films, such as b-movies and silent films. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

All the President's Men (1976) 70's Marathon 6#

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
138 Minutes


During the early 1970’s, a huge scandal took place in the U.S, which climaxed with the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and had a real impact on American politics and the White House. This was known as the “Watergate Scandal”. In my opinion, this film requires contextual knowledge of what it is about, as it was released shortly after the scandal had been going on and exploded. The film requires you to know facts and the more you know- the richer your experience will be. Therefore, I did some research and read stuff up on Watergate, and I still found the great direction and solid performances from Hoffman and Redford to make this an interesting film.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Bananas (1971) 70's Marathon 5#

Directed by: Woody Allen
82 Minutes

I do not have much to say on this one, but I did enjoy the moments where you can see the silent comedy influence on Woody Allen. The character he plays (Fielding Mellish) here is a very awkward, nervous and lonely man, who ends up being a part of a revolution group after being dumped by his activist girlfriend.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Fantastic Planet (1973) 70's Marathon 4#

Directed by: René Laloux
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Animation
71 Minutes

I don’t know where to start with this one. It was a surreal and entrancing experience. It was as if the art style of Dr Seuss met the Monty Python animations, and experimented with acid; producing a truly psychedelic animated movie. The film has an extraordinary vision, of a society divided between the Traags and the Oms, with Oms being considered ‘pets’ and ‘animals’ to the Traags, who appear to be a species of knowledge and information. What I love about the 70’s through to the 80’s is all the odd and offbeat animated films that began being made that were more directed towards a mature audience, and this one adds to the list of peculiar animation. The images alone will get you interested to watch this one!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Silent Running (1972) 70's Marathon 3#

Directed by: Douglas Trambull
89 Minutes

What I love about being a film buff, is making discoveries of little films like this. This somewhat forgotten Sci-Fi B-Movie was surprisingly enjoyable. It plays out with the pure theme of machine vs. nature, and man vs. technology as a young Bruce Dern tries to save the last of what is left of nature. The sets are fascinating to look at, and the camera is very well used with plenty of great shots. As a film that predates Star Wars, I love the imagination of this film that is patient and calm with the viewer. This is UK Film critic Mark Kermode’s favourite movie of all time, and I can see what it is he likes about it.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Last Picture Show (1971) 70's Marathon 2#

Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
121 Minutes

Based on a novel of the same name (which at first, the director did not like the sound of) The Last Picture Show stands now as an important film in American cinema history. As a coming-of-age tale, this black and white drama telling the story of a group of teenagers in a small Texas town, this is definitely an essential viewing of the 1970’s. It is a film of love, friendship, adolescence, relationships and moving on- themes that continue to be explored in coming-of-age movies.

Friday, 18 April 2014

3 Women (1977) [70's Marathon] 1#

 Directed by: Robert Altman
123 Minutes

To kick off the marathon, I wanted to watch Robert Altman's 3 Women, which has turned out to be an odd, but entertaining experience. Inspired by a dream Altman had, the film follows Shelley Duvall (Milly) and Sissy Spacek (Pinky/Mildred), two women who become roommates and have a strange relationship with one another. With all the chilling music and bizarre paintings, the film creates a unique atmosphere giving us the sense of tension and uneasiness in both the characters and their relationship to one another. This is the best acting I have seen from Duvall, she really brought something to the character. So, what is it that makes this an interesting watch?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Feed me Seymour!

Directed by: Frank Oz
94 Minutes
Comedy, Musical

If anyone has seen the original 1960 Roger Corman’s B-movie, you will see a dramatic difference with the two. It is odd to think that inspiration for a musical came from a film about a rundown flower shop and a flesh eating plant. Here Muppet show puppeteer Frank Oz takes the director’s chair in turning the Broadway show into a wacky musical film. This one stars Ghostbuster’s Rick Moranis, Ellen Green and hilarious and bright cameos from John Candy, Bill Murray and Steve Martin. For cameo appearances in films this film nails it, it is great to see stars like Murray, and Martin put into the same film. It started as a 1982 Broadway musical that sprouted into this charming comedy film. If you can laugh at the concept of it’s fun filled antics and the cliché poking style, Little Shop of Horrors can be a funny and entertaining musical experience.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Summer Movie Marathon Project Series!

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter
Now that I am off for my first year of University (with one exam in May), I will have over 4 months to kill- and for a film buff what that means is movie watching! There are tons of movies I want to watch, and I thought it would be fun to run several different marathons including 70's films, Japanese cinema and a few other little ideas. I want to discover more cinema, and hopefully find new favourites. I hope you enjoy the series, and I hope it helps spread the love of cinema! The films will be recorded on letterboxd, so links will be added in this post later on. Below is the list of the marathon titles, and the films that will be in it. Subject to change, in due time! Enjoy!

Metropolis (1927) Rise against the machine!

Directed&Written by Fritz Lang
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
153 Minutes

In 3 years, the film will be 90 years old, and with the film's incredible age (and extremely well restored & reconstructed edition now available on DVD/Blu-Ray), it stands the test of time as a great Sci-Fi movie. The film's influence is phenomenal, with several filmmakers following in the footsteps of Fritz Lang's ambitious masterpiece with the film's elaborate and prodigious sets and effects. Metropolis was a film ahead of its time and one of the most important in cinema history.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Side by Side (2012) Film V.S Digital

Directed and Written by Christopher Kenneally
99 Minutes
More Info here
Trailer here
 I demand that every cinephile, film buff and movie watcher sees this documentary, that looks at the medium of film, and how the digital revolution has affected cinema. This doc looks at the conversion of film (such as 35mm) to digital filming and projection, and both the innovations and pitfalls of this. The interviews are great, and for anyone who likes movies or technology it is fascinating to see the evolution of the camera, and how our society has changed so much with technology.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The New Blog and Letterboxd!

Johnny Depp in Ed Wood.
Ahhh, back to blogging again! In 2011 I started a blog, and for the following 1 1/2 years I wrote reviews there and then I stopped. I joined letterboxd last summer, and now I would like to have my own blog again but this time things will be neater. Well, I would like to say thanks for stopping by my blog, and hope you enjoy future posts and lists I do.

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