Category Archives: Films

Billy Liar (1963)

Dir: John Schlesinger, with Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie (DVD) It’s many years since I saw this film, and my take on it has changed somewhat. As a teenager, I was completely on Billy’s side; who wouldn’t fantasise about escaping … Continue reading

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Miller’s Crossing

Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen, with Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney The Coen brothers are definitely idiosyncratic geniuses, but I find I admire their films rather than enjoy them. Does it matter? I like their refusal to be categorised while … Continue reading

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The Party

Dir: Sally Potter, with Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall Entertaining and well done.  A politician celebrates her promotion by holding a dinner party, during which life-changing secrets are unearthed. Quite funny. Black and white cinematography made for great etched … Continue reading

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The Wages of Fear (1953)

Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot, with Yves Montand and Charles Vanel This was absolutely brilliant (but didn’t make it into Tavernier’s wordy documentary, I note). I did actually have my knuckles in my mouth with suspense at times. I had no idea … Continue reading

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My Journey Through French Cinema

Dir: Bertrand Tavernier 192 minutes of Tavernier’s personal and (obvs) very well-informed history of French cinema from the 1930s to the 1960s. It was like sitting next to an elderly person who talks genially, self-indulgently and at length about people … Continue reading

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Victim (1961)

Dir: Basil Dearden, with Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms I saw this film last week; it was fascinating. It was partly the social issues it raised (from the days when male homosexuality was a criminal offence), the coy but brave … Continue reading

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My Cousin Rachel

Dir: Roger Michell, with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin I broke my normal rule and went to see a film of a novel I had read. It really doesn’t work: films condense too much, and they play fast and loose … Continue reading

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