A Better Place (1997) By Eric Norcross

A Better Place is the debut film of Vincent Pereira—and thus far, the only film he has ever made. In the 1990’s, bouncing off the success of Kevin Smith’s film Clerks, View Askew Productions turned out several indie films directed by other talents within their social circle.

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An Archaeology of the Close-Up

I recently wrote an academic essay exploring the historical and cultural origins of the cinematic close-up. The piece is a long read, but I think any reader interested in cinema history will find the ideas interesting. I worked hard on the essay and I’d be extremely grateful for anyone able to take some time to…

A Film to Remember, by Darrell Tuffs

Already an established contemporary video artist and filmmaker, Omer Fast has directed a range of short films challenging the conventions of storytelling, particularly focusing on the concept of reality, representation, and the fragile line between the two. For this reason, Fast would seem the perfect candidate to tackle Tom McCarthy’s mind-bender of a novel, Remainder;…

Does ‘the Phantom of the Auteur’ Haunt French Cinema?

The haunting presence of the auteur has long loomed over the French film industry; it was in France itself that the auteur theory as a major film discussion was first established. Because of this, a long tradition dating back farther than (but popularized by) the French new wave had firmly placed the auteur at the…

The Matrix: Entering the Rabbit Hole of the Human Mind

When beginning to experience film philosophy as a serious form of artistic and academic discussion, there is arguably no film more important or influential as the Wachowski’s 1999 film, The Matrix. The Matrix is tightly packed with philosophical ideas, which, through theme and aesthetic, reference theorists such as Descartes, Baudrillard, and Marx, while simultaneously doing…

Why Am I Still Watching This? By Darrell Tuffs

Michael Haneke’s Benny’s Video (1992) provides a rich array of moral and ethical questions to its viewer via both narrative and aesthetic, yet its key ethical significance is not established in answering these questions with any great conclusion, but rather, in successfully forcing its audience to actively contemplate and debate such questions; to ask, but…

A Tale of One City: Cinematic London in Contemporary British Cinema

From the expressionistic and bold portrait of London in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, through to the modern metropolis of scenic icons and vast scale depicted in Sam Mendes’s 2012 film, Skyfall, London has forever been an important cinematic city, holding centuries of history, cultural style, and filmic…

Film Note: Edge of Tomorrow (Live. Die. Repeat.)

Doug Liman’s first big break onto the Hollywood directing scene was the low-budget comedy, Swingers (1996). The film cost just $200,000 to make, and saw a domestic US box office return of $4.6m, a fairly successful amount for such a small-scale production. (1) A few years later, Liman would begin to dip his toes into…

The 2016 Bafta Challenge!

The Challenge: It’s awards season! (whether you like it or not) And this year, A World of Film is hosting ‘The Bafta Challenge’. I’d really love for everyone reading this post right now to take part; it will be fun, and I’d love to get to know some of my readers a little more. Every…

My Top 10 of 2015!

CLICK HERE to see my list of favourite films from 2015! Note: I go by the official US release dates. Thus, some of these film may be 2016 releases in some countries.

The Last Metro: A Sequence Analysis

Click HERE to read by new essay, The Last Metro: A Sequence Analysis. The essay is posted to the great film site, Battleship Pretension.

A Movie is a Movie, by Darrell Ron Tuffs

Jean-Luc Godard’s A Woman is a Woman (1961) opens like a grand theatre production, as we, the audience, are sat surrounded by darkness, in anticipation for the show to begin. An orchestra is heard warming up, a conductor is heard preparing, and huge blocks of one word text engulf the screen itself, quickly flashing relevant…

The 39 Steps (1935) – Alfred Hitchcock (Niall McArdle)

Summary: An innocent man is wanted for murder and drawn into a web of intrigue after foreign spies try to smuggle military secrets out of the country. Spoilers, naturally, but really, you don’t watch a Hitchcock film for the plot (and the plot of The 39 Steps is rather silly and full of holes); rather…

Surrealism: Dreams and the Unconscious (Freud and Dreams That Money Can Buy)

Important note: Here is an essay that I wrote for university; within it, I apply some psychoanalytical aspects of Freud’s theory of dreams to the 1947 surrealist film, Dreams That Money Can Buy. However, I first explain the theory and concept in some detail, which may be quite tiresome to readers only interested in approaching this essay by way of the film….

Smoke (1995) by Leila Murseljevic

I was asked the other day to, in just 5 seconds, name the first movie that pops on my mind, which fulfils the criteria of both simplicity and effectiveness at the same time. And let me tell you, for someone who takes the art of moving pictures very seriously, this was one of the toughest…

Everlasting Moments (2008) – Jan Troell (Pete Johnson)

As well as a lifetime romance with cinema and films, I have also had an interest in photography for the last thirty years. My favourite films are almost always foreign language productions, latterly known as ‘World Cinema’. There have been films made about photographers, and others featuring significant characters who happen to be photographers. These…

12 Angry Men (1957) – Sidney Lumet (Niall McArdle)

Summary: A jury deliberates in a murder trial of a teenager accused of killing his father. Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men is a remarkable piece of cinema in spite of itself. It’s a sudsy liberal social drama and it telegraphs its emotions, and it’s talky as hell, but it’s a riveting 90 minutes, all the…

It Happened One Night (1934) | Frank Capra (Eric Norcross)

An unemployed reporter helps a runaway heiress get back to New York without being discovered by the authorities. It Happened One Night is a road trip romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert and was directed by Hollywood legend Frank Capra. Written by Robert Riskin and based off of Samuel Hopkins Adams’ short story,…

Seven (1995) – David Fincher (Niall McArdle)

SPOILERS! I was living in Korea when I first saw Seven (or Se7en, as it is sometimes pretentiously stylised). The print was dark so I couldn’t make out very much, and the sound in the cinema was appalling. I could barely hear the dialogue over the noise of incessant rain. My initial thought was that…

Shadows (1959) – Living in the Shadows, by Darrell Ron Tuffs

The first film to be directed by John Cassavetes, Shadows, was perhaps the start of what we now know as American independent cinema. Shadows was groundbreaking at the time of its release, although not particularly financially successful, it was critically acclaimed, despite being made for less than the average television programme. Filmed during the same…

Filth (2013) Jon S. Baird (Maria Tudosescu)

Rating: 4.5/5 My friend told me a while ago that I would like this movie, especially following my recent obsession with James McAvoy; I am so glad I took her advice. For quite a while, I have been interested in finding out more and more about the Scottish actor, and while I knew he was…

Dredd (2012) – Pete Travis (Niall McArdle)

Summary: Mega-City One vetran cop Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and rookie Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) are trapped in Mega-Block Peach Trees, and have to fend off a vicious drug gang run by the ruthless Ma Ma (Lena Headey). It is impossible to think of the British comic 2000 AD without thinking of its most famous character,…

White Dog (1982) – The Four-Legged Time Bomb, by Darrell Ron Tuffs

Samuel Fuller’s last American film, White Dog, was, not surprisingly, a financial failure, and was never given a wide American release. Also not surprising, was the critical success this failure came with. The film is almost perfectly constructed, and is extremely forceful and frank in delivering its underlining cultural themes. This is to the film’s…

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Frank Darabont (Niall McArdle)

Massive Spoilers for the three people on the planet who haven`t seen it. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” It’s fitting that The Shawshank Redemption was made for Warner Bros. The studio pretty much invented the prison picture, and Warner pen epics like Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing, San Quentin, and Each Dawn…

Lunch Hour (1962) – Time to Get Alone, by Darrell Ron Tuffs

The story started its life as a radio play on the BBC Third Programme, and was later brought to the London stage in 1961. But, none of these portrays where as interesting or original as James Hill’s film version of Lunch Hour in 1962. This version, produced by Eyeline Films, was not a huge success…

Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1969) Douglas Hickox (Darrell Ron Tuffs)

Short films can often become overlooked while searching for hidden cinematic gems from the past. This is particularly true of the 1969 Douglas Hickox short film, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize. The film is itself, a mini trip to, or back to, the heart of swinging 60s London. With its new wave vibe and strong sense…

Reservoir Dogs (1992) – Quentin Tarantino (Niall McArdle)

Has it really been more than twenty years since Quentin Tarantino shocked and thrilled audiences with his audacious, breezily confident debut film, Reservoir Dogs? The Sundance darling – it was one of the films that put ‘indie cinema’ squarely in the eye of the mainstream – put off many filmgoers because of its violence and…

The Good Time Girls (1960) Claude Chabrol (Darrell Ron Tuffs)

Claude Chabrol’s forth feature film The Good Time Girls, was released in 1960, the same year as Godard’s landmark film Breathless, and, just one year after Truffaut’s career-launching The 400 Blows. Chabrol’s film can often feel inferior to these other French new wave masterpieces at first glance. But, while looking deeper into the film, a…

The Great Gatsby (2013) Baz Luhrmann (Kate McBride)

In 1925, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald – a splendid name, eh? – wrote The Great Gatsby. And in 2013, when Baz Luhrmann got his hands on it, he transformed a classic 180 page novel into a 142 minute film. That’s just over one page per minute, following an uncomfortable trend in modern movies for those…

Ed Wood (1994) – Tim Burton (Gunnar von Cowtown)

Originally posted to the excellence site Retro In The 90s After reflecting on the Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre post, perhaps the most important function of the horror movie host was telling all the stories behind the story shown on screen. The horror host’s knowledge added layers of context and depth to what basically amounted to…

Panic Room (2002) – David Fincher (Mikhail Karadimov)

Originally Posted at betweenframes.net. Come check out other reviews written by Mikhail Karadimov Panic Room has long been derided as one of Fincher’s lesser films. Maybe people had trouble accepting Fincher’s supposedly lame shift in subject matter—from the visceral, “in your face” bombast of Fight Club, to the restrained, small-scale follow-up of Panic Room—or maybe…

Roman Holiday (1953) – William Wyler (Niall McArdle)

Cyd Charisse. Marilyn Monroe. Jane Russell. Donna Reed. Deborah Kerr. Hollywod had an array of beautiful women on-screen in 1953, each in their own way wordly and sexy. But it was a different, schoolgirlish beauty that captivated the world that year, when an elfin, dark-haired Audrey Hepburn spent the day in Rome in the company…

Enough Said (2013) – Nicole Holofcenter (Mikhail Karadimov)

Originally Posted at betweenframes.net. Come check out other reviews written by Mikhail Karadimov. It’s odd to see the late-great James Gandolfini’s large, meaty hands—so endearingly referred to as “paddles” by Julie Luis-Dreyfus’s small and ferrety masseuse Eva— softened by cutting lemons, pulling grass, serving pasta, doing everything but wrapping around someone’s throat and snuffing the…

The Hunt (2012) – Thomas Vinterberg (Mikhail Karadimov)

Originally Posted at betweenframes.net. Come check out other reviews written by Mikhail Karadimov. Trained in our scopes—beaded down on the bull’s-eye of our aim—are other people. Our judgments click and snap like the charge of a high-powered rifle shot, assassinating anyone and everyone weird, isolated, and only tenuously connected to society in an ostensibly “normal”…

Planet of the Apes – Franklin. J. Shaffner (1968) (Niall McArdle)

Synposis: Thousands of years in the future, astronauts from earth crash-land on a planet ruled by apes. I recently met somebody who has never seen Planet of the Apes, and so has lived a life blissfully unaware of the film’s cheesy appeal and its much-admired, seldom-equalled shock ending. How has she managed this? How has…

Representations of Revolutionary Struggle

As with all art forms, the cinema offers a wide and far-reaching platform of expression, one that may be used to provoke many contrasting ideas and opinions. The moving image can be used for good or evil, hate or love, war or peace. Cinema can be more powerful than a bomb when used tactfully and…

Wings (1927) William A. Wellman (Darrell Ron Tuffs)

(Note: This post was originally written for the review site Battleship Pretension. See the full article HERE) Wings is a 1927 American silent film about two World War I fighter pilot friends, both involved with the same beauty, produced by Lucien Hubbard, directed by William A. Wellman and released by Paramount Pictures. William A. Wellman’s…

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) – Jim Jarmusch (Claire Sharp)

Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile…

Vampyr (1932) – Carl Theodor Dryer (Mardaweh Tompo)

Synopsis: Allan Gray arrives at an inn to sleep only to be aroused by mysterious happenings at the inn that leads him to an eventful stay. Carl Theodor Dryer was a master of elevating every element in film to its most transcendent level by stripping away the theatrical or ornamental that dominated popular cinema at…

My Neighbour Totoro (1988) Hayao Miyazaki (Darrell Ron Tuffs)

Two young girls, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei, move into a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. Satsuki and Mei discover a nearby forest, inhabited by magical creatures. They befriend these creatures, and are soon embarking on magical adventures with them. With the release of My…