It Follows and Musically Uncanny

“This thing … it’s gonna follow you.” As Hugh speaks these unnerving words to Jay during the first act of David Robert Mitchell’s, It Follows (2014), we could be mistaken in thinking these words refer to the film’s music as well as its plot. The film is an effective horror film, taking many visual and…

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…

Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

Buster Keaton, like Chaplin, will forever be respected as the most basic and fundamental pioneer of the comedy genre in film. But rarely mentioned with Keaton is how wonderfully composed and experimental he was with regard to creating action cinema, as well as a real and serious sense of physical vulnerability. And no, we’re not…

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…

Our YouTube Channel

We know that A World of Film has been a little quiet recently. The site has had a small break, but we will be back very soon, and already have some articles in the pipeline. In the meantime, why not take a look at our new A World of Film YouTube channel for short video essays….

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…

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…

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…

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…

Whip It (2009) – Drew Barrymore (Sarah Myles)

The 2009 directorial debut of Drew Barrymore – Whip It – is arguably the ultimate feminist movie. While that may seem to be a fairly bold statement, it is absolutely the case that this film embodies everything that representation of women in media should be striving for.

The Philadelphia Story (1940) – George Cukor (Niall McArdle)

Synopsis: Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is due to marry George Kittredge (John Howard). But then her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) shows up with a tabloid reporter, Macaulay Connor (James Stewart) and a photographer, Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey).

Your favourite Martin Scorsese film?

He is one of the most influential directors to have ever lived. It is hard to think of many modern directors that have not been influenced by him in some way. From “Boxcar Bertha” to his new “The Wolf of Wall Street” he has a huge filmography filled with many great films. Which is your…

His Girl Friday (1940) – Howard Hawks (Niall McArdle)

Synopsis: Ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) tries to stop his ex-wife and ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) from marrying nice Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy) so she can stay in the city and report on an execution.

Santa Fe Trail (1940) – Michael Curtiz (Niall McArdle)

Beware the Warner Brothers film that bounds and bounces over history as jauntily as Errol Flynn buckled his swash. The 1940 horse opera ‘Santa Fe Trail’, directed by Michael Curtiz, is by no means a great film. In fact, I think it’s rather bad. But it should be seen if only to remind you that…

Imitation of Life (1959) – Douglas Sirk (Sight & Sound Critic Poll Series)

Top 100 position – Joint 93rd Short Plot Summary: Aspiring actress Lora Meredith meets Annie Johnson a homeless black woman at Coney Island and soon they share a tiny apartment. Each woman has an intolerable daughter, though Annie’s little girl Sarah Jane, is by far the worse. Neurotic and obnoxious, Sarah Jane doesn’t like being…

Blade Runner – 1982 (Guest Post from Niall McArdle)

Synopsis: In a rainy, polluted Los Angeles in 2019, genetic engineers for the Tyrell Corporation have created replicants – superhuman androids that are used as slave labour in outer space, and who have a built-in lifespan of only four years. Renegade replicants are hunted and killed by police officers known as “Blade Runners”. When a…

The Shining (1980) – Stanley Kubrick

Short Plot Summary: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – F.W Murnau

Short Plot Summary: A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife. As someone who is a big fan of silent cinema, I could not recommend F.W Murnaus’s “Sunrise” enough. Currently standing at no.5 on Sight and Sound‘s best films of…

Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón

Short Plot Summary: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

MANHATTAN – Woody Allen

Short Plot Summary: A divorced New Yorker currently dating a high-schooler brings himself to look for love in the mistress of his best friend instead.