In many ways, Steven Soderbergh could be described as an exemplary postmodern film-maker: smart, prolific, and pragmatic, at ease with Hollywood blockbusters and low-budget experiments alike. He knows enough about the nuts and bolts of technique to serve as his own cinematographer, and enough about the science of deal-making to sustain a parallel career as a p ... More
The myth of the vampire entered into European literature as a Byronic hero of the Romantic era. This attractive but evil character appears to have shifted from peasant folklore into the written culture at the same time that Lady Caroline Lamb described Byron as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. That would be a perfect description for the classical vampire. Altho ... More
If you share my view that Andy Warhol (1928–87) ranks among the most important film-makers who ever lived, ‘Our Kind of Movie’ will be your kind of book. A sophisticated yet direct writer with firsthand knowledge of the 1960s queer underground, art critic Douglas Crimp is equipped to do justice to Warhol’s manifold gifts: the perverse wit, the ceasele ... More
Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies!
get them out of the house so they won’t know what you’re up to
it’s true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by silvery images ... More
Barry Forshaw, in his latest book, has turned from crime fiction in print to crime in the cinema: specifically British cinema. He establishes immediately that his primary interest is ‘genre cinema’. He does not define exactly what he means by this term, but his assumptions in relation to it are soon pretty clear. A genre film is one where the primary aim of the ... More
Can a work of art be a classic without being ‘great’ – or even, by some standards, particularly good? Jane Mills has no doubt about the canonical position of Jedda (Charles Chauvel, 1955) in Australian cinema, yet admits that her own response falls short of love. This ambivalence stems not only from Jedda’s technical flaws, but also from its me ... More
Those Brontës. If they’d only had a decent agent with foresight, they could have escaped that dank parsonage on the gloomy moors of windswept Yorkshire and set up on the French Riviera in comfort. Since 1910 there have been at least forty film or television versions of Jane Eyre, most recently in 2011. Now it is Emily’s turn for the latest (seventeenth) ... More
‘Will the real Nicole Kidman please stand up?’ Many readers will remember that line from the television game show Tell the Truth, in which celebrities were required to guess which of three contestants was the ‘real’ person. Pam Cook tells us that our ‘search for veracity is doomed to failure’ because, in this case, the celebrity’s identity is a ... More
As the maker of the nine-and-a-half hour film Shoah (1985), Claude Lanzmann created a work of major and enduring historical importance. Through its electrifyingly tense interviews with victims and perpetrators, it opens an indispensable, if harrowing, dimension to our understanding of Hitler’s Final Solution. A work that unrelentingly has as its subject dea ... More
Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel Cosmopolis could be described as a rarefied CBD road movie, and the same might be said of David Cronenberg’s new film adaptation, an unnervingly faithful, uncomfortable, and elusive version of the book.
Cronenberg, a consistently absorbing and provocative director, is still probably best kn ... More