All posts by Graham Williamson

Mulholland Drive

“Nah, you’re not thinkin’. You’re too busy being a smart-alec to be thinkin’” – The Cowboy If you’ve never seen David Lynch’s 2001 Cannes Best Director winner Mulholland Drive, it’s probably worth stopping reading and buying Studio Canal’s new Blu-Ray restoration right now. That’s normally

Madame De…

If you know anything about the German director Max Ophüls, you probably know Stanley Kubrick’s famous quote to the effect that his camera could pass through walls. Watching the BFI’s new sumptuous restoration of 1953’s Madame de…, one of his final films, it’s easy to

Why Modern Hollywood Hates Plot Twists

[WARNING: this article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, all three Iron Man films, most of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, and, y’know, everything else.] Sitting down to watch Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden recently, I experienced a

The Informer

There are features on the disc and in the booklet accompanying the BFI’s new dual format release of Arthur Robison’s 1929 thriller The Informer describing how long and careful the restoration process was.  Just as well; anyone under the delusion that a silent film could be

The Lady from Shanghai

Orson Welles once claimed he only saw thrillers as a means to an end, that if it wasn’t for the unfortunate necessity of getting films funded he wouldn’t have made any. As if to demonstrate this, he would often tell a story about the genesis

My Twentieth Century

“We live in the flicker”, Joseph Conrad famously wrote, referring to the breathless speed of technological advancement in the crossover from nineteenth to twentieth century.  In addressing the same historical period, Ildikó Enyedi’s debut film My Twentieth Century – released on DVD and Blu-Ray by

Story of Sin

Story of Sin begins with a quintessentially Walerian Borowczyk image; the doors of a church confessional booth being opened.  Already, we can see so many things that fascinate this director, from what’s on screen (the frame-within-a-frame, the old-fashioned handmade props and sets) to the implicit (the unlocking

Alice

In his book Crackpot, John Waters devotes a chapter to his guilty pleasure movies – the joke being that the trash cinema most people would describe as a guilty pleasure is exactly what you’d expect Waters to unashamedly love.  Instead, the chapter is devoted to achingly

Crime and Misdemeanors

No matter how many times actors, writers and directors repeat that old saw about dying being easier than comedy, critics are still more likely to go into raptures about hard-hitting Oscar-season dramas than summer comedies.  One rare exception, enshrined as a great living American director