All posts by Graham Williamson

Review: 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

Review: The Glass Shield

African-American cinema’s relationship to the American mainstream is kind of like Halley’s comet; it’s always there, it’s just not always visible.  Charles Burnett’s career has lasted long enough to intersect with two major movements in black cinema; he may yet connect with the ongoing one.  After

Pick of the Geek – Alice in Wonderland (1966)

Whether it’s the colourful whimsy of Walt Disney’s 1951 cartoon, the Victorian ghoulishness of Jan Švankmajer’s 1988 Alice or the CGI empowerment fantasy of Tim Burton’s 2010 version, film-makers have always enjoyed using Lewis Carroll as a springboard for visual excess.  The one exception is

Cinema Eclectica’s 2017 Preview

Forecasting the year ahead in cinema releases has always been a bit tricky thanks to the disparity between blockbuster releases announced years in advance and smaller films which squeeze in wherever they can.  Over recent years, the divide has deepened, with the major studios apparently

The Emigrants and The New Land

In its native America, the Criterion Collection earned its reputation for desirable, extras-packed editions of arthouse classics over whole decades, disc by disc. When it expanded to Region 2 in April this year, it wasn’t an unknown quantity – cinephiles with region-free players had been

The Royal Tenenbaums

Reputations are a slippery thing, and directors sometimes start their career with one that completely contradicts the one they get later. The French critics who would come to damn Spielberg as the McDonalds of cinema had previously swooned over the existential spareness of Duel. Likewise,

Pick of the Geek: Santigold – 99¢

The Lemonade-era urge among modern music critics to assess every pop album as an urgent sociopolitical communique first and foremost reached an absurd nadir when Santigold’s third album received mixed reviews.  Critics admitted it was a strong collection of songs, but noted that it failed