All posts by Graham Williamson

Pick of the Geek – The Book of Sand

Today, everything in art is about size: binge-watched TV, enormous novels, three-hour superhero movies, massive public sculptures. For the antidote to all this, you can’t do better than turn to Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian author whose stories are incredibly short, yet each of his

Joshua Oppenheimer: Early Work

For most filmgoers, Joshua Oppenheimer emerged fully-formed out of nowhere with his landmark 2012 documentary The Act of Killing. A horrifyingly intimate portrait of elderly death squad leaders in Indonesia, it fused fearless journalism with surreal, fantastical black comedy – a mix which earned the

Ivan’s Childhood

Film history tends to invite less counterfactual speculation than military or political history, but here’s one for you: what if Ivan’s Childhood, now reissued by Curzon Artificial Eye, had never been made? Because that really did come close to happening. During production, source author Vladimir

Richard III

Ever since the Golden Age of Hollywood, Shakespeare adaptations have struggled to win a box-office take to match their prestige.  The shining exception to the rule came during the 1990s, a period in which the Bard was so bankable that by the end of the decade Julie

The Club

Whatever he did for his fourth film, Pablo Larraín must have known he needed to make a sharp turn.  His first three films form such a comprehensive trilogy on life under Pinochet’s dictatorship that anything more would have risked tilling over old ground.  His debut, Tony

Edvard Munch

As someone who works primarily in the documentary form, Peter Watkins probably doesn’t get asked where he gets his ideas.  Not that there’s any need to – his 1974 epic Edvard Munch, released on Blu-Ray by Eureka Masters of Cinema, is the story of an

Expresso Bongo

Let us imagine the pitch: a hotshot young writer and a director whose career spans groundbreaking horror, gritty drama and sexploitation decide to make a musical. But not just any musical – this would be a musical powered by stage performances, rather than the familiar

Beat Girl

At the start of Ben Wilson’s 2007 history book Decency and Disorder, there are excerpts from letters written by French citizens who visited Britain and were horrified by the rudeness, salaciousness and drunkenness of life over here.  That was in the early nineteenth century.  One strict