All posts by Graham Williamson

Fixed Bayonets

Before he was a director, Samuel Fuller fought in World War II and worked as a tabloid journalist.  The former experience shaped his politics, the latter shaped his sensibility.  If Fuller’s films sometimes seem simplistic, their simplicity is at least born of sincerity.   He knows

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Forgive the sentimentality, but one of your correspondent’s all-time idols has just died unexpectedly (you know who it is- it’s not Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart) and it is hard to review a film about loss, pain and memory without wondering about all these obituaries, and who

Aferim!

Since Cristi Puiu’s 2005 breakthrough The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Western European audiences have grown accustomed to seeing a certain kind of film come out of Romania.  They came to be known as the Romanian New Wave, and even the most dedicated skeptic of national

All My Good Countrymen

A rural, bawdy, political epic with magical realist fringes, full of drinking, singing and close-ups on weathered peasant faces, Vojtěch Jasný’s 1968 film All My Good Countrymen is exactly the sort of thing some people think of when you talk about classic European cinema. Following

The Firemen’s Ball

If you’re intrigued by the current cinephile chatter about the Czechoslovak New Wave and you’re looking for a good place to start, you couldn’t do much better than Arrow’s new reissue of Miloš Forman’s second film. The Firemen’s Ball is as formally precise and tightly

Black Girl/Borom Sarret

Black Girl and Borom Sarret, the two films by Ousmane Sembène included on this new BFI release, are historic films. That’s not a value judgement, that’s a statement of fact. A documentary-style account of a day in the life of a troubled wagon driver, Borom

Zardoz

There aren’t many measures by which Sean Connery’s career could be considered a failure, but he has his Achilles heels, chiefly his self-admitted failure to understand science fiction and fantasy. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a project which persuaded him after nearly half a century

3 Women

We all know how Robert Altman spent the 1970s, right? M*A*S*H, Nashville, The Long Goodbye, McCabe and Mrs Miller. Freewheeling satirical ensemble pieces, playing fast and loose with genre, inventing the adjective Altmanesque for their naturalistic sprawl. Except there’s another face of Altman’s ’70s work.