All posts by Graham Williamson

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

In Defence Of – Invincible

Director: Werner Herzog Content: Film Studio: Werner Herzog Filmproduktion Synopsis: Zishe Breitbart moves to Berlin to seek his fortune as a strongman, and comes under the management of the hypnotist and fraudulent mystic Hanussen.  But this is 1932, and the Jewish Breitbart is increasingly disturbed

Jinnah

Has any genre been as cursed by its own success as the biopic?  The very first feature-length film, Charles Tait’s The Story of the Kelly Gang, falls into the category, as do agreed-upon high culture classics like Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of

The Hired Hand

Following the industry-reshaping success of Easy Rider, the film’s three stars Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda took the opportunity to direct personal projects on a studio budget.  In the end, all three of them flopped, though they each have plenty of interest for

Stella Cadente

Anybody wondering whether Stella Cadente is a traditional royal costume drama will have their questions answered about twenty-six minutes in, when the King’s assistant goes out to the woods to have sex with a melon while an aria from Madame Butterfly plays. As confident in

Looking for Richard

“It has always been a dream of mine to communicate how I feel about Shakespeare to other people”, Al Pacino says early on in Looking for Richard.  Most actors probably feel the same way, and they communicate it through acting.  Pacino wanted to do something bigger.

Christine

As culture becomes more fixated on nostalgia, we’re going to have to spend a lot of time reassessing what happened two or three decades ago.  At the moment that means the Eighties, with everything from Stranger Things to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drawing from The Me Decade.  Comparing

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

At the beginning and the end of 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes – now reissued on Blu-Ray by Arrow home video – clouds of dust blow through the desert like an all-American version of Hammer’s oppressive fog. It’s an early sign that writer-director Wes Craven

Paris Blues

Here’s a less-than-fun fact; when Martin Ritt’s Paris Blues was released in 1961, the opening flirtation between Paul Newman and Diahann Carroll would have been a crime in 22 American states. Released on Blu-Ray fifty-five years later as part of the British Film Institute’s Black