All posts by Mark Cunliffe

The Yakuza

Sydney Pollack’s 1974 neo-noir The Yakuza is one of those films that leaves you wondering what the hell was wrong with the cinema-going public and film critics of the day. Performing poorly at the box office and receiving (at best) mixed reviews, this east-meets-west thriller

Dunkirk (1958)

As a child obsessed with war, I well remember watching Dunkirk, Leslie (father of Barry) Norman’s 1958 film that depicted the events of May-June 1940, when the besieged soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force were stranded on the coast of France, and the combined efforts

My Beautiful Laundrette

I’ve long since said that if you want to know what life in 1980s Britain was like, what it felt like, looked like and sounded like, then there is really only two films to check out: one of them is Alan Clarke’s Rita, Sue and

Aquarius

What I will say about Aquarius, the latest film from Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, is that it is an absorbing, detailed and considerate character study of its female protagonist – and more, that protagonist happens to be a woman in her mid-sixties. There really isn’t

Graduation (Bacalaureat)

Despite some questionable actions, it’s hard not to feel sorry for  Adrian Titieni’s Dr Romeo Aldea in award winning director Cristian Mungiu’s film Graduation (or Bacalaureat as it is known in its native Romania); weighed down by middle age and with only his good reputation to comfort

Destiny (DER MÜDE TOD)

In what is already unarguably an eclectic and impressive body of work, Fritz Lang’s 1921 silent epic Destiny (or Der müde Tod as it is known in its native tongue) ranks as one of the legendary filmmaker’s stranger productions. Written by his wife, Thea von Harbou,

Letter to Brezhnev

Call me a sentimental old northerner, but the opening to Letter to Brezhnev remains one of my favourite moments of celluloid. Whilst budgetary constraints mean that it may not be as epic as it clearly wants to be, it nevertheless understands that Liverpool is a