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Leonardo Da Vinci

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo Da Vinci is wonderful. It’s long, but it needs to be. It’s given me an appreciation of the master’s life, work and political context (you think ours is turbulent), but also takes care to present alternate theories regarding the more mysterious aspects of Leonardo’s life and work. Above all, it […]

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Personal Recommendation

Mulholland Drive

I don’t know what in the hell is really happening in Mulholland Drive. Maybe nothing is. Screenwriting manuals would lead us to believe that what it does is invalid, that it could never hold an audience’s attention, let alone its empathy. The fact that it is often voted best film of any given period (the […]

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Personal Recommendation

Mad Max: Fury Road

Previous instalments: Intro Mad Max Mad Max 2 Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome    Holy fuck.    I’m really, really mad at myself: if I’d been up to speed with the three others when this came out, I’d have seen it in theatres, and I’d have gone back to see it as often as I could. […]

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Personal Recommendation

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Previous instalments: Intro Mad Max Mad Max 2    If Road Warior is the series’ Wrath of Khan, Beyond Thunderdome is its Search for Spock: pretty good, with some inspired moments (chiefly Thunderdome, itself), but not quite of the same calibre. For one thing, it’s far more stationary than the other entries. Not until the very end […]

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Personal Recommendation

Mad Max 2, aka The Road Warrior

Previous instalments: Intro Mad Max    This is the one I’d seen, back when Alex Cox introduced it for Moviedrome. I remember enjoying it, but it’s action was much curtailed by the 4:3 crop—much of the exquisite choreography comes from the framing of cinematographer, Dean Semler.    More importantly, I didn’t particularly relate to Max, […]

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Personal Recommendation

Mad Max

Previous instalments: Intro    I think I was put off the first Mad Max because it seemed a bit too nasty for me. I was worried I’d be scared, frankly, when my pal’s big brother started raving about his VHS copy. Later, I thought it was merely a revenge-rampage movie, with the murder of the […]

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Personal Recommendation

The Road to Fury: an appreciation of Mad Max

I’ve wanted to see Mad Max: Fury Road since it came out in 2015. Everyone loved it, and its nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards broke ground for unashamed action movies the way Lord of the Rings did for fantasy FX movies. The only problem was, of its predecessors I’d only seen Mad Max […]

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Recommendation

Double Bill: Annihilation and Arrival

This is a double bill that happened by accident. I was keen to watch Alex Garland’s Annihilation purely because it was new: I don’t get to the cinema much lately, so I tend to catch up with films only when they reach Netflix, or Prime Video. Being produced by Netflix, Annihilation was available to me […]

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Recommendation

Rogue One review, with spoilers

Having not thought much of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and feeling like I was adrift in a sea of praise for it, I was sceptical about Rogue One, despite the positive reaction. The trailers didn’t help, in that I simply didn’t feel they made the film look much good. I feared that […]

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Other People’s Eyes, and why Kubrick’s last film is, I think, unfinished

An editor will prepare a cut in near-isolation. It would be total isolation if it wasn’t for the director (or Edit Producer, who does the director’s job in the cutting room, but wasn’t involved in the shoot) and the handful of producer’s who drop in to make sure you’re not making Ishtar. Both the editor […]