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The moments between the moments. Most directors would be terrified of spending more than a couple of minutes there. Jim Jarmusch has made a career of it. He’s never been interested in making dramas or thrillers or any kind of genre movie for that matter, and in the process has fabricated his own genre: the deadpan black comedy. Jim Jarmusch… Read more »

28 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Film genres can easily become double-edged swords for any filmmaker. Although specific genres help viewers identify the similar patterns and tropes of a director’s creation, some filmic categories contain certain viewer expectations, which can inhibit the screenwriter, the director, and—ultimately—the film. Below is a list of films in which directors were met with the struggle of twisting, subverting, deconstructing, or… Read more »

27 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

There have been many filmmakers who have surrendered an important part of their body of work to the search of the human soul. Tarkovsky tried or actually found it through a trip to the past, to the childhood of his characters. Ozu looked for it on the small details of everyday life, tradition, and family. Herzog has been travelling to… Read more »

27 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Built in London in 1931 Ealing studios are perhaps most immediately associated with producing a string of cosy black and white comedies in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Many of the following films epitomise the comedic cheer the studio still remains best known for. However, Ealing films also harbour a darker more rebellious streak, echoing themes and socio-economic complexities… Read more »

27 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The 1960’s began with a bang as far as thrillers go, kicking off the decade with Alfred Hitchcock reigning supreme as Psycho was released in the summer of 1960. By the latter part of the decade, the career of the ‘Master of Suspense’ was in decline, and young directors such as Roman Polanski came up to challenge Hitchcock for his… Read more »

26 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

During the 1920s art house cinema was beginning to gain its reputation as respectable filmmaking. This opened the doors for even more radical types of movies, one that would even question the basic narrative structure all films were following at the time. This was known as experimental or avant-garde cinema. They were usually short films produced outside of Hollywood to… Read more »

26 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

There are film directors, there are great film directors and then there is Sir David Lean. More than any director, his career helped to define and propel cinema throughout the 20th Century. Like James Cameron today, David Lean showed the world with each new film what other filmmakers could only imagine – he took audiences to places outside the realm… Read more »

26 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Beginning centuries ago with the writings and exploits of the Marquis de Sade, France has had a long and unique love affair with horror. Drawing influences from years of surrealist paintings and deviant literature and influenced by the brutality of modern American horror films, a pack of new filmmakers has made themselves known with a new generation of definitively French… Read more »

24 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Iconoclast. Hellraiser. Lunatic. These adjectives and more can be used to describe the one and only Dennis Hopper (1937-2010). A true all-rounder, he was not only an actor, but a writer, director, artist and photographer. His was a truly unique life, at times incredibly fraught and self-destructive. Stories of his alcohol and drug abuse are legendary. Like Keith Richards, he… Read more »

24 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

A debut feature can add a lot of pressure to up-and-coming directors, who not only have to navigate the treacherous waters of the entertainment industry, but must also capture an audience’s attention (although some directors are more interested in creating displeasure rather than pleasure). A successful debut feature can open doors for new directors, helping them to begin illustrious careers… Read more »

23 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Comedian, actor, writer, director Mike Nichols is truly a man of many talents. In regards to his career in cinema, with the odd exception here and there (1986’s “Heartburn” springs to mind), he is a director that you can on the whole trust to provide entertaining and, in some cases, enlightening cinema. Born in 1931, Nichols made his name on… Read more »

23 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Federico Fellini ranks amongst the filmmakers held in the highest of regards within the world of cinema. So much so, that adjectives like “Fellinian” and “Fellinieque” have been devised to describe certain characteristics closely associated with the Italian master, both in cinema as well as in art in general. He has won five Academy Awards throughout his career and holds… Read more »

22 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The Greeks are renowned for influencing Western Civilization in every aspect of politics, philosophy, art, literature, and theatre. After many centuries, Greece is back to creating classics—this time through film. Although over these years, many components of Greek cinema has changed, one fact remains the same: the unique charm of Grecian movies. The emergence of the Grecian financial crisis has… Read more »

22 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Actors and actresses come and go. Some make an impression. Some do not. In relation to the machine that is Hollywood, this is the nature of the beast, the whole ethos of ‘this year’s model’ and all that. Totally flying in the face of that attitude and philosophy, there is and will ever be only one Jack Nicholson. Born in… Read more »

21 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The Seventies were a golden age for American Cinema. Directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas really changed the game with regards to how films were made and how audiences ‘watched’ cinema. Amongst those greats was one particular director who was incredibly prolific and, more often than not, hit the target continually in that… Read more »

21 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

With a few notable exceptions, such as Walt Disney, The Termite Terrace from Warner Bros., Tex Avery and the duo of Joseph Hanna and Joe Barbera, animation has historically been an art with very little respect from the audience to its creators. Seen for many decades as mere children’s entertainment, animators from around the world and from very different trends… Read more »

21 August 2014 | Features, People Lists

Stanley Kubrick’s strong persona and confident directing style was so impressive and functional he carefully managed to transcend the limitations of the studio system and delivered most of his cinematic propositions just the way he meant do to them. Throughout his filmography, he had a few setbacks, the most famous being the unrealized biopic of Napoleon, but consistently succeeded in… Read more »

20 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists

When Roman Polanski’s first American film, Rosemary’s Baby, made its way onto the silver screen in 1968, the country itself was in a mass of political and social turmoil. This era of unrest did not exclude Hollywood. Driven by the growing youth counterculture that made a calling card out of outspoken defiance of the order and reason of the previous… Read more »

20 August 2014 | Features, Reviews

There was an excellent documentary a few years ago about Australian cinema called “Not Quite Hollywood”. Directed by Mark Hartley, what made this doco unique is that it didn’t address the ‘new wave’ of Australian cinema that included films such as “Picnic At Hanging Rock” and “My Brilliant Career”. It did something wildly different. “Not Quite Hollywood” looked at what… Read more »

19 August 2014 | Features, Film Lists