19th Feb2019

‘Tokyo Drifter’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Ryûji Kita, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani, Eimei Esumi | Written by Yasunori Kawauchi | Directed by Seijun Suzuki It would be easy to assume that Seijun Suzuki’s 1966 crime thriller is a construct of a TV series. With its strictly-defined three-act structure, divided by subtitles, it has the feel of a succession […]

05th Feb2019

’24 Frames’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Featuring: Birds, cows, trees, cats, more cows | Written and Directed by Abbas Kiarostami Completed posthumously in 2017 for its Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who gets an ambiguous credit at the end, 24 Frames is the kind of movie that the oft-mocked phrase “mise en scene” was made for. Except, as far as “movies” go, […]

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29th Jan2019

‘True Stories’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: John Goodman, David Byrne, Anne McEnroe, Spalding Gray, Jo Harvey Allen | Written by David Byrne, Stephen Tobolowsky, Beth Henley | Directed by David Byrne I have a soft spot for weird movies made by music artists who’ve been thrown a bunch of money. I guess this is why I’m the one person who […]

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25th Jan2019

‘Panique’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Viviane Romance, Michel Simon, Paul Bernard, Lita Recio | Written by Julien Duvivier, Charles Spaak | Directed by Julien Duvivier The setting for this 1946 gem is a small French town, and the fast-moving plot concerns the murder of a local woman, Aurore Noblet. While the police are baffled by the killing, the locals […]

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24th Jan2019

‘Sawdust and Tinsel’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Åke Grönberg, Harriet Andersson, Erik Strandmark, Hasse Ekman, Anders Ek | Written and Directed by Ingmar Bergman In Skane, a county in southern Sweden, the bedraggled Alberti Circus caravan trundles through the rain and mud. They’ve had to leave half their costumes behind and they’re running out of food. Leader Albert (Åke Grönberg) is […]

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14th Dec2018

‘Othello’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Suzanne Cloutier, Robert Coote, Fay Compton, Michael Laurence | Written by William Shakespeare, Orson Welles, Jean Sacha | Directed by Orson Welles We open with a funeral. For whom we’re not sure, but by the end of Orson Welles’ 1952 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Moorish tragedy Othello we can be certain […]

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13th Dec2018

‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joseph Cotten, Tim Holt, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Agnes Moorehead, Orson Welles | Written by Orson Welles, Booth Tarkington (novel) | Directed by Orson Welles AKA the film that Orson Welles made after Citizen Kane, and which has become synonymous with studio interference. Perhaps an hour of footage was slashed and burned, hence the […]

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03rd Dec2018

‘The Blob’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe, Stephen Chase, John Benson, Olin Howland | Written by Theodore Simonson, Kay Linaker | Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr Alongside The Fly and The Thing, Chuck Russell’s remake of The Blob was the third in the Holy Trinity of 1980s cover versions of 1950s sci-fi horror. Like David […]

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20th Nov2018

‘The Tree of Life’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan | Written and Directed by Terrence Malick Present day, and a late-middle-aged Jack O’Brien (Sean Penn) is stalking his plush modernist house in a state of numbness. He is materially successful, but he’s still grieving for his brother, who died aged 19. […]

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05th Nov2018

‘Shampoo’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Jack Warden, Lee Grant | Written by Robert Towne, Warren Beatty | Directed by Hal Ashby Shampoo opens with the sounds of George (Warren Beatty) and Felicia (Lee Grant) having sex. It immediately establishes that hairdresser George is straight (his male colleagues at the salon are risible camp […]

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29th Oct2018

‘Rushmore’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Brian Cox, Seymour Cassel | Written by Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson | Directed by Wes Anderson 15-year-old Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) dreams of greatness. Actually, he dreams he’s already achieved it. And why not? After all, he got a scholarship at the revered Rushmore private school. Except, according […]

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12th Oct2018

‘The Uninvited’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ruth Hussey, Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp, Barbara Everest | Written by Frank Partos, Dodie Smith | Directed by Lewis Allen “Be afraid. Be afraid, for heaven’s sake.” This line may have inspired Geena Davis’s famous warning from David Cronenberg’s The Fly. Indeed, this 1944 groundbreaker provides a reference point for many a […]

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02nd Oct2018

‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett Jr, Ivan Dixon | Written by Lorraine Hansberry | Directed by Daniel Petrie In the early 1960s, in a Chicago ghetto apartment, a black family is on the cusp of great change. It’s all because of an insurance cheque that the grandmother is about […]

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20th Sep2018

‘My Man Godfrey’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Carole Lombard, William Powell, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette, Alice Brady | Written by Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind | Directed by Gregory La Cava The fate of the stars of this socially-conscious screwball comedy, directed by former animator Gregory La Cava in 1936, couldn’t be more different. Carole Lombard was cruelly cut off in her […]

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11th Sep2018

‘Cold Water’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Virginie Ledoyen, Cyprien Fouquet, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, László Szabó, Smaïl Mekki | Written and Directed by Olivier Assayas This 1994 film from Olivier Assayas (known recently for Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper) ends ambiguously, with a blank piece of paper. It’s an image that aptly sums up this intriguing yet frustrating film as […]

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03rd Sep2018

‘King of Jazz’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Paul Whiteman, John Boles, The Rhythm Boys, Laura La Plante, Jeanette Loff | Written by Harry Ruskin | Directed by John Murray Anderson John Murray Anderson’s sole foray into cinema was this lavish revue, released in 1930. It missed the zeitgeist and bombed at the box office and Anderson retreated to the theatre thereafter. […]

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24th Aug2018

‘Sex, Lies and Videotape’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Andie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo, Peter Gallagher | Written and Directed by Steven Soderbergh Another chance to see where it all began for (a then 26-year-old) Steven Soderbergh comes in the form of this sumptuous box set from Criterion. They might have missed a trick by not housing it in a Betmax-style […]

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25th Jun2018

‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston | Written by Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach | Directed by Wes Anderson “This is an adventure.” That’s the last spoken line of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the fourth feature from everyone’s favourite Texan oddball, Wes Anderson. Released in 2004, three […]

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11th Jun2018

‘Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ken Ogata, Masayuki Shionoya, Junkichi Orimoto, Naoko Ôtani, Masato Aizawa, Gô Rijû | Written by Paul Schrader, Leonard Schrader, Chieko Schrader | Directed by Paul Schrader Lucasfilm isn’t just about lightsabers, high fantasy and hunky archaeologists, you know. Occasionally it has produced films like this one: Paul Schrader’s truly original biopic about the Japanese author Yukio […]

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25th May2018

‘Midnight Cowboy’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Georgann Johnson | Written by Waldo Salt | Directed by John Schlesinger “Where’s that Joe Buck?” the Texan locals ask. Here he is: it’s Jon Voight, a New Yorker playing a Deep Southern wannabe gigolo in flamboyant cowboy getup. Voight looks as pretty as his daughter […]

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08th May2018

‘Metropolitan’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Edward Clements, Carolyn Farina, Chris Eigeman, Taylor Nichols, Allison Parisi | Written and Directed by Whit Stillman One might think of Whit Stillman’s minor hit debut as the uptown, Eastside answer to Richard Linklater’s Slacker, which was also released in 1990. Between them they set the template for many a late-century indie: a loose […]

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24th Apr2018

‘The Awful Truth’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy, Cecil Cunningham, Armand Duvalle | Written by Viña Delmar | Directed by Leo McCarey Cary Grant plays Jerry Warriner, a New York socialite who’s just returned from a Florida vacation. We meet him bragging in the locker room: “What wives don’t know won’t hurt them!” Jerry’s Wife, Lucy […]

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