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 […]

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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13th Apr2018

‘La Cage Aux Folles’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault, Michel Galabru, Carmen Scarpitta, Remi Laurent | Written by Jean Poiret, Marcello Danon, Francis Veber, Edouard Molinaro | Directed by Edouard Molinaro Modern audiences may be familiar with The Birdcage, the 1996 US remake starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. That film’s success should not have been a surprise because […]

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22nd Mar2018

‘The Age of Innocence’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard E. Grant, Stuart Wilson | Written by Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks | Directed by Martin Scorsese After the sprawling brutality of Goodfellas and the operatic horror of Cape Fear, Martin Scorsese dove into this adaptation of Edith Wharton’s 1920s novel, which is set amongst the society darlings […]

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05th Mar2018

‘Yi Yi’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion Collection)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Nien-Jen Wu, Issei Ogata, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Su-Yun Ko, Adrian Lin | Written and Directed by Edward Yang Taiwanese writer-director Edward Yang’s final film starts with an ironically schmaltzy piano score playing over a scene of a slightly dismal wedding. It immediately sets the arch, bittersweet tone of the film to come. A […]

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07th Feb2018

‘Something Wild’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, Dana Preu, Margaret Colin | Written by E. Max Frye | Directed by Jonathan Demme Jonathan Demme was one of the great names of cinema lost in the terrible artistic purge of 2017. His last film of note might have been the forgettable Ricki and the Flash, but […]

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01st Feb2018

‘Night of the Living Dead’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

 Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Keith Wayne, Russell Streiner | Written by George A. Romero, John A. Russo | Directed by George A. Romero For many of us, Night of the Living Dead is a film we first experienced on late-night TV – some grizzled old print squashed onto a tiny CRT. Now, […]

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30th Jan2018

‘Ivan’s Childhood’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Nikolay Burlyaev, Evgeniy Zharikov, Valentin Zubkov, Valentina Malyavina | Written by Vladimir Bogomolov, Mikhail Papava | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky If Solaris was Andrei Tarkovsky’s answer to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey then Ivan’s Childhood could be his answer to Kubrick’s Fear and Desire. Both were feature debuts concerning war-haunted soldiers waxing philosophical […]

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07th Sep2017

‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters | Written by William Rose, Tania Rose | Directed by Stanley Kramer If you are a fan of comedy films, you’ll already know that It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is one of the […]

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29th Aug2017

‘Lord of the Flies’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards, Tom Gaman | Written and Directed by Peter Brook Peter Brook is best known for his work in theatre, but his 1963 screen adaptation of William Golding’s English Lit classic is no quaint repertory effort. Made relatively cheaply (the opening plane crash is literally a photograph of a […]

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03rd Aug2017

‘The Music Room (Jalsaghar)’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Chhabi Biswas, Gangapada Bose, Kali Sarkar, Padma Devi | Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray After the commercial failure of the second part of his Apu Trilogy, Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray opted for more commercially viable material for his next project. He turned to writer Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, and a short story about a landlord […]

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25th Jul2017

‘Stalker’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko, Alisa Freindlich | Written by Boris Strugatsky, Arkadi Strugatsky | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky Based on Boris and Arkadi Strugatsky’s novel Roadside Picnic (not to mention the inspiration behind a famous video game series), this 1979 epic is a typically challenging work from Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky, but […]

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18th May2017

’12 Angry Men’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, Jack Warden | Written by Reginald Rose | Directed by Sidney Lumet It’s the hottest day of the year and a dozen men – not universally perturbed at this point – are put in a room and asked to consider the guilt […]

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01st May2017

‘Tampopo’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Ken Watanabe, Rikiya Yasuoka | Written and Directed by Juzo Itami The life and death of actor and director Juzo Itami is an incredible story in itself (he was allegedly killed by the Yakuza following his gangster movie Minbo), but he was no slouch in putting bizarre stories on the […]

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24th Apr2017

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

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiaki Onoe, Benkei Shiganoya, Tsukie Matsuura | Written by Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshikata Yoda | Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi The overarching Buddhist message of Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 epic should provide a clue as to the sheer depth of misery our eponymous heroine must endure in her lifetime. Death, and another chance in the […]

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18th Apr2017

‘Solaris [1972]‘ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Jüri Järvet | Written by Andrei Tarkovsky; Fridrikh Gorenshtein | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky It’s Will Self’s favourite movie, it spawned a good remake which barely nudged the box office, and it has been described as the Soviet answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It combines the laid-back, character-based […]

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29th Mar2017

‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Yunosuke Ito, Go Kato | Written by Kazuo Koike, Tsutomu Nakamura | Directed by Kenji Misumi, Buichi Saito, Yoshiyuki Kuroda Producing six films across two years (1972-1974) is no mean feat, especially when you consider that they mostly retain their quality throughout. Based on the 28-volume manga series by Kazuo […]

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06th Mar2017

‘Multiple Maniacs’ Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole | Written and Directed by John Waters It may not be immediately apparent how this – his second feature, a meandering, 16mm extravaganza of micro-budget bad taste made in 1969 – could be John Waters’ highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.  But in a way it makes sense: […]

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24th Feb2017

‘Cul-De-Sac’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lionel Stander, Françoise Dorléac, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier | Written by Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach | Directed by Roman Polanski Roman Polanski’s taste for dark absurdist comedy is in full swing in 1966 comedy-thriller Cul-De-Sac. It’s his second English-language film, sandwiched between Repulsion and Fearless Vampire Killers. Compared with his towering classics […]

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10th Feb2017

‘Mildred Pierce’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, Butterfly McQueen | Written by Ranald MacDougall, Catherine Turney | Directed by Michael Curtiz The shadow of Casablanca will always loom over Michael Curtiz’s bumper filmography, but time has been nearly as kind to Mildred Pierce, an adaptation of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel. A Joan […]

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