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  • Surfarara

    Surfarara

    ★★★

    One of these men is taut like a Michelangelo sketch, skin wrapped around muscle and bone. His face is old and rough-hewn – a detail by another artist – so far from the cinema-ideal, yet expressive in the extreme. Perhaps one of the younger Holbein’s jutting portraits, features not exaggerated but actual; the weirdness of the human face allowed to proliferate, allowed to render its beauty against beauty, for what is more beautiful than the real? Precisely the unreal, but…

  • Islands of Fire

    Islands of Fire

    ★★★½

    The rancour of nature – of rising steam, crashing waves, brimming fire – bookended by the placid calm of low winds and hard work. Precise composition, worn faces, a low sun. Man against the earth, of the earth.

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  • They Shall Not Grow Old

    They Shall Not Grow Old

    ★★★½

    Among the unruly film conservationist community – an elusive and underloved subsection of society at the best of times – there is much discontent afoot. Peter Jackson’s latest project, a commission from the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of the First World War’s conclusion, has been considered by some in said community to be an act of barbarity, an unjustifiable marring of historical record for the sake of empty titillation. This project, entitled They Shall Not Grow Old,…

  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★

    A cynic might suggest The Other Side of the Wind cannot be considered a true Orson Welles picture. After all, the man isn’t around to denigrate it, and hasn’t been for a long time. Isn’t this just a cobbling together by friends and colleagues; the long-dead resurrected, but not quite the same? But then, what Welles film is ‘true’, besides Citizen Kane? His filmography is a sort of grand tragedy, whereby a master at 25 was stifled for the remainder…