WC Fields and Mae West

See This

    Apparently if you’re drunk enough when you say the title of this film, it sounds like, “The Taming Of The Shrew”. Whatever. When it came out in 1999 it tapped into two of the big trends in the cinema of the time: the high-school drama (Cruel Intentions, Election, Rushmore) and adaptations of the …

10 Things I Hate About You Read More »

    Hollywood’s first wave of film makers were the real deal – egomaniacs, showmen and charlatans. The director of Greed was all of those. Erich Von Stroheim was born plain Erich Oswald Stroheim in Vienna but by the time he got to Hollywood in 1914 he’d become Count Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria Von …

Greed Read More »

    Lovers of costume drama and light operetta are in for a treat. And so are people who can’t stand either art form, thanks to Mike Leigh, more usually known as a purveyor of working-class drama to the realm. Taking as its starting point the creative roadblock reached by the librettist WS Gilbert and …

Topsy-Turvy Read More »

      The title is a reference to Toshiro Mifune, the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s favourite actor. He died as the film went into production and director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen and writer Anders Thomas Jensen came up with the title as a way of honouring him. So, no, this isn’t Japanese arthouse; it’s Danish. Which …

Mifune Read More »

    Before popping up seemingly out of nowhere when he directed Notting Hill, Roger Michell had had a successful career as a theatre director, at the groundbreaking Royal Court Theatre in London with Samuel Beckett and John Osborne (where he also met Danny Boyle), then on to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) before switching …

Persuasion Read More »

    Gaston Leroux’s famous story of the Phantom – who lives in the bowels of the Paris opera house, falls for a pretty singer and wreaks terrible revenge when she won’t play footsie – seems to have a strange effect on artists. Leroux went super-gothic – very pretty girl, monstrous beast, subterranean caverns, stygian …

The Phantom of the Opera Read More »

    Turn on TV most nights and there’s some Star Trek spin-off boldly heading off somewhere. In it are actors you’ve never seen before and will possibly never see in anything else again. As coloured latex hangs off various bits of various faces they strike heroic poses and over-earnestly deliver lines from rehashes of …

Galaxy Quest Read More »

      A simple story from first-time feature director Jonathan Glazer – an advertising hotshot who directed the famous Guinness “surfing horses” advert . It’s all about a retired tealeaf (make sure your dictionary of rhyming slang is beside you) being forced into one last job back in Blighty (as Brits of a certain …

Sexy Beast Read More »

    Martin Scorsese reckons Duel in the Sun was the first film he ever saw and one of the reasons he became a director. It was made in the mid 1940s when David O Selznick was still basking in the glow of Gone with the Wind, in terms of bums on seats the biggest …

Duel in the Sun Read More »