Point Blank

Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin

Midway between Philip Marlowe and John Wick, Walker, the hero of 1967’s Point Blank is a stylish hero in a film so stylish and influential that its original impact can now only be guessed at, so relentlessly has it been plundered in the ensuing decades. Soderbergh is a fan, as is Tarantino, and so, of course, is Chad Stahelski (of John Wick fame). Mel Gibson and director Brian Helgeland remade it in 1999 as Payback (go for 2006’s Payback: Straight Up, the dirtier director’s cut, if you’re heading that way) but it’s Boorman’s framing and his use of locations, space and sound that have made Point Blank such a moodboard/sourcebook, as well as … Read more

The General

Brendan Gleeson plays Martin Cahill in The General

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 February Art thieves steal Munch’s The Scream, 1994 On this day in 1994, thieves broke into the National Gallery, Oslo, and stole the Edvard Munch painting The Scream. It is actually one of a number of so-named works of art, there being four different Screams in a variety of media, plus a number of lithographic prints struck by Munch himself. The one stolen on the night in question was in tempera on cardboard and was in a less secure part of the gallery – it had been moved as part of celebrations held to mark the opening of the winter … Read more

The Tailor of Panama

Pierce Brosnan and Jamie Lee Curtis in The Tailor of Panama

Between Bond movies The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, busy Pierce Brosnan managed to fit in two other projects. One of them was this adaptation of a John Le Carre story about a downmarket spy (Brosnan) in Central America who uses a sweatily nervous tailor (the unimpeachable Geoffrey Rush) to gain access to the local generals, his object: to sell them all manner of dodgy information designed to destabilise the country. It may say Le Carre on the tin but there’s the definite feeling we’re in Graham Greene country here, the atmopshere of mosquito netting, insanitary plumbing and lousy tea all being typical Greene touches. Adding suitably weird supporting performances … Read more