Archive for the ‘author Allan Fish’ Category

hos 4

by Allan Fish

(UK 2008-2009 590m) DVD2

The spirit of Calgacus

p  Richard Downes, Tim Niel, Sarah Barclay, Clara Glynn  d  Tim Niel, Andrew Downes, Sarah Barclay, Clara Glynn, Bill MacLeod  w  Neil Oliver  ph  Neville Kidd  ed  Jonathan Seal  m  Paul Leonard-Morgan  art  Ewen Duncan  presented by  Neil Oliver

Considering the reputation of British television documentaries dealing with history, art and/or politics worldwide, it may seem unthinkable that a time may come when those series would be a thing of the past.  John Romer has been retired from the screen for over a decade, while David Starkey, Simon Schama and Michael Wood now qualify as pensioners.  We’re reliant on a new generation of presenters to take their place.  Only a year or so ago, I remember Neil Oliver tweeting that whoever took the presenting of a remake of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation, as had been mooted, would be receiving a poisoned chalice.  Only someone sensible enough to refuse the offer to be considered.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

fanfare 1

by Allan Fish

(Netherlands 1958 86m) not on DVD

13 against 12

p  Rudolf Meyer  d  Bert Haanstra  story  Jan Blokker, Bert Haanstra  ph  Eduard van  der Enden  ed  Ralph Sheldon, Bert Haanstraa  m  Jan Mul  art  Nico van Baarle  cos  Hanka Roeloffsen

Hans Kaart (Geursen), Bernard Droog (Krijns), Ineke Brinkman (Marije), Wim van den Heuwel (Douwe), Andrea Domberg (Lies), Albert Mol (Schalm), Ton Lutz (Altena), Herbert Joeks (Koendering), Henk van Buuren (Valentijn), Johan Valk (Van Ogten), Jan Mol (Hulpje van Geursen),

When The Ladykillers finally issued in the end of the Ealing comedy cycle in the mid-fifties and British film comedy turned to the Boultiing brothers’ satires and the Carry On farces, it was always likely that their flag would be taken up elsewhere.  Most obviously their influence can be seen in the whimsical comedies of the Czech new wave – imagine the various comic masterpieces of Vojtech Jasny, Milos Forman and Jiri Menzel had Michael Balcon’s celebrated cottage film studios not been there before.  Owing more to Ealing than any of those Bohemian classics, however, was a film from the Netherlands by a director of documentaries, Bert Haanstra, making his first fictional feature. (more…)

Read Full Post »


by Allan Fish

(UK 1973 300m) not on DVD

For all the Mrs Fiddymonts in the world

p  Paul Bonner, Leonard Lewis  d  David Wickes, Gilchrist Calder, Leonard Lewis  w  Elwyn Johns, John Lloyd

Stratford Johns (Det.Chief.Supt.Barlow), Frank Windsor (Det.Chief.Supt.Watt), Gordon Christie (Abberline), Hilary Sesta (Catherine Eddowes), Basil Henson (Charles Warren),

Just type ‘Jack the Ripper’ into Youtube’s search engine and stare into the abyss; dozens of videos of all kinds, from Screaming Lord Sutch to video phone recordings of Ripper walks to video game menus, plus a host of documentaries on various suspects.  None run longer than an hour and a half, and all look into the matter in such cursory detail as to make one wonder why no-one has had the idea to look into the events properly.  The main reason, naturally, is that the myth is always preferable to the facts, and any documentaries shown on TV on the subject these days assume the attention span of the viewer to equate to that of a gnat, and are often about new suspects where the evidence has been selected to fit the suspect rather than the traditional reverse of this process.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

mr turner 2

by Allan Fish

(UK 2014 150m) DVD1/2

Mr Mallord Goes to Margate

p  Georgina Lowe  d/w  Mike Leigh  ph  Dick Pope  ed  Jon Gregory  m  Gary Yershon  art  Suzie Davies  cos  Jacqueline Durran

Timothy Spall (J.M.W.Turner), Paul Jesson (William Turner) Dorothy Atkinson (Hannah Danby), Marion Bailey (Sophia Booth), Karl Johnson (Mr Booth), Ruth Sheen (Sarah Danby), Lesley Manville (Mary Somerville), Martin Savage (Benjamin Haydon), James Fleet (Constable),

During the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony I was engaged in a discussion on Twitter and remember asking what would the ceremony have been like if, instead of Danny Boyle, it had been directed by Mike Leigh.  One of the replies stated that it would have just been a few hundred people milling around (you can see it, can’t you?).  At that time Leigh hadn’t made a film for a couple of years but he was already considering his next project, an unconventional biopic of the greatest of British artists, J.M.W.Turner.  Timothy Spall seemed a natural choice, but Leigh insisted that his old partner-in-crime spend two years learning how to sketch and paint.  When one sees the film one may wonder why when considering that we don’t see much of Spall in the act of creating his art.  What Leigh wanted, however, was for Spall to act like a painter, to act like someone with a painter’s eye; in short, to look, feel and live the part. (more…)

Read Full Post »

tgb 7

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1962 96m) not on DVD

Aka. Shitoyakana kedamono

Putting the Renoir in the bedroom

Osamu Yoneda  d  Yuzo Kawashima  w  Kaneto Shindo  ph  Nobuo Munekawa  ed  Tatsuji Nakashizu  m  Sei Ikeno  art  Atsuhi Shibata

Ayako Wakao (Yukie Mitani), Yunosuke Ito (Tokizo Maeda), Hisano Yamaoka (Yoshino Maeda), Yuko Hamada (Tomoko Maeda), Manamitsu Kawabata (Minoru Maeda), Eiji Funakoshi (Kamiya), Hideo Takamatsu (Katori), Kyu Kazanka (Yoshizawa), Shoichi Ozawa (Pinosaku),

There are fewer films in this selection that can be harder to like, but that in itself is part of what makes Yuzo Kawashima’s black comedy – one of his last films prior to his untimely death – so compelling.  It dares one to look at the underbelly of Japanese society in a way that doesn’t conform to genre.   It’s not a film about prostitutes or yakuza, but everyday people, and if they’re all like the Maedas, it’s a doomed society. (more…)

Read Full Post »

jinx 2

by Allan Fish

(USA 2015 280m) DVD1

Be careful what you step in

p  Marc Smerling, Andrew Jarecki  d  Andrew Jarecki  w  Andrew Jarecki, Marc Sterling, Zachary Stuart-Pontier  ph  Marc Smerling  ed  Zachary Stuart-Pontier  m  West Dylan Thordson, John Kusiak

Captain Blackadder, arraigned for the murder of a delicious, plump-breasted pigeon called Speckled Jim, sends a message with a plea for help from one Bob Massingbird QC, the greatest lawyer in all England.  The Captain recalled Massingbird’s most famous case, the Case of the Bloody Knife; “a man was found next to a murdered body.  He had the knife in his hand. Thirteen witnesses had seen him stab the victim. And when the police arrived, he said ‘I’m glad I killed the bastard!’  Massingbird not only got him off, he got him knighted in the New Year’s Honours List and the relatives of the victim had to pay to wash the blood out of his jacket.” (more…)

Read Full Post »


by Allan Fish

(USA 2014 169m) DVD1/2

Worrying about our place in the dirt

p  Lynda Obst, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan  d  Christopher Nolan  w  Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan  ph  Hoyte van Hoytema  ed  Lee Smith  m  Hans Zimmer  art  Nathan Crowley  cos  Mary Zophres  spc  John Kelso, Michael Clarke

Matthew McConaughey (Cooper), Anne Hathaway (Brand), Michael Caine (Prof.Brand), Jessica Chastain (Murph), David Gyasi (Romilly), Matt Damon (Mann), Mackenzie Foy (Murph, aged 10), Casey Affleck (Tom), David Oyelowo (principal), Ellen Burstyn (old Murph), John Lithgow (Donald), Wes Bentley (Doyle), Bill Irwin (voice of TARS),

In retrospect, Interstellar was always coming, and it’s with some irony that I say that.  Christopher Nolan has always been bending and readjusting cinematic dimensions.  In Memento he made a backwards movie, playing with narrative convention.  In The Prestige he played with perception, how our eyes and minds play tricks with us and allow ourselves to be fooled.  In Inception he played with the dimension walls within dreams, fitting them inside each other like Russian dolls.  After all that, what else is there but to try and bend the actual space-time continuum itself?  And what better year to do it than in the same year that a more traditional cinematic statue was being put up to Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, which could even be the title of Nolan’s sci-fi opus.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 441 other followers