Emma Bircham

Terror's Advocate

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Director: Barbet Schroeder; Release date: 16 May

What do Algerian freedom fighter Djamila Bouhired, Carlos the Jackal, and Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, have in common? Other than the lawyer who acted in their defence, arguably very little. That lawyer is Jacques Verges, a man who has made a career from defending the "indefensible" on an international scale.

Land of the 'Free'

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'Manderlay', director: Lars von Trier

Manderlay is the second in Lars von Trier's controversial "USA: Land Of Opportunities" trilogy. Stylistically, it has much in common with Dogville, the first in the trilogy. Both sets are bare except for the Brechtian chalk outline of spaces. Both fables are carried along by the rich narration of John Hurt.

But with Manderlay we have new actors playing key roles - most significantly, Bryce Dallas Howard has taken over from Nicole Kidman as Grace. We also have a tighter script, 40 minutes shorter, and with explicit themes.

The Past Haunts the Present

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'Broken Flowers', director Jim Jarmusch

This is Bill Murray being Bill Murray in a film by Jim Jarmusch. In fact, it is a film written by Jarmusch specifically for Murray, 'to explore Murray's melancholic side' - a side that many will feel was already well explored in Lost in Translation. It is difficult not to make comparisons between the two films, and unfortunately Broken Flowers isn't in quite the same league.

Human Traffic

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Crash', director Paul Harris

'Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other.'

Traffic is the central metaphor of this fast-paced, thought-provoking film about race relations in LA. The film opens with a car crash, and then backtracks through 24 hours to cover the intersection of lives that have led to this point. There is never a dull moment. The film is beautifully shot, the acting is strong, and the dialogue is fresh and provocative. It tackles a difficult subject in a sincere and searching manner.

Love in the Looking Glass

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Emma Bircham on a disturbing tale of modern America.

More than anything in the world 12 year old Aviva wants to be pregnant. She succeeds after her first perfunctory encounter with a boy her own age, but her parents force her to abort. During the abortion there are complications that mean she will never be able to conceive. This information is kept from the sweet, naive Aviva, who runs away from home, beginning her futile quest to become pregnant again.

The Flaw is a Chore

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'The Door in the Floor', director Tod Williams

How do people overcome events that shatter their lives? How do relationships survive and change in the process? What are the limits of emotional recovery? These are some of the questions posed by The Door in the Floor, an adaptation of the first 60 pages of John Irving's novel A Widow for One Year.

Diagnosis: Psychopathic Tendencies

Issue section: 

The Corporation is the latest anti-capitalist blockbuster to hit our screens. Emma Bircham spoke to writer Joel Bakan about the rise of corporate power and his optimism that we can fight it.

You started writing the book and making the film before the big corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom and even before the Seattle protests in 1999. What made you start this project at that time?

Subscribe to RSS - Emma Bircham