Review of 'Notre Musique', director Jean-Luc Godard
As a modernist simultaneously challenging the conventions of both society and cinema, veteran French cine-artist Jean-Luc Godard has produced this short but dense work, which rewards the multiple viewings afforded by the DVD format.
Review of 'Hearts and Minds', director Peter Davis
'The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who live out there,' proclaimed Lyndon Johnson when speculating on the possible outcome of the war in Vietnam. Borrowing its title from Johnson's quote, Peter Davis's Hearts and Minds - an Academy Award winning documentary that highlights the hypocrisy and brutality of the US's war in Vietnam - is a powerful and compelling film and its influence is apparent in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.
Review of 'The Making of Rocky Road', director Paul Duane and 'Rocky Road to Dublin', director Peter Lennon
In 1968 the world appeared to have been turned upside down. The students and then the workers of Paris brought France to near revolution. The anti Vietnam War movement raged throughout the United States, radicalising students throughout the Western world, including Britain. Blacks in the US were fighting back against their oppression, people in Czechoslovakia were in revolt, and in Northern Ireland a civil rights movement was set to turn the entire state on its head.
Review of 'Burning an Illusion', director Menelik Shabazz
Only the second black directed movie to be made in Britain, this welcome re-release of Menelik Shabazz's 1981 film charts the experience of a young back British couple as they try to make a life in Thatcher's London.
Review of 'Head-On', director Fatih Akin
Chahit is an unpleasant fortysomething drunken slob living in Hamburg on the edge of destitution. He's as filthy as his bedsit. He snorts coke. He treats women and life with contempt. Bored, angry and desperate, he drives his car full-speed into a wall in a lazy attempt to kill himself.
Review of the Complete Jean Vigo DVD box set, director Jean Vigo
Jean Vigo is best remembered for his masterpiece L'Atalante, a conventional romance presented in his unmistakably anarchic fashion. However, L'Atalante was a production whose plot was largely dictated to Vigo by his production company and distributors. It was chosen by these bastions of bourgeois censorship for its conventional sentimentality, which left little scope for any originality or controversy. It is a mark of Vigo's genius for presentation that such a plot has endured, and retains its vitality, 70 years after its first screening.
Review of 'Hail the Conquering Hero', director Preston Sturges
An anthology of the best films made by American director Preston Sturges will be released for the first time on DVD over the next few months. None of these movies are very well known outside the film world and that is not entirely surprising since most of them were made over a very short period between 1940 and 1945.
Review of Doctor Who, BBC1
In 1989 after 26 years the BBC finally cancelled Doctor Who. Sixteen years later the show has returned to our screens. Previously notorious for feeble special effects and flimsy sets, the new series isn't science fiction on the cheap any more. A multimillion pound budget and an extensive advertising campaign helped the first episode, aired on 26 March, attract ratings of 9.9 million viewers. The following week's episode got more viewers than Tony Blair's interview with 'Ant 'n' Dec' could muster over on ITV.
Review of 'Teenage Kicks - The Story of The Undertones'
Music lover and DJ extraordinaire John Peel, who died last year, had one pop song that he regarded above all others. At his personal request it was played at his funeral, and its opening line ('Teenage dreams, so hard to beat') is inscribed on his gravestone. The song is 'Teenage Kicks', the first single released by the Undertones.