TV / DVD

Hostage to Misfortune

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Good Morning, Night', director Marco Bellochio

A film about the kidnapping of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978 sounded promising. Perhaps it would explore the politics of the kidnappers, the Red Brigades, or the possible complicity of the Italian state in Moro's assassination.

No such luck. Instead a horrid film that could easily have been produced by Washington to justify its 'war on terror'.

Getting the Angles Right

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of '1984', director Michael Radford

The opening scene: row after row of apathetic faces staring impassively at the despot before them. The speech delivered by the oblivious autocrat on the podium consists of vague threats regarding 'dark forces' and outside enemies... But this is not a review of Blair's speech to the Trades Union Congress - this is 1984.

Protest in the Belly of the Beast

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Last Party 2000', directors Rebecca Chaiklin and Donovan Leitch

Why watch a documentary made three years ago about the last US presidential election? Surely the world has changed so much in the time since that it couldn't possibly teach us anything? But this documentary looks at the elections through the eyes of those excluded from the process - protesters, the poor, minorities and many other groups.

Holy Moses!

Issue section: 

Review of 'A Short Film about Killing' and 'A Short Film about Love', director Krzysztof Kieslowski

These films are extended theatrical versions of, respectively, 'Dekalog 5' and 'Dekalog 6'. Dekalog - ten one-hour television films loosely based on the ten commandments - was made in 1988, and with it Kieslowski's work started to be seen and recognised outside his native Poland.

Picture Perfect

Issue section: 

Review of 'Citizen Kane', director Orson Welles

This DVD release of Citizen Kane (1941) in a brand new print is a moment for celebration. Firstly, it is a dazzling story about power. Loosely based on the life story of William Hearst, the newspaper baron who was the Berlusconi or Murdoch of his day, the film sets out to provide a portrait of the vanity and excesses of a contradictory elusive personality.

City Lives

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Review of 'Metropolis: Special Edition', director Fritz Lang

During the first half of the 20th century many of the great milestones in world cinema were repeatedly censored, re-edited and generally mutilated beyond recognition. In particular, the most highly politically charged films were most liable to be either banned or bowdlerised and 'Metropolis', the classic German Expressionist film of 1926, was no exception.

A Gathering at the Funeral Parlour

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

We live our lives as we dispatch the dead.

Once a year families in Mexico gather at graveyards to eat with the dead. It's a strangely joyous occasion. There is a flower that the Aztecs called sempixóchitl, the eternal flower, that people arrange in white sprays before they sit down to dinner at the graveside. On that day people give each other sugar skulls with a name label crudely pasted on the forehead. For weeks beforehand the skulls sit piled high at all the local markets, in bright colours, arranged in a pyramid.

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The trauma of ER is not just medical. Mike Gonzalez gives a diagnosis.

You know before it starts that one person will die and one or two be saved, that a group of people you vaguely recognise from the bus stop will mill around in the background, that it will rain unseasonally, or snow, that Carter will agonise and Dr Green and his surgeon partner will barely hold their lives together. You know that some group of people will arrive bleeding and broken wearing Viking helmets or the togas of a gospel choir.

Where the Sun Never Shines

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'Dark Days', director Marc Singer

Dark Days is the story of a community of homeless people living in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan. These people, some resident in the cavernous tunnels for up to 25 years, literally scratch out a living in the pitch black amongst swarms of rats while high speed trains fly by. This is all very reminiscent of the folk song Dark as a Dungeon Way Down in the Mines. The rain never reaches the tunnels and the sun never shines here either - but there is free electricity and a broken pipe under which to get a cold shower.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - TV / DVD