Carol (2015)

“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you run out of cigarettes.” ‘Carol’, directed by Todd Haynes in 2015, is an American drama set in New York in the 1950s. An aspiring photographer called Therese, played by Rooney Mara, becomes romantically involved with an older woman, Carol, played by Cate Blanchett, who is…

Cría Cuervos (1976)

“My mother died before I was born.” ‘Cría Cuervos’, directed by Carlos Saura in 1976, is a Spanish domestic drama with touches of abstract fantasy. Ana, an eight year old played by Ana Torrent (previously seen in Víctor Erice’s ‘The Spirit of the Beehive’ and later to be seen as an adult in Alejandro Amenábar’s…

Cadaveri Eccellenti (1976)

“The truth is not always revolutionary.” ‘Cadaveri Eccellenti’, directed by Francesco Rosi in 1976, is an Italian conspiracy thriller set in the world of politics and the judiciary. Someone is murdering judges and a seasoned police detective, Rogas, played by Lino Ventura, is assigned to the case. He uncovers a conspiracy that leads to the…

Open Your Eyes (1997)

“Do you believe in God?” ‘Open Your Eyes’, directed by Alejandro Amenábar in 1997, is a Spanish fantasy thriller that was later remade in America by Cameron Crowe as ‘Vanilla Sky’. It’s a puzzle box movie. A wealthy playboy, César, played by Eduardo Noriega falls in love with Sofía, the girlfriend of his best friend,…

The White Ribbon (2009)

“I gave God a chance to kill me. He didn’t do it, so he’s pleased with me.” ‘The White Ribbon’, written and directed by Michael Haneke in 2009 is an historical movie set in a small German village in the months leading up to the First World War. A series of mysterious accidents and crimes…

West Side Story (1957)

“When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way! From you first cigarette your last dying days.” ‘West Side Story’, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins in 1957, is an adaptation of a Broadway musical loosely based on ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, vie for control of the…

The Seventh Victim (1943)

“No, that room made her happy in some strange way I couldn’t understand. She lived in a world of her own fancy. She didn’t always tell the truth. In fact, I’m afraid she didn’t know what the truth was.” ‘The Seventh Victim’, directed by Mark Robson in 1943, is a psychological horror set in contemporary…

Gladiator (2000)

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius; father to a murdered son; husband to a murdered wife; and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” ‘Gladiator’, directed by Ridley Scott in…

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

“Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry.” ‘The…

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965)

“…and the drowned” ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’, directed by Sergei Parajanov in 1965, is a Ukrainian movie that follows the life of a farmer in a small Hutsul village. Ivan, played by Ivan Mykolaichuk falls for a girl called Marichka who is a member of a rival family. Marichka dies in a tragic accident and…

Edward II (1991)

“The sight of London to my exiled eyes is as Elysium to a new-come soul.” ‘Edward II’, directed by Derek Jarman in 1991, is an historical movie based on the play by Christopher Marlowe. As with Jarman’s earlier ‘Caravaggio’, ‘Edward II’ mixes period detail and events with modern, anachronistic dress, fashions and dialogue. The king…

Gimme Shelter (1970)

“They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over.” ‘Gimme Shelter’, directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin in 1970, is a documentary following the Rolling Stones as the prepared for and performed at the infamous Altamont Free…