The London Nobody Knows (1969)

“No horseguards, no palaces, but Islington’s Chapel Market, pie shops, and Spitalfields tenements. Carnaby chicks and chaps, the 1967 we have been led to remember, are shockingly juxtaposed with feral meths drinkers, filthy shoeless kids, squalid Victoriana. Camden Town still resembles the world of Walter Sickert. There is romance and adventure, but mostly there is…

Little Big Man (1970)

“Do you see this fine thing? Do you admire the humanity of it? Because the human beings, my son, they believe everything is alive. Not only man and animals. But also water, earth, stone. And also the things from them… like that hair. The man from whom this hair came, he’s bald on the other…

Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967)

“Where is the beginning? But what beginning? God created heaven and earth. But one should be able to put it better. To say that the limits of language, of my language, are those of the world, of my world, and that in speaking, I limit the world, I end it. And when mysterious, logical death…

Under the Shadow (2016)

“Under its scares, Under the Shadow serves as an impassioned allegory for female oppression – but Anvari doesn’t short-change horror fans. He delivers an entertainment that’s fun to watch, and subversively incisive for those willing to read between the lines.” ‘Under the Shadow’, directed by Babak Anvari in 2016, is a horror movie set in…

Strangers on a Train (1951)

“Everyone has somebody that they want to put out of the way. Oh now surely, Madam, you’re not going to tell me that there hasn’t been a time that you didn’t want to dispose of someone. Your husband, for instance?” ‘Strangers on a Train’, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951, is an American thriller based…

Ratcatcher (1999)

“Goodbye, Snowball!” ‘Ratcatcher’, directed by Lynne Ramsay in 1999, is a Scottish drama set in the poor areas of Glasgow during 1973. Two friends James and Ryan run to play near the canal. During a mock-fight, Ryan falls in and drowns, leading to James feeling remorse for his inability to help. Through the film, James…

Vinyl (1965)

“The finished film is disturbing, contains unsimulated violent acts and is not very audience-friendly.” Either a strong disrecommendation or a strong recommendation, depending on your proclivities. And if none of that draws you, maybe the soundtrack including Martha and the Vandellas, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and the The Isley Brothers will. Did Warhol pay to…

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

“It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms.” ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, directed by Robert Hamer in 1949, is a British black comedy made by the Ealing Studios. Dennis Price plays Louis D’Ascoyne Mazzini, the son of an aristocratic mother who has been…

Une Femme Coquette (1955)

Available online here, ‘Une Femme Coquette’, directed by  Jean-Luc Godard in 1955, is a short French movie, once of the director’s earliest works. It follows a woman as she tries to mimic the flirtatious actions of an escort she meets but smiling at a random man. The man then pursues her to her flat where…

Le Jour Se Lève (1939)

“You’re the type women fall in love with . . . I’m the type that interests them.” ‘Le Jour Se Lève’, directed by Marcel Carné in 1939, is a French drama starring Jean Gabin as a man driven to murder. The movie opens dramatically: a man staggers from a room in a high-rise building and,…

Indochine (1992)

A review first published on wearecult on the 31st of January 2017 ‘Indochine’, directed by Régis Wargnier in 1992, is a lavish historical epic telling the story of the anticolonial unrest in the country that eventually became North and South Vietnam during the 1930s to 1950s. Catherine Deneuve plays Éliane Devries, a wealthy single woman…

The Beaches of Agnès (2008)

“I think it deals with this question, ‘what is cinema?’ through how I found specific cinematic ways of telling what I was telling. I could have told you the same things that are in the film by just talking to you for six hours. But instead I found shapes. Like in the scene when I…

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

“No, I don’t want to be paid, I don’t need to be paid. Look, I’m here with my partner and nine other people, see. And we’re dying, man. You know? You’re going to see our brains on the sidewalk, they’re going to spill our guts out. Now are you going to show that on television?…

Little Caesar (1931)

“Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?” ‘Little Caesar’, directed by Mervyn LeRoy in 1931, is an American gangster movie starring Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Glenda Farrell. Robinson, in his break-through role, plays Caesar Enrico “Rico” Bandello, a small-time crook who, with his friend and accomplice Joe Massara, played by…

La Belle et la Bête (1947)

“God of the forest. Let me go back to him. It is my only wish. My only desire.” ‘La Belle et la Bête’, directed by Jean Cocteau in 1947, is a French fantasy movie. An adaptation of an C18 fairy tale telling the story of a young woman, Belle, who rejects a suitor but, owing…

Johnny Guitar (1954)

“There’s only two things in this world that a ‘real man’ needs: a cup of coffee and a good smoke.” ‘Johnny Guitar’, directed by Nicholas Ray in 1954, is an American western starring Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden and Mercedes McCambridge. Crawford plays Vienna, the owner of a small casino that is on the verge of…

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

“It’s wrong to give all your love to only one person, Grandpa. If you don’t have potatoes, you eat turnips. When the turnips are gone, you eat gruel. But every girl loves her one and only. He goes to war; five months later he’s dead, and you mourn the rest of your life. Does that…

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

“Harry: The ironic thing is that the school that kicked me out is honouring me soon. Shrink: Why did they kick you out? Harry: Because I wasn’t interested in college. I wanted to be a writer and that’s all I cared about. Also, I tried to give the Dean’s wife an enema. They didn’t take…

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)

“No, you’re not ugly. You’re not the fairest of them all, but you’re neither ugly nor stupid. You have plenty of time. You think you’re in love, but love is something different. You do not just fall in love with a face in the street.” ‘Les Parapluies de Cherbourg’, directed by Jacques Demy in 1964,…

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

“His eyes are ghastly beads in which there is no light – like holes in a grinning skull! His face is like leprous parchment, yellow skin strung tight over protruding bones! His nose – there is no nose!” ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, directed by Rupert Julian in 1925, is an silent American horror movie…

Exils (2004)

“Even in key moments – when Zano gets sexually jealous over Naima’s brief encounter in a flamenco bar, or the climactic Sufi ritual – it feels like we’re eyeing events from a distance. Shame, because Duris and Azabal are lively performers, showing off their sizzle in a scene where fruit-picking becomes foreplay.” ‘Exils’, directed by…