La Notte (1961)

“When I awake this morning, you were still asleep. As I awoke I heard you gentle breathing. I saw you closed eyes beneath wisps of stray hair and I was deeply moved. I wanted to cry out, to wake you, but you slept so deeply, so soundly. In the half-light you skin gloved with life…

Silence (2016)

“I do because you are just like me. You see Jesus in Gethsemane and believe your trial is the same as His. Those five in the pit are suffering too, just like Jesus, but they don’t have your pride. They would never compare themselves to Jesus. Do you have the right to make them suffer?…

Down By Law (1986)

“I scream. You scream. We all scream. For ice cream.” ‘Down By Law’, directed by Jim Jarmusch in 1986, is an American independent comedy drama. Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni play three men who are incarcerated in a New Orleans prison. Waits is a DJ who gets caught up in a crime, Lurie…

The Flowers of St Francis (1950)

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” ‘The Flowers of St Francis’, directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1950, is an Italian historical drama charting incidents in the career of Francis of Assisi. The structure of the film is nine ‘chapters’, each telling a parable from the ministry of…

The Battle of San Pietro (1945)

‘The Battle of San Pietro’, directed by John Huston in 1945, is an American war documentary following the Allied campaign to liberate Italy. The film follows infantrymen as they fight up the steep hills of the Naples countryside to capture the town of San Pietro. The film was controversial on release because of its explicit…

The Son’s Room (2001)

“A sense of common danger” ‘The Son’s Room’, directed by Nanni Moretti in 2001, is an Italian tragic comedy. Moretti plays  Giovanni, a therapist in Ancona who spends his days listening to the problems of other people and his home life dealing with minor issues with his teenage son. One weekend he is due to…

A Touch of Zen (1971)

‘A Touch of Zen’, directed by King Hu in 1971, is a Hong Kong and Taiwanese wuxia movie. Gu, a mild-mannered rural portrait painter in medieval China, is drawn into a plot of political intrigue and spiritual superheroes. This is a strange, rambling film with wild shifts in tone that, for someone not steeped in…

The Iron Horse (1924)

“Accurate and faithful in every particular of fact and atmosphere is this pictorial history of the building of the first American transcontinental railroad.” ‘The Iron Horse’, directed by John Ford in 1924, is a silent American western movie. The film follows the development and construction of the transcontinental railroad. The focus is on the small…

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

“Every memory has a piece of its artist.” ‘Blade Runner 2049’, directed by Denis Villeneuve in 2017, is an American dystopian science fiction thriller. A sequel to the 1982 movie ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ takes place thirty years later. A cop, played by Ryan Gosling, has the special responsibility of hunting down and killing…

Five (2003)

‘Five’, directed by Abbas Kiarostami in 2003, is an Iranian conceptual movie.  The film contains no dialogue, no characters and no plot. Kiarostami sets a DV camera at five locations, each by the sea, and films for fifteen minutes. The camera is static so the only movement is of the landscape, animals and occasional humans…

Songs from the Second Floor (2000)

“May those who sit down be loved.” ‘Songs from the Second Floor’, directed by Roy Andersson in 2000, is a Swedish comedy focusing on the ever increasingly surreal lives of modern city dwellers. The film is formed by a series of vignettes showing middle aged men in a number of bizarre situations, or normal situations…

Lourdes (2009)

‘Lourdes’, directed by Jessica Hausner in 2009, is a French drama set at the famous site of Catholic pilgrimage. Sylvie Testud plays Christine, a woman with severe multiple sclerosis who is unable to move below the neck. She, along with other afflicted people, is taken on the pilgrimage and cared for by nuns. The film…