Vampyr (1932)

“What was going on? What terrifying secret was unfolding? Allan Gray felt certain of one thing: A soul in mortal distress was crying out for help, and a voice within urged him to heed that call. “ ‘Vampyr’, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer in 1932, is a German and French horror movie made by the…

Red River (1948)

“Cherry was right. You’re soft, you should have let ’em kill me, ’cause I’m gonna kill you. I’ll catch up with ya. I don’t know when, but I’ll catch up. Every time you turn around, expect to see me, ’cause one time you’ll turn around and I’ll be there. I’m gonna kill ya, Matt. “…

12 Angry Men (1957)

“It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know. Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we’re just…

Fires Were Started (1943)

“I see a thousand strange sights in the streets of London I see the clock on Bow Church burning in daytime I see a one-legged man crossing the fire on crutches I see three negroes and a woman with white face-powder reading music at half-past three in the morning I see an ambulance girl with…

Dodsworth (1936)

“Remember, I, I did make a home for you once, and I’ll do it again, only you’ve got to let me have my fling now! Because you’re simply rushing at old age, Sam, and I’m not ready for that yet.” ‘Dodsworth’, directed by William Wyler in 1936, is an American drama starring Walter Huston and…

Gigi (1958)

“Oh yes, Auntie, I understand. We don’t marry, is that it?” ‘Gigi’, directed by Vincente Minnelli in 1958, is an American musical comedy adapted from the novel ‘Collete’, starring Maurice Chevalier, Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan. Jourdan plays Gaston, a Parisian playboy who is bored and spends his days socialising with women, but in particular…

The Long Goodbye (1973)

“”Possession” is what you get in here now. Possession of noses, possession of gonads, possession of life. It’s a weird world. Listen, some day, some day, all the pigs are gonna be in here, and the people are gonna be out there.” ‘The Long Goodbye’, directed by Robert Altman in 1973, is an American neo-noir…

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

“A business traveler should bring only what fits in a carry-on bag. Checking your luggage is asking for trouble. – – Add several travel size packets of detergent so you won’t fall into the hands of unfamiliar laundries. There are very few necessities in this world which do not come from travel-size packets. – –…

Fat Girl (2001)

“She was in the woods. She says he didn’t rape her.” ‘Fat Girl’, directed by  Catherine Breillat in 2001, is a French drama the focuses on a pair of sisters: Anaïs, played by Anaïs Reboux and Elena, played by Roxane Mesquida. The pair are on holiday with their parents in a seaside resort when Elena,…

The Consequences of Love (2004)

“In the world there’s a certain kind of cult, with men and women of all social classes, of all ages and of all religions. It is the insomniacs cult. I’m part of it. For ten years. Those who don’t belong to the cult sometimes tend to say: “If you can’t sleep, you can read, watch…

Le Harve (2011)

“L’argent circule au crepuscule.” ‘Le Harve’, directed by Aki Kaurismäki in 2011, is a Finnish comedy drama set in the French coastal port. André Wilms plays Marcel Marx, a former writer who has turned to shining shoes for money. He lives with his wife who looks after him and keeps his money safe. When she…

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…

The Princess Bride (1987)

“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” ‘The Princess Bride’, directed by Rob Reiner in 1987, is an American fantasy comedy written by William Goldman and based on the screenwriter’s book. Robin Wright plays buttercup, the bride of the title. Five years before the story proper begins, Buttercup falls…

Hana-bi (1997)

‘Hana-bi’, directed by Takeshi Kitano in 1997, is a Japanese crime drama starring Kitano as Yoshitaka Nishi, a retired detective. Nishi was forced into retirement after a violent incident that lead to the deaths of two of his colleagues and the injury of others. Without a job and struggling to care for this sick wife,…

Jour de fête (1949)

‘Jour de fête’, directed by Jacques Tati in 1949, is a French comedy written, directed and starring the creator of Monsieur Hulot. In this, his directorial debut, Tati plays François, a postman in a small rural village in France. François is bumbling and easily distracted by drink and socialising with his fellow villagers. Inspired by…

I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967)

“Are there any interesting social cases here? People in sleazy flats? People with unpaid dental bills? Drug cases will do, too. I work for “Expressen” the paper with a sting. My paper is planning a conservative victory in the ’68 elections. We’re doing a series on the ten most sordid social welfare cases” ‘I Am…

Cabiria (2014)

“The movie feels old, and by that I mean older than 1914. It feels like a view of ancient times, or at least of those times as imagined a century ago. We are looking into two levels of a time machine. Silent films in general create a reverie state for me; sound films are more…

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

“I have to make it clear that not even for a moment is there doubt that it is not a technical but a philosophical question. So that the tonal system in question, through researches, has led us inevitably to a test of faith, in which we ask: on what do we base our belief that…

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

“In the mind of a true snob there are certain limited criteria to denote the value of human existence. Jimmie’s criteria were: home, hearth, wife, land. Those who possessed these had beatitude unchallengable. Other men had accidental, random life. Nothing better.” ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’, directed by Fred Schepisi in 1978 and based on…