Monday, 18 December 2017

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


In my first piece for The Skinny Magazine, I reviewed Otakar Vávra's excellent Witchhammer. You can read the review here.

Monday, 12 June 2017


If you're reading this, you're probably aware that my main directorial project at the moment is a modern day city symphony entitled LONDON SYMPHONY. If you've not been following the film's progress elsewhere, here's a little roundup of some of the recent news:

The film will have its World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017, where it has also been nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. Tickets for the festival screenings are on sale here.

The film will receive a boutique theatrical release in the UK on September 3rd 2017, when it will screen at the Barbican Centre in London (with its score performed live), before 'touring' around a number of carefully selected venues. Full details of the 'tour' will be announced nearer the time, but tickets are already on sale for the Barbican launch event here.

The film will also be released internationally later this year through Flicker Alley, one of my favourite distributors of silent film. I'm a long-time admirer and collector of their discs, so I'm very honoured that LONDON SYMPHONY has been chosen to join their collection.

Finally, we have released a trailer for the film, which you can watch here. Enjoy!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Friday, 26 May 2017

10 great island films

Sam Wigely and I wrote about 10 great island films for the BFI. It's always nice to be able to write about films you admire, and I highly recommend all five of the films I covered here if you've not seen them - Stromboli and The Naked Island are among my all time favourites.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Quote for the Week

'It is legitimate to ask that a film be entertaining, but this doesn't necessarily mean that a film can't have a message. If I write with true conviction about a subject that is important to me, I should at least be able to expect that it is just as important to many others who live here and now and who are struggling with the same problems as I do. Inspiring reflection in others is my gain' - Ingmar Bergman

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Where to begin with Steven Soderbergh

My latest 'Where to begin with...' piece for the BFI concerns "the genre-hopping cinema of indie trailblazer Steven Soderbergh". You can read it here.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

My Top Films of 2016

Much like 2015, I'm pleased to say that 2016 was a strong year for me in terms of what I saw. My viewing figures are up a little – still well below my target of 365, but sitting semi-respectably at 236. Once again, my preference remains slanted towards archive titles, and this time (unusually for me) there was also a slight emphasis on rewatching work, having revisited, amongst others, the (near) complete oeuvres of Bergman and Bresson (during which I was also able to fill in some important gaps).
As ever, there are things I wasn't able to see, my two biggest regrets being Mia Hansen-Løve's Things to Come and Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women (though the latter isn't officially out in the UK for another few months).
In putting my lists together, I have deliberately left out films by friends and colleagues, as it's impossible to be truly objective about these, and I'd rather not have to start ranking these against each other. Still, a special shout out must be made for Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist, Oliver Frampton's The Forgotten, Jane Gull's My Feral Heart and Katharine Round's The Divide.
So, with that, onto the lists. As always, directors' names will take you to their IMDb pages, and I've limited myself to one film per director in each list.

My Top Films of 2016
01) Silence (dir. Martin Scorsese)
02) The Revenant (dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu)
03) Embrace of the Serpent (dir. Ciro Guerra)
04) The Son of Joseph (dir. Eugène Green)
05) Aferim! (dir. Radu Jude)
06) The Witch (dir. Robert Eggers)
07) The Hateful Eight (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
08) Tale of Tales (dir. Matteo Garrone)
09) Spotlight (dir. Tom McCarthy)
10) The Brand New Testament (dir. Jaco Van Dormael)
11) Everybody Wants Some!! (dir. Richard Linklater)
12) Personal Shopper (dir. Olivier Assayas)

My Top Films from Previous Years that I Saw for the First Time in 2016
01) The White Dove (1960, dir. Frantisek Vlácil)
02) Autumn Sonata (1978, dir. Ingmar Bergman)
03) The Best Intentions (1992, dir. Bille August)
04) Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971, dir. Robert Bresson)
05) The Emigrants/The New Land (1971/1972, dir. Jan Troell)
06) Mother (1926, dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin)
07) Come and See (1985, dir. Elem Klimov)
08) Day of the Outlaw (1959, dir. André De Toth)
09) J'accuse (1938, dir. Abel Gance)
10) Shoes (1916, dir. Lois Weber)
11) Hotel Imperial (1927, dir. Mauritz Stiller)
12) Hotel du Nord (1938, dir. Marcel Carné)