Cinema

The Birds (1963) and Its San Francisco Pet Shop Opening

Analyses of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds have typically tended in two directions. There is the film’s at-the-time innovate use of special effects, which were added by Lewis Hampton and Ub Iwerks, but which required much in the way of planning and shooting: careful storyboarding, trained gulls, numerous camera angles, and then plenty of editing to bring together different shots. And there…

Notes on the 20th Anniversary of Clueless

This month Clueless turned twenty. Amy Heckerling’s film, starring a cast led by Alicia Silverstone, was released in American cinemas from 19 July 1995. It would not appear on movie screens in Europe until the autumn: crossing the Atlantic to arrive in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 20 October, it spent the next six months working its way across the…

July Film: Battleship Potemkin Analysis

Battleship Potemkin, released at the end of 1925 as only Sergei Eisenstein’s second full-length film, was an elaboration on the real-life mutiny which took place on the battleship Potemkin in June 1905. The ship had been built for the Imperial Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet; and at the time, many of its senior officers were away, engaged in the ongoing…

July Film: Battleship Potemkin (1925)

  Battleship Potemkin («Бронено́сец „Потёмкин“») 74 minutes | 21 December 1925 | Soviet Union ‘Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein’s greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein’s theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment…

Food & Drink on Film: A New Leaf’s Malaga Cooler

When Henry Graham and Henrietta Lowell first meet in Elaine May’s 1971 film A New Leaf, it is over a cup of tea, or rather three cups, and quite literally over them for Henrietta has just spilled all three. ‘Incredibly clumsy woman isn’t she – no wonder she’s doesn’t ride’, utters Henry’s friend Bo, who has problems of his own:…

Elaine May’s A New Leaf (1971)

Henry Graham in A New Leaf is an artist in shades of green: his palette is of money, which he spends not judiciously, but with grace and flair and a firm creative hand. Born into great wealth, his spending is an act of pure self-expression. The trouble is that Henry Graham has overspent, and the cheques which he has passed…

In Praise of Letterman: A Musical Top Twenty

With David Letterman’s final Late Show airing on CBS on Wednesday, bringing a close to an unsurpassed thirty-three year career at the forefront of late night, the media over the past week has been full of all things Letterman. There have been tender and laudatory remarks and reminiscences from a whole host of celebrities and, most of all, from his…

Podcast: The Jinx & By Reason of Insanity

Some brief thoughts in a video/podcast on two recent television documentaries: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, directed by Andrew Jarecki; and Louis Theroux’s By Reason of Insanity. Incidentally, Louis’s Transgender Kids has just commenced on BBC Two.