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Zettel Film Reviews » Historical

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Lincoln – Steven Spielberg. The past is another place….

Tweet    Lincoln – Steven Spielberg “The past is another country. They do things differently there.” L P Hartley’s now almost proverbial opening lines of The Go-Between constantly resonated in the back of my mind throughout this powerful, accomplished, superbly acted film. With typical authority and characteristically meticulous attention to detail, Spielberg assembles to great […]

Hugo (3D) – Scorcese’s dazzling FOF (Front Of Frame) technical tour de force

Tweet         Technical        Entertainment Hugo (3D) – Martin Scorcese A technical tour de force. It is fascinating to see major Directors of regular 2D films grappling with the possibilities and limitations of 3D stereoscopic filming. Fast on the heels of Spielberg’s performance capture 3D Tin Tin we have Scorcese taking a radically […]

Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold: Emily Bronté it ain’t

Tweet      Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold “Well I’m not going to move to Yorkshire.” Comment from a guy I’ve never met as we left the Curzon. He was I think responding to the weather which dominates Arnold’s film, but his remark would have been just as apt referring to the characters as portrayed […]

Oranges, sunshine, Australia, deportation, abuse

Tweet Oranges and Sunshine – Jim Loach Hypocrisy is the besetting vice of the English. Many of our greatest writers, like George Eliot and Dickens knew this and created some of the squirmyest hypocrites in fiction: from the Rev Edward Casaubon and Nicholas Bulstrode in Middlemarch to David Copperfield’s Uriah Heep. Fans of Austen could […]

Tarantino – enfant – terrible: but no longer both.

Tweet Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino The penny finally dropped: Quentin Tarantino simply has no imagination. He can’t create characters so he borrows bits from characters in films he’s seen. He can’t create a believable setting or narrative, so he echoes, parodies, de-constructs those of others. He is either passive or unaffected by reality or […]

Il Divo – the extraordinary life of Giulio Andreotti* – an essay

Tweet Il Divo – Paolo Sorrentino (2008) Shakespearean in content, operatic in tone, writer director Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo (the extraordinary life of Giulio Andreotti) is a masterly work. Richly textured and at times demanding, Sorrentino’s film is a profound study of power, and its irresistible affects on men who possess it and those drawn […]

CHE – Part 1 and Part 2 – Soderbergh’s Che: iconic, charismatic, idealistic, but opaque

Tweet Che – Steven Soderbergh The essence of art is selection: and the logic of selection defines what is left out. The collaborative nature of the art of film-making increases the need for such eliminating decisions exponentially – casting, screenplay, lighting, angle, editing, music, sound and thousands of other decisions. The result is not the […]

Changeling – touted for the wrong Oscar

Tweet Changeling – Clint Eastwood Cinema, film is a collaborative art. If the director has the integrating artistic conception of the film, he still has to assemble his realisation of that ‘vision’ through the many critical disciplines, each an art in its own right, that provide the warp and weft of the finished film. It […]

The New World – New? New to whom?

Tweet The New World – Terence Malik Critical response to this movie beggars belief. If he had just made the dullest movie ever (people walked out of my showing), Malik could be forgiven. But this empty, patronising, sentimentalised farrago of historic lies is scandalously ethnocentrically, totally white European. It perpetuates the worst form of a […]