Music has been the backbone of the cinema experience since Méliès visited the moon. Live pianists acted as soundtrack, from lightheartedly accompanying The Tramp’s adventures, to striking a dagger-like chord in Nosferatu. But The Jazz Singer changed everything as it synchronised the act with the beat. Ingenious filmmakers discovered ever more inspiring ways to wield […]Read more "Love Me Tonight (1932)"
Have you ever had that moment after walking away from a heated debate, or lying in bed long after a discussion ended, and the perfect one liner pops in your head? That moment doesn’t exist in screwball comedy land. A time in filmmaking when physical gags were gunned down by quick fire dialogue. A place […]Read more "Me and My Gal (1932)"
Renoir once said ‘A director only makes one film in his life. Then he breaks it into pieces and makes it again’. The Bitch was a jigsaw puzzle comprised of cold blue class cynicism, red hot infidelity, and shameful shades of black moral turpitude. Boudu Saved From Drowning is a assembled from these pieces, but […]Read more "Boudu Save From Drowning (1932)"
The lively Parisian district of Les Halles impressed upon young Rene Clair a picturesque image of Paris he would equally impress upon celluloid. Equipped with a degree in philosophy and the horrors of the front line of World War I, Clair harboured an disparate understanding of man’s capabilities. The far left of proud found thought […]Read more "The Million (1931)"
Film is a format of possibility able to represent reality starkly as the Lumiere brothers originally intended, or distort the world into Méliès magic. I remember first setting my eyes on the fabulous destiny of Amelie unfolding in a Paris of impossibility on an Earth that doesn’t exist. Jean-Pierre Jeunet recreated life on his terms. […]Read more "Freedom For Us (1931)"
A World War shaped a generation, a tyrant was rising in Germany, the Wall Street Crash ushered in a Great Depression, and prohibition gave rise to wider organised crime. The progressive touch of the twentieth century reached across the globe and altered everything in its path… except for the Little Tramp who waddled back in […]Read more "City Lights (1931)"
Buster Keaton faced two crippling calamities in his professional life; the first was out of his power, the second he caused. The former was the advent of sound relentlessly weeding out the unadaptable, the latter was signing with MGM which Keaton stated was ‘the biggest mistake of my life’. This new contract left the perfectionist […]Read more "Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)"
The chase is one of the greatest thrills cinema can offer. Over a century of film has provided inventive and exciting pursuits in nearly every mode of transport. The French Connection is the epitome of road rage, Point Break’s on foot chase is a high octane pursuit through L.A.’s back garden, Speed kept tension high […]Read more "The General (1927)"
In a previous post, I included Safety Last as Lloyd’s masterpiece. Harold staring wildly through his idiosyncratic horn-rimmed glasses as he dangles from a clock face is a ubiquitous image of the comedy Golden Age. However, Lloyd was most satisfied with The Kid Brother, a film he proudly displayed at film schools and cinematic events […]Read more "The Kid Brother (1927)"
It is difficult to write individual reviews on the work of Buster Keaton. The Auteur’s oeuvre is a consistently successful collection cornering a distinctive comedic style. To separate each film for analysis, only to arrive at the same conclusion, seems a futile effort. Nonetheless, each film is of such immeasurable quality and stirs such an […]Read more "Seven Chances (1925)"