Favorite films

  • A Warning to the Curious
  • Ordet
  • The Edge of the World
  • A Canterbury Tale

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  • Pastor Hall

    ★★★★

  • Man of Desire

    ★★½

  • Ladies

    ★★½

  • The Watcher in the Woods

    ★★★

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  • Pastor Hall

    Pastor Hall

    ★★★★

    Made in 1939 but withheld for fear of upsetting relations with Germany - then propagandistically released when entente didn’t matter. 

    That expediency illustrates the obverse of the matter-of-conscience the semi-fictional pastor holds firm to. Film companies, censors and politicians alike should perhaps have taken note of the closing Powers and Principalities address rather than what was of short-term import. 

    It’s easy to say such a thing with hindsight, but there’s a universal continuum. It’s made pert on the British poster:…

  • Man of Desire

    Man of Desire

    ★★½

    Facsimile-end of French intellectual cinema with a marshalling of expected modes that gets bogged down in its Bresson-Duras starter kit (b&w, blank, Bach) with a littering of cyphers and symbols that don’t carry much charge. 

    The skirted passion play aspects are rather crude if only for being made as important as the other cliches of ticking metronomes, empty cradles, heavy glances and so on.

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  • L'Argent

    L'Argent

    ★★★★½

    “Good has left in a police car”. So said Robert Bresson (at a rather testy press conference) concerning the final scene of this film. For something presumed by some to be a summation of an apparently increased cinematic agnosticism on the part of the director, that’s a simple and telling statement (picking up on a previous answer offering that hope can emerge from despair).

    I think there’s a confusion that his increasingly blank observations were somehow a pessimistic take on…

  • Brideshead Revisited

    Brideshead Revisited

    ★★★★★

    Et in Arcadia Essemus.

    When British television was being deregulated in the early 1990s it was this drama that was most often referenced as evidence for what could soon be lost. Appropriately enough for a serial concerned with decline and fall, it soon was. Brute market forces came to the ugly fore and public service broadcasting has been marginalised ever since.

    It’s not just about an extended duration or a large budget - these things endure to this day -…