Cinema unlimited

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Moving to a new country with a new currency, one of the things we’ve been thinking about is, “is it cheaper?” It’s a very intangible thing. I’m too stupid to do quick currency conversions in my head, I’m earning a different amount of money (is it more, is it less, yes!), and different kinds of costs work out very differently. Recently we had an incident with an outrageously expensive (or was it?

My top films of 2020

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I think the last film I saw in the cinema before they all closed was The Lighthouse. After that weird nautical trip we emerged from The Ritzy in Brixton in the middle of the afternoon, dazed and out of sync with the normal world where people were charging up and down the pavement. The cinema was only a couple of minutes down the road from where I was living at the time; it didn’t seem like a big deal.

Men in evening wear slapping one another on the back

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The latest issue of the All My Stars newsletter got me reading about Crash (1996). It was obviously a very contraversial film, that much I remember. There was some monocle-popping from Francis Ford Coppola on the Cannes jury; he refused to present the award that the film went on to win. What’s funny though is that the film won the Special Jury Prize, not just the Jury Prize. What’s the difference?

Autumn leaves

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I was locked down for two weeks, so when I got out I wanted to make the most of the autumn leaves. Dulwich Woods are only ten minutes awawy but they were new to me The residential neighbourhood is heavily planted too Most of the time though, I’m back inside. I saw On The Rocks with Rashina Jones and Bill Murray after I listened to the Big Picture episode about Sofia Coppola.

How La Haine lit a fire under French society

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The outraged reaction to the film showed it had hit home. It won best director at Cannes in 1995, but the police believing it to be a polemic against them turned their backs on the team when providing a ceremonial guard at the festival. In the context of the Noisy-le-Grand riots and that summer’s strikes against prime minister Alain Jupp’s austerity measures, its anti-authoritarian swagger was a red rag. Kassovitz was accused of playing up a bad boy image, smoking dope during one TV appearance. He in turn complained about a media unable to connect with the deeper issues. He recalls making journalists from a celebrity magazine cry when he rounded on them for publishing a special booklet on how to speak in banlieue slang. The media made us stars and didn’t take care of the subject of the film, he says now. They asked me questions where I said: Don’t ask me that, go to the projects and talk to the guys there.' But they didn’t want to talk to them.

How La Haine lit a fire under French society, Phil Hoad in The Guardian

Greta Gerwig and the Politics of Women's Genres

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With the properly cinematic resources of space, time, and mise-en-scne, Gerwig approaches these contradictions as Alcott could not. Intercut with the meeting with Dashwood is a generically romantic resolution to the story - Jo’s dull professor-ex-machina, Friedrich Bhaer (Louis Garrel), is retrieved from the train station on the brink of departure by a whole troop of Marches and March hangers-on in a rom-com race to unite the hetero-couple. However, the images of this resolution do not actually depict a proposal or a wedding. Rather, after the professor is brought together with Jo for the kiss that signifies traditional closure, the scene continues. A sweeping overhead long take, in motion like much of the film, depicts Bhaer as one among many teachers, family members, and students who fill the halls and grounds of the (integrated and co-ed) school Jo sets up at Plumfield, the home she inherits from Aunt March. (Meryl Streep introduces all kinds of intertextual noise in this role, one note of which derives from her turn as Emmeline Pankhurst in 2015’s Suffragette.)

Ambidextrous Authorship: Greta Gerwig and the Politics of Women’s Genres, Patricia White in Los Angeles Review of Books