Capital (2012)

When it comes to cinema, my favourite directors and actors are so old I can’t help feeling privileged when they become attached to a new movie. It was with special contentment that a few years ago I watched The Ghost Writer, thinking that I…

Prometheus (2012)

Great works of art happen by accident. No one probably predicted Alien was going to be a masterpiece and a classic science fiction movie. Given the film production’s tortuous history of script rewrites and studio meddling, its quality is…

A Quiet Place in the Country (1968)

Leonardo Ferri can’t paint. He’s the toast of the town thanks to his abstract paintings, which fetch incredible prices. He dates the beautiful Flavia, his manager. A collector loans him a luxurious villa in the countryside to work. Life…

There Be Dragons (2011)

There Be Dragons is not the return of Roland Joffé. The name probably doesn’t mean anything to you. But this director made two brilliant movies in the 1980s, namely The Killing Fields and The Mission. These were intelligent, sensitive…

Baba Yaga (1973)

Baba Yaga, also known in English as Kiss Me, Kill Me, is one of those bizarre horror movies that came out from Italy in the 1970s with total disregard for traditional film conventions. In its defiance, not to mention deconstructionist…

Drive (2011)

Drive came out months ago, so the world needs another review as badly as Meryl Streep needs another Oscar. And there’s not a lot to say about it: it’s been consecrated as one of the finest movies of 2011 in many Top Ten lists, and I’ll just…

The Lives of Others (2006)

“No matter how often you say it in your plays, people do not change!” an East Germany minister declares to playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) in the movie. This is an ironic statement considering that East Germany in 1984 was part of…

A Mighty Heart (2007)

Since 2001 studios have overwhelmed audiences with movies about terrorism and the war on terror, set in locations like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, that, once exotically vague, now vied for didactic realism as they had become too…

A Special Day (1977)

It’s debatable whether the meeting of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Rome, in 1938, was a special day, but it was a day that changed the lives of Gabriele (Marcello Mastroianni) and Antonietta (Sophia Loren). After seeing her extended…

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

I was having a look at my shelf full of European comics (as opposed to my shelf full of American comics), and my suspicions were confirmed: I only have one Tintin album in my collection. And my memories of reading it are very sketchy. I…