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Video essays

  • Deep focus: The other side of 80s America

    Deep focus: The other side of 80s America

    Amid the 1980s’ ‘Morning in America’ reckoning, the ‘high concept’ spectacles, cartoonish action and the bottom line, some filmmakers who persisted in making personal, often overlooked films that revealed the other side of Reaganism’s patriotic bluster and hollow optimism. Nick Pinkerton explores the flipside of 1980s American cinema, with a video essay by Sierra Pettengill.
    Monday 28 May 2018

  • Women on a Bergman screen – a video essay

    Women on a Bergman screen – a video essay

    Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s fascination with female experience and emotions underpinned one of the cinema’s greatest virtual communities of women on screen. In this video study Leigh Singer invites Bergman’s talented actresses and their creations into closest possible correspondence.
    Friday 2 February 2018

  • In her eyes: notes on Gloria Grahame (a video essay)

    In her eyes: notes on Gloria Grahame (a video essay)

    With a curl of her lip and an arch of her eyebrow, Gloria Grahame was the actress who stood up to both Humphrey Bogart and Lee Marvin in their most violent roles. In this video essay, Serena Bramble explores the burn mark Grahame left on the silver screen.
    Friday 24 November 2017

  • Wrapped in plasticity: Twin Peaks’ myriad Laura Palmers

    Wrapped in plasticity: Twin Peaks’ myriad Laura Palmers

    Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin conduct a forensic examination of the slippages at play in David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surrealistic investigative series.
    Friday 28 April 2017

  • Hollywood icon/oclast: the art of Jack Nicholson

    Hollywood icon/oclast: the art of Jack Nicholson

    From New Hollywood rebel to arch Hollywood devil, Jack Nicholson has been our gold-standard baby boomer, on the run from his demons even as he upends the world – and hounds down the last laugh. As he turns 80, Leigh Singer looks back at the art of Jack.
    Friday 21 April 2017

  • Video: Scorsese NYC

    Video: Scorsese NYC

    It’s complicated: Martin Scorsese’s irresistible passion for the mean streets of his hometown show us not just the psyche of a city, but the soul of a nation, says Leigh Singer.
    Friday 3 February 2017

  • The superhero movies of 2016: brawl without end?

    The superhero movies of 2016: brawl without end?

    In the year of Batman v Superman v Captain America v Iron Man et al, snarky Deadpool, self-parodying X-Men: Apocalypse and super-grim Suicide Squad, could Doctor Strange show us the door to a better world – or at least a richer class of superhero film? A video essay by Leigh Singer.
    Friday 20 January 2017

  • Video: A tour through French noir

    Video: A tour through French noir

    What makes French film noir French? Dive down to the lowest depths with Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin’s video abstract, charting six key Gallic characteristics of cinema’s most alluringly brooding genre.
    Friday 4 November 2016

  • Hex appeal: how witches charmed the cinema

    Hex appeal: how witches charmed the cinema

    Witches are not just for Halloween, or for horror movies. Charlotte Richardson Andrews celebrates the screen’s sexier, more sisterly sorceresses: symbols of divine feminine magic and healing rather than bloodthirsty she-devils. With video by Leigh Singer.
    Friday 28 October 2016

  • Kirk Douglas: Hollywood champ

    Kirk Douglas: Hollywood champ

    As Kirk Douglas reaches his 100th birthday, we celebrate the dimpled one with a survey of his extraordinary career, plus a video tribute to his host of classic roles playing ruthless villains, morally ambiguous mavericks and self-interested sharks.
    Friday 2 September 2016

  • Video: Haunted memories – the cinema of Víctor Erice

    Video: Haunted memories – the cinema of Víctor Erice

    Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López explore the joy and regret of nostalgia with one of the cinema’s great, spare poets of sense-memory.
    Friday 2 September 2016

  • Video: A speck in the cosmos – the inner frontiers of Raoul Walsh’s Pursued

    Video: A speck in the cosmos – the inner frontiers of Raoul Walsh’s Pursued

    Tag Gallagher offers a psychological reading of Raoul Walsh’s 1947 Robert Mitchum starrer Pursued, perhaps Hollywood’s first psychological western and certainly one of its weirdest.
    Monday 9 May 2016

  • Video: Barbaric poetry – can we really film the Holocaust?

    Video: Barbaric poetry – can we really film the Holocaust?

    As László Nemes’s award-winning Son of Saul forges a new way of dramatising an Auschwitz-like death camp, Leigh Singer revisits the ethical arguments around the art of the abyss.
    Friday 29 April 2016

  • Video essay: Lines of resistance – Anne-Marie Miéville’s The Book of Mary

    Video essay: Lines of resistance – Anne-Marie Miéville’s The Book of Mary

    Counterpointing Godard: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin offer a taste of Anne-Marie Miéville’s cinema, and a look at the patterns at play in her prologue to her partner’s Hail Mary.
    Friday 26 February 2016

  • Video essay: Kicking against the chick flicks – reclaiming the Hollywood romcom

    Video essay: Kicking against the chick flicks – reclaiming the Hollywood romcom

    Homogenised, segregated and stupefied, the mainstream romantic comedy has never been less sexy. Leigh Singer on how to get its freak back on.
    Friday 18 December 2015

  • Video: Southern Gothic

    Video: Southern Gothic

    What makes for Southern Gothic? Robert Greene can tell you some tales…
    Friday 10 April 2015

  • What was documentary? An elegy for Robert Gardner

    What was documentary? An elegy for Robert Gardner

    Is it time to put away this mirage of ‘nonfiction’ cinema, asks Kevin B. Lee?
    Thursday 28 August 2014

  • Video: the art of nonfiction

    Video: the art of nonfiction

    Robert Greene essays a love letter to the “magical imitation of reality”.
    Thursday 7 August 2014

  • Dear John Grierson: A Postscript to The Story of Film (rough cut)

    Dear John Grierson: A Postscript to The Story of Film (rough cut)

    All aboard the good train cinephilia, as Mark Cousins conducts us to lesser-visited stations around the documentary globe.
    Friday 1 August 2014

  • The long conversation: Richard Linklater on cinema and time

    The long conversation: Richard Linklater on cinema and time

    kogonada looks time in the eye with the maker of Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight.
    Monday 4 November 2013

  • Video essay: The essay film – some thoughts of discontent

    Video essay: The essay film – some thoughts of discontent

    In a world bedazzled by intractable images, do we need the essay film now more than ever? Kevin B. Lee weighs up this distinctively self-aware, searching form of cinema through both video and text.
    Tuesday 16 July 2013

  • Video essay: What is neorealism?

    Video essay: What is neorealism?

    kogonada pits the director of The Bicycle Thieves against the producer of Gone with the Wind on the same movie material.
    Friday 17 May 2013

  • Video: The world according to Koreeda

    Video: The world according to Koreeda

    kogonada on how Japan’s modern master revives our taste for everyday life.
    Friday 8 February 2013

  • Video essay: The animal menagerie of Rhythm and Hues

    Video essay: The animal menagerie of Rhythm and Hues

    Kevin B. Lee considers the digital circus mastery of Hollywood’s leading computer-generated-animal engineers.
    Friday 21 December 2012

  • Video: Steadicam progress – the career of Paul Thomas Anderson in five shots

    Video: Steadicam progress – the career of Paul Thomas Anderson in five shots

    Tracking a journey of camera journeys from Hard Eight to There Will Be Blood, Kevin B. Lee wonders if the director has put away showy things.
    Friday 16 November 2012

Opening nights: new British cinemas

  • Deptford Cinema: one for all!

    Deptford Cinema: one for all!

    In the first of our video reports about new London cinemas, Edward Lawrenson speaks to Deptford Cinema’s Edwin Mingard about volunteer-run exhibition in the high-rent city, and the virtues of community-led programming.
    Friday 17 July 2015

  • Celluloid haven: Close Up Cinema

    Celluloid haven: Close Up Cinema

    In the second of our video reports about London’s 2015 batch of cinema initiatives, Edward Lawrenson sees and hears a valorous defence of celluloid film projection from Close Up Cinema’s Damien Sanville.
    Friday 17 July 2015

  • Building a small cinema in Liverpool

    Building a small cinema in Liverpool

    Anthony Killick embeds himself with a crack troupe of volunteer cinema refitters remaking a former Liverpool magistrates court as a cooperative picturehouse.
    Friday 17 July 2015

  • Expanding your world: Bertha DocHouse in the Curzon Bloomsbury

    Expanding your world: Bertha DocHouse in the Curzon Bloomsbury

    In the third of our video reports about London’s 2015 batch of cinema initiatives, Edward Lawrenson prowls a Tarkovsky-inspired renovation of the former Curzon Renoir, where he finds DocHouse director Elizabeth Wood explaining her ambitions for a dedicated space to host the best of documentary cinema.
    Thursday 5 November 2015

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