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Butley

Alan Bates’ performance of a lifetime (and he’s had a few) deliciously embodies Simon Gray’s scathing insider’s perspective into the grim world of humanities academia (already that in 1971). Butley has much in common with Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano insofar as all the action takes place in one day, everything falls apart, and alcohol is part and…

Charlotte Rampling

On the eve of the annual (and in decline) luvvy virtue-signaling regress-fest, there still stands Charlotte Rampling who, along with Catherine Deneuve, have timeless and towering unalloyed class, dignity, elegance and, most importantly, critical faculties — unlike the pompous half-baked cause du jour “celeb” types who are superficially deep, but deep down, are superficial! This documentary,…

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Having just seen a fully restored version of this film which I previously had last seen on the big screen at a midnight showing on its release in ’76, I was superficially struck by the prescience of the idea of space travel underwritten by private enterprise. Though Walter and Peter in their forthcoming book, Space…

Belle du Jour

Catherine Deneuve — the epitome of sophisticated, cool eroticism, accomplishment,  strong and independent womanhood. I can’t see her stooping to group zombiefication wearing a pussyhat. Update: here is the English translation of the manifesto Deneuve signed. belle du jourcatherine deneuvecinemafeminismLuis Buñuelregressive leftSimone de Beauvoir

Harry Dean Stanton

It’s puzzling that HDS’s most important film gets relatively short-shrift in so many of the reports on his death. It took someone of the calibre of Dirk Bogarde to make sure that this film got its due recognition. Anyway, here is Roger Ebert’s review and a Guardian reassessment. Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” (1984) is the story…

Wrong Is Right

This really was a thoroughly crap film back in the day and though it hasn’t improved with age, I guess it was onto something (well at least the novel on which it was based). Here is Joe Dante making a case for the film to be reassessed, at least on the grounds of its prescience. Here too is…

Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel

Philosophical filmmakers are few and far between, understandably so, but even more depressing is that professional philosophy is perversely plagued by the unphilosophical — i.e. the virtue-signalers and thought and language police. Anyway, one of the few philosophically orientated filmmakers is Wim Wenders and one of my favourite films of all is his Wings of Desire/Der Himmel über Berlin. As…