29 Jul 2010

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

It is one of the greater tragedies of British cinema history that the name Jack Cardiff is not better known. Cardiff was recognised throughout the industry as one of the world’s greatest cinematographers before he passed away in April last year, and will soon be the subject of a retrospective at the BFI which will include a newly restored version of the stunning Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Martin Scorsese, who was heavily involved in producing this new 35mm print, sums it up best when he says “watching this film is like entering a strange and wonderful dream”. Hitchcock’s Vertigo excluded, this is possibly the most perfect blend of classical filmmaking and surrealism ever produced.


Though it may barely register on these shores, Saturday Night Live is an American institution that has spawned some of the most popular comedians in the world. SNL alumni include Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Bill Murray and many more. Skits on the show have been expanded into hit movies like Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers, and so while the word MacGruber may not mean much to us, the release of this latest spin-off will be a big hit on the other side of the Atlantic, and deserves to be one here too.

28 Jul 2010

No One Knows About Persian Cats

The term ‘indie rock’ has, as with all these tags associated with modern music genres, lost its meaning somewhat in today’s profit driven music industry. With large music companies desperately snapping up every remotely talented, young rebellious musicians, to whom they can market at today’s culturally enriched youth it’s sometimes hard to see which groups are truly ‘independent’ and which have been manufactured to appear that way.

In The Pit

The construction of the upper-deck of a highway may not sound like the most thrilling subject matter for a documentary, but Juan Carlos Rulfo's fascinating In the Pit takes this addition to the enormous Periferico highway as its subject matter, and is all the better for doing so. Made over a three-year period it follows the lives of a small group of workers engaged in this most precarious of professions, and fully explores the multitude of ironies and injustices that allow men to risk their lives every day but not to earn enough money to drive a car and subsequently never be able to drive across the bridge they helped build.