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Reappreciation Society: Shutter island

This piece contains spoilers I believe director Martin Scorsese is sufficiently aware of his film’s supposed twist effect on audiences to pose a more intriguing question from its doomed protagonist – “Which would be worse? To live as a monster, or die as a good man?” US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is really mental patient […]

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Reappreciation Society: Slap Shot

Sports films are usually about challenges and overcoming them. Beating the odds, jumping the hurdles, sinking the putt, dunking the ball or scoring the touchdown. These films usually centre around a hero, or a sporting great or someone seeking redemption. What was different about Slap Shot however, is that it centres around a pathological liar, […]

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Reappreciation Society: The Making Of Blake’s 7

Have we got a treat for you! In 2003, an in-depth documentary with loads of interviews and behind the scenes goodies on the BBC1 science-fiction series Blake’s 7 was made for the DVD box set, but for some reason it was never included in the final release. Blake’s 7 ran on TV from 1978 to […]

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Reappreciation Society: Major Dundee (1965): The Proto – Peckinpah Western

  It was supposed to be third time’s the charm for director Sam Peckinpah. After two well received small westerns: The Deadly Companion, and Ride The high Country (which went down a storm in Europe and is now considered one of his greatest films), “Bloody Sam” was given a large scope, large budget Horse Soldier […]

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Re-appreciation Society: Southern Comfort

Considered by many to be a thematic sequel to Deliverance, 1981′sSouthern Comfort drives down the same lonely road and comes a cropper of the locals.  Southern Comfort is a superb, taut thriller depicting a group of National Guardsmen trying to negotiate their way out of a swamp while being picked off one by one by unseen Cajun enemies – […]

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Re-appreciation Society: The Italian Job

Cooler than a mint imperial, cheekier than a Sid James laugh, the insouciant, geezerish swagger of The Italian Job sums up the fresh frivolity of a late ’60’s British vibe that probably only existed in the film-makers imagination. Yet its appeal is timeless: recently BBC Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson replicated stunt driver Remy Julienne’s attempt to do 360 […]

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Excalibur: John Boorman’s Once And Future Movie Myth

  John Boorman’s 1981 fantastical retelling of Mallory’s Le Mort D’ Arthur is, to quote Nicol Williamson’s Merlin in the film, “A dream to some. A nightmare to others!” What some see as an episodic and hammy sword and sorcery tale is a clever and satisfying retelling of a mythical truth, an abstract approach that shows us Arthur’s […]

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Little Wonder – A Tribute to Time Bandits

 Terry Gilliam often refers to Time Bandits, Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen as his “dreamer’s trilogy”. All three films share a common thread of fantasy and all three leave you with the impression that the protagonist may have imagined the whole adventure. There is also a common theme of bureaucracy chasing man – Brazil is the story of a man […]

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Reappreciation Society: Heaven’s Gate

Heaven’s Gate, Michael Cimino’s grand, epic retelling of the Johnston County War in 1892 Wyoming, has become a byword for profligacy and headstrong vanity. In truth, based on a notorious early review that examined everything but the film on screen, vexatiously fixated on scurrilous rumour and annoyance at being kept in the dark about the production. […]

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Sorcerer: Friedkin’s Ballbreaker

“What I did on Sorcerer makes Jaws look like a picnic!” Roy Scheider Jungle drums were sounding the call for William Friedkin’s blood in 1977. Critics judged Sorcerer, his loose remake of George Clouzot’s The Wages Of Fear, filmed in the wilds of the Dominican Republic, an act of hubris out of step with the […]

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