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Film

Mike Nichols collecting an AFI Life Achievement  Award

The Spectator’s original review of The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 13:57

This review first appeared in The Spectator on 15 August 1968. In the United States The Graduate is already as much a phenomenon as a film. Critics have been treating… Continue reading

5 Comments
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Why Paddington is anti-Ukip propaganda

19 November 2014 12:46

Well, I’ve just been to see the new Paddington film – the one Colin Firth bowed out of on account of not feeling up to being the voice of the… Continue reading

30 Comments
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Kajaki review: never have I seen a more gruesome depiction of war

19 November 2014 11:07

On September 6th, 2006, a mortar unit from 3rd Battalion, 3 Para, defending the Kajaki dam over the Helmand River in Afghanistan, spotted an illegal road block set up by… Continue reading

12 Comments
'An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger'. Image: Yui Mok/PA

When Arnie met Ross

16 November 2014 18:10

Arnie mania struck the capital last night. A thousand fans crowded into the Lancaster London Hotel to see Schwarzenegger in conversation with Jonathan Ross. He came bounding on stage, in… Continue reading

3 Comments
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Citizenfour: the paranoia of Snowden & co will bore you to death

13 November 2014 13:50

In simple entertainment terms Citizenfour isn’t as interesting as watching paint dry. It is more like watching someone else watching paint dry. People with opinions on Edward Snowden tend to… Continue reading

56 Comments
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Leviathan: the anti-Putin film the Russians tried to ban that’s tipped for an Oscar

6 November 2014 17:32

The funny thing about a film like Leviathan, which many expected to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier this year (it didn’t), is that suddenly an awful lot of… Continue reading

5 Comments
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David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars: threesomes, incest, a dead dog and whiny farts

1 October 2014 16:41

In a scene that sticks from Map to the Stars, David Cronenberg’s Grand Guignol of a Hollywood satire, Julianne Moore, playing an ageing Hollywood never-has-been, sits on the loo in… Continue reading

7 Comments
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The Disappearance of Michel Houellebecq: French chin-stroking at its very best

23 September 2014 14:59

Just when you thought Bernard-Henri Lévy had taken a chin-stroking national stereotype as far as it could possibly go, you open Le Monde‘s business pages and see this. Bernard Maris,… Continue reading

3 Comments
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

In praise of Den-zel

18 September 2014 13:21

His Christian name is only two syllables, with the stress (following the African-American pronunciation) on the second. Two syllables that are a byword for urbane cool. A mellifluous shibboleth – the… Continue reading

14 Comments
Image: Getty

Citizen Brand

27 August 2014 12:58

So it turns out the revolution will be televised after all. ‘Brand’, a full length documentary about the comedian turned political activist Russell Brand, is heading our way next year.… Continue reading

21 Comments
Richard Attenborough on a location shoot on Brighton beach. Photo: John Williams/Getty Images

Working with Dickie Attenborough

25 August 2014 14:19

During my short and probably best forgotten acting career, I found myself on the pointy end of Dickie Attenborough’s camera on two memorable occasions. The first was a cough and… Continue reading

4 Comments
Richard Attenborough as Pinky in 'Brighton Rock' (1947). Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Remember Richard Attenborough for his acting – not his directing

25 August 2014 12:44

Jurassic Park has a lot to answer for. When I was growing up, I was convinced Richard Attenborough was a real dinosaur scientist. I was also convinced that Richard was David. When… Continue reading

2 Comments
Robin Williams outside the Comedy Store in 1978. Photo: Wynn Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Robin Williams in London

14 August 2014 14:46

In 2001 I wrote a book called The Comedy Store (still available in some good bookshops – and quite a lot of bad ones) about the London comedy club that… Continue reading

6 Comments
6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes - Show

What’s your favourite Robin Williams one-liner?

12 August 2014 10:49

Mr S was saddened to hear of the death of Robin Williams — a man who contributed to the gaiety of nations. People wax lyrical about Williams’s ability to inhabit… Continue reading

58 Comments
Bonnie Langford for Rebekah Brooks? Picture: Getty Images

Hacking Trial: the movie

5 July 2014 12:38

We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie? There’s one clear… Continue reading

33 Comments
Aidan Gillen in a still from Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Dick-swinging filmmakers like Ken Loach constantly write real women and our struggles out of history

2 June 2014 14:04

I hadn’t seen a Ken Loach film in years because I got sick of his schmaltzy sexism but yesterday decided to give him another try and popped along to see… Continue reading

28 Comments
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Locke: a great excuse to gawp at Tom Hardy’s lovely neck

30 April 2014 10:51

The ancients thought that the seat of female hysteria was the womb. My theory (just as credible) is that male charisma resides in the neck. The most magnetic films stars… Continue reading

3 Comments
Divine Lady

I Am Divine reminds me why I’ve always hated drag

25 April 2014 12:21

It was early evening and I had not yet eaten, so I took a glass of wine and a packet of Haribos into the private screening of I Am Divine:… Continue reading

11 Comments
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Half of a Yellow Sun: only Freddie Forsyth and the Bodenesque tribalwear rescue this snoozefest

14 April 2014 15:52

I’m not one of those who automatically think the book’s better than the film. Efficiency is a good thing and if a film can successfully cram 500 pages into two… Continue reading

2 Comments
Former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Photo: Wally Santana/AP/Press Association Images

The Unknown Known: Errol Morris tries to trip up Donald Rumsfeld – and fails

20 March 2014 15:14

Before getting onto the film I should make a few disclaimers. There is a popular view that Donald Rumsfeld was a catastrophic US secretary of defence. I do not share… Continue reading

40 Comments
Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's 'Under the Skin' (2013). Photo: Film4/Filmnation Entertainment/Jw Films / The Kobal Collection

Under the Skin: one second of tits to every three minutes of glen

17 March 2014 10:22

‘I thought it was supposed to go on for another half hour!’ said a man in the foyer on the way out. ‘When the alien got burnt to death I thought thank… Continue reading

17 Comments
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It was all going so well till the fishnet tights. A Classicist reviews 300: Rise of an Empire…

13 March 2014 11:25

It is 490 BC and it is raining. Themistocles, the Athenian general, is at Marathon, preparing to shoot an arrow at the great Persian King Darius I. Xerxes, Darius’ son,… Continue reading

3 Comments
Derek Jarman's film 'Blue'

Derek Jarman: no characterisation, no narrative, no poetry – no good

10 March 2014 10:33

A week or two ago, author Philip Hoare wrote an article for the Independent, describing Derek Jarman as ‘a modern-day John Dee, the Elizabethan alchemist’, ‘an Edwardian Andy Warhol, a… Continue reading

16 Comments
Steve McQueen and the cast and crew of 12 Years a Slave accept the best picture award at the 2014 Oscars. Photo: John Shearer/Invision/PA Images

Politics trumps artistry at the Oscars — full list of winners

3 March 2014 7:37

There were two possibilities for the 86th Academy Awards, joked host Ellen DeGeneres, either ‘12 Years a Slave wins the best picture Oscar … [or] you’re all racists.’ Luckily for… Continue reading

24 Comments
Film-maker Alain Resnais. Photo: Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Film-maker who divided critics dies aged 91

2 March 2014 15:02

One of the greats of French cinema, Alain Resnais (1922 – 2014), has died. His early films, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year in Marienbad (1961), which experimented boldly… Continue reading

4 Comments