Film, Miles Fielder

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Dead of Night

24 Feb 20145 stars

The 1945 Ealing portmanteau horror is by turns eerie, funny, macabre and utterly chilling

One of the finest horror films ever made and one of the best British films of all time? Grand claims, but this 1945 portmanteau film (here restored for re-release) produced by Ealing Studios and featuring some of their most talented regulars stands the…

The Night of the Hunter

16 Jan 20145 stars

Charles Laughton's masterpiece remains both gloriously cinematic and utterly terrifying

Masterpiece is a much overused term, but The Night of the Hunter, a 1955 thriller now restored and re-released, genuinely deserves that accolade. Adapted from Davis Grubb’s 1953 novel (itself based on a true story from 20 years earlier) by screenwriter…

Hot 100 2013: 100-90

11 Dec 2013

Kieran Hurley, Fern Brady and Peter Doig among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Interview: Patti Lomax and Frank Cottrell Boyce on The Railway Man

9 Dec 2013

The film stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a POW forced to work on the Burma 'Death' Railway in WWII

'Did you know that Eric used to work here?' says Eric Lomax's widow, Patti. We're sitting in Creative Scotland's swish office suite at Waverley Gate, Edinburgh, also home to executive giants Microsoft and Amazon. Eric Lomax, who was born in Edinburgh in…

The Railway Man

9 Dec 20133 stars

Colin Firth excels in this biopic of Eric Lomax, a POW forced to work on the Burma 'Death' Railway

Adapted from Edinburgh-born World War II veteran Eric Lomax’s 1995 memoir, The Railway Man recounts Lomax’s experiences as one of the prisoners of war forced by the Japanese to construct the Burma ‘Death’ Railway in the jungle of Thailand. Lomax’s…

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Utopia

12 Nov 20134 stars

Provocative documentary from John Pilger about the treatment of Australia's aboriginal people

There's much that's truly shocking in John Pilger's ironically-titled documentary about the plight of Australia's aboriginal or 'First People' population. There's the shamefully abusive treatment while in police custody of one young man that lead to him…

French Film Festival 2013 celebrates work by Daniel Auteuil, Bruni Dumont and Costa Gravas

6 Nov 2013

Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou star in this year's selection

'After the previous box office highs of The Artist and The Intouchables,' says French Film Festival UK director Richard Mowe, 'le cinéma français shows no signs of resting on its laurels and as usual we have been spoiled for choice.’ The lineup for…

Hawking

16 Sep 20132 stars

A dull account of Stephen Hawking's life and achievements from documentarian Stephen Finnigan

There’s no denying that Stephen Hawking’s astounding scientific discoveries have made him the world’s most famous scientist and that his life-long struggle with Motor Neurone Disease made him one of the most remarkable and inspiring people on the…

Borrowed Time

6 Sep 20134 stars

A low-key British comedy-drama with witty script, smart direction and spot-on performances

There’s nothing flashy about this low-budget, low-key British comedy-drama, but it’s an absolute delight thanks to a warm and witty script, smart, no-nonsense direction and spot-on – and occasionally priceless – turns from a cast comprised largely of…

Plein Soleil

16 Aug 20135 stars

Career defining masterpiece from the French Hitchcock René Clément

Patricia Highsmith was spot in when she remarked René Clément’s 1960 adaptation of her novel The Talented Mr Ripley was, ‘very beautiful to the eye and interesting for the intellect’. Filmed on location in Rome, Naples and islands off the Italian…

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Kubrick³ and Colour Me Kubrick spin two stories around the same man: Kubrick impersonator Alan Conway

31 Jul 2013

The London real estate agent successfully impersonated the director in the early 1990s

Surely the most astounding – and hilarious – true story to be dramatised at the Fringe this year will be Kubrick³. The PIT theatre company production, written and directed by David Byrne (not that one), tells the story of a conman who passed himself off…

Interview: Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig discuss making Frances Ha

16 Jul 2013

Black and white comedy from director and actor - now a couple - is tonally both bitter and sweet

Frances Ha is a 27-year-old dancer trying to make it in New York City. She’s also the titular heroine of a film which is a creative union between writer-actor Greta Gerwig, who first came to prominence through the US indie mumblecore movement and who…

The Battle of the Sexes

19 Jun 20134 stars

A captivating documentary on Billie Jean King's eponymous historic game to fight for sexual equality

Some real-life stories are such a narrative gift for documentary makers you wonder why they weren’t filmed years ago. Co-directors James Erskine and Zara Hayes’ engrossing doc about the efforts of a few, pioneering female tennis players to bring sexual…

Dummy Jim

18 Jun 20134 stars

Matt Hulse’s second feature is both very beautiful and utterly bonkers

Dummy Jim is inspired by the book I Cycled into the Arctic Circle, James Duthie’s account of the three-month long bike ride he undertook in the summer of 1951 from his home in a small Scottish fishing village, through a big chunk of Europe and up into…

I Am Breathing

6 Jun 20134 stars

Deeply moving extraordinary/ordinary story of man suffering from Motor Neurone Disease

This remarkable documentary co-directed by Scottish filmmakers Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon is at once devastating and deeply moving. It documents the last months in the life of 33-year-old Yorkshireman Neil Platt as he deals with the increasingly…

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5 reasons to see films in the Richard Fleischer retrospective at EIFF 2013

4 Jun 2013

2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival screens film by undervalued American director

Not considered an auteur, like, say, Alfred Hitchcock, this great American director has been undervalued by critics and film historians. Like Robert Wise and John Huston, Fleischer was a versatile craftsman who was able to turn his eye to many kinds of…

Fuck for Forest

18 Apr 20134 stars

Documentary about Berlin eco-warriors who make amateur porn films

Let’s be clear: Fuck for Forest is a documentary about the titular Berlin-based environmental activists-cum-amateur porn makers and not a pornographic film in its own right. And despite there being quite a lot of flesh on display, Polish filmmaker…

Five reasons to go to the Italian Film Festival in Scotland 2013

17 Apr 2013

Every Blessed Day, The Commander and the Stork and Piazza Fontana among the festival highlights

The Commander and the Stork 'This is by director Silvio Soldini, who has been to the festival a couple of times in the past. He also made Bread and Tulips, which was very popular when we showed it. We’ve been very supportive of him. It’s a magic…

Michael H - Profession: Director

8 Mar 20133 stars

A limited portrait of the austere Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke

This French documentary about the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke convincingly argues Haneke is one of the most important and idiosyncratic filmmakers working today. Writer-director Yves Montmayeur’s doc also makes the more interesting point that…

Oz the Great and Powerful

8 Mar 20134 stars

An action-packed spectacle of a prequel, starring James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis

This prequel to The Wizard of Oz might have been little more than an expensive special effects extravaganza were it not in the hands of a director with as distinctive a visual style and flair for knockabout comedy as Sam Raimi. As with Tim Burton’s…

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Hi-So

26 Feb 20132 stars

Inert Thai drama about a directionless twenty-something in Bangkok

Form follows content in this tediously inert Thai drama about a young man caught between eastern and western cultures and suffering from emotional paralysis. Emotional paralysis is quite possibly the state writer-director Aditya Assarat’s film will…

Crawl

20 Feb 20132 stars

Australian thriller that borrows a little too heavily from the Coen brothers

Bucking the recent trend in Australian thrillers and chillers for grittily and gratuitously realistic lurid documentary-style dramas based on real events (see Wolf Creek et al), Crawl is a pointedly cinematic and resolutely fictional old school…

Side by Side

18 Feb 20133 stars

A-list directors on film vs digital debate in doc produced and presented by Keanu Reeves

The title of this reasonably interesting and fairly comprehensive documentary about traditional photochemical film and pioneering digital technology is slightly misleading. Although filmmakers have been using both forms for roughly the last decade and a…

Populaire

15 Feb 20133 stars

Immaculately styled French period romcom starring Déborah Francois and Romain Duris

This immaculately styled French period romantic comedy signals its pedigree with a colourful cartoon credit sequence reminiscent of cute and kookie Hollywood comedies circa the 1950s and 60s. And in fact, co-writer and director Régis Roinsard’s feature…

Run for Your Wife

11 Feb 20131 star

Hopelessly dated and poorly executed comedy starring Danny Dyer

This comprehensively cack-handed adaptation of the long-running West End stage sex comedy will have all but the most thick of skin and dim of humour running from the cinema as though their very lives depended up on it. Co-director and screenwriter Ray…