Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Cinema Category

Two Days, One Night

  • June 03, 2015
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I’ve just seen the Dardenne brothers’ brilliant Two Days, One Night (2014)   It’s a film I’ve been looking forward to seeing for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint.     The premise is deceptively simple: Sandra Byas, played by Marion Cotillard,   is a worker in a Belgian solar panel factory who has just returned to work after suffering a nervous breakdown, only to find that her boss has offered her colleagues a bonus of 1,000 euros a month if they agree to make her redundant.

From the management’s point of view this...

Killing the Messenger

  • March 29, 2015
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I first came across the name Gary Webb some years ago, when I was researching a section about the Reagan administration’s first ‘war on terror’ in the 1980s for my book on terrorism.     Webb was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, who stumbled on a story that the CIA-supported Contras were...

Kevin MacDonald’s Black Sea

  • January 04, 2015
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Submarine films are always tense experiences, whether they consist of the black & white war films that I watched as a kid, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or the   claustrophobic U-boat epic Das Boot.   Tension, anxiety and claustrophobia are intrinsic to the cinematic world of submarines, whose components are broadly similar...

Leviathan

  • November 17, 2014
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I’ve just seen Andrey Zvyagintsev’s extraordinary film Leviathan.   The movie got the best screenplay award at Cannes and has received ecstatic plaudits all round, and in my opinion it deserves them all.   It’s a bleak, troubling, and haunting piece of work, one of those rare films that lingers in the mind long after...

Through a Glass Bleakly: Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars

  • September 28, 2014
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I don’t watch many David Cronenberg movies.   This isn’t because I don’t think he’s good.   On the contrary,   it’s been obvious for many years that he is a   brilliant director with one of the most original and disturbing imaginations in world cinema.   It’s just that I don’t really do much...

Terrorism: the Medea Syndrome

  • September 14, 2014
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Violence and the consequences of violence are recurring themes in   Greek classical drama, particularly in the works of the three great tragic dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripedes.     All three were citizens of an Athenian state that waged imperial wars of conquest as well as defensive wars against foreign aggression.   Aeschylus...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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