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Posts for Cinema Category

Nostalgia for the Light

  • August 28, 2012
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On a rainy Bank Holiday evening, we drove through the last murky dregs of the-summer-that-never-was to Sheffield to see the Chilean director Patrizio Guzmán’s wonderful Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la Luz).

Guzmán is a documentary   filmmaker and a leftist, who is most famous for the epic three-part study of the rise and fall of Allende, The Battle of Chile.

The Chilean coup is a major theme of Guzmán’s latest offering.   But Nostalgia for the Light is not a political film in any conventional sense.   It’s an utterly unique personal meditation on...

Au revoir Chris Marker

  • August 01, 2012
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The incomparable French filmmaker Chris Marker died last Sunday on his 91st birthday.

Marker is most well-known for his influential post-apocalyptic short La Jetée,   but my personal favourite is Sans Soleil (Sunless), an amazing poetic meditation on time, memory, and twentieth century history, which I first saw when it came out in New...

Even the Rain

  • June 27, 2012
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I’ve just seen Spanish director Iciar Bollain’s remarkable  También la Lluvia (Even the Rain).    Some critics have compared it to Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo,  with its theme of  monomaniacal obsession and vainglory in a Latin American context.  But Even the Rain is far more textured and more political film.

The screenplay...

Ismael Ferroukhi’s War

  • June 03, 2012
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In the last few years there has been an interesting and important stream of films by French-North African directors, which have delved into corners of French-Algerian history that have either never appeared in mainstream cinema before or been touched on only tangentially.

First there was Rachid Bouchareb”s powerful Days of Glory (2006), which celebrated the contribution...

Beauty and the beast: Miss Bala and Mexico’s drug war

  • February 26, 2012
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I’ve just watched Mexican director Gerardo Naranjo’s superb thriller Miss Bala: the bullet queen (2011).   It’s the searing and utterly tragic tale of Laura Guerrero, a young woman from a poor family in Baja California, who enters a beauty pageant only to find herself sucked into a terrifying vortex of violence and corruption,...

Of Gods and Men

  • June 19, 2011
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I’ve finally got round to watching Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois’s magnificent film about the seven French Trappist monks kidnapped and murdered during the Algerian Civil War in 1994.

At the time the murders were attributed by the Algerian government to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) a shadowy and particularly bloody Islamist organization which killed...

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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