Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Cinema Category

Julian Schnabel says the unsayable

  • May 31, 2011
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I’ve just watched Julian Schnabel’s ambitious epic about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict  Miral.  It’s not a great movie, and certainly doesn’t bear comparison with Schnabel’s brilliant cinematic rendition of  The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I felt that the dismissive and damning reviews that it received were unfair.  It’s true that some of the acting in Miral is rather stilted.  Schnabel tells a complicated and involved story, tracing the history of post-1948 Palestine with the Jerusalem orphanage founded by Hind al-Husseini for Palestinian street children as its centrepiece, and this structure...

Monsters at the border

  • April 11, 2011
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There can be more to science fiction films than Dolby whooshes and hyperactive CGI special effects.   Gareth Edwards’s  low-budget sci-fi flic Monsters is a terrific example of what can be done with  a lot of imagination and intelligence and very little money.   Shot on an incredible pre-production budget of...

The trouble with Carlos

  • April 06, 2011
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I’ve just watched Olivier Assayas’ monumental study of Illich Sanchez Ramirez a.k.a Carlos ‘the Jackal’.   It’s an engrossing, compelling and original work, meticulously assembling a portrait of Carlos and his world  over more than five hours through a patient accumulation of scenes rather than a thrilleresque cliffhanger narrative.

This is no mean feat,...

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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