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Redoubtable: Screenwords Meets Director Michel Hazanavicius

Nadia Bee talks to director Michel Hazanavicius about his latest film Redoubtable. 

A cheerfully iconoclastic film, Michel Hazanavicius’s Redoubtable has provoked both ire and delight. Jean-Luc Godard is considered such a key figure in both European culture and political history that to treat him with levity is outrageous to some, and just deserts to others. Hazanavicius has said that critical responses have, at times, been as if he’d peed on the Sistine Chapel.

The late 1960s marked a turning point in Godard’s career as a filmmaker. He was already well-known for his brilliantly innovative approach to film form, and for his political engagement. He then took film form much further, with his 1967 film La Chinoise – an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel The Possessed. It starred his then wife, Anne Wiazemsky. Wiazemsky had been Robert Bresson’s muse, and acted in his film – held by some to be the greatest film of all time – Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). While still very young, she was already a person of note in France, in her own right.

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Film Review: Ghost Stories

Reviewed by Tom Rowley

BBC’s The League of Gentlemen was a hilarious pastiche of comedy stories that, at heart, had an endearing love for the hammer-horror genre. So it’s fitting that one of the show’s creators, Jeremy Dyson, has co-written and co-directed with Andy Nyman, a movie reminiscent of a Vincent Price platform, tying together horror vignettes throughout a mysterious overarching narrative. In his latest project, Ghost Stories, the horror-to-comedy ratio of The League of Gentlemen has been reversed to great effect. Genuine terror with a heart of theatrical comedy, Ghost Stories is born of the same formula Dyson has been working with since Royston Vasey first tormented our screens with exploding pets in 1999. But in his 2018 project, the screams far outweigh the laughs.

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DVD Release: Brimstone

Reviewed by Nadia Bee

Out of all the imaginable Wild Wests, director Martin Koolhaven has conjured up, in Brimstone, a world where fear and resistance meet overwhelming sadism. Scenes of intolerable cruelty unfold in visually sumptuous settings, with music -by Junkie XL – to match. Meanwhile the lives those scenes depict are harsh, dour, and almost entirely without respite. This is a grand film, with an ambitious story and an exceptional cast. Every frame looks beautiful.

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Best Films Of 2017 By Robert Chandler

Continuing our end of the year series, writer and producer Robert Chandler picks his favourite films of 2017 for Screenwords.


It won me over. I was cautious. A somewhat sequel to The Last Detail, one of the great American films of the early 1970s, a film that dealt with life and the inevitability of death, through the journey of three young soldiers: two of them, Jack Nicholson and Otis Young, escorting the third, Randy Quaid, across country to a military prison. Last Flag Flying is a “somewhat” sequel because it features the same three men in essence, thirty-five years later (they have the same character traits, but their names are slightly different). Both films are based on novels by Darryl Ponicsan.

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Guest Post: David Mcalmont’s Horror Picks

Favourite ten horror movies of the last ten years?

Ah, the good old days: younger, more afraid, less jaded; staying up to participate in the pleasure mum took in those vintage horror classics once purveyed by Hammer and RKO pictures. Knowing who Bela, Boris, Christopher, Lon, Peter and Vincent were, by the age of ten.

Often disappointed with how un-scary some films turned out to be; wanting to be spooked witless. Titles that promised so much, but in execution seemed tame. Not much in the way of cowering behind the sofa at that age; plenty of, “Is that it?” And yet there was enough intrigue to ensure that I would remain a horror devotee into adulthood; a true believer.

In Joseph L Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, the character Addison de Witt describes a moment in the theatre – the arrival of a great star – for which all true believers wait and pray. Year by year, waiting patiently for the next great horror. A rare thing these days when taste-makers are less convinced that they can get bums on seats with the supernatural; viewing monstrous violence and vulgar CGI as better box office guarantors. On occasion, it behoves horror fans to be more creative in their thinking.


These movies enthralled me on first viewing, and did the same on subsequent viewings.

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