Covent Garden porters in action on film in 1929. Photo: BFI
Discovering the hidden gems of the Britain on Film archive
By Ryan Gilbey - 31 July 13:11

From some of the earliest surviving home videos to revealing social commentary from the Sixties and Seventies, there are exciting finds waiting for you.

In Mass Effect the player takes the role of Commander Shepard, and then the player gets to interpret that role as they see fit. Photo: Youtube screengrab.
Why games shouldn’t be like movies, and why movies shouldn’t be like games
By Phil Hartup - 31 July 12:48

It is time to drag them away from each other for the benefit of both.

Clank, clank, clank goes the key line: Al Pacino stars as A J Manglehorn
How today's leading men are ageing gracefully – or not
By Ryan Gilbey - 30 July 14:16

Manglehorn and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation show two approaches to ageing on screen.

Life of the mind: Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Joy at the controls
All in my head: Pixar’s Inside Out is full of intellectual energy and emotional daring
By Ryan Gilbey - 23 July 14:47

We might be twenty years on from Toy Story, but Inside Out is proof that computer-animated features can still deliver giddy imaginative crescendos.

A lighthouse. Photo: Flickr/Dennis Jarvis
Sinister structures or homely beacons: why lighthouses stand firm as a cultural symbol
By Oliver Farry - 21 July 17:54

Though they are rarely operational these days, lighthouses remain culturally powerful and maintain a strong hold on the imagination. 

Chuckle brother: life-or-death adventure meets schmaltzy humour in Ant-Man
Like its insectoid hero, Ant-man is a film with an identity crisis
By Ryan Gilbey - 16 July 9:44

There's a struggle at the heart of Ant-Man between the corporate and the ­eccentric.

Ben Kingsley as Damian finds himself upgraded into a well-muscled 35-year-old body. Photo: Alan Markfield/VVS Films
Farce, philosophy and fantasy: body-swap films have the perfect cinematic formula
By Ryan Gilbey - 15 July 11:25

Body-swap storylines are the perfect premise for filmic fun, so why is the most recent offering in the genre, Self/Less, so disappointing?

The humble carpenter (Channing Tatum) in his workshop.
“Yes, my God is a she”: why Magic Mike XXL is a religious experience
By Anna Leszkiewicz - 14 July 12:34

A carpenter who knows it is better to give than to receive? Magic Mike is basically Jesus.

Woody Allen. Photo: Getty
Why do some directors repeatedly use the same actors in their films?
By Oliver Farry - 13 July 13:26

Looking behind the preferred casts of directors throughout the history of cinema who always use the same actors.

Indian women taking part in the 2014 International Toilet Festival in New Delhi. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images
Why Bollywood is making a movie about open defecation
By Rose George - 09 July 14:56

One in two people in India defecate in the open, but the solution isn’t as simple as just building more toilets. Now Bollywood is making a satirical comedy that hopes to change minds about sanitation.

Funny peculiar: the young cast of P’tit Quinquin.
Bruno Dumont's P’tit Quinquin is like an austere, French Twin Peaks
By Ryan Gilbey - 09 July 14:05

Dumont isn’t satirising small-town small-mindedness so much as trying to understand how it functions – where it starts, what inflames it.

Olivia Colman stars in London Road, a musical about the murder of prostitutes in Ipswich.
London Road is a musical about the Ipswich prostitute murders - and it's a triumph
By Ryan Gilbey - 03 July 12:04

In that grey area between documentary and fiction, the movie finds a new kind of truth.

A losing game: Amy Winehouse at her Camden Town home in 2004. Photo: Karen Robinson/The Guardian
Mawkish tabloid fare: how the Amy Winehouse film fails
By Kate Mossman - 02 July 15:02

This film laments the way Winehouse's life was intruded upon while relying on the same methods to create drama.

Tessa Thompson (left) plays Sam in Dear White People.
Dear White People is clever - but too shallow to match the complex reality of race in America
By Ryan Gilbey - 02 July 14:43

Dear White People never exactly loosens up; the screenplay would make a good PhD thesis.

Life lessons from Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Yo Zushi - 02 July 9:24

To dismiss him as a right-wing cigar-chomper would be to disregard that rare phenomenon – a true star, an embodiment of the aspirations of his time.

Back to the OK Corral: Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee (right) star in Slow West.
New indie western Slow West is filled with resonant emotions
By Ryan Gilbey - 25 June 14:16

The Beta Band's John Maclean makes his directorial debut with a wry, rootsy love story.

The director Nicolas Roeg in the new BBC Four documentary. Photo: BBC
“This is my time”: why the work of filmmaker Nicolas Roeg rewards a second look
By Ryan Gilbey - 24 June 17:07

A new BBC Four documentary reminds us not to take this director for granted.

A shot of a train from The Darjeeling Limited. Photo: YouTube screengrab
Track record: why trains weave their way through the history of great cinema
By Ryan Gilbey - 19 June 16:20

Films set on trains are some of the best.

Fight or flight? Madeleine and Artaud are the lost lovers of Les combattants
Make love at war: French film Les combattants has its protagonists kiss over a gun
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 June 17:29

It takes a lot to keep an audience onside when it’s not clear what the thrust of a film is, but Les combattants manages it.

Chris Pratt: Jurassic World's "miracle of nature". Photo: Universal Pictures
Even with Chris Pratt and his velociraptors, Jurassic World fails to thrill
By Ryan Gilbey - 11 June 18:20

Ryan Gilbey reviews two sequels: The Look of Silence and Jurassic World.

Christopher Lee at the Locarno Film Festival in 2013. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty
Actor Christopher Lee dies in hospital aged 93
By Anna Leszkiewicz - 11 June 12:48

The actor passes away after respiratory problems and heart failure.

Cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus founded the Cannon film company. Photo: YouTube screengrab
The Cannon Group: the most disreputable duo in cinema?
By Ryan Gilbey - 10 June 16:35

Looking back at the exploitation enterprise of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's cinematic output.

The red carpet at the world premiere of Far From the Madding Crowd. Photo: Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images
What would Hardy make of his Bathsheba barrelling past on the side of a bus?
By Will Self - 04 June 15:45

Poor old Tommy-baby. His entire oeuvre, when you stop to consider it, seems like an illustration of Dostoevsky’s dictum: “The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.”

Caroll Spinney (left, wearing legs) with Big Bird architect Kermit Love. Photo: © COPPER POT PICTURES
How Big Bird got to Sesame Street
By Erica Wagner - 04 June 13:42

Caroll Spinney has been playing Sesame Street's star for 46 years. I Am Big Bird shows the man behind the feathery mask.

The demure bulldozer: Melissa McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper in Spy.
In Melissa McCarthy’s Spy, the Moneypennies trump the Bonds
By Ryan Gilbey - 04 June 11:48

These back-room frumps whisper instructions into the earpieces of tuxedo-wearing spies out on the casino floors, or save them from pursuers by launching strategic missile attacks at a moment’s notice.

George Lucas and Mark Hamill on the Star Wars set in Tunisia. Photo: LUCASFILM LTD
Want to understand Star Wars fans? Start here
By Tom Shone - 01 June 11:35

It’s junk cinema but, like the Millennium Falcon, it’s fast junk – and don’t you dare call it junk unless you’re a fan, for only its fans can criticise it.

Tomorrowland has been a commercial flop. Photo: YouTube screengrab
It wasn't just audiences that caused Disney's George Clooney blockbuster Tomorrowland to flop
By Ryan Gilbey - 29 May 18:44

To look at the campaign for Tomorrowland, you’d think Disney had already decided it was yesterday’s news.

Cruel fate: a victim in Sissako’s drama.
Fade to black: everyday persecution and religious fundamentalism in Timbuktu
By Ryan Gilbey - 29 May 9:35

Ryan Gilbey is left feeling chilled by Abderrahmane Sissako’s remarkable Timbuktu.

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