The 1982 Brazil World Cup side in action against Argentina. Photo: Getty
Why football loves beautiful losers
By Oliver Farry - 11 June 14:19

Sport’s love affair with the myth of thwarted victory.

Fruitvale Station.
Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station: A hagiography shot on shaky cam
By Ryan Gilbey - 06 June 12:00

Fruitvale Station imagines the last day of Oscar Grant's life - a young black American shot dead by a police officer in 2009. The film may be rooted in truth, but it's a long way from documentary.

Ken Loach.
Ken Loach has got us bang to rights: film critics know nothing about real life
By Ryan Gilbey - 04 June 17:39

The esteemed director joins Kevin Smith and William Nicholson among the ranks of writers and directors who blame critics, and their lack of experience, for disliking their films.

Lieutenant Elle Helmer at the Vietnam War Memorial. Image: still from The Invisible War, a Cinedigm/Docurama Films release
The Invisible War: rape is not an “occupational hazard” of serving in the military
By Caroline Criado-Perez - 30 May 9:04

Kirby Dick’s Oscar-nominated documentary reveals the extent to which rape in the military is ignored and covered up.

Last dance: Barry Ward and Simone Kirby in Jimmy's Hall by Ken Loach
Emotional blackmail on the Emerald Isle: Jimmy’s Hall by Ken Loach
By Ryan Gilbey - 29 May 17:02

Jimmy’s Hall returns Loach to early-20th-century Ireland, the site of a previous success. The new film could be called The Wind That Shakes the Barley IIThis Time It’s Heart-Warming.

Give me Samoa: goalkeeper Nicky Salapu in Next Goal Wins
Next Goal Wins: for once, a football film people might actually watch
By Mark Lawson - 29 May 15:51

And celebrating the unlikely kinship of Alan Bennett and Philip Roth. 

Fading Gigolo: A little John Turturro goes a long way. Too much is plain revolting
By Ryan Gilbey - 23 May 11:45

John Turturro's fifth film as director is remarkable for getting so much wrong. The characters are vacuous, it misfires comically, but worst of all is his choice of leading man.

American Samoa footballers Nicky Salapu and Jaiyah Saelua with their coach Thomas Rongen. Photo: Getty
Next Goal Wins: a football film with a vital message about overcoming transphobia in sport
By Eleanor Margolis - 20 May 10:15

A new documentary about the American Samoa football team (who hold the world record for the biggest international defeat – 31-0 to Australia in 2001) gives hope that professional sport won’t always be prejudiced against those who are different.

A Touch of Sin.
Rough justice: A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhangke
By Ryan Gilbey - 19 May 17:00

In A Touch of Sin, the ordinarily placid and reflective Chinese director Jia Zhangke bloodies his hands - creating technicolour violence from real, grisly stories which take aim at social injustice in China.

The cast of 1984.
1984: How theatre is learning from cinema by using live video
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 May 11:00

Cinema has never suffered from anxiety about the "unseen off-screen". Three new London plays, Good People, Let the Right One In and 1984, are adapting to new ways of presenting what is happening off-stage.

Jiro Horikoshi, in a still from The Wind Rises. Image: Studio Ghibli
Animating principle: The Wind Rises and the genius of Miyazaki
By Tom Gatti - 09 May 16:00

The last film from Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's Walt Disney, has been met with controversy. But his career is one of wonder and enchantment

Frank.
What does it mean when you hide your leading man under a papier-mâché head? On Michael Fassbender in Frank
By Ryan Gilbey - 09 May 10:20

I'm not saying it isn't Fassbender under Frank Sidebottom's mask, but the playfulness that comes with doubting it adds a chemistry that is essential to the very best cinema.

Arnie.
Why is Arnold Schwarzenegger still allowed to make films? David Ayer's Sabotage
By Ryan Gilbey - 07 May 11:26

Schwarzenegger's mere presence causes the plausibility of a scene to drop by 75 per cent - so it's a mystery why a capable director like David Ayer would cast him in his latest pulpy thriller.

Kirk Douglas.
The two faces of Kirk Douglas: Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole and Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory
By Ryan Gilbey - 02 May 11:12

Two reissues show the actor in contrasting roles, one in Stanley Kubrick’s moral drama set during the First World War, another as a hungry reporter bored witless at a small-town American paper. 

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in Pompeii.
All you need is lava: Sparks fly in Paul W S Anderson's Pompeii
By Ryan Gilbey - 01 May 16:00

The love story between a slave and a noblewoman is clearly influenced by Titanic, but better described as Gladiator with a topping of molten lava.

Remembering Bob: Hoskins in 1986 at the Cannes premier of Mona Lisa. Photo: Getty
Bob Hoskins’s finest film moments, from Mona Lisa to Roger Rabbit
By Thomas Calvocoressi - 30 April 17:21

The British actor died yesterday of pneumonia following several years with Parkinson’s. We look back at some of his most memorable film roles over five decades.

Alain Resnais in Venice in 2006. The film director passed away on 1 March 2014. Photo: Getty
Is it time for the English-speaking world to give the late Alain Resnais another chance?
By Oliver Farry - 25 April 11:48

The French film director Alain Resnais was largely neglected by English-speaking critics in his later years. But, as Oliver Farry argues, Resnais’ later work, is, in its own homely way, as formally and technically innovative, and as concerned with mortality as the earlier films.

The King and the Mockingbird.
The King and the Mockingbird: the story of an unlikely, elegant, animated classic
By Ryan Gilbey - 24 April 13:26

There is a fascinating backstory to France's first animated feature, but it doesn't need one - all the genius and magic lies in the film itself.

Girl power.
Lukas Moodysson, the Swedish director back from the dead
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 April 9:00

Lukas Moodysson, director of Lilya 4-Eva and Container talks about his new (and most accomplished) film We Are the Best! in which three Stockholm teenagers form a punk bank.

James Dean. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
James Dean and the birth of modern masculinity
By India Ross - 17 April 14:05

A life mesmerisingly truncated, James Dean left behind only three films, and the gaping absence of the career that might have been.

Kooky horror show: Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes in Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel
What’s the secret to a long and happy relationship? Disagree about everything
By Tracey Thorn - 17 April 10:00

My friend Emma worships Wes Anderson; I can’t stand him – so we were looking forward to a good row after The Grand Budapest Hotel

Popular in Poplar: Angela Lansbury at the Angela Lansbury Film Festival, Poplar, April 2014
Angela Lansbury: “Peach queens are stars. I’m an actress”
By Caroline Crampton - 15 April 14:00

The veteran actress best known for Murder, She Wrote had an emotional return to her East End roots this month with a series of screenings and a personal appearance.

Andrew Garfield.
Thank goodness for Andrew Garfield, saviour of the Amazing Spider-Man 2
By Ryan Gilbey - 10 April 17:22

Fans cannot live on special effects alone. It is Andrew Garfield's super powers, as Peter Parker without the mask, that justify the explosions and non sequiturs that follow as soon as he puts it on.

Leather forecast: leather men in the New York gay pride parade, 1980. Photo: Getty
It turns out there’s more to LGBT films than sex. Sometimes
By Eleanor Margolis - 10 April 10:00

From London leather men to prostitution in American suburbia, the renamed BFI Flare offered up an eclectic programme.

Swinging roundabout: Piccadilly Circus in 1963
The retropolitan line: documentary How We Used to Live by Paul Kelly
By Andrew Harrison - 04 April 13:00

A cinematic paean to postwar London uses rare footage from the BFI. But has time edited out the boring bits?

Kate Winslet.
Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet: The bright spots at the centre of Divergent
By Ryan Gilbey - 04 April 11:58

Kate Winslet's part in dystopian drama Divergent might just represent the ideal new character type for the English actress: ice queen.

Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Ben Lloyd-Hughes in Divergent.
Laurie Penny on fiction: No wonder teens love stories about dystopias – they feel like they’re in one
By Laurie Penny - 03 April 14:17

Civilisation as we know it could collapse in 15 years, something which is reflected in the viewing habits of today’s kids.

Man in the mirror: Jesse Eisenberg as Simon/James
A case of homage overload: The Double by Richard Ayoade
By Ryan Gilbey - 03 April 12:30

Two films into his directing career, the former star of the IT Crowd  has yet to exhibit an original voice.

American idol: Chris Evans in The First Avenger, the debut instalment of the new Captain sagas for the big screen. (Photo: Rex Features)
An Aristotle who punches bad guys: the moral world of Captain America
By John Gray - 01 April 11:57

The patriotic superhero has been resurrected on screen in the past few years. John Gray argues that Cap's appeal lies in timeless ethics dating back to ancient Greece. 

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