A Child in the Crowd (Gérard Blain, 1976)

This article was originally published on the Barbican blog as part of the promotional push for the Chronic Youth film festival I was co-programming. 1976 was a year of radical filmmaking – and nowhere was this clearer than at the Cannes Film Festival. Nagisa Oshima’s Ai No Corrida, the festival’s most sensational film, rewrote the rules of on-screen sex; Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 tried to be a crowd-pleaser while … Continue reading A Child in the Crowd (Gérard Blain, 1976)

Much Apu about nothing: Why calling The Simpsons racist misses the point

This article first appeared as a feature in the Telegraph in November 2017. Ever meet anyone by the name of Nahasapeemapetilon? I’m guessing not. The surname of The Simpsons’s most famous Indian character is, according to Simpsons staff writer Jeff Martin, merely a garble of Pahasadee Napetilon, one of Martin’s schoolmates. Except that it probably isn’t. Google that name, and nothing but Simpsons references comes up. On … Continue reading Much Apu about nothing: Why calling The Simpsons racist misses the point

The Exorcist (dir: Sean Mathias, Phoenix Theatre, 30 October 2017)

This article originally appeared in Exeunt Magazine in November 2017. Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: the film of The Exorcist is really rather good. If you’ve seen it before – if you’ve really sat down and watched it – it is not something you are ever likely to forget. Like all the best horror films, it’s far scarier for adults than for teenagers, … Continue reading The Exorcist (dir: Sean Mathias, Phoenix Theatre, 30 October 2017)

Why we should screen The Tin Drum at Chronic Youth 2018

I originally wrote this article to convince my fellow film programmers that Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum should be screened at the film festival we were programming: Chronic Youth 2018, at the Barbican. You tried pitching this to the gang in September. Why are you still pitching it? ‘Cos now I’ve actually seen the film, so I can pitch it more convincingly. I’m certain that this is … Continue reading Why we should screen The Tin Drum at Chronic Youth 2018

A weekend in Carcassonne, France

This article first appeared in Glass Magazine in August 2017. All uncredited photographs were taken by me. It takes about 90 seconds to walk from one end of Carcassonne Airport to the other. Barely two storeys high, it might be one of the smallest public airports you’ll ever visit. This makes sense when you consider that Ryanair is the only commercial airline it services, but is … Continue reading A weekend in Carcassonne, France

A View from the Bridge (dir: de Roovers, 22 June 2017, Meridian Quays)

This article originally appeared in Exeunt Magazine in June 2017. Generations from now, 23 June 2016 will be remembered as the night Britain drunkenly staggered out into the dark, realising too late that it had left its keys, its wallet and its phone in the EU and had no way of getting back in. The nation had spent a long night supping on a bottomless shandy … Continue reading A View from the Bridge (dir: de Roovers, 22 June 2017, Meridian Quays)

What we can get out of ‘Get Out’

Spoilers follow.   Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Get Out is as good as everyone’s saying it is, only better. Its greatest achievement — other than the racial satire itself, which we were expecting Peele to nail anyway — and other than its phenomenal profitability — may be a sublime melding of content and form. It makes the “comedy horror” line it’s been saddled with look not just reductive but silly. The (depressingly spoiler-laden) … Continue reading What we can get out of ‘Get Out’