charles dickens the life and adventures of nicholas nickleby

The best of films: Charles Dickens, the cinema, and the trials of adaptation

Could the film of a live performance be the definitive screen version of a Charles Dickens novel? I asked myself this recently after contemplating The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a masterful, 8-hour-long play adapted from the titular Dickens novel, which I saw on Broadway more than 30 years ago and now periodically rewatch…

By Simon Butler
Breaking the Fourth Wall: From Alfie to The Wolf of Wall Street

Breaking the Fourth Wall: From Alfie to The Wolf of Wall Street

Ah, the fourth wall: that invisible barrier between the audience and the stage that allows us to suspend disbelief. Breaking the fourth wall – addressing the audience directly – is probably as old as theatre. After all, doesn’t Puck turn to the audience at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to assure us everything…

By Niall McArdle
Jaws criticism

(Mis)reading Film: Jaws and The Onion

I enter into evidence a biting satire of analysis run amok: The Onion has produced a range of very funny videos that provide pseudo-critical responses to popular films, which are as much parodies of their subject as they are satires of the nature of critical analysis itself. In this video from last year, The Onion…

By Jason Lajoie
When the Wind Blows the bomb

The Big Bang: Cinema and The Bomb

Ever since the first use of atomic weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the idea of the effects of a nuclear war and its post-apocalyptic aftermath has been the subject of numerous film treatments. From giants ants, mutated by radiation fallout in the deserts of the American south-west in Them!…

By Pete Johnson
e-sports gaming

Free to Play: E-Sports and the Gaming Revolution

Free to Play is a sports documentary in a familiar form; it follows the lives of a number of hopeful competitors approaching a huge tournament. These sorts of documentaries are a common method of celebrating a sport; they present an event as a humanised piece of history and offer a view into the world of…

By Michael Honig
android robotic cyborg

13 Great Movie Androids, Cyborgs and Robots

Everyone loves lists and movies. I love mechanical life forms too. So I’ve rolled all three into one with a little engineering spin. This list is by no means comprehensive – it’s simply thirteen of my favourite androids, cyborgs and robots.   13. Blinky – BlinkyTM (2011) BlinkyTM is a short film about a boy,…

By Ernest Buehman