12 Memorable Cinematic Moments From 2015

Once, after banging our heads against a wall for the better part of three hours, a fellow writer snapped closed her laptop and said “This isn’t working. Let’s think of it this way. Movies are all about moments. What are the five moments we want everyone to remember after seeing our movie?” So we spent…

By Jonathan Eig

Star Wars: Three Notes on Why The Force Awakens So Successfully

By now, anybody who cares is more than a little familiar with the concerns and expectations facing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Could Disney and J.J. Abrams create a film that obeyed the aesthetic, narrative and mythological sensibilities of the Star Wars series? Would this film overcome the awkward and unsatisfying nature of the prequels…

By James Curnow
Son of Saul

The Cinematography of Matyas Erdely: ‘Son of Saul’ and ‘James White’

In 1976, singer-songwriter Al Stewart released “The Year of the Cat,” and went from being a cult-favourite to an international success. One of the reasons Stewart cited for his surge in popularity was the work of producer Alan Parsons. Stewart admitted he had never cared all that much about the technical, musical component of his…

By Jonathan Eig
Last Cab to Darwin

Reviewing Jeremy Sims’ “Last Cab to Darwin”

When I first saw Jeremy Sims’ Last Train to Freo (2006), a low-budget Australian thriller about four strangers travelling home in a single train carriage, I was struck by Sims’ ability to maintain an impressive amount of suspense throughout the film’s concise running time. But I was also a little underwhelmed by the characters in…

By James Curnow
The Public Enemy William A. Wellman

The Cinema of William A. Wellman: A Film Primer

The die, in hindsight, may have been cast in 1968, when iconic American film critic Andrew Sarris, published his iconic book “The American Cinema.” In it, he included William A. Wellman in his chapter called “Less Than Meets the Eye.” Wellman was in good company, lumped in with Billy Wilder and William Wyler among others.…

By Jonathan Eig
The Wild Bunch Sam Peckinpah

Women of The Wild Bunch: Peckinpah, Misogyny and a Credible Moral Code

You know you’ve got a good marriage when your wife agrees to watch The Wild Bunch (1969) with you. I must say, I was quite surprised that she made this decision in the first place. Trudi’s sole previous experience with the films of Sam Peckinpah was watching the disturbing, controversial Straw Dogs (1971) years ago—a…

By Simon Hardy Butler
London Road

Down on the Street: London Road and the Music of Fear

It can’t be the easiest way to write. Go out, find people who’ve been through something bad, interview them and then spend months working the material into a script. In the case of London Road, it may have been worth it, as first a hit stage musical and then a movie came out of it.…

By Ed Rowe