Scorsese's Silence

Faith no more: Why Scorsese’s Silence is a haunting work of art

‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ The desolate words of Jesus Christ on the cross offer one way into Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence. The film inhabits the character of a 17th Century Jesuit missionary to Japan who is forced to recant his faith. The ‘silence’ being referred to in the film’s…

By Ed Rowe
Alan Rickman Die Hard

A good man playing bad: Alan Rickman (1946 – 2016)

Alan Rickman, who has died aged 69, was an actors’ actor. The rich voice, sardonic gaze and languid manner of Harry Potter’s Severus Snape made him seem the epitome of the English stage-trained ‘luvvie’. But his backstory was more complex. Rickman started on the stage aged 26 after running a graphic design company. He was a…

By Ed Rowe
national gallery art of looking

Cinema and the Art of Looking

This last New Year’s Eve I stood on a cliff above a beach in North Cornwall, England. The wind was up and wild, and it was cold, but I hardly noticed. I was transfixed by a pair of lesser black-backed gulls that were darting along the shoulders of a huge rolling wave, surf spraying above…

By Ed Rowe
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
Kwaidan

Reconciling with Cinema: Never Enough Time for Catching Up

Sometime in the late 1990s, cinema and I came to terms with the inevitable. We’d been drifting apart for some time and now it seemed that the distance between us had become too great. It should have been a painful wrench. I’d grown up with movies; they’d been a still point in a peripatetic childhood.…

By Ed Rowe
Still Alice

Three films about Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘worthy’ issue and such issues don’t often make for great films. Even the most successful have their moment of exposure and then fade away like memories. That said, Alzheimer’s is an issue with inbuilt dramatic thrust. What could be more scary than a disappearing self? I’ve a special interest in dementia,…

By Ed Rowe
Big Hero 6

Death is Not the End: Big Hero 6 and the Big Cheat

This is not so much a film review or article, but a beginning, an initial exploration. I’m fascinated by how technology and the fear of death are becoming increasingly entwined in Western culture. There are no easy lessons to draw, but I wanted to write something about how mainstream cinema interacts and deals with such…

By Ed Rowe