Shiny Shelf

Archive for March, 2011

By Jim Smith on 31 March 2011 Comments Off

‘Oranges & Sunshine’ is the story of social worker Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson). Mrs Humphreys became – as the result of a chance meeting with a distressed woman in a Nottinghamshire car park – the leading light of a movement which sought justice for hundreds British children who were illegally deported to Australia in the [...]

By Mark Clapham on 29 March 2011 Comments Off

I’ve always had a great fondness for Clive Barker. He’s the same age as my mother, a bit of trivia which always made him seem like the super-cool gay uncle I never had. His work has always sat somewhere between horror and fantasy, while being more humane and creative than 99% of the output in [...]

By Eddie Robson on 22 March 2011 Comments Off

Jarringly, it’s nearly eight years since I posted a breathlessly enthusiastic review of Vertigo’s Human Target on this site. I’ve just been revisiting the series for an upcoming encyclopaedia of comics from Salem Press: it also happens to be coming out again in a new set of trade paperbacks. When I wrote that review I [...]

By Mags L Halliday on 21 March 2011 Comments Off

‘71 Into the Fire’ takes a little known incident of the Korean War and gives it well-deserved epic treatment.
There’s a broad trajectory war films take, as the war they depict recedes into history. During the war they are obviously propagandist. Immediately afterwards they are patriotic and heroic. Then comes lighter fare, then films that question [...]

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By Mark Clapham on 17 March 2011 Comments Off

To my surprise, ‘Being Human’ creator Toby Whithouse managed to not only provide a satisfying conclusion to a season I’ve had mixed feelings about with this episode, but also retroactively fix a lot of my issues with the season as a whole.
By the end of ‘The Wolf-Shaped Bullet’ I was left feeling optimistic about the [...]

By Jim Smith on 15 March 2011 Comments Off

A curious, amiable but in some ways nihilistic comedy by Carlo Mazzacurati, there’s something of the work of the Boulting Brothers about ‘La Passione’. You can easily imagine Peter Sellers in the lead role (played splendidly here by Silvio Orlando) of hapless, ageing film director Giani Dubois, railroaded into directing a provincial Easter Passion Play because a leak [...]

By Jim Smith on 15 March 2011 2 COMMENTS

Former leftist firebrand Marco Bellocchio writes and directs this episodic family saga, which was put together over a decade by crews of film students under his tutelage and which features members of Bellochio’s family in almost every significant role.
Stay away actress mother Sara (Donatella Finocchiaro) has a life that does not lend itself to child rearing. [...]

By Mags L Halliday on 14 March 2011 Comments Off

‘Vallanzasca, gli angeli del male’ (‘Angel of Evil’) is a slick portrayal of a smooth criminal. It purports to be the true story of a criminal whose gang ran riot in Milan in the 1970s.
‘True crime’ films are, of course, nothing of the sort. The messy reality of events is neatened up and causality is [...]

By Lance Parkin on 11 March 2011 Comments Off

There’s a Darwinian process with art. To generalise wildly, a lot of the more ordinary examples of novels, plays, movies and so on fall away, leaving only the particularly notable. The stuff that isn’t to our taste shuffles aside.

By Eddie Robson on 09 March 2011 Comments Off

Asterisk introduces Obelisk to his girlfriend.

By Alex Fitch on 08 March 2011 Comments Off

Currently showing at one of the most prestigious cinemas in the UK is the slightly unlikely choice of a low budget film about care in the community, made in New Zealand.

By Mark Clapham on 02 March 2011 Comments Off

If I say that ‘True Grit’ is pretty much a perfect movie, it’s not so much that I’m placing it in some imaginary canon of great films, or saying that it’s impossible to improve upon, merely that it has all the elements you might want in a visit to the cinema, and that all those [...]