Shiny Shelf
By Jim Smith on 03 November 2010 Comments Off

‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ is a sprawling, gorgeous adaptation of a nineteenth century novel by Camilo Castelo Branco.

By Jim Smith on 02 November 2010 Comments Off

A semi-sequel to Rachid’s Bouchareb’s earlier Indigenes (translated as the less inflammatory ‘Days of Glory’) ‘Outside the Law’ is an intelligent and skilfully made film about the politics of rebellion and colonialism and the morality of war.

By Jim Smith on 27 October 2010 Comments Off

Daniele Luchetti’s first feature since ‘My Brother Is An Only Child’ is a low key affair, covering a year in the life of a working class Italian family.

By Jim Smith on 25 October 2010 Comments Off

‘Route Irish’ is the road from Baghdad airport to the city’s ostensibly safe ‘Green Zone’.

By Jim Smith on 22 October 2010 Comments Off

Wang Xiaoshuai’s ‘Shanghai Dreams’ was a highlight of 2005’s London Film Festival, arriving on a wave of polite, well-considered hype.

By Jim Smith on 21 October 2010 1 COMMENT

‘Womb’ is the worst film about clones featuring a scene in an abandoned ship on a windswept beach that I’ve seen this week.

By Jim Smith on 19 October 2010 Comments Off

Errol Morris’ droll, hugely enjoyable and often baffling documentary is a feature length profile of Joyce McKinney. Who she?

By Jim Smith on 18 October 2010 1 COMMENT

It’s difficult to imagine how a film screening could go more wrong.

By Jim Smith on 15 October 2010 Comments Off

A sensitively played and beautifully shot adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker nominated 2005 novel, ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a harrowing and deeply affecting film.

By Stephen Lavington on 04 November 2008 Comments Off

Few writers have created such a legacy of avid hero-worship and sycophantically fawning sentimentality as Hunter S. Thompson…

By Stephen Lavington on 27 October 2008 Comments Off

This year’s surprise film is…

By Mark Clapham on 21 December 2006 Comments Off

A fondly remembered BBC tradition, it was always a mystery through the 1980s and 90s as to why exactly the BBC never revived the ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ series of literary chillers…

By Jim Smith on 19 November 2006 Comments Off

Who killed Superman? (Clue: For one time only the answer is not Geoff Johns.)

By Stephen Lavington on 14 August 2006 Comments Off

It may be too much to say that Japanese animation is experiencing a renaissance in the UK at present…

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By Stephen Lavington on 26 May 2006 Comments Off

Music biopics are the ‘meh’ genre of films consisting, as they do, of a pretty regular formula of humble origins, emerging talent, the ups and downs of fame, a crisis of some sort and then either triumphant resolution or death…

By Jim Smith on 24 November 2005 Comments Off

Casey Affleck plays Jim, a man slouching towards thirty who suddenly has to drag himself across America, from the glamour of his self-chosen home in New York back to his parents’ house in the Midwest.

By Stephen Lavington on 12 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Factotum’ doesn’t initially present the most enticing of prospects: an adaptation of the writings of American miserablist Charles Bukowski, starring Matt Dillon and directed by Bent Hamer…

By Stephen Lavington on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

This awesomely titled pulpy detective flick comes courtesy of the pen and directorial vision of ‘Lethal Weapon’ scribe Shane Black – which makes it all the more odd that its closest point of reference is ‘Adaptation’.

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

In the 1960s Chairman Mao’s government encouraged, cajoled and ultimately ordered thousands of Chinese people to move form the cities into ‘expanding’ areas in order to create a new ‘front’ against both Western capitalist economies and that alternative ex

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

A cynical man might look at Stephen Frears’ indifferent and largely jolly ‘Mrs Henderson presents’ and come to the conclusion that, having seen Mike Leigh gain clout and praise for a historical film about theatrical people, he decided to do the same.

By Jim Smith on 01 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Grand Luncheonette’ is an epitaph for Fred Hakim’s 42nd Street, New York City Hot Dog stand which closed forever in 1997.

By Jim Smith on 31 October 2005 Comments Off

At times haunting and at others riotously enjoyable, Mr Kitano’s excellent new film is a step down from his last, the triumphant ‘Zaitochi’, but it is also inarguably a step forward.

By Stephen Lavington on 26 October 2005 Comments Off

Top of the US indie food chain at the moment appears to be a genre best described as the whimsical jaunt – a brief snapshot of life for an eccentric character.

By Jim Smith on 25 October 2005 Comments Off

‘In Oranje’ is a Dutch-language, magic realist film for children and families, and it’s absolutely marvellous. Its plot concerns a little boy who dreams of playing for the Dutch National team.

By Stephen Lavington on 08 February 2005 Comments Off

The London Film Festival has hit a hat trick of zingers with its mystery movie over the last few years. 2002 saw the Oscar-nominated Douglas Sirk tribute ‘Far From Heaven’, and 2003 showcased the immensely enjoyable ‘School of Rock’.

By Stephen Lavington on 05 January 2005 Comments Off

What rocked Shiny’s world in the last twelve months? The answers are unlikely to surprise you.

By Stephen Lavington on 18 December 2004 Comments Off

In 1998 Peter Biskind’s ‘Easy Riders, Raging Bulls’ was published, taking as its subject the explosion of innovative, eccentric and electric filmmaking in 1970s America…

By Eddie Robson on 20 February 2004 Comments Off

There’s a certain amount of bravery in making this film at all, yet the end result is somewhat callow…

By Stephen Lavington on 20 February 2004 Comments Off

Anyone who’s seen ‘High Fidelity’ will remember the character played by Jack Black – a grimy, pudgy, immensely sarcastic rock snob with face permanently locked into a demonic sneer…

By Mark Clapham on 04 May 2003 Comments Off

It’s a blessing that the British Film Institute’s excellent programme of ‘Archive Television’ releases has brought us this 1966 BBC version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’…

By J Clive Matthews on 22 February 2003 Comments Off

I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything of Virginia Woolf’s, and know very little about her complicated personal life or her history of mental illness.

By Stephen Lavington on 13 November 2002 Comments Off

At this film’s London Film Festival premiere, director Phillip Noyce denied rumours of problems with its North American distribution. It appears that these press reports originated in protests at test screenings conducted in New York…