Ronald Neame – The Man Who Never Was (1956)


Synopsis (possible spoilers):

‘British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift it’s forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion of a plan for England to invade Greece a dead body is to be procured, allowed to be found with secret papers on him by Spanish authorities who will send the papers on to the Germans, or that’s the plan. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, and create an identity for him that will pass the examination of the German agent who is sure to check him out. Based on a true story.’
– John Vogel {} (IMDb) Continue reading

Ken Loach – It’s a Free World… (2007)

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Fresh from the great success of The Wind that Shakes the Barley, his Palme d’Orwinning story of the “Irish Troubles,” Ken Loach returns to a contemporary setting with an absolute zinger of a film. Sharp, incisive, provocative and engaging, It’s a Free World… is also a wonderfully balanced piece of filmmaking from a director who has often been accused of having a political axe to grind.

It’s a Free World… is based upon the plight of Eastern European migrants who provide a cheap labour pool for wealthier European Union nations. The story centres around the brash and blonde Angie (Kierston Wareing), who is laid off from a recruiting company that brings workers from Poland to the United Kingdom. Angie persuades her flat-mate and long-time friend Rose (Juliet Ellis) to take a huge leap into the void and start their own recruiting agency. They buy a computer, create a website and, with Rose working out of their “office,” Angie sets out every day on the company’s new motorbike to build a clientele. Before long, they have a comfortable little business going. Foreign workers are easy to find, and Angie’s charm, guile and guts get them hired by contractors looking to shave costs at every turn. They know they are treading a fine line of legality, but Angie and Rose have a pact: they will only deal with legal immigrants. But, as they say, stuff happens! Continue reading

Ken Loach – Looking for Eric (2009)


Plot Synopsis from Allmovie

A man trying to put his life back on track gets some advice from an unexpected benefactor in this comedy-drama from acclaimed British director Ken Loach. Eric Bishop (Steve Evets) is a postman living in Manchester whose life has been slowly going off the rails ever since his wife Lily (Stephanie Bishop) walked out on him. Eric has just been released from the hospital after an auto accident, and comes home to a house that’s a mess and two teenage sons, Ryan (Gerard Kearns) and Jess (Stefan Gumbs), who regard their dad as an annoyance rather than an authority figure. Eric’s oldest child, a grown daughter named Sam (Lucy-Jo Hudson), loves him but can’t get her mother or brothers to show him any respect. And his friends from work don’t know what to do for him, except allow him to talk about football and his favorite team, Manchester United. One night, Eric is home alone, smoking some weed, and to his amazement he’s visited by an apparition of Eric Cantona, the French footballer who was a star for Manchester United in the 1990s until he retired and dropped out of sight. Cantona’s ghost has come to give Eric a pep talk and offer him some advice on how to win Lily back, and as Eric tries to convince his wife to give him another chance, Cantona periodically appears to coach him in the ways of romance.

Looking For Eric was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival Continue reading

Various – BFI Film Classics Series: 154 Titles (1992 – 2015)

BFI Film Classics is a series of finely written, illustrated books that introduce, interpret and celebrate landmark films of world cinema. Each volume offers an argument for the film’s classic status, together with a discussion of its production and reception history, its place within a genre or national cinema, an account of it’s technical and aesthetic importance, and in many cases, the author’s personal response to the film. The BFI Film Classics series now includes titles previously published separately in the BFI Film Classics and the BFI Modern Classics Series. Continue reading

Nicolas Roeg – Walkabout (1971)


A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his “walkabout,” a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization. Continue reading

Nancy Meckler – Sister My Sister (1994)


Such Devoted Sisters
The true story behind “Sister My Sister” has intrigued artists for 50 years, and who can blame them? It is an irresistible dark tale of murder, incest and class struggle, an event so bizarre that a novelist might hesitate to invent it. In 1934, in a provincial village in France, two sisters named Christine and Lea worked as maids for a stern middle-aged matron and her grown daughter. The sisters began an incestuous relationship. One day, when Madame and her daughter returned home, sure to be on a rampage because the iron had blown the fuses in the house, the maids murdered their employers. Continue reading