United Kingdom

Anthony Friedman – Bartleby (1970)


Synopsis (possible spoilers):
‘Adapted from Herman Melville’s short story, Bartleby features John McEnery in the title role. A secretive, solitary lad, Bartleby works as a clerk in the accounting office of Paul Scofield. Unable to deal with Bartleby’s eccentricities, Scofield fires the clerk. But Bartleby refuses to leave, and shows up each day for work at the proper time. Only when the young man is carted away to hospital does Scofield find any peace of mind-but even then, the spectre of Bartleby looms large over the proceedings. Some find this British adaptation of the Melville original exasperatingly slow and mannered, but given the curious nature of the protagonist, how could the story have been told otherwise?’
– Hal Erickson (allmovie) Read More »

Basil Dearden – The Rainbow Jacket (1954)


A champion jockey is banned from racing so spends his time helping a young lad to
become the next champion. Read More »

David Reynolds – The Beiderbecke Affair (1985)


Some of IMDb reviews:

Splendily entertaining and disturbingly prescient.

This was not the first outing for Alan Plater’s schoolteacher detectives, who in 1981’s Get Lost had been played admirably by Alun Armstrong and Frances Tomelty. However no-one could quibble with the re-casting. James Bolam effortlessly nails each line of the arch dialogue, while the talented Barbara Flynn has that rare quality of looking both believably ordinary and incredibly fanciable. Some wonderful British character actors also get plenty of screen time in what is effectively an ensemble piece. Colin Blakely, Keith Marsh, Danny Schiller, Robert Longden and Keith Clarke all do sterling work, but special mention must be made of Dudley Sutton’s tweedy schoolmaster and Terence Rigby’s saturnine Big Al, while Dominic Jephcott was a real find as the callow university educated detective. A beautifully constructed series, that remains as pertinent as ever in a society increasingly disrespectful of privacy and intolerant of eccentricity. Read More »

Lewis Gilbert – Emergency Call (1952)


A 5 year old child is diagnosed with Leukaemia, she has only days to live, her only hope being a blood transfusion, for 3 pints of blood, but her blood type is extremely rare, the race is on to find the donors! Read More »

Roy Boulting – Suspect (1960)



A group of British boffins have their humanitarian research classified by the Government. Unhappy with the decision, some fume, some grumble and some may just be ripe for picking by a sinister spy ring. Nigel Balchin back in the Small Back Room territory, minus Michael Powell. Read More »

Ben Wheatley – Kill List (2011)


Kill List – review
4/5 stars
If Ricky Gervais or Mike Leigh made a horror film, it might look something like this unsettlingly strange offering from British director Ben Wheatley
The title, and the fact that this was popularly acclaimed at London’s recent FrightFest event, will tip you off about what kind of film it is. Or will it? Even now, I’m unsure how or whether to describe it generically. It’s partly an occult chiller with shades of Wicker Man and Blair Witch – and be warned right now: there are some ultra-violent and infra-retch scenes that have had people making for the exits. I wondered if director Ben Wheatley considered putting a death metal version of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer over the closing credits. Read More »

Niall MacCormick – The Song of Lunch (2010)


A publisher leaves a Post-It note on his computer screen bearing the words “Gone to lunch” before heading off to meet an old flame at what was once their favourite London restaurant. But it becomes painfully clear to the publisher (Alan Rickman) that everything has changed. The restaurant isn’t the casual, noisy Italian with Chianti in raffia bottles it once was, and his old flame (Emma Thompson) isn’t the girl he once knew. Both restaurant and ex-lover are sleeker, more sophisticated and emotionally at a remove.
The Song of Lunch is a prose poem by award-winning writer Christopher Reid. It’s an unusual structure for a drama (the poem is Rickman’s interior monologue, though both characters chip in with dialogue), but it works fluidly and beautifully. Reid’s writing is gorgeous, and funny whether he’s articulating the courtesies of a restaurant visit (he describes catching the waiter’s attention as “the demure flutter of restaurant semaphore”) or matters of the heart. Throughout The Song of Lunch wears its cleverness lightly, and Reid’s use of language is a joy. Read More »