Issue 17 | May 2008


Skin Deep

By Lee Hill

Like Henri-Georges Clouzot, George Franju is a French director who makes it hard to make sweeping statements about the state of that country’s national cinema in the fifties. If one takes much of the polemic written by Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and others writing in Cahiers Du Cinema at the time at face value, it can often be easy to think that French films of the period were primarily stuffy, bourgeois and retrograde. Yet along with Clouzot, Robert Bresson, the early work of Alain Resnais and others, Franju created a series of films that while seemingly conventional on the surface, are simultaneously charged with a near transgressive power.
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By David Balfour

XXY is something of a revelation. It is perhaps the most daring coming of age film to be released for some time. It’s ostensibly the story of Alex who, though raised as a girl, has both male and female genitals.

Alice in

By Owen Armstrong

Following the NFT’s comprehensive Wenders retrospective earlier in the year, Alice… offers a sound reminder of cinema as an art form born of instinct – a cinema of the senses.

The Art of Showing Nothing

By Rosy Rockets

A film so frequently described as “austere” and “Catholic” sounds about as appealing to the layman as a book with no pictures or conversations. However, the Diary of a Country Priest, not as racy as that of the Lost Girl or the Chambermaid but possibly comparable to that of Adrian Mole...

On Being Thompson

By Dai Vaughan

Citizen Kane offers itself explicitly as concerned with identity, telling the story of a quest for the man behind the legend. Implicitly, moreover, it offers itself as concerned with how such identity may be constructed in film...

Something Foul in Denmark

By Charles Jason Lee

Filmmaking that attempts to avoid artifice actively reveals itself as a work of art and what makes Festen (Thomas Vinterberg-uncredited, 1998), fascinating is the cinematography that follows the Dogme95 Manifesto.