Doctor Zhivago (1965)

. Director: David Lean Screenwriter: Robert Bolt By Roderick Heath David Lean had been a respected and heralded director since his debut helping Noel Coward realise his vision on 1943’s World War II classic In Which We Serve. His reputation was burnished with a succession of intimate, shaded, romantically charged dramas including Brief Encounter (1945), …

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Director/Screenwriter: Rian Johnson By Roderick Heath Here there be spoilers… Although primed as the eagerly awaited follow-up to a hugely successful blockbuster and instant pop culture fixture, Star Wars: The Last Jedi had a daunting job of work ahead of it. If J.J. Abrams’ franchise-reviver The Force Awakens (2015) proved as tepid as often as …

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Metropolis (1926)

Director: Fritz Lang By Roderick Heath The title resolves amidst intersecting geometries that coalesce and create a cityscape, ranged with neo-Babylonian techno-ziggurats: Metropolis, instantly a statement worthy of Ozymandias. A super-city where trains and cars shuttle along spanning bridges and aircraft buzz between sky-nudging structures. A great machine that explodes and morphs into a dark …

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Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) / Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) / Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Director/Coscreenwriter: George Lucas By Roderick Heath The fervent anticipation at the nearing release of Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens carries an unavoidable sensation of déjà vu. Like just about everyone else my age, I grew up watching the original Star Wars trilogy, and recall another wave of both powerful hype and real …

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The Samurai Trilogy (1954-56)

Samurai (Musashi Miyamoto, 1954) / Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (Zoku Musashi Miyamoto: Ichijôji no kettô, 1955) / Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (Musashi Miyamoto Kanketsuhen: Kettô Ganryûjima, 1956) Director/Coscreenwriter: Hiroshi Inagaki By Roderick Heath In 1955, the foreign-language film Oscar, then still a special rather than a competitive award, was given to …

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Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Michael Cimino By Roderick Heath Hollywood has never been kind to failure, but sometimes time is. The real “Johnson County War” was a skirmish between cattle graziers and settlers in 1890s Wyoming, and had long been a cornerstone of western folklore. In the early 1970s, this true story was suggested as the subject for …

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