Continuing our look back on the last seven years of MostlyFilm, here’s the final part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Egypt, Denmark, Italy and Japan, 2012-2017.
It’s the end of an era for us; indeed it is the end of us. After almost seven years, MostlyFilm – for most of this decade, Europe’s Best Website – is calling it a day. But we’re not going to just walk away without leaving you a few things to remember us by. Between now and the New Year we’ll be giving you some of our signature columns, and in early January we will look back at our favourites from the last seven years.
So, to begin our farewell, we bring you the Monoglot Movie Club Season Finale, with a slight tweak in the rules to make it feel special. For (almost) the last time, let’s go over to our man in… Front of Netflix?
“So these 13 Poles walked into a bar…” starts Spank The Monkey, ominously.
Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Saudi Arabia and Dubai, May 2017.
There was a meme which made its way around Twitter at the end of May. It consisted of the following message, printed boldly in white on black: “YOU HAVE JUST OVERTHROWN CAPITALISM. The 10th photo in your camera roll is the new economic system of the planet.” I had a look at my phone’s camera roll to see what the tenth photo was, and it turned out to be a shot of the city of Riyadh, taken from the top of a 99 storey building. No real change there, then.
Philip Concannon reports back from this year’s Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna.
No two experiences of Il Cinema Ritrovato will be the same. The festival’s vast and eclectic programme offers so many options for the curious film fan, there’s really no right way to navigate it. Some will choose to revisit old favourites screened from original prints or restored copies, while others will focus on rare titles and unknown quantities. Treats are to be found in every corner of the festival, along with a number of very difficult choices. On a single evening in Bologna, you could see one of the following: D.A. Pennebaker introducing Monterey Pop on Piazza Maggiore’s huge screen; the Austrian silent film Die kleine Veronika presented on a carbon projector; or a new restoration of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, with Dario Argento himself in attendance. It’s not always easy being a cinephile.
Jim Eaton-Terry looks at Dying Laughing, a new documentary on the life of the stand-up comic
There’s always something odd about an extended conversation with a really great stand up. Inevitably there’s the tension of waiting for a gag that never comes, which often distracts from the conversation. Comics are clearly aware of this, and the weaker ones will defuse the tension with a crowd-pleasing riff or two, but the best conversations strip away the humour and show how the world looks from the stage.
When Hayao Miyazaki stepped down as head of Studio Ghibli in 2013 (his sixth retirement* to date), we wondered what now for the Japanese animation powerhouse? Answer: a Robinson Crusoe tale with a giant red turtle.