SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Will Gore

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November 30, 2017
I can’t watch a Michael Haneke film film without being in a permanently nervous state. This is because I know that something utterly horrible might happen at any given moment. It’s all the fault of Hidden, the Austrian’s flawless 2015 film about a middle-class, intellectual Parisian family terrorised by an anonymous stalker who films their
November 02, 2017
Exorcism is in the news again. Last week, the US bishops’ conference released the first official English-language translation of the ritual textbook Exorcisms and Related Supplications. This comes after numerous reports that requests for exorcisms are on the rise. The growth in exorcism requests was described as “astonishing” in a recent report by a Christian think
October 26, 2017
Ever since The Exorcist, William Friedkin’s seminal adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel, demonic possession has been a rich subject for horror movie directors. Bucking the trend for fictional accounts of exorcism is Deliver Us, a documentary by Italian film-maker Federica di Giacomo. It is shot in Sicily and chronicles the work of Fr Cataldo
October 26, 2017
Although it comes towards the end of the international festival season, the London Film Festival continues to go from strength to strength. Among the films I enjoyed the most this year were Wrath of Silence, a Chinese gangster picture-cum-moody modern Western about a mute man searching for his missing son; and Journeyman, Paddy Considine’s thoughtful
October 19, 2017
The death of Joseph Stalin might not sound like a promising starting point for a rip-roaring comedy. Yet, in the hands of Armando Iannucci, the genius behind television shows such as Veep and The Day Today, the murderous dictator’s expiration provides perfect inspiration for a film that is hilarious, but with a deeply sinister undercurrent.
October 05, 2017
The Reagan Show (★★, cert PG) is an odd little documentary. Coming in at a spritely one hour and 15 minutes, it tells the story of Ronald Reagan’s presidency through a collage of archive clips, many of them culled from behind-the-scenes footage shot by the president’s team. Directors Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill choose not
September 28, 2017
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay, Picador, £16.99 My wife is a few months away from giving birth to our second child, so perhaps it wasn’t the best of times to be reading This is Going to Hurt, an account of Adam Kay’s six years working as a junior doctor. It’s a book,
September 28, 2017
The art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who enjoyed a brief but blazing career in 1980s New York, is enjoying something of a moment. Earlier this year one of his paintings sold for £85 million and now he’s the subject of a first major British retrospective. Basquiat was a graffiti artist, untrained in any of the disciplines
August 03, 2017
Here’s a filmmaking conundrum for you. You want to make a movie about a legendary rock star, but you’re barred from using his music in your film. What do you do? Accept your idea is dead in the water or pretend everything’s going to be OK and go for it anyway? Writer and director Mark
July 14, 2017
An uncompromising new novel about corruption speaks loudly to a tense and divided America
July 13, 2017
The Force by Don Winslow, Harper Collins, £18.99 In The Power of the Dog and The Cartel, Don Winslow told the story of America’s war on drugs in exacting and devastating detail. Those books stand as impressive examples of journalistic fiction, with much of the material drawn directly from real life. It was with an
June 29, 2017
I will forever be slightly irritated by films that are set in a foreign country, but in which all the actors speak in English. I’m fully aware that the world has bigger issues to worry about, and that the avoidance of subtitles makes perfect commercial sense, but it annoys me all the same. So things