SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Will Gore

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June 22, 2017
Harry Hallowes, who died two years ago aged 79, was an Irishman who lived in a makeshift shack in a small corner of Hampstead Heath. He holed up there for so long that in 2007 he was awarded the title deed. Perhaps predictably, this eccentric hermit was christened “Britain’s richest tramp” by the media. Hampstead
May 25, 2017
From the Disney classics of my childhood to the banal but charming nonsense my two-year-old son likes to gawp at on the telly, I have always been a devotee of cartoons. In this regard, the recent history of cinema has been good to me. We’ve been living through a golden age of animated film. Pixar,
May 04, 2017
Growing up an avid telly addict in the 1980s was good fun. I was a full-on devotee of The A-Team and thought Knight Rider was just about the most wonderful thing in existence. The fact that these action-adventure shows, and others like them, were actually ludicrous nonsense took me far longer to clock than it
April 27, 2017
The genocide of Armenians by the Ottomans from 1915 to 1923 claimed the lives of more than 1.5 million men, women and children. It’s a black stain on history that, to this day, Turkey still furiously whitewashes. Cinema has sporadically dealt with this subject in the past, but now The Promise (★★★, cert 12A, 133 mins)
February 16, 2017
Moonlight (15, 111 mins, ★★★★) If La La Land carries away the Best Picture Oscar this year (to follow up it’s Bafta success) it will be a travesty. Despite the endless hype, the Hollywood-set musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is an irredeemably average and unoriginal love story that’s low on energy, invention and memorable tunes.
February 02, 2017
Any documentary about Francis Bacon has a tough job to do in having to match up to that glorious instalment of The South Bank Show, in which the great painter got steaming drunk at lunch with Melvyn Bragg. Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence (BBC Two) deserves great credit then for proving just as compulsive
February 02, 2017
Loving (12A, 123 mins, ★★★) is the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the Virginia couple whose legal case in the late 1950s – which challenged the criminalisation of their mixed-race marriage – proved a landmark in the fight for civil rights. Writer-director Jeff Nichols is on home turf here as his previous films, including Take
January 05, 2017
Endless Poetry (15, 128 mins, ★★★) The New Year is generally a good time to be a cinema lover. Our picture houses suddenly become inundated with heavyweight films vying for attention while the awards season prepares to get going. Predicted to win big in 2017 is the much-hyped Hollywood-set musical La La Land, which gets its British
December 22, 2016
This is a tale of anti-Christian persecution that speaks loudly and dreadfully to modern times
December 22, 2016
Martin Scorsese has always had an enigmatic relationship with the Catholic Church. In the past, the rightly revered director has described himself as a “lapsed Catholic”, but during the rounds of publicity for this latest film, he admitted that his “way” has always been Catholic. He could hardly deny it: the evidence has stared back
December 15, 2016
Son of Saul, The Club and Anomalisa all helped make 2016 a fantastic year in cinema
December 15, 2016
Picking a favourite film from an entire year is generally a tricky task. But this time around, the job was a relatively simple one thanks to Hungarian director László Nemes’s superlative debut feature, Son of Saul. The film follows a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz desperately searching for the body of his dead son. With the camera