Rose-Tinted Telescopes: Nostalgia, Preservation and Cinema Paradiso (1988)

This winter, on its twenty-fifth anniversary, a cinematic re-release of Cinema Paradiso will confront a new generation of movie-lovers with Whitman’s enigmatic response. The film hasn’t changed (this is a “fully restored” version of a director’s cut that’s been around for a decade now), but what has changed is the audience. We’re jaded and bored, more nostalgic than ever for a collective film memory that has begun to fade. This time round, director Giuseppe Tornatore’s paean to lost love and a dying movie culture may just be too sad for the cinephile to bear. Paradoxically, the only therapy for this melancholy is to go and see it.

By Sam Thompson

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Empathy and The Act of Killing (2013)

Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing asks Indonesian war criminals to produce lavish re-enactments of their roles in the torture and murder of ‘Communists’ and ethnic Chinese, as well as their nightmares and fantasies. The result is a mesmeric and profound indictment of the empathetic power of the moving image.

By Sam Thompson

Breaking Bad: Television Addiction

‘Breaking Bad’ recently concluded in a cacophony of, the all-too-familiar, superlatives and hyperbole that accompany our box-set culture. However, once the memory of these accolades has faded away, we may find that the show has had a longer lasting impact on the way that television is consumed and produced.

By Charlie North

Slacker: “It’s not building a wall but making a brick”

Linklater’s 1991 film Slacker has two standout features: a commitment to presenting only incidental scenes, and the use of geographical continuity to join together unrelated fragments of different stories. Like the Oblique Strategy card says: he is not building a wall but making bricks. This gives him the space to reflect in a playful way on the principled apathy of his ‘slackers’ and the philosophical issues this raises.

by Matteo Tiratelli