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


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