Notes on Blindness

Notes On Blindness

Documentary storytelling is a fine art, and finding the balance between participants and narrative whilst still creating a visual treat can be tricky. In Notes on Blindness filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney attempt something even harder – looking through the eyes of writer and theologian John Hull, a man who’s vision is slowly deteriorating.

Notes on Blindness is a remarkable piece of work, not least because of the extraordinary audiotape diaries that Hull himself started recording once he became blind in 1983.

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Coming of Age Films

Following the runaway success of Boyhood last year, it’s fair to say coming-of-age films are well and truly back in the mainstream again. In an age where Hollywood is largely dominated by huge action blockbusters, it’s certainly a welcome change to the trend.

Coming-of-age films – movies depicting the often difficult path from teenager into adulthood – have been around for a long time, but the 1980s was when the genre reached its pinnacle. Films such as The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dead Poets Society and Heathers made the decade the golden age of teen angst, friendship and romance.

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Hitchcock: Viewed Through Modern Eyes

In an earlier post I described how despite British and Hollywood film being part of my course at university I’d never properly seen a Hitchcock film. As I aim to change that, this post will be regularly updated with short reviews of each film I watch.

The reviews will be as spoiler-free as possible, mainly concentrating on a brief synopsis and analysing how the films stand up to modern viewing decades after they were originally made.

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Discovering Hitchcock

I studied film at university. I say I studied film, the course was Cultural and Media Studies, with a couple of film modules. And largely I spent the screenings in those modules sitting at the back drinking hot chocolate and chatting.

So it’s with much regret that my cinema knowledge and landscape isn’t as varied as it should be, however in my later years I have aimed to change that.

With that in mind, a couple of years ago I caught the excellent The Girl on BBC2 about Alfred Hitchcock and realised this great and illustrious director had completely passed me by.

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Beasts of the Southern Wild (12)

Lavished with praise since it’s Camera d’Or win at Cannes, this debut feature from Benh Zeitlin has got everyone debating whether its a masterpiece or a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is the tale of a plucky young six year-old (Quvenzhané Wallis) known affectionally as Hushpuppy, fighting to save her home in a Deep South bayou region called the Bathtub, scrapping through life without her mother, guided only by her alcoholic father Wink (Dwight Henry).

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