A frustrating evening

Michael (Hywel Bennett) can't avoid the distrust, even contempt, of Ellie (Hayley Mills)'s relatives in Sidney Gilliat's Endless Night (1972)

When my friend Howard came over for an evening of movie-watching recently, we ended up with a highly idiosyncratic double-bill of problematic features, one representing self-conscious art, the other polished commercial craft – neither entirely satisfying: Josej Von Sternberg’s The Saga of Anatahan (1953) and Sidney Gilliat’s Endless Night (1972).

Looking back …

A summer camp trick goes wrong in the prologue of Tony Maylam's slasher The Burning (1980)

A lot of my recent viewing has been catching up on a range of movies from the ’60s through the ’80s, some of which I saw when they were first released, while others weren’t accessible to me at the time. These include some foreign classics … and quite a bit of trash.

Mikio Naruse

In her January 1 post, the Self-Styled Siren pays homage to the Japanese actress Hideko Takamine, who died December 28 at age 86. The Siren’s warm comments immediately sent me off to watch When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960), which Takamine stars in as the bar hostess Keiko. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that […] Read More