Side Door Cinema

Into the unknown (Alzheimer’s)

Posted by in Musings, Sidedoor

A while ago my work colleagues voted to pledge our fundraising efforts to an organisation that fights Alzheimer’s disease rather than to a well-known charity. It was a bit surprising because I knew little about the disease yet it clearly resonated with many. I figured I would do some research and watch a few films. It turns out there aren’t that many films about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia for that matter. The last decade has offered more than the previous 50 years at least in terms of mainstream cinema. I…read more

Dazed and Confused

Posted by in Musings, Reviews, Sidedoor

Looking back on Noah Baumbach’s ‘Kicking and Screaming’. More episodic than Frances Ha and less acidic than the Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach’s debut as director established the template of his oeuvre. In Kicking and Screaming he takes us back to the immediate aftermath of graduation where everyone wonders ‘what next?’ Released in 1995, having already made a splash at Sundance, we find our four protagonists stuck in that frozen ennui between college and the real world. Those on the outside such as Eric Stoltz’s character Chet don’t want to leave that life…read more

Torn by Tarantino

Posted by in Musings, Reviews

Any regular cinema-goer will have been acutely aware for some time that ‘The 8th film from Quentin Tarantino’ was out this month. This was another western (following on from Django Unchained) and so I settled down with a fair idea of what I was going to get. It was a violent, dark, bloated, ensemble western with a lot of bloodshed and even more talking. Samuel Jackson once again proved what a magnetic screen presence he can be and Walton Goggins finally has a role to showcase his talents. Only Tarantino can get…read more

A knight in shimmering armour

Posted by in Musings, Sidedoor

I stumbled across Lasse Hallstrom’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? sometime in early 1999.  The circumstances are still quite vivid: arriving back to my empty student house on a Sunday evening, I turned to the Culture magazine of the Sunday Times.  The aforementioned film was on the listings for that evening and I can still clearly recall the blurb… What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).  Johnny Depp.  Whimsical drama. I had never heard of the film but it became apparent later on that it had been well received and Leonardo Di Caprio gained…read more

Discovering more

Posted by in Musings, Sidedoor

Over the past year I have been taking time to listen closer to those who craft the drama I enjoy. I have discovered the world of audio commentary. And it has been a revelation. Normally found in the extras or special features section the audio commentary often offers the chance to re-watch a full-length episode with a commentary. In essence we’re invited to listen in on a conversation with some of the passionate and creative people involved in the production.  We’re invited to listen in on a conversation. This new appreciation…read more