for Tribune: Québec, Mon Amour

I’d called in for two nights in Montréal on my way to New York, and been impressed by the laid-back, bohemian-tinged sophistications of an historic city whose “bigness and rawness and brawniness” so impressed Jan Morris, whose Anglophone exports include Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, William Shatner and Arcade Fire—and which been the home of Canada’s National Film Board since 1956.

July 25th, 2016 more >

Vila do Conde ratings added

July 25th, 2016 more >
for Tribune: a report from the 2nd Nitrate Picture Show, Rochester NY

Cellulose nitrate contains oxygen, which means that once it starts burning it goes up like billy-o, and thus requires all manner of precautions in the projection-booth and archival store-room alike.

July 13th, 2016 more >
for Tribune: a postcard from Playa del Carmen

The conspicuous presence of armed cops (often standing up as they cruise around in the back of armoured, adapted flatbed trucks) apart, PdC does a decent enough job of creating a temporary artificial paradise for its affluent visitors—few of whom probably ponder whether the Mexican hospitality industry is as heavily (and beneficially) unionised as the equivalent American sector; just how much the hotels’ ever-beaming staff are paid; how far they have to travel each day; their domestic circumstances; and so on.

July 1st, 2016 more >
for Tribune: report on the Ambulante film festival, Oaxaca, Mexico

In some Ambulante venues such wild forces of nature even penetrated internal spaces: when the flimsy plastic roofing of radical bookstore-cum-café La Jícara—located, somewhat ironically, on the street named after Mexico’s reactionary seven-times president Porfirio Díaz—proved a less-than-watertight barrier, measures had to be hurriedly taken to shield the projector from unwelcome raindrops.

June 26th, 2016 more >