Hollywood

Bring me my arrow of desire: the original Italian film poster for Pasolini’s 1974 Il Fiore delle Mille e Una Notte

How film fell for caliphs and slave girls

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Most of Hollywood’s Arabian Nights fantasies are, of course, unadulterated tosh. The Middle East, wrote the American film critic William…

Proper adult entertainment: Claude Rains, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946), with taut dialogue by Ben Hecht

The invisible man behind Hollywood’s greatest films

20 April 2019 9:00 am

What do the following filmmakers have in common: Victor Fleming, John Ford, Henry Hathaway, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernst Lubitsch,…

Fasten your seatbelts: Bette Davis in her dressing room during the filming of All About Eve

All About Eve was all about bitching – off-screen as well as on

26 January 2019 9:00 am

In 1950, Bette Davis had a string of recent flops behind her. She was 41, married to an embarrassing twerp…

Gary Raymond and Richard Burton in Tony Richardson’s 1959 film version of Look Back in Anger

What a relief we can finally admit Jimmy Porter was a pain in the neck

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Gary Raymond must have been wondering if it was the end of a promising career — curtains. He was starring…

Joan Collins: My own transgender moment

8 December 2018 9:00 am

I recently returned from several months in Los Angeles working on one of the most popular US TV shows. American…

A major modernist hiding in plain sight: composer Ennio Morricone at 91

‘Darmstadt taught me how to compose’: Ennio Morricone interviewed

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Ennio Morricone’s staff wish it to be known that he does not write soundtracks. ‘Maestro Morricone writes “Film Music” NOT…

Happy Little Bluebirds, by Louise Levene, reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

In 1940, the British Security Coordination sent an agent with an assistant to a Hollywood film studio to help promote…

Women can now make dull formulaic franchise films too! Hurrah! Ocean’s 8 reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Ocean’s 8 is the all-female spin-off of the all-male Ocean’s trilogy and it’s a sop, with a third act that…

: Clancy Sigal and Doris Lessing, sitting together on a London bus

‘Steer clear of that cave boy, James Dean, and grease ball, Elvis Presley’

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Lucky bastard. Such are the words that come constantly to mind while you’re reading Clancy Sigal’s two volumes of posthumously…

Dancing feat: Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby rehearsing choreography for Blue Skies

From buck dancing to Happy Feet: a short history of tap

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Fire up YouTube on the iPad, tap in ‘tap’, then wave goodbye to the rest of your day: clip after…

Taki: My #MeToo moment

17 February 2018 9:00 am

#MeToo! It happened right here, in Gstaad, last week. A man in his mid-fifties, about six foot tall and 165lb,…

Joan Collins: Want to know why all the Oscar films are boring? I’ll tell you

10 February 2018 9:00 am

I’ve been meaning to write a Spectator diary since the summer but as a Gemini with Aries rising I find…

Taki: In praise of French women

20 January 2018 9:00 am

I spent the better part of two sunny days indoors writing about authenticity for a Greek magazine, a strange subject…

Hollywood is the new Spanish inquistion

2 December 2017 9:00 am

There’s fear and loathing in this town and in El Lay it’s even worse. Torquemada and Savonarola are in charge,…

If Annette Bening isn’t Oscar-nominated, I’ll eat my hat and also yours

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is plainly wonderful, and stars Annette Bening, who is plainly wonderful, as Gloria Grahame,…

High life

21 October 2017 9:00 am

I may have spoken too soon last week when I defended my old friend Harvey Weinstein. It now looks very…

High life

14 October 2017 9:00 am

I smell a rat when it comes to Harvey Weinstein. Let’s take it from the start. The telephone rang very…

I met Weinstein and, yes, I’d heard the rumours

14 October 2017 9:00 am

According to an ex-employee of Harvey Weinstein’s, the movie producer once whispered something to himself that she found so disturbing…

Woman of a thousand voices

30 September 2017 9:00 am

‘On air, I could be the most glamorous, gorgeous, tall, black-haired female… Whatever I wanted to be, I could be……

Robert Lindsay as Jack Cardiff in Prism

Speech therapy

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Oslo opened in the spring of 2016 at a modest venue in New York. It moved to Broadway and this…

Ivory towers

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Great novels rarely make great movies, but for half a century one director has been showing all the others how…

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

Let there be light

13 July 2017 1:00 pm

If you’ve never heard the John Wilson Orchestra, it’s time to experience pure happiness. Buy their 2016 live album Gershwin…

A side order of extra Marmite comes in the considerable silhouette of Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy

Russell Crowe knows how to wear a pair of inverted commas: The Nice Guys reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Regular filmgoers must be losing count of the Rabelaisian revelries they’ve been invited to of late. You may recognise the…

Dark magus: Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in ‘Miles Ahead’

‘Do black movies really not sell?’: Don Cheadle on Miles Ahead

16 April 2016 9:00 am

The musical biopic is a staple of the Hollywood economy. Like an Airfix model kit it comes with the necessary…

A film that dares to suggest that paedophile priests may be capable of holiness

26 March 2016 9:00 am

A feature film about priests who abuse children is being released on 25 March. Which happens to be Good Friday.…