Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Lars von Trier: The Boss Of It All

Posted by Jonathan On February - 1 - 2008

von-trierYou recently said you feel “burdened by barren habits and expectations”. What do you mean?

If you have a level of success with something, you get carried away with it. You find out that the only reason why you read your newspaper is to see if your name is in it. Come on! That’s ridiculous and a waste of life! Read the rest of this entry »

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Sidney Lumet: Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

Posted by Jonathan On January - 1 - 2008

lumetAcross six decades and 45 movies including 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Network and now Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, director Sidney Lumet has extracted some of the great performances in US cinema history.

What felt special to you about Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead?

The emotional outpouring that had to take place from the actors – because the movie is pitched so highly. It’s so wonderfully acted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: We Own The Night

Posted by Jonathan On December - 11 - 2007

weownthenight

Smuggling in a fraught, mythic tale of destiny and blood ties under the old-fashioned clothing of a ’70s-style crime drama, writer/director James Gray‘s first film in seven years broods with dark, tantalising subtleties.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Richard Kelly: Southland Tales

Posted by Jonathan On November - 18 - 2007

southland_talesHow Donnie Darko’ director Richard Kelly got lost in Southland Tales…

Porn star. Severed thumbs. Amnesiac actor. Lip-synching Iraq veteran. Psychedelic drugs. Kidnapped cop. His twin brother. Neo-Marxist anarchists. Republicans. Levitating ice-cream truck. Apocalypse. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: Southland Tales

Posted by Jonathan On November - 18 - 2007

southlandtales1A vision gone mad for a world gone mad? More coherent and less grandiose than his infamous Cannes rough-cut, Richard Kelly‘s Southland Tales is still a mess – but what a mess. Like his genre-bending cult debut Donnie Darko, it’s an end-of-days pulp-prophesy. But this time, political steamrollers personal as terrorists, politicians, porn stars, actors, singers, soldiers and scientists collide in a paranoid fantasy of dystopian America the day after tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film review: American Gangster

Posted by Jonathan On October - 12 - 2007

american-gangsterAs biopic movie-meat, this extraordinary true story aches with subtext: ’70s Harlem druglord, Frank Lucas built an empire via killer market force – smuggling low-cost, high-impact heroin right through the fog of the Vietnam war. It’s worth epic treatment, all 157 minutes of it. And, right from the title, Ridley Scott guns for nothing less than the twenty-first century’s first great crime saga: the American dream re-cut as a New York dope opera. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Candy

Posted by Jonathan On April - 23 - 2007

heath_ledger_candyBefore slashing on The Joker’s rictus grin, Heath Ledger returned to Oz for this toxic love story. He’s a poet. His blonde angel Candy (Abbie Cornish) is a painter. But really they’re both just young, boho junkies on a quivering tailspin through sunshine passion, cold turkey and the fresh, harried nowhere of addiction.

Drug-drama cliché roadblocks any new revelations here, but Candy does find a niche away from Requiem For A Dream’s hyperbole and Trainspotting’s swagger. Underplayed and acted to the max, it engrosses through heartbreaking moments (horrific still-birth, domestic meltdown) and keen observations (“For every 10 years you’ve been a junkie, you’ll have spent seven of them waiting”). Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Performance

Posted by Jonathan On April - 17 - 2007

performanceBirthed in the genius/mentalist brainpan of virtuoso artist Donald Cammell, Performance was pitched to Warner Bros as the smash-hit cocktail of cinema’s two hottest genres: pop-star vehicle and Swinging London flick. With Rolling Stones demi-god Mick Jagger co-directed by brilliant cinematographer Nicolas Roeg and libertine intellectual Cammell, this would be the first Swinging London flick by swinging Londoners. When one exec’s wife began vomiting at Performance’s test-screening, one thing became clear: A Hard Day’s Night, this was not. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: Ben-Hur

Posted by Jonathan On April - 17 - 2007

benhurSeven years in the making, $15 million budget, 10,0000 costumes, 8,000 extras, 300 sets, 222 minutes runtime, $80 worldwide gross, 11 Oscars… Ben-Hur’s staggering stat-attack bulges further with this monolithic Collector’s Edition: four discs and 10 hours of bonus material. Fitting treatment for a widescreen mega-epic that saved MGM’s lion from the wolves, rescued cinema from the tube and finally convinced Charlton Heston that he was indeed bigger than Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

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DVD review: The Seven Year Itch

Posted by Jonathan On April - 16 - 2007

7yearitch2In showbiz, they say you’ve only achieved true fame when you’re known simply by your first name. By 1955, Marilyn Monroe was so famous her screen character no longer needed a name at all. In Billy Wilder’s midsummer-night’s sex comedy, she is simply The Girl – a ditzy, curvaceous bombshell who lives upstairs from neurotic publishing-house everyman Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell). Read the rest of this entry »

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About Me

Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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