Beyond the fantasy child, the everywhere child, and the policed image of children, we are living in a golden age of films about children, and haven't quite noticed. Movie directors in Iran, Japan, the UK, Holland and elsewhere are releasing masterpieces about childhood. Why is this golden age happening, and why does it matter?
female characters remain dramatically under-represented with only 13% of the top 100 films featuring equal numbers of major female and male characters, or more major female characters than male characters. It's not all depressing news however, a number of actresses, directors and executives are paving the way.
A recent study has found that, even in a year deemed 'female heavy', women are still only playing 30% of given speaking roles. And that does not mean integral, central characters who dominate talk time, that includes any line spoken in all of the top 100 US films. Women's voices are still stuck in the silent movie era - the majority are on mute.
The question is, where has he gone? These words don't come easy, but Martin Scorsese, at this current juncture in cinematic history, has disappeared. Once a maestro film-maker who advocated anarchy of the soul - see De Niro's Johnny Boy in Mean Streets or Joe Pesci in GoodFellas - Scorsese delighted in holding up a mirror to America's underbelly, and he did so with that most subversive of narrative tools: humour.
Wes' development is less a question of reinvention than maturing into his own prodigious grammar. His last two films in particular, Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, were retro, anarchic delights that coalesced boundless visual ambition with a miniaturist melancholy. But The Grand Budapest Hotel, his latest, trumps everything he's done so far.
You probably haven't seen it, even if you consider yourself quite a horror fan. It's from a film that remains difficult to track down, and was never very widely shown in the first place. In my opinion it's one of the truly great moments in horror cinema, and I don't want you to go and check it out under any circumstances.
Since Sochi was selected as host for the Winter Olympics, there has been a general sense of dismay among the Russian intellectual elites and public figures. Boris Nemtsov, one of the members of the opposition, famously said "You'd have to spend a long time searching the map of this huge country to find someplace with no snow"
This may come as a surprise to you, but did you know that there is an almost secretive, physical effects company hidden behind a bleak, cheeky corner near Perivale tube station in North West London? I recently went there to speak to the CEO and SFX (Special Effects) Supervisor, Mike Kelt, to see what the place is all about...
On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is, by many standards, a good film. Sure, it follows all of the predictable plot beats that any given "money and drugs in the Eighties" flick entails, but it makes up for its lack of narrative surprises with its strong central performances and highly stylised depictions of excess.