Tales of Babylon

Tales of Babylon (2023)

Tales of Babylon opens with a cycling montage from the daily routine of bespectacled milquetoast Martin (Philip Tomlin). To the ironically repeating lyric “I follow you” from Lykke Li’s I Follow Rivers (2011) on the soundtrack, the camera remains fixed in medium close-up on Martin’s face, following his every disconsolate, down-trodden expression as he wakes,…


The Man Who Laughs (1928)

The Man Who Laughs first published by Little White Lies, as entry 110 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column When popular stage clown Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt), also known by his stage name ‘the man who laughs’, closes the cabinet housing his makeup mirror, we see clearly on either panel door a depiction of the twin masks…


Clay’s Redemption (2020)

If genre is a playground, then often its most interesting activities take place at the perimeter fence or in the out-of-bounds areas. Here old tropes, relocated alongside – or even in – unrelated genres, are stripped of the usual context that defines their rules, and so enabled to take on new meanings and unexplored trajectories….


Once Upon A Time In London (2019)

Once Upon A Time In London first published by Sight & Sound, May 2019 Review: This time capsule of a nation’s (criminal) history is, as its title suggests, an English response to Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In America (1984), and it is populated with characters who, both in the film and in real…


City Of Tiny Lights (2016)

First published by RealCrime Magazine City of Tiny Lights has all the signifiers of a classic film noir. There’s the bourbon-swilling protagonist, and the dame returning from ‘out of the past‘. There are the urban streets and the endless rain. There is the nocturnal demi-monde of cops and ‘tecs, dealers and spies, money men and…

Hello Carter (2013)

Review first published by Grolsch FilmWorks A man in a suit is rolled into a foetal ball on the cold bitumen of a London street. This is Carter (Charlie Cox), and a rewind to 18 and a half hours earlier reveals how he came to be in this predicament. In fact the morning before this…