Last Dozen Films I Saw …

Fire at Sea : Gianfranco Rosi (2016)
Maggie’s Plan : Rebecca Miller (2016)
Three Colours Blue : Kieslowski (1993)
Three Colours Red : Kieslowski (1994)
Late Spring : Ozu (1949)
Eva Hesse : Marcie Begleiter (2016)
Casablanca : Michael Curtiz (1942)
The Battle of Algiers : Gillo Pontecorvo (1966)
White Dog : Sam Fuller (1982)
Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words : Stig Bjorkman (2015)
Julieta : Pedro Almodovar (2016)
Goodbye, First Love : Mia Hansen-Love (2011)

An outstanding couple of months of cinema, I’d say, with four or five stone cold classics and a couple of excellent documentaries – Fire at Sea and Eva Hesse – the latter being just about the most interesting and well-assembled film about an artist I’ve seen. I hadn’t seen either The Battle of Algiers or White Dog for some years and neither has lost their power or, sadly, their relevance. Casablanca, of course, I had seen on a number of occasions, sometimes perhaps, lazily on television with other things going on around me, but watching it on the big screen at the BFI Southbank, I was struck both by how well-made and effective it is as an engaging story (those close-ups of Bergman!) and the degree to which elements of its underlying narrative – the plight of refugees fleeing from conflict in search of a better life – are still pertinent today.

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