Before Watchmen (2012-2013)

Before BEFORE WATCHMEN, there was just…WATCHMEN. Twelve issues across 1986 and 1987, the product of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colourist John Higgins. It was a standalone work, and much of its strength (and resultant praise) was related to that, to the singular nature of the work, how it told one connected story…

Street Scenes (1970)

A rare documenting of 1970 protests against the Vietnam War in New York and D.C. It is depressing seeing how easily transferable the discourse and issues here are to fifty years later. More than a specific political take, the film seems a demonstration of the feeling of powerlessness, of not getting through to people, of…

Cape Fear (1991)

A charged, shlocky remake of the 1962 original. It adds a lot (entire new subplots, extended setpieces, further characterisations), and what it takes away is somewhat intangible, but there’s a definite sense of something missing here. It may use a reworked version of the score from the original film, and Robert De Niro of course…

Cape Fear (1962)

Hitchcock himself didn’t end up directing this one, though he was initially planned to, but the film still feels molded to him, or by him. The hook of a lawyer (played by Gregory Peck, no less) and his family being terrorised by a criminal the lawyer had put away, a criminal canny enough to avoid…

New York, New York (1977)

Overlong and overly formless, the two lead actors here do their best, but too much of the film rests on their improvised dialogue, and the sloppy narrative never really coheres with the musical aspect. The idea of going ‘behind’ a musical and really illustrating the issues and neuroses behind the singers is interesting, but the…

Oklahoma! (1955)

A surprisingly cinematic musical, filmed in the Todd-AO aspect ratio where it was planned for screens curved at the edges, and ran at thirty frames per second; There are many POV shots that were specifically designed to emulate the human field-of-view and induce unheard-of immersion. These don’t play as well viewed on a small screen…

Watchmen (1986-1987) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

WATCHMEN was created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons (as well as colourist John Higgins) in the mid-1980s, as a set of twelve comic issues telling their own standalone story. There was reason to expect it would be a success. Moore was already a well-known writer, everyone else involved were skilled as well,…