Film critic, novelist and photographer. Likes frites, beer and chocolate. Lives in Brussels.

Why is there no sex in Christopher Nolan's films? — Interstellar has many things. It has impending doom, and poltergeist activity, and space travel, and robots, and a wormhole, and a black hole, and a whole bunch of other beezer ingredients. One thing it doesn't have, though, is sex. When I say "sex", I don't mean Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway should take off their spacesuits and start bonking.

Is Michael Caine Britain's most important film star? — Caine was the Sixties, or so it would later seem. After seeing active service in Korea, he spent a decade slogging away in regional theatre or playing bit parts on film and TV.

Anne Billson | Movie close-ups in the Botox era | Film | The Guardian — Towards the end of The Leopard, there's a 20-second close-up, in which Burt Lancaster stares into a mirror and a tear runs down his cheek. And we feel his pain. It's of a different order to the close-ups in The Expendables, where the beaten-up mugs of Sylvester Stallone and Mickey Rourke have evidently known pain, but we don't share it.

Film noir posters: the art of smoking guns and bared flesh — Gone Girl may have all the hallmarks of a modern film noir, but it falls sadly short in one crucial respect: the poster. Whether it's photographs of evidence bags, Ben Affleck having vertical hold problems against a brooding sky, or Affleck with Rosamund Pike on a mortician's slab, the ad campaign is cool, clever - and a bit dull.

Manhattan in the movies: a history — Ghostbusters begins at another Manhattan landmark - the main building of the New York Public Library with its flanking stone lions, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The library also had a starring role in the disaster movieThe Day After Tomorrow when Jake Gyllenhaal and his fellow students seek refuge from a tsunami, and are then obliged to burn books to try and keep warm in the super-blizzard that follows.

Horror: the film genre where men don't have all the fun — It's that time of the year again, when articles like Top Ten Ghosts, The Spookiest Movies Ever Made and Why Do We Enjoy Being Scared? start crawling out of the woodwork.

What makes a Water Cooler Movie? — 1) Genre Thrillers (Gone Girl, Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge) are more likely to attain Water Cooler Movie status than, say, superhero movies or action films. It helps to have at least one strong female character - unless you want the ensuing media debate to be all-male, which, let's face it, isn't nearly as much fun, and cuts out half your potential audience at a stroke. Anne Billson: Books — Buy Suckers by Anne Billson (ISBN: 9781502547507) from Amazon's Book Store. Free UK delivery on eligible orders.

Hugh Grant: the most undervalued actor of his generation? — Meanwhile, his Hollywood career got off to a dismal start with Chris Columbus's cackhanded Nine Months, in which unplanned pregnancy throws him and Julianne Moore into an unfunny tizzy. Two weeks before its premiere in 1995, Grant was arrested near Sunset Boulevard while being pleasured in his car by a prostitute called Divine Brown.

Taking the lead: why every film is better with a dog — What do you get when you pair Tom Hardy with a dog called Rocco? Screen magic! Only cynophobics and Hardy haters will be able to resist the combination of Brando-esque shambling and puppy-nuzzling that takes centre-stage in The Drop - adapted by Dennis Lehane from his own story, Animal Rescue, and a creditable English language debut for Belgian director Michaël Roskam.
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Nov 27, 2014

@DegenerateBoy Already live in a duplex, so am used to going upstairs to sleep. Bathroom will be tucked away underneath somewhere.

Nov 27, 2014

@tomwilsonV But do suggest them in the comments (if there aren't too many bells & whistles to go through).

Nov 27, 2014

@tomwilsonV All worthy, especially Feathers. But I was trying to stick to a list of ten. Otherwise I'd still be compiling it!

Nov 27, 2014


Nov 27, 2014

@Peter_Bridgman Absolutely! But a bit pricey for Brussels, nonetheless.

Nov 27, 2014

RT @john_self: Daily Mash Takes Ten People to Write; Creators Older Than You Thought:…

Nov 27, 2014

RT @s_mcm_: Once, during a dull football match, the camera panned distractedly into the sky. Montford: "And there's the moon!". Classic commentary.

Nov 27, 2014

Not ready to move just yet, but I like the look of this flat for rent; maybe a wee bit expensive. But nice.…

Nov 27, 2014

@johnrivers Lee Marvin's drunk act is fun, but in the end I think I prefer him playing it straight in Liberty Valance.

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