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Roy Stafford

Roy Stafford has written 875 posts for The Global Film Book Blog

Your Name (Japan 2016)

This new anime by director Shinkai Makoto has prompted comparisons with the great successes of Studio Ghibli and specifically with the work of Miyazaki Hayao. It isn’t difficult to understand the comparisons. The narrative deals with adolescents, both of whom have the potential for heroism. Mitsuha lives in a small town in the mountains but … Continue reading

Rams (Hrútar, Iceland-Denmark-Norway-Poland 2015)

These are my (slightly edited) notes distributed for a screening of the film in 2016. Rams was a surprise arthouse hit in the UK in 2016. It was promoted as a dark comedy about a pair of brothers who have fallen out though they live close by each other on two separate farms. What brings them back into … Continue reading

United States of Love (Zjednoczone Stany Miłości, Poland 2016)

Tomasz Wasilewski, writer-director of United States of Love is a name to watch. Born in 1980 he has produced a narrative set in a Polish town in 1990. The English title of the film is ironic in two ways. It could be read as a comment directed at the desire of Poles in 1990 for … Continue reading

The Commune (Kollektivet, Denmark-Sweden-Netherlands 2016)

I’m glad I finally got to see this at a public screening (thanks to Square Chapel, Halifax). The Commune is partly a nostalgia trip for those of us who lived through the 1970s – though I was younger than the main characters, I can still recognise the world depicted here (meant to be 1975). Co-writer/director … Continue reading

The Clan (El Clan, Argentina-Spain 2015)

Pablo Trapero is one of the most successful filmmakers working in Argentina today. To underline that status, his latest film to get a UK release was co-produced by the Almodóvars’ company El Deseo. It won the Silver Lion at Venice in 2015 and had the biggest ever opening box office take for any film in Argentina, … Continue reading

Sweet Bean (An, Japan-France-Germany 2015)

For reasons I don’t fully understand, the Japanese director Naomi Kawase divides film critics and audiences. A regular presence at Cannes, her films have until recently been seen only at festivals in much of the English-speaking world. It wasn’t until Still the Water from 2014 that she achieved a UK release. Despite all her international … Continue reading

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