Archive for Sight and Sound

I haven’t seen anything.

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2016 by dcairns


What do you expect? I’ve been filming all week. But now we’ve wrapped and I plan to catch up with THE REVENANT and HATEFUL EIGHT and some nicer older movies.

Above is a frosty image from Lev Kuleshov’s 1926 icecapade PO ZAKONU, because it reminds me of the hardships we faced out on a freezing hill.

Meanwhile, Sight & Sound have published their lists of best DVDs of the year —

Regular Shadowplayer Anne Billson and Trevor Johnstone both list DRAGON INN, to which I contributed a video essay.

Philip Concannon and Sam Wigley go for A NEW LEAF, which has another vid essay by me.

Sam Dunn and Neil Sinyard include SECONDS, which has a text piece I wrote.

David Thompson cites DIARY OF A LOST GIRL — another video essay, written by me and narrated by Fiona.

Michael Brooke and Philip Kemp each include WOODEN CROSSES, again from Masters of Cinema, produced by Bernard Natan.

Most exciting of all, Pamela Hutchinson of The Guardian and Silent London lists NATAN itself, the documentary I made with Paul Duane and which is available from

It’s official — I have been working too hard.



Print the legend

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on October 12, 2012 by dcairns

I make my Sight & Sound debut in the November issue, on sale NOW —

A whole page of ME, on Giuliano (GRAND SLAM) Montaldo’s CLOSED CIRCUIT, a film I discovered while digging up rare gialli for The Daily Notebook. Thrilling and mildly lucrative as it is to be in S&S, it’s a slight regret that I can’t, thus far, embed video in it. They’ve tried, but couldn’t get it to work. Something to do with the pixels interfering with the weft. So here’s a clip to serve as an accompaniment to the piece, and hopefully encourage you all to rush out and buy it.

I could and probably should tell you all about the film to make sense of this climactic moment, but I’m intrigued what will happen if you watch it cold, especially if you don’t speak Italian. Once you get the article it’ll all make (kind of) sense —

Circuito Chiuso from David Cairns on Vimeo.

I’ll just say that it’s sort of like THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO as a giallo.

In other news, two limericks on the pressing subject of monster brains — One and Two — in collaboration with the gray matter of rhyme-wrangler Hilary Barta.

Spread the Love

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by dcairns

A Valentine’s Day Miscellany for you —

Over at Limerwrecks, THEATRE OF BLOOD proves to be the gift that keeps on giving — here’s my latest, co-authored with host Surly Hack. At the same site, you can read more rhymes about Robert Morley being force-fed his poodles than you would think possible.

My great good friend B. Kite delves into MULHOLLAND DRIVE in his first piece for Sight and Sound. I was kind of around for the birth of this article, though my duties stopped far short of actual midwifery, were more along the lines of muttering wan encouragement from a safe distance, like a rubbish dad. The resulting piece bears no disfiguring forceps marks and is in fact vigorous, alert and a healthy size. It also offers an alternative way of looking at a Lynch film that’s almost become a closed, fully-resolved narrative (all those clues!) — this piece reclaims the mystery, or at least opens a side-door into it.

In case you’ve been trapped under something heavy for the past month or so, you ought to know about the upcoming For the Love of Film blogathon, hosted here and here. I plan on writing something on that renowned English filmmaker, that master of suspense… Graham Cutts.