Movies – F

F.T.A. (1971)

The makers of this documentary claimed the title stood for "Free the Army" or even, bearing in mind the project's collaborative nature, "Free Theatre Associates". But few doubted what the "F" signified, in light of Jane Fonda's well-publicised stance against the Vietnam War. She insisted that the shows were staged as a feminist response to(...)

Face Off (1997)

In director John Woo's over-the-top blockbuster, Nicolas Cage plays Castor Troy, a lunatic terrorist who, having planted a bomb somewhere in LA, is put into a coma by his FBI agent nemesis, Sean Archer (John Travolta). So, of course, Archer uses ultra-modern plastic surgery to swap faces with Troy to dupe the villain's associates -(...)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Based on the 1960 novel of the same name by author Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 is an insightful study of our society and the fears of the Cold War. It presents us with an oppressive future society in which the reading of books has been banned in order to control public opinion and is considered criminal conduct.(...)

Fair Game (1986)

A young woman running a wildlife sanctuary in the Australian outback comes into confrontation with three kangaroo hunters. Bored with killing kangaroos, they decide to kill the animals in the sanctuary, and when they see how attractive the owner is, they decide to have a little fun with her, too. Turns out they may get(...)

Falcon and The Snowman, The (1985)

This convoluted spy thriller stars Timothy Hutton as a college dropout who obtains US secrets and, with his drug-addicted buddy Sean Penn, passes them on to the Soviet embassy in Mexico. Purportedly based on fact, the movie is about the motives for treason and the loss of moral purpose in America, underlined by some heavy-handed(...)

Fall of the Roman Empire, The (1964)

Although superbly filmed in 70mm, The Fall of the Roman Empire feels cynical compared to the bombastic emphasis on scale and spectacle employed by Ben-Hur (1959) and Cleopatra (1963) - which should come as little surprise, given the proclivities of its director, the great Anthony Mann. Not that the film wants for scale or spectacle either, both of(...)

Falling Down (1993)

Falling Down, a powerful and disturbing study of one ordinary man's descent into insanity fuelled by urban stress, does not have a happy ending. It is not a comfortable film, but it is about the way we live now - about what apathy and indifference have done to our values, about how we've polarised ourselves and each(...)

Fame (1980)

Fame was essentially an excuse for lots of limbs and leotards, and catchy music such as the title track sung by Irene Cara. A new school year has started at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, and a new batch of hopefuls is ready and waiting, each with a burning desire to(...)

Family Jewels, The (1965)

Nine-year-old Donna Peyton (Donna Butterworth) is orphaned when her father dies and leaves her with a $30 million fortune. Her late father's attorney explains that she must visit each of her six uncles (all played by Jerry Lewis) and decide which of them will become her new adoptive "father." But the selection process isn't easy(...)

Family Way, The (1966)

This overlooked gem of 1960s film-making is a beautiful, bittersweet story of newlyweds Jenny (Hayley Mills in her first adult role) and Arthur (newcomer Hywel 'Shelley' Bennett) who are unable to consummate their marriage because of a cancelled honeymoon to Majorca and frustrating difficulties caused by too-close-for-comfort in-laws. Featuring terrific supporting performances by Hayley's real-life father(...)

Fanny Hill (1983)

Although considerably classier than Russ Meyer's 1964 version, this is still a disappointingly bawdy dramatisation of John Cleland's 1749 erotic classic. Director Gerry O'Hara sets out to titillate rather than explore the sordid events behind the transformation of Fanny Hill (Lisa Raines) from a comely country girl into a practised woman of pleasure. Moreover, this(...)

Fantastic Planet (1973)

Fantastic Planet (1973)

This remarkable animated French/Czech science-fiction fantasy - conceived by Roland Topor and René Laloux - is set in a bleak future, in which the human race has destroyed civilisation. The 39-foot tall blue cerebral inhabitants of the planet Yagam (called Traags) keep a few tiny humans (called Oms) as pets, with the wild human population destroyed by(...)

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

A defecting Russian scientist narrowly escapes an attack by Russian spies. Injured in the escape, the scientist suffers a potentially fatal blood clot in his brain. Needing to salvage whatever secrets are locked away in the scientist's consciousness, the US military assembles a team led by Agent Grant to save the man's life in a(...)

Far From The Madding Crowd (1967)

An overlong and somewhat plodding screen treatment of Thomas Hardy's novel about a beautiful English farm girl who affects the lives of three men. John Schlesinger seems much at home with this tale of Wessex folk, and his direction is enhanced by Nicolas Roeg‘s seductive camerawork and Frederic Raphael’s script. Set in late rural Victorian(...)

Fargo (1996)

The Coen brothers (director/writer Joel and producer/writer Ethan) are on top form with this quirky, unconventional, comedy-tinged crime thriller set in snowy Minnesota. Car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H Macy) hires amateur crooks Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in order to extort some money from his wealthy father-in-law, Wade(...)

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