Napoleon, restored

Notes on a five-and-a-half hour silent movie at the Edinburgh Filmhouse: a restored BFI version of Abel Gance’s 1927 epic Napoleon, telling the story of the general’s early years.

Charlie Chaplin: hero of the Soviet avant-garde

The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism and the Communist Avant-Garde by Owen Hatherley explores the Soviet intelligentia’s fascination with the America of the early 20th century, a mythic land of technological wonders, vast mechanised industries, spectacular cityscapes and the startling new medium of cinema.

Exploring ‘Austerity Nostalgia’

Seven years or so since it first appeared it seems ‘that bloody sign’ is still with us. Some time around 2009, soon after the banking crisis, a stark poster featuring the words ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ set in a Gill Sans-ish typeface, topped by the Royal crest, began to appear here and there.