Pamela Hutchinson

Pamela Hutchinson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Pamela Hutchinson is a freelance writer, critic and film historian, specialising in silent cinema and womens film history. She contributes regularly to publications including Sight & Sound and the Guardian as well as appearing on Radio 4. She is the founder and editor of silent cinema website SilentLondon.co.uk and the author of the BFI Film Classic on G. W. Pabsts Pandora's Box (1929).

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 93% Herself (2021) Herself tells a compelling story, but combining a tough realist drama about domestic abuse and homelessness with an optimistic tale of solidarity weakens the foundations of this otherwise admirable film. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2021
4/5 94% I'm Your Man (2021) I'm Your Man is science-fiction with soul and a romance written for adults. Just like its mechanical hero, this tender film is attractive, smart and cunningly designed to win your heart. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2021
2/5 57% Fatima (2020) Fatima raises some intriguing questions about faith but sadly fails to make us believe in anything more comforting than the climate of fear, distrust and grief that flourishes during wartime. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
2/5 70% Land (2021) In her directorial debut, Robin Wright boldly strikes out for new territory, but the film is all too conventionally fenced in, lacking a narrative as compelling as its own dramatic Wyoming scenery. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
90% Luxor (2020) An apparently slight, but deeply rewarding film, Luxor reveals its purpose slowly, in fragments of growing significance. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2021
90% Beginning (Dasatskisi) (2020) In contemplating the horror of a subservient life, Kulumbegashvili has created a quite extraordinarily compelling film. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
2/5 29% Blithe Spirit (2021) This Blithe Spirit dilutes the original's heady cocktail, serving up a sugary punch rather than a dry martini. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
4/5 43% The Roads Not Taken (2020) Elle Fanning and Sally Potter triumph again. It's not always an easy watch, but The Roads Not Taken tackles a distressing subject with care and invites us to reconsider our preconceptions. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2020
4/5 78% Summerland (2020) Arterton triumphs again and Swale marks herself as a director to watch. Summerland successfully combines an intelligent feminist fable and a lesbian love story with a slick period tearjerker. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2020
4/5 91% Clemency (2019) Alfre Woodard gives an unforgettably moving performance in Chinonye Chukwu's slow-burning, perfectly observed drama about the repercussions of state-sanctioned violence, in which the stakes could hardly be higher. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2020
4/5 90% The Booksellers (2020) Unputdownable documentary that evokes the thrill of reading preloved pages and reveals that a passion for collecting is not just a hoarding instinct, but a way to preserve and share culture. - Empire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
93% The General (1927) The General is one of the funniest, most ingenious, and gosh-darn exciting films you will ever see in your long and happy life. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet Little Veronika (Die kleine Veronika) (1929) I was thoroughly charmed by this film. Von Nagy is gorgeous, of course, but more alive than most ingénues - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) The soldiers of WWI are here little more than motion-capture figures for Jackson's team to drape with colour and sound and stereoscopy. An army of Gollums: not wearied by age perhaps, but certainly contemned by technology. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
100% Bait (2019) Bait is a fantastic movie, and will intoxicate anyone who loves the art and craft of film. The pacing stumbles a little towards the end, it's true, but I left the cinema enthralled and full of excitement about the medium. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
90% Arctic (2019) Arctic is an engrossing movie and sometimes almost unbearably tense film, shot smartly by debut director Joe Penna. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
91% Journey's End (2018) Dibb's sensitive incorporation of, or tribute to, traces of archive imagery is intriguing and very satisfying. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
100% My Twentieth Century (Az én XX. századom) (2019) Enyedi's film has the capacity to make ideas and inventions that are now familiar seem new again, to imbue them with the sense of wonder and magic that they once held. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
68% Wonderstruck (2017) Haynes is doing something more interesting than reconstruction. His film, carried along by Carter Burwell's brilliantly alive score, creates an almost silent movie -- a wordless communion between two periods of time. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet Der Schatz (The Treasure) (1923) While this film doesn't contain the fluid editing style that Pabst's later silents were noted for, it has plenty of visual panache, some intense performances and a carefully sustained atmosphere of mounting hysteria. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
88% Shiraz (1928) This is a film to wallow in. Hat-tip to the illustrious Anglo-German cinematography team of Henry Harris and Emil Schünemann. It takes repeat viewings of Shiraz to satisfy your hunger for those gorgeous landscapes and grand palaces. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
94% Michael (1924) How could it not be a wonderful film, with Dreyer directing, and two other estimable filmmakers in the cast? - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
76% Stockholm, My Love (2016) I do appreciate how Cousins's silent camera, how his immersion in an older style of film-making, has created a poignant, provocative new film. Stockholm My Love is a singular and proud City Symphony. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
94% Notfilm (2015) There's plenty here to expand your understanding of Film. And film, too. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet Great K & A Train Robbery (1926) Yes, this film relies on a string of outlandish stunts and one incredible hat. But I have a real fondness for films such as this one that embellish a news story into an action rollercoaster. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet For Heaven's Sake (1926) Bucketfuls of belly laughs to be had, and I nearly gagged when Lloyd munched on a powder puff soaked in cologne believing it to be a cake baked by his sweetie. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet Beau Geste (1926) It's ridiculous, but Herbert Brenon has a winning way with the spectacular set pieces that the story demands. And the scenes are always stolen by the supporting cast. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
No Score Yet Les deux timides (Two Timid Souls) (2013) Clair conducts his imagery as if it's music, dividing and combining screens, and cutting with steely precision, to create a symphonic film: elaborate, and beautifully poignant. It's also very, very funny. Froth, but of the very finest kind. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
100% The Inhuman Woman (L'Inhumaine) (1926) There's little sentiment in this story, but there is great style. Even the intertitles glitter... L'Inhumaine is liable to leave you unmoved but agog. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2020
No Score Yet Synthetic Sin (2014) Synthetic Sin is an artifact from a time long gone. That is to say that this film is delightful, glamorous, witty... And they really don't make them like this any more. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2020
91% The First Film (2016) It's a noble quest, and I applaud Wilkinson for taking it on. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2020
93% The Birth of a Nation (1915) D.W. Griffith made many other films with old-fashioned, sentimental storylines -- but his best work moves the audience, because it is based on an emotional truth. That emotional truth is missing in this film. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
97% Man With a Movie Camera (1929) This magnificent movie may be a film studies set text, but it defies attempts at explanation, and in fact, it has a unique way of wriggling out of any category you might try to impose on it. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
91% Love Is All: 100 Years of Love & Courtship (2015) It's a wisp of a film, maybe, but a wonderful experiment -- a curiously intimate use of public footage, which is bound to trigger your own imagination, and your most cherished memories too. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
99% Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) From its ease with wordless communication to the exuberant pleasure it takes in runaway vehicles and ludicrous chases, there's no doubt that this film is suffused with the spirit of great silent comedy cinema. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
94% Spione (Spies) (The Spy) (1928) There's not an ounce of fat on this film -- if it's not sexy, dangerous or illegal, Lang won't allow it on screen. And this makes for breathless, disorienting viewing. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
96% The Thief of Bagdad (1924) If you can separate the lazy stereotypes and cliches peddled by this "Arabian Nights fantasy" from your appreciation of the inspired movie-making in front of you, you'll enjoy The Thief of Bagdad for what it is: Hollywood spectacle at its most lavish. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
98% Playtime (1973) Playtime, [Jacques Tati's] masterpiece, is a work of brow-furrowing complexity in its design and structure, but a model of narrative clarity. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
99% The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) (1920) Herrmann Warm's legendary Caligari sets don't look like the world outside our front doors, but they evoke the nightmares that invade our minds... Caligari creeps into your blood, via your fingernails. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
No Score Yet Madame Du Barry (Passion) (1919) Lubitsch's film has the glamour and sweep of a historical drama as well as the intimacy of a romcom. The sets and costumes are gorgeous, the very best that Ufa's ample resources could provide. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
100% Sidewalk Stories (1989) It's funny, it's touching, it's very clever and it has a quite remarkable lightness of touch. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
94% Faust (1926) This is rousing stuff -- and marvellously, the effects in this film, from the "magic carpet ride" to the scenes when Faust first makes his terrible deal with the devil, are up to telling such a bold story. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
No Score Yet Ich möchte kein Mann sein (I Don't Want to Be a Man) (2003) When it comes to rebellious on-screen teens, Ossi Oswalda's flirtatious, gender-bending minx feels decidedly modern. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
90% Phantom of the Opera (1925) This is high-camp Hollywood hokum to be sure, but hokum dressed up to the nines. And arguably the sheer gorgeousness of the film, as well as Chaney's chill portrayal of the spectre, lend the entire endeavour an unexpected gravitas. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
88% Napoléon (1929) A magnificent monstrosity, Napoléon offers refined beauty, raw thrills and a thousand and one reasons to adore the cinema. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
97% Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) (1922) It's remarkable, by contrast with all the films that have appropriated the stair shot, that Murnau's Nosferatu avoids any such shortcuts: turning leafy landscapes into places of horror, playing violence as romance, and romance as violence. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
94% Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit) (Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime) (1922) This is pulp mystery fiction with a touch of class; Lang takes a few steps in the direction of his Hollywood film noir future with these slick stories of criminal twists, unexpected turns and moral compromises in a bleak urban setting. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
No Score Yet Too Much Johnson (1938) Haphazard, but buoyant, an experiment in pastiching old-fashioned cinematic styles, but with a passion that energises them. Three years before Citizen Kane and here we can see Welles happily at play with his new favourite toy. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
94% All Is Lost (2013) It is a rare sound film that has learned the extraordinary power of silents -- and it's really very special indeed. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
100% The Naked Island (Hadaka no shima) (1960) Director Kaneto Shindô relies on his imagery to craft an engrossing realist drama. This is one of the most sophisticated, and powerful, of modern silent films. - Silent London EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020