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about the writer

Having been chief film critic of the Guardian (London) for 30 years, Derek Malcolm is now in the same post for the London Evening Standard. He is an Honorary president of FIPRESCI, a former director of the London Festival, and a Governor of the British Film Institute.

short films

This section has been edited by Belinda van de Graaf and Adrian Martin.


Man's Favorite Short


by Adrian Martin

"Several Friends" (Charles Burnett, 1969)
by Andy Rector

The Pain of Cinema: "Interior New York Subway" (G. W. Bitzer, 1905)
by Gabe Klinger


Improvised Polemic by Derek Malcolm: "LBJ" (Santiago Alvarez, 1968)

Dream Work (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2001) by Adrian Martin

Short Film Poetry by Jonathan Rosenbaum: "The House Is Black" (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1962) and "When It Rains" (Charles Burnett, 1995)



Improvised Polemic
By Derek Malcolm


Santiago Alvarez, the Cuban director, made a series of short films that have never been equalled for their stunning marriages of music and imagery. "LBJ" (1968) was one of the best — a bitter satire on President Johnson in three sections which correspond to his initials. L is for Martin Luther King, B is for Bobby Kennedy and J is for Jack Kennedy. Alvarez implicates Johnson in all three assassinations, portraying his presidency as the culmination of a whole history of socio-political corruption. Unbeatable as brilliantly improvised polemic, whether you agree with him or not.

Derek Malcolm




bullet. # 7 (1.2011)
bullet. # 6 (4.2010)
bullet. # 5 (5.2009)
bullet. # 4 (10.2008)
bullet. # 3 (11.2006)
bullet. # 2 (7.2006)
bullet. # 1 (4.2006)


issue # 1 4.2006

bullet. Contents
bullet. Marías on Guerín
bullet. Martin on Crowe
bullet. Fujiwara on Tsai
bullet. Klinger on Garrel
bullet. How Critics Work
bullet. Man's Favorite Short
bullet. Amengual Tribute
bullet. Leslie Shatz