Sight & Sound: the December 2012 issue

Paul Thomas Anderson on The Master, Cristi Puiu on Aurora, Thomas Vinterberg on The Hunt and LFF newcomer Sally El Hosaini on My Brother the Devil – plus the S&S career interview with Amour’s Michael Haneke.

In print and digital from 6 November.

In our December issue, film wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson talks about his latest epic historical chamber drama The Master, a portrait of the war-damaged and those who would exploit them.

We have an in-depth career-survey interview with Michael Haneke, winner of this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or for Amour (Love), and interviews with Cristi Puiu about Aurora, his follow-up to The Life and Death of Mr Lazarescu, The Hunt’s Thomas Vinterberg and LFF newcomer Sally El Hosaini.

We celebrate a new DVD and Blu-ray restoration of that ultimate close-up film The Passion of Joan of Arc, accompanied by Mark Cousins’ look at significant use of the face in cinema. Plus Yorgos Lanthimos’s Alps, The Life of Pi, Golden Age movie star and tough cookie Miriam Hopkins, Alex Gibney, cinema in Tito’s Yugoslavia, Luke Fowler, octopus eating, Thierry Zéno’s death documentary Des Morts… and as ever, much much more.

Scroll the gallery below to browse the issue…


Hearts and minds

The Master may be loosely inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, but Paul Thomas Anderson’s film also draws on rich strands of philosophy, period recreation and psychological excavation, says Graham Fuller.

PLUS James Bell talks to the director.

The Jezebel swagger of Miriam Hopkins

Dan Callahan tips his hat to a Hollywood star whose verbal fireworks, unabashed sexuality and willingness to push the boundaries still fascinate 80 years on.

Murder in mind

Romanian writer-director Cristi Puiu tells Nick James about Aurora, his powerful follow-up to The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.

The Maid remade

Voted the ninth greatest film of all time in the recent S&S poll, The Passion of Joan of Arc can at last be seen as director Carl Dreyer intended, says Michael Brooke.

PLUS Mark Cousins on why movies need close-ups.

Dead ringers

Yorgos Lanthimos’s Alps uses a stylised exploration of human hierarchies to cast light on the state of Greek society. By Olga Kourelou.

The S&S interview: Michael Haneke

With Amour, his most personal film to date, out this month, the Austrian master discusses his career with Geoff Andrew.



Isabel Stevens on a season of films by maverick photographer William Klein.

Hannah McGill chews over the meaning of the live octopus eaten in Old Boy.

Kieron Corless talks to LFF Best Newcomer Sally El Hosaini.

Matthew Taylor interviews Thomas Vinterberg about The Hunt.

Mark Cousins on the power of three.

Editorial: The props of fiction.

Reader Offers

The industry

Charles Gant traces the long gestation of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.

Charles Gant on how German films fare at the UK box office.

David Locke wonders if press critics are losing their influence on the public.

Geoffrey Macnab talks to prolific documentary-maker Alex Gibney.


David Jenkins reports from Busan.

Simon Merle rediscovers the films of Valerio Zurlini in Trieste.

Wide angle

Olaf Möller explores the observational films of German director Peter Nestler.

Michael Brooke talks to Mila Turajilic about her documentary on cinema in Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Melissa Gronlund talks to Turner Prize nominee Luke Fowler.

Brad Stevens asks if the tension between performance and identity is the secret heart of cinematic storytelling.

Frances Morgan explains why details are better than sweeping narratives in music documentaries.

Geoff Brown reports from Pordenone’s silent film festival.

Nick Pinkerton resurrects Thierry Zéno’s death documentary Des Morts.


Nick Wrigley examines the detrimental effects of digital restoration.

Letters: A forgotten moonshine classic, misreading Nostalgia for the Light.


Films of the month

The Hunt
The Master
Silver Linings Playbook

plus reviews of

Alex Cross
Cinema Komunisto
Crossfire Hurricane
End of Watch
Everything or Nothing: 007
Great Expectations
The House I Live In
Laurence Anyways
Mother’s Milk
My Brother the Devil
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger!
Not Dead Yet
Paranormal Activity 4
People like Us
The Pool
The Prophet
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan
The Sapphires
Some Guy Who Kills People
Trouble with the Curve
Up There
You Are God

DVD features

Nick Wrigley laments the flawed Blu-ray release of a compendium of some of Hitchcock’s finest work.

Kim Newman explores a selection of Universal’s 1930s horror flicks.

Ryan Gilbey revisits Hal Ashby’s complex study of race relations The Landlord.

plus reviews of

Films by Boris Barnet
Casque d’or
The Castle
César et Rosalie
Eating Raoul
Hammer on Blu-ray
London: the Modern Babylon
Mundane History
The Penalty
Private Hell 36}
The Alexander Sokurov Collection
The Sound and the Fury
The Sterile Cuckoo
Trouble in Paradise
The Uninvited


Nick Pinkerton on 1990s series Get a Life.

PLUS Alphas – Season 1, The Arcata Promise, Malcolm in the Middle – Season 1.


Philip Kemp savours a biography of enigmatic 1940s star Dana Andrews.

Thomas Elsaesser enjoys a smart overview of Michael Haneke’s Hidden.

Nick Roddick gets to grips with a study of modern film distribution.

Nick Pinkerton delights in the life and antics of movie-palace impresario Samuel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel.


Alexander Jacoby on Sansho Dayu.

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