DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

John Bleasdale

Film critic

Prolific writer and podcaster based in Italy

John Bleasdale is a film critic and writer based in Italy. He has published a novel entitled Blood is on the Grass and a book of short stories as well as a number of articles and features. His work has appeared in The Economist, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and Sight and Sound as well as a number of internet sites such as Hotcorn and CineVue. He is also the creator and host of the Writers on Film podcast.

John’s interests in cinema are extremely varied. He loves cult movies, art house, world cinema, Hollywood blockbusters, silent movies, precode cinema, science fiction, horror, westerns and musicals, documentaries, shorts, experimental cinema and period films. He doesn’t like everything but he is interested in it.

Other posts by John Bleasdale
John is waiting for the light!
In his second diary entry from the northernmost and the coldest film festival on Earth, in Tromsø (Northern Norway), John Bleasdale reports on seeing the Northern Lights as well as a British movie full of brightness [Read More...]

John’s on top of the world!
John Bleasdale reports live from the 12th edition of the Tromsø International Film Festival, the coldest and the northernmost film festival in the world; check out the dirty gems that he has unearthed so far! [Read More...]

The 10 dirty movies that John Waters never made
John Bleasdale has done something wholly blasphemous: he has imagined 10 films that the magnificently dirty genius John Waters never made; the list is bursting with colour, subversion, and plain filth - in partnership with Doesn't Exist Magazine [Read More...]

Norway offers our writer one profound revelation!
John Bleasdale arrives at the Bergen International Film Festival and ponders about the assumption of honesty, while also reflecting on the very first film he's caught. [Read More...]

How the Sarajevo Film Festival holds a hand out to Ukraine
John Bleasdale reports live from the Sarajevo Film Festival, which demonstrates that film can serve as gesture of international solidarity [Read More...]

Albert Serra’s filthy genius new film flashes a neon light into the Conradian Heart of Darkness in French Polynesia - on various VoD platforms from Tuesday, June 27th [Read More...]

Men of Deeds (Oameni de Treaba)
Sarajevo Film Festival premieres Romanian black comedy about a about village policemen just wants a quiet life and an orchard he can call his own [Read More...]

Fire of Love
National Geographic documentary tracks the love affair between Katia and Maurice Krafft and a whole slew of erupting volcanoes - from the Sarajevo Film Festival [Read More...]

Medusa Deluxe
Blackly comic thriller about a high-level hairdressing competition is a cut above the rest - British debut of rare promise is in cinemas on Friday, June 9th [Read More...]

A Perfect Day for Caribou
Pristine black and white feature tells the tale of fathers and sons, lost and found, failure and connection - live from Locarno [Read More...]

My Neighbor Adolf
Offensive in its inoffensiveness, awkward comedy about a Holocaust survivor in Colombia and his strange new neighbour fails to impress one of our writers - showing at the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival [Read More...]

Stone Turtle
Malaysian director creates a multilayered blend of tragedy and horror about stateless refugee on a remote island - live from the 75th edition of the Locarno Film Festival [Read More...]

The Coup d’État Factory (A Fantástica Fábrica de Golpes)
As Brazil turns a tragic page of its history (with Lula's inauguration on January 1st, and Bolsonaro relegated to the bin of history), watch the film that sheds light on what actually happened - DMovies' first ever production is now on VoD [Read More...]

The Island
Anca Damian's retelling and updating of Robinson Crusoe is a psychedelic joy for the eyes and ears - from the International Film festival Rotterdam [Read More...]

The Child (A Criança)
In 16th Century Portugal, a young man is about to enter the world of maturity, however problems coil underneath the sun-kissed languor - from the International Film Festival Rotterdam [Read More...]

When terrorists attack a school and take children hostage, a band of unlikely heroes must form to effect their rescue - Kazakh director showcases his new creation in Rotterdam [Read More...]

The Plains
A series of car journeys from work to home begin to reveal a life lived of apparent routine but interesting depth - from the International Film Festival Rotterdam [Read More...]

Please Baby Please
Amanda Kramer's new film is a postmodern queer whirligig of Hollywood and musical influences with an astonishing performance from Andrea Riseborough - International Film Festival Rotterdam [Read More...]

Daryn’s Gym
When a new outlet of a national gym chain opens next door, the small family run Millers and Sons gym finds itself in a a battle for its survival - live from Rotterdam [Read More...]

Teitur Magnusson’s debut film is an exploration of domestic abuse and grief in the wilds of Iceland - from the 32nd Tromsø International Film Festival [Read More...]

Maria Ignatenco's second feature film is a bleak portrayal of war in the Baltic states, as a simple man loses his innocence on the killing fields of the Second World War - from Rotterdam [Read More...]

Katja Dreams of Waking Up
Katja is a young woman struggles with the frantic pace of her life and the dreams of death and apocalypse that haunt her nights - from the Tromsø International Film Festival [Read More...]

History of the Occult (Historia de lo Oculto)
A conspiracy at the highest levels of the Argentinean government is about to be revealed on national television but the truth has a terrible price - Tromsø International Film Festival [Read More...]

Zero Fucks Given (Rien à Foutre)
Air stewardess grapples with corporate greed and an empty partying lifestyle, in a profound and meaningful character study from France - on all major VoD platforms on Monday, January 30th [Read More...]

A Human Position
Anders Emblem’s second film is an intimate portrait of a young woman recovering from a mysterious trauma, featuring a superb performance from Amalie Ibsen Jensen - live from the Tromsø International Film Festival [Read More...]

The Red Sea International Film Festival was full of strong females and dirty treats!
John Bleasdale reports live from the first ever Red Sea Film Festival, in Saudi Arabia; the event showcased very subversive films (including a Lesbian drama), something unthinkable just a few years ago [Read More...]

You Resemble Me (Tu me resembles)
Dina Amer’s debut film is a stunning portrait of a vulnerable woman who finds herself and then loses herself in the comforting wrap of extremism - in cinemas and also on Digital from Friday, February 3rd [Read More...]

The Glance of Music (Ennio)
Giuseppe Tornatore’s new documentary is a loving portrait of Ennio Morricone, the Italian film composer who has to be one of the greatest composers to ever write for the screen - from the first ever Red Sea Film Festival [Read More...]

Communion (Qorban)
Nejib Belkadhi's film is a dark comedy about love and madness in the time of coronavirus - live from the first ever Red Sea Film Festival [Read More...]

A young girl tests the limits of her freedom in the first ever film shot in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - live from the Red Sea Film Festival [Read More...]

Brighton 4th
This poignant comedy on the Georgian immigrant experience in New York is a life-affirming experience - live from the Red Sea Film Festival, Saudi Arabia [Read More...]

Joe Wright’s Cyrano has all the luxurious panache of a box of very expensive chocolates - on VoD on Friday, May 27th [Read More...]

Live from Jeddah: Previewing the Red Sea International Film Festival
The very first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival starts on December 6th for 11 days, bringing a potent mix of Arab cinema as well as more familiar festival fare - John Bleasdale reports live from the event [Read More...]

Venice’s “bumper year” draws to an impressive end
John Bleasdale reports on the top-drawer selection of the 78th Biennale, as the Festival bestows its top prizes on women (similarly to Cannes, Berlin and the Oscars) [Read More...]

Old Henry
Old-fashioned and nostalgic Western has robust characters, an impressive cinematography and an engaging music score - on Sky TV on Sunday, February 20th [Read More...]

Reflection (Vidblysk)
Ukrainian drama about surgeon captured by the Russian military is a profound meditation on war, fate and belief - live from the 78th Biennale [Read More...]

The Box (La Caja)
Abandoning his native Venezuela for Mexico, Golden Lion winner Vigas has created a fascinating story of lost families and secret histories - from the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in Michel Franco's new drama, another harrowing drama portraying both white and indigenous Mexicans as inherently dysfunctional - from the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Happening (L’Évènement)
French film unflinchingly portrays the physical reality of unwanted pregnancy and the attempted abortions in the 1960s, with clear parallel with the current situation in Texas - on Mubi on Thursday, July 14th [Read More...]

Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the sci-fi classic criticises the exploitation of our planet and its indigenous peoples, thereby wowing our writer John Bleasdale - back in cinemas on Friday, February 9th [Read More...]

The Lost Daughter
Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut film is a mature and fascinating meditation on motherhood, adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel - on Netflix on Monday, January 10th [Read More...]

The Hand of God
Football legend Diego Maradona inadvertently changes the life of a young Neapolitan man, in Paolo Sorrentino's messy new film - on Netflix on Friday, December 17th [Read More...]

The Power of the Dog
Two very different cowboy brothers lock horns in this admirable yet troublesome Western - Jane Campion's first movie in more than a decade is now on Netflix [Read More...]

Madeleine Collins
After Paul Verhoeven's raunchy BENEDETTA, Virginie Efira leads a double life with two husbands, two sons and one daughter - live from Venice [Read More...]

Promises (Les Promesses)
Opening the Orizzonti sidebar of the Venice Film Festival, Thomas Kruithof’s Les Promesses stars Isabelle Huppert as a politician who decides to break her promise [Read More...]

The Middle Man
Bent Hamer portrays a soulless American town in a style reminiscent of the Coen Brothers' Fargo, however far inferior in its filmic prowess - from the Toronto International Film Festival [Read More...]

Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas)
Two single mothers share a maternity room, in one of Almodovar's most thoughtful, profound and mature works to date - in cinemas on Friday, January 28th [Read More...]

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