Alasdair Bayman (Film Critic)
Manchester writer with a penchant for Italian cinema and passion for the dirtiest Queen of cinema
Alasdair Bayman is a recent graduate of English Literature at The University of Manchester. Writing for the Mancunion for two years as a senior film critic, in the process he interviewed Julia Ducournau and artistic director of HOME, Jason Wood. Similarly, covering Q&A events including Ben Wheatley, Ken Loach and Danny Boyle was a highlight of his time at the paper. On the side, Alasdair runs his own independent blog and film essay site, The Film Essayist. Also, he contributes towards Manchester Wire who preview cultural events right across the city. Away from words, he runs The Cinephile Mixtape – a weekly film review show.
A keen admirer of Italian cinema, specifically Neorealism and Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960), these filmsprovoke and question the very essence of cinema. Akin to Antonioni’s film, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (also from 1960) is not only admired by Alasdair in his Blu-ray collection but also in the form of a framed original Italian poster.
Unlike the seriousness of these Italian films, he adores the craziness of Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977). Elevated by the scores of Goblins, such Giallo films, in Alasdair‘s eyes, present humanities’ basic sadistic nature. In the horror genre, one of his favourite films of all time, The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973) is ingrained in his brain. Like Argento’s musical collaboration with Goblins, Hardy’s with Magnet in the cult classic is regularly listened to on Spotify. Not only this, the sheer claustrophobic environment the film creates on this remote island needs to be seen by any keen cinephile.
In recent years, Mia Hansen-Love’s Eden (2014) and Things to Come (2016) are two films which have resonated with him, specifically Eden and its focus on his beloved house music. As any good cinephile should have, the film’s in his collection vary from Todd Haynes, Martin Scorsese, Billy Wilder, Dario Argento, Akira Kurosawa and Ira Sachs.
Alongside this collection, Alasdair loves film art and hoarding his film tickets. In his film art, iconic images from Double Indemnity, Taxi Driver (Martin Scorcese, 1968) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) are found. Seeking to add a glorious image of Queen Isabelle Huppert is also a must in his collection. Obsessively tweeting about the female actress and liking all of her Instagram posts is another importante past time for the young Alasdair, besides films. Long live Queen Huppert!!!
You can find Alasdair on Twitter @alasdairbayman and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other posts by Alasdair Bayman
Scarred Hearts (Inimi Cicatrizate)
Heavy-hearted Romanian drama about man succumbing to TB during Interwar period reflects on our vulnerability, mortality and triggers of the intellect - watch it now with ArteKino [Read More...]
Alita: Battle Angel
Watch the trailer for cyborg sci-fi romance with impressive aesthetics and facial CGI, produced by James Cameron, and guaranteed to generate controversy in the Summer of 2018 [Read More...]
Fast Convoy (Le Convoi)
French thriller plays with the colour palette in order to convey a sense of broken masculinity, partly shunning gravity-defying cars in favour of more psychological depth - watch it now on VoD [Read More...]
The Man Who Invented Christmas
This season, meet the English writer who invented Christmas... and the filmmaker who ruined it!!! Sloppy portrait of Charles Dickens and how he came to write A Christmas Carol is not going to fill your heart with holiday joy - in cinemas [Read More...]
What goes around comes around! Serbian filmmaker uses the real story of Serbian soldier who saved Muslim shop owner during Bosnian War in order to reflect on contemporary social-political issues not restricted to the Balkans - watch it now on VoD [Read More...]
Lost in Paris (Paris Pieds Nus)
Belgian-Australian duo direct and star in lighthearted comedy about our inner need to share beautiful moments, also featuring the late Emmanuelle Riva - in cinemas [Read More...]
All of a Sudden (Auf Einmal)
Murder or cruel twist of fate? Convincing German drama delves with a mysterious death, class divides and family allegiances, and it has a nice David Fincher-esque finish - watch now on VoD [Read More...]
It’s Not Yet Dark
Doc about filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice, who himself directed a movie while suffering from Motor Neuron Disease, will open your heart and fill the darkness with light! Just don't forget the tissues - now on VoD [Read More...]
It`s dark inside... the human mind! Chilean psychological thriller has a very a taut and insular narrative, which serves a commentary on the country's class system - now on VoD [Read More...]
Manchester Keeps on Dancing
Acting as a gateway between past and present, doc remembers the arrival of Acid House and the Hacienda days in the vigorous and energetic Northern City - from the Doc'n Roll Film Festival [Read More...]
Sir does NOT thwack you on the knee! This Irish boarding school is teeming with tender and doting relationships between headmasters and pupils, unlike in the The Smiths song - in cinemas this week [Read More...]
Blade Runner 2049
Akin to the unicorn referenced in the 1982 movie, the new Blade Runner is truly a rare breed of a film; it is original without destroying any of the achievements of its predecessor - in cinemas everywhere! [Read More...]
Go East! Stay away from this Western, unless you think religious undertones and extreme violence towards women are the right ingredients for the genre - in cinemas now [Read More...]
Robert Pattinson plays a scruffy rogue in a crime film SO DIRTY and GRIPPING that it will leave the streets feeling boring and dim after you have left the cinema - in cinemas [Read More...]
Carmen on the Lake
Latin passion with Germanic flavours: Bizet's majestic opera at Lake Constance has been captured in film, so you don't need to travel to Austria in order to witness this elegant spectacle - in cinemas across the UK [Read More...]
A groovy day in London town! Touching tribute to tolerance and diversity is a much needed present for as iconic city tainted right now by fear of terrorism and Brexi-division - silent movie with live music score in cinemas [Read More...]
Is Jacques Becker's masterpiece indeed "the greatest French film of all times"? Our dirty writer Alasdair Bayman takes a fresh look at the highly subversive and innovative flick, and reflects on topics of honour and incarceration - now on DVD, BD and EST [Read More...]
Damned Summer (Verão Danado)
Some like it hot and wild: get lost in this highly visual and melodic template of nightlife with the hedonistic youth of Portugal - available for online streaming for a limited period only [Read More...]
Behind every man there's a great woman; and sometimes there's another one ahead of him: doc about the Williams reveals that profession ambitions and family life can gently complement each other - in cinemas [Read More...]
A Good Day to Die, Hoka Hey
The unbearable darkness of being at war: Jason P' Howe's unflinching desire to capture the grotesqueness of war with his camera is the subject of this highly provocative doc - out on DVD, Blu-ray and VoD [Read More...]
The Midwife (Sage Femme)
A painful delivery: despite a star-studded cast and top-drawer performances, Martin Provost just fails to produce a convincing movie about birth and ghosts of the past - in cinemas this week [Read More...]
Istanbul has an intimate and virtuous relation of respect with its street moggies; this doc follows the footsteps (pawsteps?) of seven stray cats with different and vibrant personalities - it will leave you longing for feline love [Read More...]
Fifty years on, The Graduate remains as young and refreshing as ever with its simple yet extremely effective message of embracing and pursuing love at all costs... and at all ages - in cinemas this weekend! [Read More...]
Comedy isn't always in colour: doc reveals that the life of stand-up artists and comedians is often fraught with sadness and loneliness - in cinemas Friday [Read More...]
Alice Lowe pops out a strange blend of comedy and slasher dealing with pregnancy and a bloodthirsty unborn child - now on DVD and Blu-ray [Read More...]