7 items from 2013
(Federico Fellini, 1963; Argent Films, 15)
With La Dolce Vita, Fellini created a new, fantastical, personal, expressive style of film-making to succeed the fading neorealism that had dominated the Italian cinema since the second world war. With Otto e Mezzo, he went even further. He made the most avant-garde movie ever to become a major international success, a film where dream, nightmare, memory and reality intermingle in the story of Guido Anselmi (Fellini's handsome cinematic alter ego), a successful director suffering a serious crisis. Guido has embarked on an expensive production, a science-fiction film with an enormous set already built of a spaceship launch pad. Unfortunately, he's suffering from the equivalent of a writer's block. Surrounded by a variety of people dependent on him – a beautiful, resentful wife (Anouk Aimée), a demanding mistress (Sandra Milo), numerous actors, increasingly anxious producers – he has no idea how to complete his ambitious, determinedly honest picture. »
- Philip French
Directed by Federico Fellini.
Guido (Mastroianni), a tired movie director, begins to fantasize about past occurrences in his life.
8½ reaches its 50th birthday this year, celebrated with a splendid restored DVD and Blu-ray. In its golden year, there isn’t much to be said about Fellini’s classic that hasn’t already been said. One of the major dilemmas possibly hounding its new release, however, is whether it still holds up. With the aesthetic and style of the 60s rejuvenated thanks to the likes of Mad Men, 8½ now, perhaps more than ever, appears all kinds of cool. The fact that the film relies heavily on fantasy moments – psychologically timeless – also means the content defies aging. It comes to us again as immaculate and crisp as Guido’s suits.
The film is one deserving of multiple viewings (for those that »
- Gary Collinson
UK Jewish film festival | Aesthetica short film festival | French film festival UK | Leeds international film festival
UK Jewish film festival, nationwide
There's really no telling what a Jewish film could or should look like, or even where it could come from. It might be an eastern European thriller (In The Shadow); a New York comedy such as Blumenthal, starring Brian Cox; an Almodóvar-esque musical (Eytan Fox's Cupcakes); an Argentinian Nazi drama (Wakolda); or even a psychedelic semi-animated head trip such as Ari "Waltz With Bashir" Folman's latest, The Congress. The result is one of the most varied festivals out there, and an ever-expanding event (80 films this year, across 19 venues). More recognisably Jewish themes are also abundant, such as in self-explanatory opener The Jewish Cardinal, based on a true story, or new doc Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, with Michael Grade in conversation after.
Various venues, to 17 Nov
Aesthetica short film festival, »
- Steve Rose
Dirk Bogarde: ‘Victim’ star took no prisoners in his letters to Dilys Powell Letters exchanged between film critic Dilys Powell and actor Dirk Bogarde — one of the most popular and respected British performers of the twentieth century, and the star of seminal movies such as Victim, The Servant, Darling, and Death in Venice — reveals that Bogarde was considerably more caustic and opinionated in his letters than in his (quite bland) autobiographies. (Photo: Dirk Bogarde ca. 1970.) As found in Dirk Bogarde’s letters acquired a few years ago by the British Library, among the victims of the Victim star (sorry) were Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia), a "ninny" who was “so utterly beastly to [Steaming director Joseph Losey] that he finally threw his script at her face”; and veteran stage and screen actor — and Academy Award winner — John Gielgud (Arthur), who couldn’t "understand half of Shakespeare" despite being renowned for his stage roles in Macbeth, »
- Andre Soares
Starry-eyed dreamer of the French New Wave, Demy's frothy, seductive fairy tales may not have been as political or naturalistic as the work of his peers, but their exuberant sense of mise-en-scène still offers timeless appeal. Leading up to a revival of Demy's newly restored, all-sung Catherine Deneuve rhapsody The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (October 18–24), Film Forum's unmissable two-week series includes many more restorations, from his 1961 debut, Lola (starring Anouk Aimée as a yearning cabaret singer), through his final 1988 feature, Three Seats for the 26th, an Yves Montand vehicle by way of MGM song-and-dance homage. Los Angeles plays itself in Demy's only American stint, Model Shop »
Italian screenwriter, novelist and poet who formed a successful partnership with the film director Roberto Benigni
Although he was a respected novelist and poet, Vincenzo Cerami, who has died aged 72 after a long illness, was perhaps best known as a screenwriter, thanks to his long partnership with the director Roberto Benigni. The pair co-wrote six films and had their greatest success with La Vita è Bella (Life Is Beautiful, 1997), which starred Benigni as a Jewish internee in a concentration camp, desperately pretending to his young son that it is all a game. The film won three Oscars and had a further four nominations, including for best screenplay. "Knowing Vincenzo was a gift," said Benigni, "because he taught people's hearts to beat."
On their early films together, Cerami was not able to totally sublimate Benigni's excesses as an actor. Nevertheless, Il Piccolo Diavolo (The Little Devil, 1988), Johnny Stecchino (1991) and Il Mostro (The Monster, »
- John Francis Lane
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For: “Phil” from The Hangover
Previous Oscar Nominations: None
Interesting Fact: Was a medalist on the Men's Heavyweight Crew team at Georgetown University.
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Previously Best Known For:
“Bill Cutting” from Gangs of New York
“Daniel Plainview” from There Will Be Blood
Previous Oscar Nominations: 4
Won – Best Actor, Leading Role for There Will Be Blood (2007)
Nominated – Best Actor, Leading Role for Gangs of New York (2002)
Nominated – Best Actor, Leading Role for In The Name of The Father (1993)
Won – Best Actor, Leading Role for My Left Foot (1989)
Interesting Fact: He first became interested in acting when he learned to replicate the accent and mannerisms of people in his neighborhood to avoid standing out to bullies.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
7 items from 2013
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