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Stephen Frears interview: Victoria And Abdul

Ben Mortimer Sep 14, 2017

Director Stephen Frears chat to us about British cinema, Victoria & Abdul, and directing Dame Judi Dench...

Arriving in cinemas tomorrow is Victoria & Abdul, a film that tells a previously little-known story of a friendship between Queen Victoria and a man called Abdul towards the end of her life. It's a thematic follow on from director John Madden's Mrs Brown, and this story is directed by Stephen Frears. He took some time out to chat to us abou tit...

You spent the whole day talking about the film. One of the things I’m sure you’ve been asked, and I apologise for asking it, but I think the answer may inform where the rest of this interview goes. There’s an obvious similarity, particularly with casting, to Mrs Brown.

Yeah.

What was it you felt you could do differently?

Didn’t think about it.

You completely
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ken Loach: Europe Should Welcome Refugees, Not Send Them Back

Ken Loach: Europe Should Welcome Refugees, Not Send Them Back
In accepting their Crystal Globes at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival on Monday for the remarkable collaboration that produced a dozen films over 21 years, screenwriter Paul Laverty joked that he’s not sure how much director Ken Loach has understood him all this time. The strong Glasgow accent is something Laverty shares with some of Loach’s characters in “Sweet Sixteen,” one of their first outings and a tough, tender coming-of-age story about teens facing miserable odds in life.

When the film won the screenplay prize at Cannes in 2002, Laverty said, British critics complained they couldn’t understand a word of the dialogue and had to resort to reading the French subtitles.

Speaking to a packed house at the Hotel Thermal’s Grand Hall, Loach commended the festival for awarding him jointly with Laverty. “Too often all the attention goes to the director,” Loach said, adding that it’s teamwork that results in “the best things we
See full article at Variety - Film News »

All of the Films Joining Filmstruck’s Criterion Channel This July

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This July will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

Saturday, July 1 Changing Faces

What does a face tell us even when it’s disguised or disfigured? And what does it conceal? Guest curator Imogen Sara Smith, a critic and author of the book In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City, assembles a series of films that revolve around enigmatic faces transformed by masks, scars, and surgery, including Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960) and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s The Face of Another (1966).

Tuesday, July 4 Tuesday’s Short + Feature: Premature* and Ten*

Come hitch a ride with Norwegian director Gunhild Enger and the late Iranian master
See full article at CriterionCast »

The NHS on screen: from Carry On Nurse to 28 Days Later

The health service is an election battleground, but on screen it has long united the nation through film and television’s ongoing love affair with the NHS

Britannia Hospital was not a hit. Released in 1982, the film was a grand slab of British oddity from director Lindsay Anderson, arriving after the boarding school revolt of If … and business-land romp O Lucky Man. The lead was the great comic actor Leonard Rossiter, star of TV’s Rising Damp, cast as the administrator of a chaotic NHS hospital preparing for a visit from royalty.

It’s a movie that feels like a panic attack – the staff mutiny at creeping privatisation, strange experiments take place behind closed doors. Often it seems about to implode as you watch, leaving just a cloud of strange-smelling smoke – but then, it is supposed to be a portrait of collapse. As per the title, the idea was that
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The NHS on screen: from Carry On Nurse to 28 Days Later

The health service is an election battleground, but on screen it has long united the nation through film and television’s ongoing love affair with the NHS

Britannia Hospital was not a hit. Released in 1982, the film was a grand slab of British oddity from director Lindsay Anderson, arriving after the boarding school revolt of If … and business-land romp O Lucky Man. The lead was the great comic actor Leonard Rossiter, star of TV’s Rising Damp, cast as the administrator of a chaotic NHS hospital preparing for a visit from royalty.

It’s a movie that feels like a panic attack – the staff mutiny at creeping privatisation, strange experiments take place behind closed doors. Often it seems about to implode as you watch, leaving just a cloud of strange-smelling smoke – but then, it is supposed to be a portrait of collapse. As per the title, the idea was that
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Cannes Red Carpet Creates Global Brand Excitement

The Cannes Red Carpet Creates Global Brand Excitement
For almost two weeks every year, the Côte d’Azur comes to a near standstill as the glitterati descend upon Cannes for the film festival. Over seven decades, iconic images snapped by a phalanx of photographers have immortalized the famed festival, and cemented the marriage between the worlds of film and fashion. Which begs the question: What’s a major Cannes moment worth to a fashion brand by way of impact?

A Cannes moment is priceless, says Micaela Erlanger, who dressed Lupita Nyong’o in grasshopper green Gucci in 2015. “That moment in particular was a special one,” says Erlanger, “because it was the first red carpet moment under Alessandro Michele’s creative direction, and for it to be so well received, and highly covered by the press, really solidified the brand.”

“It’s very difficult to measure the impact,” says Said Cyrus, co-founder and head of design at Catherine Walker,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Miloš Forman birthday season by Amber Wilkinson - 2017-04-01 11:12:37

Miloš Forman, right, will be celebrated by short season. Photo: Courtesy of London Czech Centre The Czech Centre in London is showcasing a short season of films to mark the 85th birthday of Czech director Miloš Forman from April 22 to 30.

The events will also explore the principles - such as the importance of the everyday, the rejection of cinematic norms and the belief in artistic freedom - which Forman shared with the British Free Cinema movement by presenting his films alongside British directors such as Lindsay Anderson and Ken Loach.

Although Forman became famed for his Oscar-winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (due for re-release in British cinemas on April 14) and Amadeus, he began his started his career in opposition to classic narrative cinema, using mainly non-professional actors and scripts that eschewed conventional dramatic development.

The full programme is as follows:

Sat 22 April, 5.30pm

Poor Cow - Dir: Ken Loach,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

How David Storey's This Sporting Life created a great working-class film hero

Storey delivered a blast of energy to the dull early 60s with the character of Frank Machin, a rugby player who capitalised on the new magic of celebrity

David Storey, author of This Sporting Life, dies at 83

David Storey, in an unforgettable partnership with the director Lindsay Anderson, provided one of the great energising shocks of the 1960s, a blast of energy, smashing at the dullness, the complacency and hypocrisy of class-ridden Britain. Storey adapted his own 1960 novel This Sporting Life for the screen: Lindsay Anderson directed it, and won from Richard Harris a performance to rival Brando. He is Frank Machin, a gifted sportsman who wants to make it as a professional rugby league player (like Storey himself), but is poignantly in love with his widowed landlady, played by Rachel Roberts. Frank is a superstar on the field; he has money, success with women and a cocksure sense of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Criterion Reflections – If…. (1968) – #391

  • CriterionCast
David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

If…. is an important film of its time, occasionally droll and inspiring in its provocation of middle-class establishment values but more often charged with unsettling anger and resentment toward the intense pain registered by its various characters. Focusing through a darkly comedic lens on the torments inflicted by authorities on a trio of misfits in a regimented, highly traditional English boarding school, viewers are prodded to answer the question asked in the above poster: which side will you be on? When If…. reaches its explosive conclusion, our response is likely to be urgently felt and quickly resolved, but it’s not the kind of answer that’s likely to rest all that comfortably on our conscience if we let its implications sink in.

Director Lindsay Anderson had already established himself as a creative trailblazer in the British theater and cinema scenes,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Review: "A Taste Of Honey" (1961) Starring Rita Tushingham; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Everything But The Kitchen Sink”

By Raymond Benson

In the late 1950s, a film movement emerged in Britain known as “Free Cinema.” Some of the U.K.’s most celebrated filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s were among its practitioners—Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Lorenza Mazzetti, and Tony Richardson. The directors made low budget, short documentaries about the working class with an almost deliberate “non commercial” sensibility. It was radical and exciting, and it was a precursor to the British New Wave that dovetailed with the French New Wave that was so influential on filmmakers everywhere.

Many of the pictures of the British New Wave, released between 1959 and 1964, focused on characters described as “angry young men,” and the films themselves were referred to by critics and theorists as “kitchen sink dramas.” This was because the movies were presented in a harsh, realistic fashion and were indeed about the gritty, working
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Mary MacLeod obituary

Actor best known for appearances in the Lindsay Anderson films If …. and O Lucky Man!

Mary MacLeod, who has died aged 78, was a prolific character actor whose face was more familiar than her name. She left her most lasting impression in two of the establishment-baiting films of the director Lindsay Anderson.

First, she secured herself a place in screen history when she played the housemaster’s wife Mrs Kemp in the private school satire If …. (1968), starring Malcolm McDowell, in which she walked naked down a corridor and into the boys’ dormitory. It was only the second time that the British Board of Film Censors, as it was then named, had passed full-frontal female nudity (the first was in Blow-Up in 1966). The BBFC did a trade-off, agreeing to allow this in exchange for the deletion of male full-frontal nudity from a shower scene.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Mary MacLeod obituary

Actor best known for appearances in the Lindsay Anderson films If …. and O Lucky Man!

Mary MacLeod, who has died aged 78, was a prolific character actor whose face was more familiar than her name. She left her most lasting impression in two of the establishment-baiting films of the director Lindsay Anderson.

First, she secured herself a place in screen history when she played the housemaster’s wife Mrs Kemp in the private school satire If …. (1968), starring Malcolm McDowell, in which she walked naked down a corridor and into the boys’ dormitory. It was only the second time that the British Board of Film Censors, as it was then named, had passed full-frontal female nudity (the first was in Blow-Up in 1966). The BBFC did a trade-off, agreeing to allow this in exchange for the deletion of male full-frontal nudity from a shower scene.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

NYC Weekend Watch: Fassbinder Favorites, Buñuel, Queer Cinema, King Hu & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Metrograph

You’ve read of Rainer Werner Fassbinder‘s ten favorite films — now you can see them. The German titan’s beloved titles are celebrated in a new series: Johnny Guitar screens this Friday; Saturday offers Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Night of the Hunter, and the rarely seen The Red Snowball Tree; on Sunday, one can
See full article at The Film Stage »

Figures in a Landscape

Where was Leonard Pinth Garnell when we needed him?  Joseph Losey is often accused of pretension but in this case he may be guilty. Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell are escapees scrambling across a rocky terrain, pursued by a helicopter that seems satisfied to just harass them. Keeping the audience in the dark doesn't reap any dramatic or thematic benefit that I can see. Figures in a Landscape Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1970 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 110 min. / Street Date January 12, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Robert Shaw, Malcolm McDowell, Roger Lloyd Pack, Pamela Brown. Cinematography Henri Alekan, Peter Suschitzky, Guy Tabary Film Editor Reginald Beck Art Direction Ted Tester Original Music Richard Rodney Bennett Written by Robert Shaw from the novel by Barry England Produced by John Kohn Directed by Joseph Losey

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Joseph Losey is a gold mine for film criticism but a real problem for simple film reviewing.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Scream and Scream Again

Vincent Price's diabolical surgeon produces a new breed of supermen, except that his latest 'composite' creation is also a serial-killing vampire. While the mayhem keeps the cops busy,  the conspiracy spreads to a foreign dictatorship, where another composite is consolidating power through high-level murders. British agent Christopher Lee is ferreting out the conspiracy-- or is he part of it? Scream and Scream Again Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1969 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 95 min. / Ship Date October 13, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alfred Marks, Christopher Matthews, Judy Huxtable, Yutte Stensgaard, Anthony Newlands, Michael Gothard Cinematography John Coquillon Production Design Bill Constable Film Editor Peter Elliott Original Music David Whitaker Written by Christopher Wicking from a novel by Peter Saxon Produced by Louis M. Heyward, Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky Directed by Gordon Hessler

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Scream and Scream Again hangs in there as a genre curiosity,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Penelope Houston, Sight & Sound editor for 35 years, dies aged 88

The critic, who wrote several pioneering books and oversaw the magazine from 1956-1990, has died

Penelope Houston, who edited the British Film Institute’s cinema magazine Sight & Sound for 35 years, has died at the age of 88.

A charismatic figure keen on straight-talking, chain-smoking and betting on the horses, Houston took control of the iconic magazine in 1956, taking over from Gavin Lambert after he left for Hollywood. Houston had co-founded an earlier magazine with Lambert at Oxford, alongside editors Lindsay Anderson and Karel Reisz.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

My Darling Clementine + Frontier Marshal

We've already got a fine domestic disc with both versions of John Ford's fine Henry Fonda western. This Region B UK release duplicates that arrangement with different extras, and throws in a fine HD transfer of an earlier Allan Dwan version of the same story -- with strong similarities -- called Frontier Marshal. It stars Randolph Scott, Nancy Kelly, Cesar Romero and Binnie Barnes and it's very good. My Darling Clementine +  Frontier Marshal Region B Blu-ray Arrow Academy (UK) 1946 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 97 + 103 min. (two versions) / Street Date August 17, 2015, 2014 / Amazon UK / £19.99 Starring Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, Ward Bond, Alan Mowbray, John Ireland, Roy Roberts, Jane Darwell, Grant Withers, J. Farrell MacDonald, Russell Simpson. Cinematography Joe MacDonald Art Direction James Basevi, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor Dorothy Spencer Original Music Cyril Mockridge Written by Samuel G. Engel, Sam Hellman, Winston Miller Produced by Samuel G. Engel,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Blu-ray Review – My Darling Clementine (1946)

My Darling Clementine, 1946.

Directed by John Ford.

Starring Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Linda Darnell, Cathy Downs, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt and Ward Bond.

Synopsis :

A Western retelling of the shoot-out at the Ok Corral.

John Ford’s classic Western gets a prestigious release on Blu-ray containing a stagecoach load of extras and features uncovering the legend of Ford and his personal vision of the Wild West.

My Darling Clementine is a perfect example of Ford’s brand of pure Western, containing elements of gun-toting action, wry humour and episodic tragedy. An overriding bleakness informs the film, which at its heart is an examination of the relationship between the Marshall of Tombstone, Wyatt Earp (a definitive role for Henry Fonda) and the morally ambiguous, tuberculosis suffering Doc Holliday (Victor Mature).

Focusing on the events that inspire the famous battle, the film takes us on the route taken by the Earp
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Joshua Reviews Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette [Blu-ray Review]

Just 20 movies.

First starting in the brilliant John Schlesinger film Sunday Bloody Sunday, Daniel Day-Lewis has become arguably one of the greatest and most highly regarded thespians in the history of cinema. And yet he has only 20 credits to his name. For a craft that sees even the biggest of Hollywood stars sign on for just about any project that comes their way, Daniel Day-Lewis has become a genre defining actor on almost a part-time like schedule.

It’s not something new for the actor either.

Look at one of his greatest achievements, Stephen FrearsMy Beautiful Laundrette. 14 years after his debut, this marked his first performance of any real note, taking secondary billing in what would become one of the definitive cinematic achievements of 1980s British cinema.

Penned by Hanif Kureishi, My Beautiful Laundrette stars Gordon Warnecke as Omar, a young man who convinces his uncle Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey
See full article at CriterionCast »

Oscar Nominated Moody Pt.2: From Fagin to Merlin - But No Harry Potter

Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s.[1] But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans.[2] The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures.[3] Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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