7 items from 2014
Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus, »
- Andre Soares
(This review pertains to the UK Region 2 DVD release).
By Tim Greaves
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I first encountered Lionel Jeffries’ 1973 melodrama Baxter! during the summer of 1978 on what I believe to be its one and only British television airing by the BBC. Its conspicuous absence on video in the UK – and, until 2014, DVD – meant that, for me, some 36 years elapsed between viewings. A small, and in many respects not particularly memorable film, it nevertheless stayed with me over the intervening years for, I think, two reasons. The first was its unexpectedly dark nature, which completely caught me off guard given the family friendly nature of the director’s previous films, The Railway Children and The Amazing Mr Blunden; best remembered for his myriad of on-screen performances, Baxter! was in fact the third of only five projects which positioned Jeffries on the other side of the camera. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Here's new contributor Diana D. Drumm to with a trip back to a film that opened today in 1964...
We open at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival, with all of its bubbles and laughter and cinema. A jury, including the likes of Fritz Lang and Charles Boyer, peer at a roster featuring now-classics The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Pumpkin Eater alongside cult favorite The World of Henry Orient... Oh, you haven’t heard of The World of Henry Orient?
Well, that isn’t so surprising, even considering its headliner, the late great Peter Sellers, it’s been lost to TCM and cult nostalgists. In terms of Sellers’s filmography, it’s sandwiched between two biggies -- Dr. Strangelove and A Shot in the Dark (this loaded schedule along with a marriage to Swedish bombshell Britt Ekland would lead to his first major heart attack in 1964).
Sellers stars at the eponymous “Henry »
- Diana D Drumm
Antiques Road Trip has been renewed for four more series by BBC One.
Meanwhile, BBC Two has ordered a fourth series of the show's celebrity version, which has previously featured famous faces such as Terry Wogan, Emilia Fox, Jodie Kidd, Honor Blackman and Britt Ekland.
The show follows antique experts as they travel across the country searching for valuable items to auction off, with all of the profits going to Children In Need.
The BBC's commissioning editor Jo Street described Antiques Road Trip as a "quality piece with great provenance", adding: "It continues to delight the audience with ever more daring antics from the experts, the unexpected locations and intriguing visits. We're thrilled to continue the journey."
Raro Video resurrects an excitingly obscure title this month with Liliana Cavani’s 1967 film, The Year of the Cannibals, a counter culture art house film modernizing Sophocles’ play Antigone to explore modern political unrest, here in the streets of Milan. Cavani, perhaps best known for her notorious 1974 film The Night Porter, posing star Charlotte Rampling in one of her most iconic roles, has crafted a stunningly photographed and arresting film in this early work that’s ripe for rediscovery. Shown in art houses and retrospectives after receiving favorable reaction upon domestic release and major film festival play (Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes), the title never secured distribution in the Us, though this is mostly due to Cavani’s refusal to change the bleak finale when a major studio approached her to buy the film.
Set in a dystopic Milan, corpses litter the bustling streets after the government has squashed a vicious rebellion. »
- Nicholas Bell
British Animation Awards | East Side Stories | Jarman 2014 | Scratch'n'Sniff Cinema Presents: The Wicker Man
British Animation Awards, Nationwide
There's so much good animation being done in this country it's difficult to find it all in one place, but these awards give you a selection of the best. It's pretty simple: three award categories – short films, music videos, commercials – and three programmes presenting examples of each, after which viewers vote on their favourites. The variety is endless, from a demented lothario (I Love You So Hard) to a state-of-the-art tale voiced by Bill Nighy and Stephen Mangan (The Hungry Corpse), from comedy wildebeest and pandas to head-trip videos from bands such as Tame Impala and Atoms For Peace. The films play at 19 venues across the country and the winner is announced in March.
Various venues, Thu to 19 Feb
East Side Stories, Nationwide
In the early postwar days, Japanese youth movies used to be about gangs, »
- Steve Rose
By Darren Allison
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Our good friends at Vocalion Records have released three excellent CDs. First is the super score to Bernard Kowalski’s 1969 B-movie thriller Stiletto (Vocalion Cdsml 8501). Starring Alex Cord in the lead role and with support from Britt Ekland, Patrick O’Neal, Joseph Wiseman and Roy Scheider, the film was based on the Harold Robbins novel of the same name. Whilst Stiletto was never going to be an Oscar contender, as so many of these great little thrillers proved, it did gather something of a cult following. More often than not, restricted budgets and tight schedules surprisingly lead to great production values, with artists and crews having to think instinctively on their feet and with little time to elaborate. Stiletto music by American composer Sid Ramin is a truly evocative score. Ramin’s work was often uncredited and as a result, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
7 items from 2014
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