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18 items from 2012


Gerry Anderson obituary

26 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Thunderbirds creator who made some of the most popular children's TV shows of the 1960s

Gerry Anderson, who has died aged 83 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was the main mover behind a number of puppet series commissioned by Lew Grade's Independent Television Corporation. They made the company a fortune from the space age: perhaps the best known was Thunderbirds (1965-66), and among the others were Fireball XL5 (1962-63), Stingray (1964) and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-68).

Anderson embarked on Thunderbirds in 1964. For Grade, international sales – particularly into the Us market – were a key concern. So Thunderbirds focused on the Tracy brothers, with first names borrowed from the Us astronauts Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Gordon Cooper. Enormously popular in its time, the series is still being repeated today.

Scott and the others were members of International Rescue, based on a south Pacific island, set up, »

- Nigel Fountain

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Gerry Anderson obituary

26 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Thunderbirds creator who made some of the most popular children's TV shows of the 1960s

Gerry Anderson, who has died aged 83 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was the main mover behind a number of puppet series commissioned by Lew Grade's Independent Television Corporation. They made the company a fortune from the space age: perhaps the best known was Thunderbirds (1965-66), and among the others were Fireball XL5 (1962-63), Stingray (1964) and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-68).

Anderson embarked on Thunderbirds in 1964. For Grade, international sales – particularly into the Us market – were a key concern. So Thunderbirds focused on the Tracy brothers, with first names borrowed from the Us astronauts Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Gordon Cooper. Enormously popular in its time, the series is still being repeated today.

Scott and the others were members of International Rescue, based on a south Pacific island, set up, »

- Nigel Fountain

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BBC1 plans Love 2013 promotion campaign and new season of dramas

30 November 2012 3:45 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Danny Cohen says repairing poor relationship with audiences is paramount, with new programming a way of achieving it

BBC1 is to broadcast a modern-day retelling of the 1945 David Lean film, Brief Encounter, scripted by One Day author David Nicholls.

Also scheduled for next year on BBC1 is a six-part adaptation of the Susanna Clarke novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Danny Cohen, BBC1 controller, is also launching a Love 2013 promotional push for the channel, after a year of major events, including the Queen's diamond jubilee and London Olympic Games.

Nicholls, whose TV writing credits include Cold Feet, is scripting a two-part drama called 7.39.

In the as-yet-uncast BBC1 drama, produced by the makers of Downton Abbey, Carnival Films, characters Sally and Carl who are both in happy relationships meet on a modern-day commute and gradually fall in love. It is, said Cohen, directly inspired by Lean's Brief Encounter, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. »

- Ben Dowell

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Danger Mouse and Count Duckula Creator Brian Cosgrove Talks to HeyUGuys About The Bfg

18 September 2012 4:00 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

For any child raised between the mid-seventies and early nineties, the work of Brian Cosgrove, and his creative partner Mark Hall will be instantly familiar. From the adventures of a not particularly successful rodent secret agent, and the bizarre home life of a vegetarian vampire duck, to the stop-motion antics of Ratty, Badger, Mole and Toad, their creations dominated afternoon TV in a way that Rastamouse could only dream of.

In addition to his work on children’s TV series, Cosgrove produced and directed the 1989, animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel The Bfg, which comes to Blu-Ray this week. Cosgrove recently took the time to talk to HeyUGuys about the film, as well as his other work, his views on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, and his frequent collaborations with the actor David Jason.

On watching the film again, 23 years after it was first released and thinking back to the production. »

- Ben Mortimer

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DVD Playhouse--June 2012

5 June 2012 11:09 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

By Allen Gardner

Harold And Maude (Criterion) Hal Ashby’s masterpiece of black humor centers on a wealthy young man (Bud Cort) who’s obsessed with death and the septuagenarian (Ruth Gordon) with whom he finds true love. As unabashedly romantic as it is quirky, with Cat Stevens supplying one of the great film scores of all-time. Fine support from Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, and Ellen Geer. Fine screenplay by Colin Higgins. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Hal Ashby biographer Nick Dawson, producer Charles Mulvehill; Illustrated audio excerpts from seminars by Ashby and Higgins; Interview with Cat Stevens. Widescreen. Dolby 2.0 stereo.

In Darkness (Sony) Agnieszka Holland’s Ww II epic tells the true story of a sewer worker and petty thief in Nazi-occupied Poland who single-handedly helped hide a group of Jews in the city’s labyrinthine sewer system for the duration of the war. »

- The Hollywood Interview.com

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The 50 greatest matte paintings of all time

27 May 2012 5:35 AM, PDT | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

The art of the glass shot or matte painting is one which originated very much in the early ‘teens’ of the silent era. Pioneer film maker, director, cameraman and visual effects inventor Norman Dawn is generally acknowledged as the father of the painted matte composite, with other visionary film makers such as Ferdinand Pinney Earle, Walter Hall and Walter Percy Day being heralded as making vast contributions to the trick process in the early 1920’s.

Boiled down, the matte process is one whereby a limited film set may be extended to whatever, or wherever the director’s imagination dictates with the employment of a matte artist. In it’s most pure form, the artist would set up a large plate of clear glass in front of the motion picture camera upon which he would carefully paint in new scenery an ornate period ceiling, snow capped mountains, a Gothic castle or even an alien world. »

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Friday Noir: ‘The Third Man’ is morally ambiguous but unquestionably great

25 May 2012 10:09 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Third Man

Directed by Carol Reed

Written by Graham Green

U.K, U.S.A., 1949

*This review will avoid some of the story’s major details

In the years immediately following the second World War, many of Europe’s countries were left in a pile of rubble, their economies destroyed, and their people still reeling from the all too real nightmare they had endured for 6 long years. Even some of Europe’s most historic, near-mythic cities had been the victim of intensive bombing or urban warfare, or both in the worst cases. Among said cities which were forced to endure a period of strenuous recovery was Austria’s capital, Vienna. Vienna was in an even greater political quagmire than Berlin. While the latter was occupied by two of WWII’s victorious nations, Vienna had four adoptive fathers, the British, the French, the United States and the Soviet Union. What greater setting, »

- Edgar Chaput

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Deborah Kerr: Socially Dubious Desires

22 May 2012 2:03 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Deborah Kerr movies: with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity Deborah Kerr Pt.2: Sexual Outlaw As an unhappily married woman having a torrid affair with an army officer shortly before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Deborah Kerr is equally powerful in one of her best-remembered movies, From Here to Eternity (1953), stealing the romantic melodrama from her male co-stars. Fred Zinnemann’s Academy Award-winning blockbuster marked one of the rare times when Kerr’s physique played a part in her erotic persona, as she parades around Hawaii in Lana Turner-type shorts and frolics on the wet sand with brawny Burt Lancaster. Less obvious is Kerr’s headmaster’s wife in Tea and Sympathy (1956), who, despite her discreet clothing and demeanor, ends up seducing one of her husband’s teenage students. It’s all for a good cause, of course — the "sensitive" adolescent thinks he may be gay »

- Andre Soares

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Outcast of the Islands – Classic DVD

19 May 2012 4:12 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Carol Reed, 1951, Studio Canal, PG)

Carol Reed was acclaimed as an important new talent when Graham Greene, as film critic of the Spectator, reviewed his second film as a director, Midshipman Easy, in 1935. After the second world war they found fame, collaborating on The Fallen Idol and The Third Man. Reed thought they might scale new heights with a film of Joseph Conrad's 1896 novel An Outcast of the Islands. But Greene, in thrall since childhood to Conrad, had been trying to escape the Polish writer's influence and rejected Reed's invitation. A pity, because it might have been a revealing masterpiece.

Instead, it's an ambitious, deeply flawed picture, filmed on unromantically observed south- east Asian locations with a powerful performance by Trevor Howard as the self-destructive Willems and Ralph Richardson (a key exponent of Greene) providing a highly stylised portrait of the godlike Captain Lingard. A crucial film in an important, »

- Philip French

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5 Things You Might Not Know About David Lean's 'Lawrence Of Arabia'

18 May 2012 12:12 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Is there a greater film than "Lawrence of Arabia?" Perhaps. There are certainly few longer ones, or few that are more epic and sweeping in their scope (thanks to the timeless Panavision 70 photography by Freddie Young). But even if the film isn't your absolute favorite, it is the number one of many, including Steven Spielberg, who credits the picture with making him want to be a filmmaker.

David Lean's tale of T.E. Lawrence's adventures in Arabia in World War I is fifty years old this year, and ahead of a brand-spanking-new Blu-ray release next month, a glorious new 4K restoration of the film is screening at Cannes tomorrow night. To mark the occasion, as well as the anniversary of the death of Lawrence himself, who died 77 years ago tomorrow, we've assembled five things you might not know about Lean's unassailable classic.

1. David Lean nearly directed a biopic of »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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From the archive, 27 April 1982: Celia Johnson's exquisite artistry

26 April 2012 11:30 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nicholas de Jongh pays tribute to the Brief Encounter star

Celia Johnson died in her prime - at the age of 73. There was no other actress on the English stage whose career reached its zenith, a luminous Indian summer on both stage and television, in middle and old age. She defined to perfection a social type occupying the entrenched territories of middle and upper-middle class gentility, whose crisp, understated manners and stringent lack of sentimentality she conveyed to the manner born.

Yet she did not simply serve as a comprehensive guide-book to or map of a contracting portion of England. She incarnated qualities both of restraint and of passion; she knew everything about high English comedy whose airs of distraction and self-absorbed remoteness she conveyed so sharply in Coward's Hay Fever and Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking; more surprisingly she was able in old age to act indelibly roles of high tragic velocity and pathos, »

- Nicholas de Jongh

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5 Things You May Not Know About 'The Third Man'

25 April 2012 7:03 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Thirty-six years ago today, on April 25th, 1976, filmmaker Carol Reed passed away. One of the greatest directors ever to come out of the U.K., Reed started out as an actor, but gained fame as a writer-director in the late 1930s and 1940s, thanks to films like "Night Train To Munich," and the outstanding "Odd Man Out" and "The Fallen Idol." Later, he'd also find success with films like "Trapeze," "Our Man In Havana," "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and "Oliver!," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, beating out Stanley Kubrick's "2001" and Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."

But Reed's undisputed masterpiece is "The Third Man," a 1949 film noir based on a screenplay by the great British writer Graham Greene. The film involves a writer of Westerns, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), who comes to post-war Vienna after being promised a job by his childhood friend Harry Lime. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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DVD Review - Outcast of the Islands (1951)

23 April 2012 6:15 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Outcast of the Islands, 1951.

Directed by Carol Reed.

Starring Robert Morley, Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson and Wendy Hiller.

Synopsis:

Escaping scandal in Makassar, a morally compromised man finds himself on a remote Indian Ocean trading outpost, where his malign influence soon spreads to all around him.

The name Joseph Conrad might not immediately ring any bells. Try Heart of Darkness. Then try Apocalypse Now, one of cinema’s bravest and best adaptations of that very work, deeply rooted in the stark power of Conrad’s doom-laden prose. The man wrote a great many other books exploring the depths a human soul can sink to, given time, trust and every chance to escape. Add to that the directorial genius of Carol Reed, who brought Graham Greene’s The Third Man to the screen with such dark flair and menace, and you have Outcast of the Islands, a true gem of a »

- flickeringmyth

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DVD Playhouse--April 2012

13 April 2012 3:07 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse—April 2012

By Allen Gardner

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.) An eleven year-old boy (newcomer Thomas Horn, in an incredible debut) discovers a mysterious key amongst the possessions of his late father (Tom Hanks) who perished in 9/11. Determined to find the lock it matches, the boy embarks on a Picaresque odyssey across New York City. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Eric Roth have fashioned a film both grand and intimate, beautifully-adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, thought by most who read it to be unfilmable. Fine support from Jeffrey Wright, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Viola Davis and the great Max von Sydow. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection (Anchor Bay) Adapted from Koushun Takami’s polarizing novel (compared by champions and detractors alike as a 21st century version of A Clockwork Orange) and set in a futuristic Japan, »

- The Hollywood Interview.com

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Review: Criterion Presents "David Lean Directs NOËL Coward" On Blu-ray And DVD

25 March 2012 3:39 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

On Blu-ray and DVD

4-Disk Box Set

By Raymond Benson

Any fan of British cinema must celebrate Criterion’s deluxe packaging of David Lean’s first four films as a director. These collaborations with writer, performer, and “personality” Noël Coward are exemplary examples of the fine work made by the Two Cities Unit production house, which was formed during the Second World War. In each case, the films are presented in beautiful new high-definition digital transfers from the 2008 BFI National Archive’s restorations. And, as this is a review for Cinema Retro, the readers of which include many 007 fans, it must be pointed out that there is indeed a connection between the films (three of them, anyway) and Bond. Actress Celia Johnson was Ian Fleming’s sister-in-law (her husband was Ian’s older brother, Peter Fleming), and her daughters Kate Grimond and Lucy Fleming are currently on the Board of »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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TV review: Dirk Gently; Empire

5 March 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The more you think about it, the less sense Dirk Gently's chaos theory makes

'I think my husband's having an affair," said Dirk Gently's first client of the day. "Boring," the private detective replied. How refreshing, when everyone else is yielding to economic imperatives, that one man is taking a stand for the intrinsic interest of their work over its earning potential.

Seconds later, Gently took the case. Principles don't pay the rent. In episode one, he was living on a diet of extra-strong mints he'd stolen from a corpse and driving an Austin Princess, the go-to motor to suggest your hero is broke, effete and zanier than Zooey Deschanel, if less utterly irritating. He hadn't paid secretary Janice for ages. "Show him in," he said when the next client arrived. "You show him in!" Janice snarled from the front office. Why she shows up for work at »

- Stuart Jeffries

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Blu-ray Review: The Roots Of Heaven

9 February 2012 6:35 PM, PST | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

John Huston was a master of the improbably optimistic protagonist in films. Many of his leading characters were people in search of some grand totem that would make their lives complete, or make the rich, or in some other way satisfy their basest urges. He did it with Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon & The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with Gregory Peck in his adaptation of Moby Dick, and Connery and Caine in The Man Who Would be King. The Roots of Heaven may be among his lesser known films, but it's protagonist Morel, played by Trevor Howard, has taken on no less a Herculean task, and his struggle takes on mythical proportions as he battles imperial African governments for the sake of »

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Secret Cinema Screen ‘The Third Man’ & The Future of Moviegoing

2 February 2012 9:10 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

It feels great to finally be able to reveal that the secret film at Secret Cinema’s record breaking bumper run was ‘The Third Man.’ Over the course of the seven week long run, over 19,000 people were transported back to 1940’s Vienna to experience what can only be described as a simply unique way of experiencing cinema.

From the moment Secret Cinema announced their latest venture in late October, the internet was ablaze with gossip and intense blogging from followers who asserted, argued and debated what the title would be, continually being fuelled by a steady supply of clues.

Tickets for the opening night sold out in a matter of minutes; tickets for the run sold out in a matter of days. So, assuming the mantra of ‘give the people what they want’, Secret Cinema extended the run until the end of January. The result was the same – sell out! »

- Adam Rayner

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18 items from 2012


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