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5 items from 2017


Film Review: ‘Letters from Baghdad’

3 June 2017 1:38 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

After the misfire of biopic “Queen of the Desert,” it was clear that intrepid traveler and influential Arabist Gertrude Bell, reductively known as “the female T.E. Lawrence,” needed her reputation rescued from Werner Herzog’s ill-advised effort. In stepped directors Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl with “Letters From Baghdad,” a carefully researched documentary that uses an extraordinary wealth of appealing archival footage accompanied by Tilda Swinton’s voiceover as Bell. The directors’ backgrounds as editor (Krayenbühl) and photographer (Oelbaum), together with their appreciation for the lands Bell felt most attached to, are clearly on display in the largely sensitive way they handle the material on visual and historical levels.

Getting Swinton on board doing double duty as voiceover actor and executive producer was a wise marketing decision, while the involvement of Thelma Schoonmaker and Kevin Brownlow assured appropriate attention would be given to the artistic and archival sides. The film »

- Jay Weissberg

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Christopher Nolan Curates BFI Series on the Influences of ‘Dunkirk’

25 May 2017 5:09 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

“I spent a lot of time reviewing the silent films for crowd scenes –the way extras move, evolve, how the space is staged and how the cameras capture it, the views used,” Nolan said earlier this year when it came to the creation of his WWII epic Dunkirk, referencing films such as IntoleranceSunrise: A Song of Two Humans, and Greed, as well as the films of Robert Bresson.

Throughout the entire month of July, if you’re in the U.K., you are lucky enough to witness a selection of these influences in a program at BFI Southbank. Featuring all screenings in 35mm or 70mm — including a preview of Dunkirk over a week before it hits theaters — there’s classics such as Greed, Sunrise, and The Wages of Fear, as well as Alien, Speed, and even Tony Scott’s final film.

Check out Nolan’s introduction below, followed by »

- Jordan Raup

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Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk To Play At BFI Southbank On July 13

24 May 2017 1:02 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Running from 1-31 July, BFI Southbank are delighted to present a season of films which have inspired director Christopher Nolan’s new feature Dunkirk (2017), released in cinemas across the UK on Friday 21 July.

Christopher Nolan Presents has been personally curated by the award-winning director and will offer audiences unique insight into the films which influenced his hotly anticipated take on one of the key moments of WWII.

The season will include a special preview screening of Dunkirk on Thursday 13 July, which will be presented in 70mm and include an introduction from the director himself.

Christopher Nolan is a passionate advocate for the importance of seeing films projected on film, and as one of the few cinemas in the UK that still shows a vast amount of celluloid film, BFI Southbank will screen all the films in the season on 35mm or 70mm.

In 2015 Nolan appeared on stage alongside visual artist »

- Michelle Hannett

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Icarus Films Releases Two DVDs Looking At The Early Days Of Non-Fiction Cinema

21 March 2017 8:43 PM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

Over the last decade or so, non-fiction and documentary cinema has been the breeding ground for some of cinema’s most interesting films and film-makers. However, for many cinephiles the history of this world of cinema has been vastly undervalued and works vastly underseen. Be it the earliest days of silent cinema to the importance of documentary films in global conflicts, non-fiction directors have crafted some of the greatest and most influential works in all of the art form.

And thankfully two great, if light, histories of some of the great films are finally available on DVD.

From Icarus Films comes the release of three films, across two DVDs, that take a direct look at the early days of documentary cinema, ostensibly from the beginning with films like Nanook Of The North to the work of German propagandists like Leni Riefenstahl and Us news reels which would see names like »

- Joshua Brunsting

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Film / Notfilm

18 March 2017 11:52 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

An experimental film by an Irish playwright, shot in New York with a silent comedian at the twilight of his career? Samuel Beckett’s inquiry into the nature of movies (and existence?) befuddled viewers not versed in film theory; Ross Lipman’s retrospective documentary about its making asks all the questions and gets some good answers.

First there’s the film itself, called just Film from 1965. By that year our high school textbooks had already enshrined Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as a key item for introducing kids to modern theater, existentialism, etc. … the California school system was pretty progressive in those days. But Beckett had a yen to say something in the film medium, and his publisher Barney Rosset helped him put a movie together. The Milestone Cinematheque presents the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s restoration of Film on its own disc, accompanied by a videotaped TV production »

- Glenn Erickson

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5 items from 2017


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