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15 items from 2012


London and Radio On: watch the double bill

30 November 2012 7:16 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The final offering in our season of British cult classics are two films that take us far into the dark heart of England

The fourth and last of our British cult classics double bills offers two very different, virtually unclassifiable films: Patrick Keiller's London, from 1993, and Christopher Petit's Radio On, released in 1979. Keiller's film, a melancholy homage to the UK capital, resembles a string of animated still photographs, while Petit's is a gloomy, mannered black-and-white road movie that, as its director suggests, is something of a journey into the past as well as across England. Despite their surface dissimilarities, the two films share a dynamic intelligence towards the environment and landscape that surrounds them; both are cinematic pilgrimages through England.

London is perhaps the slightly better known: written and filmed by Keiller, who rather obviously spent considerable amounts of time traipsing around the city with a locked-off camera »

- Andrew Pulver

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Patrick Keiller on London: read the original interview

30 November 2012 7:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Intrigued by the surrealists' idea of changing a city just by altering the way we look at it, Patrick Keiller turned the camera on London (originally published 31 May 1994)

"Do you know that Zola once lived in Crystal Palace, Rimbaud off Tottenham Court Road?" asks Patrick Keiller , assigning parts of London to dead writers, like a cabbie versed in French Literature. Keiller is the writer/director of a beguiling new film on the capital, called, economically enough, London. Not your bacon rolls and Woodbines fare, his film is rather more concerned with tracing the city's cultural past, especially its French Connection. If this makes the film's brow seem forbiddingly high, don't worry: it soon slips.

This is London seen through the eyes of "an arty Dave Spart", in Keiller's words, a certain Robinson, who drifts through Tesco's distracted by thoughts of Baudelaire. According to the conceit which shapes this film - »

- Robert Yates

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The Richard Burton Diaries edited by Chris Williams – review

29 November 2012 1:31 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Simon Callow on the booze, the money, the life with Liz …

One Sunday evening, in the winter of 1981-82, there was a celebration, at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, of the original radio production of Under Milk Wood. Various participants in that famous broadcast, including Richard Burton, the original narrator, were to read the play under the direction of its producer, Reggie Smith. The theatre was packed, with a largely Welsh audience.

Burton seemed to be enjoying himself, but it was not easy to hear him. He was glued to the book, seemingly in private communion with it. After the interval, the reading resumed. It was evident that Burton had liberally refreshed himself. Now he was not just inaudible but incoherent, with a tendency to slump. The reading lurched to its conclusion, after which the cast repaired to the Garrick Club for a celebratory supper. On the appearance of the first course, »

- Simon Callow

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Liveblogging Lifetime's "Liz & Dick"

25 November 2012 3:18 PM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Below is our transcript from last night's liveblog. Relive the White Diamonds of train wrecks!

*Note - Feel free to participate in the Liz & Dick drinking game. Every time I use the word "Howler," ... down a shot!

We start with "Based On A True Story." Hmm ... wasn't The Texas Chainsaw Massacre also "Based On a True Story?" I have a feeling this is going to be even more brutal

Speaking of Leatherface, we get our first glimpse of Lindsay Lohan as "Elizabeth Taylor," as she sits by a pool, as the voice of "Richard Burton," (played by True Blood's Cooter) speaks on the soundtrack about the first time he met her. Cooter looks nothing like Richard Burton, but the makeup people have done a stunning job of making him look like ... a bad botox victim.

So this flashback leads to ... another flashback ... of the last day of Richard Burton's life, »

- snicks

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Best Movie Ever?: "Quiz Show"

12 November 2012 10:14 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

It's time for November sweeps, which means one thing: Television execs want to make money off your time! Hooray! And what better way to celebrate the money-grubbing, callous-as-hell world of television than with one of the most damning films about the industry, Quiz Show? This week's Best Movie Ever? selection has everything: Mean TV execs, hot TV stars, annoying TV stars, Rob Morrow's mushmouthed New England accent, Martin Scorsese in an acting role, and enough '50s-style morals to drive the Drapers crazy. I also happen to love it, which means it qualifies to be Best Movie Ever. So there.

Quiz Show, the 1994 Best Picture nominee by director Robert Redford (who also helmed our beloved Ordinary People), takes a close look at the game show scandals of the 1950s when contestants like Herb Stempel (John Turturro) and Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes) answered trivia questions for extraordinary sums of money. »

- virtel

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Joe Melia obituary

7 November 2012 8:09 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider. »

- Michael Coveney

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Joe Melia obituary

7 November 2012 8:09 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider. »

- Michael Coveney

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Which Best Actor Oscar winner was the most undeserving?

22 June 2012 9:30 AM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

While there are those Oscar champs who get a warm reception, others leave people cold. Our forum posters have debated the least deserving Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress champs. Now they turn their attention to the worst of the Best Actor winners.   Below, just a sample of their thoughts. Join in with your opinion as to which winner was the biggest loser.  Miss Frost Jamie Foxx should give his Oscar to Leonardo DiCaprio. Jeff Bridges should give his Oscar to any of the other four. Kevin Spacey should give his Oscar to Denzel Washington or Russell Crowe. Roberto Benigni needs to give his Oscar to any of the other four. Paul Scofield should by far give his to Richard Burton. Robert Donat needs to give his Oscar to Clark Gable. Cliff Robertson needs to give his to Peter O'Toole. Art Carney should give his to Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino. »

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Victor Spinetti obituary

20 June 2012 8:42 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor who made his name at Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and appeared in the Beatles films, making firm friends with the Fab Four

Victor Spinetti, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outrageously talented Welsh actor and raconteur who made his name with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and found fame and fortune as a friend and colleague of the Beatles, appearing in three of their five films, and with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Franco Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew (1967).

It was while he was giving his brilliantly articulated and hilarious "turn" as the gobbledegook-shouting drill sergeant in Oh, What a Lovely War! in the West End in 1963 – he won a Tony for the performance when the show went to Broadway – that the Beatles visited him backstage and invited him to appear in A Hard Day's Night (1964).

George Harrison later said that his mother would »

- Michael Coveney

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Victor Spinetti obituary

20 June 2012 8:42 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor who made his name at Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and appeared in the Beatles films, making firm friends with the Fab Four

Victor Spinetti, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outrageously talented Welsh actor and raconteur who made his name with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and found fame and fortune as a friend and colleague of the Beatles, appearing in three of their five films, and with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Franco Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew (1967).

It was while he was giving his brilliantly articulated and hilarious "turn" as the gobbledegook-shouting drill sergeant in Oh, What a Lovely War! in the West End in 1963 – he won a Tony for the performance when the show went to Broadway – that the Beatles visited him backstage and invited him to appear in A Hard Day's Night (1964).

George Harrison later said that his mother would »

- Michael Coveney

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Emma Thompson/Holly Hunter Double Oscar Nominations Meaning

4 April 2012 5:08 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Writing about Emma Thompson possibly reprising her role as human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce made me remember comments I've read about the 1993 Academy Awards. In early 1994, Thompson was nominated for two Oscars: as Best Actress for James Ivory's social/psychological drama The Remains of the Day (photo) and as Best Supporting Actress for Jim Sheridan's family melodrama / political & prison drama In the Name of the Father. That same year, Holly Hunter was another double nominee — the first (and to date only) time two performers have been in the running in two acting categories in the same year. Hunter was up for the Best Actress Oscar for Jane Campion's The Piano (photo) and as Best Supporting Actress for Sydney Pollack's The Firm. She eventually won for The Piano; she and Thompson lost in the Best Supporting Actress category to The Piano's Anna Paquin. Some have claimed »

- Andre Soares

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Ten Terrific War Movies You Probably Never Heard Of

27 February 2012 6:19 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

I’ve always been a war film buff, maybe because I grew up with them at a time when they were a regular part of the cinema landscape. That’s why I read, with particular interest, my Sound on Sight colleague Edgar Chaput’s recent pieces on The Flowers of War (“The Flowers of War Is an Uneven but Interesting Chinese Ww II Film” – posted 2/20/12) and The Front Line (The Front Line Rises to the Occasion to Overcome Its Familiarity” – 2/16/12) with such interest. An even more fun read was the back-and-forth between Edgar and Sos’s Michael Ryan over the latter (“The Sound on Sight Debate on Korea’s The Front Line” – 2/12/12), with Michael unimpressed because the movie had “…nothing new to add to the war genre,” and Edgar coming back with “…‘new’ is not always what a film must strive for. So long as it does well what it set out to do… »

- Bill Mesce

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Fred Zinnemann/Oscar Actors: Gary Cooper, Deborah Kerr

26 February 2012 1:09 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Gary Cooper, High Noon Fred Zinnemann: Top Oscar Directors for Actors Fred Zinnemann-directed movies: twenty acting nominations; six wins. (s) supporting category; (*) Academy Award winner 1944 Hume Cronyn (s), The Seventh Cross 1948 Montgomery Clift, The Search 1952 * Gary Cooper, High Noon Julie Harris, The Member of the Wedding 1953 Montgomery Clift, From Here to Eternity Burt Lancaster, From Here to Eternity Deborah Kerr, From Here to Eternity * Frank Sinatra (s), From Here to Eternity * Donna Reed (s), From Here to Eternity 1957 Anthony Franciosa, A Hatful of Rain 1959 Audrey Hepburn, The Nun's Story 1960 Deborah Kerr, The Sundowners Glynis Johns (s), The Sundowners 1966 * Paul Scofield (with Susanna York), A Man for All Seasons Robert Shaw (s), A Man for All Seasons Wendy Hiller (s), A Man for All Seasons 1977 Jane Fonda, Julia Maximilian Schell (s), Julia * Jason Robards (s), Julia * Vanessa Redgrave (s), Julia »

- Andre Soares

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Fred Zinnemann: Oscar Actors Director

26 February 2012 1:06 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Fred Zinnemann began his career during the studio era, but kept on going, however sporadically, long after most of his contemporaries had retired. Even so, today his name means little to most moviegoers and critics alike. But why? Quite possibly because, like William Wyler, Zinnemann covered just about every film genre there is. His relatively small oeuvre — 21 narrative feature films — encompasses the following: Western (High Noon, The Sundowners [sort of]), romance (From Here to Eternity), socially conscious drama (The Search, The Men, A Hatful of Rain), historical drama (A Man for All Seasons), adventure (The Seventh Cross, Five Days One Summer), religion (The Nun's Story), thriller (The Day of the Jackal), crime (Eyes in the Night, Kid Glove Killer, Act of Violence), war (Behold a Pale Horse), comedy (My Brother Talks to Horses), melodrama (Little Big Jim) psychological drama (Teresa, The Member of the Wedding), musical (Oklahoma), pseudo-"historical" drama (Julia, whose »

- Andre Soares

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Robert Redford One-Man Movie: All Is Lost

10 February 2012 12:24 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Robert Redford, 75, has been slated to star in All Is Lost, the story of an old man fighting to survive in open sea. To be directed by J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost won't be exactly an ensemble piece along the lines of Chandor's Margin Call (which featured Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Penn Badgley, and Zachary Quinto, among others). After all, Redford will be the film's sole cast member. Shooting of the adventure drama should begin this summer at Mexico's Baja Studios in Rosarita Beach, where Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio loved and suffered while James Cameron's Titanic sank into the tank. Lionsgate will release All Is Lost in the U.S. Now, let's get Oscar 2014 (or whereabouts) buzz going: does All Is Lost mean a potential Oscar nomination for Redford? Well, why not? If you have fewer actors on screen, you can focus your attention on one single performance. »

- Anna Robinson

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15 items from 2012


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