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The Carer review – luvvie’s labours lost

Brian Cox plays a retired actor as pensioners dance in pyjamas and a care assistant deploys Shakespeare

The indomitable Brian Cox goes gangbusters at a role that doesn’t really deserve the effort he puts into it. He plays Sir Michael Gifford, a legend of the stage and screen and formidable, temperamental luvvie, now made even more cantankerous by the indignities of ageing. His daughter hires Dorottya (Coco König), a Hungarian care assistant who wins his affection by judiciously deploying Shakespeare quotes along with the adult diapers.

This is the kind of film that signposts its storyline from pretty much the opening shot (pensioners dancing in pyjamas to the kind of chummy trad jazz favoured by Woody Allen). And for all the admirable elements in the cast – Anna Chancellor is engaging as Sir Michael’s besotted housekeeper – and crackles of wit in the screenplay, co-written by the late Gilbert Adair,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Carer review – Brian Cox twinkles in touching odd-couple drama

Cox’s adorable grump learns to laugh again in a British film with witty touches from co-writer Gilbert Adair, and only a faint taste of Werther’s Original

Those with unhappy memories of Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet, that sucrose vision of sweet old British thesps in a nursing home, might flinch at this. Brian Cox plays Sir Michael Gifford, an adorably grumpy old Shakespearian actor with the beginnings of Parkinson’s, who makes life hell for his family and nursing staff. But his new home care assistant is Dorottya (Coco König), a cheeky young Hungarian drama student who makes him laugh and reminds him of his younger self. A touching odd-couple friendship commences, which exasperates Sir Michael’s daughter, Sophia (Emilia Fox), and his secretary and former lover, Milly (Anna Chancellor), who are suspicious and maybe a little envious of this new relationship.

This film looks like it’s going
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Film Review: 'The First Film'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ Gilbert Adair began the first chapter of Flickers (1995), his deeply personal and often eccentric odyssey into the history of the movies - written to mark the centenary of the Lumière brothers' public exhibition of short films shot and projected on their Cinematographe device in Paris's Grand Café Boulevard des Capucines in 1895 - with a grandiose "Let there be light!". It is a mark of cinema's uniqueness as an art form, that it can be so fittingly compared to such a momentous and mystical occasion as the Big Bang. Adair's wonderful book, mixing selected film stills (one for each year) and textual analysis, kicks off with a Lumière short, known as Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory.
See full article at CineVue »

Emilia Fox, Anna Chancellor join Brian Cox in The Carer

  • ScreenDaily
Emilia Fox, Anna Chancellor join Brian Cox in The Carer
Exclusive: Drama heads to shoot, The Yellow Affair to sell at Efm.

Brian Cox, Emilia Fox, Anna Chancellor and newcomer Coco König will star in The Carer, which is set to begin shoot in the UK later this month.

The Yellow Affair will present the English-language drama, directed by Janos Edelenyi, at Berlin’s European Film Market (Efm) (Feb 5-13).

The Carer is the last film scripted by the late Gilbert Adair,screenwriter of Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, and was co-written by the director and long time Adair collaborator, Tom Kinninmont.

Cox will play an ageing star of stage and screen who forms an unlikely relationship with his immigrant carer.

Producers are Jozsef Berger of Mythberg Films (Hungary), Steve Bowden of Vita Nova Films (UK), Charlotte Wontner of Hopscotch Films (UK), and Kai Künnemann of A-Company (Germany).

Cox said of the film: “One of the central strengths of the movie is the comic creation of character
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Truffaut Lighting a Cigarette for Buñuel

  • MUBI
François Truffaut was a big fan of Luis Buñuel films; he had always admired him as one of the greatest auteurs of cinema and in fact they managed to meet each other many times, starting in 1953. But before talking about their meetings, let’s see what Truffaut has said and written about Buñuel.

In his book The Films in My Life, Truffaut wrote: “Luis Buñuel is, perhaps, somewhere between Renoir and Bergman. One would gather that Buñuel finds mankind imbecilic but life diverting. All this he tells us very mildly, even a bit indirectly, but it's there in the overall impression we get from his films.”1

Truffaut also met Buñuel in 1957 when he and Jacques Rivette were doing a series of interviews. In addition to that interview request letter, Truffaut wrote letters, or at least one, to him dated 1963 and closed it as follow:

“I have heard from Jeanne Moreau
See full article at MUBI »

Ted Post

Influential figure in Clint Eastwood's career who directed Magnum Force and Hang 'em High

It is no exaggeration to declare that the film and television director Ted Post, who has died aged 95, contributed greatly to the making of Clint Eastwood into a Hollywood superstar. When Eastwood returned to the Us from Europe, where he had starred in three Sergio Leone "spaghetti" westerns, Post directed him in Hang 'em High (1968), which consolidated Eastwood's screen persona as the impassive, laconic, gun-for-hire loner. A few years later, Post directed Eastwood again, in Magnum Force (1973), the first Dirty Harry sequel, which outdid Don Siegel's original film commercially. Eastwood said that Leone, Siegel and Post were the three most influential directors in his career.

In 1959, the unknown Eastwood – who had appeared in bit parts in 11 films – moved to CBS for his first leading role, as the amiable fresh-faced sidekick Rowdy Yates, in the television western series Rawhide.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ted Post

Influential figure in Clint Eastwood's career who directed Magnum Force and Hang 'em High

It is no exaggeration to declare that the film and television director Ted Post, who has died aged 95, contributed greatly to the making of Clint Eastwood into a Hollywood superstar. When Eastwood returned to the Us from Europe, where he had starred in three Sergio Leone "spaghetti" westerns, Post directed him in Hang 'em High (1968), which consolidated Eastwood's screen persona as the impassive, laconic, gun-for-hire loner. A few years later, Post directed Eastwood again, in Magnum Force (1973), the first Dirty Harry sequel, which outdid Don Siegel's original film commercially. Eastwood said that Leone, Siegel and Post were the three most influential directors in his career.

In 1959, the unknown Eastwood – who had appeared in bit parts in 11 films – moved to CBS for his first leading role, as the amiable fresh-faced sidekick Rowdy Yates, in the television western series Rawhide.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Expressing the Move

  • MUBI
Figure 1: The 400 Blows.

"In my view, the concept [the move] does not refer to the literal, physical movements of either the performers or the camera (although it can include these elements). It does not necessarily involve powerfully dramatic (or comic) large-scale alterations in plot. It does not have to entail any grand-slam subversion of social, ideological or cultural conventions. But something, in a filmic move, will indeed have to shift, perhaps gently, but tellingly so."

Adrian Martin (2010: 23) [my emphasis]

Before being frozen, framed and immortalized in the static final shot of Les quatre cents coups (1959), Antoine Doinel undergoes its antithesis—a sequence of camera movements that re-frames, follows and foregrounds his actions. Escaping the juvenile delinquent centre, the character runs on a rugged country road, the destination of which neither he nor we know; the camera tracks the dash laterally in a medium shot. Visualizing his exuberance, Antoine performs a childlike half-run,
See full article at MUBI »

Eduardo de Gregorio

Argentinian director whose films drew heavily on the stories of Jorge Luis Borges

Although the Argentinian director and screenwriter Eduardo de Gregorio, who has died aged 70, had lived in Paris since 1970, his work was always identifiably South American. This can be attributed to the overpowering influence of the labyrinthine stories of Jorge Luis Borges on a generation of South American artists.

De Gregorio brought this Borgesian aura to bear on the five features he directed, and on the screenplays he wrote with Jacques Rivette and Bernardo Bertolucci. In fact, for the latter's The Spider's Stratagem (1970), De Gregorio adapted the Borges story Theme of the Traitor and the Hero, smoothly transposing it from Ireland to Italy. It was an elaborate piece of Oedipal plotting in which, revisiting the village in the Po valley where his father was murdered in 1936, a young man discovers that his father was not a hero, but a traitor.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tiff Capsule Review: 'Me and You'

Tiff Capsule Review: 'Me and You'
"Me and You" is the most inessential movie ever directed by the legendary Bernardo Bertolucci. It's also an entirely serviceable coming of age story, capably performed by its two leads and emotionally affecting within the constraints of its small scale aims. The filmmaker's first Italian language movie in 30 years avoids making any bold statements or indulging in advanced formalism in favor of a trim but well-acted drama. Adapting Gilbert Adair's novel, the story involves 14-year-old Lorenzo (Jacobo Olmo Antinori), a disaffected teen who tells his mother he's going on a ski trip and sneaks into the basement to throw a private party for himself. When the shindig is inadvertently crashed by his drug-addicted older sister (Tea Falco), the duo spend the next few days hanging out, listening to music and talking about life. Naturally, Lorenzo experiences a window into young adulthood by watching his troubled relative moan about her vices.
See full article at Indiewire »

Cannes 2012: live blog - day seven

All the latest news from the Croisette, as Brad Pitt's new movie Killing Them Softly makes its debut

10.47am: Good morning and welcome to the latest Cannes liveblog. I'm ripping back the reins from Andrew Pulver as he gets the train down to the south of France, where he'll grab the baton (or, perhaps, just a baguette) from me and I'll fly home.

I'm back in the press room, which is currently humming with slightly inelegant excitement as Brad Pitt is about to walk past, on his journey from the Killing them Softly photocall to the press conference.

10.52am: The film itself is a blood-lust-tastic crime thriller set in 2008 round New Orleans. Directed by Andrew Dominik, with whom Pitt teamed up for The Assassination of Jesse James by Robert Ford the Coward, it's a tale of sweaty crooks and desperate junkies, cracked codes of honour and the primacy of cash.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Cannes 2012: Me and You (Io e Te) – review

Bernardo Bertolucci shows Cannes he's still a force to be reckoned with via this slight but intimate and charged two-hander

The spirit of the new wave is revived (albeit in apolitical form) by the 72-year-old Bernardo Bertolucci in his new film, a slight but engaging two-hander showing out of competition in Cannes. It's an intimate, disorientating and highly charged encounter between a young man and an older woman, who find themselves having to share a cramped basement flat which they cannot leave for one week. There are resonances with the director's The Dreamers, his adaptation of Gilbert Adair's novel, and perhaps even with Last Tango In Paris.

Lorenzo, played by Jacopo Olmo Antinori, is a disturbed 14-year-old boy who hates school, and whose mother Arianna (Sonia Bergamasco) sends him to a psychotherapist. Mother and son lunch together at restaurants, where Lorenzo speculates, inappropriately, as to whether other people there think they are a couple,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Daily Briefing. New Film Comment, News, Photos and More

  • MUBI
"The agony and perverse ecstasy of unrequited love permeate Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea," writes Graham Fuller at the top of his interview with the director. Also in the new March/April 2012 issue of Film Comment: Jonathan Rosenbaum remembers Gilbert Adair (plus a few online exclusives: Adair on Mae West and his "Cliché Expert's Guide to the Cinema"), Anton Dolin examines "The Strange Case of Russian Maverick Aleksei German" (see, too, J Hoberman's 1990 piece for Fc on German) and Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life tops the Reader's "20 Best Films of 2011" Poll — plus comments.

Then there are the shorter bits from the issue online: Nicolas Rapold on Pablo Giorgelli's Las Acacias and Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg (more from Eric Hynes [Time Out New York, 4/5], Eric Kohn [indieWIRE], Anthony Lane [New Yorker], Dennis Lim [New York Times], Karina Longworth [Voice], Henry Stewart [L] and Michael Tully [Hammer to Nail]), Phillip Lopate on Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb's This Is Not a Film
See full article at MUBI »

Movie Poster of the Week: François Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows”

  • MUBI
If François Truffaut hadn’t been taken from us in 1984, at the age of 52, he would have turned 80 last Monday. At one point he had said that his goal was to make thirty films and then retire to write books. At the time of his death he had made twenty-five.

I recently came across this poster for the American release of Truffaut’s first film, Les quatre cent coups and was struck not only by its lurid and rather innaccurate tagline—"Angel Faces hell-bent for violence"—but also by the fact that it refuses to capitalize on the one thing that made the film such a success: namely the face of Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel. In the poster Léaud’s angel face is barely seen. Doinel’s parents, played by Albert Remy and Claire Maurier (misspelled in the credits), are more prominent, while Doinel seems like one of a number of undistinguished schoolboys.
See full article at MUBI »

Bresson. Supplementary Roundup

  • MUBI
Robert Bresson: The Over-Plenty of Life is a series we've been running in conjunction with the complete retrospective of Bresson's work that'll be touring North America through May. I thought I'd supplement Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's essays, Daniel Kasman's observations and Adrian Curry's collection of posters with a roundup of pointers to pieces on Bresson that have appeared over the past month or two. One of the occasions of the series, as I mentioned in the entry on the initial announcement (with its basic schedule of cities and dates) is the publication of an expanded and illustrated edition of series curator James Quandt's collection, Robert Bresson (Revised), so let's open this go round with notes on another book, Tony Pipolo's Robert Bresson: A Passion for Film. Jonathan Rosenbaum's posted his review for the Summer 2010 issue of Cineaste, in which he calls it…

one of the most careful and
See full article at MUBI »

Daily Briefing. Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism 3

  • MUBI
William Friedkin's 1975 interview with Fritz Lang

If you happen to be in the market for Fritz Lang Christmas ornaments, they do exist, though they don't come cheaply. At any rate, much of the third issue of Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism (the successor to Movie, the print journal Ian Cameron edited from 1962 to 2000) is given to the second part of its Fritz Lang dossier featuring — and I should mention before you start clicking that these are PDFs — Stella Bruzzi on Fury (1936), Vf Perkins on You Only Live Once (1937), Edward Gallafent on The Return of Frank James (1940), Adrian Martin on Scarlet Street (1945), Peter William Evans on The Big Heat (1953), Deborah Thomas on Human Desire (1954) and Peter Benson on Moonfleet (1955).

Also in this issue: Christian Keathley on Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Alex Clayton on Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake and John Gibbs on Jamie Thraves's
See full article at MUBI »

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – review

Sherlock Holmes is transformed into a man of action in Guy Ritchie's latest reimagining of the Victorian sleuth

A crippled veteran, returning to London from Afghanistan and forced to live on a small pension, finds a flatmate who turns out to be a drug addict. They become close friends and this other man eventually tells the ex-soldier that Britain is heading for disaster but will emerge "a cleaner, better, stronger land" and suggests they rush to the bank to cash a cheque before its signatory reneges. The subject of this highly topical story is, as you've probably guessed, Dr John H Watson, narrator of the Sherlock Holmes stories. He's well played by Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's second Holmes movie as a sensible, intelligent, reliable chap, even if he too readily explodes or expostulates when confronted by his flatmate's outrageous behaviour.

But while the film's art director and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gilbert Adair, 1944 - 2011

  • MUBI
"Gilbert Adair, the acclaimed critic who had some of his own novels turned into successful films, has died aged 66," reports Catherine Shoard in the Guardian. "Adair won the respect of cineastes with volumes such as A Night at the Pictures (1985), Myths & Memories (1986), Hollywood's Vietnam (1981), Flickers (1995), Surfing the Zeitgeist (1997) and with his translation of the letters of François Truffaut (published in 1990). He was a prolific journalist, writing a regular column for the Sunday Times in the 1990s, as well as for this paper — last year he interviewed the French filmmaker Alain Resnais."

As a screenwriter, Adair will be remembered for his collaborations with Raúl Ruiz (The Territory in 1981, Klimt in 2006, Blind Revenge in 2010) and Bernardo Bertolucci (The Dreamers in 2003, based on his own novel, The Holy Innocents). Richard Kwietniowski's Love and Death on Long Island (1997) is based on Adair's novel.

In January 2010, Adair wrote in the Guardian, "I yield to
See full article at MUBI »

Gilbert Adair obituary

Witty, self-deprecating writer with a passion for cinema whose work shone 'like sparklers in the autumn gloom'

In Gilbert Adair's And Then There Was No One (2009), the third of his pastiches of Agatha Christie's detective stories, a writer called Gilbert Adair is lacerated thus by a reader: "The point, Gilbert, is that you've always been such a narcissistic writer. Which is why you've never had the popular touch … Postmodernism is dead … Nobody gives two hoots about self-referentiality any longer, just as nobody gives two hoots, or even a single hoot, about you. Your books are out of sight, out of sound, out of fashion and out of print."

Such self-referential gambits have exasperated some readers, but in Adair's staunchly postmodern, self-deprecating hands, the manoeuvre was disarming. Adair, who has died aged 66 of a brain haemorrhage, had often enjoyed playfully rehearsing his own literary erasure. In the 1990s he
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gilbert Adair: cinema's man of letters

In another era, Gilbert Adair would have written on Herodotus. As it was he focused his energies on an exciting young medium

Gilbert Adair was a unique and wonderful writer: a critic of elegance, brilliance, and unquenchable intellectual energy and curiosity. He combined the roles of cinephile and man of letters in a unique way, as well being a novelist, screenwriter, translator and pasticheur. His final works were a series of detective story spoofs, satirical and wittily observed variants on Agatha Christie entitled The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, A Mysterious Affair of Style and And Then There Was No One. These contrivances were treasured and eagerly awaited by his fans, and they demonstrated both a storyteller's gusto and a theorist's interest in narrator reliability and point of view. His 1992 novel The Death of the Author, a droll twist on Roland Barthes, is another example.

I personally met Adair just a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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