9 items from 2017
When Ken Russell’s provocative religious horror “The Devils” became available to stream for the first time last week, cinephiles the world over were re-introduced to one of the greatest under appreciated films of all time — one that is surprisingly poignant in our current state of political unease. Infamous for its controversial release (the film was banned in several countries and received an X rating only after Russell cut a handful of the most incendiary scenes), the 1971 epic offers a stylish and scathing parable about the dangerous ways that the powerful can exploit religious zeal to stay that way.
Based on the true story of the trial of Urbain Grandier, a Catholic priest who was executed in 1634 on charges of witchcraft, Russell adapted “The Devils” from John Whiting’s 1960 play and Aldous Huxley’s 1952 novel, The Devils of Loudun. Russell digressed stylistically from his source material, taking a contemporary approach »
- Jude Dry
They remembered! ITV has renewed its Forgotten TV show for a third series (season). The British crime drama series stars Nicola Walker as Dci Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Di Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan. The season three order is for six hourlong episodes.Creator Chris Lang is writing the third installment for ITV. In the first two seasons, Unforgotten also featured Tom Courtenay, Trevor Eve, Bernard Hill, Hannah Gordon, Gemma Jones, Ruth Sheen, Mark Bonnar, Lorraine Ashbourne, Peter Egan, Rosie Cavaliero, Badria Timimi, Adeel Akhtar, and Wendy Craig.Read More… »
Exclusive: Yorkshire-set drama will have its European premiere at the Berlinale.
Picturehouse Entertainment has acquired Sundance buzz title God’s Own Country for the UK.
Premiering in Sundance’s World Dramatic Competition last month, where it scooped the best directing jury prize for debutant Francis Lee, the Yorkshire-set drama is set to have its European premiere in Berlin’s Panorama section on Feb 14.
As reported by Screen, UK-based sales outfit Protagonist Pictures picked up the film in December 2016 and is representing world rights.
God’s Own Country stars former Screen Star of Tomorrow Josh O’Connor as a solitary young sheep farmer who numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex. The arrival of a Romanian migrant worker (played by newcomer Alec Secareanu) ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Grater)
God’s Own Country Review God’s Own Country (2017), Film Review from the 33rd Annual Sundance Film Festival, a movie directed by Francis Lee, starring Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, and Gemma Jones. Ever since this film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, film critics have, unfortunately, been quick to label it the “British Brokeback Mountain.” Sure, many appropriate comparisons can […] »
- Drew Stelter
A rugged young Englishman and a gentle Romanian migrant worker find intimacy atop the lonesome hills of Northern Yorkshire in “God’s Own Country,” Francis Lee’s quietly remarkable debut feature. Embittered by his isolated existence, Johnny (Josh O’Connor) softens upon meeting Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu), who has much to teach him, and not just how to delicately breathe life into a newborn lamb. Such explicit scenes of daily farm life give the film documentary-like potency, elevating it far beyond conventional romantic drama.
The sole able-bodied man of the family after his father, Martin (Ian Hart), has a stroke, Johnny Saxby spends his days mucking stalls, pissing on walls, and ducking into cattle trailers for the occasional kiss-free grunting session, a glob of spit rolling down a lily-white bottom. When one such escapade delays his return, Johnny’s beloved cow has delivered a stillborn calf. A disapproving Martin hands him a rifle, »
- Jude Dry
The Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section has completed its lineup with the addition of 24 feature films, including “Call Me by Your Name,” an extremely well-reviewed gay love story featuring actor Armie Hammer.
The full Panorama program includes 36 world, six international and nine European premieres. Thirteen European films have been added. Among those is “Call Me by Your Name,” directed by Luca Guadagnino (“A Bigger Splash”) from an adaptation, co-written with James Ivory, of a novel by André Aciman.
There are five films from Brazil, including “Como Nossos Pais” (Just Like Our Parents), directed by Lais Bodanzky, who depicts the everyday lives of three generations in Sao Paulo as “a pyrotechnic display of individual passions and existential delusions staged with a sublime naturalness,” according to the festival.
- Leo Barraclough
Berlin’s Panorama lineup also includes new films from Us, China and Brazil.
Berlin’s Panorama strand is now complete following the addition of 24 additional titles.
A total of 51 works from 43 countries have been chosen for screening in the section, including 21 in Panorama Dokumente and 29 feature films in the main programme and Panorama Special. 36 of these films will be getting their world premieres at the Berlinale.
Among newly confirmed films are UK Sundance title God’s Own Country, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome, feminist fairy tale The Misandrists by Berlinale regular Bruce Labruce, Erik Poppe’s The King’s Choice and Belgian-French-Lebanese co-production Insyriated which stars Hiam Abbass as a woman trapped in an apartment during war.[p »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
This Yorkshire-set story about a relationship between a farmer and an immigrant worker is a beautifully judged, unsentimental study from first time director Francis Lee
This debut feature from Yorkshire-born actor and first-time director Francis Lee is tough, sensual, unsentimental, with excellent lead performances from Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu. Johnny (O’Connor) is the unhappy, angry young guy working on the family farm, dulling his emotional pain with drink and casual sex; Gheorghe (Secareanu) is a hired hand from Romania brought in for a few weeks. They give tremendous performances – and Gemma Jones and Ian Hart are both very good in the supporting roles as Johnny’s grandmother and father, stoic and tightlipped by temperament and repressed by years of work and responsibility, and in his father’s case by the aftermath of a stroke.
It is almost – but not quite – a Dales Brokeback, a love story which »
- Peter Bradshaw
In case it didn’t court “Brokeback Mountain” comparisons directly enough with its tale of two young sheep farmers finding love in a hopeless place, “God’s Own Country” seals the deal with one winkingly quoted shot: a work shirt draped on a wire hanger, poignantly removed from its wearer. 12 years on, Ang Lee’s film has proven enough of a cultural milestone to merit such affectionate homage; luckily, Francis Lee’s tender, muscular Yorkshire romance has enough of an individual voice to get away with it. Skipping some of the more predictable narrative obstacles we’ve come to expect from the coming-out drama, this sexy, thoughtful, hopeful film instead advances a pro-immigration subtext that couldn’t be more timely amid the closing borders of Brexit-era Britain. Bolstered by a particularly sympathetic lead turn from rising star Josh O’Connor, Lee’s auspicious (if somewhat dourly titled) debut feature is »
- Guy Lodge
9 items from 2017
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