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The Forgotten: Ken Russell's "French Dressing" (1964)

  • MUBI
Ken Russell spent most of his days regarding his first theatrical feature, French Dressing, as a disaster. Certainly it did his career prospects no good at the time. Then he caught it on late night TV in the nineties, and said to himself, "This is a masterpiece!"He might have been right, though the film's effect is so indefinable that its success or failure on its own terms, whatever they might be, is hard to be certain of. But it's sufficiently unlike anything else to qualify for some kind of place of honor in the sub-sub-genre of British seaside psychotronic cinema.The starting point was kind of charming and straightforward: a run-down coastal resort tries to vie with Cannes by launching a film fest and inviting the latest Gallic sex kitten sensation. The producer probably imagined something a bit like a Carry On film, whereas Russell hoped to take things into Jacques Tati territory.
See full article at MUBI »

Horror Classics: Four Chilling Movies from Hammer Films

Warners answers the call for Hammer horror with four nifty thrillers starring the great Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. The transfers are immaculate -- Technicolor was never richer than this. The only drawback is that Chris Lee's Dracula has so few lines of dialogue.  On hi-def, Cushing's Frankenstein movie is a major re-discovery as well. Horror Classics: Four Chilling Movies from Hammer Films Blu-ray The Mummy, Dracula has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Taste the Blood of Dracula Warner Home Video 1959-1970 / Color / 1:66 - 1:78 widescreen / 376 min. / Street Date October 6, 2015 / 54.96 Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, George Pastell, Michael Ripper; Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, Ewan Hooper, Michael Ripper; Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley; Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Linda Hayden, Isla Blair, John Carson, Ralph Bates, Roy Kinnear. <Cinematography Jack Asher; Arthur Grant; Arthur Grant; Arthur Grant.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

On the Buses and Last of the Summer Wine star Stephen Lewis dies, aged 88

On the Buses and Last of the Summer Wine star Stephen Lewis has died, aged 88.

His family has confirmed to multiple media outlets that Lewis passed away on Wednesday (August 12) at a nursing home in East London.

Lewis's niece Rebecca told the press that the actor remained in "high spirits" in his last days, adding: "He was always singing and joking."

Through more 50 years in front of the camera, Lewis was best known for portraying Cyril 'Blakey' Blake in the ITV comedy On the Buses and its three spinoff films.

Lewis would later become a regular presence on UK television on The Generation Game, Oh, Doctor Beeching! and more recently Last of the Summer Wine from the 1970s through to the 2000s.

The London-born actor was also an accomplished screenwriter, having penned the Barbara Windsor and Roy Kinnear-starring 1963 film Sparrers Can't Sing.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

The Forgotten: Richard Lester's "Juggernaut" (1974)

  • MUBI
Inspired by the Richard Lester retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, August 7-13.When the great Omar Sharif died recently, the BBC's coverage of the sad event included clips from Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, of course, and then cut to Richard Lester's Juggernaut just as the voice-over commented on the declining quality of Sharif's later films, causing me to splutter into my cocoa and pen angry letters to Auntie Beeb in my mind, for Juggernaut is a fantastic example of seventies British cinema. It's what I remember seventies Britain being like. The Christmas scene in Ken Russell's Tommy has the same effect on me, but that's because I was a kid in the seventies.Brown and orange color schemes, older men with long hair, and grim political discussions that went over my head but seemed to portend explosive doom: that was the United Kingdom in Ad 1974. In Juggernaut,
See full article at MUBI »

Hawk The Slayer To Return In A Sequel

Clearly it's a week for unexpected and belated sequels. A day after the news that Robin Hardy is prepping the final part of his Wicker Man trilogy, comes the revelation that Hawk The Slayer is also set to return, 35 years after his first adventure. Original director Terry Marcel, in cahoots with 2000Ad publishers Rebellion, is about to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Hawk The Hunter.Much beloved of VHS-era schoolboys, the 1980 Hawk starred John Terry (the guy from Lost, not the footballer) as the titular adventurer, with Jack Palance as his scenery-chewing evil older brother Voltan. Casting support came from Brit stalwarts like Bernard Bresslaw and Roy Kinnear. Voltan kills his father and kidnaps a nun. Hawk mounts a rescue mission with a sorceress, a dwarf, an elf, a giant with a big mallet, and the ancient power of the Sword Of Mind.The details of Hawk The Hunter are sketchy at present,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Review: "Eskimo Nell" (1975), England's Greatest Naughty Comedy Now On Blu-ray And DVD

  • CinemaRetro
(This review pertains to the UK Region 2 video releases). 

By Adrian Smith

Michael Armstrong, the writer and star of Eskimo Nell,once said, "It's hard to wank and laugh at the same time". In the 1970s filmmakers gave it a very good try however, and the British sex comedy was virtually the only kind of film being funded. The problem is that the majority of them were neither funny or sexy. They were generally grubby and embarrassing for the actors and the audience. One of the pioneers of the British sex film was director and producer Stanley Long, responsible for The Wife Swappers (1969) and Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1975) and many others. An occasional cinematographer on prestigious films like Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965), Long often recognised and nurtured new talent, particularly if he could see a financial reward.

Michael Armstrong had written The Sex Thief for Martin Campbell (1975), a film that Stanley Long admired,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

SuperTed making TV return (in a more PC form)

SuperTed flies back to the BBC in 2016 - but with the less politically correct elements curtailed...

News

The mining of television properties of yesterday continues. We've got a new Danger Mouse coming, a film of Bananaman. And now? The fickle finger of reboot fate has landed at the door of SuperTed.

Remember SuperTed? Accompanied by his faithful sidekick Spotty, he did battle against Texas Pete with the help of a 'flamboyant' skeleton, accompanied by a theme tune that scores 6/10 on our vintage children's TV theme tune rating system of doom.

It also featured a character who carried a bit of extra timber, helpfully entitled Bulk. And one of the girls was called Blotch. These edges of the show that you wouldn't describe as 'politically correct' are unlikely to make it to the new version.

As creator Mike Young told the Radio Times, "in SuperTed we had a gun-slinging cowboy, a
See full article at Den of Geek »

A Hard Day’s Director: The Best of Richard Lester

Richard Lester’s directing career has had a rather tortured epilogue. His last completed film was the dreadful, unloved Return of The Musketeers (1989), during the making of which his long-time friend and troupe-member Roy Kinnear died after a freak accident. To add insult to injury, the Comic-Con crowd has been burning Lester in effigy ever since Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II was released in 2006. Donner had been fired as director of the 1980 sequel half way through filming and Lester was hired to finish the job. Since the release of the Donner cut, expressing a preference for the original, jokier version is rather like suggesting that Cesar Romero was a better Joker than Heath Ledger.

I do wonder sometimes whether the fanboys realise what an important, highly influential and iconoclastic director they’re dismissing when they’re kicking sand into Lester’s face. Martin Scorsese would certainly correct them (sternly,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Jason Flemyng talks The Musketeers: 'I'm a proper old-school villain'

The Musketeers launched big last Sunday - but tomorrow night, our heroes will face a foe even more intimidating than Mr Selfridge - dastardly new villain Vadim, played by Jason Flemyng.

Digital Spy got on the phone to Jason for a frank chat about The Musketeers, why he's a lucky charm for Doctor Who actors and why he won't talk about Star Wars.

The Musketeers was devised by Adrian Hodges, who you previously worked with on Primeval...

"Yeah, he's a lovely guy - we've always got on really well. When I left Primeval, it was my choice - the contract came up [so I left, but] I went back and did one episode to get me out of the show.

"It was something that I was proud of but I missed doing my movies. I think that's really where my heart lies - not jobs that go on for years and years. I'm too nomadic to do that.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Southcliffe; Top of the Lake; The Mill; The White Queen – TV review

Abuse, cruelty, rape: Top of the Lake's deep, dark secrets finally came gasping to the surface, as they did in some other bleak shows

And they all lived happily ever after. Well, not all happily. Nor, actually, did they all live, let alone ever after. But anyway, several stories came to an end.

Top of the Lake (BBC2, Saturday) suddenly realised it had a date to keep with its own conclusion and picked up momentum. Tui gives birth – in the woods, naturally, alone, the right way – to a son (and not, thankfully, a half-brother too; well, I don't think so).

The deep, icy lake gives birth too. After a difficult but beautiful five-hour labour (push!), its secrets emerge, gasping and screaming, at the surface. Secrets from the past and the present about abuse and cruelty and rape.

Robin's own secret – she gains a father no one would want as a father,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Chance to Check Out Heston Directing Self in 'Man" Remake

Charlton Heston movies: ‘A Man for All Seasons’ remake, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ (photo: Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur) (See previous post: “Charlton Heston: Moses Minus Staff Plus Chariot Equals Ben-Hur.”) I’ve yet to watch Irving Rapper’s melo Bad for Each Other (1954), co-starring the sultry Lizabeth Scott — always a good enough reason to check out any movie, regardless of plot or leading man. A major curiosity is the 1988 made-for-tv version of A Man for All Seasons, with Charlton Heston in the Oscar-winning Paul Scofield role (Sir Thomas More) and on Fred Zinnemann’s director’s chair. Vanessa Redgrave, who plays Thomas More’s wife in the TV movie (Wendy Hiller in the original) had a cameo as Anne Boleyn in the 1966 film. According to the IMDb, Robert Bolt, who wrote the Oscar-winning 1966 movie (and the original play), is credited for the 1988 version’s screenplay as well. Also of note,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Giveaway – Win The Beatles’ Help! On Blu-ray

Calling all Beatles fans… the group’s second feature film, 1965’s Help!, will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, June 25 and Wamg is giving away copies to 2 lucky readers.

Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s debut feature film, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo’s possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.

In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs “Help!,” “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket To Ride,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Beatles Help! Debuts on Blu-ray June 25th

The Beatles Help! Debuts on Blu-ray June 25th
The Beatles' second feature film, 1965's Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray. On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film's director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray's booklet.

Help!'s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles' digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras. Help!'s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of
See full article at MovieWeb »

The Beatles’ Help! Coming To Blu-ray June 25

The Beatles’ second feature film, 1965’s Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray. On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray’s booklet.

Help!’s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles’ digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras. Help!’s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Meme: Prince Harry the Hero, Simon Cowell Gets Egged, a New Doctor Is Named

Iain M. Banks has passed, Nigel Lythgoe got fired, and Jason Collins marches in Boston Pride

The Telegraph is reporting that Rory Kinnear, who has appeared in the last two James Bond films, has been offered the role of the new Doctor. Kinnear is the 35-year-old son of Roy Kinnear, an accomplished star.

Edward Snowden, a defense contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, has been revealed as the whistleblower for the Prism spying project. “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Every year, a fair reveals a new food that makes us all slightly repulsed, our arteries harden, and then we drool a little. This year’s entry is the Krispy Kream Sloppy Joe. It looks horrifying,
See full article at The Backlot »

Doctor Who Season 8 New Doctor Replacement For Matt Smith Has Possibly Been Found

Doctor Who season 8 new Doctor replacement for Matt Smith has possibly been found. According to a new report from the Telegraph, the "Doctor Who" season 8 peeps have offered up the role of the new doctor to "James Bond: Skyfall" actor ,Rory Kinnear,so he could possibly become the 12th Time Lord if he accepts their offer. Their source told them, that Rory "has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept. He is the perfect choice." Rory is the son of celebrated actor, Roy Kinnear. Rory played the MI6 officer ,Bill Tanner, in the recent "James Bond: Skyfall" flick. He also appeared in the "James Bond: Quantum of Solace" movie back in 2008. Rory also won acclaim for his stage performances in productions of Othello, Mary Stuart ,and Hamlet. So, it sounds like this guy's career is quite sound,and should qualify for a Doctor Who role.
See full article at OnTheFlix »

Roger Hammond obituary

Actor known for his roles as clergymen, favourite uncles and tragic-comic characters

There is a great tradition in the rotundity of actors, and Roger Hammond, who has died aged 76 of cancer, stands proudly in a line stretching from Francis L Sullivan and Willoughby Goddard through to Roy Kinnear, Desmond Barrit and Richard Griffiths, though he was probably more malleably benevolent on stage than any of them.

He reeked of kindness, consideration and imperturbability, with a pleasant countenance and a beautiful, soft voice, qualities ideal for unimpeachable clergymen, favourite uncles and tragic-comic characters such as Waffles in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (whom he played in a 1991 BBC TV film, with David Warner and Ian Holm), a man whose wife left him for another man on his wedding day but who has remained faithful to her and forgiving ever since.

Hammond grew up in Stockport, Lancashire. His chartered accountant father was managing director of his own family firm,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Roger Hammond obituary

Actor known for his roles as clergymen, favourite uncles and tragic-comic characters

There is a great tradition in the rotundity of actors, and Roger Hammond, who has died aged 76 of cancer, stands proudly in a line stretching from Francis L Sullivan and Willoughby Goddard through to Roy Kinnear, Desmond Barrit and Richard Griffiths, though he was probably more malleably benevolent on stage than any of them.

He reeked of kindness, consideration and imperturbability, with a pleasant countenance and a beautiful, soft voice, qualities ideal for unimpeachable clergymen, favourite uncles and tragic-comic characters such as Waffles in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (whom he played in a 1991 BBC TV film, with David Warner and Ian Holm), a man whose wife left him for another man on his wedding day but who has remained faithful to her and forgiving ever since.

Hammond grew up in Stockport, Lancashire. His chartered accountant father was managing director of his own family firm,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Broken fixed up with nine British independent film award nominations

Rufus Norris's drama about an 11-year-old diabetic leads the pack in a year otherwise devoted to honouring older stars

Broken, the feature-film debut of award-winning theatre and opera director Rufus Norris, has emerged as the surprise frontrunner at this year's Bifas, the British independent film awards, with nine nominations. This year's judges have also doffed their caps to the elder generation of British acting talent, with Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith and Terence Stamp among the notable nominees.

A coming-of-age drama, adapted from Daniel Clay's 2008 novel, about a young girl living in a British suburb, which premiered to mixed reviews at the Cannes film festival in May but went on to win the Golden Eye award for best international film at the Zurich film festival, Broken stars Eloise Laurence as 11-year-old diabetic Skunk, along with Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Roy Kinnear. Critics have praised its acting
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Breaking the Bank: Six of Hollywood’s Lost Old-School Epics

For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal. I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months. Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.

Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:

5/4: Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million

5/11: Dark Shadows — $150 million

5/18: Battleship — $209 million

5/25: Men in Black 3 — $250 million

6/8: Prometheus — $120-130 million

7/3: The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million

7/20: The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million

7/31: Total Recall — $200 million

8/5: The Expendables 2 — $100 million

For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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