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1-20 of 52 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


Colonel Blimp: The masterpiece Churchill hated

1 December 2011 4:00 PM, PST | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

Winston Churchill hated the idea of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). The then-Prime Minister couldn't understand why, in the middle of the Second World War, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were making a film that included a sympathetic German. Others were baffled that one of Britain's pre-eminent film-making teams was telling the story of a a fat, walrus-moustached, jingoist character originating in David Low's cartoons in the Daily Express. »

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Colonel Blimp - The masterpiece Churchill hated

1 December 2011 4:00 PM, PST | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

Winston Churchill hated the idea of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). The then-Prime Minister couldn't understand why, in the middle of the Second World War, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were making a film that included a sympathetic German. Others were baffled that one of Britain's pre-eminent film-making teams was telling the story of a a fat, walrus-moustached, jingoist character originating in David Low's cartoons in the Daily Express. »

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Ten Essential... Movie Adaptations of Classic (Pre-20th Century) Novels

25 November 2011 3:54 PM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

With Andrea Arnold's take on Wuthering Heights about to arrive in U.K. cinemas, Adam Hollingworth counts down his favourite movie adaptations of classic pre-20th century novels...

This week sees the release of Andrea Arnold’s latest film Wuthering Heights: an affecting and starkly beautiful film which contradicts the old adage that great novels don’t translate into great films.

However, the two principal reasons for the success of this disturbing, gritty and highly idiosyncratic adaptation are Arnold and screenwriter Olivia Hetreed’s willingness to liberate themselves from the letter of the text, and to achieve the same ends as Bronte’s brooding, melancholic yet hauntingly beautiful prose through filmic techniques, rather than linguistic ones. The tender naiveté of Heathcliff and Cathy’s doomed romance is portrayed through physicality and gesture, such as their heavily symbolic wrestling in the mud, and her sensual licking of the wounds on his back. »

- flickeringmyth

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'Hugo' Review (2011)

23 November 2011 7:12 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Hugo may be a film unlike any Martin Scorsese has ever directed, but it's clearly close to his heart. Scorsese has been a frontrunner when it comes to restoring classic films, having recently made headlines with his immaculate restoration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes and now he's gone all the way back to the beginning, using the films of special effects pioneer George Melies to guide the heart of Hugo, adapted from Brian Selznick's children's book by John Logan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Scorsese's The Aviator. With the pieces and passion clearly in place, the question is whether or not they all came together.

Opening in the early 1930s, Scorsese embraces CG landscapes and 3D camera movements as if he's been using them his entire life as we swoop in on the clocks of a Parisian train station and are introduced to young Hugo »

- Brad Brevet

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Daily Viewing. From "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"

16 November 2011 12:29 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) "so unambiguously [satirizes] the military mind-set that Prime Minister Winston Churchill tried to have it banned," writes J Hoberman in the Voice. "Newly restored by Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation and playing two weeks [starting Friday] at Film Forum in its full length, Colonel Blimp is as stylized in its florid palette, lavish mise-en-scène, and obtrusive musical cues as Powell and Pressburger's subsequent The Red Shoes. Beginning and ending in London under the blitz, the movie spans 40 years, tracking the career of General Clive Candy (Roger Livesey) from dashing young hero of the Boer War to the sort of walrus-mustached establishment fogy that political cartoonist David Low named 'Colonel Blimp.' … The filmmakers originally wanted Laurence Olivier, but it seems unlikely that so acerbic an actor could have delivered so warm a performance."

"Seeing Colonel Blimp strictly in the »

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My favourite film: Readers' comments – week three

14 November 2011 9:20 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

We're picking out your finest responses to our My favourite film series, for which Guardian writers have selected the movies they go back to time and again.

Here's a roundup of how you responded in week three, when the selections were American Splendor, The Red Shoes, The Princess Bride, Rio Bravo and Hoop Dreams

Who was Harvey Pekar? He was a grouch, a slouch, a miserablist. He griped and bitched about everything. But he did it in style. And he did it publicly, through American Splendor – a series of autobiographical comic books and the subsequent movie adaptation, which Amy Fleming chose to open the third week of our My favourite film series.

"Harvey didn't do happy," wrote Amy. "But he did funny and truth, and so does this movie – beautifully." Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman's film was a cinematic holiday from Hollywood's gloss and fantasy, she said. Trudging around, »

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My favourite film: The Red Shoes

8 November 2011 2:14 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In our writers' favourite films series, Charlotte Higgins applauds a picture that jetés through the imagination's darkest recesses

• Think you can post a better review of The Red Shoes? Then get moving – or take the floor in the comments thread below

I remember the first time I watched The Red Shoes. I was a child, it was on the television some rainy afternoon, and I watched it on my own. I think I was probably expecting a straightforward retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, also called The Red Shoes – though why that would be reassuring viewing I don't know, since Andersen's story, like his disturbing tale The Little Mermaid, is a thoroughly disquieting piece of work.

Instead, this film – which I would later discover was made in 1948, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – was set in postwar London, with an aspiring ballerina at its heart, played by the luminous, »

- Charlotte Higgins

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My favourite film: The Red Shoes

8 November 2011 1:06 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In our writers' favourite films series, Charlotte Higgins applauds a picture that jetés through the imagination's darkest recesses

• Think you can post a better review of The Red Shoes? Then get moving – or take the floor in the comments thread below

I remember the first time I watched The Red Shoes. I was a child, it was on the television some rainy afternoon, and I watched it on my own. I think I was probably expecting a straightforward retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, also called The Red Shoes – though why that would be reassuring viewing I don't know, since Andersen's story, like his disturbing tale The Little Mermaid, is a thoroughly disquieting piece of work.

Instead, this film – which I would later discover was made in 1948, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – was set in postwar London, with an aspiring ballerina at its heart, played by the luminous, »

- Charlotte Higgins

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My favourite film: A Canterbury Tale

25 October 2011 6:57 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Xan Brooks continues our writers' favourite films series by confessing devotion to Michael Powell's A Canterbury Tale

• Tell us your version of A Canterbury Tale by posting your review, or join the throng of pilgrims in the comments

I first watched A Canterbury Tale with my father, nearly 20 years ago. He warned me that while he liked it, most people did not. It was too flawed, too rum, it didn't hang together. So we sat in the lounge and saw the hawk turn into the fighter plane and the trainload of pilgrims pull into Kent and the first, scurrying escape of the "glue-man", who pours adhesive into the hair of the girls who date the soldiers – and about half an hour in, my dad hit the pause button and asked if I maybe wanted to watch something else instead. "No, it's Ok, I like it," I muttered, because it's »

- Xan Brooks

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365 Days, 100 Films #63 - The Red Shoes (1948)

19 October 2011 11:23 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Red Shoes, 1948.

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

Starring Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring and Moira Shearer.

Synopsis:

A love triangle forms between three members of a ballet company. Their production of an old fairy-tale, The Red Shoes, frames their torment.

I’ve seen the actual red shoes Moira Shearer wore in the film. They were on loan to the BFI sometime last year from Martin Scorsese. They looked a little battered and frayed, as though they were sad. I thought this before I’d even seen the film from where they came. Now they’re even more imbued with tragedy.

The Red Shoes is based on Han Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale of the same name. Anderson’s story was about a young girl who became obsessed with a pair of red shoes. She’d go everywhere in them, ignoring church and her ill mother. After attending a party, »

- flickeringmyth

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Moma’S Annual Festival Of Film Preservation Lineup Announced

12 October 2011 7:47 AM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Looking for something to do in Manhattan over the next month?  MoMA has announced the slate for its 9th annual International Festival of Film Preservation, in which the museum presents preserved and restored films from archives, studios and distributors around the world.  This year’s festival runs from October 14 through November 19, and the lineup looks like a pretty stellar way to spend an evening (or twenty).

One of the highlights is the focus on ’70s genre-enthusiast and frequent Spielberg collaborator Joe Dante (Gremlins, Piranha).  The festival opens this Friday with a digital preservation of the original celluloid print of Dante’s rarely screened 1968 debut, The Movie Orgy, a 4-hour barrage of B-movie trailers, ’60s commercials and bizarre found footage. A trashy spectacle that more than lives up to its ever-growing cult status.

Then, on Saturday, Dante’s Twilight Zone: The Movie segment, “It’s a Good Life” (the one with »

- Dan Schoenbrun

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BFI Fellowship Recipients: From Bette Davis to Bernardo Bertolucci

5 October 2011 7:02 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

David Cronenberg, Ralph Fiennes to Become BFI Fellows. [Right: Bette Davis.] The list of those who have received a British Film Institute Fellowship since it was first handed out in 1983 is quite extensive. [See below.] BFI Fellows include not only Britishers, but also numerous foreigners who have somehow or other been associated with either the film world or the BFI itself, among them directors (Michelangelo Antonioni, Marcel Carné), producers (John Brabourne, David Puttnam), film executives (Harvey Weinstein, Sidney Bernstein), editors (Thelma Schoonmaker), cinematographers (Jack Cardiff), actors (from Alec Guinness to Bette Davis, from Jean Simmons to Isabelle Huppert), writers (Graham Greene), critics (Dilys Powell), and philanthropists (J. Paul Getty). There are a number of puzzling omissions, however. For instance, the following are a few British actresses who have left an indelible mark on world cinema: Anna Neagle (left out perhaps because she died in 1986), Margaret Lockwood, Julie Andrews, Julie Christie, Lynn Redgrave, and Greer Garson. »

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Daily Briefing. Herzog, Coens, Aronofsky, More

5 October 2011 2:38 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Everyone's favorite bit of news of the past 24 hours or so has to be the casting of Werner Herzog as the bad guy in Christopher McQuarrie's upcoming Tom Cruise vehicle, One Shot. Also on board: Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Alexia Fast and Jai Courtney. At this point, there are only a few more details to know, but the Playlist's Kevin Jagernauth's got them.

Fox has greenlit an hour-long single-camera comedy by Joel and Ethan Coen and screenwriter Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids). Lesley Goldberg in the Hollywood Reporter: "The Imagine TV project, the brothers' first foray into television, revolves around a touchy Los Angeles private investigator — and his deadbeat friends in El Segundo — whose cases frequently force him to cross paths with a who's who of Hollywood."

"Paramount is on board to co-finance Darren Aronofsky's Noah with New Regency, and shooting is set to kick »

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Pinewood celebrates 75 years filming the best of British and Hollywood

1 October 2011 4:16 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Founded by J Arthur Rank, the studios are home to 007, Harry Potter and American blockbusters – but still invest in UK talent

The horizon at Pinewood alters every month as sets and scaffold towers go up and down. This weekend a visitor told to present themselves at the "main gate" might face a moment's confusion. By far the biggest gate, dwarfing everything else at the entrance to the film studios in Buckinghamshire, is a huge wooden affair, reached by a drawbridge.

A portcullis is suspended above it and a pair of crenellated stone towers stand on either side. It is part of the set constructed for Snow White and The Huntsman, one of a succession of big budget films that have queued up to get inside a production centre that is unrivalled, not just in Britain, but across the world.

The film, directed by Rupert Sanders, will star Charlize Theron as The Evil Queen, »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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50 Films That You Wouldn’t Think Were Christian, But Actually Are

17 September 2011 11:32 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Being a Christian in the 21st century is difficult at the best of times. Even without Mel Gibson constantly putting his foot in it, or Westboro Baptist Church spitting venom at the very people they are supposed to be helping, we have to contend with a media backlash whenever a seemingly ‘Christian’ film is released.

The problem seems to be that people don’t mind Christianity per se: if people are Bible-bashing in the streets, they can ignore them or talk back. What they resent, or appear to resent, are films with Christian undertones – allegories or parables which introduce Christian beliefs or ideas in a supposedly secular context. When The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe came out in 2005, The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee accused it of “invad[ing] children’s minds with Christian iconography… heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.” Ouch. »

- Daniel Mumby

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Cutting Edge: A conversation with film editor Anne V. Coates

31 August 2011 10:28 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Trevor Hogg chats to the Academy Award-winning film editor Anne V. Coates...

“When I was a really small girl I was very horsey; I used to think I’d like to be a race horse trainer,” recalls British film editor Anne V. Coates whose cinematic career spans over six decades. “Once I reached about 16 and became interested in movies, I thought I would like to be a movie director.” The shift in thinking occurred while the teenager was at boarding school; she and her classmates were taken by their teachers to see classical films. “When I saw Wuthering Heights [1939] I was in another world; I was swept away by it and Laurence Olivier [Sleuth]. It suddenly made me realize that would be quite an interesting job to be able to take a book like Wuthering Heights and make it something magical on the screen. It had a profound influence on my life. »

- flickeringmyth

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I Know Where I'm Going! changes direction on Mull

24 August 2011 8:34 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Watching the Powell/Pressburger classic in the place it's set gave it a darker, more subversive slant

I've just returned from the Isle of Mull in Scotland. It was a holiday which quickly assumed the character of a secular pilgrimage to the key locations in the 1945 Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger classic I Know Where I'm Going!, a sublime and utterly distinctive romantic comedy, set towards the end of the second world war.

It stars Wendy Hiller as the headstrong, self-possessed and rather conceited young Englishwoman, Joan Webster, who travels to the Hebrides to marry a wealthy industrialist on the remote island of Kiloran. Foul weather strands her on the neighbouring island of Mull the night before their wedding – the first time in her life anything or anyone has ever interfered with her plans. Yet, little by little, she finds herself beguiled by the island and the islanders – in particular Torquil MacNeil, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Top 10 Greatest British Films of all Time!

4 August 2011 2:40 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Ok, so we’ve had another – albeit much lower key – royal wedding this weekend, as the Queens granddaughter Zara Phillips wed her Rugby captain boyfriend Mike Tindall…so I’m feeling all patriotic again and want to let you know what I believe are the 10 Greatest British films of all time!

Us Brits produce a diverse range of films these days, covering anything from psychological horror to mushy romantic comedies via gripping wartime thrillers and tense emotional dramas. And by George, we do it blooming well at times! So in honour of celebrating all that is spiffing about this glorious nation of ours, here’s what I consider to be the 10 greatest British films of all time…

 

10. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Combining hilarious madcap comedy with thrills and suspense aplenty, this Ealing film is exactly what comedy is about. One of the films that helped give the studio a name for itself, »

- Stuart Cummins

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Readers' reviews: Postwar British cinema and Selena Gomez

28 July 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The best of your comments on the latest film and music

Three cheers for Britain! Matthew Sweet led the boosting last week, with his article challenging the received wisdom that postwar British cinema – exemplified by the work of Ealing Studios – was cosy and parochial. No, he said: in the Us, British films were valued because they were so daring. (A point echoed by badcat: "As an American, I'm very envious of those witty, sly, dry Ealing comedies. The post-wwii Hollywood products are cloying and smug in contrast. Try the emetic Father of the Bride or the obsessively perky MGM musicals, or those awful westerns, all regarded as classics. No wonder our Us baby boomers grew up thinking that they were the centre of the world and its first real generation.")

"I blame Truffaut and his anti-English/British bias," said caroassassino. "Powell and Pressburger's films are superior to anything that he ever directed. »

- Michael Hann

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Trailer trash

18 July 2011 1:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jamie Thraves and Aidan Gillen return to the big screen, while the Life of Brian controversy is explored by BBC4 and Martin Scorsese shows his favourites movies at Port Eliot

Thraves thrives

After a decade out of British cinemas, director Jamie Thraves's Treacle Jr (see Philip French's review this week) sees the return of a film-maker much admired for his debut, The Low Down, in 2000. I'm pleased to see that the Irish actor Aidan Gillen has stuck by Thraves, even now that his star has risen after roles in The Wire and Game of Thrones. The pair are now working on another collaboration, a music film, which will combine Gillen's rock-star fantasies with Thraves's skills honed making videos for Radiohead, Coldplay and Dizzee Rascal. Thraves remortgaged his house to make Treacle Jr and shot it for £30,000, composing and playing much of the soundtrack himself. The film is part of »

- Jason Solomons

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