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Berlinale 2017: In Times of Fading Light Review

17 February 2017 4:23 PM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

We’ve seen so many tales told from the perspective of those caught up in the devastation of the Second World War, but rarely do we then catch up with them later on in life, when you would presume that their fight has now been fought. These are the characters that make up Matti Geschonneck’s In Times of Fading Light, though the central, hardline communist is evidently never without another battle to engage in, for this tale is set in the very final days of East Germany, despite how ardently he believes the wall will never fall.

Set merely days before David Hasselhoff was dancing on the concrete to celebrate the tearing down of the wall that separated the residents of Berlin – it’s the 90th birthday of communist Wilhelm Powileit (Bruno Ganz) who still fervently believes in his idealistic, socialist values, albeit a fantasy that »

- Stefan Pape

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Berlinale 2017: I Am Not Your Negro Review

17 February 2017 3:50 PM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

Alongside Ava DuVernay’s 13th, Raoul Peck can also boast having an Oscar nominated documentary this year – for his pertinent, incredibly moving feature I Am Not Your Negro. It’s so important for films of this nature to be lauded in such a way, and therefore stand more of a chance of reaching a broad audience, with both productions unforgiving in their depiction of racial inequality in the United States. What they also share in common is the ability to evoke feelings of such anger in the viewer, as it’s hard not to leave this title with an overwhelming sense of all-consuming rage and bafflement, at the fact people are treated in such an inhumane way purely due the colour of their skin.

“Written by James Baldwin” appears on the screen in the opening credits, and though a documentary this is definitely a film that comes »

- Stefan Pape

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Logan Review

17 February 2017 1:29 PM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

From the first scene, from the very first word in fact, it is clear that Logan is far from just another comic book movie. It may be the latest X-Men film to the fans but James Mangold and Hugh Jackman have created something distinct and different. We saw hints of what they wanted to achieve in their 2013 film The Wolverine but Logan is purposefully named. The raw narrative drive and the unrelenting violence make a solid foundation for a new type of Wolverine movie. This is not your comic book hero come to life, this is real life with all the pain and pathos that comes with it.

Logan is a very different beast. It shrinks its focus to a fine point, it collapses the worldwide grab of its superhero brethren to an almost claustrophobic hold. This film is less about saving the world, and far more about saving yourself. »

- Jon Lyus

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Will Ferrell & Amy Poehler play casino loving parents in first trailer for The House

17 February 2017 6:09 AM, PST

Author: Zehra Phelan

The one thing you’re guaranteed with a Will Ferrell comedy is a certain juvenile ambience that takes no brain power to watch, one where you can sit back on a Friday night and put the stresses of the week behind you. The brand new trailer for The House, where Amy Poehler stars as his onscreen wife, has all the exact same ingredients you would expect for this comedy concoction.

Related: Ferrell and John C. Reilly start production on Holmes and Watson

Making his feature film directorial debut on the picture is Andrew Jay Cohen who served as co-writer on Zac Efron’s Bad Neighbours and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Cohen also co-wrote this project alongside his writing partner Brendan O’Brien so we are guessing the comedy antics of The House won’t veer too far away from what has already worked for them. »

- Zehra Phelan

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Exclusive: Moonlight Director Barry Jenkins on how cinema has the power to unite us

17 February 2017 6:08 AM, PST

Author: David Sztypuljak

All this week we’ve had the pleasure of bringing you our interviews with the cast of the absolutely wonderful movie that is Moonlight. Nominated for eight Oscars, the movie is very much one to watch.

During the interview conducted by Stefan Pape, we find out just how writer / director Barry Jenkins took this project from that was originally penned by Tarell Alvin McCraney and was told the story is ‘not about you, but it’s about you’ and from the moment he read it, growing up literally a few blocks away from where it was set, he knew he was the perfect man for the job.

Related: André Holland & Trevante Rhodes exclusive interview

Jenkins talks about how getting the movie aesthetically right was much easier when you know the area so well but on the flip-side it was much harder emotionally and how that pressure weighed »

- David Sztypuljak

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The Great Wall Review

17 February 2017 2:33 AM, PST

Author: Emily Breen

There are precious few things in this world which cannot be improved by a measure of silliness – and Zhang Yimou’s not entirely historically accurate story of a legendary alien battle at The Great Wall of China is no exception. In combining his trademark gravity defying fight sequences with thousands of green blooded CGI monsters, Zhang has contrarily crafted a very beautiful and wildly expensive B-Movie.

William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are soldiers for hire, wandering the wilds of China in search of a source of black powder – gunpowder – to sell to the highest bidder upon their return to the west. When their group is ambushed late one night William’s mercenary training ensures the pair’s safety and grants them a gory and unusual get-out-of-certain-death-free card as they stumble across a secret army preparing for the fight of their lives.

Our introduction to Commander »

- Emily Breen

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Premiere Interviews: The Lost City of Z – Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland & James Gray

16 February 2017 3:07 PM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

Director James Gray has made a number of superlative films. Films such as We Own the Night, Two Lovers and 2013’s under-seen classic The Immigrant each have Gray’s trademark of a startlingly assured hand. His latest film, which had its European premiere in London this evening, is another exploration of human identity albeit in a far more adventurous form.

The premiere Of The Lost City Of Z was held at The British Museum in London and was attended by actors Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Edward Ashley, Harry Melling, Tom Mulheron, and director James Gray.

The Lost City of Z

That’s quite a cast, and with cinematographer Darius Khondji (who created some of this writer’s most cherished images in The City of Lost Children) audiences are in for a treat.

Colin Hart and Scott Davis were on the red carpet this »

- Jon Lyus

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Exclusive: “I lost my mind…” Tom Holland on seeing the reaction the Spider-Man Homecoming trailer

16 February 2017 1:07 PM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

It’s always a huge pleasure to catch up with Tom Holland, and tonight at the European Premiere of James Gray’s The Lost City of Z we were able to get some time with one of Young Hollywood’s busiest stars. He appears alongside Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson in Gray’s film however our conversation on the red carpet did turn to his forthcoming appearance in Marvel’s Spider-Man Homecoming.

While our full interview concentrated on his role in The Lost City of Z, we were able to ask the young actor about his emerging role as Peter Parker and his masked alias. His introductory turn in Captain America: Civil War was easily a highlight of the film for many, us included. However it was only when the first trailer for his solo outing arrived that fans had their chance to see what »

- Jon Lyus

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Berlinale 2017: The Midwife Review

16 February 2017 9:51 AM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

We’re all rather fond of routine, and you get to a certain age in life when you’ve settled on your friends, you don’t really need any more. We can fear the return of that old companion, somebody from a former life, somebody you feel there’s a reason you lost contact with. It’s this notion that Martin Provost’s The Midwife thrives on, and while we feel the anxiety and impatience of our protagonist in this endeavour when her life is disrupted – the overriding sentiment to take away is that change is not always such a bad thing after all.

Catherine Frot plays the aforementioned role, the experienced, compassionate midwife Claire Breton, who returns home from a nightshift to a voicemail – from Béatrice Sobolevski (Catherine Deneuve), an old friend of Claire’s, who eventually went to have a relationship with her father, a successful Olympic swimmer. »

- Stefan Pape

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Berlinale 2017: Maudie Review

16 February 2017 8:55 AM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

There’s an indelibly warm and tender tone to Aisling Walsh’s real-life drama Maudie, albeit one spiked with a deep sadness and profundity. Finding a compatible balance between the two, there’s no denying the Irish director’s latest is a moving piece of cinema – it just plays a little safe, as the sort of title you’d be thrilled to stumble across on the telly on a Sunday evening, but not one you’d necessarily need to indulge in on the big screen.

Set in Nova Scotia, we meet Maud (Sally Hawkins), eavesdropping on a conversation between her brother and auntie, as they deliberate over what to do with her. For Maud arthritis and a hunched back, and has been treated like an outsider ever since she can remember. Wanting to keep herself occupied, she responds to an advert to be a housemaid at the humble abode of the introverted, »

- Stefan Pape

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Hidden Figures director Theodore Melfi on the importance of hope

16 February 2017 8:01 AM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

This week we’ve been privileged to sit down with the cast and composer of Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. The film has won the hearts of audiences across the world, telling an important story obscured for so long. Its inspirational message of collaboration and meritocratic success will be its greatest legacy, but for now its timely nature will help it gather an even wider audience when the film releases in the UK on the 17th of February.

James Kleinmann completed his set of interviews with director Melfi, whose keen eye keeps the social message implicit in the film interwoven perfectly with its compelling narrative. Melfi talked through his feelings on his main cast Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae,

“I was blown away by Taraji P. Henson, if you’ve seen [her] work lately on Empire playing Cookie – who is this bombastic character – and then »

- Jon Lyus

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Here’s your first look at Rey, Finn and Poe from Star Wars The Last Jedi

16 February 2017 6:33 AM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

As the glorious fanfare of Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin off film, fades into the blackness of space we are beginning to see signs that Episode VIII of the Skywalker Saga is emerging from the ether. Only a few weeks ago director Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy announced that the new Star Wars film would be titled: The Last Jedi. And there was much rejoicing (and sudden, furious speculation).

We are still no closer to a first trailer, rumoured to be hitting on the 14th of April at the Star Wars Celebration event held in Orlando. But today we have a number of images from the set, and…erm…the toy packaging, which show off a few familiar faces. This is our best look yet at the future of Star Wars, so eyes down.

As you will see from the banner image above »

- Jon Lyus

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“He is Van Gogh” – Moonlight’s André Holland & Trevante Rhodes on the genius of Barry Jenkins

16 February 2017 5:33 AM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

With eight Oscar nominations to its name, there’s a palpable, and richly deserved buzz surrounding Moonlight, with the vast majority of praise falling into the lap of the man at the helm, Barry Jenkins. We had the pleasure of interviewing André Holland and Trevante Rhodes – who make up the third, and final chapter in this indelible drama – and they had plenty of kind words to say about their experiences shooting with the director.

“He’s a special one man,” Holland said. “He creates this atmosphere on set that is so, so cool, he knows what he wants, he’s very specific, and he knows how he’s gonna get it. But at the same time he gives actors an opportunity to breathe and find their way to it, which is the mark of a  real master” Nodding in agreement, Rhodes added, “He’s a real genius, »

- Stefan Pape

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Interview: Director Zackary Adler on his Kray Films Trilogy and cinematic snobbery

16 February 2017 4:48 AM, PST

Author: Linda Marric

2016 was a great year for Zackary Adler. The New York born director has become a sort of a cult figure amongst fans of gritty British gangster movies; a genre which despite racking up hit after hit has until now remained on the fringes of the British film industry.

After the record-breaking success of his recently released films Rise of Krays (2015) and The Fall of The Krays (2016), Adler has also just finished directing the third instalment and prequel to Rise of the Footsoldier , a franchise based on real life events surrounding the Rettendon Triple Murders, better known as The “Range Rover murders”. The film will be released by Signature Entertainment later this year. And if that wasn’t enough, Adler is also about to start shooting the third instalment of his Krays franchise, titled The Krays And The Mafia.

Last month, I had the chance to meet Adler »

- Linda Marric

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Win tickets to Bitter Harvest screening

16 February 2017 2:44 AM, PST

Author: Competitions

To mark the release of Bitter Harvest, we’ve been given 5 pairs of tickets for the screening on 20th February at a central London location.

Based on one of the most overlooked tragedies of the 20th Century, Bitter Harvest is a powerful story of love, honour, rebellion and survival as seen through the eyes of two young lovers caught in the ravages of Joseph Stalin’s genocidal policies against Ukraine in the 1930s. As Stalin advances the ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union, a young artist named Yuri (Max Irons) battles to survive famine, imprisonment and torture to save his childhood sweetheart Natalka (Samantha Barks) from the “Holodomor,” the death-by-starvation program which ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians. Against this tragic backdrop, Yuri escapes from a Soviet prison and joins the anti-Bolshevik resistance movement as he battles to reunite with Natalka and continue the fight for a free Ukraine. »

- Competitions

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Exclusive: “We need that story told…” – Pharrell Williams on Hidden Figures

16 February 2017 2:42 AM, PST

Author: Jon Lyus

Grammy-award winning songwriter and performer Pharrell Williams came on board Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures as a producer and composer alongside Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. In this interview, conducted by James Kleinmann, he talks about the importance of the story, his own childhood questions which sparked his interest in the film, and explains the story behind one of his most enduring compositions from the film – Running.

Going all the way back to his early childhood, Williams talked about the moments he recalled when he first became involved with the project,

“I used to stare into space as a child, and ask all the questions like ‘How far does that go?’, ‘Where does it end?’, ‘What’s on the other side, if it ends?’ “

Each of the interviews we have conducted with the cast and director of Hidden Figures have their own reasons why they wanted to tell the story. »

- Jon Lyus

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Win movie merchandise with The Great Wall

16 February 2017 2:40 AM, PST

Author: Competitions

To celebrate the release of epic adventure The Great Wall, which is released in UK Cinemas on February 17th, we have five sets of film merchandise to give away including the official art of the film book and a novelisation of the story.

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.  The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China.  The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Small Print

Open to UK residents only The competition will close 27th »

- Competitions

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Win American Honey on DVD

16 February 2017 2:32 AM, PST

Author: Competitions

To mark the release of American Honey on 20th February, we’ve been given 5 copies to give away on DVD.

American Honey tells the story of Star (newcomer Sasha Lane) a teenage girl from a troubled home, who runs away with a traveling sales crew who drive across the American Midwest selling magazine subscriptions door to door. Finding her feet in this gang of teenagers, one of whom is Jake (Shia Labeouf, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Transformers), she soon gets into the group’s lifestyle of hard-partying nights, law-bending days, and young love. Star and Jake are instantly drawn to each other, and start to dream of a future together. But their relationship upsets the crew’s leader, Krystal (Riley Keough, Mad Max: Fury Road) and Star’s future in the gang becomes a lot more precarious.

Please note: This competition is open »

- Competitions

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Berlinale 2017: Freak Show Review

15 February 2017 9:02 AM, PST

Author: Stefan Pape

 

Though the shooting of Trudie Styler’s Freak Show predates the victory of a certain Donald Trump, it’s a film that feels remarkably pertinent, exploring the perpetual conflict between free-thinkers and the narrow-minded, the liberals against the ignorant – and how it seems that, in most cases these days, it’s the latter who come out on top. This is an incongruity that has been studiously, and playfully examined in this indelible drama, through the prism of cross-dressing teenager Billy Bloom.

Alex Lawther makes his American debut in the aforementioned role, a young man who thrives in being fabulous. Owing much to his eccentric, gloriously extravagant mother – who he affectionately calls Muv (Bette Midler), he is forced to go and live with his far more conservative father (Larry Pine) and thus begin life at a new school. Contemplating toning down his vibrant choice of attire, he thinks better of it, »

- Stefan Pape

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Love Actually cast to reunite for Red Nose Day – First Images

15 February 2017 8:51 AM, PST

Author: Zehra Phelan

Comic Relief has come over all nostalgic for its next Red Nose Day as it jumps in a time machine and travels back to 2003 for a brand new film, Red Nose Day Actually – which started production today – which sees the original cast of Love Actually reuniting for a few (ageing) giggles in aid of a good cause.

Related: Richard Curtis BAFTA Guru Screenwriting Video

The short film, which is taken from an original script by Writer and Director Richard Curtis, has original cast members Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Lucia Moniz, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson, Bill Nighy, Marcus Brigstocke, and Rowan Atkinson all reprising their original roles. Delving back into the lives of our much-loved characters, 14 years later, for a glimpse of where they are now.

We can only hope Hugh and Martine are still together with Hugh still sticking it to the Americans, »

- Zehra Phelan

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