9 items from 2013
Co-writer of the TV series Tenko who dramatised the lives of women overlooked in most accounts of the second world war
When Anne Valery was writing Tenko, the 1980s BBC drama about the sufferings of female internees in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, she and her co-writer, Jill Hyem, had a problem. "We were working for men, and men have strange misconceptions about women and how they behave. With complete sincerity – and a note of finality – they would tell Jill and me: 'Oh, but women do not behave that way; they do not talk that way.' "
Valery, who has died aged 87, knew better, and was tough-minded enough to fight her corner. Relatively late in life, after training for war combat, working in army intelligence, being a doyenne of the Fitzrovia literary set in postwar London, modelling on Paris catwalks, working as an actor, television presenter and cabaret performer, and running »
- Stuart Jeffries
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
This week we published Bonnie Radcliffe’s excellent article about the costume design clues in No Country for Old Men (2007), including a breakdown of psychotic hit man Anton Chigurh’s (Javier Bardem) sparse but never black attire among a sea of check shirts and cowboy hats. Chigurh stands out as much as he needs to (note the snakeskin boots) but really he dresses to fit in. Like all the best villains he is not aware he is the bad guy; to Chigurh he is just doing a job.
So in honour of Chigurh’s distinctive western jacket and polyester trousers, we have a round up of some of the best villain related costume posts at Clothes on Film. Don’t judge a book by its cover, but if you do meet a man in pinstripe resort wear with a boater, perhaps avoid staying for dinner.
Click the image to read the post. »
- Chris Laverty
Ken Loach's documentary is skilfully compiled from archive footage and newly recorded interviews with elderly socialists who remember the 1930s and 40s and with youngish leftwing academics of today. But rather than the provocative polemic one might have expected, it's more of an over-extended party political broadcast for a phantom old Labour party that is forever waiting in the wings. It celebrates the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election and the resolve never to return again to the miserable conditions that the working class endured in the 1930s. As I watched, there rang in my ears a distorted version of the question asked in the last two lines of WB Yeats's The Second Coming: "And what rough socialist beast, its hour come round at last,/ Loaches towards a New Jerusalem to be born?"
This committed view of our history over the past 70 years suggests that Britain was united »
- Philip French
Sir Alec Guinness's personal diaries and letters are to be made available to the public in 2014.
The British Library has obtained the personal archive of the late Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in Star Wars and the Ealing comedies.
The archive will include over 100 volumes of diaries and letters charting his long career as an actor from the late 1930s up to his death in 2000.
It also chronicles his experience at war and the death of Sir Laurence Olivier.
An extract from his diary on July 12, 1989, the day after Sir Laurence's death, reads: "His 'I defy you, stars' in Romeo was memorable. And so was his Poor naked wretches etc in Lear. But his famous howl in Oedipus I thought just tiresome.
"He knew every trick of the trade and used every one, including, when he made his first entrance the lights coming up a few points and »
Archive of theatre knight, famed for Ealing comedies, reveal Pooterish moments and brickbats for Sir Laurence
On July 12 1989, one of the greatest actors of his generation was reflecting in his diary on the death of another. If Sir Alec Guinness's thoughtswords of praise for Sir Laurence Olivier were extracted, as theatre promoters routinely do with critics' write-ups, it could read as a rave review.
The full text, revealed for the first time in the actor's personal archive just acquired by the British Library, tells a different story. In his impeccably neat tiny script, Guinness wrote of Olivier: "I greatly admired his extraordinary courage … as a comedian he was superb … technically brilliant … he was a great actor."
But he also wrote: "Like so many people whose ambition drive them to great eminence, he had a cruel and destructive streak. Side by side with his generosity, he could be unpleasant, possibly even vindictive. »
- Maev Kennedy
As the Fox alternate-universe drama "Fringe" ends its five-season run, let us pause to praise John Noble's textured performance as Walter Bishop – and his talented potrayals of Walter Bishop, Walter Bishop and Walter Bishop. And Anna Torv? Her work as Olivia Dunham, Olivia Dunham and Olivia Dunham has built a one-dimensional character into a genuine, multifaceted sci-fi heroine.
This is the situation in which "Fringe" fans find themselves ahead of the final, two-hour conclusion that airs Friday. So what on Earth – or, given that it's "Fringe," what on Earths – are we talking about here?
Only the fact that, unlike any other show in recent memory – or, perhaps, in television history itself – "Fringe" has required something of its troupe of actors that is both daunting and utterly captivating to watch: It forced them to play several different versions of their characters, sometimes all at once, and define unique characteristics and »
To start the New Year, every day in January we will be publishing another section of our 300 Greatest Films Ever Made List. This list was compiled over a two-year period using a variety of criteria, including--popularity, critical response, box office take, influence, originality and awards won. Thanks to all the people who helped in making this list by giving their feedback over blogs and hubs during the period it was being compiled. And now, on with the list…
296) The Red Shoes (1948) Michael Powell British
293) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Ang Lee Hong Kong/Taiwan
291) Halloween (1978) John Cartenter USA
Numbers 290-281 next....
FILMMAKINGfilm cultureclassic »
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9 items from 2013
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