4 items from 2011
Lech Majewski's The Mill and the Cross is odd. More two hours of art appreciation than an conventional film, it tells the story (or possibly a story) of the artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder and what it was that led him to create his painting The Road to Calvary. The great man (played in a surprising turn by Rutger Hauer) sits behind his canvas, watching Flemish peasants go about their daily lives, and muses over how best he can get all of it into the finished piece. Sometimes the film treats the painting as a literal representation of what Bruegel observed, other times it's a strange mix of allegory and half-truth. The painter sees the arbitrary cruelties meted out by mercenaries loyal to the king »
Whether it was his movies, his moves or his mannerisms, Shammi Kapoor’s lasting effect on Bollywood is one that has been cemented on the walls of time. Generation after generation have seen, enjoyed and been mesmerised by an actor that taught them dance like no one is watching. Sadly, the actor passed away this morning at the age of 79.
Born Shamsher Raj Kapoor, the actor grew to the status heartthrob of the 1960’s with a string of hits including Junglee in which he is said to be romance personified. Films like Teesri Manzil, Dil Tera Diwana, Professor and An Evening In Paris are fresh in the minds of so many for the his outstanding acting and most of all, his charismatic dancing too. He proved his mark with his films like Hero, Vidhaata and Zameer as well, and even scored Filmfare Best Actor award in the 1968 film Brahmachari.
- Githa Vanan
The Astral, the latest novel from The Great Man author Kate Christensen, plunges a middle-aged poet into a midlife crisis, but his slow progress out resonates far beyond the terms of his particular arrangement. Harry Quirk has been thrown out of the Brooklyn apartment he shared for more than 20 years with his wife Luz. In spite of his protestations of innocence, he’s been tried and convicted for cheating on her with a longtime friend, Marion. Luz’s “evidence” for the crime Harry now wishes he had committed: an unfinished sonnet cycle meant to revitalize his career, but now »
Word is that Michael Fassbender can pretty much take his pick of the roles after his electrifying turn as the young Magneto in 20th Century Fox's X-Men: First Class. James McAvoy isn't half bad either as the youthful embodiment of Charles Xavier, adversary to the metal-helmeted villain. Together, the European pair drew in the crowds as this latest entry in the canon launched in the Us on an estimated $56m (£34.2m).
The movie coaxed around $9m out of UK audiences too, and grossed around $64m outside of the Us for a solid $120m global opening weekend. The Us launch was good but not great, but let's see what word of mouth does in the coming days. Us critics loved the movie overall and Brit director Matthew Vaughn should have injected enough »
- Jeremy Kay
4 items from 2011
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