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5 items from 2012

Christopher Challis

10 June 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Creative cinematographer and a key member of the Powell-Pressburger movie production team

Although the cinematographer Christopher Challis, who has died aged 93, was an essential member of the Archers production company of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, he joined them as director of photography at the time of their decline. However, he worked on more of the great British writing-directing team's films than any other cinematographer. These eccentric, extravagant, intelligent and witty fantasies went against the British realist tradition, allowing more scope for a creative cinematographer such as Challis. The sensuous use of Technicolor and flamboyant sets and designs made them closer to the MGM world of Vincente Minnelli and of Stanley Donen, who used Challis on six of his films.

Perhaps Challis's finest achievement was on Powell and Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) which, as he explained, had "no optical effects or tricks. It was all edited in »

- Ronald Bergan

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Christopher Lee 90th Birthday: 90 Reasons The Horror Icon is Awesome

24 May 2012 1:58 PM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

On May 27, British film icon Christopher Lee turns 90 years old. In his long and storied career, he's delivered countless fantastic performances in everything from medieval adventures to gothic scary stories. (You may know him as Saruman, Count Dooku, the Man with the Golden Gun or even Count Dracula.) And he has no plans to slow down, as indicated by recent roles in the Oscar-winning"Hugo" and this month's "Dark Shadows" -- not to mention an upcoming return to Middle Earth with this December's "Hobbit." Lee is not just an actor, but a decorated military man and bombastic heavy metal singer, with a crazy family lineage to boot. To celebrate the legend's 90th birthday, we present 90 reasons why Christopher Lee is awesome. 1. He's the step-cousin of "James Bond" creator Ian Fleming, and was the author's first choice to play Dr. No in the film adaptation. 2. He's in the Guinness Book of »

- Eric Larnick

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Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall – live chat with the co-creators

21 May 2012 3:08 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Highlights from the Sherlock live chat with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the co-creators of the British TV hit

Co-creators of the British TV hit Sherlock, Stevenn Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who plays Holmes's buttoned-up brother, Mycroft) joined Guardian readers for a live chat at 2pm on Monday, following Sherlock's sensational season two finale.

Though they remained tight-lipped about the secret behind "the Fall" and what's in store fore season three, Moffat and Gatiss did divulge several juicy tidbits, including the funniest thing that's happened on set and the inside scoop on Sherlock and Molly's dynamic.

Read through the Q&A here or replay the chat in the widget below:

Is there any part of the last two season that you feel extremely satisfied with?

Steven Moffat: Probably the pool scene at the end of The Great Game. And the way it resolved.

Mark Gatiss: All of it! »

- Matt Wells

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The Films Of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective

27 March 2012 1:44 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. In 1994, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped, "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."

So just what exactly was it that inspired these men to expend some of the most valuable seconds of speechifying airtime they'll ever know, to tip their hats to Wilder? And can we bottle it?

Born in a region of Austria/Hungary that is now part of Poland, Wilder's story feels like an archetype of »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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TV Review: Sherlock 2.1, ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’

3 January 2012 12:42 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

On Sunday BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ returned to our TV screens, and while it may have been over a year since the season 1 finale, it was certainly worth the wait.

The season 2 premiere ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ hit the ground running by quickly resolving the previous season’s cliff hanger featuring Holmes, Watson, Moriarty and a bomb, before setting our favourite consulting detective up with some new mysteries to solve. These new cases are documented by Watson’s blog and given titles that are clever nods to some of Conan Doyle’s classic tales such as ’The Speckled Blonde’, ‘The Geek Interpreter’ and ‘The Naval Treatment’. There was also a fantastic moment with Holmes donning a deerstalker cap. These little touches really enrich the show and show a great deal of respect for the source material.

The scenario with Irene Adler was very faithful to ‘A Scandal »

- Tom Ryan

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