4 items from 2012
Ever since I first wrote about the work of Sam Smith, back in 2009, I have been wanting to work with him in my capacity (in my other life) as the design director for Zeitgeist Films. In the two and a half years since then, Sam Smith has become one of the most sought-after designers on the independent film circuit with his refreshingly simple, witty and indelibly striking hand-drawn designs (it doesn’t hurt that he also has a great knowledge of both film history and the history of movie poster design). A few months ago I finally got the chance when we decided that we wanted something out of the ordinary to promote our new release of Andrey Zvyagintsev's Elena.
Zvyagintsev’s dark and beautiful film premiered at Cannes last year where it won the Special Jury Prize. For our release this May (it opens next week in the U. »
Film's favourite Pm, David Cameron, stepped in to give his views on what sort of features deserve lottery funding – the big ones
What sort of British films do we want? Or, more specifically, what sort of British films does David Cameron want? More commercial, big-box-office ones it seems, as the prime minister carefully primed the media for the publication of the government's film policy review. His "remarks" were fed to the press overnight, in advance of his visit to the James Bond studios at Pinewood – leading to immediate suggestions that garlanded veterans like Mike Leigh were "finished". More films like The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire, please, said Cameron – but, as Peter Bradshaw pointed out, when politicians meddle in film-making, disaster is never far away. Perhaps Cameron could reflect on what might happen to a film he claimed to admire, Lindsay Anderson's If..., if it had it been around today. »
- Andrew Pulver
In the early 1970s Akira Kurosawa's fortunes and spirit were at a low ebb. He'd been dropped by Hollywood from the Pearl Harbor epic Tora! Tora! Tora! in which he had invested much time and energy. His first colour film Dodes'ka-den was a critical and box-office failure. A crisis in the Japanese film industry had made financing his movies impossible. As a result he attempted suicide. But eventually his career was restored by a Soviet invitation to direct a film version of a non-fiction work he'd loved in his youth, and back in the 1940s he had planned a Japanese version that was aborted, partly due to unsuitable locations but mainly because its themes were in conflict with Japanese militarism. Published in 1923, the book is a memoir by the Russian army engineer Captain Vladimir Arsenyev about his friendship with a nomadic hunter, Dersu Uzala, »
- Philip French
London Short Film Festival
The new year's festival season starts here, and so does the revolution. Short film is often regarded as a stepping stone to features, and there's plenty of that potential here, even a few big names (Michael Fassbender in Goldfish). But it's also a potentially radical art form in itself, and an admirably inclusive one. So here you'll find documentaries selected by Occupy London; showcases of queer cinema; black and Asian stories; feminist porn; found film; experimental shorts; special guests; parties; a film from Jake and Dinos Chapman (The Organ Grinder's Monkey, with Rhys Ifans); and a music doc with a live improvised score on homemade instruments. Something for everyone, then. There's even an evening of films about sad, lonely men (including Mark Gatiss, Matthew Holness and Roger Allam).
Various venues, to 15 Jan
Frozen Landscapes, Glasgow
What does a sunny place like Glasgow know about cold climates, »
- Steve Rose
4 items from 2012
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