8 items from 2011
It's a lack of pretension that makes Ray Winstone so likable – so long as we don't start getting fancy notions of him as 'an actor'
I suspect Ray Winstone usually knows a good film from a bad one, but he has a world-weary calm that sees no need to let us in on the secret. Perhaps he has an inkling of how pleased we are to see him, and since he has had to declare bankruptcy twice so far as a professional actor he may take a certain gloomy pleasure in just being employed. There are actors well versed in elaborate, erudite answers to the question, "Why did you take this part?", but Winstone has the battered patience of a bloke who has seldom believed in "taking" a part rather than having the good/bad luck of ending up with it. It is that lack of pretension that leaves him so natural and likable, »
- David Thomson
'Doing EastEnders wasn't exactly suffering for my art, but my soul's not in TV. We all have to live, don't we?'
What got you started?
A lady called Anna Scher. She used to go around the London schools in the holidays, doing theatre workshops. My friend Paul's sister was going, so we turned up one day when I was about 13. There were some nice-looking girls there, so we carried on going.
What was your big breakthrough?
Doing a play called Class Enemy at the Royal Court when I was about 16. It was about a classroom of kids left with no teacher, so each of them gives a lesson about what they know.
Do you suffer for your art?
Doing EastEnders wasn't exactly suffering, but my soul's not in quick-fix TV. Theatre doesn't pay like TV work pays, though. We all have to live, don't we?
You've played a lot of "geezer" roles. »
- Laura Barnett
With a predicament almost identical to last month’s The Veteran, Screwed’s protagonist, Sam (James D’Arcy) is an ex-squaddie back from Iraq, and once again finding it hard adjusting to life on civvy st. With a wife and kid to support and little in the way of employment, he reluctantly takes a job as a prison guard.
Getting off to a shaky start, he soon strikes up a bond with his fellow screws, but as the corruption and harsh realities of the job soon begin to take hold of him, he starts to seek solace in booze and drugs, neglecting his family and opting instead to party with co-worker Deano (Frank Harper) and make (what appears to be) daily jaunts to his colleague’s favourite strip bar, chased down by the obligatory, end-of-night “Ruby Murray”. To make matters worse, he also clashes with the corrupt governor Keenan (a »
- Adam Lowes
Sometimes in this series of articles, we’re going to focus on specific filmmakers who deserve a spot within the Criterion Collection. Especially those the public might not even be that aware of or the impact they’ve had in the art of cinema in general. Alan Clarke is one such filmmaker. Most people when you mention the name Alan Clarke, they will wonder who you’re speaking about. When you mention the actors they helped usher in and a fraction of the future filmmakers they influenced, you’d start to really want to know who this man was.
Alan Clarke primarily worked in television in England, primarily adaptations of plays (such as George’s Room by Alun Owen and Which of These Two Ladies is He Married To? by Edna O’Brien) and various television shows via Itp productions. It wasn’t until he combined his skill and vision »
- James McCormick
Ray Winstone has been invited to Prince William's wedding. The "Scum" actor and his wife Elaine McCausland will be among the 1,900 guests when the British royal marries long-term partner Kate Middleton on April 29, their actress daughter Jaime Winstone has revealed.
However, the "Made in Dagenham" star insists she isn't upset at not receiving an invitation herself. She said, "I don't think I'd be interested in going."
While the 25-year-old actress doesn't fancy mingling with the royal family, Jaime is keen to work on a movie project alongside British rapper Plan B. She added, "I love his work, everything he does it great. So my ambition is to work on a film project with him."
Ray isn't the only high-profile name to be attending the royal wedding. David Beckham and Victoria Adams have also reportedly been invited after the soccer star befriended William when they led England's failed bid host the 2018 soccer World Cup, »
Director: Jesse Peretz
Summary: Ned is a well-meaning idealist just released from prison for dealing cannabis. In succession, he disrupts the lives and homes of his three sisters: a career-driven journalist about to get her big break; a bisexual hipster whose lies are disrupting her relationship; and a married mother who hasn't noticed that her marriage is falling apart.
Analysis: Scoring a good response over the weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, this broad light comedy with a sweet heart charmed the pants off The Weinstein Company to the tune of around $6 million for distribution rights. That covers most of its sub-$10 million budget, a number that it could potentially outgross by several factors if the good-natured tone hinted at in the reviews were correct. If anything, the few negatives tended to be because this »
- Garth Franklin
Four law-breaking teenagers (who we are introduced to via a nifty pre-credits sequence) find themselves incarcerated in a detention centre where revenge and retribution are a daily occurrence where the guards offer little in the way of sympathy or empathy. One of the youngsters, 17 year-old Butch (Adam Butcher), remanded for a violent attack on an officer at his previous institute, struggles to curb his aggression towards the authorities and some of his fellow intimidating inmates.
A film like this really lives or dies on the believability of the cast and Chapiron has assembled an authentic-looking bunch of young actors. They all acquit themselves extremely well and the lead Butcher (in the Ray Winstone role from the original) is particularly impressive, »
- Adam Lowes
Dog Pound, 2010.
Directed by Kim Chapiron.
Three young offenders are sent to the Enola Vale Youth Correctional Center, which they soon discover to be a training ground for violence, aggression and bureaucratic incompetence.
French writer-director Kim Chapiron follows up his well received 2006 debut feature Sheitan with Dog Pound, a remake of Alan Clarke’s controversial British classic Scum (1979) that follows much the same storyline but shifts the action from a 1970s borstal to a contemporary U.S. setting. Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival back in April 2010 (with Chapiron receiving the Best New Narrative Filmmaker award for his efforts), Dog Pound received a limited theatrical run here in the UK and is now gearing up for a DVD release where it will hope to find itself a niche among the spate »
8 items from 2011
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