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4 items from 2015


Fatherland | Blu-ray Review

15 December 2015 9:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The 1980s were a quiet period for British auteur Ken Loach, at least as far as film features were concerned. Though he directed six documentaries during the decade (nearly all of them for television), he’d only complete three narratives, none of which were as celebrated as his early works or the prolific period which would follow through the 1990s and 2000s. As the insert essay on this re-release from Julie Kirgo points out, this was a direct result of Thatcher’s government shutting down avenues for Loach to maintain funding for his features. Of the items he managed to get off the ground, his first and only foray (to date) into European filmmaking is 1986’s Fatherland (aka Singing the Blues in Red), a film about an East German musician defecting to the West to escape the political repression of his music. Written by Trevor Griffiths (best known for writing Warren Beatty’s Reds, »

- Nicholas Bell

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Angel | Blu-ray Review

13 October 2015 8:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Twilight Time presents Irish auteur Neil Jordan’s 1982 directorial debut Angel (aka Danny Boy) on Blu-ray, an obscurely regarded gem from the great filmmaker. A visually vibrant examination of the entrenched malaise infecting a region in the midst of what’s been referred to as “the troubles” (or the Northern Ireland Conflict, a decades spanning political issue concerning the constitutional status of Ireland in the UK vs. a United Ireland, informed also by religious views and ethnic background), this melancholy revenge drama showcases Jordan’s enduring muse Stephen Rea, as well as themes he’d continue to enhance in subsequent features. Hampered by a lack of developing tension, mostly due to a dramatic catalyst granted more weight than it could possibly wield, it’s certainly a solemn precursor to Jordan’s later masterpiece that decade, Mona Lisa (1986).

Danny (Rea) is a talented saxophonist traveling around with his band to different gigs around Northern Ireland. »

- Nicholas Bell

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Chris Menges to receive Camerimage honour

25 August 2015 4:28 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Oscar-winning cinematographer worked on Kes, The Killing Fields and The Reader among others.

British cinematographer Chris Menges is to receive a lifetime achievement award at Camerimage (Nov 14-21), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography.

Menges will attend the 23rd edition of Camerimage in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz to accept the award, introduce screenings of his films and will meet with the festival’s audience.

Across a 50-year career, Menges has won two Academy Awards for Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields in 1985, for which he also won a BAFTA, and The Mission in 1987.

More recently, he was Oscar-nominated (with Roger Deakins) for his work on Stephen Daldry’s The Reader in 2010.

Menges began his career in the 1960s as camera operator for documentaries by Adrian Cowell and for films like Poor Cow by Ken Loach and If… by Lindsay Anderson.

He returned to work with Loach on Kes, which marked »

- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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The Girl is in Trouble | Review

1 April 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Trouble in Mind: Onah’s Homage to Neo Noir an Indie Echo of Device

In development for the past five years since it was initially announced, director Julius Onah’s directorial debut The Girl is in Trouble at last reaches a theatrical release. Impressive as a first feature, Onah’s homage to vintage New York noir looks to explore modern examples of urban fugue in the fluctuating metropolis. In several regards, this is a refreshing example of tried and true tropes, focusing on the perspective of a black character (an uncommon element in noir) and conveying Onah’s familiarity with his inspirations. However, like many of the titles it invokes, style can’t compensate entirely for substance, and third act inevitabilities find the film’s initial energy plummeting before the end credits.

August (Columbus Short) is a down-on-his-luck DJ, desperately in need of a job after a series of »

- Nicholas Bell

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4 items from 2015


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