12 items from 2014
The UK culture minister talks about the current strengths and challenges of the British film industry.
Ed Vaizey, the Conservative MP for Wantage and Didcot, is the UK’s Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Earlier this week, the Dcms released figures about the strength of British film production — with total UK spend for film so far this year at £750m, with £600m coming from inward investment – a “significant increase on the same point in 2013.” (Total spend in 2013 was £1.1bn.) The Dcms noted that for every £1 invested through the Film Tax Relief, £12 is generated for UK Gdp.
On the occassion of the BFI London Film Festival, Vaizey spoke to Screen editor Wendy Mitchell about the job being done by the BFI, the challenges ahead for the British film industry, and the current bright spots to celebrate in the UK’s creative industries.
We’ve seen »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus, »
- Andre Soares
London — Director Stephen Frears will join Scott Foundas, Variety‘s chief film critic and one of the BFI London Film Festival’s Official Competition jurors, today to discuss his career and his approach to directing.
The festival event, which is presented in association with Variety, will kick off at 3 P.M. local time at the Mayfair Hotel.
Frears is set to receive the British Film Institute’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, during the closing ceremony of the festival on Oct. 18.
Frears’ credits include U.K. pics like “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “Dirty Pretty Things” and “The Queen,” Hollywood movies like “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Grifters,” and international films such as “Cheri.” His most recent pic, “Philomena,” won a BAFTA, and was nominated for three others, along with three Golden Globe, and four Oscar nominations.
A full list of the festival’s industry events can be found here.
- Leo Barraclough
British director Stephen Frears is to receive a BFI Fellowship on Oct 18, ahead of the close of the 58th BFI London Film Festival.
The BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television and is the highest honour bestowed by the organisation.
BFI chairman Greg Dyke described Frears as one of the UK’s most important directors.
“Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise – from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humour and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and critics alike,” added Dyke.
Frears said he was “thrilled” to be receiving the honour. “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The British Film Institute is to fete Stephen Frears with its Fellowship, the highest honor the organization can bestow.
The award will be given during the closing ceremony of the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 18. The Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television.
BFI chairman Greg Dyke said: “Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise — from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humor and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and critics alike. He is one of the U.K.’s most important directors and we are delighted to honor him.”
Frears said: “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at BFI Southbank. I am thrilled by this Fellowship.”
Frears made his name in TV drama, »
- Leo Barraclough
Two interesting lists came out in the past couple of days which are worth discussing / poring over / loving deeply / fuming at for various reasons.
• The Advocate crowd-sourced the 175 Essential Lgbt Movies list which is a mix of non gay movies that gays love and actual queer films. Brokeback Mountain (2005) tops the list and the top ten is really cool and varied though it's obviously skewing toward historically important cinematic breakthroughs (regardless of quality) which I suppose explains the high ranking of Philadelphia (1993) which is not a good movie and so so timid and Making Love (1982), just outside the top ten which is interesting and way less timid than many movies which came after it (how's that for an odd turn of events) but it's also stiffly made. I've seen all but 34 of »
- NATHANIEL R
[With Gay Pride festivities happening in various cities in June, we'll take a look back at a few gay classics. Here's Matthew Eng (who you'll remember from a couple of American Hustle pieces) on an Oscar nominated 80s classic - Editor]
Initially envisioned as a low-budget, Channel 4 telefilm, My Beautiful Laundrette cheekily challenged the Western moviegoing market upon its U.K. and U.S. releases in, respectively, 1985 and ’86. It became an out-of-nowhere arthouse hit, all while ironically embracing and blending a distinctive, regional-specific grouping of Thatcher-era South Londoners who fall under social categorizations normally left discrete or disregarded in modern-day moviemaking, both then and now. In the film, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young, business-minded Pakistani-Brit, sets out to renovate his uncle’s dreary laundrette into a clothes-cleaning arcade, a luxury laundrette “as big as the Ritz.” To do this, Omar recruits Johnny, his white former classmate and one-time lover, resulting in all the charged, complicated power shifts that would inevitably stem from a South Asian British man employing his former skinhead ex-boyfriend in Thatcherite England.
Arguably the film’s greatest claim to fame is that the smirking, blonde-streaked, and neck-licking »
- Matthew Eng
The New York Indian Film Festival (Nyiff) announced the full lineup last night for their 14th year of celebrating independent, art house, alternate, and Diaspora films from/about/connected to the Indian subcontinent (May 5 – 10) at the SoHo Tiffin Junction. Dedicated to bringing these films to a New York audience, the festival will feature 34 screenings (23 narrative, 11 documentary) –all seen for the first time in New York City.
The festival highlights various cinemas of India’s different regions – Marathi, Bengali and two films from the Northeast. In addition the festival covers cinemas from the neighboring South Asian countries – four films by Pakistani filmmakers, two from Sri Lanka – a feature and a documentary, and one from Nepal.
The festival’s Marathi films include Postcard and multiple-award winning films Astu and Fandry. Directed by Nagraj Manjule, Fandry received rave reviews in India, winning the grand jury prize at the Mumbai Film Festival in October »
- Press Releases
Caught somewhere between the dialogue-rich, European snapshots of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy and the deep humanism and leisurely beats of a Mike Leigh drama, Le Week-End is a splendid, albeit salty look at two septuagenarians spending a few days in Paris to mark their 30th anniversary. The man is Nick Burrows (Jim Broadbent), a weary college professor recently sacked from his teaching post. The woman is Meg (Lindsay Duncan), who wants to retreat from her dogged husband and find her own freedom. The couple ventures through the City of Love over three days of happiness and misery, as we wonder how their love will end up – faded away or reinvigorated?
Nick is still deeply in love with Meg, who has aged gracefully and has not lost the vigor or figure of a much younger woman. She knows that she controls him with an icy grip and that he will »
- Jordan Adler
Paris is a famed aphrodisiac but an unreliable marriage counselor. Then again, even with all its charms, the City of Love might not be able to save the marriage between British sexagenarians Meg and Nick (Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent), a sexless pair whose union is built on rivalrous rebukes and shared disappointment. Penned by Hanif Kureishi (“My Beautiful Laundrette”), their war of words is initially a nasty delight. “I've taken up Zumba,” Meg announces. “I'm redesigning my body.” “Why? Who's going to see it?” shrugs Nick. Later, he's less cavalier, reduced to begging: “Can I touch you?” “What for? »
- Inkoo Kang
When Lgbt people leave the safety of the city in films, it usually spells bad news – and Stranger by the Lake and Tom at the Farm don't buck the trend
Gay people and the city have been a good match since Sodom and Gomorrah. From the molly houses of 18th-century London to 1970s San Francisco via prewar Berlin, the urban environment has always been the natural habitat of queer culture – a place where Lgbt people can set their own rules, form their own families, be anonymous when they want to and find company when they fancy it. The countryside, on the other hand, is the place they escape from – a realm of social conformity with limited opportunities for culture, sex or socialising, and perhaps even a site of danger.
That's the stereotype, anyway, both in reality and on screen. Innumerable movies with claims to gay-classic status are inseparable from their urban settings: London has Victim, »
- Ben Walters
Hanif Kureishi's muse has long been transgression: dazzling early success was followed by a sex-and-drugs phase, family falling-out and a lacerating novel about marital breakdown. Now, with The Last Word, has he finally pinned down who he really is?
The first time I met Hanif Kureishi it was the mid-80s, and we talked about writing fiction for Faber and Faber whose list I was directing. Kureishi came into my office like a rock star and I remember thinking that he did not seem in need of a career move. He was already riding high on the international success of his screenplay, My Beautiful Laundrette.
In fact, Kureishi was cannily pondering his next step. He was on the lookout for a means of self-expression that might sustain a way of life and over which he could have some control. Movies, he said, were chancy, a gold-rush business. There was »
- Robert McCrum
12 items from 2014