11 items from 2012
Actor and director will reunite for the first time in a decade on a big-budget film about the English landscape painter
Timothy Spall is to take the lead role in a new Mike Leigh film about the English landscape painter Jmw Turner, Spall has revealed. The actor and the director, who worked together on films such as Life Is Sweet, Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy and All Or Nothing, will reunite for the first time in a decade on the untitled project. Spall broke the news during an interview to promote his new film, Ginger & Rosa, directed by Sally Potter.
Details of the new film are thin on the ground, but Leigh told the La Times in 2010 that he was planning a Turner biopic that would cost more to make than his usual features. "We want to make a film about Turner the painter, and that's all I have to say about it, »
- Ben Child
British filmmaker Mike Leigh has, like many directors who make improvisation a key part of their process, developed something of a rep company over the years. Actors like Lesley Manville, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan, Adrian Scarborough, Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis have all regularly returned to work with the director. But if Leigh has a De Niro to his Scorsese, a Kinski to his Herzog, it's probably Timothy Spall, who had a break-out role in 1990's "Life Is Sweet" before starring in "Secrets & Lies," "Topsy Turvy" and "All Or Nothing" over the next decade or so. The duo haven't worked together since their last film in 2002, but the good news is that a reunion seems to be imminent, with Spall announcing that he's taking the lead role in Leigh's next feature effort. Interviewed in the Daily Telegraph in support of his role in Sally Potter's "Ginger & Rosa," Spall announces that he's. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
With performances from George Michael, The Who and the ageless Spice Girls, the Olympic closing ceremony featured some of the greatest musical acts from the past 50 years in a showcase dubbed “A Symphony of British Music."
But one of the favorite performances of the night came from the Bromley-born disc jockey who introduced the world to "The Rockafeller Skank:" Fatboy Slim.
Electronic dance music legend Fatboy Slim, formally known as Norman Cook, took to the 2012 Olympic stage and emerged from a giant glowing octopus to perform some of his most popular 1998 tracks, including "Right Here, Right Now" and "The Rockafeller Skank."
The 49-year-old DJ called the experience "fantastic."
"It was absolutely amazing," he told the U.K.'s The Argus on Monday morning. "It was an [honor] to represent my country, it was a fantastic atmosphere in »
- The Huffington Post
Alison Steadman is hopeful there may be a 'Gavin and Stacey' Christmas special. The 65-year-old actress - who played the role of Pamela in the BBC comedy alongside Mat Horne, James Corden and Ruth Jones - admits she would love to take part in any future instalment of the show but is not confident another series will get made. Speaking at the Rooftop Film Club screening of her film Life Is Sweet to launch the American Express Preferred Seating Programme 2012, she said: ''I wish, but I honestly don't think so. I haven't been told that, but there certainly wouldn't be »
As sure as night follows day, a hit film becomes a franchise. Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie's take on the often-filmed subject plays the titular sleuth as a sort of supernatural mind-reader who favours punching people in slow motion over deductive reasoning. This second outing has almost even less of a right to trade on the Holmes name than the first, but is arguably the better movie – it's still great-looking, slick entertainment.
The supporting cast is more interesting and entertaining too, from Mad Men's Jared Harris's snobbish turn as nemesis Moriarty to Stephen Fry's even more snobbish Mycroft Holmes – who insists on calling his brother "Shirley". It's a more lavish, detailed, camp and fun world.
If you're expecting clever wordplay and thrashing through clues then you're better off with the BBC's Sherlock. This one is all about huge guns and running through exploding forests. »
- Phelim O'Neill
Starting today, and through March 1, "a New York cinephile sick of hibernating with Netflix and Criterion can set out for Lincoln Center, where Film Comment Selects, now in its 12th edition, has become an essential annual gathering of provocative, overlooked and surprising films, some of which also turn out to be pretty great," writes Ao Scott in the Times. "Unlike the other two high-profile annual Film Society grab-bags — the New York Film Festival in the fall and New Directors/New Films, a joint venture with the Museum of Modern Art that comes around in early spring — Film Comment Selects is a celebration of the ad hoc and the eclectic."
"We sort of do the lineup by the seat of our pants," Film Comment editor Gavin Smith tells Time Out New York's Keith Uhlich. "It's not all worked out on paper months ahead of time, and there is a kind of »
Art films don’t have to be serious, but a lot of them are. Madness, suffering, death—at times these become depressingly familiar themes at film festivals. For this reason, the rare comedy film is welcome: comedy highlights of last year’s festivals were Matchmaking Mayor at Berlin and Sons of Norway in Reykjavik. Although you’re primed to enjoy them, comedies are a reliable choice, as they typically have to be original, as well as funny, to be included in the festival.
What if you could have a festival that showed nothing but comedies? And what if it cheered you up during the most depressing month of the year? That’s just what the charity ‘Loco’ has done this year. London’s very first comedy film festival is taking place this weekend at the BFI. It started last night, and you’ll have to be quick if you want »
- Alison Frank
I first met Bingham Ray in 1992, when I interviewed him and October Films partner Jeff Lipsky about their company’s expansion and move to New York. It was for Filmmaker‘s second issue, and in our talk, Bingham was all the things he’s now being remembered for — committed, combative, intelligent and garrulous. He was pitching me on his upcoming slate, a diverse lot that included Alain Corneau’s Tous Les Matins Du Monde, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet, and a shorts package that included Michael Moore’s Pets or Meat. The ostensible hook for the article, though, was Ray and Lipsky’s move from L.A., where they founded the company in Lipsky’s garage, to swanky Rockefeller Center offices.
So this was the moment when Ray would have been expected to tone it down a bit, to slowly modulate his speaking into that hollowed-out blah-blah “corporate voice” that, »
- Scott Macaulay
Stunning and deeply saddening news: "The San Francisco Film Society regrets to announce that Executive Director Bingham Ray passed away on January 23 while attending the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah." He'd taken over the position after Graham Leggat passed away in August. Further into today's statement:
Ray came to the San Francisco Film Society from New York City, where he recently served as the first run programming consultant to the Film Society of Lincoln Center, executive consultant to the digital distribution company SnagFilms and adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Ray cofounded October Films in 1991 and served as its copresident until its sale to USA Networks in 1999. October was one of the foremost independent film companies of the 1990s, winning two Oscars and garnering 13 Oscar nominations and top prizes at the Cannes Film Festival on three occasions. Some of October Films' credits include the internationally acclaimed Secrets & Lies, »
London Comedy Film Festival
A quick burst of winter blues-banishing, with comedies old (1960s heist comedy Go To Blazes), new (a preview of the new Muppets movie) and both old and new (a "world premiere" read-through of The Day Off, a movie written for Tony Hancock by Galton and Simpson, which was never made). Guest of honour is Edgar Wright, who introduces a double bill: Shaun Of The Dead and Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet, with guests and a Q&A; and there are discoveries to be made in anarchic French movie The Fairy and a secret new British comedy.
BFI Southbank, SE1, Thu to 29 Jan
Following the success of his spooky live soundtrack to Jean Cocteau's avant-garde 1932 film The Blood Of A Poet last year, the former Siouxsie And The Banshees bassist embarks on a tour with another freshly rescored classic. This »
- Steve Rose
The Iron Lady begins and spends much screen time on the least interesting part of Margaret Thatcher’s life. Her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent) has passed away, and she still sees and has conversations with him. It is not clear that she is losing it, just coping with his passing and reflecting on her life. The framing device is entirely unnecessary, a MacGuffin to humanize the polarizing conservative politician and Great Britain’s longest-reigning Prime Minister.
Her rise to power and corresponding relationships are what is interesting, not her marriage. I have a problem with marriage plots within otherwise-interesting narratives. This film ought to be more than just about a marriage, wasting a brilliant-as-usual Meryl Streep performance. Perhaps this is more a question of point of view. Abi Morgan’s screenplay attempts to take us inside the head of Thatcher, who is reflecting on her time at 10 Downing Street in »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
11 items from 2012