19 items from 2016
Neither the jabs at literary types nor the ensemble jokes quite come off in this caper about two women trying to pass themselves off as poets
This oddball bucolic romp has Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells as two sisters, con artists on the run who pose as acclaimed poets and hide out at a literary retreat in Wales’s Black Mountains. Shot in five days and improvised from an outline by director Adams (Benny and Jolene), it’s a ramshackle, low-key affair. Lowe excelled in a rather blacker back-to-nature comedy, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, while Tom Cullen was great in Andrew Haigh’s Weekend – but none of the ensemble interplay quite gels here. Jokes about pretentious poetic types are half-cocked – even Lowe’s impassioned recital of a Tesco receipt seems more like a rough run-through for a gag – and the main comic premise, three women getting in a rivalrously undignified »
- Jonathan Romney
Have you seen the British Film Institute's 30 Best Lbgt Films of All Time yet? The list was compiled in honor of the 30th London Lgbt Film Festival and features a delightfully wide range of global cinema, classics, and new favorites.
There have been complaints of recent films performing so high on an All Time list, but it's important to remember that Lgbt film has become increasingly more common and less niche in recent years - such a list is naturally going to be drawing from a larger pool of candidates from the past 20 years.
The BFI's number one is the most recent and we might have had a few things to say about it here at The Film Experience. Yes, the beloved Carol took the top spot. Say what you will about this months-old film winning an All Time title, at least our beloved has finally won something! It's also »
- Chris Feil
“Todd Haynes‘ filmography is often overwhelming in its intellectual acumen and emotional devastation,” we noted upon the release of his latest film this past fall. “This is true of Carol, which is at once a return to the deconstruction of femininity, social mores, and mild anarchy of privilege, as well as an honest and heartbreaking story about falling in love and the trepidation therein.” Over 100 film experts, ranging from critics to writers to programmers, agree on the emotional power of the drama, as they’ve voted it the best Lgbt film of all-time.
Conducted by BFI ahead of the 30th BFI Flare: London Lgbt Film Festival, they note this is the “first major critical survey of Lgbt films.” Speaking about leading the poll, Haynes said, “I’m so proud to have Carol voted as the top Lgbt film of all time in this poll launched for the Fest’s 30th edition. »
- Jordan Raup
Charles Gant chronicles the evolution of London’s long-running Lgbt film festival.
When in 1986, film programmer Mark Finch persuaded the British Film Institute (BFI) to let him present a seven-day season of nine gay and lesbian features under the banner Gays’ Own Pictures, nobody would have envisaged the scale and popularity of the annual festival that resulted – or its status within the BFI calendar.
As the 30th edition of London’s Lgbt film festival sets to launch this week with the world premiere of the Duncan Kenworthy-produced The Pass at the 1,679-capacity Odeon Leicester Square, the BFI can be forgiven for allowing itself a celebratory mood over the event it rebranded Flare two years ago.
Programmers past and present all concur regarding the distance the festival has travelled in its 30 years. Says Briony Hanson, co-programmer from 1997 to 2000 and now director of film at the British Council: “I look at the festival now, going to the »
Nottingham-based drama about love affair between lifeguard and conceptual artist scores country’s highest per-screen average this weekend
A British independent film about a burgeoning gay relationship has proven a surprise box office smash in Italy, despite an alleged attempt by the Catholic church to “paralyse” its release.
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, which was released in the UK in 2011, achieved the highest per-screen average in the country this weekend, according to Variety. One screening at Rome’s famous Quattro Fontane art house cinema pulled in receipts of more than €16,000, the Italian capital’s top haul.
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- Ben Child
Rome — British writer-director Andrew Haigh’s gay romantic drama “Weekend” scored the top per-screen-average this weekend as it opened in Italy despite getting the thumbs down from the Vatican, which had limited the scope of its release, according to distributor Teodora Film.
Directed by Haigh in 2011, “Weekend” pulled a strong more than $6,221 per screen in its Italo bow, albeit on just 10 screens.
Of course “Allegiant” bowed at number one on 376 screens and pulled a $1,584 first frame gross. “Weekend” took a total of $63,000 its first weekend and weighed in at number 19 on the Italian box office chart.
Teodora co-topper Cesare Petrillo lamented last week that bookings for “Weekend,” were suddenly cut down to ten screens after the Italian Bishop’s Conference Film Evaluation Commission classified the pic as “not advised, »
- Nick Vivarelli
A jagged, semi-impressionistic approach and two outstanding lead performances distinguish writer-director Joey Klein’s “The Other Half” among the cinema’s many portraits of self-destructiveness and codependency. What might have seemed pro forma on paper — a man, suffering the effects of long-term grief, forges a deep bond with a young woman with bipolar disorder — overcomes its occasionally studied stylistic tics to become a troubled, anguished love story that neither exaggerates nor soft-pedals the demons on display. The rising profiles of stars Tom Cullen and Tatiana Maslany (both also credited as exec producers) should lend Klein’s accomplished debut feature a halfway decent shot with indie audiences following its SXSW competition premiere.
Five years after the tragic, unexplained disappearance of his younger brother, Nickie Bellow (Cullen), a British man now living abroad (the film was shot in Toronto), is caught in the throes of an intense depression. He barely maintains contact with his parents, »
- Justin Chang
The SXSW film festival kicks off on Friday with a strong lineup that once again proves the Austin gathering as a formidable player for big and small movies. As if assembled from the ingredients of Sundance meets Comic-Con, the event will have thousands of fan boys and dozens of filmmakers rubbing shoulders. It wasn’t always this way. SXSW used to focus more on micro-budgeted indie features and documentaries, but in recent years studios have also started to flock to Texas, which has given SXSW more star power and clout. Here are 16 of the buzziest titles from this year’s festival.
1. “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday”
Judd Apatow has been SXSW’s most loyal recidivist — arriving here with 2007’s “Knocked Up,” 2011’s “Bridesmaids,” the first public screening of HBO’s “Girls” in 2012 and last year’s “Trainwreck.” He aims to keeps his winning streak alive with this Netflix original feature, which he produced, »
- Ramin Setoodeh, Justin Chang, Joe Leydon, Andrew Barker and Dennis Harvey
Italian distributor sees screen count reduced after the film about a homosexual romance is given a damning rating by Catholic Church body.
Vatican-based organ Cei (The Italian Episcopal Conference), an assembly of bishops with cultural and political sway, gave Weekend - a romantic drama about two men who fall in love over a weekend - the rare and damning judgement of ‘Not recommended/unusable/indecent’, its worst rating.
Some art-house cinemas in Italy are still subject to Church control.
“These cinemas have standard programming,” explained Cesare Petrillo, co-owner of Teodora, “But since the space in which they operate is owned by the Vatican, renting is subject to a clause forbidding the screening of all movies not advised by the Cei.”
Teodora, which »
Some books make you like the characters so much that you close the covers and imagine a happy future life for them together. That rarely happens in the cinema anymore, but “Paris 05:59” is that kind of film. This might surprise some, given that its biggest talking point will be the 18-minute hardcore gay orgy at the start, yet the film, conceived in real time, is above all a story about what happens when that bolt of lightning called love suddenly strikes. Co-helmers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (“Family Tree”) deliver their boldest and best work so far, and while some hetero audiences will unquestionably feel sidelined by the explicit orgy, the loss is theirs.
On a marketing level, the English title doesn’t give anything away and is awkward to say, whereas a direct translation of the French title, referencing Jacques Rivette’s “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” would be lost on many. »
- Jay Weissberg
In 2004, it looked as if Team America: World Police had hammered the last nail in the coffin for cinema’s definitive sex scene. Then, last year, in Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman — also working with puppets — found new and interesting nuances in that most hackneyed of cinematic clichés. The opening sequence of writers-directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau’s latest film — where, in the red-lit basement of a Parisian sex club, two young men feel about, lock eyes and elope before walking the streets together — also breaks new ground in this regard. It’s a scene with a purpose to drop the audience into this world with apparently genuine onscreen sex, real-time shooting, and a brilliant surrealist flourish combining to make one of the most dazzling set pieces of this year’s Berlinale.
Paris 05:59 won’t return to such dizzying heights again in the scenes that follow, but the second and »
- Rory O'Connor
One would think that after 45 years of marriage, a husband and wife would know everything about each other. As the British drama 45 Years reveals, in devastating fashion, there are some unknowns that may always remain between two people.
Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give brilliant performances as a long-married couple in 45 Years, a subtle, moving drama about a couple whose lives are changed by an event long in the past. Rampling is deservedly nominated for an Oscar, after having gathered already a number of awards for her riveting performance, a performance that shows what a real actress can do.
As Kate (Rampling) and Geoff (Courtenay) Mercer prepare for their 45th anniversary party taking place at the end of that week, Geoff gets a letter from Switzerland, that reveals unknown parts of a long-ago past that have a profound effect on their marriage.
The film begins with the couple putter happily »
- Cate Marquis
Exclusive: 45 Years director confirms he will shoot his adaptation of Lean On Pete before the biopic.
Interview: Andrew Haigh on the success of 45 Years, one year on
Haigh, whose 45 Years is nominated for the Outstanding British Film BAFTA, told ScreenDaily he had been in talks over the project since early 2015.
“The producer, Damian Jones, came to me a year ago with the idea of doing something based on [McQueen’s] life,” Haigh said of the project, which is backed by Pathe. “It has intrigued me from that moment.”
Jones, who recently produced feature adaptations of two beloved British comedy series - Dad’s Army and Absolutely Fabulous – previously optioned Andrew Wilson’s McQueen biography Blood Beneath The Skin.
However, writer Chris Urch, whose latest »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
45 Years is tenacious, presenting a soft, blistering meditation on the genuine love story. The film effortlessly proves that tenderness and compatibility make a love-filled marriage, but the magic of 45 Years is its careful study of what uproots the surefootedness of that love. How slight that ripple starts out, even when a marriage seems unshakable, is the heartbreak of the film. More to the point, in the least breakable marriages heartache is experienced the most strongly. The film follows Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) over six days at their home in Norfolk, England, leading up to their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. When Geoff receives a letter about Katya, his love before he met and married Kate, the news has devastating effects on the couple. Navigating these effects is particularly painful when they would otherwise be reflecting on a life of nearly half a century together as their celebration approaches.
- Dina Paulson
After earning acclaim for Weekend, director Andrew Haigh followed it up with one of the best films of last year, 45 Years, which is finally now expanding. Today now brings news of what will likely be his next project as Deadline reports he’s set to helm an Alexander McQueen biopic, scripted by Chris Urch.
Backed by Pathe and producer Damian Jones, it will follow the tragic life of the fashion designer, whose contributions to the field earned him a quartet of British Designer of the Year awards, before sadly ending his life at the age of 40 in 2010. Check out a synopsis below for the highly-anticipated project thanks to the trade, as well as an extensive 80-minute interview with McQueen from 2010, and read our recent talk with Haigh here.
Fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s spectacular but tragic rise and fall would seem to be fertile material for cinematic adaptation. The working »
- Jordan Raup
Director of Oscar-nominated movie is developing film about award-winning British fashion designer, who killed himself in 2010
McQueen, who killed himself in 2010, was a mercurial talent who developed a reputation as one of haute couture’s brightest stars. The four-time British fashion designer of the year worked with David Bowie on his 2006-07 tour wardrobe and counted Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles among his clients when he was a Savile Row apprentice.
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- Henry Barnes and agencies
Film-maker Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) has been named as part of Creative England’s Future Leaders 2016, a list of ten individuals and companies selected for their “game-changing potential” in the UK’s creative industries.
Haigh’s latest film, 45 Years, premiered at last year’s Berlinale where it won Silver Bears for lead actors Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling (since nominated for an Oscar) and went on to win the award for Best British Film at Edinburgh before receiving nominations at the BIFAs and European Film Awards.
Director and screenwriter Haigh began his career as an apprentice editor on Ridley Scott’s 2000 blockbuster Gladiator before progressing to the role of assistant editor on the likes of Black Hawk Down, Kingdom Of Heaven and [link »
A new year has begun, and while most of us are braving the cold winter, there’s no better place to escape the outdoors and the harshness of reality than at the movie theatre. This month at the movies there’s plenty to choose from, as Oscar favourites meet raunchy comedies, and scary doll boys.
While we’re still reminiscing over the amazing films that we saw last year, and in fact even still catching up with some 2015 releases, (if you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, what are you waiting for?) there are even more cool new films to look forward to this month.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights that this January has to offer.
Release Date: January 8th 2016
Buzz: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s follow-up to last year’s Best »
- Adriana Floridia
It’s that time of year. Sleigh bells have been rung, gifts have been given and we have officially closed the door on what was 2015. A year that saw us once again take a journey into a galaxy far, far away, revisit the post apocalyptic landscape of Mad Max and the ever expanding reach of world and documentary cinema, 2015 has been one of the greatest of film years, arguably the very best since 2007 (probably cinema’s greatest year?) and as one has likely already one hundred top [insert arbitrary number] films list, why not make it one hundred and one? Be it a group of young women attempting to break free of the backwards patriarchy that has them oppressed or a bravura, epic-length satire from one of world cinema’s foremost artists, these are the ten best films that 2015 had to offer.
Honorable mention: Have you heard about this new thing called television? »
- Joshua Brunsting
19 items from 2016
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