10 items from 2014
A peculiarly English current of terror — agitated, eccentric and politely unspoken — courses through “The Falling,” an imperfect but alluring study of psychological contagion that marks an auspicious advance in the field of narrative filmmaking for acclaimed docmaker Carol Morley. Observing the fallout of a hysterical fainting epidemic that mysteriously strikes a well-to-do girls’ school in late-1960s England, Morley marries a quasi-Victorian premise with a modernist technique that feels drawn from her film’s own milieu: There are shades here of Joseph Losey and Ken Russell, albeit with a staunch feminist perspective. The storytelling may waver in conviction after a woozily riveting setup, but not enough to impede healthy domestic arthouse prospects; further festival exposure should yield select international distribution for this eye-catching conversation piece.
Premiering in the official competition of the London fest, “The Falling” isn’t Morley’s first stab at a fictional feature, though it feels more »
- Guy Lodge
For fifteen years or so, there's been a steady stream of hugely promising female filmmakers coming out of the U.K. It started with Lynne Ramsay and "Ratcatcher," continued with with Andrea Arnold and "Red Road," and more recently saw the highlighting of Clio Barnard, director of "The Arbor" and last year's acclaimed "The Selfish Giant." Could the latest in this talented line be Carol Morley? The filmmaker has been making shorts, both in the fiction and non-fiction world, for decades, but truly broke through back in 2011 with "Dreams Of A Life," a searingly sad investigation into the life and death of Joyce Carol Vincent, a 40-year-old woman who died alone in a tiny flat in London, and who wasn't found for over three years. Now, Morley has returned with her highest-profile purely fictional film to date, "The Falling," which premiered in competition at the BFI London Film Festival today. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
There are 18 world premieres at this year's BFI London Film Festival, which is running for the next 12 days. They include "Testament Of Youth," a David Heyman-produced adaptation of Vera Brittain's World War II memoir starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington; "The Falling," set in an English girls school in 1969 rife with seething hormones and turbulent emotions -- the second narrative feature from British writer-director Carol Morley, whose quasi-documentary "Dreams Of A Life" was one of the most striking British films of 2012; and "Hockney," Randall Wright's documentary portrait of the English artist. Joining Morley as a distinctive new British female filmmaking voice is Corinna McFarlane, whose full-blooded romantic drama "The Silent Storm" will also premiere at the BFI Lff. Executive produced by Bond-maker Barbara Broccoli and starring Damian Lewis as a wrathful minister on a remote, pre-World War II Scottish island, Andrea »
- Matt Mueller
Includes the first award winner from Bame filmmaker scheme, who will join director David Yates on the set of his next feature.
New this year, London Calling Plus produced five shorts by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (Bame) filmmaking teams, delivered as part of the BFI Net.Work for supporting new talent.
The films were assessed by Harry Potter director David Yates, who selected Sarmad Masud as the winner with his film Two Dosas. Sarmad will now join Yates on the set of a Tarzan, which he is currently shooting in the UK.
A total of 19 filmmakers also competed for the London Calling Jury Award, worth £2,000.
This was selected by a jury of industry representatives including BAFTA-winning producer Stephen Woolley, who presented the award. Some Candid »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and for the past few years, the pleasure of the arrival of crisp air and turning leaves has been increased, because it means that London Film Festival time has come around again. Though the public festival runs for 12 days — this year it’s October 8th though 19th — for the press it runs for a full month. (Press screenings will start on September 22nd.) It is a veritable orgy of cinema, and I love it. It’s exhausting, but I love it.
Yesterday morning the full program for the 58th BFI London Film Festival was announced. I already knew that two of my most anticipated films of the fall were on the slate: The Imitation Game, Headhunters director Morten Tyldum’s film about Alan Turing and the WWII Enigma codebreaking project, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the mathematician; and Fury, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The 1960’s-set coming-of-age drama explores what lies behind a mysterious fainting and twitching outbreak that rapidly spreads amongst the pupils of a rural girls’ school.
Edwards said: “Carol Morley has, unsurprisingly, delivered an impeccable movie. It’s a genuine thrill to discover something so intelligent and provocative, so bold and beautifully paced, from a British writer/director. It’s an acquisitions highlight of our year, without a doubt.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
There was a hugely upsetting story in the British news just a couple of years ago – of an Angolan stowaway who journeyed on the outside of a plane to seek a better future in England, only to tragically fall off when approaching South London. It provoked a huge range of emotions and questions; who was this man? What led to this act of pure desperation? While studying an entirely different case, the general purpose of Marc Silver’s documentary, Who is Dayani Cristal? explores a similar notion – yet discovering the answers to such questions is harder than you may envisage. Just as one officer says, “These people are invisible in life, and they’re invisible in death”.
The subject of this moving piece of cinema is an anonymous body discovered in the Arizona desert. The corpse, much like so many others, is initially unidentifiable, and emblematic of this desperation from »
- Stefan Pape
Beyond The Edge is a tale of insurmountable odds. As a documentary recounting the 1953 expedition to the tip of Mount Everest, which saw Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay become the first to reach its summit, it takes quotes collected from the years since the journey and blends them with dramatic reconstructions of key points in their story. Reenactment has almost become an artform in its own right within the documentary format; in showing us something constructed as artifice, we’re given a rare chance to glean the truth. But it’s not as old as you’d think. So where did the trend originate from? How has it impacted how we make and – more importantly – watch documentaries?
The popularisation of reenactment can easily be traced back to 1988, when Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line first wowed audiences and critics. The film revisited a murder case from 1976, in which Randall Adams »
- Gary Green
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before dvd
Dirty Wars: an infuriating and depressing look at how American foreign policy and warfare have been transformed in highly undemocratic ways, and a reminder of what real journalism looks like [my review] [at Netflix]
new to stream
other great documentaries
Catfish: true-life tragi-dramedy; an exhilarating documentary in its intimacy, its boundary-pushing, its emotional rawness [my review] [at Netflix] Chasing Ice: must-see documentary presenting stark, irrefutable visual evidence of the rapid retreat of Northern Hemisphere glaciers [my review] [at Netflix] Dreams of a Life: powerful documentary about a woman who died alone, her body undiscovered for three years [at Netflix] The House I Live In: cool-headed examination of America’s relationship to illegal drugs ever, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
To celebrate the releases of The Act Of Killing and The Gatekeepers on DVD, Madman is giving you, our dear readers, the chance to win a DVD pack consisting of 10 documentaries (pictured above). Whether you like it confronting, informative or entertaining, you will definitely find something you like in the pack. First prize (one winner): All 10 of the pictured documentaries on DVD - The Act Of Killing, The Gatekeepers, Pussy Riot, The Human Scale, The House I Love In, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Searching For Sugar Man, El Bulli: Cooking In Progress, Dreams Of A Life, The Queen Of VersaillesSecond prize (three winners): One of the following documentaries on DVD - The Act Of Killing, The Gatekeepers, Pussy Riot, The Human Scale, The House...
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10 items from 2014
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