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4 items from 2016

The Silent Storm review – tempestuous drama on a Scottish island

22 May 2016 12:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Damian Lewis’s puritanical minister and Andrea Riseborough’s terrorised wife must deal with an unexpected arrival

Stunning views of the Isle of Mull lend much-needed beauty to this sternly overwrought tale of puritanical minister Balor McNeil (Damian Lewis) terrorising his outsider wife Aislin (Andrea Riseborough) on an increasingly deserted Scottish island. When young offender Fionn (Ross Anderson) is dumped on his doorstep, the minister’s perpetual seething enters a new register, so it’s a relief to everyone when he sets sail on a boat full of church pews, leaving wife and incomer to fend for themselves. Cinematographer Ed Rutherford, who worked wonders for Joanna Hogg on Archipelago and Exhibition, skilfully marks the tonal shift from shadowy storm clouds to hallucinogenic sunshine, leaving Riseborough and Anderson to frolic briefly in this fragile new Eden, awaiting the returning tempest. Writer-director Corinna McFarlane counterposes Bergmanesque interiors with gaping exteriors, while Alastair Caplin’s eerie, »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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Women only 20% of UK production personnel, says report

9 May 2016 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Ahrc-funded report also finds that only 1.5% of key personnel on UK film productions in 2015 were Bame women.

An Ahrc-funded (Arts and Humanities Research Council) report conducted by the University of Southampton has concluded that only 20% of production personnel on UK films in 2015 were women.

Calling the Shots: women and contemporary film culture in the UK analysed the numbers of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, cinematographers and editors, and concluded that the “vast majority of key production personnel in the UK film industry are still men”.

Furthermore, the report states that of those women, only 7% were Bame (Black, Asian and minority ethnic), making Bame women less than 1.5% of all key personnel on UK film productions last year.

Of the roles analysed, women were best represented as producers (27%), while only 7% of all cinematographer were women, none of whom were Bame.

The study follows last week’s Directors UK report, which cited “unconscious, systemic bias” towards »

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Asghar Farhadi regular wraps UK-Iranian drama 'Gholam'

12 April 2016 6:55 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: A Separation and About Elly star leads Farsi-language drama.

Production is complete on UK-Iranian drama Gholam, starring Iranian leading man and Asghar Farhadi regular Shahab Hosseini (A Separation).

Iranian-born, London-based photographer and artist Mitra Tabrizian makes her feature debut on the predominantly Farsi-language drama which charts the story of an enigmatic cab driver who is haunted by his past.

The film brings together two of the most prominent Iranian actors from before and after the revolution, Behrouz Behnejad and Hosseini.

The latter shared a Best Actor Silver Bear in 2011 for his turn in Farhadi’s A Separation and will star in the director’s upcoming drama Forushande, which is currently in production. Hosseini also starred in Farhadi’s 2009 drama About Elly.

Gholam, which is among the first UK-Iranian productions to explore the UK-based Iranian diaspora, is understood to be stirring interest in sales outfits and festivals.

Inspiration for the privately-financed low-budget feature came from a real »

- (Andreas Wiseman)

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The Ones Below review – Polanski-esque chiller

13 March 2016 12:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

David Farr’s tale of a young couple and their peculiar neighbours downstairs oozes anxiety and paranoia

This home-grown psychological chiller starts with an ultrasound image of an unborn baby’s face and a la-la-la theme which evokes Krzysztof Komeda’s lullaby from Rosemary’s Baby. The spirit of Polanski looms large as young middle-class couple Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) find their expectant anxieties mirrored by the new couple in the downstairs flat, with whose barely repressed “otherness” they become inextricably, guiltily intertwined. Playwright and theatre director David Farr (who co-wrote Joe Wright’s Hanna and scripted TV’s The Night Manager) makes a solid fist of his big-screen debut as writer/director, generating some small-scale chills which are undiminished by the occasionally creaky dialogue. Cinematographer Ed Rutherford, who did such brilliant work for Joanna Hogg on Archipelago and Exhibition, uses woozy camera moves to capture »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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