Peter Strickland on Making the Leap to ‘Bjork: Biophilia Live’

British writer-director Peter Strickland’s 2012 feature “Berberian Sound Studio” may have been a surreal exploration of sonic artistry, but he’s still not the first person one might expect to see at the helm of a Bjork concert film. It’s a counter-intuitive choice, however, that pays off in “Bjork: Biophilia Live,” a visually idiosyncratic recording of the Icelandic maverick’s 2013 tour closer in London, helmed in collaboration with film editor Nick Fenton (“The Selfish Giant,” the Sigur Ros doc “Inni”). The film, which bowed at Tribeca in April, recently had its European premiere at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where Strickland spoke to Variety about the project’s challenges and rewards.

I don’t think many people expected to see your name on this kind of project — was it a surprise to you as well?

It had certainly never been on my radar to do a concert film. So
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Public Service Broadcasting - review

Forum, London

Embracing retro-futurism, this instrumental three-piece's flashes back to the 80s with its nostalgic, slightly over-the-top sampling

What an oddity Public Service Broadcasting are: the trio (Mr B controlling visuals, Wrigglesworth on drums, J Willgoose Esq on stringed instruments and electronics) look like fans straight from a Doctor Who convention; and their music is entirely instrumental, the only voices coming from samples of public information and propaganda films. Yet they've filled the Forum on the back of a debut album that reached a respectable No 21 in the charts.

That oddness is also rather safe. There is nothing unnerving about the dialogue they sample, or the films showing on big screens at the back of the stage. In fact, this is a vision of retro-futurism in which Niall Ferguson might feel at home. While PBS claims they are trying to "teach the lessons of the past through the music of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Alexis Petridis on The Height of Goth

At turns unwittingly hilarious, fascinating and incredibly boring, this 1984 nightclub documentary is a great British pop culture document

It's hard to understand why someone in late 1984 took it upon themselves to finance and make an amateur film about an alternative night at a club in Batley, West Yorkshire, called Xclusiv. The person who uploaded it to YouTube claims it was the idea of Xclusiv's owners, Annie and Peter Swallow, who sold copies to the club's clientele ("mainly futuristic and way-out people," as Peter puts it in the film). Anyone who stumped up the £2 certainly got their money's worth in terms of quantity: The Height of Goth, as it's called, goes on for a mind-boggling two hours.

Whatever their reason for taking a video camera into what the introductory voiceover – delivered with the halting quality of a hostage reading a ransom demand, over footage of Batley Job Centre and an easy-listening
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

John Akomfrah: migration and memory

Akomfrah's Handsworth Songs attracted a huge audience when shown in the wake of last summer's riots. His new film, The Nine Muses, uses Homer to explore mass migration to Britain

John Akomfrah, widely recognised as one of Britain's most expansive and intellectually rewarding film-makers, has never been afraid of a battle. Back in the 1970s, when he was barely out of his teens, he tried to screen Derek Jarman's homoerotic Sebastiane at the film club of the Southwark further education college, where he was studying. "There were rows. Black kids were throwing chairs everywhere. They were saying 'you can't show this'. So we stopped the film and had a discussion: what do you mean, 'We can't show this film'? It was clear there were forms of propriety for black spectatorship. Rather than run back into the field, I thought: let's just accelerate it. Let's push these boundaries a little bit more.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new DVD & Blu-ray

Silent Running

There aren't many science-fiction movies that will make you cry (bored to tears doesn't count, nor do tears of laughter).

Douglas Trumbull's much-loved 1972 classic comes with an emotional punch that's rare in the genre. After Easy Rider hit big, major studios were keen to invest modest sums on more unusual projects, so first-time director Trumbull shot his hippies into space. After spending five glorious years as a key special effects artist on 2001, he saw this as an opportunity to make a space movie full of the sort of passion and emotion that were absent from Kubrick's futuristic vision. Bruce Dern plays Freeman Lowell, one of a small team of astronauts charged with looking after the overpolluted Earth's remaining forests, which have been sealed into domes and sent orbiting Saturn. The complex geometrical design and model work is as dazzling as you'd expect from someone with Trumbull's technical credentials,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Inside Lynch's Paris nightclub

Inspired by the deeply strange Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive, the film director has opened a nightclub in the French capital

There were no dwarves. No dancing men. No one talked backwards – until the daquiries kicked in – and with the exception of the Japanese cowboy who turned out to be a fashion designer, no one looked all that weird.

In fact, by the time Silencio, David Lynch's new Paris nightclub-cum-salon-cum-laboratory of the weird closed its doors at dawn on Wednesday after its first night, nothing truly bizarre had happened. Except, and it's a big except, there was no sign whatsoever of the presiding genius himself. David Lynch was not in the building.

It's true he could have been watching us from behind one of the smoked-glass walls, stroking a vintage Nicolas Cage hairpiece while plotting new ways to freak us out. After all, the place is inspired by the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tea Party America | Twitchers | Ace of Cakes | Coppers | Made in Sheffield | The Trip | Tonight's TV highlights

  • The Guardian - TV News
Tea Party America | Twitchers | Ace of Cakes | Coppers | Made in Sheffield | The Trip

Tea Party America: This World

7pm, BBC2

The Tea Party movement that has dominated Us politics in the last year or so is precisely the sort of occurrence that Europeans will be predisposed to find quaint – both because it is ridiculous (Americans complaining that their government is a socialist tyranny) and because it pretends to patriotic principle (citizens seeking to remind their government with whom ultimate power rests). Andrew Neil saunters through this eruption of petulant rage, considering what this hijacking of the Republican party by its angry wing means for Obama's first midterm elections.

Twitchers: A Very British Obsession

9pm, BBC4

Twitchers are birdwatchers-cum-trainspotters who vie with each other to spot as many rare birds as possible across the British Isles. These are men who, at the drop of a hint of a sandhill crane in the Orkneys,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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