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The Moorside: ‘It’s a story of people who didn’t have a lot, giving everything’

When Shannon Matthews went missing in 2008, the community worked tirelessly to find her – but were tarred as feckless, broken Britain. Ahead of a new BBC drama, the two women who rallied the locals tell their extraordinary story

The Moorside estate in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, appears little different from many similar developments across Britain. The land, south of Leeds, was Brontë-endorsed rolling fields until the 1930s, when it was developed as part of the huge expansion in social housing. These were the “homes fit for heroes” that prime minister Lloyd George had promised soldiers and workers at the end of the first world war. It’s small, just two main streets and a few cul-de-sacs; 220 solid red-brick homes, most with gardens front and back, most originally housing employees from the local textile mills. The decades since have not always been kind, but in the mid-2000s, almost £4m was spent on the regeneration of the estate.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Suffragette’ Writer Didn’t Set Out to Make a Feminist Film

‘Suffragette’ Writer Didn’t Set Out to Make a Feminist Film
As detailed in this week’s column, 2015 is a strong year for female-driven narratives on the big screen, particularly films making noise in the Oscar race. One of those films is “Suffragette,” written, produced and directed by women, with a story about voting equality at the turn of the 20th century. It’s a project years in the making with Emmy-winning writer and playwright Abi Morgan (“Brick Lane,” “The Iron Lady,” “The Hour”) crafting the little-known history into dramatic form on the page.

Morgan recently talked to Variety about the state of female empowerment in the industry, the hurdles “Suffragette” and other movies like it face every time the number crunchers get involved and the fact that she didn’t set out to specifically make a feminist film.

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So I’m sure you’re dealing with this line of questioning a lot lately, but I wanted to pick your brain
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Telluride Film Review: ‘Suffragette’

Telluride Film Review: ‘Suffragette’
“Deeds, not words,” goes the refrain of “Suffragette,” a stolidly well-meaning tribute to the handful of brave women who realized that polite, law-abiding protests weren’t going to get them very far in the battle for voting rights in early 20th-century Britain. But while it boasts no shortage of dramatic activity as it lays bare the challenges and consequences of civil disobedience, this collaboration between director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan doesn’t exactly uphold that mantra, insofar as it never seems to deviate from a neatly pre-packaged script of its own. As a lowly wife and mother slowly grabbing hold of her difficult destiny, Carey Mulligan gives an affecting, skillfully modulated performance that lends a certain coherence to this assemblage of real-life incidents, composite characters, noble sentiments, stirring speeches and impeccable production values — all marshaled in service of a picture whose politics prove rather more commendable than its artistry.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Unesco should register these silents

Hitchcock's silents are now on the Memory of the World register – I can think of five others that deserve the same recognition

If, when you consider our national heritage, you think of murder, guilt, sex and cheeky humour – well, somebody out there agrees with you. The decision to add Alfred Hitchcock's nine surviving silent movies to Unesco's UK Memory of the World register puts his early work on a cultural par with the Domesday Book and Field Marshal Douglas Haig's war diaries – also selected for the list this year.

The nine silents were all directed by Hitchcock in the 1920s and include better-known films in the director's classic thriller mode such as The Lodger and Blackmail as well as comedies (Champagne, The Farmer's Wife) a boxing movie (The Ring) and dramas (The Pleasure Garden, Downhill, Easy Virtue and the lush, rustic romance The Manxman). The collection was nominated by the BFI,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Dirk Maggs Interview: Hitchhiker's, Douglas Adams, Superman, Batman, & more...

Interview James Hunt 18 Jun 2013 - 07:00

James chats to directing legend Dirk Maggs about Hitchhiker's, superheroes, Neverwhere, sci-fi, and making radio sound sexy, big, and raw...

As a radio writer and director, Dirk Maggs' body of work is about as impressive as it gets. As well as being hand-selected by Douglas Adams to continue the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, he's also responsible for this year's smash-hit adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and the Hitchiker's Live touring stage show. James managed to catch up with him for a chat about life, the universe, and everything geeky.

So last year you did the Hitchhiker's Live tour, which reunited the radio cast on stage and had people like Stephen Fry and Neil Gaiman guesting as the voice of the book. And clearly, it was a great success, because as well as releasing the live recording, you're doing another run this year,
See full article at Den of Geek »

TV review: Storyville: Hitler, Stalin and Mr Jones; Michael Johnson: Survival of the Fastest

From Stalin's Russia to Hitler's Germany – the adventures of the brave boy from Barry

His mother wanted Gareth Jones to take a nice safe job in academia. "Why," he wrote to her, baffled, "do you want a son of yours to have no courage?"

Storyville: Hitler, Stalin and Mr Jones (BBC4) was a dense, powerful and moving film (marred only by a bizarrely dramatic voiceover that persisted throughout) that pieced together the extraordinary and almost forgotten story of an extraordinary and almost forgotten boy from Barry.

Jones was a brilliant student who won a scholarship to Cambridge to study Russian. Fascinated by Stalin, he went to the Soviet Union in 1930 and glimpsed the shadows beneath the dictator's shining Five Year Plan. When he returned to England he was invited to one of David Lloyd George's country house parties in Churt, Surrey (think of it as the Chipping Norton of its day but less,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 05/07/2012

  • The Guardian - TV News
Let's Get Gold | Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest | The Hotel Inspector | Storyville: Hitler, Stalin And Mr Jones | Dynamo: Magician Impossible | The Midnight Beast

Let's Get Gold

9pm, ITV1

A vague attempt at an Olympic Games tie-in, this three-parter sees 15 sports teams competing for £100,000. Vernon Kay is the host, while Rio Ferdinand and Andrew Flintoff are on the judging panel. An indication that the winning factor may be down to more than fitness and technique is that the other two judges are entertainers: actor Martine McCutcheon and Una Healy from the Saturdays, who can at least lay claim to having a competitive swimming background, having represented Ireland at schools level. Martin Skegg

Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest

9pm, Channel 4

A little over 15 years ago, Michael Johnson was the Man With The Golden Shoes, the fastest long sprinter on Earth. In the years since, he's done a lot of
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Can Streep shine as the Iron Lady?

Streep has Margaret Thatcher's plummy tones down to a T, as the film trailer reveals – but what's with her sense of humour?

So that's how Meryl Streep is going to sound when she appears on our screens as Margaret Thatcher. On the basis of the clip newly issued by 20th Century Fox (yes, I know it's Murdoch-owned, but he's hard to avoid) I'd say the great Us actor is not going to disappoint the Iron Lady's fans (though she does have a problem; I'll come to that).

But why not give it her best Hollywood shot? Playing a well-known public figure in an age when – thanks to multi-media platforms – everyone knows exactly how they sound is a formidable challenge. Like many things in life, it didn't used to be a problem. I think there are fragments of that great Victorian orator William Gladstone, recorded before his death in 1898, fewer
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

1930s journalist Gareth Jones to have story retold

Correspondent who exposed Soviet Ukraine's manmade famine to be focus of new documentary

In death he has become known as "the man who knew too much" – a fearless young British reporter who walked from one desperate, godforsaken village to another exposing the true horror of a famine that was killing millions.

Gareth Jones's accounts of what was happening in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-33 were different from other western accounts. Not only did he reveal the true extent of starvation, he reported on the Stalin regime's failure to deliver aid while exporting grain to the west. The tragedy is now known as the Holodomar and regarded by Ukrainians as genocide.

Two years after the articles Jones was killed by Chinese bandits in Inner Mongolia – murdered, according to his family, in a Moscow plot as punishment.

The remarkable story of Jones is being told afresh by his old university, Cambridge, which
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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