Bruce Robinson (I) - News Poster


Tribeca Film Review: ‘Song of Back and Neck’

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Song of Back and Neck’
In the American version of “The Office,” Paul Lieberstein played Toby Flenderson, the world’s least competent Hr director, so ineffectual he actually wound up bearing the brunt of his colleagues’ workplace harassment. Like a human Eeyore, or the sad-sack equivalent of a giant shrug, the actor made for an amusing contribution to a well-rounded ensemble, although it’s hard to imagine Lieberstein carrying his own movie. Sure enough, even when serving as writer-director, as he does in “Song of Back and Neck,” the guy frequently seems like the least interesting character on-screen (there are entire scenes where he literally just lies there while funnier actors steal the show).

If this were Tom Cruise we were talking about, that would be a crippling flaw, but Lieberstein designs his eccentric little debut along the lines of “Being John Malkovich,” in which John Cusack and Cameron Diaz had their star power stripped
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Greg Shapiro Joins Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios as Head of Film

Greg Shapiro Joins Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios as Head of Film
Academy Award-winning feature film producer Greg Shapiro is re-teaming with Stuart Ford at his recently launched AGC Studios as head of film.

Ford, who carries the titles of chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement Monday. Shapiro will oversee all feature film development and production activity for the Los Angeles and London based studio.

Agc Studios was announced in February with significant backing from three key strategic investors: Latin American private asset management firm MediaNet Partners; Silicon Valley entrepreneur and CEO Greg Clark; and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Shapiro will also be a stakeholder in Agc Studios alongside senior executives Ford and Chief Operating Officer Miguel Palos.

Shapiro won a best picture Academy Award for Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.” He was also an executive producer on Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” which received five Academy Award nominations, and on Bigelow’s 2017 release “Detroit.” Since September, 2016, Shapiro has
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The time of the harvest moon by Anne-Katrin Titze

Serge Bozon having a Hard, Fast And Beautiful First Encounter with Gavin Smith Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

First Encounters at the Quad Cinema have included Kenneth Lonergan and Edward Yang's Yi Yi, John Turturro and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali, and two directors who have films in the Main Slate of this year's New York Film Festival, Greta Gerwig with Lady Bird watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet and The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected) director Noah Baumbach's First Encounter was Bruce Robinson's Withnail And I.

Serge Bozon, who is in the Main Slate program with Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde), starring Isabelle Huppert with Romain Duris and José Garcia, chose Ida Lupino's Hard, Fast And Beautiful with Claire Trevor, Sally Forrest, Robert Clarke, Kenneth Patterson, and Carleton G Young for his First Encounter.

Isabelle Huppert in ‪Serge Bozon‬'s Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde)

Hard, Fast And Beautiful
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The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

All of the Films Joining FilmStruck’s Criterion Channel this August

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

Tuesday, August 1

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train

Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Movie Review – The Hippopotamus (2017)

The Hippopotamus, 2017.

Directed by John Jencks.

Starring Tim McInnerny, Roger Allam, Matthew Modine, Emily Berrington, Russell Tovey, and Lyne Renee.


Out of luck, out of cash and recently sacked theatre critic Ted Wallace (Roger Allam) has a chance encounter with relative Jane Swann. Creatively bereft and in need of money Wallace agrees to investigate goings on at Swafford Manor, where past indiscretions, present day revelations and talk of miracles all come home to roost.

Adapted from a novel of the same name, The Hippopotamus takes murder mystery tropes, keeps the mystery, substitutes murder and gives us a gloriously odious washed up poet Poirot to reckon with. Roger Allam’s Ted Wallace is pompously appealing from the first frame, lacing his cyanide dipped voiceover with luxuriant expletives, intellectual entitlement and an abundant surplus of vulgar vocabulary.

His is an endless life of empty whiskey bottles, venal verbiage and intolerance for
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

A first time for everything by Anne-Katrin Titze

Quad Cinema Director of Programming and Nathan Silver's Thirst Street co-writer C Mason Wells Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Since its reopening by Charles S Cohen in April, the Quad Cinema has had four noteworthy theatrical premieres right from the start: Terence Davies' soulful A Quiet Passion (with Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine); Katell Quillévéré's thoughtful Heal The Living (Emmanuelle Seigner, Kool Shen, Tahar Rahim, Finnegan Oldfield); Bruno Dumont's wild Slack Bay (Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), and Maura Axelrod's impish Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back.

Terence Davies' A Quiet Passion still going strong at the Quad Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Following First Encounters for Greta Gerwig with David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Kenneth Lonergan with Edward Yang's Yi Yi, John Turturro and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali, and Noah Baumbach catching up on Bruce Robinson's Withnail And I at the Quad,
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Quad Cinema reopens with First Encounters by Anne-Katrin Titze - 2017-04-14 13:07:48

Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have First Encounters at the Quad Cinema Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Quad Cinema in New York reopens in grand style this Friday, April 14 with theatrical releases of Katell Quillévéré's Heal The Living (Réparer Les vivants), Terence Davies' A Quiet Passion and Maura Axelrod's Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back. Amy Heckerling will introduce Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze) in the career retrospective for the great filmmaker Lina Wertmüller: Female Trouble.

Manchester By The Sea director Kenneth Lonergan first views Edward Yang's Yi Yi Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

First Encounters kicks off this Saturday with Greta Gerwig's first viewing of David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Jeffrey Deitch chooses Da Pennebaker's Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, John Turturro picks Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali, Noah Baumbach nails Bruce Robinson's Withnail And I, Sandra Bernhard views Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola, and
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The Essential British Films

Tom Jolliffe on the essential British films…

Article 50 is due to drop soon. Britain flies the Euro coop. With that in mind, and more importantly because any time is a good time to acknowledge it, I thought I would list my essential British films. I’ve collated a list of not only my favourites, but hopefully a diverse mix that represents British cinema at its finest. It’s obviously a very difficult task because whilst I may be bias as a Brit, it goes without saying that we have a very commendable cinematic legacy here. We’ve had our share of classics and delivered an array of film icons such as James Bond (note…whilst I adore the legacy and there have been some classic Jb films, I’ve opted for a slightly less obvious listing).

Without further ado, here are my essential British films:

Withnail & I

Any film student
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Quad Cinema Will Relaunch with Films from Yang, Rivette, Kubrick, Fassbinder, Wertmüller, Coppola & More

Next month will mark the return of New York City’s Quad Cinema, a theater reshaped and rebranded as a proper theater via the resources of Charles S. Cohen, head of the distribution outfit Cohen Media Group. While we got a few hints of the line-up during the initial announcement, they’ve now unveiled their first full repertory calendar, running from April 14th through May 4th, and it’s an embarassment of cinematic riches.

Including the previously revealed Lina Wertmüller retrospective, one inventive series that catches our eye is First Encounters, in which an artist will get to experience a film they’ve always wanted to see, but never have, and in which you’re invited to take part. The first match-ups in the series include Kenneth Lonergan‘s first viewing Edward Yang‘s Yi Yi, Noah Baumbach‘s first viewing of Withnail and I, John Turturro‘s first viewing of Pather Panchali,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Noah Baumbach and Kenneth Lonergan Want to See Movies They’ve Never Seen Before With You

Noah Baumbach and Kenneth Lonergan Want to See Movies They’ve Never Seen Before With You
Noah Baumbach has never seen “Withnail and I.” Kenneth Lonergan has always wanted to see “Yi Yi.” Sandra Bernhard hasn’t had the chance to catch “Lola.” As part of New York City’s Quad Cinema’s newly announced “First Encounters” screening series, they (and more creative types) are going to finally remedy that — and they’d like you to join them.

The newly revamped four-screen theater — set to reopen in less than in a month — has announced the first lineup of their newest series, which sees notable New Yorkers (helped by programmers Christopher Wells and Gavin Smith) picking a film they’ve never seen (but have always wanted to) to show on the big screen, complete with a post-showing Q&A with the rest of audience.

Check out the first official lineup for First Encounters below, with descriptions and other information provided by Quad Cinema.

Read More: New York
See full article at Indiewire »

25 great movie comedies that run for 90 minutes or less




Need a good laugh, but only got an hour and a half? Might we recommend this little lot...

I’m of the firm belief that films work most effectively when their runtime is 90 minutes or less. It forces an economy of story and dialogue which propels the film into its best self. No bloated middle, extended ending, or wasted stories here. This goes double for comedies. They should never outstay their welcome. But they seem to be getting longer, as we recently pointed out here.

So to refresh your movie comedy palette, here are 25 films that are 90 minutes or under. I’ve tried to avoid the more obvious ones, and shine a light on those comedies which might have gone a bit unappreciated over the years, but are well worth a hour and a half of your time. This lean runtime isn’t a guarantee of greatness of course,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Toronto 2015: Ben Wheatley on 'High-Rise' and Cult Filmmaking

Toronto 2015: Ben Wheatley on 'High-Rise' and Cult Filmmaking
It's purely a coincidence, according to the publicist, that British director Ben Wheatley wanted to meet up at the massive, towering Trump Hotel while in town for the Toronto Film Festival; given the subject of the new movie he's just unveiled here, however, that claim is highly suspect. The 43-year-old filmmaker had just premiered his adaptation of J.G. Ballard's 1975 cult novel High-Rise at the fest a few nights prior, and those lucky enough to get tickets were treated to a vicious, surreal satire about residents at a multi-story luxury
See full article at Rolling Stone »

May 1986: Withnail demands cake and fine wine – and an enduring cult classic is born

The much-loved Penrith tea room scene from Withnail & I (actually filmed at a chemists’ in Milton Keynes)

Unspecified cake it was, which for this publication is a rarity. “Just bring out the cakes.” “Cake, and fine wine.” The context was all. A couple of wastefully drunk and filthily arrogant unemployed actors bumbling into the Penrith Tea Rooms at closing time. And Richard E Grant’s unimprovably bonkers follow-up, somehow both slurred and royally, commandingly, articulate: “We want the finest wines available to humanity.”

It was 1986 and the filming of Withnail and I. Yet the writer and director Bruce Robinson, for whom this was pretty much autobiographical, was back in 1960s Camden. Railing as ever against an unestablishable establishment: and moving the setting to the Lake District effectively moved the decades. The distaste on the face of the proprietor, the fine character actor Llewellyn Rees, surely echoes the pursed lips of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Story of Adèle H. | Blu-ray Review

You no doubt know of a crazy local or two that mills around your town in a daze, occasionally causing disturbances, but otherwise remains fairly harmless. If you stop to think about it, it’s possible that they may have had an entirely different life with a past rich with fame, fortune and family, but sadly, their final warped reality is often the result of something as tragic as mental illness. In the case of François Truffaut‘s true to life telling of French literary master Victor Hugo’s increasingly demented daughter’s obsessive breakdown in The Story of Adèle H., the vagabond fate stems from haughty infatuation and swiftly disintegrates into detached delirium not unlike those familiar empty faces asking for bus fare or something to eat on your local street corner.

The Story of Adèle H. followed Truffaut’s Best Foreign Picture winning Day For Night, gleaning its
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Review: Truffaut's "The Story Of Adele H." (1975) Starring Isabelle Adjani; Twilight Time Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
“A 19th Century Stalker”

By Raymond Benson

The youngest daughter of the great French author, Victor Hugo, was a victim of schizophrenia. Although she was devastatingly beautiful, history tells us that Adèle Hugo was seriously disturbed.

Around the time of America’s Civil War, Adèle became fixated on a British soldier, one Lieutenant Pinson. She followed him across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia, where he was stationed, for she was convinced that he loved her and would marry her. In fact, the couple had experienced a brief relationship in England (while Victor Hugo was living in Guernsey, in exile from France), but Pinson ultimately rejected Adèle and wanted no more to do with her. Even though he was obviously a rakish cad, the girl became obsessed with the man and went to great lengths to pursue him.

These days we would call it stalking.

François Truffaut’s The Story of Adèle H.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Pretty Packaging: Take A Look At Arrow's Limited Edition Of Withnail And I

(It's pretty enough not to give you a bastard behind the eyes...) The movie world is hard and fickle, and it isn't easy to predict in advance which films will become cult classics, and which do not. But Bruce Robinson's 1987 film Withnail and I, based loosely on his own memoirs as an unemployable acting student, sure earned the moniker quickly enough. With career-defining performances and an infinitely quotable script, it has fans aplenty. And now, Arrow UK has lovingly done a 2K digital restoration, removing specks, dirt, and telecine wobbling from the available print. The end result looks spectacular on Blu-ray, and to celebrate all that, Arrow created a lovely Special Edition for it, limited to 2,000 pieces. Through their website you could even...

[Read the whole post on]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

‘Withnail and I’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick | Written and Directed by Bruce Robinson

I have a list of films inside my head that are ones that I haven’t seen yet, and each time I watch one of them I can tick them off. Some of these sit there for years but deserve to be seen, and some I consider as a crime against my geekhood that I’ve not seen them yet. One these is Withnail and I but the good news is that now that Arrow Video have released their limited edition of the film I’ve finally managed to see it, and it has become one of my favourite films.

Seen as a cult favourite popular with students, it tells the tale of Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and Marwood (the “and I” of the title, portrayed by Paul McGann). Two unemployed actors
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

DVD Review – Withnail & I (1987)

Withnail & I, 1987.

Directed by Bruce Robinson.

Starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths and Ralph Brown.


Withnail (Richard E. Grant) is an unsuccessful, pill-popping actor; ‘I,’ or Marwood (Paul McGann), is Withnail’s roommate and another equally underemployed actor. The time is 1969: Withnail is fast becoming a burned-out relic of the ’60s, while Marwood is trying to reassimilate into society. The two take a trip to the country in hopes of rejuvenating themselves, but things go from worse to even worse.

Perpetually wasted Withnail and the introspectively uptight I (Marwood), disappear half way up a mountain near Penrith to share some quality time……

There is a difficulty encountered by all reviewers when it comes to writing something subjective on a confirmed cult classic. In terms of tricky it sits somewhere between negotiating an extension from a loan shark, while convincing lie detectors Age of Extinction was a good idea.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Blu-ray Review – Withnail & I (1987)

Robert W Monk reviews the new release of Withnail & I…

Withnail & I, 1987.

Written and Directed by Bruce Robinson.

Starring Richard E.Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown and Michael Elphick.


Two London based ‘resting’ actors and flatmates, Withnail and Marwood, decide to embark on a holiday in the countryside…

Withnail & I is, without any squabbling, a definitive cult film. Gathering a steady pull of devotees and fans following its release first on VHS and then DVD, the film has inspired countless festivals, conventions and – most famously of all – high intensity drinking games. This restored dual format DVD/Blu-ray release captures much of this ongoing fandom with all sorts of lovingly created extras and features, including four documentaries originally shown in 1999 exploring the world of Withnail.

Focusing on actor turned writer and filmmaker Robinson’s – in the form of I (named as Marwood in the script) – early life in
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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