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‘The Sound Barrier’ Blu-ray Review

Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick, John Justin, Dinah Sheridan, Joseph Tomelty, Denholm Elliot | Written by Terrence Rattigan | Directed by David Lean

David Lean is well known for his romantic dramas (Brief Encounter) and literary adaptations (Great Expectations, Doctor Zhivago), which is why The Sound Barrier, his 1952 semi-biographical portrait of the British struggle to surpass the speed of sound, seems like something of an oddity.

The story focuses on the relationships between an ambitious Raf pilot Tony (Nigel Patrick), his military bride Susan (Ann Todd) her father, John (Ralph Richardson), a wealthy plane manufacturer who has lofty goals and doesn’t mind risking human lives to reach them. A brief prelude sees Susan’s brother Christopher – a small but welcome appearance from Indiana Jones’ Denholm Elliott – attempt to join the air force, despite both a lack of interest in and aptitude for flying. This ominous complication, paired with the
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Thn’s Top 5 Cinematographers Who Became Directors

This week sees the release of the Point Break remake, which is directed by Ericson Core, cinematographer on the original Fast and the Furious movie, Payback, and Ben Affleck’s Daredevil. Core also handles the camera on the Point Break movie, which we reviewed earlier this week.

The film opens in cinemas from Friday, so to celebrate, we thought we’d take a look at the other top cinematographers turned directors.

So, let’s begin…

Ronald Neame – (Born 1911 – Died 2010)

Ronald Neame is a great place to start; the prolific filmmaker started life in 1929 working as an assistant with Alfred Hitchcock on Blackmail, and eventually worked as the cinematographer for forty-seven films starting with Happy (1933). His later works included One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) and Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve (1942). His final venture was another Coward-adapted play Blithe Spirit (1945), in which he worked with legendary director David Lean
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Loved but not lost: David Lean’s Brief Encounter and Dr Zhivago

Brief Encounter was laughed at by audiences when first released, and Dr Zhivago was scorned by critics. Now, argues Michael Newton, we can appreciate them as two of the greatest love stories committed to film

David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945) and Doctor Zhivago (1965) both came into the world looking likely to fail. The British critics loved Brief Encounter, while audiences let it pass by; the critics savaged Zhivago, though the public adored it. The reputations of both films remain mixed. It is striking how many of the legends about Brief Encounter involve people finding it ridiculous. While Lean was filming Great Expectations in Rochester, Kent, Brief Encounter was screened to a predominantly working-class audience; one woman at the front started giggling during the love scenes, and pretty soon most of the audience were laughing with her. At a preview, the critic James Agate loudly provided a running commentary on the film’s faults.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Mitchum Stars in TCM Movie Premiere Set Among Japanese Gangsters Directed by Future Oscar Winner

Robert Mitchum ca. late 1940s. Robert Mitchum movies 'The Yakuza,' 'Ryan's Daughter' on TCM Today, Aug. 12, '15, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series is highlighting the career of Robert Mitchum. Two of the films being shown this evening are The Yakuza and Ryan's Daughter. The former is one of the disappointingly few TCM premieres this month. (See TCM's Robert Mitchum movie schedule further below.) Despite his film noir background, Robert Mitchum was a somewhat unusual choice to star in The Yakuza (1975), a crime thriller set in the Japanese underworld. Ryan's Daughter or no, Mitchum hadn't been a box office draw in quite some time; in the mid-'70s, one would have expected a Warner Bros. release directed by Sydney Pollack – who had recently handled the likes of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford – to star someone like Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Stratton to curate first Great Britain Retro Festival

David Stratton is the curator and patron of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival. Nineteen classic British films, rarely seen on the big screen, will feature in the festival from August 6-19 at the Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Melbourne's Cinema Nova and the Windsor in Perth. Stratton says there will be many highlights, not least the opportunity to see some of these classic films painstakingly digitally restored and presented for the first time in Australia in the 4K format. .I.m really excited about this retrospective film festival, particularly as I spent my first twenty years in Britain and have always been very fond of British movies. To see this collection of films, on the big screen, as they were intended to be seen, is indeed a rare pleasure," he says. Highlights of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival include:

. Australian premiere screenings of The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), the
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Director Ridley Scott on Creating His Vision of Moses

‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Director Ridley Scott on Creating His Vision of Moses
The ideal place to meet Ridley Scott would be on a raging battlefield, in the furthest reaches of outer space, or in the midst of any of the other vast canvases on which he creates his movies.

Instead, we’re sitting in a basement salon at London’s trendy Ham Yard Hotel, where the 76-year-old director has parked himself, however briefly, to discuss his new biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” and to ruminate on his long career.

“You’re probably going to be sitting down, so you’re not going to get a proper sense of him,” actor Christian Bale, who stars in Scott’s new film as Moses, warned this reporter a few days earlier. “You’ve got to see Rid on the move to understand him. He’s totally kinetic. I’m absolutely sure he springs out of bed at 10 times the speed I do.”

Australian actor Joel Edgerton,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Which is the greatest British film in history? No one seems to be in agreement

Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Malcolm Tierney obituary

Stage and screen actor who excelled in playing authority figures and appeared in TV shows such as Brookside and Lovejoy

Malcolm Tierney, who has died aged 75 of pulmonary fibrosis, was a reliable and versatile supporting actor for 50 years, familiar to television audiences as the cigar-smoking, bullying villain Tommy McArdle in Brookside, nasty Charlie Gimbert in Lovejoy and smoothie Geoffrey Ellsworth-Smythe in David Nobbs's A Bit of a Do, a Yorkshire small-town comedy chronicle starring David Jason and Gwen Taylor.

Always serious and quietly spoken offstage, with glinting blue eyes and a steady, cruel gaze that served him well as authority figures on screen, Tierney was a working-class Mancunian who became a core member of the Workers' Revolutionary party in the 1970s. He never wavered in his socialist beliefs, even when the Wrp imploded ("That's all in my past now," he said), and always opposed restricted entry to the actors' union,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Malcolm Tierney obituary

Stage and screen actor who excelled in playing authority figures and appeared in TV shows such as Brookside and Lovejoy

Malcolm Tierney, who has died aged 75 of pulmonary fibrosis, was a reliable and versatile supporting actor for 50 years, familiar to television audiences as the cigar-smoking, bullying villain Tommy McArdle in Brookside, nasty Charlie Gimbert in Lovejoy and smoothie Geoffrey Ellsworth-Smythe in David Nobbs's A Bit of a Do, a Yorkshire small-town comedy chronicle starring David Jason and Gwen Taylor.

Always serious and quietly spoken offstage, with glinting blue eyes and a steady, cruel gaze that served him well as authority figures on screen, Tierney was a working-class Mancunian who became a core member of the Workers' Revolutionary party in the 1970s. He never wavered in his socialist beliefs, even when the Wrp imploded ("That's all in my past now," he said), and always opposed restricted entry to the actors' union,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Criterion Collection: The Long Day Closes | Blu-ray Review

The inimitable Terence Davies gets his first Criterion treatment this month with his 1992 title, The Long Day Closes, a superb memory poem drenched in melancholy nostalgia. A follow-up to the much more dark and brutal Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), Davies returns once more to the memoirs of a ravaged childhood, further expanded upon from his first three short films which comprised The Terence Davies Trilogy (1976-1984). Swimming freely between quiet fantasy sequences and recollections of free associations as we drift in and out of abandoned ramshackle buildings of the past like a restless spirit, there is a delicate and fragile longing in Davies’ second feature, a ruminative exploration absent from the pained dirge of his previous film.

Bud (Leigh McCormack) is a bright and lonely 11 year old boy growing up in 1950’s Liverpool. Absent a father figure, Bud spends most of his time at home with his mother (Marjorie Yates
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Jeremy Irvine: Obstacles Make Life Interesting

Jeremy Irvine: Obstacles Make Life Interesting
When Steven Spielberg handpicks an actor to hang an entire movie on, there are great expectations placed upon their performance and subsequent success. Luckily for us all, Jeremy Irvine's post-War Horse career has been as gripping and exciting as his Oscar-nominated, tear-inducing film debut.

Following the little-seen, but simply wonderful, Now Is Good, Irvine stars as Pip in Mike Newell's retelling of Shakespeare's Great Expectations. And while the film is set in the 1800s, there's a marvelous modernity infused throughout that elevates it above your standard classic literary adaptation. ETonline chatted with the rising star about taking on this iconic role, how he brought something new to the seventh version of Pip and which of his upcoming roles he's most excited for audiences to see.

ETonline: What appealed to you about this incarnation?

Jeremy Irvine: There have been a few TV adaptations, and that modernized movie, but there hasn't
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

R.I.P. John Wilson, animator on Lady And The Tramp and Grease

John Wilson, a British-born animator who worked with Walt Disney, David Lean, Igor Stravinsky, and Billy Wilder in the course of a remarkably long and varied career, has died at the age of 93. Wilson’s first published work consisted of cartoons he had scribbled down while in a Cairo hospital, recuperating from wounds sustained while serving with the London Rifle Brigade during World War II. Discharged from the Army, he moved to London and eventually took a job in the art department at Pinewood Studios, working on such films as Lean’s Great Expectations (1946) and the lavish fantasy ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Observer film critic steps down

His first column appeared in April 1963 and he would become the doyen of UK film critics. Having announced he will soon file his last column, he talks about meeting Chaplin, and Hollywood's greatest canine actors

Philip French's international reputation as a film critic is unrivalled. As recently as February, after a career with the Observer that began in 1963, an American film journal rated him as Britain's "greatest living movie analyst". But at the end of August he is to file his last column as this newspaper's film critic. After an illustrious half century, French, who was honoured with an OBE in January, has decided to step down following his 80th birthday the same month.

In his first column for the Observer, he bemoaned the lack of British films offering a believable picture of criminathe underworld. He noted "the tired vignettes of sub-Runyon characters" in The Small World of Sammy Lee starring Anthony Newley.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Great Expectations – review

Made in 1946 in a peak period for British cinema that remains unmatched, Great Expectations is the masterpiece David Lean made as (his biographer Kevin Brownlow suggests) a way of stepping up and away from his years as Noël Coward's collaborator. It is a succession of magnificently achieved scenes from Dickens, shot in stylised, Cruickshank-influenced black and white with a cast that has made an indelible stamp on several generations.

This new adaptation, scripted by David Nicholls and directed by Mike Newell, doesn't attempt to imitate Lean, something it announces by shooting the opening encounter in the graveyard on the gloomy marshes between the convict Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes) and the young Pip in broad, blue-sky daylight. The character are more lifesize than conventionally Dickensian: wisely, Helen Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane don't attempt to compete with Martita Hunt's Miss Havisham and Francis L Sullivan's Jaggers.

Newell and Nicholls have
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new films

Amour | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 | Mental | Up There | Hit So Hard | Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet | Happy Happy | The Pool | Son Of Sardar

Amour (12A)

(Michael Haneke, 2012, Aus/Fra/Ger) Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, 127 mins

Most romantic stories are beginnings; this is the endgame – the "till death us do part", as experienced by a cultured, elderly French couple after the wife's stroke. Call it a last slow dance in Paris. Watching body, mind and possibly love slowly diminish in their claustrophobic apartment, Haneke's gaze is stately and unflinching. However, there's also a slight remove, making this less emotional than you'd expect but rich in deeper themes.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (12A)

(Bill Condon, 2012, Us) Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner. 115 mins

The love/hate teenage supernatural saga comes to a spectacular/preposterous climax, for better or worse. Bella's enjoyment of her newfound vampire skills is dented
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

David Nicholls: Adapting Great Expectations for the screen

David Nicholls, author of the hit novel One Day, has always loved Dickens's novel. As the film version is about to be released, he reveals how he set about his adaptation

Read a book at the right age and it will stay with you for life. For some people it's Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, but for me it is Great Expectations. I first read it at 14 or so and, apart from some infatuations with Orwell, Fitzgerald, Salinger and Hardy, it has remained my favourite novel ever since. By some miracle, a story written in the mid-1850s had captured much of how I felt in a small provincial town at the end of the 1970s.

Yet if I saw myself in the book, it wasn't a particularly flattering portrait. It's clear why a young reader might aspire to be Elizabeth Bennet, but who would want to be Pip Pirrip?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)

  • Planet Fury
Directed by Crispian Mills, Chris Hopewell

Written by Crispian Mills, based on the story by Bruce Robinson

Featuring Simon Pegg, Amara Karan, Clare Higgins, Paul Freeman

Ever since Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg has become an unlikely, quirky leading man. Sure he has had big roles in films like Star Trek but his lovable loser persona is the one that he is most associated with and that is front and center in his latest film (as both the star and Executive Producer) of A Fantastic Fear of Everything.

Based on the novella Paranoia In The Launderette by Bruce Robinson (writer and director of Withnail and I), film follows a former children’s author named Jack (Simon Pegg) that has recently also become a crime novelist. While researching the lives of Victorian serial killers, he unleashes a wave of paranoid fears that stem from his abandonment as a child. He
See full article at Planet Fury »

London film festival gives top prize to Rust and Bone

Best film award goes to Jacques Audiard production while Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter are made BFI fellows

Rust and Bone, the dramatic and gruelling love story starring the Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, has won the best film prize at the London film festival. The French-Belgian production, directed by Jacques Audiard, is the first to be honoured with the top award at a ceremony revamped this year as a more fitting finale for the annual festival.

Audiard's victory was announced by Sir David Hare, president of the competition jury, who said Audiard "has a unique handwriting, made up of music, montage, writing, photography, sound, visual design and acting. He is one of only a very small handful of film-makers in the world who has mastered, and can integrate, every element of the process to one purpose, making in Rust and Bone a film full of heart, violence and love.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

56th BFI London Film Festival – Schedule Announcement

The programme for the 56th BFI London Film Festival launched yesterday under the new creative leadership of BFI’s Head of Exhibition and Festival Director, Clare Stewart, bringing a rich and diverse programme of international films and events from both established and upcoming talent over a 12 day celebration of cinema. The Festival will screen a total of 225 fiction and documentary features, including 14 World Premieres, 15 International Premieres and 34 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 111 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes, and other special events. The 56th BFI London Film Festival will run from 10-21 October 2012. This year sees the introduction of several changes to the Festival’s format. Now taking place over 12 days, the Festival expands further from its traditional Leicester Square cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square
See full article at SoundOnSight »

56th BFI London Film Festival – Line-up announced

Announced yesterday, the programme for the 56th BFI London Film Festival brings a rich and diverse programme of international films and events from both established and upcoming talent over a 12 day celebration of cinema. The Festival will screen a total of 225 fiction and documentary features, including 14 World Premieres, 15 International Premieres and 34 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 111 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes, and other special events.

This year sees the introduction of several changes to the Festival’s format. Now taking place over 12 days, the Festival expands further from its traditional Leicester Square cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square and Empire – and the BFI Southbank to include four additional new venues – Hackney Picturehouse, Renoir, Everyman Screen on the Green and Rich Mix, which join existing London venues the Ica,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »
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