tue 17/01/2017

Film Interviews

Interview: Marius de Vries, musical director of La La Land

jasper Rees

La La Land needs no further introduction. A homage to the golden age of the movie musical, to Michel Legrand and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, it contains perhaps the catchiest score to come out of Hollywood in many years.

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When Snowdon starred in Peter Sellers' home movie

jasper Rees

On screen, two hoodlums in macs and homburgs debate the best way to waste a victim. One of them, played by Peter Sellers, proffers a revolver. The other, who from under his hat has something of Herbert Lom about his profile, pulls on a cigarette and shakes his head. How about the acid in the bath routine? Another shake of the head. Case him in cement and drop him in the river? No. Sellers’ gangster is bemused. No gun, no acid, no cement: so how’s he going to do it?

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'It’s a much more freeing experience than Harry Potter'

jasper Rees

David Yates is not the best-known film director in the world, but he has been at the helm of four of the most successful. All of them had “Harry Potter and the” in the title.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Robert Vaughn

adam Sweeting

New York-born actor Robert Vaughn, who has died at the age of 83, achieved massive popular success when he starred as the sleek secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which ran for four seasons from 1964 to 1968 and exploited the then-new James Bond mania to ratings-busting effect.

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Captain Fantastic

tom Birchenough

If you’re expecting family drama, the opening of Captain Fantastic will surprise. We’re following a hunter, greased-up so he’s invisible in the woods, stalking a deer. There’s an edginess to the scene, the atmosphere primal as the animal is killed. Other disguised forms emerge from the trees, and a ritual of smeared blood ensues – nature, red in tooth and claw.

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10 Questions for Actor Don Cheadle

jasper Rees

Cinema has waited a long time for a film about Miles Davis. It hasn’t been for want of trying by Don Cheadle, who stars in, directs, produces and takes a co-writing credit on Miles Ahead. Despite the support of Davis’s son, daughter, nephew and first wife Frances Taylor, the film was trapped in a pipeline for aeons.

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Marni Nixon: 'It ended up being totally my voice'

jasper Rees

Singin’ in the Rain made much of those people in the movies whose work you don’t know you know. Set at the dawn of the talkies, it told of a star of the silent screen with the voice of a foghorn who relied on the angelic pipes of a trained singer parked behind a curtain. Such was the real-life story of Marni Nixon, who has died at the age of 86. You knew her soprano voice intimately. You just didn’t know her name.

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10 Questions for Actor Toby Jones

jasper Rees

What is it about Toby Jones? A decade ago he had a stroke of luck when a film producer spotted his physical similarity to Truman Capote and cast him as the lead in Infamous. The luck wasn’t unadulterated. Philip Seymour Hoffman played the same role in a different film and won an Oscar. While Infamous was overshadowed, Jones wasn't. The latest advance in his career finds him playing...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Filmmakers Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson

graham Fuller

The Forbidden Room, reviewed here yesterday, brings to a climax Guy Maddin’s thirty-year orchestration of the ghosts of world cinema past. A movie like no other, it’s a hectic, twilit construction and deconstruction of What Might Have Been: a pullulating assemblage of vintage movies that were either lost or never made reinvented by the Canadian filmmaker and his co-writers Evan Johnson and Robert Kotyk.

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10 Questions for Director Sarah Gavron

Demetrios Matheou

Director Sarah Gavron tends to make films with strong social content. Her TV movie This Little Life (2003) concerned a couple’s struggles after the premature birth of their son; her first feature film was an adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane (2007) about two Bangladeshi sisters, one confined to an arranged marriage that takes her to London, the other eloping in a "love marriage" in Bangladesh.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Spooks, the movie

adam Sweeting

During its 10-season run on BBC One between May 2002 and October 2011, Spooks built a lasting reputation as a superior espionage thriller, charting the battle of a squad of MI5 agents to protect the realm against its fiendish and unscrupulous adversaries.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Günter Grass

Kate Connolly

The Nobel prize-winning writer, playwright and artist Günter Grass was arguably the best-known German-language author of the second half of the 20th century. Kate Connolly met him in May 2010 in Istanbul where, after attending a series of literary events, Grass was forced to stay on for some days as volcanic ash closed European airports.

Born in 1927 in the port city of Danzig in what is now Gdansk in Poland, he was among the hundreds of thousands of ethnic German refugees who settled...

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10 Questions for Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan

Demetrios Matheou

New filmmakers often suffer an unhelpful onslaught of comparisons and labels. Yet Desiree Akhavan offers so many options as to deflect all of them – counter measures against the heat-seeking missiles of media stereotyping.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

adam Sweeting

There came a moment, around three years ago, when MyAnna Buring suddenly seemed to be in everything. "I'm so sorry!" she shrieks (ironically) when I point this out to her. She had given warning of her arrival by appearing in Ben Wheatley's Kill List and, rather more prominently, as Tanya (who as you'll know was a vegetarian vampire from the Denali coven) in the concluding pair of Twilight films.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Liz Fraser

graham Fuller

One of the tacit jokes in John and Roy Boulting’s I’m All Right, Jack concerns the parentage of Liz Fraser’s Cynthia. How could the lugubrious communist shop steward Fred Kite (Peter Sellers) and his pocket battleship missis (Irene Handl) have produced a daughter so resplendently lovely – and so aflame with desire for a dithering toff like their lodger Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael)? The answer is: even they were young once.

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10 Questions for Musician Gruff Rhys

jasper Rees

It hardly sounds like the springboard for an album, a film, a book and an app. In the 1780s a young Welsh explorer called John Evans journeyed across the unmapped North American continent in search of a tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans. His only source for the tribe’s existence – and linguistic preference – was a legend which claimed that a Welsh prince by the name of Madog ab Owain Gwynedd discovered the New World 300 years before Columbus.

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