sat 02/07/2022

Film Buzz

Prometheus Rising

Thomas H Green

It’s not out until 8 June but fan excitement levels are already feverish. Ridley Scott, who directed the original, groundbreaking science-fiction-horror-classic Alien back in 1979, has said that his new film Prometheus – only his third ever sci-fi outing (the other was Bladerunner) - is not part of the Alien series and won’t feature the snap-jawed xenomorph, last seen battling fellow monster franchise Predator in a series of dismal B-movies.

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Oscars 2012: Nominees are announced – just don’t try to pronounce their names

Matt Wolf

Michael Fassbender (Shame) got blanked (maybe Hollywood was put off by his manhood?), as did We Need to Talk About Kevin’s Tilda Swinton, for my money the year’s best performance by an actress, notwithstanding the marvellous Meryl. Gary Oldman, meanwhile, is in as Best Actor for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – his first-ever Oscar nod, incredibly - whereas Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) is out.

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The Swedish Erotica Collection: Alienation, Education and Morality

Kieron Tyler

Although the title of this new DVD box set was a given considering the nature of the films included, all six films collected are – whatever their reputation, levels of nudity and explicitness – sober-minded, hardly measuring up to any standard of what normally constitutes erotica. Three are dry sex education films, presented by real-life psychologists, while the other three are bizarre examinations of an alienated young women in relationships that involve power play, subjugation and abuse....

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Streep has to share honours at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards

theartsdesk

Predictably and no doubt justly, it was a good night for The Artist at tonight’s London Critics’ Circle Film Awards. It won Film of the Year, Director of the Year for Michel Hazanavicius and Actor of the Year for its dashing lead Jean Dujardin. Both were at BFI Southbank this evening to pick up their gongs.

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Steve McQueen on Directing Shame

theartsdesk

“Brandon is everyone.” Shame, Steve McQueen’s new film, opens later this week. It is a brutally frank portrait of a man’s struggle with addiction to sex. As McQueen explains here, it was shot in New York for the specific reason that no one in the UK would talk to him about sex addiction. No sex please.

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New Year Honours: Sir Tony Pappano, Helena Bonham Carter CBE - and Sir Big Brother

Ismene Brown

Commercial TV's most influential and controversial figure Peter Bazalgette, mastermind of TV's Big Brother, Ground Force, Deal or No Deal and Ready, Steady, Cook!, is one of four arts knights announced in the New Year Honours. Bazalgette becomes a Sir alongside the Royal Opera House's musical director Antonio Pappano, Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive and V&A Museum chairman and arts patron Paul Ruddock.

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The Arts Desk Birthday Event - Join Us on 9/9!

Ismene Brown

On 9 September theartsdesk, Britain's first professional arts journalism site, will be two years old. To celebrate we’re holding a live debate with four leading performers during the Kings Place Festival. An actor, a singer, a dancer and an instrumentalist will share their different experiences of performance. Join us, live or online, for a stellar event.

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Cinderella goes to the square

David Nice Joyce DiDonato's Cendrillon goes to meet her Prince Charming - and out into Trafalgar Square

Sweetheart American mezzo Joyce DiDonato stayed firmly behind the proscenium arch for yesterday evening's Royal Opera performance of Massenet's Cendrillon - reviewed by theartsdesk on its opening night - but another Covent Garden regular, former ballerina and non-irritant presenter Deborah Bull, was soon schmoozing the crowds in...

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He'll be back: ex-governor returns to what he knows

Jasper Rees

Interesting movie news. Arnold Schwarzenegger, having wrapped up his term as governor of California and pretty much completed the bankrupting of the state, will be taking time out from impregnating the payroll to return to the day job: making movies. The film is to be called The Last Stand. Make of that what you will.

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Natural Pursuits: Simon Gray at BFI Southbank

Jasper Rees Simon Gray: Through the glass, darkly

It’s hardly as if he needed critical resuscitation, but the work of Simon Gray is enjoying a moment in the limelight. Butley, starring Dominic West, is currently on in the West End, while in August BFI Southbank is to show a season of films written by Gray for the small screen and large.

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Skolimowski film reignites Gallo controversy - genius or twat?

Peter Culshaw

Kinoteka, the adventurous Polish film festival, opened last night with a gala screening at the Curzon Renoir of veteran director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Essential Killing, a film that has provoked some vicious responses. The Observer said it was “deeply silly”, one usually fairly reliable film...

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Elizabeth Taylor: 1932-2011

Jasper Rees

Yes, we’ve always claimed her as one of ours, even though her parents were both American and they moved her back to the States as war loomed. She appeared in her first film, There’s One Born Every Minute, with Universal Pictures, with whom she signed her first contract for $100 a week. It wasn’t renewed.

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Is Sundance really welcome in London?

Jasper Rees

The Sundance Film Festival: you have to pack moonboots, parka and thermals. The showcase for independent films, whose public face since its inception in 1978 has been Robert Redford, takes place each January in Utah. In April of next year it is setting up a new branch in the moonboot-free environment of the 02 Arena in London.

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The charity theatre where The King's Speech began...

Ismene Brown

The tiny theatre where the Oscar-vanquishing film The King’s Speech was spotted as a potential film project is working on a new script with the play’s author, and the film’s Oscar-winning scriptwriter, David Seidler.

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Woody Allen Goes to Bradford

Jasper Rees

He may have already taken the film to Cannes, but West Yorkshire represents a quirky step away from the regular festival beat for a man who in his mighty heyday once found it hard to set foot beyond the Brooklyn Bridge.

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John Barry, 1933-2011: Musician with the Midas touch

Adam Sweeting

“When you write for film, the dialogue is like the voice, if you like, and I always consider that as part of the music,” said John Barry, who died on 30 January. “Certain orchestral textures have to match the texture of the scene. You deal with the lightness and darkness of the scene when you write music for cinema. The film is a part of the score, and you can't get away from that.

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