fri 06/12/2019

Film Buzz

theartsdesk in Cheltenham: Screenwriters gather

Ellin Stein He's a real nowhere boy: Aaron Johnson as the pre-Beatle John Lennon

The Victorian Gothic (with 1970s additions) maze of Cheltenham Ladies’ College is a far cry from the sun-blasted soundstages of Los Angeles, particularly at this time of year when it’s surrounded by deep piles of swirling autumn leaves. Nevertheless, this past week saw the high-ceilinged, wood-panelled College corridors filled with over 400 scriptwriters, both aspiring and established, rushing to the seminars, panels and pitching sessions offered as part of the Cheltenham Screenwriters'...

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Russia on British Screens

Tom Birchenough

Russians are prone to ask the big questions, and among them, resonating periodically and patriotically, from film studio corridors to the Kremlin itself, is, "What is the state of our national film industry?" A partial answer is provided by a fleet of films in three forthcoming British festivals. And the forecast? Much darkness visible. But a rare chance to see five classic Soviet musicals from the 1930s to the 1940s on the big screen in Britain does something to brighten the picture.

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London's Robert Redford

Sheila Johnston

Last night I was drinking cappuccino with Britain's answer to Robert Redford in a Soho coffee bar. Elliot Grove and I go back a long way: we first met in 1993 when Grove launched Raindance, London's version of Sundance, the premier American independent film festival founded by Redford. Since then Sundance has increasingly been attacked for selling out to Hollywood. By contrast Raindance, now in its...

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Film Festival Fever

Sheila Johnston

Does Britain have too many film festivals? Not so very long ago, there were only two of these games around: the London Film Festival - which unveiled its full line-up this morning and begins on 14 October - and Edinburgh. Now, though, there are hundreds.

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