sat 21/05/2022

Film Features

theartsdesk at Tallinn's Black Nights Film Festival - still crazy after all these years

Demetrios Matheou

Film festival chiefs the world over have been having a tricky time navigating the pandemic, juggling ever-changing Covid rules with an industry desperate to return to normal. Yet it’s no surprise that Estonia’s Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF to the locals) has managed better than most.

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Helen McCrory: 'If there's one interesting thing about acting it's trying to lose your ego'

Jasper Rees

Each generation is given an actress who can do everything – be intimate with the camera but also coat a back wall in honey from 100 paces. There was Judi Dench, and then there was Imelda Staunton, both loved by all.

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Filmmaker Darius Marder: 'Deafness is a culture. That's not being PC'

Owen Richards

Sound of Metal has been a long time coming. Director and writer Darius Marder faced years of delays ranging from casting changes to the whole world shutting down. Was it worth the wait? Well, six Academy Award nominations including Best Film certainly suggest it was.

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Filmmaker Frank Marshall: 'People don’t understand what geniuses The Bee Gees were'

Owen Richards

Frank Marshall might not be the biggest household name, but his footprint on Hollywood is unrivalled. He has produced hits ranging from Indiana Jones and Back to the Future to Jason Bourne and Jurassic World. He also takes occasional forays into directing, such as the madcap Arachnophobia and cannibalistic rugby tale Alive.

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Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

Owen Richards

After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary about a runaway boy in Pakistan garnered strong reviews, but soon Tariq was working in a New York butchers pondering his career.

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Directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui: 'The disability community is the world community'

Owen Richards

In 2018, directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui burst onto the documentary scene with McQueen, a visually stunning study of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Acclaim and offers followed, but no-one could have predicted the subject of their second feature.

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Ennio Morricone 1928-2020: A lost afternoon in his apartment in Rome

Peter Culshaw

Ennio Morricone was a genius, or as close to that description as makes no odds. If we mean someone who created a unique body of work, one that changed culture, had a distincive style and was massively influential, then Morricone fitted the bill. theartsdesk's Joe Muggs was discussing today on Facebook and Mixmag his influence on dubstep and Jamaican music, for example.

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Ian Holm, British film's best supporting actor

Jasper Rees

Ian Holm was once in his local cinema on High Street Kensington, enquiring at the ticket office about concessions for people who appeared in the film they wished to see. The unlucky vendor failed to make the connection between the short customer with full beard and the clean-shaven priest in the sci-fi caper showing on Screen Four upstairs. He had to make an internal call to the manager. "There's someone here who says he's in The Fifth Element. Wants a discount." "Oh yeah.

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Larry Kramer: 'I think anger is a wonderful useful emotion'

Jasper Rees

Larry Kramer, who has died at the age of 84, was the Solzhenitsyn of AIDS who indomitably reported from the gay gulags of Manhattan’s quarantined wards and revolving-door hospices. “I felt very much like a journalist who realises that he has been given the story of his life,” he told me when I met him.

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Oscars 2020: a 'Parasite' love-in caps a night of firsts

Matt Wolf

The 92nd Academy Awards saved its surprises for a final stretch that saw Parasite make history as the first foreign language film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture, pipping to the post the presumptive favourite, the World War One drama 1917 (pictured below).

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'Shakespeare is mistakenly considered something for the elite': director Claire McCarthy on 'Ophelia'

Owen Richards

Ophelia is one of Shakespeare's most enduring characters in both literature and art, and yet her part in Hamlet is limited to few lines and fewer motivations. Based on Lisa Klein's novel, the new film Ophelia challenges this interpretation.

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10th Odessa International Film Festival review - exquisite gay love stories and visionary new music

Peter Culshaw

Odessa, the so-called "pearl of the Black Sea", is a Ukrainian city full of lovely 19th-century Italianate architecture and sandy beaches, with a reputation, even in Soviet times, for a certain bohemian sense of freedom.

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theartsdesk Q&A: documentary maker Karen Stokkendal Poulsen

Demetrios Matheou

For a time, Aung San Suu Kyi enjoyed a heroic status on the international stage perhaps surpassed only by Nelson Mandela. The politician won a Nobel peace prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights in her country, Myanmar (formerly Burma), endured almost 20 years of house arrest, then played a leading role as her country moved towards so-called democracy.

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Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek: 'Is our film porny?'

Ewa Banaszkiewi

Spoiler alert: About sixty-four minutes into our debut feature film, one of the main female characters undresses for the camera. Alicja is being filmed by the other protagonist, a young American documentarian named Katie.

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Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

Jasper Rees

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English.

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Bob Dylan Special - Rolling Thunder Revue, Netflix

Tim Cumming

Tomorrow, Martin Scorsese delivers, via Netflix, two hours and 22 minutes of screen time devoted to Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, following on from the release last week of the latest Bootleg Series boxed set, 14...

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