fri 22/11/2019

Film Features

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016

David Kettle

Even without any particular pomp or focus for celebration, the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival has felt like a particularly strong and broad-ranging one, with a programme so big it was a struggle to take it all in.

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Edinburgh celebrates British films

Demetrios Matheou

The Edinburgh film Festival’s signature prize, named after one of its most celebrated directors, is the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film. The dozen up for the award this year have included a Scottish love-triangle road movie, a dystopian drama, an adaptation of Macbeth, and a Welsh language thriller involving identical twins. Where once British film was a predictable affair, rooted in costume drama and social realism, it appears to be happily diverse at present.

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The Edinburgh International Film Festival tees off with golfing drama

Demetrios Matheou

To anyone who says that you can’t make a great film about golf, a film which is funny, sexy, and rousing, I have just two words; sadly, for those who attended the opening night of the Edinburgh Film Festival this week, those words are Tin Cup.

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First Person: 'I am one of only three percent'

Susanna White

Last week a report was published by Directors UK laying out the cold facts of a trend that a lot of us knew had been going on for a long time - if you are a man you are six times more likely to make a feature film than a woman. The needle hasn’t moved for the last 10 years.

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Who was St Clair Bayfield?

Jasper Rees

This week Stephen Frears's film about Florence Foster Jenkins opens. It will bring to the widest attention yet the story of a New York socialite who couldn’t sing and yet did sing, infamously, to a packed Carnegie Hall at the age of 76 in 1944. Meryl Streep plays her as only Meryl Streep can. But what of the man without whom her story would have been impossible?

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First Person: Couple in a Hole

Paul Higgins

A man and a woman live in a hole in a forest. We don’t know how they got there, though a homespun ceremony they perform suggests some kind of loss. She has difficulty leaving the hole, while he, a creature of the forest, ranges freely, foraging for food, steering clear of the rest of humanity until an emergency forces him to visit a nearby town. We realise, though the couple are British, that we’re in France. A local farmer recognises the man and the story begins to unfold.

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First Person: 'It's all about deception'

David Farr

I’ve been working on two projects over the last four years and like buses they’ve arrived on British screens at the same time. On the surface they seem very different. My adaptation of John Le Carré’s The Night Manager is a huge epic sprawling espionage drama that spans six episodes and several years, moving from the Egypt of the Arab Spring to London, Spain, Turkey and beyond.

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Seven sides of Alan Rickman

theartsdesk

When sorrows come they come not in single spies. It is a bad week to be 69. Hard on the heels of David Bowie's death from cancer comes Alan Rickman's. He was an actor who radiated a sinful allure that first gave theatregoers the hot flushes back in 1985 when he played the Vicomte de Valmont in Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereues.

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Best (and Worst) of 2015: Film

theartsdesk

The autumn cinema schedules of 2015 were assailed by the double whammy of Spectre and The Force Awakens– at times making it hard to find a screen showing anything else. 

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First Person: The Laurel and Hardy Roadshow

Ross Owen

I was born in 1968 which, for any Laurel and Hardy fan, was a great time to be around. By the early Seventies, at the age of three or four, I remember Laurel and Hardy films being on television during the day. My mum would put them on and I would be glued to the TV while she got on with her chores, although she would always end up sitting down and watching the film with me and cracking up laughing.

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London Film Festival 2015: Dressed to Thrill

Adam Sweeting

As a novice in the ways of the London Film Festival, I'm not only amazed by the scope and scale of the thing (350-odd films in just under a fortnight), but aghast at the thought of all the backroom work that goes into it. And on top of all that they have to be nice to all the journalists. 

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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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Rio+Film, Barbican

james Woodall

With eyes trained on sporty Rio de Janeiro once more for next year’s Olympic Games, cultural portals on to the city are bound to be offered in all sorts of places around the world. One such is Rio+Film, a new film festival at the Barbican Centre focusing exclusively on the great Brazilian city by the sea. Rio+Film is likely to have further editions elsewhere.

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London Film Festival 2015

theartsdesk

It's that time of year again, with autumn casting a shroud over London and the LFF offering the perfect tonic. The only problem is that with 238 fiction and documentary features over 10 days, even diehard cinephiles with no desire for human contact or fresh air would be hard pressed to sift and select. The festival programmers attempt their customary guidance, with films tucked (sometimes too neatly) into themes such as Love, Thrill, Debate and Dare.

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theartsdesk at the New Horizons Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Wrocław is Poland’s fourth most populous city, once described as "The Venice of the North", due to its location on the River Oder, its tributaries and numerous bridges. That description is misleading, of course, a touch of unfortunate hyperbole; on the surface, Wroclaw is a charming but unremarkable city.

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Free thought vs cultural politics

Tom Birchenough

Last year’s Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) played out in the shadow of conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and a year on you could be forgiven for wondering if anything’s really changed. International sanctions remain in place – in fact they were renewed for another six months right in the middle of MIFF’s late-June run, and much alluded to by festival president Nikita Mikhalkov throughout proceedings.

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