wed 20/03/2019

Film Features

Best of 2014: Top 13 Films, 5-1

theartsdesk

Continuing on from yesterday where great British comedy sat alongside Turkish slow cinema in our countdown of the best films from 13-6, here are our top five films of 2014. Another diverse selection which celebrates ambitious and immersive storytelling, technical prowess and breathtaking sights.

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Best of 2014: Top 13 Films, 13-6

theartsdesk

In 2014 theartsdesk film team presents their picks of the year with a list of 13 diverse titles from great homegrown and international directors. Thirteen is the number of theartsdesk film critics who voted in our end-of-year poll so we have compiled our list so each of our wonderful writers can act as a champion for one of their personal picks.

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theartsdesk at the Dubai International Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Dubai is a city that famously emerged from the desert, founded on oil and ambition, rising in an eruption of skyscrapers, luxury resorts and bling.

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Sci-Fi Week: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Graham Fuller

No Gravity or Interstellar has challenged the might and influence of 2001: A Space Odyssey: its re-release this week is one of the movie events of the year.

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Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

graham Rickson

Classical composers have always enjoyed depicting the implausible. Operas based on mythological subjects abound, creating near-impossible staging demands. Musical works based on science fiction are far rarer. Haydn's plodding opera Life on the Moon isn't one of his most scintillating works.

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Mike Nichols, 1931-2014

Matt Wolf

He was at home with screen newcomers like Dustin Hoffman and Cher and knew how to handle such old pros as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, while his stage work gave a leg up to then-unknowns Robert Redford and Whoopi Goldberg and he collaborated time and again with Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.

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theartsdesk at the Viennale

Demetrios Matheou

We’ve grown accustomed to cinemas asking punters to pocket their cell phones, or prohibiting food and drink inside the auditorium. But an unassuming sign on the doors of the Gartenbaukino in Vienna has a different plea: Bitte nicht laufen. Please don’t run.

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Leviathan: Attacking Putin's Russia From Inside the Whale

Tom Birchenough

When Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan opens in Russia early next year it won’t be in the director’s cut. Given new legislation effective from this past July, it will be against the law to include the very distinctive Russian expletives, known locally as mat, that are plentiful in the director’s film, and add a very distinctive quality to his depiction of contemporary Russia.

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Opinion: What's the point of short film?

Debbi Lander

The emergence of digital both as a technology and a culture has fundamentally changed the world in which short film now exists. Now short film has public, industry and social value and its role and routes have fundamentally changed.

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Immoral Tales: When Art Met Pornography

Kieron Tyler

The release of a restored version of 1974’s Immoral Tales on Blu-ray raises inevitable and unavoidable issues: whether the film is pornography, art or arty pornography. Then, there’s the matter of whether its director Walerian Borowczyk was a misogynist; an objectifier of women. Consideration of its qualities as a film can be lost in such debate.

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Joan Rivers, 1933-2014

Fisun Güner

Age could not wither her, or so it appeared. Joan Rivers has died, aged 81. On her 80th birthday she told an interviewer she’d be celebrating with her eightieth face. Her caustic humour could leave your nerves jangling, but she was the butt of it as often as anyone was. And in the field of cosmetic surgery you could almost call her a lone pioneer, of sorts, for what other American celebrity has ever been as candid about going under the knife?

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LFF 2014: Programme Launch

Matt Wolf

A pair of Oscar hopefuls that take wildly divergent perspectives on World War II were confirmed today as the opening and closing night films of the 58th annual BFI London Film Festival, running 8-19 October at a range of venues across the capital.

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Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014

Nick Hasted

Richard Attenborough made himself known to the British public as a shark-eyed, snivelling psychopath. Pinkie, the teen gangster he portrayed in the Boulting Brothers’ 1947 film of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, chilled with his lack of empathy, even to the angelic girlfriend he means to betray in the most vicious way (watch a clip below). He is a predator of Brighton’s seedy, damp backstreets, a manipulator and coward.

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Frightfest 2014: Preview

Katherine McLaughlin

August bank holiday weekend is like Christmas day for horror fans thanks to Frightfest who deliver a sackful of disturbing delights in their 15th year. An inspiring line-up sees Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens reinvent himself as a charming psychopath in opening night film The Guest. Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (You're Next) amaze once again with a blend of Eighties-style action and horror.

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Lauren Bacall: 'Just put your lips together and blow'

Matt Wolf

Lauren Bacall, who has died at the age of 89, was an iconic figure on screen. She spoke one of the immortal lines in film history when all but exhaling the remark, “You just put your lips together and blow” in Howard Hawks’s To Have and Have Not. But away from the screen and from such husbands as Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, Bacall shone just as brightly on stage, a medium that made plain a quality hinted at by her work in movies.

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Listed: The laughter and tears of Robin Williams

Jasper Rees

Robin Williams, who has died at the age of 63, was a very American comedian. The flow of invention that erupted from inside him had an unstoppable, domineering, emetic brilliance. In chat shows, performing stand-up, and in his greatest role as a DJ entertaining the troops in Vietnam, he was a not quite human force of nature.

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