thu 22/02/2024

Film Features

theartsdesk in Moscow: Blood brothers on film

Tom Birchenough

“We are not politicians – we are artists.” It’s the familiar cry of creatives all around the world, but it came with an added, rather surprising accent when uttered by Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) president Nikita Mikhalkov at the event’s closing ceremony.

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'Here they come again': Zulu at 50

Ian Knight

I can remember the exact moment that Zulu grabbed me. I was seven at the time and watched the film at some now-defunct widescreen cinema in Brighton early in 1964, probably just a few weeks after it was released.

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theartsdesk in Transylvania: An unearthed Dr Dolittle and disquieting shadows

Sheila Johnston

Transylvania in Northern Romania remains yoked to the memory of Vlad the Impaler, the ruthless individual immortalised as Dracula in Bram Stoker's novel, but, on a sunny midsummer week in early June, the mood was anything but stygian in Cluj, the region's capital and the country's second-largest city.

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East End Film Festival 2014: Preview

Katherine McLaughlin

Sprawling over the East End of London for the next thirteen days and boasting an illuminating line-up of new voices, retrospectives and debate in its 13th year, the East End Film Festival ensures no cinematic rock is left unturned with its bold programming choices.

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'There’s not too many bald-headed cubic people'

Jasper Rees

Bob Hoskins had one of those faces that was equally adapted to boyish bonhomie and something altogether more threatening. It helped explain the length and variety and sheer unexpectedness of his career. He could scowl for England, which is why he was so horribly convincing as a gangland boss in The Long Good Friday. But he also exuded vulnerability and even innocence in his Oscar-nominated turn as the henchman who falls for a prostitute in Mona Lisa.

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Celluloid Man: Preserving the heritage of Indian cinema

Tom Birchenough

This April is proving the kindest month for cinephiles. Hot on the heels of Mark Cousins’ engrossing A Story of Children and Film comes another documentary about cinema of captivating, encyclopaedic interest, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s Celluloid Man. The director’s immediate subject is PK Nair, the man who created India’s National Film Archive (NFA).

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theartsdesk in Panama: Hubris, suffering and cinema

Demetrios Matheou

The contradictions and iniquities of Panama City were very much in evidence last week.

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Dangerous Acts: filming Belarus Free Theatre

Madeleine Sackler

For the members of the Belarus Free Theatre, there are many risks to doing something that we might all take for granted: telling stories about our lives. These risks include censorship, blacklisting, imprisonment, and worse. But when the authorities forbid critical examinations of such topics as sexual orientation, alcoholism, suicide and politics, the Free Theatre responds by injecting these taboos into underground performances.

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Remembering Derek Jarman

Ron Peck

It was very odd, in January this year, to see that Super-8 camera of Derek’s in a glass case and a few open notebooks in his beautiful italic handwriting in some other glass cases in the same room. There were five or six small-scale projections from his films in other rooms, including The Last of England, and some art works, but, somehow, Derek wasn’t there at all for me.

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Oscars 2014: Best Screenplays/Supporting Actor/Actress

Karen Krizanovich

“Follow the instructions."

David Lean’s suggestion to a costume designer shows the importance of the script – a film’s “recipe”. This is why the Oscar categories for Best Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay are so important: without great bones, we'd have nothing good to watch.

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Oscars 2014: Best Actor/Actress/Director

Emma Simmonds

Is it just me or are the Oscars getting better? I don't necessarily mean the show itself, rather the films selected for nomination and the eventual winners. In recent years we've seen films as brilliant and diverse as The Artist, The Hurt Locker and No Country for Old Men take the top prize.

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BAFTAs 2014: Hollywood winners made in Britain

Emma Simmonds

Long before the stars had begun walking (and working) the red carpet, this year's British Academy Film Awards were a hot topic. Unfortunately it was for all the wrong reasons. A whistleblower writing for the Daily Mail alleged that many of the Academy's 6,500 members make little effort to consider the full gauntlet of options, often voting for the big-budget American favourites sight unseen.

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Berlinale 2014: The Winners

Tom Birchenough

The Chinese thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice by director Diao Yinan won the Golden Bear at the closing ceremony of the Berlinale last night, as well as picking up the best actor prize for its star Liao Fan.

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Berlinale 2014: Two Men in Town, '71

Tom Birchenough

The opening days of the Berlinale have seen mixed reactions to high-profile English-language offerings. With its stylish sense of mittelEuropa, the festival’s premiere, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, apparently went down a treat. Much less kudos, though, went to George Clooney’s The Monuments Men (released in the UK this week, reviewed on theartsdesk today).

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Listed: The Best Uncredited Cameos

theartsdesk

There are no awards, nor nominations. On the plus side there are no publicity chores either. And there is none of that contractual argy-bargy about billing. In this week’s Listed, there is no billing for the stars who show up on screen without prior warning. And it’s only the biggest stars can do this sort of thing: materialise in the narrative and give it a powerful shot in the arm. If properly deployed, the impact of uncredited cameo can be huge.

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theartsdesk's Top 13 Films of 2013: 5 - 1

theartsdesk

With the end of 2013 nearly upon us it's time for a last look back before we step forward into the unknown. Yesterday our rundown of the year's finest films took you from a radiant romance to a bristling biopic, but the nature of such lists means that the best is yet to come and those that remain could hardly be more different. And so - our final five.

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