thu 22/02/2024

Film Features

theartsdesk's Top 13 Films of 2013: 13 - 6

theartsdesk

There are some that will tell you that they don't make movies like they used to. But even if that's true, film is an art-form that continues to thrive by moving with the times - reflecting change, reinventing itself and each year we're supplied with no shortage of outstanding cinema from across the globe. It's a fact that makes compiling the traditional end-of-year list far from a chore, and more like greedily picking your way through a banquet.

Read more...

Listed: The 12 Derangements of Christmas

theartsdesk

We at The Arts Desk are as fond as the next person of swans-a-swimming, partridges and pear-trees, not to mention gold rings, but be honest: 'tis already the season to be jolly sick and tired of all those knee-jerk compilations of Slade, sleighbells and Celine Dion's "O Holy Night". Without wishing to audition for the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s time to admit that not everything made in the name of Christmas is of the highest artistic merit.

Read more...

Peter O'Toole dies at 81

Jasper Rees

Perhaps 20 people in thick puffa jackets and clumpy boots crouched behind a wooden sea wall on a shingle beach in Whitstable. Or Islington-on-Sea, to give it its modern name. The north coast of Kent glittered in the sun. Across the Medway you could see the contours of Essex in stark outline. The shelled-out husk of a matinee idol, silver mane flying wildly in the bitter wind, hobbled to his mark on the other side of the sea-wall. He was on crutches after breaking a hip in a Christmas tumble...

Read more...

Listed: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela

Jasper Rees

Nelson Mandela had a nose for the dramatic gesture. The evidence is there in his speech at the Rivonia Trial in 1964, in his symbolic walk to freedom as he emerged on foot from captivity in 1990, his astute performance at the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and then finally in death, announced just as an epic new film of his life was being premiered in London, the seat of the old colonial power.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Berlin: the 26th European Film Awards

Nick Hasted

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty was the deserved big winner at the European Film Awards, with Best Film, Director, Actor and Editor. The bigger question the European Film Academy needs to confront is how few of its winners seemed to really care. A crisis in European film is often declared from this ceremony’s stage.

Read more...

theartsdesk at the Turin Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Turin, December 2013. Berlusconi has finally been kicked out of the Italian parliament. The country is disaffected, fed up with its politicians, broke. Youngsters, including university students, have no hope for the future. It’s a perfect time for them to become acquainted with New Hollywood cinema.

Read more...

Listed: Who shot/staged/fictionalised JFK?

theartsdesk

On 22 November 1963 President John F Kennedy was shot, yoking his name to an ex-marine and sometime defector to the USSR called Lee Harvey Oswald. Everyone old enough to remember is said to know where they were when they heard. As America dealt with its trauma, the conspiracy theories started,and spawned well over 1,000 books. The assassination also became the focus for artists in all art forms - in literature, theatre, film and even music.

Read more...

Jean Cocteau: 'A poet can never die'

Ronald Bergan

Jean Cocteau, who died 50 years ago today, was a poet/novelist /playwright /film director/designer/painter/stage director/ballet producer/patron/myth-maker/friend of the great/raconteur/wit. A Jacques of all trades and master of all. “Etonne-moi!” (“Astonish me!”) were the words with which Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, challenged Cocteau. The result was the ballet Parade (1917), designed by Pablo Picasso, composed by Erik Satie, and set to a scenario by Cocteau....

Read more...

Patrice Chéreau, 1944-2013: a partial view

David Nice

It has to be partial, because out of the 10 opera productions from the iconoclastic French actor-director, who died yesterday of lung cancer at the age of 68, I’ve seen but two, on screen only – but a big two at that – and only three of his 11 films. Yet they all had a tremendous impact, one way or another.

Read more...

Listed: Jane Austen provides

Jasper Rees

Right at the start of the boom around 20 years ago, a Hollywood mogul is said to have told one of his people to get some more work out of that Jane Austen. She seemed like a good source of romantic comedies. Regrettably for all, there were only ever six titles from this promising scriptwriter, and those have been done and done again by film and particularly television.

Read more...

O for Muse of Fire

Giles Terera An

The idea behind Muse of Fire was a simple one. We wanted to spend a year travelling the world and find out from as many sources as we could why Shakespeare is both so loved and so feared. We wanted to try and eradicate our own deep-rooted anxieties and help others to remove theirs.  This was the goal.

Read more...

'Always on, never alone'

Beeban Kidron

While newspapers alternately praise and panic about the glittering world of the Internet, there is a generation of children who have grown up with 24/7 connectivity and a smart phone in their hand.

Read more...

Listed: The 20 best movie songs

Graham Fuller

Seeing and hearing A Field in England's Richard Glover sing "Baloo, My Boy" while in bedraggled character reminded me of the power often exerted by songs explicitly or implicitly germane to a movie's narrative.

Read more...

Listed: Freudian Analysis

Jasper Rees

Hysteria is back. Terry Johnson’s comedy was written for the Royal Court in 1993, and for its 20th anniversary it is being revived at Hampstead Theatre. It is a homecoming in a sense: the play is set in the Hampstead home of Sigmund Freud, where he receives unexpected visits from Salvador Dalí and a young woman who cannot keep her clothes on. Freud will be played by Antony Sher.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Locarno: All About the Wet Bits

james Woodall

Feuchtgebiete has been the talk of Locarno. The word combines “damp” or “moist” with “areas” – yes, you might guess what’s coming. English-born, German-bred Charlotte Roche published in 2008 a novel of the same title, which became Wetlands in English. And as my mother’s reprimand of me and my brothers sniggering at what boys always snigger at went, “Will you please get your heads out of your pants…”

Read more...

Listed: Sitcoms that became movies

James Williams

This week sees the release of the eagerly anticipated Alan Partridge film, Alpha Papa. And while there are those of us who simply cannot wait to cringe along with Norwich’s favourite talk radio host, there is a rather vocal minority that are indignant at having their favourite sitcom sullied by the limitations of the movie format.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

King Lear, Almeida Theatre review - Danny Sapani dazzles in...

Less than three years after her magnificent Macbeth, Yaël Farber returns to the Almeida with another...

Bill Bailey: Thoughtifier, Brighton Centre review - offbeat...

I first saw Bill Bailey at least 30 years ago in the cabaret tent at...

Hadestown, Lyric Theatre review - soul-stirring musical glor...

Doom and gloom, we are told, may have abounded in the classical underworld, but Hadestown suggests otherwise. Returning to...

Tom Chatfield: Wise Animals review - on the changing world

Consider a chimp peeling a stick which it will poke into a termite nest. It strikes us as a human gesture. Our primate cousin is fashioning a tool...

Album: Aziza Brahim - Mawja

Glitterbeat is home to a wildly eclectic and reliably brilliant world of...

An Enemy of the People, Duke of York's Theatre - perfor...

Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new...

Double Feature, Hampstead Theatre review - with directors li...

It’s awards season in the film world, which means that we’re currently swamped by hyperbolic shows of love and respect – actors and their...

theartsdesk Q&A: Wim Wenders on 'Perfect Days'

Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the Cities (...

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.

A band of geeky...