mon 20/05/2019

Film Features

"Forget it, Marlowe - it's Chinatown"

Graham Fuller

The movie version of the hardboiled, trenchcoated private eye, who, being “being neither tarnished nor afraid,” puts honour before personal gain in California’s 1940s noir cityscapes, was never as enduring as his literary original.

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10 Films to Get Excited About in 2013

Emma Simmonds

We've pondered and pored over the films of 2012 and, while 2013 might have a lot to live up to, thankfully there's plenty of excitement on the horizon. So here are our picks of the coming months.

 

Django Unchained (dir. Quentin Tarantino) - 18 January

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Film: The Best of 2012

Emma Simmonds

With poorly heads and nostalgic hearts it’s time to look back over the year that’s passed. And what a year in film it was! For those who like their movies monolithic or miniscule, epic or slender, noisily spectacular or quietly mesmeric, pea-brained or near-impenetrably intellectual - 2012 delivered. In fact it was the year in which there was a 5-star film for everyone.

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theartsdesk's Top 10 Films of 2012: 5 - 1

theartsdesk

Yesterday our film writers brought you numbers 10 – 6 in our movies of 2012 countdown. Looking back over that list it’s hard to imagine a clutch of finer films. Yet, testament to a year of remarkable filmmaking, it’s a hell of a race to the finish, taking in sex addiction, murder, spies, hostages and cults. And so we present our final five. Drumroll please…

5 – Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)...

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theartsdesk's Top 10 Films of 2012: 10 - 6

theartsdesk

With the end of 2012 nearly upon us it’s time for a spot of reflection. We’ve polled our film writers for their picks of the year and bring you our top 10 in all its drama and diversity. This is cinema at its very best, representing the numerous shades of the filmic rainbow: spectacular, plucky, horrifying, challenging, comedic, harrowing, joyous and strange.

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12 Films of Christmas: Meet Me in St Louis

alexandra Coghlan

Blessed with the finest (and most infuriatingly catchy) soundtrack of any Christmas film, Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 movie-musical Meet Me in St Louis is a festive classic of a simpler, happier time. Small girls roam the streets in safety getting up to all kinds of wholesome mischief, bigger girls sing songs around the piano and fall for the boy next door.

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theartsdesk in Valletta: the 25th European Film Awards

Nick Hasted

Michael Haneke’s Amour was the big winner last night in the European Film Awards’ silver jubilee year. As well as Best Film, Haneke won Best Director, as he did for his previous two films The White Ribbon (2009) and Hidden (2005), while his veteran stars Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant were named Best Actress and Actor.

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theartsdesk in Thessaloniki: Moving Pictures in the Cradle of Austerity

Ronald Bergan

Greece is in economic meltdown. Austerity is hitting most of the population very hard. Businesses are closing down. The amount of homeless has increased. There are strikes and huge anti-government demonstrations throughout the country. What better time to hold a huge film festival?

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theartsdesk in Kazakhstan: the 8th Eurasia International Film Festival

Steven Yates

Almaty may have lost its capital status to Astana in 1997, but this city of 1.6m inhabitants, about nine percent of the country's population, remains the commercial and cultural hub of Kazakhstan. The Eurasia Film Festival was first held here in 1998 with the support of the Filmmakers Union as a forum for movies from the CIS and Baltic countries.

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Film on Demand: Skeletons

theartsdesk

Nick Wheatfield’s surreal comedy Skeletons won the Michael Powell Award for best new British feature at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival, and deservedly so. An off-beat film combining British eccentricity with a high-concept hook, there is more than a touch of Beckett about the central characters, Davis and Bennett, played with oddball appeal by Andrew Buckley and Ed Gaughan.

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The Hitchcock Players: Barbara Harris, Family Plot

Matt Wolf

Alfred Hitchcock famously loved his blondes, and they didn't come much more lovable than Barbara Harris. A Broadway star during the 1960s who later shifted her attentions towards film, Harris was at the peak of her talent in Family Plot, a delightful if minor Hitchcock entry distinguished by a fine quartet of American leads (Karen Black, William Devane and Bruce Dern are the others) among whom Harris stands apart.

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The Hitchcock Players: Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford, The Lady Vanishes

alexandra Coghlan

Never one to underestimate the potency of a cameo (as evidenced by his own appearances in his films), Alfred Hitchcock had a particular genius with supporting roles – generating menace, intrigue or comedy with the fewest of brush strokes. Two of his earliest, and slightest, creations would also prove two of his most enduringly popular: cricket-obsessed duo Caldicott and Charters from 1938’s The Lady Vanishes.

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The Hitchcock Players: Hume Cronyn, Shadow of a Doubt

graham Rickson

Shadow of a Doubt was reputedly Hitchcock’s personal favourite among his films. Joseph Cotten was cast against type as the glamorous, homicidal uncle, fleeing from the police and pitching up unexpectedly in his sister’s household in a sleepy Californian town. Hitchcock’s decision to shoot Thornton Wilder's script largely on location gives the film a unique flavour.

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The Hitchcock Players: Grace Kelly, Dial M for Murder

Jasper Rees

Aside from the platinum hair and the porcelain beauty, there is no identikit Hitchcock blonde. She can be an ice-hearted femme fatale or a traumatised hysteric, or she can be Grace Kelly, a peachy embodiment of femininity whom the director enjoyed throwing in harm’s way. He would memorably do it in Rear Window, a film which he talked about to his leading lady throughout the making of Dial M for Murder.

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The Hitchcock Players: Cary Grant, Notorious

Demetrios Matheou

Like his great contemporary Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant not only gave some of his best performances for Hitchcock, he also grabbed the opportunity to darken his screen persona. It was never the case, with either of them, of simply playing “baddies”. Far more significantly, they revealed the dark psyches of average, even good men, in performances that leave the audience with the bitter aftertaste of familiarity.

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The Hitchcock Players: Lila Kedrova, Torn Curtain

Graham Fuller

There’s an affecting moment in the café scene in Torn Curtain (1966) when the physicist Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancée-assistant Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews), desperate to flee East Berlin, are awed into compassion for the jittery Polish Countess Kuchinska, who offers to help them if they will sponsor her bid to emigrate to the U.S. It looks a little as if Newman and Andrews themselves were awed by Lila Kedrova’s fabulously flowing performance.

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