thu 23/05/2024

Film Interviews

'I think of her as a proto-punk': documentarist Svetlana Zill on Anita Pallenberg

Nick Hasted

Anita Pallenberg was a vital presence in the Stones’ most vital years. Her bright eyes and hungry mouth betrayed a ferocious appetite for pleasure and adventure, taking her from a nun-schooled Rome childhood to New York’s downtown art crowd, then modelling in Munich, where in 1965 she engineered an encounter with “shy” Keith Richards, a similarly callow Mick Jagger and her first, violent Stones lover Brian Jones.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Eddie Marsan and the American Revolution, posh boys and East End gangsters

Adam Sweeting

He’s not the kind of actor who has paparazzi following him around Beverly Hills or staking out his yacht in St Barts, but Eddie Marsan, born into a working class family in Stepney in 1968, has amassed a list of acting credits that your average superstar will never be able to match.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Marco Bellocchio - the last maestro

Nick Hasted

The last of the old maestros is standing tall. Marco Bellocchio was a Marxist firebrand when he made his iconoclastic debut with Fists in the Pocket (1965). Now aged 84, he makes intellectually and emotionally muscular, hit epics about abused Italian power.

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

Graham Fuller

Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the Cities (1974), The American Friend (1977), Paris, Texas (1984), and Wings of Desire (1987), but it still finds the 78-year-old German director in existentially questing mode.

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10 Questions for 'The Settlers' film director Felipe Gálvez Haberle

Graham Fuller

Felipe Gálvez Haberle’s Chilean Western The Settlers traces the roles played in the genocide of the country’s indigenous Selk’nam people by the Spanish businessman José Menéndez (1846-1918) and his brutal Scottish sheep station manager Alexander McLennan (1871-1917).

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Scala!!! interview with documentary co-directors Jane Giles and Ali Catterall

Saskia Baron

There’s no shortage of documentaries about movie stars, film directors and production studios in their heydays, but very little attention has been paid to the cinemas that showed the movies they made or the diverse audiences they attracted.

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32 Sounds: Interview with innovative documentarian Sam Green about his audio and visual feast

Saskia Baron

Sam Green’s film 32 Sounds has been described as the greatest documentary you’ve ever heard, which is a pretty noisy claim – how does anyone know all the documentaries you’ve experienced? What is certainly true is that the way Green presents his films as immersive events, where musicians play the soundtrack live, the audience wear headphones and the director narrates, makes for a very unusual cinema experience.    

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Composer and conductor Carl Davis, 1936-2023

graham Rickson

May 2021 should have seen the appearance on Netflix of a new restoration of Abel Gance’s silent epic Napoleon, lasting nearly seven hours and timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death. The release was delayed, but, in anticipation, theartsdesk spoke to the composer and conductor Carl Davis, who has died aged 86.

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Isabelle Huppert and director Jean-Paul Salomé: 'Cinema is about a little trade, a little business'

Nick Hasted

Isabelle Huppert is French cinema’s icon of icy transgression, from Bertrand Blier’s outrageous Les Valseuses (1974) to Paul Verhhoeven’s Elle (2017), in which her character Michéle denies rape’s trauma, instead seeking out her rapist for sadomasochistic sex and mind-games. Huppert was Oscar-nominated for the latter, though she was ultimately too much for Hollywood.

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Filmmaker Tarik Saleh: ‘A director is at heart an immigrant’

Nick Hasted

Tarik Saleh was born between two worlds, with a Swedish mum and Egyptian dad. His Egyptian side has inspired his two highest-profile releases.

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'Corsage' director Marie Kreutzer: 'Being beautiful is her only currency'

Nick Hasted

It’s 1877, and Austria’s Empress Elisabeth (Vicky Krieps) is first seen gasping under freezing water, skin blotchy with another extreme treatment to maintain her legendary beauty. Every day she constricts herself in her corset, as she’s constrained as Emperor Franz Joseph’s trophy wife. Nearing the dangerous female age of 40, the corset tightens notch by notch.

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theartsdesk Q&A: filmmaker Mike Hodges

David Thompson

It can be reasonably argued that Mike Hodges, who died on 17 December, was the finest director of British crime films since Alfred Hitchcock.

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Directors the Dardenne brothers: 'To be living means to be fragile'

Nick Hasted

Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have made their home region of Liège the site of excruciating moral crises and crushing injustice. Their 12 masterful, double Palme d'Or-winning films act as parables for the embattled human soul.

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Wilko Johnson (1947-2022): The Bard of Canvey Island

Nick Hasted

Wilko Johnson, who has died aged 75, enjoyed an astonishing afterlife while he was still alive. After Julien Temple’s Dr. Feelgood film Oil City Confidential (2009) restored his crucial former band's profile, a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2013 perversely flooded Wilko with the wonder of life, leaving this melancholy soul content for perhaps the first time.

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Q&A: Bianca Stigter, director of 'Three Minutes: A Lengthening'

Graham Fuller

Holidaying in Europe with his wife Lisa and friends in August 1938, David Kurtz of Flatbush, Brooklyn, whose family left Poland in 1892 when he was four, returned to his hometown of Nasielsk (population 7,000), 33 miles north-west of Warsaw.

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Leslie Phillips: 'I can be recognised by my voice alone'

Jasper Rees

Leslie Phillips would have known for half a century that at his death, which was announced yesterday, the obituaries would lead with one thing only. However much serious work he did in the theatre and on screen, he is forever handcuffed to the skirt-chaser he gave us in sundry Carry Ons and Doctor films and London bus movies.

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