wed 21/08/2019

Film Interviews

10 Questions for Director Benedikt Erlingsson

Nick Hasted

Benedikt Erlingsson (b.1969) was already an established theatre director and actor in Iceland when he directed his debut film, Of Horses And Men, an uncategorisable blend of humour, romance and horror, set away from ...

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Director Jason Barker: ‘Trans lives are often portrayed so bleakly’

Owen Richards

When Jason and Tracey were trying for a baby, the worst happened. Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer, and although she eventually recovered, was unable to carry a child. For Jason, the answer was clear - as a trans man, he would become pregnant instead.

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Interview with director Agnès Varda, who has died at 90

Demetrios Matheou

I met Agnès Varda, who died today aged 90, just once, for the interview that’s reproduced below. It was in Paris in January 2018, shortly before the Belgian-born filmmaker was to become the oldest Oscar nominee in history, for the wonderful documentary Faces, Places. The encounter felt like a lucky break – blessed exposure to an icon and one of the most grounded and delightful inspirations one could imagine.

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Q&A special: The making of Local Hero

Jasper Rees

Local Hero, released in 1983, has been adapted into a musical, with a book by playwright David Greig and more songs from the soundtrack's original composer Mark Knopfler. After its premiere at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, it will arrive at the Old Vic in 2020. No British film from the...

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Director Toby Macdonald: 'Comedy is something people need at the moment'

Owen Richards

A British boys boarding school in the 1980s. Not the most obvious setting for a romantic comedy, especially one based on the most famous romcom of all, Cyrano de Bergerac.

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Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

Jasper Rees

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and hands the ring on. There were only four handovers in the entire 20th century.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Matthew Heineman on directing 'A Private War'

Adam Sweeting

The release of Matthew Heineman’s film A Private War, about the tumultuous life and 2012 death of renowned Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin, has gained an added edge of newsworthiness from this week’s verdict by Washington DC’s US District Court for the District of Columbia.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

Jasper Rees

“I want to be a man without any past,” said Michel Legrand, who has died at the age of 86. He had perhaps the longest past in showbiz. Orchestrator, pianist, conductor, composer of countless soundtracks, who else has collaborated as widely - with Miles Davis and Kiri Te Kanawa, Barbra Streisand and Jean-Luc Godard, Gene Kelly, Joseph Losey and Edith Piaf? When I visited him at his house at his splendid classical manoir 100km south of Paris, on the mantelpiece in the large white sitting room...

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'I'll show the lot of you!' Richard E Grant's Oscar nomination

Jasper Rees

Richard E Grant has captivated the internet. The actor greeted the news of his nomination for an Academy Award by returning to his first rental when no one had heard of him. There he whooped with childlike delight, and then shared the whole thing in an utterly disarming Instagram post.

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Director Alexandria Bombach: 'I feel like a completely different person'

Owen Richards

Nadia Murad caught the world’s attention when she spoke at the United Nations Security Council. She spoke of living under ISIS, daily assaults, escaping, and the current plight of the Yazidi people, in refugee camps and still under ISIS control. It was a heart-breaking plea for support to the world’s silent nations.

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Tim Wardle: 'A documentary director has huge power over the interview subject'

Owen Richards

(Warning: spoilers ahead) For a brief 15 minutes, this was the biggest story in America: three boys, identical in looks, discovering each other at the age of 19. Edward “Eddie” Galland, David Kellman and Robert “Bobby” Shafran were all adopted from the same agency, but had no idea they were triplets.

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Laurent Cantet: 'Young people have different preoccupations nowadays' – interview

Demetrios Matheou

Like Ken Loach and the Dardennes brothers, Laurent Cantet is a filmmaker with a keen interest in social issues and themes, often using non-professional actors and a naturalistic approach, but perfectly willing to inject a...

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Erik Poppe and Andrea Berntzen: 'When white young men do stuff like this, we just shake our heads'

Owen Richards

On 22nd July 2011, on a tiny island off the Norwegian coast, 69 young people were killed, with another 109 injured in a terrorist attack. It was the darkest day in Norway since World War Two, and one that is still evident in its news, politics and society today.

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Matthew Holness: 'I wanted to make a modern silent horror film'

Owen Richards

Watching Matthew Holnessdebut feature Possum, you’d be forgiven in thinking he was a tortured soul.

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Michel Hazanavicius: 'Losing himself is how he found himself'

Demetrios Matheou

French director Michel Hazanavicius made a name for himself with his OSS 117 spy spoofs, Nest of Spies (2006) and Lost in Rio (2009), set in the Fifties and Sixties respectively and starring Jean Dujardin as a somewhat idiotic and prejudiced secret agent.

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Andrew Haigh: 'In the end you have to be able to make the decisions' - interview

Adam Sweeting

Very early in his career, Andrew Haigh worked as an assistant editor on such Ridley Scott blockbusters as Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. He didn't actually meet Scott in person until years later, when the eminent director had no recollection of him.

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