tue 26/05/2020

Film Interviews

10 Questions for Director Sarah Gavron

Demetrios Matheou

Director Sarah Gavron tends to make films with strong social content. Her TV movie This Little Life (2003) concerned a couple’s struggles after the premature birth of their son; her first feature film was an adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane (2007) about two Bangladeshi sisters, one confined to an arranged marriage that takes her to London, the other eloping in a "love marriage" in Bangladesh.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Spooks, the movie

Adam Sweeting

During its 10-season run on BBC One between May 2002 and October 2011, Spooks built a lasting reputation as a superior espionage thriller, charting the battle of a squad of MI5 agents to protect the realm against its fiendish and unscrupulous adversaries.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Günter Grass

Kate Connolly

The Nobel prize-winning writer, playwright and artist Günter Grass was arguably the best-known German-language author of the second half of the 20th century. Kate Connolly met him in May 2010 in Istanbul where, after attending a series of literary events, Grass was forced to stay on for some days as volcanic ash closed European airports.

Born in 1927 in the port city of Danzig in what is now Gdansk in Poland, he was among the hundreds of thousands of ethnic German refugees who settled...

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10 Questions for Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan

Demetrios Matheou

New filmmakers often suffer an unhelpful onslaught of comparisons and labels. Yet Desiree Akhavan offers so many options as to deflect all of them – counter measures against the heat-seeking missiles of media stereotyping.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

Adam Sweeting

There came a moment, around three years ago, when MyAnna Buring suddenly seemed to be in everything. "I'm so sorry!" she shrieks (ironically) when I point this out to her. She had given warning of her arrival by appearing in Ben Wheatley's Kill List and, rather more prominently, as Tanya (who as you'll know was a vegetarian vampire from the Denali coven) in the concluding pair of Twilight films.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Liz Fraser

Graham Fuller

One of the tacit jokes in John and Roy Boulting’s I’m All Right, Jack concerns the parentage of Liz Fraser’s Cynthia. How could the lugubrious communist shop steward Fred Kite (Peter Sellers) and his pocket battleship missis (Irene Handl) have produced a daughter so resplendently lovely – and so aflame with desire for a dithering toff like their lodger Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael)? The answer is: even they were young once.

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10 Questions for Musician Gruff Rhys

Jasper Rees

It hardly sounds like the springboard for an album, a film, a book and an app. In the 1780s a young Welsh explorer called John Evans journeyed across the unmapped North American continent in search of a tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans. His only source for the tribe’s existence – and linguistic preference – was a legend which claimed that a Welsh prince by the name of Madog ab Owain Gwynedd discovered the New World 300 years before Columbus.

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10 Questions for Actor Stellan Skarsgård

Kieron Tyler

“Haven’t we met before?” We hadn’t, but Stellan Skarsgård’s friendly greeting immediately sets the tone for an encounter which is so relaxed that thoughts of the explosive Nils, the quiet man who boils over in In Order of Disappearance, almost evaporate. How did this affable, chatty and thoughtful Swede become a man who kills repeatedly and so gruesomely on screen?

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10 Questions for Director Hong Khaou

Katherine McLaughlin

I sit down with Cambodian-born, London-based director Hong Khaou to talk about his experience making his first feature film, Lilting, which showed at Sundance film festival in competition, took home the award for best cinematography in the world cinema category, and opened the 28th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival to great acclaim.  A cheery mood fills the room, his softly-spoken, intelligent musings inflected with an excitability which is utterly endearing.

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10 Questions for Director Annemarie Jacir

Tom Birchenough

In 2007 Annemarie Jacir made her debut feature, Salt of This Sea, the first film directed by a Palestinian woman director. Her follow-up, When I Saw You, is released this week in the UK, after festival acclaim that saw it receive prizes at Berlinale 2012 (the Netpac award for “Best Asian Film”) and “Best Arab Film” at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

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10 Questions for Filmmaker Bill Forsyth

Jasper Rees

You'll recall the scene where the title comes true in Gregory’s Girl. Gregory, a gawky, puzzled teenager played by John Gordon Sinclair, has finally hooked up with a girl. They spend a long evening dreamily kissing and listing their favourite numbers. “A million and nine," suggests Susan, played by Clare Grogan, after a long last smooch on his doorstep.

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10 Questions for Director Lukas Moodysson

Emma Simmonds

The Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson first burst onto the scene in 1998 with the chaotically romantic Show Me Love (original title Fucking Åmål), a story of a love affair between two teenage girls which shocks a small Swedish town.

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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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Q&A Special: Stranger by the Lake

Demetrios Matheou

Stranger by the Lake is something of a wonder, a superbly made amalgam of Hitchcockian psychological thriller and explicit homoerotica, whose very presence in commercial cinemas defies convention. Yet the sheer quality of Frenchman Alain Guiraudie’s film can’t be denied.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Biographer Claire Tomalin on Charles Dickens

Jasper Rees

The tally of Charles Dickens’s biographers grows ever closer to 100. The English language’s most celebrated novelist repays repeated study, of course, because both his life and his work are so remarkably copious: the novels, the journals, the letters, the readings; the charitable works, the endless walks; the awful childhood, the army of children, the abruptly terminated marriage, the puzzling relationship with two sisters-in-law, the long and clandestine affair.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Character Actor

Jasper Rees

The news that Philip Seymour Hoffman has died at the age of only 46 robs cinema of - almost unarguably - the greatest screen actor of the age, and certainly its outstanding character actor. Where once there was Charles Laughton, or Ernest Borgnine, for the past two decades there has been Philip Seymour Hoffman. They are all great film actors whom fate has fashioned in doughy clumps of misshapen flesh.

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