sat 19/09/2020

Film Interviews

Marni Nixon: 'It ended up being totally my voice'

Jasper Rees

Singin’ in the Rain made much of those people in the movies whose work you don’t know you know. Set at the dawn of the talkies, it told of a star of the silent screen with the voice of a foghorn who relied on the angelic pipes of a trained singer parked behind a curtain. Such was the real-life story of Marni Nixon, who has died at the age of 86. You knew her soprano voice intimately. You just didn’t know her name.

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10 Questions for Actor Toby Jones

Jasper Rees

What is it about Toby Jones? A decade ago he had a stroke of luck when a film producer spotted his physical similarity to Truman Capote and cast him as the lead in Infamous. The luck wasn’t unadulterated. Philip Seymour Hoffman played the same role in a different film and won an Oscar. While Infamous was overshadowed, Jones wasn't. The latest advance in his career finds him playing...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Filmmakers Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson

Graham Fuller

The Forbidden Room, reviewed here yesterday, brings to a climax Guy Maddin’s thirty-year orchestration of the ghosts of world cinema past. A movie like no other, it’s a hectic, twilit construction and deconstruction of What Might Have Been: a pullulating assemblage of vintage movies that were either lost or never made reinvented by the Canadian filmmaker and his co-writers Evan Johnson and Robert Kotyk.

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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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