sat 19/09/2020

Film Interviews

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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theartsdesk Q&A: Writer Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell

Demetrios Matheou

The careers of writer Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell are indelibly linked, with a collaboration that has now lasted 20 years. In 1993 Michell, then an accomplished theatre director who was relatively new to the camera, directed Kureishi’s adaptation of his novel The Buddha of Suburbia for the BBC, with great success.

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10 Questions for Atom Egoyan

Nick Hasted

Schoolchildren drowning under a frozen lake in their crashed bus is the image most people still associate with Atom Egoyan.

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The Woody Allen story: 'Why do I feel like I got screwed?'

Jasper Rees

Woody Allen once joked that he would prefer to achieve immortality not through his work but through not dying. He is now 77 and the inevitable is a lot nearer than it was when he first realised, aged five, that this doesn’t go on forever. Fear of death has powered the furious productivity that in the early days yielded jokes by the yard, then the films appearing year upon year.

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10 Questions for Joss Whedon

Emma Dibdin

Few heroes of cult genre television ever manage the transition into mainstream financial success – although JJ Abrams hasn't been doing too badly for himself – and for many years Joss Whedon's deified status among fans of his various lovingly crafted, emotionally rich series was not reflected by broader recognition. 

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10 Questions for Writer David Mitchell

Jasper Rees

“If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin and say, ‘When you’re ready.’” The words belong to Jason Taylor, the stammering 13-year-old poet protagonist of David Mitchell's novel Black Swan Green. But they will do for any artist presenting fresh work. Mitchell is going through an extracurricular phase of presenting fresh work to a different kind of audience.

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10 Questions for François Ozon

Demetrios Matheou

François Ozon is one of France’s most mercurial directors, his country’s equivalent, in some respects, to our own Michael Winterbottom – prolific, and constantly on the move between genres. He’s made a musical (8 Women), a marital drama (5x2), a murder mystery (Swimming Pool), a period melodrama (Angel), political satire (Potiche) and a poignant drama about a young man coping with his imminent death (Time to Leave), among others.

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Interview: Film Director Matteo Garrone

Nick Hasted

When Matteo Garrone’s sixth film Gomorrah won the 2008 Grand Prix at Cannes, it announced Italian cinema’s resurrection to the world. When his follow-up, Reality, won the 2012 Grand Prix, opinion was more divided.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Comedian Rowan Atkinson

Jasper Rees

The generation of alternative comedians who emerged around 30 years ago have long since elbowed their predecessors into the long grass and themselves become the establishment. Of no performer can that be said with more certainty than Rowan Atkinson. His rubbery physiognomy is instantly recognisable to billions, which is why he – or rather Mr Bean - was granted pride of place at the Opening Ceremony as guest artist with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra.

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10 Questions for James Marsh

Jasper Rees

Five years ago James Marsh won an Academy Award for the documentary Man on Wire. It thrillingly told the story of Philippe Petit’s audacious walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Marsh stayed on in the 1970s for Project Nim, a chilling documentary about a hubristic American scientist who as an experiment tried to bring up a chimpanzee as a human.

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10 Questions for Director Bernard Rose

Tom Birchenough

Who ever said making a movie was a glamorous business? Shooting the climactic scene of his most recent film Boxing Day, British-born director Bernard Rose (pictured below right) found himself in the freezing Colorado mountains - so cold you couldn’t even see your breath - with just his two stars, Danny Huston and Matthew Jacobs, and a sound-recordist for company.

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10 Questions for JC Chandor

Karen Krizanovich

It’s rare to get excited about a DVD release. It is even rarer to get excited about a director. Margin Call and its director JC Chandor are rare exceptions. Devised in 2005, the idea for the film came about when the director and his chums, testing the waters of the volatile yet lucrative New York property market, were offered $10m by a bank - few questions asked.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Julien Temple

Nick Hasted

Julien Temple’s directing career has been struck seemingly stone-dead twice. After working with Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols on The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle (1979), then again after the flop big-budget British jazz musical Absolute Beginners (1986), he was made a notorious cinema untouchable in the UK. Exiled in Hollywood, he fell back on his parallel life as a landmark pop video auteur.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Film Critic David Thomson

Emma Dibdin

Film critic and historian David Thomson has been writing on cinema for more than 40 years, and in that time has penned books both sprawling (1975’s A Biographical Dictionary of Film) and specific (2009’s The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder). His latest volume The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What They Did To Us straddles the divide.

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