sat 08/08/2020

BFI

Military Wives review - the surprising true story of the women who rocked the charts

There’s a lot of plucky British charm to Military Wives, from Peter Cattaneo, the director who won the nation's heart with his debut film The Full Monty over two decades ago. His latest offering, starring Kristen Scott Thomas and...

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Berlinale 2020: Never Rarely Sometimes Always review - raw and unflinching abortion drama hits home

Back in 2017, writer-director Eliza Hittman won over audiences with her beautiful coming-of-age drama Beach Rats. Her latest film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, is a more quietly devastating drama, shifting the focus away from sexual...

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Berlinale 2020: Berlin Alexanderplatz review - a contemporary twist on a classic

Burhan Qurbani isn’t the first director to bring Alfred Döblin’s seminal 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to the screen. First, there was the Weimar Republic era adaptation that Döblin himself worked on. Fifty years later, Rainer Werner...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Bait

Mark Jenkin’s black and white masterpiece about clashes between incomers and locals in a Cornish fishing village was made on a 1976 clockwork Bolex camera that doesn’t record sound – all that’s added later, including the actors’ voices – and hand-...

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Blu-ray: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

Where to start with Les Demoiselles de Rochefort? Begin with director Jacques Demy’s technical brilliance: the opening minutes are eye-popping, and even feature a transporter bridge. Teesiders, take note. La La Land's beginning is nifty, but...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Legend of the Witches & Secret Rites

The British Film Institute’s excellent Flipside strand resurrects neglected or marginalised UK movies, many of them reflecting the social flux of the 1960s and 1970s. Malcolm Leigh’s Legend of the Witches (1970, 85 mins) and Derek Ford’s Secret...

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DVD: Do Not Adjust Your Set / At Last The 1948 Show

Both first broadcast in 1967, Do Not Adjust Your Set and At Last the 1948 Show were collectively written and performed by the future Monty Python team. More written about and discussed than actually seen, many episodes were wiped or lost, and these...

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DVD/Blu-ray: A Kid for Two Farthings

Seeing post-war London in vibrant colour is a delicious surprise, and the opening seconds of A Kid for Two Farthings follow a pigeon flying east from Trafalgar Square, eventually settling on a pub sign in Petticoat Lane. The location footage in...

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Blu-ray: People on Sunday

Weimar Germany produced some extraordinary cinema, with Pabst, Murnau, Fritz Lang and others creating a language that transformed the medium and is still a core reference today. People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag), a silent film made in 1929,...

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Blu-ray: The Best of British Transport Films

The British Transport Commission was created in 1948 by the Atlee government, an ambitious attempt to organise rail, road and water transport under a single unwieldy umbrella (for a time it was the world’s largest employer, with a staff of over 900,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Maurice

“Publishable, but worth it?” EM Forster’s hesitations about the value of Maurice, his novel of Edwardian homosexuality – written in 1913-14, it was published only posthumously, in 1971 – were certainly redeemed by James Ivory’s 1987 film of the book...

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Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, Design Museum review - immersive detail

Who would have known that the word “Kubrickian” only entered the Oxford English Dictionary last year? You’d have thought that one of the great film directors of the 20th century would have earned his own epithet long ago. It’s taken a long time, too...

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