sun 09/05/2021

film directors

Yesterday review - Beatlemania in a parallel universe

The price of fame and the value of artistic truth are among the topics probed in Danny Boyle’s irresistible comedy, a beguiling magical mystery tour of an upside-down world where The Beatles suddenly never existed. Richard Curtis’s screenplay...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Sauvage

Anyone who saw Félix Maritaud playing the angry activist Max in Robin Campillo’s Paris ACT UP drama 120 BPM will certainly remember him (main picture). He came to the film as a non-professional, from an arts student background, and builds on that...

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Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English....

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Blu-ray: My Brilliant Career

Revisiting Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career for the first time since I saw it in its year of release, 1979, is a mixed experience. I was close in age to its heroine and it was one of the first mainstream feature films I’d ever seen...

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Blu-ray: Track 29

A chronic recycler, Dennis Potter fashioned five feature films from his earlier TV dramas and another from one of his novels. The best of them are 1985’s Dreamchild (from the BBC's Alice, 1965) and Track 29 (1987), which he adapted from the BBC...

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Cannes 2019: Matthias & Maxime review - a gently charming new drama

It has been ten years since Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan first debuted I Killed My Mother at the Cannes Film Festival. A decade on he returns in competition with a title that shows an evolution of his filmmaking that leaves behind many of the...

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Too Late To Die Young review - an absorbing, Chilean coming-of-age

Chilean Dominga Sotomayor’s third feature is a beautifully crafted example of the kind of Latin drama that is slow-burn and sensorial, conveying emotion through gestures and looks rather than dialogue or action. Nothing much seems to be happening,...

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Cannes 2019: Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood review - sun-soaked black comedy

Moments before Quentin Tarantino’s blistering, outrageous work screened at Cannes, a message was delivered on behalf of the director, asking reviewers to avoid spoilers. It’s easy to see why. There’s a lot of pleasure in the film’s initial shock...

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Cannes 2019: Week One - a genre-heavy opening

Every year the Cannes Film Festival is a swirl of chaos, excitement, and controversy. Last year, the festival had a markedly different feel. Gone were the big starry names. Replacing them were less glitzy films that were given a chance to shine....

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Cannes 2019: Pain and Glory review - a dour, semi-autobiographical portrait

There’s a touch of Fellini’s 8 ½ in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film. It’s a forlorn, confessional tale, with Antonio Banderas starring as Salvador Mallo, a director in the latter stages of his career. His character acts as a cypher for Almodóvar,...

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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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DVD/Blu-ray: November

Life in rural 19th century Estonia looks hard. The ice and the squalor are tough enough, but then you’ve the kratts to contend with. We see one in the eye-popping opening sequence of Rainer Sarnet’s 2017 epic November, an unsettling creature cobbled...

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