wed 22/09/2021

film directors

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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Woman at War review – timely comedy-drama about an eco-warrior with a difference

What is it about Nordic women and the environment? Hot on the heels of the London visit by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg – the most inspiring climate change campaigner since Al Gore – comes this timely, singular, enormously enjoyable comedy-...

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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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Blu-ray: Khrustalyov, My Car!

The title of Khrustalyov, My Car! comes, infamously, from the words uttered by NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria as he departed the scene of Stalin’s death in March 1953, and Alexei German’s film comes as close as cinema can to dissecting the surreal terror...

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Donbass review - war stories from the Ukrainian front

The latest from the prolific Sergei Loznitsa, Donbass is a bad-dream journey into the conflict that’s been waging in Eastern Ukraine since 2014, barely noticed beyond its immediate region. The titular break-away region, also known as “Novorossiya” (...

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DVD: The House by the Sea

Robert Guediguian has spoken of the influence of Chekhov on The House by the Sea (Le Villa), and the shadow of the Russian dramatist, particularly The Cherry Orchard, can certainly be felt in the French director’s latest film, his 20th in a career...

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DVD: Mifune - The Last Samurai

Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 early masterpiece Rashomon was a revelation for post-war western screen audiences, winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival that year and becoming a standard-bearer for the new generation of Japanese film. Its lead...

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Mid90s review – rise of a skate gang tyro

There’s an admirable modesty in the way Jonah Hill has approached his first film as writer-director. The popular actor (Superbad, Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street) has taken a low-key indie approach to Mid90s, his gently humorous coming-of-age...

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Director Jason Barker: ‘Trans lives are often portrayed so bleakly’

When Jason and Tracey were trying for a baby, the worst happened. Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer, and although she eventually recovered, was unable to carry a child. For Jason, the answer was clear - as a trans man, he would become pregnant...

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