wed 07/12/2016

film directors

Paterson

Back in the 1980s Jim Jarmusch was a breath of fresh air. He made quiet, quirky films about young urban Americans that dispensed with the prevailing neon-bright high school romances, jocks and suburbia. He was about as far removed from the John...

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DVD: The Lovers & the Despot

What to do if you’re a despotic leader with an underperforming film industry? Hiring better directors and actors wasn’t an option for Kim Jong-il in the late 1970s, so he took drastic action: luring South Korea’s biggest female star Choi Eun-hee to...

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Dog Eat Dog

Paul Schrader is one of those filmmakers who critics really want to love. Not only is he responsible as a writer for at least two masterpieces – Taxi Driver and Raging Bull – he’s also the director of such great films as Mishima, American Gigolo and...

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Francofonia

The Russian director Alexander Sokurov has never been afraid of tackling weighty, often philosophical issues head on, and his latest film Francofonia is as pioneering – and, some might say, unnecessarily uncompromising – as ever. It’s nothing less...

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LFF 2016: Their Finest / Brimstone

Among the myriad global offerings at the LFF, the resoundingly British Their Finest ★★★★★ , about a group of film-makers working for the Ministry of Information in London in 1940, is surely among the most sheerly enjoyable. Okay, it was directed by...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Dekalog and Other TV Works

“Existential realism” is a term, contradictory though it might sound, that comes to mind when describing the work of the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. The films he made in the last five years of his life – The Double Life of Veronique...

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LFF 2016: A Monster Calls / A United Kingdom

The cinema trailer for A Monster Calls ★★★★ looks faintly ludicrous, with its scenes of a giant tree stomping around the landscape, but don't be deceived. In conjunction with screenwriter Patrick Ness, who also wrote the original novel, director J A...

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Things to Come

One of the many astonishing things in Mia Hansen-Løve’s fifth film is watching Isabelle Huppert hold back tears. In one scene they smear almost involuntarily down her face, in another she transforms them into a bark of nervous laughter. Huppert...

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Blu-ray: Women in Love

Women in Love was Ken Russell’s first cinema film to directly reflect his work in television. He had directed The Billion Dollar Brain (1967), but that was an adaptation of a Len Deighton book. French Dressing (1964) was a few steps removed from a...

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Almodóvar's Women

“A woman’s brain is a mystery,” explains one man to another in Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her. “You have to pay attention to women. Be thoughtful occasionally. Caress them. Remember they exist, they’re alive and they matter to us.” They matter to no...

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Unreachable, Royal Court Theatre

There are obvious reasons why films about the theatre outnumber plays about the movie industry, but here’s a play that bucks that trend. Anthony Neilson’s latest drama is located on a film set somewhere distant, hot and challenging but doesn’t allow...

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Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach

The release of Louise Osmond’s biographical film about the director Ken Loach, who turns 80 on 17 June, has been timed to perfection. Twelve days ago, Loach’s I, Daniel Blake won him his second Palme d’Or. He came out of retirement to make it after...

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