sun 22/10/2017

London Film Festival

LFF 2017: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool / Professor Marston and the Wonder Women reviews - stellar turns by Annette Bening and Rebecca Hall

Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen presence. It was hard to love Michelle Williams dragging up for My Week with Marilyn; Grace of Monaco was far from Nicole Kidman...

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LFF 2017: Mindhunter / My Generation - Fincher comes to Netflix, Caine does Swinging London

They’re all going into TV nowadays, and here amid the cinematic runners and riders at the LFF is David Fincher directing Mindhunter. It's Netflix’s new series about the FBI in the Seventies, when the Bureau was slowly starting to realise that...

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LFF 2017: Blade of the Immortal / Redoubtable - Samurai slasher versus the Nouvelle Vague

This is the 100th feature film by Takashi Miike, Japan’s fabled maestro of sex, horror and ultra-violent Yakuza flicks, and here he has found his subject in Hiroake Samura’s Blade of the Immortal manga comics. Manji (Takuya Kimura) is a veteran...

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LFF 2017: Last Flag Flying review - anti-war film without a bite

Richard Linklater’s sort-of sequel to one of the great American films of the Seventies, shown at London Film Festival, stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne as old Vietnam buddies reunited as America is embroiled in another...

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LFF 2017: Good Time review - heist movie with standout performance by Robert Pattinson

This is not a movie to see in the front row – intrusive close-ups, hand-held camerawork, colour saturated night shots and a relentless synthesiser score all conspire to make Good Time, shown at London Film Festival, a wild ride. An unrecognisable...

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LFF 2017: Journey's End review - classic play becomes cracking film

There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play since it debuted on the London stage in 1928, but Saul Dibb’s new incarnation, shown at London Film Festival, is testament to the lingering potency of the piece. Armed...

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LFF 2017: Breathe review - overdosing on good intentions

The curtain-raiser for the 61st  London Film Festival was Breathe, not only Andy Serkis’s debut as a director, but also a film based on the family experiences of its producer, Jonathan Cavendish. It was the story of how his father Robin, a tea...

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LFF 2016: Elle/Paterson

Paul Verhoeven directing Isabelle Huppert as a woman seemingly unfazed by a violent rape sounds a recipe for outrage. Elle (★★★★) , though, provokes in subtle, lingering, sometimes comic ways. The rape of Michele (Huppert) mostly happens off-screen...

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London Film Festival 2015: Dressed to Thrill

As a novice in the ways of the London Film Festival, I'm not only amazed by the scope and scale of the thing (350-odd films in just under a fortnight), but aghast at the thought of all the backroom work that goes into it. And on top of all that they...

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London Film Festival 2015: Who Dares Wins?

How do you corral 250 films in a way which makes sense to potential viewers? Major releases – so far at this year’s LFF we've had Suffragette, Johnny Depp in Black Mass and Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van – pretty much take care of themselves....

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10 Questions for Director Sarah Gavron

Director Sarah Gavron tends to make films with strong social content. Her TV movie This Little Life (2003) concerned a couple’s struggles after the premature birth of their son; her first feature film was an adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel Brick...

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LFF 2014: Germany, Pale Mother

When can Nazi Germany be humanised? Never, many German critics believed on Germany, Pale Mother’s 1980 release, when it was apparently despised for its “subjective” account of one woman and her daughter’s lives in that era and its aftermath....

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