thu 16/08/2018

Film Features

theartsdesk at the New Horizons Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Wrocław is Poland’s fourth most populous city, once described as "The Venice of the North", due to its location on the River Oder, its tributaries and numerous bridges. That description is misleading, of course, a touch of unfortunate hyperbole; on the surface, Wroclaw is a charming but unremarkable city.

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Free thought vs cultural politics

Tom Birchenough

Last year’s Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) played out in the shadow of conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and a year on you could be forgiven for wondering if anything’s really changed. International sanctions remain in place – in fact they were renewed for another six months right in the middle of MIFF’s late-June run, and much alluded to by festival president Nikita Mikhalkov throughout proceedings.

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Orson Welles: The Great Disruptor

Demetrios Matheou

No-one could joke about the tragic aspect of Orson Welles’s career, the fact that his inestimable promise had only been partially realised, better than Welles himself. Once, when asked about the outrage following his panic-inducing radio adaptation of War of the Worlds, the director quipped, “I didn’t go to jail. I went to Hollywood.” And that was punishment enough.

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theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival - part 2

David Kettle

It has felt like a strong year for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, even with new artistic director Mark Adams joining part-way through the programming process. And as the event sprinted towards its ever-denser conclusion – 17 "best of the fest" screenings of this year’s most in-demand films joined the already full programme for the event’s final day on Sunday 28 June – it was inevitably time to announce the festival’s award winners.

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theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

It’s a big deal when a film festival unveils a new artistic director. After all, this is the person who leads the selection of often hundreds of films, thereby shaping the style and tone of the festival. It’s a responsibility that can not only reflect but dictate patterns in filmmaking and viewing; and for specifically public events, such as the festivals in London and Edinburgh, the pleasure of thousands of people depends on getting it right.

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The second coming of The Third Man

graham Fuller

What happened to Harry Lime during the war that he slid into iniquity, or was he always a swine? What cracked in him so badly that he sold diluted penicillin that gave children meningitis? What rat-like instincts of survival prompted him to betray his Czech lover so that the Russians would evict her from Austria? And why did he summon the hapless Holly Martins from America to join his racket?

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Christopher Lee: A Career in Clips

Demetrios Matheou

Christopher Lee died this week, aged 93. It’s strange that an actor best known for horror films, for characters that were fiendish and diabolical, should be so cherished a part of the British cultural landscape. That fact speaks volumes for the charisma and charm, as well as craft of Lee’s performances, and for the intelligence, grace and wit of the man in person.

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Arise, Sir Van, Sir Lenny and Sir Kevin. Dame who?

Jasper Rees

If the honours system is used to award deserving individuals, its other job is to provide an aspirational marker for the country as a whole. This, it tells us twice a year, is who we want to be: inclusive, non-sexist, colour-blind. From the look of the awards dished out in the arts for the Queen’s birthday honours list, in the summer of 2015 it looks very much as if we want to be a society which favours male privilege. Don’t hold the front page.

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theartsdesk Q&A Special: The Falling

kieron Tyler

The Falling, released in cinemas this week, charts the events surrounding an epidemic of fainting among pupils of a girls' school in the late 1960s. The trigger appears to be the end of the friendship between the intense Lydia and the outgoing Abbie. Much in the dream-like film is unexplained. Abbie’s difficult home life is perhaps a contributing factor, as may be the institution’s disconnection from the liberal world evolving beyond the school’s gates.

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10 Questions for Filmmaker Damián Szifron

Demetrios Matheou

Nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars, Wild Tales is that rarity, a portmanteau film; even rarer, it’s a good one. Though unconnected by plot or character, the six darkly comic stories are bonded by themes of revenge and fighting back – against cheating lovers, bad drivers, rank bureaucracy, the crook who ruined your life. It’s about people who cross a line most of us only fantasise about.

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Best of 2014: Top 13 Films, 5-1

theartsdesk

Continuing on from yesterday where great British comedy sat alongside Turkish slow cinema in our countdown of the best films from 13-6, here are our top five films of 2014. Another diverse selection which celebrates ambitious and immersive storytelling, technical prowess and breathtaking sights.

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Best of 2014: Top 13 Films, 13-6

theartsdesk

In 2014 theartsdesk film team presents their picks of the year with a list of 13 diverse titles from great homegrown and international directors. Thirteen is the number of theartsdesk film critics who voted in our end-of-year poll so we have compiled our list so each of our wonderful writers can act as a champion for one of their personal picks.

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theartsdesk at the Dubai International Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Dubai is a city that famously emerged from the desert, founded on oil and ambition, rising in an eruption of skyscrapers, luxury resorts and bling.

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Sci-Fi Week: 2001: A Space Odyssey

graham Fuller

No Gravity or Interstellar has challenged the might and influence of 2001: A Space Odyssey: its re-release this week is one of the movie events of the year.

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Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

graham Rickson

Classical composers have always enjoyed depicting the implausible. Operas based on mythological subjects abound, creating near-impossible staging demands. Musical works based on science fiction are far rarer. Haydn's plodding opera Life on the Moon isn't one of his most scintillating works.

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Mike Nichols, 1931-2014

Matt Wolf

He was at home with screen newcomers like Dustin Hoffman and Cher and knew how to handle such old pros as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, while his stage work gave a leg up to then-unknowns Robert Redford and Whoopi Goldberg and he collaborated time and again with Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.

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