thu 21/06/2018

Film Features

James Gandolfini 1961-2013

Adam Sweeting

Mobster roles have helped define many of America's greatest screen actors, from James Cagney to Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Thanks to his portrayal of Tony Soprano in HBO's TV masterpiece The Sopranos, James Gandolfini has made an unforgettable addition to their ranks.

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10 Questions for Actress Déborah François

Demetrios Matheou

There are many reasons to be thankful for the Dardennes brothers, the Belgians whose sibling genius is rivalled only by the Coens, not least the young actors they have introduced to cinema: Émilie Dequenne in Rosetta, Jérémie Renier in La promesse, Déborah François in The Child, Thomas Doret in The Kid with a Bike.

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The Leopard: 50 years on from Cannes

David Nice

It took Sicilian aristocrat Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, melancholy last scion of a never very reproductive family, a lifetime to get round to writing one of the 20th century’s greatest novels. Publication of The Leopard (Il Gattopardo), based on the life of the author's great grandfather and the changes of the risorgimento, only took place over a year after Lampedusa’s death in July 1957. Events then moved very fast.

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Billy Liar at 50

graham Rickson

John Schlesinger’s 1963 film of Keith Waterhouse’s novel is 50 years old. It’s just been reissued in a pristine print by Studio Canal, and looks stunning in its new incarnation. What began as a claustrophobic three-act play was brilliantly opened out by the film’s director, and the widescreen format feels wholly appropriate.

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The Eagles at Sundance - History in the Making

Adam Sweeting

The Eagles recorded their first two albums in London in the early Seventies, though they couldn't have imagined they'd be back 40 years later to present their new documentary, History of the Eagles Part One, at Sundance London. There is, as you may have surmised, also a Part Two, which is available in the DVD and Blu-ray package that goes on sale on Monday 29 April.

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Opinion: Is acting now just for the privileged?

Jasper Rees

Knock knock. Who's there? Eamonn. Eamonn who? Eamonn Etonian. There's an Eamonn at No 10, an Eamonn is Mayor of London, an Eamonn is even Archbishop of Canterbury. Oh, and Eamonns are third and - for three more months - fourth in line to the throne. Recently Eton has started to dominate British film, television and theatre. In 2012 one Eamonn won an Emmy, another was given a Bafta and a third played a Shakespearean king on the BBC. 

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Sundance London 2013: Preview

Emma Simmonds

Bringing some much needed sunshine streaming into what has, so far, been a hit and miss spring is this year's Sundance London, which takes place from 25 - 28 April at The O2. Sundance is, of course, a name most associated with Robert Redford, President and Founder of the Sundance Institute which supports fledgling filmmakers and runs the Utah-based festival.

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theartsdesk in Istanbul: City on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown?

Sheila Johnston

Late on a spring Friday evening, İstiklal Caddesi, the main shopping thoroughfare in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, exudes all the delicious traditional Turkish aromas: roasting chestnuts, fierce black coffee, döner grills and simit, İstanbul’s bagel, still selling like hot cakes way after midnight. Most of all, though, milling with the crowd, you are struck by something else, something less familiar these days, in Europe anyway: the smell of money.

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Canal Dreams: the Panama Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Cannes, that irresistible feeding frenzy of film, is just around the corner. But 6,000 miles away in Panama City a film festival has just concluded that, for entirely different reasons, is equally significant. Panama isn’t known for its film output – it's made just one fiction feature in more than 60 years – and while America may have relinquished its control of the canal, the grip of its cultural colonialism has proven much more difficult to loosen.

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Richard Griffiths, 1947-2013

Jasper Rees

Richard Griffiths, who has died at the age of 65 from complications during heart surgery, will be remembered above all for three performances, two on screen and one onstage. In Withnail & I (1987), he embodied in Uncle Monty a predatory homosexual who, according to the film’s director Bruce Robinson, was based on Franco Zeffirelli. Many years later Griffiths found himself playing a character parked on the same spectrum in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys (2005).

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Ben Affleck: from Bennifer to Renaissance Man

Adam Sweeting

"There are no second acts in American lives," said F Scott Fitzgerald, but he had failed to include  Ben Affleck in his calculations. "This is a second act for me," announced Affleck, as he collected the Best Director award for his work on Argo at the recent BAFTAs in London, "and you're giving me that and this industry has given me that.

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Oscars 2013: Best Actor/Actress/Director

Emma Simmonds

Given the quantity of uncertain outcomes, this year's Academy Awards guarantee excitement, and there's nothing better than an Oscars ceremony filled with surprises. Furthermore, the selection of films nominated this year are of a rare vintage.

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Oscars 2013: Best Picture/Foreign Language Film/Animated Film

Matt Wolf

Time is drawing nigh to mark those Oscar ballots, but what movie should one vote for as the year's best? While odds-makers have been busily touting one title over another, the less-vaunted fact about this year's shortlist is that relatively few stinkers have made the cut.

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Oscars 2013: Best Screenplays/Supporting Actor/Actress

Karen Krizanovich

Frank Capra called the Oscars “the most valuable, but least expensive, item of world-wide public relations ever invented by any industry”. They are, like it or not, the film awards against which all others are judged - even to the point that other countries’ film awards are scheduled in relation to the ceremony. Despite being the accepted mark of excellence, the Oscars are not a meritocracy.

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Oscars 2013: The Spielberg Story

theartsdesk

Whether Lincoln can pip frontrunner Argo to this year's Best Picture gong is in the hands of the Academy, but its 12 nominations are a notable achievement in director Steven Spielberg's extraordinary career. It's sometimes been easy to dismiss Spielberg as a sentimentalist, an entertainer first and an artist second but his films are pure cinema, and for every work of groundbreaking spectacle he's delivered something equally as thought-provoking.

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Oscars 2013: Casting a vote for political films

Demetrios Matheou

An intriguing aspect of this year’s battle for Oscar was the early assurance with which pundits placed Lincoln as their favourite for best film. Steven Spielberg's frontrunner merits recognition; what surprises is that no one has noted the significance if it were actually to win. For despite Hollywood’s long history of fine political films, in over 80 years only one has ever won the prize.

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