sun 24/05/2020

Film Interviews

Director Marjane Satrapi: ‘The real question is do you like everyone? No? So, why should everyone like you?’

Jill Chuah Masters

Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born French filmmaker, has a reputation that precedes her. Her upbringing was the subject of the acclaimed films Persepolis (2007) and Chicken With Plums (2011). Persepolis won the Cannes Jury Prize, two César awards and was nominated for an Oscar. Satrapi adapted and co-directed both films.

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Actress Noémie Merlant: 'This is something that hasn't been told yet'

Demetrios Matheou

Lest anyone believe that Parasite was the only ground-breaking foreign language film of the past year, Céline Sciamma’s fourth feature, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, arrives to remind us otherwise.

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Filmmaker Agnieszka Holland: 'Without journalism, democracy will not survive'

Owen Richards

Agnieszka Holland is one of Europe's leading filmmakers. Growing up in Poland under Soviet rule, her films have often tackled the continent's complex history, including the Academy Award-nominated Europa, Europa, In Darkness and Angry Harvest. In America, she's become a trusted hand for prestige television, with credits on The Wire, House of Cards and The Killing. Her latest film, Mr.

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'Shakespeare is mistakenly considered something for the elite': director Claire McCarthy on 'Ophelia'

Owen Richards

Ophelia is one of Shakespeare's most enduring characters in both literature and art, and yet her part in Hamlet is limited to few lines and fewer motivations. Based on Lisa Klein's novel, the new film Ophelia challenges this interpretation.

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'I’m having too much fun writing novels': author Nicolas Searle on The Good Liar

Joseph Walsh

"Surreal" is how the man calling himself Nicholas Searle describes the last five years of his life. He began working on his debut novel The Good Liar in 2014 at the age of 57, having recently retired from the Civil Service. The nature of his former employment remains undisclosed.

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10 Questions for Director Benedikt Erlingsson

Nick Hasted

Benedikt Erlingsson (b.1969) was already an established theatre director and actor in Iceland when he directed his debut film, Of Horses And Men, an uncategorisable blend of humour, romance and horror, set away from ...

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

Owen Richards

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 instead.

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Interview with director Agnès Varda, who has died at 90

Demetrios Matheou

I met Agnès Varda, who died today aged 90, just once, for the interview that’s reproduced below. It was in Paris in January 2018, shortly before the Belgian-born filmmaker was to become the oldest Oscar nominee in history, for the wonderful documentary Faces, Places. The encounter felt like a lucky break – blessed exposure to an icon and one of the most grounded and delightful inspirations one could imagine.

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Q&A special: The making of Local Hero

Jasper Rees

Local Hero, released in 1983, has been adapted into a musical, with a book by playwright David Greig and more songs from the soundtrack's original composer Mark Knopfler. After its premiere at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, it will arrive at the Old Vic in 2020. No British film from the...

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Director Toby Macdonald: 'Comedy is something people need at the moment'

Owen Richards

A British boys boarding school in the 1980s. Not the most obvious setting for a romantic comedy, especially one based on the most famous romcom of all, Cyrano de Bergerac.

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Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

Jasper Rees

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and hands the ring on. There were only four handovers in the entire 20th century.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Matthew Heineman on directing 'A Private War'

Adam Sweeting

The release of Matthew Heineman’s film A Private War, about the tumultuous life and 2012 death of renowned Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin, has gained an added edge of newsworthiness from this week’s verdict by Washington DC’s US District Court for the District of Columbia.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

Jasper Rees

“I want to be a man without any past,” said Michel Legrand, who has died at the age of 86. He had perhaps the longest past in showbiz. Orchestrator, pianist, conductor, composer of countless soundtracks, who else has collaborated as widely - with Miles Davis and Kiri Te Kanawa, Barbra Streisand and Jean-Luc Godard, Gene Kelly, Joseph Losey and Edith Piaf? When I visited him at his house at his splendid classical manoir 100km south of Paris, on the mantelpiece in the large white sitting room...

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'I'll show the lot of you!' Richard E Grant's Oscar nomination

Jasper Rees

Richard E Grant has captivated the internet. The actor greeted the news of his nomination for an Academy Award by returning to his first rental when no one had heard of him. There he whooped with childlike delight, and then shared the whole thing in an utterly disarming Instagram post.

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Director Alexandria Bombach: 'I feel like a completely different person'

Owen Richards

Nadia Murad caught the world’s attention when she spoke at the United Nations Security Council. She spoke of living under ISIS, daily assaults, escaping, and the current plight of the Yazidi people, in refugee camps and still under ISIS control. It was a heart-breaking plea for support to the world’s silent nations.

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Tim Wardle: 'A documentary director has huge power over the interview subject'

Owen Richards

(Warning: spoilers ahead) For a brief 15 minutes, this was the biggest story in America: three boys, identical in looks, discovering each other at the age of 19. Edward “Eddie” Galland, David Kellman and Robert “Bobby” Shafran were all adopted from the same agency, but had no idea they were triplets.

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