fri 17/08/2018

Film Interviews

Interview: Errol Morris on making Tabloid

Nick Hasted

When the former Miss Wyoming, Joyce McKinney, walked towards UK Customs in 1977, she had a perfect tabloid story in her bag: handcuffs, a Smith and Wesson pistol, and a burning desire to rescue the love of her life from the Epsom Mormons.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon

David Nice

Those of us un-Zeitgeisty enough to miss the Royal Ballet’s first new full-length ballet in 20 years during its first run can now catch up. Opus Arte’s DVD release of the televised Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland tells a different story from the one any audience members other than front-of-stalls ticket holders would have caught. With more focus on the characters and less on the potentially overwhelming special effects, we probably get a better deal.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Paul Bettany

ASH Smyth

Since breaking onto the movie scene in 2001 with major roles in A Knight's Tale and A Beautiful Mind, London-born Paul Bettany (b 1971) has pretty much gone through the card.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director István Szabó

Jasper Rees

When I interviewed the great Hungarian film-maker István Szabó (b 1938) in his native Budapest, he took me on a tour of the city centre on the Pest side of the Danube. On the way we were distracted by a flashy café designed to lure tourists. It was called Mephisto – after the film by Szabó, presumably, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1981.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Writer/Director David Leland

Hilary Whitney David Leland: 'There was a lot of me in Trevor. I was getting rid of a lot of anger in my system about what I went through in terms of education - or lack of it'

David Leland (b 1947) has worked extensively both sides of the Atlantic but he is best known, both as a writer and a director, for his shrewd observations of ordinary people struggling against the constraints and hypocrisy of the accepted social mores of English life in films such as Mona Lisa (1986), Personal Services (1987) and Wish You Were Here (1987). However, it was Made in Britain (1982), a television play written by Leland for Channel 4 and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Christopher Eccleston

Hilary Whitney

Christopher Eccleston’s performances have a raw-boned, visceral quality which makes him a sometimes unsettling - but always compelling - actor to watch.

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Q&A Special: Film Director Wim Wenders

james Woodall

Wim Wenders (b 1945) is one of the great travellers of contemporary cinema. Multi-disciplinary and theme-driven, his work often asks questions about memory and identity, and pulsates with the strong spirit of very particular places.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

Jasper Rees

“I want to be a man without any past,” says Michel Legrand (b 1932), who has 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? On his mantelpiece in the large white sitting room of his splendid classical manoir 100km south of Paris, four familiar gilt statuettes stand sentry. The...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Script Supervisor Angela Allen

Jasper Rees Angela Allen: A link with the golden age of Hollywood

The credits unfold against a backdrop of a tall, exotic plant, down whose length the camera slowly pans. The African Queen, in glorious Technicolor, based on a novel by CS Forrester, directed by John Huston, shot by Jack Cardiff, starring two of the great names of the cinematic age. Katharine Hepburn, the female face of the screwball comedy...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Colin Firth

Jasper Rees

In some ways it’s been an odd career. Everyone else in Another Country (1982), the stage play by Julian Mitchell about gays and Marxists in a 1930s English public school, shot out of the blocks.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Toby Jones

Jasper Rees

Toby Jones’s cameo in Notting Hill – he was cast as an over-eager fan of Julia Roberts - was deposited on the cutting-room floor. Most actors would have chalked it up as one of life’s bum raps. Jones, who while on set for his short scene was also failing to rent a flat in Notting Hill, fashioned a drama out of a double crisis. To perform Missing Reel he obtained permission to show the suppressed material.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Toby Jones

Jasper Rees

Toby Jones’s cameo in Notting Hill – he was cast as an over-eager fan of Julia Roberts - was deposited on the cutting-room floor. Most actors would have chalked it up as one of life’s bum raps. Jones, who while on set for his short scene was also failing to rent a flat in Notting Hill, fashioned a drama out of a double crisis. To perform Missing Reel he obtained permission to show the suppressed material.

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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. The most recent of them was in 1996, when the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (b 1941) became the new lord of the ring. This weekend in Tallinn the European Film Academy has...

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Interview: Anton Corbijn on making The American

Nick Hasted George Clooney as Jack in 'The American'; 'More brutal than Bond'

Joy Division brought Anton Corbijn to England in 1979 and, nearly 30 years later, made him a cinema director. The sleeve of the band’s album Unknown Pleasures fascinated him so deeply he felt compelled to leave Holland for the country where such mysteries were made. The photographs he took of them for the NME helped make an icon of their singer Ian Curtis even before his 1980 suicide, and were themselves icons of a school of serious, black-and-white rock photography.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Simon Callow

graeme Thomson

Simon Callow is on the phone when I arrive at his five-star digs, booming his apparently considerable misgivings vis-a-vis appearing in some reality TV exercise in which he will be asked to tutor disadvantaged kids in the mysterious arts of Shakespeare. “They keep saying it will be great”, he rumbles, “but it will only be great if it’s great.” And Amen to that.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Michael Sheen

Jasper Rees

Either it’s a bizarre accident. Or there’s something in the water. Port Talbot, the unlovely steel town in Wales where smoke stacks belch fumes into the cloudy coastal sky, has been sending its sons to work in Hollywood for decades now. Richard Burton was the first to put his glowering blue eyes and golden larynx at the service of Tinseltown. Anthony Hopkins, for all his American passport, has never shed the native tinge from his accent. And in recent years there has been Michael Sheen (b....

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