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EDITORIAL In this the 10th edition of Movies by Mills eighteen pages are devoted to a film that MbM considers to be one of the greatest films of all-time HER, and indeed it is a film of its time and deserves every accolade and award it may or not win. At present it has a hundred to one chance of winning the Oscar for Best Picture, but like this magazine it is an outsider in its views: it is for a discerning audience that appreciates quality and can recognize a classic when it sees one. Joaquin Phoenix, in a wonderful meditative pose on our cover, epitomizes the dreamer in us all, yearning for love, to pick up the pieces of his life that have been shattered and believe once more that the strongest emotion that humans can generate towards another can be rekindled. There are no odds for Joaquin winning Best Actor at the Academy Awards because he has not even been nominated. Scarlett Johansson, the ‘Her’ of the title, is never seen but her acting, her voice, not only captivates Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) but wins us over too. She makes us totally believe that you can fall in love with her, though she is but a computer generated programme designed to please. Spike Jonze, the writer and director of the film, has assembled an awesome cast to support Phoenix and Johansson: Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday. Each is vital to the romantic nuance of the story. MbM also acknowledges the brilliant actress Samantha Morton whom Scarlett Johansson replaced, but still worked on the film in a very important way. It was quite painful for Jonze to replace her, but then that is what a director has to do: make choices for the sake of what is best for the film and is also why so much of a film that is shot is never seen but ends up deleted or on the cutting room floor. There are also reviews of two French films: Maddened by his Absence, starring William Hurt, giving a brilliant performance of one who has lost touch with reality and refuses to let go of the guilt that haunts him. Renoir is a biopic about the great French painter and his son Jean, who became a legendary filmmaker. And there is a lot more. My thanks to Anneka Verma and Rebecca Scott of Premier, Entertainment Film Distributors, Image.Com, elfilm.com and to Paul Ridler as always for his dedication to MbM...And to you who share the passion behind this magazine. Enjoy the read.

Brian Mills

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RENOIR *Spoiler Alert

A painting should be something pleasant and cheerful. Any film that attempts to capture the essence of the great artist Pierre August Renoir should look as beautiful as his paintings and indeed Renoir is beautiful and often ravishing to behold, thanks to the cinematography of Taiwanese DP Mark Lee PingBin. The mood of the story is set in the opening shot where we watch Andree (Christa Thenet) riding her bicycle through the scenic Côte d'Azu countryside. Andree is 15 years of age and she arrives at the Renoir estate to inquire about the job of modelling for the great artist. She comes on her terms that she will model and get paid but not take on servile duties as well, as previous models have done. Renoir (Michel Bouquet) is old with hands and knees crippled by arthritis. When he sees Andree he is pleased at her beauty and velvety flesh, a celebration of the young. He is referred to by the household staff as the ‘boss’ and when he calls or rings a bell they are expected to be there. The artist’s son Jean (Vincent Ruttiers) returns from the warfront invalided out by a serious open wound. There is an immediate contrast in ideas between father and son. Auguste’s reality is the beauty and tranquillity of nature, which is full of colour where black is never used, while Jean’s reality is that France is at war and it is his duty to fight for his country. 4


Andree and Jean fall in love and he must decide whether to stay and help her fulfil a dream of being an actress in the films that he is going to make or return to the war, from which he may never return. For Andree, Jean will not leave her if he really does love her, and for his father, he thinks it would be madness to continue fighting. Renoir is a very good film but not a great one. Despite its beautiful visuals it cannot compare with Bo Widerberg’s Elvira Madigan which was about a circus performer and an army officer who run away from their respective lives: Elvira from her family circus and Sixten who deserts from the army and leaves his wife and children when he and Elvira fall in love. The photography by Jorgen Persson creates scenes that are beautiful and it is like watching a moving Renoir, where each image is worthy of being framed. The other film that instantly came to mind while watching Renoir was Franco Piavoli’s masterpiece Al Primo Soffio Di Vento which focused its entirety on a summer’s day in Tuscany where nothing much happens. Just observing; hardly any dialogue, a piano being played, a pretty girl running but mainly people lazing around totally immersed in the serenity that a beautiful day can offer: doing nothing. This film is so removed from nearly anything else out there and captures the Italian attitude towards bliss. Now that is something that the painter Renoir would be in accordance with: observing beauty and serenity, for he spent his life capturing it on canvas. NB: Jean Renoir went on to become one of France’s greatest filmmakers: Le Grand Illusion and La Regle du jeu. He married Andree and cast her in his early silent films, but when the films flopped they divorced. Andree never became successful as an actress and ended her life living in poverty. 5


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Movies by Mills CINEMA HEART AWARDS 2014 To recognize the past year’s achievements which MbM personally feels should be honoured, here are its own awards. The awards are not influenced by the forthcoming BAFTA Awards or the Academy Awards, or any other film industry prizes. So, unbuckle your seatbelts, this is going to be a smooth ride. Favourite Film: HER Rarely has a film managed to capture the human heart and at the same time address the social awareness of a computergenerated age and the effect it has had on relationships. Favourite Actor: JOAQUIN Theodore Twombly in HER. that a marriage break-up child-like exuberance of is with someone who does

PHOENIX for his performance as He manages to convey the loneliness can have as well as the pure joy and falling in love again, even though it not exist in human form.

Favourite Actress: CATE BLANCHETT for BLUE JASMINE as Jasmine, a socialite deeply troubled by losing her financial security and her obvious emotional control on her life; probably one of the best examples of denial, beautifully written by Woody Allen. Favourite Supporting Actor: ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD for WHAT MAISIE KNEW. for a very subtle, warm hearted and trusting performance as a surrogate father and friend to Maisie. Favourite Supporting Actress: AMY ADAMS for HER. The relationship between Amy and Joaquin Phoenix is so relaxing and natural, a believable friendship that was helped by Spike Jonze’s insistence of shutting them off in a room together for two hours so that they would get to know each other. It pays off handsomely on the screen and they are now in real life good friends. Favourite Director: SPIKE JONZE for HER. To make a film of this calibre, for having the belief in the project and his cast and raising the level of filmmaking to the highest echelons of emotion pictures and never being afraid of taking chances, Spike Jonze has directed a film that is a beautiful love story that will be remembered as an all-time classic. Favourite Original Screenplay: SPIKE JONZE for HER for writing an original love story that is of this age and that is imaginative, inspiring and creating dialogue that will be 8


quoted for years to come, and characters that will be treasured. Favourite Adapted Screenplay: RICHARD LINKLATER for BEFORE MIDNIGHT, for writing the third part of the romantic trilogy of the love affair between Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece since their original meeting on a train almost two decades earlier on a train bound for Vienna. Linklater not only rekindled our love for this couple but surpassed the first two films in its quality and depth, which knowing how good they were -no mean achievement. Favourite Documentary: HARRY DEAN STANTON – PARTLY FICTION One of the great actors is interviewed about his life, a revealing portrait of the star of Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas and countless character roles in all types of genres. At first he is reluctant to talk about himself until he picks up his guitar and reveals his talent as a composer as he strums and sings about his sometimes sad and lonely yet comical experiences. Favourite Foreign Film: POPULAIRE. This is a wonderful cinema-going outing into a world of competitive speed typing. Roman Duris plays a boss hiring a secretary who seems to be totally incompetent for the job until he discovers her typing skills; strikes all the right keys as a feel-good movie leaving you with a smile on your face and that huggable feeling. Favourite Child Actor: ONATA APRILE for WHAT MAISIE KNEW. As the eponymous Maisie who watches the breakdown of her parent’s marriage, until she finds love and caring and has to decide her own fate, Onata is quite simply amazing, giving an unforgettable performance in an unforgettable film. Favourite Cinematography: HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA for HER for capturing the beautiful look of the film, making a futuristic Los Angeles soothingly attractive, with inveigling images. Favourite Song: THE MOON SONG written by Karen O for HER. The song plays in the credits and is sung onscreen by Scarlett Johansson. Favourite Original Score: ARCADE FIRE for HER. This is a melancholic accompaniment to the visual palette and personal development of Theodore Twombly. During the end credits the band’s Supersymmetry is played. Favourite Production Design: K.K. BARNETT for HER. Favourite Editing: ERIC ZUMBRUNNEN & JEFF BUCHANAN for HER. SPECIAL AWARD to SCARLETT JOHANSSON for the voice of Samantha in HER. 9


MADDENED BY HIS ABSENCE Spoiler Alert

A tragic car accident that killed a boy lives on in the memory of the boy’s father who was driving the car. Blame, guilt, tortures the man who has never come to terms with his son’s death to allow him to move on with his life. It is over eight years later that Jacques (William Hurt) returns to France for the funeral of his father and tries to get back into his former lover’s life Mado (Alexandre Lamy) now married and mother of a seven year old boy Paul. Mado is suspicious of resuming ties with Jacques, the couple’s relationship shattered with the loss of their four year old son. Jacques, sheepishly watches Mado from his parked car as she walks with her boy. He follows them in his car, waiting for the right moment to emerge from his edgy eavesdropping. Mado is surprised and confused to see him after his long absence. She introduces him to her son Paul who reminds him of the boy he lost. Jacques wants to continually relive the moments of the accident which are painful for him to remember and for Mado to observe. He befriends Paul and the boy’s growing affection for him disturbs Mado. After helping Paul fix his bicycle in the basement of the apartment block where he lives, Jacques finds a box of toys that belonged to his dead son, which Mado had said she had given away. In an attempt to get closer to Paul and Mado, and despite the presence of a husband, Jacques moves into the basement with the other discarded and forgotten objects. Paul brings him blankets and food and taps on the pipes to announce his approach, but of course it cannot last before Mado discovers Jacques. Maddened by is Absence is not an easy film to watch and Jacques not an easy person to empathise with, but William Hurt is excellent as the traumatised protagonist. He is a ‘method’ type of actor, who remains in character during the duration of the shoot and he fluently speaks French. The only part of the story which is true is that Sandrine Bonnaire knew of a man who hid himself away in the cellar of a home. Sandrine Bonnaire is the mother of William Hurt’s daughter Jeanne Bonnaire-Hurt. Alexandra Lamy is mainly known for comedy on TV, so she was very happy to have been given a dramatic role like that of Mado. 10


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HER Spoiler Alert

I feel really close to her, like when I talk to her, I feel that she is with me. Communicating with an artificiallyintelligent computer operating system and falling in love with it has been the premise of previous films so it may not be seen as an original idea. Detractors citing Electric Dreams as being a film that came with the storyline of a girl falling in love with a computer generated voice, but HER is much more than that – it is about love in all its aspects. Set in Los Angeles, in the near future, HER follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who is a prized employee of BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, he composes wonderful, funny, heartfelt and heartbreaking missives for lovers, family members and for other people with whom his clients have a soulful connection. Since his divorce from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore finds solace in a friendship with a new operating system called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). The two develop a relationship and fall in love in a world where technology has taken precedent over human connection. I wish I could touch you. How would you touch me? Samantha asks. The couple share a child-like innocence and curiosity about each other. I want to learn about everything. I want to discover myself, she tells Theodore. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you, he tells Samantha. Me too, she replies. In an age of the internet and social networking, it is totally feasible that a relationship with an advanced computer system could happen. Many people today conduct long distance relationships via Facebook. As Theodore’s friend, Amy (Amy Adams) tells him, Falling in love is like a socially acceptable insanity. 12


The idea of the story came to writer and director Spike Jonze about ten years ago about a man falling in love with a voice and then he started thinking about it as a relationship movie. The first draft of the script took him five months to write. Spike was also influenced by Woody Allen’s Crime and Misdemeanors, because the characters are plowing through the story, and taking you through the story, with their decisions and he found that very inspiring. In another film of Woody Allen’s, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Mia Farrow plays Cecilia, a waitress obsessed with the leading actor in a film called The Purple Rose of Cairo and watches every performance of the film until one day the actor, played by Jeff Daniels, talks directly to her and comes out of the screen and falls in love with her but still remaining in character. He learns about the real world and she his fictional one which is limited by what has been written for him for the film. Ultimately Cecilia has to decide between fantasy and reality: face the real world or love someone who doesn’t exist. She comments: He’s fictional, but you can’t have everything. There is so much to observe in HER, this beautiful love story, the colours inspired by Jamba Juice, the oranges, yellows and pinks, the musical score by Arcade Fire with contributions from Owen Pallett, and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema who makes the film look beautiful, transforming a futuristic Los Angeles into something quite stunning. Samantha Morton was originally the voice of ‘Samantha’ She was present on set with Joaquin Phoenix every day. After the filming wrapped and Spike started editing the movie, he felt like something was not right. With the blessing of Morton, he decided to recast the role and Scarlett Johansson was brought as a replacement. What Samantha gave to the movie, and what she gave Joaquin Phoenix in the movie, off camera, was huge. She is credited as associate producer on the movie. The Moon Song, an original track that Karen O wrote for the film’s soundtrack, is sung onscreen by Scarlett Johansson with backup from Phoenix. Karen O’s version plays on the credits. This is the first film that Spike Jonze has directed from his own screenplay, having directed two films with scripts by Charles Kaufmann: Being John Malkovich, which is made from the head, while Adaptation is about the soul. Her is about the heart – a love story and is a masterpiece. HER opens in the UK on February 14th and is the best valentine that you could give your loved one. 13


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CLOSE UP JOAQUIN PHOENIX Star of HER, Joaquin is justifiably considered one of the finest actors on the screen today, taking on challenging roles and adroitly making them his own by being in character on and off camera while the film is being made. Raised in Puerto Rico, the middle child of five to parents John Bottom Amram and Arlyn Dunetz Jochebed, Children of God missionaries, Joaquin was encouraged to develop his creative talents and followed his brothers River and Rain into acting. Like them and his younger sisters, Liberty and Summer. When the family travelled through Central and South America, their surname was changed to Phoenix to celebrate their new lifestyle and by the time Joaquin was six, they had settled in Los Angeles with his parents finding an agent to represent all five children. Joaquin’s first important acting experience came as a guest on River’s sitcom Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. His film debut was the interstellar comedy SpaceCamp. In the late ‘80s, with his parents moving the entire clan to Florida, Joaquin got his first good reviews as an angry adolescent in Steve Martin’s comedy PARENTHOOD, but rather than capitalizing on his good fortune, he decided instead to withdraw from acting for awhile to see the world. It was three years later that a tragic circumstance brought him back into the limelight, when at The Viper Room (an L.A. nightclub owned by Johnny Depp) his brother River collapsed and died from a drug overdose. Months later, Joaquin who had now dropped his first name of Leaf, appeared in Gus Van Sant’s TO DIE FOR as Nicole Kidman’s obsessive devotee. The film confirmed for him his career as an actor and for the next four years he continued to rise in popularity. It was as Commodus, the paranoid young emperor in Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR that sealed his fate victoriously in the acting arena. By now he was attracting the attention of directors like Night M Shylaman, who cast him in SIGNS and THE VILLAGE; and James Gray who has directed him four times: THE YARDS, Joaquin’s personal favourite, WE OWN THE NIGHT, TWO LOVERS and the soon to be released THE IMMIGRANT, starring opposite Audrey Tautou. The role that he is most remembered for is that of 16


Johnny Cash in WALK THE LINE. Both Joaquin and his costar Reese Witherspoon, who played June Carter, learned to play their instruments, guitar and auto-harp and also did their own singing. Phoenix’s career has seen him a play a star-struck and gullible teenager, a rail-yard contractor, a Roman Emperor’s son, an army conscript and black market dealer, a preacher’s son, a lover, a villager, firefighter, a country music legend, night club owner, college professor, an emotionally unstable young man and a vulnerable Naval veteran… but none can compare to his remarkable metamorphosis as the lonely broken hearted lover Theodore Twombly who falls in love with a computer generated system named Samantha in HER. Theodore is a sweet-natured character who puts his heart into helping other people find love by writing beautiful letters for them. He is vulnerable, sensitive, alone and accommodating to other’s needs rather than his own. What Joaquin brings to the character is gracefully poetic, realizing all the yearning and tenderness it needs, baring his soul to reveal his heart in a totally breathtaking performance in a film that is unlike any other out there. As Theodore he is trying to come to terms with the disintegration of a marriage and discover a deeper connection in an impersonal, technically-driven world. It is his loneliness and trying to understand what happened between himself and his ex-wife that is the catalyst for his decision to purchase an OS, an artificially intelligent operating system. He chooses a brand-new sentient being named Samantha who seems to totally understand his every need but at the same time trying to understand what it must be like to be a human being. After falling in love with Samantha, he finds it difficult to imagine a life without her. You’re dating a computer? His ex asks. It’s not just a computer, replies Theodore. You always wanted to have a wife without the challenges of actually dealing with anything real. I’m glad you’ve found someone. Joaquin Phoenix produces one of the most memorable and likeable characters I have ever seen. He has all the child-like qualities that one leaves behind when reaching an adult. He makes a difficult and complex character accessible, inspiring and playful – a joy to behold. He was Spike Jonze’s first choice to play Theodore Twombly, a role he was destined to play. 17


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CLOSE UP SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Because there is no category for it, Scarlett Johansson is in the unique position of not being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for HER because she is not seen only heard as the voice of an operating system named Samantha. She gives an incredible performance that will go unrewarded. New York born to a Jewish mother and a Danish Father, Scarlett has a twin brother Hunter, plus a sister Vanessa and a brother named Adrian. She started her acting career at the age of seven, being given a couple lines in the play SOPHISTRY appearing opposite Elthan Hawke. Her film acting career began a year later in the comedy NORTH, playing the part of Laura Nelson. Rob Reiner’s film is about a boy who sues his parents for not giving him the attention he needs and sets out to find new parents who will love and care for him. But it was four years later that Scarlett was cast in THE HORSE WHISPERER as an injured teenager that brought her critical world-wide attention. The film starred Robert Redford and Kirsten Scott Thomas and Scarlett was convincingly excellent. In Sofia Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION she played Charlotte, who befriends and falls in love with an older man and a film actor who is in Japan to endorse a whisky because his acting has reached the stage of what’s he be in? Charlotte doesn’t know what she is doing and she and Bob (Bill Murray) are bored in a country whose culture and language they don’t understand. They are perfectly matched. Her part won her a Golden Globe nomination. She won another Globe nomination for her next role as Griet in THE GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING stunning critics with her performance as a poor servant girl who lives in the home of the Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth) who asks her to model for him, resulting in him creating one of his greatest works. MATCH POINT, written and directed by Woody Allen, was the first of three films which Scarlett made with him. The dramatic thriller has Scarlett playing Nola, a struggling American actress who comes between Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and his wife Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Christopher Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE had Scarlett play the glamorous stage hand in a story about two rival 20


magicians, played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. It was back under the direction of Woody Allen again with VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA, an erotic romantic comedy. Set in Barcelona, two American girls are about to find out that they have a lot more in common than they first thought. Vicky (Penelope Cruz) is practical, studious and engaged. Christina (Scarlett Johansson) is reckless and adventurous. Both of them are about to have their worlds turned upside down by an infamous bohemian artist named Juan (Javier Bardem) and his psychotic wife. In Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO, about a young family who take on a zoo, Scarlett is Kelly Foster the woman who teaches them how to run it. Matt Damon has a great philosophical line which is applicable to most situations in life: All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. It was action adventure for her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in THE AVENGERS. In the film about the making of Psycho HITCHCOCK, Scarlett won the role of Janet Leigh recreating many of the scenes from the original film including the famous one in the shower. The disembodied voice of Samantha in HER allows Scarlett to give one of the greatest voice performances ever. It is a part that few actresses could pull off. She succeeds because she makes you totally believe that she is real, acquiring all the emotions that any human can relate to but most of all the frustration of not being real in a real world in which she has fallen in love with a man named Theodore Twombly. It is easy to see how he could fall in love with her. In reality Scarlett has a passion for music, an avid fan of Tom Waits, she recorded an album of his music Anywhere I Lay My Head. She recorded the single Before My Time to the 2012 documentary Chasing Ice and the song was eventually nominated for Best Original Song at The Oscars last year. To quote Scarlet on her approach to acting: Well, you put a little piece of yourself into every character that you do. Even if you’re playing some psychotic person, which of course I’m not, some part of you is in that character and it’s hopefully believable. I always come back to the fact that my own instinct is better than something I build in my mind. This year will see her debut as a director with Summer Crossing based on a novel by Truman Capote, about a daughter of a wealthy family who falls for a parking attendant.

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CLOSE UP SPIKE JONZE There is a child-like playfulness about Spike Jonze, particularly evident when he wants to lighten up the tension and which Joaquin Phoenix soon discovered when an elastic band would come pinging over to him, hitting him the face. He is at heart a mischievous kid. I just want to do things that excite me – that make me laugh or touch me or confuse me. Known for his music video of Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice featuring Christopher Walken and the Beastie Boys Short Film Sabotage, Spike is always making videos or short films between features. He has an insatiable creative appetite. Film wise, he has directed four films: Being John Malcovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are and Her, which is the first film he has also written. The idea for Her came from Spike’s long encounter with an artificial intelligence computer programme. He thought that here are the tricks, here’s how it works. But what if I could sustain that forever? What would that be like? I wanted to take that idea as far as I could possibly imagine and feel. He is sincerely complimentary of his cast. Of Amy Adams, who plays Theodore’s friend and confidant Amy. The thing I realized with Amy is she can make any dialogue you write sound unwritten. She just has a way of internalizing it. She’s such a thinker and you can see her thinking her way through all of that until it’s all coming from within her. About Joaquin Phoenix: Within the first five minutes, he was so forthright and unpretentious and lovely. I realized that he takes his work really seriously but he doesn’t take himself seriously. On Samantha Morton and replacing her with Scarlett Johansson. It was a hard call to make. Because she is not only one of my favourite actresses, she’s a great friend. We’ve worked together before and will work together again. Spike Jonze finds it much easier to speak about others than about himself as his Golden Globes nomination speech for Best Screenplay showed. I am a terrible public speaker and I’m bad at speaking English and it’s the only language I know, so bear with me. He then thanked his agent who he said is his sage like when I am being anxious, like right now. It is his vulnerability that is so endearing, just like Theodore Twombly. 24


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CLOSE UP SAMANTHA MORTON Scarlett Johansson was not the only one unseen in HER, there was the lingering presence of Samantha Morton who was originally cast to play Samantha, but was dropped, with her consent,.by Spike Jonze after editing when he realized that something was not working and after a 9 hour meeting with Scarlett cast her for the crucial role. But Samantha still remained on the set every day working opposite Joaquin Phoenix so that he would have someone in front of him that he could talk his lines to and not just an empty space. So though Samantha was not officially in the film she still played an integral role off-set. Twice nominated for an Oscar for Woody Allen’s SWEET and LOW DOWN and Jim Sheridan’s IN AMERICA, Samantha is one of Britain’s finest actresses. As Agatha in Minority Report opposite Tom Cruise, she gained international recognition and became a name synonymous with strong characters and personalities. As Debbie Curtis the wife of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis in CONTROL, based on Deborah’s book Touching from a Distance, Samantha is sensational as a woman trying to cope with the band leader’s fame, his epilepsy, and his relationship with another woman. It is one of the best films about the rock music scene. It is probably not surprising that the next role was playing Marilyn Monroe in MISTER LONELY. The silver screen icon has been portrayed many times but not with such gusto as Samantha’s rendition in Harmony Korine’s off-beat comedy on lookalikes. The powerful drama THE MESSENGER gave her another memorable role as a wife who is told by two army messengers, played by Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, that her husband has been killed in action. One of the messengers then breaks all protocol by meeting with the widow and having an affair. Brilliantly directed by Oran Moverman, the film is another milestone in Samantha Morton’s career. Challenging again was the role of a woman who is battling breast cancer in DECODING ANNIE PARKER. She bravely tries to hold herself and her family together, displaying an iron resolve to face the situation and contradicting all odds set against her. She has the undeniable strength of a warrior. A great actor should have the ability to make you totally forget that they are acting and to allow you to immerse yourself into believing that what you are seeing is real – Samantha Morton is such an actress. She has just finished making MISS JULIE. The film is directed by Liv Ullman, a great actress in her own right. It stars Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell. It is based on Strindberg’s play of the same name. An unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy encourages her father’s valet to seduce her. At present, Samantha is providing the voice for the film MAGIK, which she can rest assured is most unlikely to be replaced by another actress. 26


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FILMFEST FOLLOWER MbM RECOMMENDS Opening 16th February 2014

The 64th BERLIN International Film Festival THE GRAND PRIZE FOR THE BEST FILM IS AWARDED THE GOLDEN BEAR. Past Winners have been: A SEPARATION SPIRITED AWAY MAGNOLIA THE THIN RED LINE This year’s festival opens with

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL DIRECTED BY WES ANDERSON Starring: RALPH FIENNES * TILDA SWINTON * BILL MURRAY EDWARD NORTON * JUDE LAW The Adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

GOD HELP THE GIRL Directed by Stuart Murdoch Starring: Emily Browning * Hannah Murray * Olly Alexander Set in Glasgow, the film is about a girl called Eve who is in hospital dealing with emotional problems and starts writing songs as a way of getting better.

JACK Directed by Edward Berger Starring: Ivo Pietzecker * Georg Arms * Jodine Johne For 10 year old Jack having a family is the most important thing in the world. Then, one day, his mother disappears. Together with his younger brother Manuel, he embarks on a journey to find her...the journey of a boy who has learnt from an early age to take responsibility. In the end, his brave and startling decision holds up a mirror to us all.

ALOFT Directed by Claudia Llosa Starring: Jennifer Connolly * Melanie Laurent * Cillian Murphy This is a world premiere. 28


BOYHOOD Directed by Richard Linklater Starring: Patricia Arquette * Ethan Hawke * Ellar Coltrane Lorelei Linklater The story concerns 2 years in the life of a family, featuring Mason and his sister Samantha.

IF YOU DON’T, I WILL Directed by Sophie Fillieres Starring: Emmanuelle Devos * Matthew Amalric This is a French comedy.

THINGS PEOPLE DO Directed by Saar Klein Starring: Wes Bentley * Vanessa Shaw * Jason Isaacs Haley Bennett. A family man loses his job and embarks on a life of crime. Haley plays a girl who inspires him to commit a crime in her honour.

IN THE GRACE OF GOD Directed by Edward Winspeare Starring Celeste About the land and how the women work it to live. This film was funded by sponsors and bartering to get it made. Salento was affected by the crisis and came to live to the form of exchange and non violent exploration of the riches of the Earth.

LIFE OF RILEY Directed by Alain Resnais Starring: Sandrine Kiberlain Based on an Alan Ayckbourn play.

GALORE Directed by Rhys Graham Starring: Ashleigh Cummings * Lily Sullivan * Toby Wallace Billie and Laura, two best friends, share everything, except Billie’s biggest secret: she’s crazily in love with Laura’s boyfriend.

THE MONUMENTS MEN Directed by George Clooney Starring: George Clooney * Matt Damon * Cate Blanchett. A World War 2 platoon are commissioned to rescue art masterpieces from the Nazis and return them to their rightful owners. This film closes the festival. 29


ARTHOUSE AMBASSADOR An Arthouse Ambassador is someone who is passionate and discerning about the films they see and where they see them. They do not frequent multiplexes and they observe a cinemagoer’s etiquette while the film is on: no mobile phones, no talking, no popcorn, no late coming to a screening or getting up to use the toilet. They patronise their nearest arthouse cinema. They are avid readers of Movies by Mills. MbM is expanding and generating interest in promoting arthouse cinemas. Would you like to become an Arthouse Ambassador? As an Arthouse Ambassador you will be supporting the high standards of these cinemas and encourage other like-minded film lovers to do the same If you would like to know more about becoming an Arthouse Ambassador, contact me at brianjohn.mills@btinternet.com or at bajmills@facebook.com

Here is a list of arthouse cinemas in the UK. ABBEYGATE PICTUREHOUSE BURY ST EDMONDS*APOLLO WEST END PICCADILLY*ARTS PICTUREHOUSE CAMBRIDGE*AUBIN SHOREDITCH*BARBICAN CENTRE*BELMONT PICTUREHOUSE ABERDEEN*CAMEO PICTUREHOUSE EDINBURGH*CINE LUMIERE SOUTH KENSINGTON*CINEMA CITY NORWICH*CITY SCREEN PICTUREHOUSE YORK*CLAPHAM PICTUREHOUSE*CORONET NOTTING HILL*CURZON CHELSEA*CURZON KNUTSFORD*CURZON MAYFAIR*CURZON RICHMOND*CURZON SOHO*CURZON VICTORIA*DOMINION EDINBURGH*DUKE OF YORK’S PICTUREHOUSE BRIGHTON*DUKE’S AT KOMEDIA BRIGHTON*ELECTRIC NOTTING HILL*EVERYMAN BELSIZE PARK*EVERYMAN HAMPSTEAD*EVERYMAN LEEDS*EVERYMAN MAIDA VALE*EVERYMAN OXTED*EVERYMAN REIGATE*EVERYMAN SCREEN ON THE GREEN*EVERYMAN WALTON-ON-THAMES*EVERYMAN WINCHESTER*EXETER PICTUREHOUSE*FILMHOUSE EDINBURGH*GATE PICTUREHOUSE NOTTING HILL*GLASGOW CINEMA THEATRE*GREENWICH PICTUREHOUSE*HACKNEY PICTUREHOUSE*HARBOUR LIGHTS SOUTHAMPTON*HMV/CURZON WIMBLEDON*THE LITTLE THEATRE BATH*NATIONAL FILM THEATRE WATERLOO*ODEON THE LOUNGE BAYSWATER*THE ODYSSEY ST ALBANS*PHOENIX PICTUREHOUSE OXFORD*PHOENIX EAST FINCHLEY*PICTUREHOUSE AT FACT LIVERPOOL*REGAL PICTUREHOUSE HENLEY*RENOIR RUSSELL SQUARE*THE REX BERKHAMPSTED*RIVERSIDE HAMMERSMITH*THE RITZY PICTUREHOUSE BRIXTON*STRATFORD-UPONAVON PICTUREHOUSE*STRATFORD EAST PICTUREHOUSE THE TRICYCLE CINEMA KILBURN. NB: Curzon Victoria is still in planning stages and when built will be a boutique five-screen cinema. The Odyssey St Albans opens this summer. Boasting the largest screen in the UK. If you know of any cinemas that are missing from this list please contact me.

So, what is your nearest arthouse cinema? 30


EXTRAS DVD OF THE MONTH

ABOUT TIME

Directed by Richard Curtis

FILM **** A romantic comedy about love, life and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all. Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy.

EXTRAS **** *Deleted Scenes with Intros by Richard Curtis *Blooper Reel: Making Movies is a Serious Business *About Tim and Time Travel *”The Luckiest” Music *Why Richard Curtis Picked Ben Folds “The Luckiest” For About Time *Ellie Goulding “How Long Will I Love You” Music Video *Feature Commentary NB: Last month’s DVD of the Month, What Maisie Knew was finally released with extras: *Deleted Scenes *Directors’ Audio Commentary *Original Theatrical Trailer 31


Movies by Mills is an independent production for the promotion of Art House

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Movies by Mills (February 2014)  

A magazine for discerning cinemagoers and filmmakers.

Movies by Mills (February 2014)  

A magazine for discerning cinemagoers and filmmakers.

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