CONTENTS Page 4 5-8
Editorial The Walk In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize a dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center Towers.
Sicario An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an Elite Government Task Force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.
The Martian During a manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Witney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. but Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meagre supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
The Intern 70-year-old widower, Ben Whitaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing the opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.
Film Fest Follower London MbM previews the outstanding programme of films that make up this year’s LFF.
Film Societies A look at two of London’s Film Societies Richmond and Wimbledon.
Extras: The Criterion Collection Days of Heaven The Walk
PHOTO CREDITS: Way To Blue 1,5,7,8,32.
20TH Century Fox 1,5,7,8,32. Lionsgate Films 9,11,12. Fox. 2,13,15,16 Warner Bros. 17,19,20 Stadtkino Verleith 30
Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following for their invaluable help. Charlotte Frankum at Lionsgate Films Laura Gluckstein at Way To Blue Laura Lloyd at Way To Blue Josh Samoni at Fox Peter Maguire at Richmond Film Society
EDITORIAL Beautiful bedlam…understates the international film calendar this month as New York, London and Tokyo get into full swing. For the film lover that means a plethora of movies to watch and excitement and thrills galore. MbM will be spending the full 12 days at LFF and reporting back to you in the November issue on the glitz and glamour of it all with gala reviews, interviews with filmmakers and more. Flip through to Film Fest Follower which will whet your appetite for what to expect at the London Film Festival from October 7 through to October 18. Sam Mendes helms the latest Bond film SPECTRE which explodes upon our screens on October 26. MbM forecasts that it will be the best ever Bond having seen the trailer, check it out on You Tube. You have the option of watching this at the best screens and Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly Circus, is undoubtedly one of the best in London. Adding to the thrills this month is our cover feature film review, The Walk, which is about the daredevil Phillipe Petit’s attempt to cross the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. You may suffer from vertigo from just looking at the poster on the back page, imagine what you will feel by watching the film in IMAX. Other reviews in this issue are the delightful romantic comedy The Intern, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway; Matt Damon in Ridley Scott’s The Martian and Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin in Sicario. MbM’s looks at two Film Societies in London: Wimbledon and Richmond FS. The latter will be screening one of the most extraordinary films that you will ever see: Shirley – Views of Reality. It is a tribute to the American artist Edward Hopper and brings thirteen of his paintings to life. We examine the influence that this brilliant painter has had on filmmakers and them on him - for at heart Hopper was a film enthusiast with a brush. So come, relax and mark your calendar for the films you intend to see from those that MbM recommend. Once again please let us know your thoughts about the magazine by emailing me at:
Enjoy the read
Magazine Designer www.moviesbymills.com
THE WALK Directed by Robert Zemeckis Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Charlotte Le Bon. Ben Kingsley. Guillaume Baillargeon. People ask me why you risk death. For me, this is life. Two magnificent towers 100 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower itself.
If standing on a stepladder makes you dizzy, then this film will send your head spinning because it comes with the extra realization of being exhibited in IMAX so that you feel that you are right there with each step on the rope that Philippe Petit takes as he walks between the immense void between the twin towers high…high…above Manhattan in the screen retelling of the Frenchman’s dream and challenge. The film is also a tribute to the memory of the twin towers at the World Centre and an existing document of them before they were obliterated by a terrorist plane crashing into them. Guided by his real-life circus mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) and aided by an unlikely bunch of international recruits, Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) overcomes the endless odds against it happening, but even though we know the outcome it is still nail-bitingly thrilling right to the end. As aforementioned this is due to the innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D wizardry and to the performance of Gordon-Levitt. This is a perfect example of how IMAX can spectacularly present a daredevil story such as this – and a real one at that. Prepare to duck as things pop and ping out of the screen at you.
Petit’s love interest is a street musician and singer Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) who in real life Petit was unfaithful to, leaving her for an American fan. Though the film will be compared with James Marsh’s brilliant documentary Man on Wire which was a celebration of Petit’s act as a form of healing and celebration of his great achievement, it still does not lessen the impact that The Walk will have on its audience. Director Robert Zemeckis is known for plane crash dramas and ‘survival against all odds’ movies plus also helming adventure favourites: Back to the Future, Polar Express, Forrest Gump and Flight, so he is quite comfortable with this material. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT 34 years old and with directing credits already in his cinema vitae including Don Juan opposite Scarlett Johansson, he seems to enjoy being challenged which was undoubtedly the reason he was attracted to the script of The Walk. Running a finger through his filmography it will soon stop at a few noteworthy titles of his career. He really got noticed in the romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer opposite Zooey Deschanel. He played a greeting card writer who is helplessly searching for the girl of his dreams, and his new co-worker Summer Finn may be just the one. But the road to love and happiness can be unpredictable, uncontrollable and unbelievably funny. Working under the direction of Christopher Nolan in Inception was a monumental step for him: it has since become a classic. His co-stars were Leonardo Di Caprio, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine. It is a sci-fi thriller about a man who is known as the best extractor, stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the mind’s vulnerable dream state. In 2012 Gordon-Levitt starred opposite Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt in Looper. In the future, it is possible to travel in time but also forbidden. However, when the criminal organizations want to kill someone, they send their victims to thirty years in the past where well paid hit men called ‘loopers’ kill them and get rid of their bodies. When the mobsters decide to call off a contract with any killer they send him back to be killed by himself and close the loop. Joe has to kill the ‘old’ Joe but he is surprised and fails.
Charlotte Le Bon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk.
Charlotte Le Bon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk.
Charlotte Le Bon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk.
Charlotte Le Bon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk. 8
SICARIO Directed by Denis Villeneuve Starring: Emily Blunt. Josh Brolin. Benicio Del Toro. Jon Bernthal. Nothing will make sense to your American ears. But in the end, you will understand. - Alejandro Sicario means hitman and this film is relentlessly visceral in depicting the violence in the methods used to bring down the drug cartels that operate in the cross border between Mexico and the US. Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) is an idealistic FBI agent, enlisted by an elite government task force official Matt (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) with a questionable past, the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything she believes in order to survive. The opening is a blood curdling vision of rotting corpses which are discovered in the walls of a home in Arizona which belongs to a drug cartel. It is an eye opener for Kate, the first of many which are designed to shock her and challenge her ideals as she steps further into the bloody world of violence and corruption. Her partner Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya) suspects everyone’s motives and is along with Kate as her friend and driver on a road laden with body-bumps. Kate and Reggie are introduced to Matt who appears to be a defence contractor or so he says, but is more likely to be from the CIA. Nothing or no one is what or whom they seem. Our empathy is with Kate from the start because like her we the audience are never too sure what we are getting into. Emily Blunt explained her character this way: She gets pulled into this incoherent world of the cartel and the CIA when she forms a sort of makeshift task force with Josh Brolin’s character and Alejandro who is sort of mysterious. They don’t know which side they’re on. They are certainly not law-abiding. They do things with very unusual…
unconventional methods in order to topple this drug lord and she is met with amoral tactics which do not land well with her at all. Eyes may want to be averted from some of the scenes but the violence adds to the tension which director Villeneuve builds on and squeezes to practically strangulation point to emphasize that lives in this area of the world are meaningless and easily dispensable, which makes Matt’s character even more menacing because he is superficially a likeable guy, but persuasive. Josh Brolin explains: He is a very charming guy, but later he pulls people in and gets them to do whatever he wants them to do, but I think he has good intentions, but he is a grand manipulator. The enigmatic character of them all is of course the eponymous Alejandro. He focuses on one thing to locate and kill a drug lord and he is merciless in his pursuit and kills anyone who tries to block him. He is a man who has been…his world has been destroyed by drug dealers. He is part of an operation to go and bring in a drug dealer and that is his journey through the film. He is a good man that perhaps does bad things, says Benicio Del Toro. Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is noted for making gripping thrillers with nail-biting suspense. Watch Prisoners about a desperate father who goes in search of his missing daughter and her friend, frustrated at the police methods of finding them. The film starred Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. I was at the premiere of “Prisoners” and I heard two thousand people scream at the same time. I turned to my wife and said “I love cinema!” It’s the sharing of emotions together, and it’s collective, it’s one of the last communions we have. In Enemies, he explored the concept of boundaries, which of course he does in Sicario. He explained it this way: We all have multiple identities inside of us. I think it’s about the power of subconscious and how our actions represent that side of the self - and who really is in control? The influence of the past on our lives and the strength of the past, is something that really impressed me and terrorized me because it means that we aren’t totally in control of our actions. I think you can find power over it, but it’s a process. Cinema is an art form that is designed to go across borders. And as a filmmaker, the only way I can direct a movie is when I feel close to my culture. With Sicario Villeneuve comfortably hits the target and its audience.
Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Kevin Wiggins, Benicio Del Toro in Sicario.
Emily Blunt in Sicario.
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario.
Daniel Kaluuya, Hank Rogerson, Victor Garber, Emily Blunt in Sicario. 12
THE MARTIAN Directed by Ridley Scott Starring: Matt Damon. Jessica Chastain. Jeff Daniels. Chewetel Ejiofor. Kristen Wiig. Michael Pena. I guarantee you that at some point everything is going to go south on you and you’ll say ‘this is it, this is how I am.’ Now you can either accept that or you can get to work. Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) has been left for dead on Mars after a fierce storm hit his space craft and his crew have left him. He is part of a six person Ares crew that was only 18 sols(Mars days) into its mission when the storm hit and forced an emergency evacuation but resulted in Watney being hit by a piece of debris which speared him. Waking up alone and abandoned on the Red Planet, he has to figure a way of surviving. It is going to be another four years for another mission to reach him. He needs to grow food on a hostile planet where nothing grows and also to make water. Fortunately he is a botanist but as he says, if he can figure out a way to contact NASA, nothing of this matters anyway. Back on Earth, NASA and a team of international scientists are working to bring Watney home, while his crewmates plot a daring and seemingly impossible mission to bring their ‘boy’ home too. The film works almost faultlessly as a thrilling adventure and scores most successfully over Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity because of its screenplay by Drew Goddard and its star Matt Damon. The former injects humour into the story and the latter comfortably delivers comedic quips to camera as he records his diary not for posterity but to keep himself sane. He has fun at lampooning the musical disco tapes of Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) and this relieves his tension and ours on what might have been a sombre journey. It is a beautiful and most welcoming touch and Damon’s asides to camera are excellent and very funny. He is a very likeable protagonist and the audience are rooting for him
from lift-off. So many films fail to deliver on emotional levels, but this is not one of them. MATT DAMON has a carefully planned career that is aimed to eventually launch him as a director, so he carefully chooses his roles to learn as much as he can from who is directing him. Gus Van Sant: Good Will Hunting and Finding Forester; Stephen Spielberg: Saving Private Ryan; Frank Darabont: The Majestic; Doug Liman: The Bourne Identity; Martin Scorcese: The Departed; Steven Soderbergh: The Informant! The Contagion; Paul Greengrass: The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone, and currently filming the latest untitled Bourne Sequel; Coen Brothers: True Grit; Kenneth Lonergan: Margaret; Cameron Crowe: We Bought a Zoo. Neil Blomkamp: Elysium; Terry Gilliam: The Zero Theorem; Christopher Nolan: Interstellar; Ridley Scott: The Martian. He has just finished The Great Wall, directed by Yimou Zhang. Next up will be Downsizing directed by Alexander Payne. Further evidence of Matt Damon’s directing aspirations can be seen by noting how he is following other actors who have gone that route as well as being in their films - Robert Redford: The Legend of Bagger Vance; George Clooney: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The Monuments Men; Robert De Niro: The Good Shepherd; Clint Eastwood: Invictus and Hereafter. RIDLEY SCOTT’s beginnings as a filmmaker stemmed from his earlier experience in advertising which led to him making an advertising commercial for Hovis bread called Boy and Bicycle. That was in 1965, and since then he has become one of the most respected and popular film directors in the movie business. Among his oeuvre are some of cinema’s memorable classics: Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Prometheus.
Russell Crowe has been his choice of lead in many of his films and was outstanding in Gladiator, but Matt Damon is a totally different type of actor and his range extends to all genres, even though one would not have expected him to be labelled an ‘action movie star’ that all changed with the Bourne franchise. Somehow the combination of Damon and Scott works perfectly in The Martian, with Matt Damon dominating the screen and attention of all throughout the film. Undoubtedly – The Martian is another highlight in both Scott’s and Damon’s filmography that will be watched and scrutinised by cinephiles for years to come.
Matt Damon in The Martian.
Matt Damon in The Martian.
Matt Damon in The Martian.
Sebastian Stan in The Martian. 16
THE INTERN Spoiler Alert
Directed by Nancy Meyers Starring: Robert De Niro. Anne Hathaway. Rene Russo. Adam Devine. I read once that musicians don’t retire. They stop when there’s no more music in them. Well, I still have music in me. Absolutely positive about that. - Ben Whittaker
Though this is only Nancy Meyer’s fifth film, it comes with the assurance of an outstanding picture pedigree as a director. Audiences know that a ‘Meyers’s movie’ means a narrative about the vicissitudes of relationships, which the majority of people can relate to. It is comforting to know that she is at the helm of the movie that you about to see because invariably you know that you are in for a good time. The storyline of her latest film is about an older man, a retired widower, Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) who wants to get back into life and have a purpose and feel valued again after losing the love of his life. An opportunity presents itself when he sees an ad on a noticeboard about a firm seeking a senior intern. It is Ben’s chance to start again and he applies for the job. About The Fit is an online shopping site run by its founder Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). She does not have good relationships with older people. When Jules agreed to have senior interns join the company, she assumed that meant seniors in college. She resists initially because she knows the speed at which her business and her life run, and she imagines somebody older might slow her down. But the senior intern program may be just what she needs. - Anne Hathaway We can see the strong characteristics of Jules are evidently noticeable in Nancy Meyers: smart, an amazing heart and everything she does is from genuine passion and vision. www.moviesbymills.com
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway confirmed their admiration for each other. This kind of comedy has a certain precision, with a lot of dialogue and timing. It’s why you need a good partner and I couldn’t have had a better partner than Anne. She’s very professional and very much a team player. She was great. - Robert De Niro With the ongoing debate about why there are so few women directors in the business, Nancy Meyers is in fact the most successful to date. She somehow manages to telepathically feel the pulse of cinemagoers and raise or lower the rate by command which only comes from experience, which is the stable credential of her character Ben. The stories are good because she writes them and that is the backbone of every good film. Ben Whittaker wins friends easily and makes them laugh too. Though Jules is at first reluctant to employ him, Ben’s work colleagues are rooting for him and eager to gain from what he can teach them. About the Fit has a wonderful policy of ringing a bell whenever a staffer does something special. Ben is awarded that honour when he clears a desk which has been piled high with stuff and annoying Jules to distraction. He accepts the honour with a bow. Filming on The Intern took practical locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Meyers had a unique way of communicating with her entire team, including actors, on all aspects of the production; Pinterest. I love Pinterest. Before Pinterest it would be me talking everybody’s head off. Okay, I still talk their heads off. Production designer Kristi Zea comments: It’s a credit to Nancy’s energy level that she can troll through thousands of websites and pictures and post exactly what she wants, so accurately, that we were able to look at it and say ’I get it.’ The biggest compliment was her walking on set and saying “Oh my god, it’s just like my Pinterest! Nancy has a keen eye and is very precise; she knows what she wants. She has an enormous amount of knowledge about décor, colour and style and is extremely astute when it comes to all that. Over all the style on the film is minimalist – simple, no ornamentation. The palette is subdued, with natural fabrics, textures and stripes. That’s Nancy… and we love her for it… as I am sure you will love The Intern.
Christina Scherer, Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in The Intern.
Robert De Niro in The Intern.
Anne Hathaway in The Intern.
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in The Intern. 20
FILMFEST FOLLOWER MbM RECOMMENDS BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 7-18 OCTOBER 2015
OPENING NIGHT GALA SUFFRAGETTE
Directed by Sarah Gavron Starring: Carey Mulligan. Helena Bonham Carter. Anne-Marie Duff. An intense drama about the early feminist movement that fought for the right to vote. Working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing, turn to violent demonstrations to change the law and are willing to lose everything in their fight for equality. Led by Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) and inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep).
CLOSING NIGHT GALA STEVE JOBS
Directed by Danny Boyle. Starring: Michael Fassbender. Kate Winslet. Seth Rogan. Jeff Daniels. The true story of the life of visionary Apple CEO Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) the force behind the digital age. Aaron Sorkinâ€™s masterful screenplay delves deeply into the way one man revolutionizes the way we communicate with one another. High-stakes settings that illuminate Jobsâ€™ world with rapid-fire dialogue and instant decision-making, with his perfect foil: Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), marketing chief of Macintosh, who challenges him every step of the way.
Directed by Todd Haynes. Starring: Cate Blanchett. Rooney Mara. An emotionally honest love story about two women who courageously defy the suffocating conformities of mid-century America. Therese (Rooney Mara) is an aspiring photographer, working in a Manhattan department store where she encounters Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring older woman whose marriage is breaking down. Sudden attraction, the two women gravitate toward each other.
TRUMBO Directed by Jay Roach. Starring: Bryan Cranston. Elle Fanning. Diane Lane. Helen Mirren. The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he is blacklisted in the 1940s for being a communist during the McCarthy era. However, he continued writing while blacklisted: Roman Holiday, The Brave One, and Spartacus.
BROOKLYN Directed by John Crowley. Starring: Saoirse Ronan. Domhnall Gleeson. Emory Cohen. Jim Broadbent. In the 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries. Opportunities are scarce for young women in post-war Ireland and Ellis emigrates to New York where she soon falls in love with a handsome Italian man. But it is not long before tragedy strikes and she is forced to return home to Ireland and she is encouraged to stay by another prospective admirer.
THE LOBSTER Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Starring: Colin Farrell. Rachel Weisz. Olivia Coleman. Lea Seydoux. In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of the City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into the woods.
THE ASSASSIN Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou Starring: Qi Shu. Chang Chen. Set during the mighty Tang Dynasty period in China history. Nie Yinniag returns to family after several years in exile. Now she will have to choose between sacrificing the man she loves, or break definitely with the “Order of the Assassins”.
BLACK MASS Directed by Jim Sheridan Starring: Johnny Depp. Benedict Cumberbatch. The story of the Boston mobster and FBI informant Whitey Bulger. It is based on a book written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. Whitey Bulger rose to prominence in Boston as a feared enforcer and built the Winter Hill Gang into an enterprise that did everything from selling drugs to procuring guns for the Irish Republican Army.
FELLOWSHIP SPECIAL PRESENTATION TRUTH Directed by James Vanderbilt Starring: Robert Redford. Cate Blanchett. Elizabeth Moss. Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes, the producer of Dan Rather’s 60 Minutes, who came under fire after a broadcast questioned whether George W Bush received preferential treatment to avoid Vietnam draft. The criticism cost Mapes and Rather their careers.
THE LADY IN THE VAN Directed by Nicholas Hytner Starring: Maggie Smith. Alex Jennings. Jim Broadbent. Frances De La Tour. Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) forms an unexpected bond with a Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a frail and delightfully crazy old woman who lives in a van and befriends or pesters Bennett enough for him to allow her to park in his driveway.
THE PROGRAM Directed by Stephen Frears Starring: Ben Foster. Chris O’Dowd. Guillaume Canet. Jesse Plemons. An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong’s performances during the Tour de France victories are fuelled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.
11 MINUTES Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski Starring: Richard Dormer. Paulina Chapko. Wojciech Mecwaldowski. A jealous husband, his sexy actress wife, a Hollywood director, a drug messenger, a disorientated young woman, a hot dog vendor, a troubled student, a high-rise window cleaner, an elderly sketch artist, a paramedics team, and a group of nuns, whose lives and loves intertwine.
THE DAUGHTER Directed by Simon Stone Starring: Geoffrey Rush. Ewen Leslie. Paul Schneider. The story follows a man who returns home to discover a long-buried family secret, and whose attempts to put things right threaten the lives of those he left home years before.
ROOM Directed by Lenny Abrahamson Starring: *Brie Larson. Jacob Tremblay. Joan Allen. Escaping from the captivity in which they have been held for half a decade, a young woman and her five year old son struggle to adjust to the strange, terrifying and wondrous world outside their one-room prison. Brie Larson won IMB’s Award for being the number one star-rated star who was most searched for on IMDB.
HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT Directed by Kent Jones. Featuring: Wes Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, David Fincher, James Gray, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorcese, Alfred Hitchcock, and Francois Truffaut. Filmmakers discuss how Truffaut’s book “Cinema According to Hitchcock” influenced their work.
INGRID BERGMAN – IN HER OWN WORDS Directed by Stig Bjorkman Featuring: Ingrid Bergman, Isabella Rossellini, Roberto Rossellini. Never-before-seen footage, notes, letters, diaries, and interviews with her children. A captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most celebrated actresses of American and world cinema.
MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER Directed by Jin Mo-young Featuring: Jo Byeong. Kang Kye Yeol. A couple who have been together for 76 years face the last moment of their marriage.
TAXI TEHRAN Directed by Jafar Panahi Featuring: Jafar Panahi. After giving rides around Tehran to a motley crew of passengers: a rabid reactionary, a liberal teacher, a man selling pirate DVDs, and women heading to a shrine – the taxi driver finally collects his niece, who is making a film herself for her school. 24
THE ENDLESS RIVER Directed by Olivier Hermanus. Starring: Nicolas Duvauchelle. Crystal-Donna Roberts. A man returns home from a five-year prison sentence. His wife finds herself agonising over their inability to reconnect.
GRANDMA Directed by Paul Weitz Starring: Lily Tomlin. Julia Garner. Marcia Gay Harden. Lily Tomlin plays Elle who has just got through breaking up with her girlfriend.
A PERFECT DAY Directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa. Starring: Tim Robbins. Benicio Del Toro. Olga Kurylenko. A group of aid workers work to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone.
REMEMBER Directed by Atom Egoyan Starring: Christopher Plummer. Dean Norris. Martin Landau. Zev is an elderly German Jew who has made a pact with his best friend Max to hunt down and kill the Nazi commandant who ordered the deaths of both their families.
STEVE McQUEEN: THE MAN IN LE MANS Directed by Gabriel Clarke, John McKenna. Featuring Steve McQueen. A gripping documentary featuring unseen archive footage, contemporary interviews and previously unheard commentary from McQueen himself.
THE END OF THE TOUR Directed by James Ponsoldt. Starring: Jason Segal. Jesse Eisenberg. Anna Chlumsky. Documenting five days that Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky spent with David Foster Wallace, the brilliant American writer, following a national tour to promote Wallaceâ€™s book Infinite Jest.
LISTEN TO ME MARLON Directed by Stevan Riley. An extraordinary documentary featuring personal materials from Brando’s estate to let the legendary actor tell his own story from beyond the grave.
YOUTH Directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Starring: Michael Caine. Harvey Keitel. Rachel Weitz. Paul Dano. In a spa in the Swiss Alps, several disparate characters have travelled all for very different reasons. Forming the spine of Youth is a beautifully expressed relationship between two old friends, both artists, whose life experiences are fodder for reflections on time and aging.
WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Featuring: Sara Takatsuki. Kasumi Arimura. Nanako Matsushima. Anna, a sickly girl, is sent to live with relatives on the coast in order to get some fresh air. Walking near a marsh one day she befriends Marnie, who claims to live in an old mansion. At times, the house appears clean, lived in and full of guests, but it can also look empty and dilapidated. When Anna begins to dream about her new friend and the strange house, the line between the real and imagined becomes blurred.
VALLEY OF LOVE Directed by Guillaume Nicloux Starring: Isabelle Huppert. Gerard Depardieu. Sharing the screen again for the first time in 35 years, since Maurice Pialat’s Loulou, two of French cinema’s greatest names come together in a tale of love, loss, memory and the mystical. Huppert and Depardieu play a former couple who reunite in the USA’s Death Valley, following a mysterious summons from their long-dead son.
TWO FILMS WERE ADDED TO THE LFF PROGRAMME AFTER IT WAS ORIGINALLY ANNOUNCED.
FROM AFAR Directed by Lorenzo Vegas Starring: Alfredo Castro. Luis Silva. Jerrico Montilla. Winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at Venice and the first film from Venezuela to win the award. Armando (Alfredo Castro) seeks young men in Caracas and pays them just for their company. One day he meets Elder (Luis Silva) a 17 years-old gang leader and that meeting changes their lives forever. Armando and Elder are complete opposites. Elder starts off as being homophobic but gradually changes with a very limited showing of love and affection. The storytelling consists of long tracking shots or stationary ones but which have lot going on inside the frame. The director relies on movement to tell the story rather than dialogue of which there is very little. The reason it claimed Venice’s top prize is probably due to its subject matter which is very controversial in Venezuela, and it is sensitive enough for the country not selecting it as its official foreign film selection for the upcoming Academy Awards and instead choosing Gone with the River. Its greatest narrative plus is its ending which is shocking and indeed open-ended. It definitely allows for further interpretation. MbM’s own view on a film’s merit is not its critical acclaim of Festival Jury Prizes but on the audience’s reaction. Every film festival should have an Audience Award and the recent Toronto International Film Festival not only has one but makes it its top prize and this year the Audience Choice Award went to Room, which is screening at this year’s London Film Festival on the 11th, 12th and 13th October.
Perhaps it will receive a standing ovation as Whiplash did last year.
HEART OF A DOG Directed by Laurie Anderson This film can be perceived as gloriously inventive and wacky or incredibly dull. It is experimental to the point that it seems to want to see how much an audience can take. The animated narrative is of Anderson recalling a dream in which she gives birth to a dog. The pooch is a rat-terrier named Lolabelle and Anderson tries to experience the world through her dog’s eyes: blues and greens. We see the store where Lolabelle might go to get her treats and we see her artwork which she has created with paw prints. She takes Lolabelle to Northern California to teach her language, a talent her breed seems to have for remembering five hundred words (no doubt four of them being: My mistress is barmy) But its target audience will be dog lovers and those tired of watching Disney.
FILM SOCIETIES An occasional look at the popularity of film societies and film clubs both in the UK and around the world. They offer the opportunity to watch international films and discuss them afterwards. They are generally run once a month or fortnightly throughout the year excluding the summer. Needless to say their members are film lovers and enjoy the atmosphere of a social gathering with fellow film aficionados. So, let’s pull back the curtain and take a peek at a couple of them.
RICHMOND FILM SOCIETY It was formed in 1963 and has since screened nearly 750 films. Their objective is to bring members the very best in World cinema. Seasons run from September to April and comprise 15 films of international repute, typically drawing an aggregate audience of over 900 members and guests. The 2015/16 season includes films from Europe, Venezuela, Argentine, Jordan and Iran. Film notes are provided for each screening and audience feedback is obtained via response slips. As affiliates of arts Richmond, they also provide members with details of other local arts-related events. New members are always very welcome and tickets are available on the night for non-members. Films are shown on alternate Tuesdays at 8pm in Room G5, The Pete Postlethwaite Theatre, St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4SX Contact: RFS@RICHMONDFILMSOC.ORG.UK WWW.RICHMONDFILMSOC.ORG.UK Forthcoming Films: October 6: Still Life October 20: Leviathan November 3: Two Days One Night November 17: Ida December 1: The Broken Circle Breakdown December 15: An Exclusive RFS Presentation – **Shirley – Visions of Reality January 12: Wild Tales. January 26: Theeb February 9: The Past February 23: Salt of the Earth All films are shown in their original version, subtitled where necessary. For the 2014/15 Season the RFS had 74 members of which 64% were women, 36% were men. The average attendance over the fifteen screenings was just over 61, which includes an average of around 20 non-members per film. The average age of membership is approximately late 50s/60s. The Richmond Film Society is a registered charity. **A German masterpiece of originality. Edward Hopper, America’s greatest painter, inspired the making of this film which recreates 13 of Hopper’s paintings, telling the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations, allow us to observe an era in American history. Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s. Film-makers have been influenced by great artists from Rembrandt to Renoir, but none more so than Edward Hopper. He loved the movies. When I don’t feel in the mood for painting, I go to the movies for a week or more. I go on a regular movie binge. His masterpiece, New York Movie (1939), of an usherette standing beneath a wall light to the side of a palatial darkened auditorium, is the greatest painting of any cinema interior. But the list of film-makers inspired by Hopper’s paintings are almost endless. Robert Siodmak’s The Killers, which starred Burt Lancaster, used two typical Hopper locations: a dark room in a hotel, where a single person broods, and the desolate roadside filling station. 28
Force of Evil, a noir classic starring John Garfield looked like a Hopper painting and its cinematographer George Barnes was taken to an exhibition of Hopper paintings by the film’s director Abraham Polonsky who told him That’s what I want this picture to look like. “House by the Riverside” the painter’s first acclaimed work, influenced Hitchcock’s Psycho, Steven’s Giant and Malick’s Days of Heaven. Ace cinematographer James Wong Howe used the way Hopper contrasted light and dark in his pictures for the 1955 film Picnic, which starred William Holden and Kim Novak. The whole film looks like a Hopper painting, capturing the pathos of its small Kansas town inhabitants’ quietly desperate lives. Wim Wender’s Hammett is infused with Hopper’s work and his Californian evocation of “Nighthawks” in End of Violence is there for all to savour. The same painting was scrupulously reproduced by Ken Adam in Dennis Potter’s Pennies from Heaven. A montage of Hopper’s houses and lighthouses on the New England coastline can be seen in Norman Mailer’s Tough Guys Don’t Dance. The same paintings plus the dark interiors of America in the Depression are all there in Sam Mendes Road to Perdition. The aforementioned films, plus of course Shirley – Visions of Reality, are a cinematic tribute to a great artist. *The first film society was established in London in 1925 by a group of enthusiasts including Iris Barry, Sidney Bernstein, Adrian Brunel, Hugh Miller, Walter Mycroft and Ivor Montagu, to show films which had been rejected on commercial grounds, most of them European, and films which had been rejected by the censor, most of them from the Soviet Union. Among its sponsors were George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. It was often referred to as the London Film Society, as it was followed by others in the next fifteen years: Edinburgh Film Guild, Salford Workers Film Society (now the Manchester & Salford Film Society).In 1939 its activities ended, but after the war the New London Film Society emerged as its successor. The national body for film societies in the UK is the British Federation of Film Societies and its President is Derek Malcolm.
WIMBLEDON FILM CLUB Wimbledon Film Club is a registered charity run for the whole community by a committee of unpaid volunteers. They screen world cinema, best of British and Indie films on alternate Tuesdays at 8.30pm at HMV Curzon 23 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1RE The object of the WFC is to advance the education of the public in the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the arts, particularly the art of film and allied visual techniques. Screening in the Autumn/Winter Season: Oct 6: Listen Up Philip Oct 20: The Good Lie Oct 27: What we do in the Shadows Nov 10: Slow West Nov 24: Salt of the Earth Dec 8: Nightcrawler Fees: AUTUMN/WINTER Season Adults: £36 Before 7/10/15 £40 After 7/10/15 Further details: email@example.com www.wimbledonfilmclub.com
Shirley - Visions of Reality
Shirley - Visions of Reality 30
EXTRAS The Criterion Collection
DAYS OF HEAVEN Directed by Terrence Malick Starring: Richard Gere. Brooke Adams. Linda Manz. Sam Shepard.
FILM **** One of the most beautifully visual films ever made with cinematography by Nestor Almendros. It documents the story of a Chicago steelworker (Richard Gere) who flees to the Texas panhandle with his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and little sister (Linda Manz), after accidentally killing his supervisor. He starts harvesting wheat in the fields of a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm locusts, a hellish fire â€“ all are captured with dreamlike authenticity.
It is a gritty evocation of turn-of-the- century labour.
EXTRAS * New restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick, editor Billy Weber, and camera operator John Bailey. * New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
* Audio commentary featuring Weber, art director Jack Fisk, costume designer Patricia Norris, and casting director Diane Crittendern. * New audio interview with Richard Gere. * New video interviews with cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Bailey, and a video interview with Sam Shepard from 2002. * PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Adrian Martin and a chapter from director of photography Nestor Almendrosâ€™s autobiography. This is must-have collectable for film lovers and aficionados of the work of Terence Malick. He followed this film with Badlands, which is also available in the Criterion Collection. www.moviesbymills.com
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