CONTENTS Page 3 Editorial 4 - 7 News of the World A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
8 Favourite Film of 2020 9 - 11 Other Favourite Films of 2020 12 - 15 Dear Comrades When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.
16 - 19 Second Spring After a series of unusual encounters, it is obvious to those that know her best, that Kathy Deane is not herself. Then comes a devastating diagnosis, and she leaves the safety of her marriage to Tim for a man she barely knows
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Favourite Director Other Favourite Directors Favourite Actor Coming Soon I look forward to see what films we have in store for us in 2021
32 Poster News of the World
PHOTO CREDITS: NETFLIX: 1,6,7,32 Neon: 14,15 Neat Films: 18,19 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We would like to thank the following in providing images for this magazine: Kelly Powell and Jake Garriock at Curzon.Com Sue Porter at Porter Firth. And Jamie Rushden
Editioral Hello Film Lovers! Welcome to the 93rd issue of our movie monthly online magazine. Our cover is Tom Hanks and child star Helena Zengel from the film “News of the World”. It sets the pace for what to expect for readers: film reviews: a list of film which will be coming soon through 2021…and what a year this is going to be! Once again, films are still the ultimate escape from troubles and 2020 has definitely been that with COVID 19. Potential cinemagoers have had to stay at home because of cinemas having to close because of lockdown. So, Blu-Ray and DVDs have boomed as well as streaming. Featured reviews in this issue are “News of the World”,”Dear Comrades” and “Second Spring”. Our regular feature of Coming Soon looks at films that are scheduled to be screened in the UK from January to December. Here you will find the films that were meant to be shown in 2020 but had to be put back because of COVID19 lockdown. So, we invite you to stay safe, stay at home. Enjoy the Read
NEWS OF THE WORLD Directed by Paul Greengrass Starring: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Marvel, Ray McKinnon, Mare Winningham, Helena Zengel “She used to laugh and dream. She needs new memories”. - Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd. A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home. At the beginning of this movie, Kidd (Tom Hanks) is hardly a newspaperman, but we learn that he was at the beginning of the war and his service in the Confederacy. After the first great conflict, he was left with nothing other than his intelligence and wits for how to tell a good story, which he does by riding around Texas, carrying newspapers to small towns. As for the child, Joanna Leonberger (Helena Zengel) is no longer in the wild when Kidd discovers her along a desolate road in 1870. She’s already been twice rescued (and twice orphaned) by the border wars between settlers and American Indians, and now finds herself abandoned again. Her Black escort, who was being paid to take her to her aunt and uncle on the other side of the Texas panhandle, was ambushed and lynched. Kidd, who has never had a child of his own, is wary to take her burden on and complete the journey. Yet just like his need to spread the news to a wild land, he is compelled to protect this wild girl from unruly forces in all directions. Hanks personifies a Capraesque commitment to the desperate need for facts here, and like Frank Capra, one of the greatest film directors of all-time, the film evokes empathy and emotion from his characters. We see Hanks reading from a small community’s pulpit early in the film about an outbreak of meningitis taking lives. Not one of Kidd’s congregation doubts the validity of what he reads. By focusing on the human interests of the day Kidd intentionally brings a sense of connectivity to a nation that is still deeply divided, as underscored by the U.S. Army soldiers keeping the peace at gunpoint five years after the war. To say that this story reflects our world today is an understatement. One of the great strengths of “News of the World” is its desire to see the commonality and humanity of people, even in a moment of its arguably cruellest division. It was a grotesque cause when Kidd was fighting for the Confederacy that cost him his wife and career and he stills clings to that news to this day and using the comfort of facts to rebuild a sense of community. Likewise, the murkier realities of frontier violence between 4
settlers and Native Americans is written on the face of Joanna. Divorced from the weeping generalizations of broad statements about the past, Joanna is a child derived from two cultures, and a victim of both which has left her bereft of family or community twice over. Paul Greengrass handles these elements with a delicate hand. The film is played out as you might expect. But as Kidd might expect, the pleasure comes in its telling. In this film it is embedded by two incredible performances. Hanks is steady and noble as Kidd, a man who is seen great loss but has adapted with the times, and even created a peculiar career path for himself in the rough-hewn days of Reconstruction. Zengel is the revelation though as a young girl who speaks Kiowa, handfuls of German, and a smaller spattering of English. Zengel makes for a compelling counterpart to Hanks as they embark on an odyssey of misadventures and self-discoveries. “News of the World” visits all the old familiar places but makes time to reappraise them, like finding out what would have happened if John Wayne didn’t just walk away from Natalie Wood’s doorway in John Ford’s “The Searchers”. “News of the World” answers the ‘what-ifs’.
TOM HANKS: Honours: ACADEMY AWARDS Winner 1994 Philadelphia Best Actor in A Leading Role Winner 1995 Forrest Gump Best Actor in A Leading Role GOLDEN GLOBES Winner 1989 Big Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Winner 1994 Philadelphia Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama. Winner 2001 Cast Away (200) Winner 1994 Philadelphia Best Actor Silver Berlin Bear – Berlin International Film Festival
PAUL GREENGRASS: Started his filmmaking career with a super 8 camera he found in his art room in secondary school. Those short movies were animation horror films using old dolls, artist dummies, and the general art room clutter. After studying in Cambridge University, he got into Granada Television School and spent the first ten years of his career roving global hotspots for the hard-hitting documentary series, World in Action. By this time, he became extremely interested in the Northern Ireland conflict. In 1989, he directed his first fiction movie, “Resurrected”, that won an award in Berlin. He continued his career as a fiction filmmaker with a series of TV movies dealing with social and political issues. “Open Fire” (a political scandal about a policeman accused of murder), “The One That Got Away” (about a military operation during the Gulf War). His documentary style became more dynamic and intense with each movie. In 2002, “Bloody Sunday” achieved international acclamation and won the first prize in the Berlin Festival. After that he has continued his career in the United States with “The Bourne Supremacy” starring Matt Damon. Hi favourite films are “The Battle of Algiers” (1966), “Battleship Potemkin” (1925), “Bicycle Thieves” (1948), “Breathless” (1960), “Citizen Kane” (1941), “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” (1964), “Kes” (1969), “Seven Samurai” (1954), “The War Game” (1966), and “Z” (1969). Co-author of the infamous book “Spycatcher” which was banned by the British government in the mid-80s for revealing insights into how the British Secret Service (M15) operated. “News of the World” is Paul’s eleventh feature film as a film director. His next feature has been announced and is in pre-production and will be “1984” The storyline is about a man who struggles to keep his autonomy under an oppressive regime that monitors his every move.
Child (Helena Zengel) and Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) in News of the World
Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) and Child (Helena Zengel) in News of the World 6
Paul Greengrass (Director) and Tom Hanks on the set of News of the World
Tom Hanks on set of News of the World
FAVOURITE FILM OF 2020 MANK Directed by David Fincher Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins. 1930’s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of “Citizen Kane”. This is a cineaste’s dream of a movie. Look at the characters, it is a roll-call of Hollywood names: Orson Welles, Marion Davies, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer, David O. Selznick, John Houseman, and of course Mank: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Orson Welles is such a legendary figure and is expertly played by Tom Burke. The film that is the theme of the movie is who really created the masterpiece which was “Citizen Kane”. Which premiered on 9th April, 1941. One of the major selling points of “Mank” is it is a film about about a film. So, what do we learn about Joseph L. Mankiewicz? He was a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood: “a Letter to Three Wives”(1949) and “All About Eve” (1950). There is a scene where Mankiewicz he enters an office and faces a pile of boxes and luggage . Some of the boxes are labelled 891 and Lot 891 which refers to when Orson Welles was making Citizen Kane at the WPA Theater Company. “Mank” is mainly told through flashbacks that revolve around Mank’s relationship with the newspaper tycoon Willian Randolph Hearst and the actress Marion Davies, his much younger mistress. The generous lover, Hearst, is nicknamed by her Pops. It tells of the stormy weeks Mank spent finishing his “Citizen Kane” script for Orson Welles, while sequestered in the Mojave Desert. The film aims to restore the reputation of the often-overlooked writer of the classic. It also casts some damning aspersions over the innovative and corrupt 1930s Hollywood at a time when the Screen Writers Guild was in its infancy and writers were not as respected or paid as much as they should have been.
SUNSET FILM CIRCLE AWARDS WINNER: BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Erik Messerschmidt Nominated: Best Director – David Fincher. Best Supporting Actress – Amanda Seyfried Best Director – David Fincher Best Film BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS’ AWARDS Nominated: Best Original Score – Tent Reznor & Atticus Ross
OTHER FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2020
A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK Directed by Woody Allen Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law Woody Allen returns to the romantic fields of previous hits “Vicky Cristina” and “Midnight in Paris”, assembling an allstar cast including Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna and Live Schreiber, for a charming, sizzling and comedic tale amidst the fast-paced dizzying streets of The Big Apple.
LIGHT OF MY LIFE Directed by Casey Affleck Starring: Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky Oscar winner Casey Affleck delivers a superb performance alongside Elisabeth Moss. A decade after a plague has wiped out nearly all of the world’s female population, a father and daughter live on the outskirts of what’s left of civilization as they once knew it. Disguising his daughter as a boy, the father struggles to protect her from newfound threats as they are forced from their home into dangerous territory. Prepared to defend his daughter at all costs, their bond and the character of humanity is tested. “Light Of My Life” is an edgeof-your-seat suspense thriller, which critics are hailing as “truly “breathtaking.”
NOMADLAND Directed by Chloe Zhao Starring: Frances McDormand, Gay DeForrest Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern(Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern day nomad. The third feature film from Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” features nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.
ANOTHER ROUND Directed by Thomas Vinterberg Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. There is s theory that man is born with a half mile too little. The alcohol in the blood opens the mind to the outside world, problems seem smaller and creativity increases. We know it well; after the first glass of wine, the conversation lifts, the possibilities’ open up. Martin is a high school teacher. He feels old and tired. His students and their parents want him terminated to increase their average. Encouraged by the per mile theory, Martin and his three colleagues throw themselves into an experiment to maintain the constant level. If Churchill won World War 2 in a dense fog spirits, what could the strong drops do for them and their students? The result is positive in the beginning. The beguiling, intoxicating and dangerous nature of friendship and alcohol are the doubles that drive Vinterberg’s film and he does a great job of balancing the positive and negative aspects of both. Mads Mikkelson plays Martin, Thomas Bo Larsen as Tommy, Magnus Millang as Nicolaj, Lars Ranthe as Peter. History teacher Martin seems to be in midlife crisis and seems to lose himself in the classroom and at home, he meets with his nightshift working wife Anika (Marie Bonnevie)who is more practical than emotional. Martin’s colleagues Tommy and Peter are struggling through failed marriages, while Nikolaj who is forty is trying to cope with the pressures his young family are applying to his relationship with Amalie (Helene Reingaard Neumann). It is a rich cocktail of being bored with life when one of them suggests testing out Norwegian philosopher Finn Skaderud’s theory that if humans were to maintain a 0.005 percent alcohol buzz they would perform better. How they go about this is quite is a little cockeyed with Martin swigging swigging vodka in the school toilets and gym teacher Tommy stashing booze in the kit room. Vinterberg and his co-writer Tobias Lindholm’s consideration of youthfulness versus age is also explored through kids in the school, who we see embarked on a lakeside drinking race. Mads Mikkelsen plays Martin as a man who is gradually realizing just how out of touch with his own life he has become, while Bo Larsen brings a sort of quiet desperation to Tommy. All-in-all, what we have is a hugely entertaining movie which is superbly directed and acted. A film to treasure and see again and again.
1917 Directed by Sam Mendes Starring: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman. April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time to deliver a message that will stop 1600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
VOLARE Directed by Gabrielle Salvatore Starring: Valerio Golino, Diego Abatantuono. When Vincent sees his mother Elena kicking out the stranger who just showed up at their door, he has doubts that is his father.
THE LAST FULL MEASURE Directed by Todd Robinson Starring: Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Samuel L.Jackson. Led by an all-star cast, “The Last Full Measure” is the true story if William H. Pitsenbarger a U.S. Air Force medic who personally saved over sixty men before making the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam’s bloodiest battle. Three decades later, Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman investigates a Congressional Medal of Honour request made by Pitsenbarger’s mission partner and parents. Huffman interviews Army vets to learn more about Pitsenbarger’s courageous acts-and uncovers a high-level conspiracy behind the medal’s denial
DEAR COMRADES Directed by Andrey Konchalovsky Starring: Yuliya Vysotskaya, Vladislav Komarov, Andrey Gusev Official submission of Russia for the Best International Feature Film category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist. 26 to 80 people were killed for peacefully protesting hikes in food costs with no concurrent raises in wages. The atrocity occurred in what was supposed to be a ‘thaw’ in the Soviet Union, with Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, letting up a little on the repression. Yuliva Vysotskaya plays Lynda, a middle-aged Communist Party functionary in the district, who’s having an affair with a local KGB op, the handsome, glib Loginov (Vladislav Komarov). Like the rest of their comrades, they’re annoyed by high prices and such but their status means that they can cut ahead in certain lines at least. Her teenage daughter Svetka (Yuliva Burova( finds things at her job a little less cushy. Her job is at the Electricmotive factory, which is where the protests leading to the massacre, will originate.
Lynda’s real piece of work is that she believes everything’s gone to hell since Stalin died. “If Stalin was alive, we’d be living under communism already. One thing Americans in particular don’t really get about supposed ‘communist countries as ideally like Russia and Cuba, is that systems never selfpresented as ideally communistic rather, the ostensible ‘revolution’ was a work in progress, the ultimate fulfilment of which would be the much-bruited “dictatorship of the proletariat” accompanied by world revolution. Because communism doesn’t exist in a world where capitalism exists. The film is shot in Black and White with a strong female as its central character.
Svetka and her own comrades are less concerned with achieving revolution than eating, and so the walkout begins. In Lyuda’s world of party meetings, familiar accusations are thrown about : the protestors are hooligans, gangsters, exploiting a ‘temporary hardship’ and ought to be stamped out. When the massacre starts, to leave the factory. The Lyuda’s eyes, crawling to struck by a stray bullet. her daughter.
the party members are stuck trying whole confrontation is seen through safety even as one of her own gets She survives, but she can’t find
ANDREY KONCHALOVSKY Director The Russian theatre and film director is an elder brother of Nikita Mikhalkov, born August 20, 1937. As a youngster he planned a career of a musician and learned to play the piano but his love for cinema outweighed and he entered VGIK-the major film school where he studied under Mikhail Room, At VGIK he met Andrei Tarkovsky, they collaborated on “On Ivan’s Childhood”(1962) and “Andrei Rublev”. For his feature debut “The First Teacher”(1965), he chose the book by Chingiz Almatov about the post-1917 Revolution period in southern Russia. In 1970 Konchalovsky made the film that excelled all expectations by critics and filmgoers “Uncle Vanya” considered to be one of the Best Russian films ever made. 1979 –“Siberiade” a dramatic and realistic story of the lives of the people of Siberia, was internationally acclaimed and brought Konchalovsky to the attention of American and European producers. From then onwards his career has been international in scope. Among them: “Maria’s Lovers” (1984) “Runaway Train” (1985) “Duet For One” (1986) “Homer and Eddie” “Tango & Cash” (1989) ”The Lion in Winter” (2003) AWARDS: BEST DIRECTOR FOR “THE POSTMAN’S “WHITE NIGHTS”. VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2014
SECOND SPRING Directed by Andy Kelleher Starring: Indra Ove, Jerry Killick, Cathy Naden, Simeon Willis A British drama that follows the life of Kathy (Cathy Naden) as she is diagnosed with a rare mental illness. Early on in the film Kathy becomes estranged from her husband Tim (Matthew Jure)and begins acting erratically, and leaves her marriage for a man she barely knows. Kathy begins exhibiting extremely poop impulse and most notably, struggles with feeling any empathy. Then she meets Nick (Jerry Killick) Nick seems wild and free and is the change that Kathy needs. He takes her to his childhood home, around the marshes in North Kent. It’s here that she is able to reconnect with herself and find hope. There is some risk in showing Kathy’s illness in this way. However, the progression of Kathy’s poor decision making from the point of diagnosis was quite rapid. Though the storyline is realistic, but not perhaps a happy story an audience wants to see. It is also irritating and undoubtedly unfeasible that Kathy’s estranged husband Tim isn’t doing anything in his power to help her. Why did he allow her to make poor choices knowing it wasn’t completely her? Why did he seem indifferent when she blacked out after spending a night in a park with a stranger? The film itself is quite beautiful and plaudits much be given to DP Jonas Mortenson who shot the film on Fujifilm. The difference from shooting on digital was instantly noticeable. It gave the film a soft contrast and a realistic feel that we do not see anymore in modern cinema. In terms of pacing, at times the film plodded along. More dialogue would have helped. On the plus side…Cathy Naden played Kathy with vulnerability and subtlety. The subject of mental illness is a difficult one to portray on the screen…and would suggest revisiting the film “The Snake Pit”, which starred Olivia de Havilland as Virginia Cunningham, as a mental patient. Memorable is how the film shows the terror that Virginia’s illness makes her suffer. Olivia de Havilland was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. “Second Spring” is quite a mellow film compared to “Snake Pit”, but nevertheless is worth seeing.
Jerry Killick: plays Nick in “Second Spring”. He is known for the starring role in “Monkey Sandwich” (2011) He plays Jerry, an obsessive but frustrated director who decides to turn his back on the theatre in favour of a controversial new project. But things soon start to go wrong. As he struggles with the demands of his role as a leader, he is plagued by surreal dreams conjured up by his guilty conscience, “Monkey Sandwich” is a portmanteau film with a captivating tangle of stories involving the search for un unborn child, a disturbing hunting trip, a haunted LP, a screaming piglet and a river gone rogue. The film was originally part of a stage performance of the same name. If you like Killick in “Second Spring”, you should see him in “Monkey Sandwich”. In “Second Spring” Jerry Killick’s performance is simply mesmerising, as is the charming simplicity of the film. Rarely do we see a film that offers a scenario that you know will be a ‘word-of-mouth – tell your friends-kind-of-film.
Andy Kelleher: I started out in the film industry as a camera assistant which gave me an invaluable apprenticeship into how films are made. The first film I directed was a silent black and white that went on to screen at a number of film festivals and was sold to television. After that I made other short films, mainly dark comedies and these were all well received. I've directed various short and long form arts documentaries that were broadcast on BBC and Sky. In 2011 I started working with some actor friends and we would create - on film - these devised short sequences that were their own self contained films. We weren't exactly sure what they were but these would lead on to become my first feature film as director, "Second Spring". I am developing new projects as a writer and with other writers. I have always loved working with actors and enjoy a particular type of performance. I draw inspiration from European cinema and this can be seen in the style and tone of the films I direct. Second Spring is my debut feature film. We started filming back in 2016 and it will be released in UK cinemas in November 2020. Selected screenings will be followed by a QnA. I wanted to tell a story that really involved an audience. It follows a character who is behaving out of sorts, those closest to her have noticed but she is oblivious to the change within her. It's about human behaviour, how people can change and the devastating effect of illness - the fragility of a human being. It's an intimate film, told in a slightly unconventional way. It was terrific working with Jonas and Cathy, fantastic collaborators. I also enjoyed working with the other cast and crew. Peter Zummo scored the film and the soundtrack will be released on vinyl. It is the last feature film to be shot on Fujifilm - both s16mm and 35mm. I love working with film, especially Fuji with its muted hues and particular skintones.
N.B. Andy Kelleher text taken directly from https://www.andy-kelleher.com/ without any alteration
Cathy (Kathy Deane) and Nick (Jerry Killick) in Second Spring
Cathy (Kathy Deane) and Nick (Jerry Killick) in Second Spring 18
Cathy (Kathy Deane) and Nick (Jerry Killick) in Second Spring
Nick (Jerry Killick) and Cathy (Kathy Deane) in Second Spring
FAVOURITE FILM DIRECTOR OF 2020 DAVID FINCHER Director of MANK David trained at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic doing visual effects on movies such as “Star Wars- Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). He then moved on to make TV commercials and pop music videos. He made his film feature debut with “Alien 3” in 1992. Living up to the franchise reputation proved hard for him and he was repulsed by Hollywood. He returned to music videos until in 1995, he made “Se7even”, which was about a serial killer enacting the seven deadly sins. Two films later he made “Fight Club”, which confirmed that he had become a major filmmaker, though the film was not to everyone’s taste. It was critically acclaimed. David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley and subsequently worked at ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos after signing N. Lee Lacy in Hollywood. He went on to found Propaganda in 1987 with fellow directors Dominic Sena, Greg Gold and Nigel Dick. Fincher has directed TV commercials for clients that include Nike, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Heineken, Pepsis, Levi’s, Converse, AT&T and Chanel. He has directed music videos for Madonna, Sting, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson Aerosmith, George Michael, Iggy Pop, The Wallflowers, Billy Idol, Steve Winwood, The Motels and recently A Perfect Circle. *TRADE MARK: (single frame insert). His movies often features several single frames that flash on the screen in the middle of a scene : “Fight Club”(1999). *FLUID TRACKING CAMERA which can access anywhere. A digital age innovation in camera movement pioneered by David Fincher and Kevin Tod Haug along with Buf Paris (perhaps inspired by earlier developments of Max Ophuls and Stanley Kubrick. *SILHOUETTES Frequently has characters in the shadows where you cannot make out their face (Kevin Spacey) in “Se7en” (1995), The killer in “Zodiac” (2007) and Brad Pitt in “Fight Club” (1999). *His films often end in a suicide, either attempted or successful. *His films often have low-key lighting with green or blue tinted colour temperature. *Often displays end credits as slide shows (“Fight Club”), (“Zodiac”), (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) or scrolling downward as in as in (“Se7even”). *LOW ANGLES *Backstories filled with flashbacks. *References to the band 311 (poster in “Fight Club”) *Stationary Shot, unfocused background with character walking into focus. *Posters almost always feature close-ups of characters’ faces. *Frequently collaborates with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for musical scores. *His films often centre on people with poor social skills and few friends. The Narrator in “Fight Club” (1999), Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” (2010), Lizabeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Amy Dunne in “Gone Girl” (2014) exactly one handheld shot. *Production design is usually either stark and modern, or dark and heavily decaying. 20
*Shot looking inside a character’s refrigerator. *Digitally-added anamorphic lens flares. *His movies often end with villains either ‘winning’ or not receiving proper punishment. E.g, “Se7even”(1995), “Fight Club” (1999), “Zodiac”(2007), and “Gone Girl” (2014). *Known for his perfectionist tendencies, often shooting scenes dozens or even hundreds of times to get it exactly right.
TRIVIA: Lived for several years in Ashland, Oregon and graduated from Ashland High School. His video for Madonna’s “Express Yourself” voted #1 in Slant Magazines Top 100 Videos. 2 of his other Madonna videos also made the list. Vogue at #4 & Oh Father at #11 (19th January 2003). Has been close friends with Brad Pitt since working on “Se7even”. Was originally set to direct “The Black Dahlia” (2006) but dropped out.
QUOTES: As a director, film is about how you dole out the information so that the audience stays with you when they’re supposed to stay with you, behind you when they’re supposed to stay behind you, and ahead of you when they’re supposed to stay ahead of you. I have a philosophy about the two extremes of filmmaking. The first is the “Kubrick way”, when you’re at the end of an alley in which four guys are kicking the shit out of a wino. Hopefully, the audience members will know that such a scenario is morally wrong, even though it’s not presented as if the viewer is the one being beaten up, it’s more as if you’re witnessing an event. Inversely, there’s the “Spielberg way”, where you’re dropped into the middle of the action and you’re going to live the experience vicariously – not only through what’s happening, but through the emotional flow of what people are saying. It’s a much more involved style. I find myself attracted to both styles at different times, but mostly I’m interested in just presenting something and letting people decide for themselves what they want to look at.
STEPS THAT LED UP TO FINCHER DIRECTING
“MANK” DAVID FINCHER’S FAVOURITE AND MOST INFLUENTIAL FILMS
“BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID” (1969) “DRACULA” (1931) “REAR WINDOW” (1954) “BEING THERE” (1979) “JAWS” (1975) “LAWRENCE OF ARABIA” (1962) “VALLEY OF THE DOLLS” (1967) “BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS” (1970) “DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964) “8½” (1963) “ALIEN” (1979) “AMERICAN GRAFFITI” (1973) “CITIZEN KANE” (1941) “CABARET” (1972) “TWO YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (1982)
OTHER FAVOURITE DIRECTORS OF 2020
WOODY ALLEN A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK Born Allen Konigsberg in Brooklyn, he chose the nickname ‘Woody’ while in his teens and changed his name legally in 1952. He started selling jokes at fifteen years old and within a couple of years they were being bought by commercial stations to be used by such famous names as Bob Hope and Danny Kaye. Woody’s first screenplay was Clive Donner’s “What’s New Pussycat?” (1965). Woody’s first major movie breakthrough was “Annie Hall” in 1977, and co -starring Diane Keaton. Alvy Singer (Allen). The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture, and established Allen as the premier auteur filmmaker. Thought by many film critics to be Allen’s magnum opus , “Annie Hall” confirmed that he had completed the journey from comic to humourist, from comedy writer top wit, from inventive filmmaker to creative artist. Further classics followed, enriching his filmography:
INTERIORS (1978) MANHATTAN (1979) BROADWAY DANNY ROSE (1984) THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO ((1985) HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986) CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY ((1993) BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994) MELINDA AND MELINDA (2004) MATCH POINT (2005) A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK (2020)
CASEY AFFLECK LIGHT OF MY LIFE An accomplished and striking performer, Academy Award winner Casey established himself as a powerful leading actor with performances in multiple projects. Born Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt in Falmouth, Massachusetts, his mother, Chris Anne is a schoolteacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck is a social worker; the two are divorced. Casey’s brother is actor Ben Affleck, who was born in 1972. He is of mostly English, Irish, German and Scottish ancestry. Casey was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the character drama “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” written and directed by Andrew Dominik. It starred Affleck as ‘Ford’ opposite Brad Pitt as ‘Jesse James’. The story follows Ford’s sycophantic obsession with ‘James’ that quickly turns into growing resentment after he joins the legendary outlaw’s gang, leading to his subsequent plan to murder ‘James’ and claim his rightful glory. Additionally, Casey garnered significant praise for his starring role in the Miramax film “Gone, Baby Gone”. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same title and adapted for the screen and featuring the directional debut by Ben Affleck , the film is the story of two Boston detectives in search of a four-year-old girl who has been kidnapped 22
In 2014, Affleck and John Powers Middleton formed The Affleck/Middleton project, a full-service production company designed to develop film and television content across a variety of genres. With a mission to produce quality films and television series that connect with audiences. The Affleck/Middleton Project looks to develop and produce a new wave of great American entertainment. It was recently announced that the Affleck/Middleton has secured the rights to “Far Bright Star”, the second in the book series of the same name by Robert Olmstead. Affleck will direct a script by Damien Ober with three-time Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix set to star. Affleck also directed “I’m Still Here” (2010) which he also wrote and produced starring Joaquin Phoenix, Affleck also co-wrote and starred alongside Matt Damon in Gus Van Sant’s independent road movie “Gerry” (2002). He has also appeared in Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting” and “To Die For”, “Hamlet” with Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles and Tony Goldwyn’s “The Last Kiss” with Zach Braff and Blythe Danner. On stage, Casey appeared in Kenneth Lonergan’s West End debut of his award winning play “This is Our Youth”, Affleck played the role of “Warren” alongside Matt Damon and Summer Phoenix. The Afflecks are one of only two pairs of brothers to win Academy Awards in different categories. James Goldman won for the adapted screenplay in 1968, the following year, William Goldman won for ` screenplay.
Every Breath You Take (post production) actor The World to Come (2020) as Dyer Our Friend (2019) as Matt Teague Light of My Life. (2019) Directed and acted as Dad. The Old Man & the Gun (2018) as John Hunt. A Ghost Story (2017) as C Triple 9 (2016) as Chris Allen The Finest Hours (2016) as Ray Sybert Manchester By The Sea ((2016) as Lee Chandler Interstellar (2014) as Tom Out of the Furnace (2013) as Rodney Baze Jr. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013) as Bob Muldoon ParaNorman (2012) as Mitch – voice Tower Heist (2011) as Charlie I’m Still Here 2010/1 Directed The Killer Inside Me (2010) as Lou Ford Gone Baby Gone ((2007) as Patrick Kenzie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. (2007) as Robert Ford Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) as Virgil Malloy
The Last Kiss (2006) as Chris Lonesome Jim (2005) as Jim Ocean’s Twelve (2004) as Virgil Malloy Gerry (2002) as Gerry Ocean’s Eleven (2001) as Virgil Malloy Soul Survivors (2001) as Sean American Pie 2 (2001) as Tom Myers Attention Shoppers (2000) as Jed Hamlet (2000) as Fortinbras Committed (2002/2 as Jay Drowning Mona (2000) as Bobby American Pie 1999) Tom Myers (uncredited) 200 Cigarettes (1999) as Tom Desert Blue (1998) as Pete Kepler Good Will Hunting (1997) as Morgan Chasing Amy (1997) as Little Kid Race the Sun (1996) as Daniel Webster To Die For (1995) as Russell Hines Lemon Sky (1988) as Jerry.
CHLOE ZHAO Chloe Zhao or Zhao Ting was born in Beijing, China on March 31, 1982. She is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her debut feature film, “Songs My Brother Taught Me” (2015), premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature film, “The Rider” (2017), was critically acclaimed and received several accolades including nominations for Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and Best Director. Zhao was born and raised in Beijing, China, to father and stepmother, Chinese actress Song DanDan, Growing up, she was very rebellious, and drawn to influences from Western pop culture. She attended a boarding school in London before moving to Los Angeles to finish high school. Zhao studied at Mount Holyoke College earning a bachelor’s degree in political science. She worked odd jobs as a party promoter, in real estate, and befriending before studying film production at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. In 2010, Zhao’s short film “Daughters” premiered at the ClementFerrand International Short Film Festival and won Best Student Live Ation Short at the 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest and Special Jury Prize at the 2010 Cinequest Film Festival. In 2015, Zhao directed her first feature film, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me”. Filmed on location at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the film depicts the relationship between a Lakota Sioux brother and his younger sister. The film premiered as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival. It later played at Cannes Film Festival as part of the Director’s Fortnight selection. The film was nominated for Best First Feature at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards. In 2017, she directed “The Rider”, a contemporary western drama which follows a young cowboy ‘s journey to discover himself after a near-fatal accident ends his professional riding career. Similar to her first feature, Zhao utilised a cast of non-actors, who lived on the ranch where the film was shot. Zhao’s impetus for making the film came when Brady Jandreau, a cowboy whom she met and befriended on the reservation where she shot her first film, suffered a severe head injury when he was thrown off his horse during a rodeo competition. Jandreau later starred in the film playing a fictionalised version of himself as Brady Blackburn. Zhao became the inaugural winner of the Bonnie Award, named after Bonnie Tiburzi, which recognises a mid-career female director. The film was released on April 13, 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics. In April 2018, it was announced that Amazon Studios greenlit Zhao’s upcoming untitled Bass Reeves biopic, a historic Western about the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal. Zhao is set to direct the film and write the screenplay. Chloe Zhao has proved herself to be a versatile and imaginative filmmaker.
THOMAS VINTENBERG With “Last Round” (1993) his graduation Short from the National Film School of Denmark, he got an early taste og critical success. He received the Jury’s and Producer’s Awards at the International Student Film Fest in Munich and won 1st prize at the Tel Aviv Film Fest. Popular success followed with his breakthrough short fiction film, “Drengen der gik baglaens” (1995), about a boy, who after the death of his brother, discovers he can turn back time by walking backwards. This poetic short film was followed the reckless and fast-paced thriller, “The Biggest Heroes” (1996). Vinterberg is one of the founding ‘brothers of dogme95, a set of rules dedicated to reintroducing the element of risk in filmmaking. “The Celebration” (1998) was not only the first Dogme95 project it was also his first international success. With this movie he penetrated a layer of evil and abomination he had never been to before. The story revolves around a Family patriarch Helge Klingenfeldt Hansen, celebrating his 60th birthday. In a speech the eldest son addresses his father, supposedly to honour him, only to reveal the father’s darkest secret. Among other international prizes, Vintenberg received the Prix du Jury of the Cannes International Film Festival. His feature, “It’s All About Love” (2003, is a departure from the Dogme95project. It is the story of John (Joaquin Phoenix) and Emma (Clare Danes) whose marriage has fallen apart. Their troubled relationship is reflected in their surroundings as Vintenberg attempts to create a parallel between the chaos inside the characters. Back in his homeland, Thomas Vinterberg nevertheless sticks to the English language. “My whole life has been a very communal experience; growing up in a house full of happy hippies, having dinner parties three days a week, and going to Christiania, I was constantly surrounded by people celebrating community. If you look at the films I’ve done, they all share the same theme. Of the films we’ve focused on which Thomas Vinterberg has directed, one that rises to the top of his filmography is his latest film “Another Round” starring Mads Mikkelsen. It is about four friends, all high school teachers, test and theory that they can improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. Vintenberg co-wrote the screenplay with Tobias Lindholm. The film is scheduled for release in the UK on February 5th this year.
FAVOURITE ACTORS OF 2020 GARY OLDMAN (Mank) A talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his expressive acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” (1986), Drexl in “True Romance”(1993), George Smiley in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. Now he has excelled himself with the greatest performance of his career in “Mank” Gary was born in 1958 in New Cross, London. He won a scholarship to Britain’s Rose Bruford Drama College in Sidcup, Kent, where he received a B.A. in theatre arts in 1979. He subsequently studied with the Greenwich Young People’s Theatre and went on to appear in several plays throughout the early 80s including “The Pope’s Wedding”. His film debut was “Remembrance” in 1982. Among the many characters he has played was Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” (2017).
LILY COLLINS (Mank) Lily’s first screen role was at the age of two in the BBC series “Growing Pains”. In 1992, she performed at the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts as a child, but her main interest was journalism. She graduated from the Harvard-Westlake School, and attended the USC, where she majored in journalism. She is the daughter of Phil Collins and his second wife Jill Tavelman. Her father’s Academy Award-winning song “You’ll Be In My Heart” was written for her. Lily’s filmography is impressive for its variety of roles:
“The Blind Side” (2009) as Collins Tuohy “Priest” (2011) as Lucy Pace “Abduction” (2011/1 as Karen “Mirror Mirror” (2012) as Snow White “Stuck in Love” (2012) as Samantha Borgens “The English Teacher” (2013)as Halle Anderson “The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones (2013) as Clary “Love, Rosie” (2014) as Rosie Dunne “Rules Don’t Apply” (2016) as Maria Mabrey “To The Bone” (2017/1 as Ellen “Okja (2017) as Red “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile” (2019) as Liz Kendall “Tolkien” (2019) as Edith Bratt “Inheritance” (2020/1 as Lauren Monroe “Mank” (2020) as Rita Alexander
AMANDA SEYFRIED (Mank) as Marion Davies. The highlight of her career playing an actress, highly acclaimed in her time. Born and raised in Pennsylvania. Began modelling when she was eleven and acted in high school productions as well as taking singing lessons.As she completed her schooling she had already secured a place at Fordham University when she was offered a role in the Tina Fey-penned teen comedy “Mean Girls”(2004). She deferred her university education to complete the film. More television work followed, raising her profile across America, while her appearances in “Mamma Mia!”(2008) and “Red Riding Hood” (2011) helped establish her international fame. The correct pronunciation of her name is “Sigh-Frid”. Missed 70 school days during her senior year in high school due to her acting commitments. Originally auditioned for the title role on “Veronica Mars”(2004) but lost out to Kristen Bell.
“Mank” (2020) as Marion Davies “You Should Have Left” (2020) as Susanna “The Art of Racing in the Rain” (2019) as Eve “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!” (2018) as Sophie “Gringo” (2018) as Sunny “First Reformed” (2017) as Mary “The Last Word” (2017) as Anne
KEVIN COSTNER As George Blackledge in “Let Him Go”. Kevin has not lost any of his powerful presence to dominate any film he is in, and “Let Him Go” is no exception. A good actor will always make you want to see more of them and Kevin always does that. Check out his filmograhy:
“Silverado” as Jake “The Untouchables” as Eliot Ness “No Way Out” as Tom Farrell “Bull Durham” as Crash Davies “Field of Dreams” as Lieutenant Dunbar
”Let Him Go”
DIANE LANE As Margaret Blackledge in “Mank” An actress who has the ability of being so relaxed in her delivery that it would appear that she isn’t acting. There are a few gems in her filmography with other screenplays about the film world in which Diane played a leading role.
“Chaplin” as Paulette Goddard “Under the Tuscan Sun” as Frances “Hollywoodland” as Toni Mannix.
COMING SOON Films due for Release January—December 2021
SHADOW IN THE CLOUD
THE KING’S MAN
Directed by Roseanne Liang Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale
Directed by Matthew Vaughan Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gemma Arterton
A female WW2 pilot travelling with top secret documents on AB17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.
Directed by Doug Liman Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley
Directed by Daniel Espinosa Starring: Jared Leo, Matt Smith, Tyrese Gibson
A dystopian world where there are no women, and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words and sound called noise.
FEBRUARY MARRY ME Directed by Kat Coiro Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Silverman Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before global audience of fans.
In the early years of the 20th Century, The Kingman Agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.
Biochemist Michael Morbius tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead.
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT Directed by Tom Gormican Starring: Pedro Pascal, Nicholas Cage, Neil Patrick Harris A cash-strapped Nicholas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.
NO TIME TO DIE
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga Starring: Ana de Armas, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig
Directed by Cate Shortland Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz
James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived, when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
REMINISCENCE Directed by Lisa Joy Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman, Thandie Newman A scientist discovers a way to relive your past and uses the new technology to search for his long-lost love.
A film about Natasha Romanoff and her quests between the films “Civil War” and “Infinity War”.
SPIRAL Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman Starring: Morgan David Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Ali Johnson A sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the Book of SAW.
A QUIET PLACE PART 2 Directed by John Krasinski Starring: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy Following the events at home, the Abbots family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
SAMARITAN Directed by Julius Avery Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Pilou Asbazk, Martin Starr A young boy learns that a superhero who was thought to have gone missing after an epic battle twenty years ago may in fact still be around.
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Directed by Edgar Wright Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s, where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
LUCA Directed by Enrico Casarosa Starring: John Ratzenberger, Drake Bell On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely and strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.
UNCHARTED Directed by Reuben Fleischer Starring: Tom Holland, Sophia Ali, Mark Wahlberg The prequel to the Games, showing us details of how Drake came to meet and befriend Sully.
Directed by Liesl Tommy Starring: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald. The life story of legendary R & B singer Aretha Franklin
SEPTEMBER THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD
IN THE HEIGHTS Directed by Jon M. Chu Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephanie Beatrix, Jimmy Smits A feature version of the Broadway Musical, in which a Bodega owner has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune.
Directed by Patrick Hughes Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L.Jackson, Salma Hayek Sequel to the 2017 action/comedy
THE MAN FROM TORONTO Directed by Patrick Hughes Starring: Kaley Cuoco, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Liburd The world’s deadliest assassin and New York’s biggest screw-up are mistaken for each other at an Airbnb rental.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 4 Directed by Derek Drymon & Jennifer Kluska Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg Fourth instalment of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise.
DEEP WATER! Directed by Adrian Lyne Starring: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Rachel Blanchard A well-to-do husband who allows his wife to have affairs in order to avoid a divorce becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of her lovers.
OCTOBER DUNE Directed by Denis Villeneuve Starring: Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
NOVEMBER THE LAST DUEL
Directed by Ridley Scott
Directed by Chloe Zhao Starring: Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek
Starring: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer
King Charles VI declares that The saga of the Eternals, a race of Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his immortal Beings who lived on Earth dispute with his squire by and shaped its history and challenging him to a duel. civilization.
SNAKE EYES Directed by Robert Schwenthe Starring: Henry Golding, Samara Weaving, Ursula Cor A spin-off centered around the character Snake Eyes
DECEMBER WEST SIDE STORY Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
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A Magazine for Discerning Cinemagoers and Filmmakers. In this Issue: Reviews - News of the World. Dear Comrades. Second Spring. Other Articl...
Published on Jan 4, 2021
A Magazine for Discerning Cinemagoers and Filmmakers. In this Issue: Reviews - News of the World. Dear Comrades. Second Spring. Other Articl...