Category Archives: Film

‘It was heartbreaking’: the bleak truth behind Bafta-chasing migrant drama

Stark realities underpin Aamir, Vika Evdokimenko’s ostensibly fictional tale of a young migrant forced to fend for himself

Aamir is just 13. Like many teenagers, his coming of age is marked by a wispy moustache above his upper lip, a vulnerability in his hunched shoulders, a voice not yet broken.

But after soldiers break into his family home in Mosul and shoot and kill his father, Aamir must become a man. His mother sends him away with a few wads of cash and his father’s watch as insurance, hoping to give him a better life – one he might actually survive. But as the boy tries to find his feet all alone in a foreign world, will he end up losing his mind in the process?

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Source: gad

Weinstein Company fires chief operating officer David Glasser

Board sacks senior executive days after New York attorney general sued company over harassment scandal

The studio co-founded by disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein has sacked its chief operating officer.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced on Friday that the board had decided to part ways with David Glasser. “The board of The Weinstein Company has unanimously voted to terminate David Glasser for cause,” a TWC statement said, according to multiple reports.

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Source: gad

A-wokening: is pop culture’s political surge a movement or a moment?

Social consciousness is a key part of creativity in 2018, from Kendrick Lamar’s Damn to this year’s celebrity Big Brother. But is it more than just a trend?

A quick quiz: what do these have in common? Katy Perry’s “purposeful pop”; the reboots of Party of Five and Ghostbusters; Macklemore; that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad; and, most recently, Justin Timberlake’s video for his song Supplies, where the star surveys the ills of today’s world on TV screens before heading off to party at what looks like an Occupy-chic rave.

The answer is: they are all, apparently, woke.

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Source: gad

Frances McDormand: two defining roles, two decades apart

Her reaction to an Oscar for Fargo suggested a complex attitude towards fame. With Three Billboards, it will be tested again

Winners of the Oscar for best actress can pretty much choose what to do next. But, when Frances McDormand won in 1996 – for her performance as an eccentric but unfoolable Minnesota cop in Fargo – she made choices that surprised Hollywood.

The best thing about the award, she told interviewers, was that she was now famous enough to be cast in a Sesame Street video giving tips to children who got lost. Then, at a point where she could have picked any film, she chose to go to the Gate theatre in Dublin for a revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She specifically asked the Gate not to mention her Oscar in the programme.

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Source: gad

Isaac Julien: 'It's another watershed moment for history of queer rights'

In Sydney for the 40th Mardi Gras, the pioneering proponent of New Queer Cinema reflects on once radical ideas that have made it to the mainstream

The significance of this moment in time is not lost on the artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien.

The London-born son of St Lucien parents, Julien, 57, has spent much of his career exploring sexuality, race and the iconography of queer history. Having just watched his home country celebrate 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised, he has arrived in Sydney to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – the first since Australia legalised marriage equality.

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Source: gad

Damsel review – Robert Pattinson goes a-crooning in twisty Old West quest drama

Pattinson cast off more of his matinee-idol past as a gauche galoot seeking his bride in the Zellner brothers’ grotesque, beautiful and unpredictable movie

While the western as a living genre continues to fade into a folk memory, the postmodern neo-western – melancholic, world-weary and demystifyingly ironic – is well established as its inheritor. Jim Jarmusch arguably provided the modern template for this strain with his 1995 Dead Man, and the British director John Maclean rode in that film’s wake with his recent Slow West. Jacques Audiard looks as if he’ll be continuing the tradition with his forthcoming The Sisters Brothers, based on the supremely knowing, not to say Coens-y novel by Patrick deWitt. Meanwhile, playing in the Berlin competition, here is Damsel from eccentric film-making duo David and Nathan Zellner.

The Texan brothers weighed in with a quest narrative with their last film, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, about a young Japanese woman on a deranged mission to find the money stashed away in the Coens’ Fargo. With Damsel, the Zellners are questing again. We’re in the Old West, and things kick off with a prologue in the desert, where an exhausted old preacher (a cameo from Robert Forster, as sun-battered as the mighty mesas around him) gives his black suit and Bible to a forlorn traveller (David Zellner) hoping to make a fresh start in life.

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Source: gad

Black Panther film fuels calls for release of jailed political activists

Film serves as ‘opportunity to remind people of the real heroes of the Black Panthers’, says former party leader

When he was released from prison in 2014, Sekou Odinga felt like he was falling from the sky into a foreign land. After 33 years behind bars, the former Black Panther party leader was released into a United States he didn’t recognize – with strange technology and grandchildren he had never hugged.

Though he celebrated with family and supporters, Odinga, 73, also remained mindful of the many other civil rights activists who weren’t so lucky: “You always feel like you don’t want to leave nobody behind.”

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Source: gad

Dead Space was to games what Alien was to movies

Now available free on PC, Dead Space came closer than any other game to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller

This week, Electronic Arts has made one of the most interesting and atmospheric narrative games of the 2000s available for free to users of its Origin gaming service. Released in 2008 and created by Californian studio Visceral Games, Dead Space remains a heady, often terrifying thrill ride and if you’ve never played it before, it’s worth taking this chance – especially if you’re a fan of the Alien movies.

Although there have been numerous attempts to bring Alien directly to video games – most successfully, Creative Assembly’s incredibly tense Alien: Isolation – it’s Dead Space that has got closest to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s original film.

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Source: gadt

Time's finally up for Hollywood's Lolita complex

Male directors have endlessly projected their sexual fantasies in films starring child actors having relationships with older men. Does #MeToo mark a watershed for the creeps?

The pairing of the older man and younger woman, in movies as in life, enjoys relative respectability. Somehow, daddy figures are more acceptable than old-enough-to-be-your-mother lovers, France’s current president notwithstanding. The latter is usually played for the grotesque – Sunset Boulevard, The Graduate – while the double standard of ageing allows older men to exude a sex appeal not offered to their female counterparts. But how young and how old? And will the leniency afforded such pairings survive the scrutiny of the #MeToo movement?

It is no longer possible to rationalise as consensual certain egregious pairings, or to accept with equanimity the sexualisation of underage performers. We have begun to take a second look at the smarmy overtones of movies such as Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Louis CK’s now-shelved I Love You, Daddy, in which “protective” older men ogle daughter figures in utterly self-serving ways. We may also wince at precocious streetwise teens such as Jodie Foster’s prostitute (14) in Taxi Driver and Natalie Portman (13) in Luc Besson’s Leon, supposedly “wise beyond their years”, who seem to express nothing of a young girl’s reality or hopes – but everything of a director’s fantasies.

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Source: gad

Grenfell activists use Three Billboards protest to highlight lack of progress

Justice 4 Grenfell group parades billboards around London to keep tower blaze, which killed 71 people, on national conscience

Campaigners have taken inspiration from the Oscar-nominated drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to highlight what they say has been “a lack of progress” in the Grenfell Tower fire investigation.

Members of the Justice 4 Grenfell group paraded billboards emblazoned with the words “71 dead”, “And still no arrests?”, “How Come?” around central London locations in an attempt to keep victims of last June’s tower block blaze “in the national conscience”.

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Source: gad