Fassbender’s 2011 gets busier with McQueen’s ‘Shame’

Posted by · 9:47 am · November 11th, 2010

I’m lousy at keeping track of pre-production news, so if you’d asked me an hour ago what British artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen was tackling for his sophomore feature, I’d have answered, “Oh, I know — that Fela Kuti biopic starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.” And I’d have been wrong. The more clued-up folks at The Playlist report that […]

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‘Amelie’ tops list of decade’s best cinematography

Posted by · 10:00 am · June 29th, 2010

The folks at Movieline got their hands on a list of the top 50 films of the decade, from a cinematography standpoint, as laid out by voters at American Cinematographer magazine. Topping the list: Bruno Delbonnel’s work on “Amelie.” Delbonnel is a favorite among DPs. After all, “A Very Long Engagement” won him the ASC […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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INTERVIEW: Michael Fassbender

Posted by · 7:06 pm · January 19th, 2010

Michael Fassbender is unemployed. This, at least, is what he tells me at the outset of our conversation, and he sounds entirely relaxed about it. As well he sound be: after 18 months of back-to-back film projects, a catholic range spanning the gruelling physical demands of “Hunger,” the arch larking-about of “Inglourious Basterds,” the kitchen-sink […]

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‘Hurt Locker’ keeps it going with NYFCC

Posted by · 10:07 am · December 14th, 2009

The New York Film Critics Circle decided not to announce its list of winners in real time this year, which is a shame because it has always been one of my favorite aspects of the season.  What we’re left with is scattered press release reveals, Twitterers scooping the group’s info as emails and phone calls […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Post early for Christmas

Posted by · 1:35 pm · October 7th, 2009

London is in the midst of a postal strike. No mail, be it far-flung postcard or electricity bill, has popped through my front door for over a month. I recently had to stroll into Soho to pick up my London Film Festival accreditation pack by hand. And rather discouragingly, my local post office today put […]

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‘Trainspotting’ named best British film of last 25 years

Posted by · 5:29 pm · August 31st, 2009

The Observer has just assembled one of the more interesting lists I’ve seen in some time — a collective of the 25 best British films of the last quarter-century, compiled from the votes of over 60 critics, film professionals and assorted outside voices, ranging from Ben Kingsley to Peter Morgan to our friend Anne Thompson. […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 directorial debuts of the decade

Posted by · 8:51 am · June 23rd, 2009

To me, “great cinema” means something I haven’t seen before or something I have seen before presented in a new way. With 110 years of motion pictures behind us, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet those standards, especially since filmmakers find it a lot easier to give in to preconceived notions of story structure, character […]

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Right on

Posted by · 1:14 pm · March 23rd, 2009

There are so many contrivances in the “prison” genre that are completely absent from McQueen’s film, which focuses on the faces of characters and their surroundings. The theme is not pushed forward by plot or by character but by feeling and emotion, which is enormously difficult in such a visual and aural medium. Now that […]

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POLL: What are you seeing this weekend?

Posted by · 8:48 pm · March 18th, 2009

I figure it’s time for a new poll since everyone has spoken on “Watchmen” by now.  Since there’s an interestingly diverse slate of films set to open this weekend, I figured I’d ask the old stand-by: What are you going to see? I’m strangely looking forward to “Knowing,” more because of Alex Proyas than anything […]

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‘Hunger’ poster

Posted by · 11:08 am · February 27th, 2009

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Mike Leigh on Hollywood, Mickey and losing an Oscar

Posted by · 2:46 am · February 26th, 2009

If, like yours truly, you’re one of those who believe that British auteur Mike Leigh was robbed on Sunday night, you’ll thoroughly enjoy his Oscar diary. Ever the Hollywood outsider, Leigh attended the Academy Awards with his two adult sons as his guests, and he reflects on the ensuing madness with all the droll, dry […]

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UK press forgives Winslet

Posted by · 8:01 am · February 9th, 2009

Good. After weeks of mean-spirited mockery for her admittedly messy Golden Globe acceptance speeches, it appears that Winslet-baiting has finally gone out of style in the British press. UK media can demonstrate a weird tall-poppy syndrome when it comes to homegrown successes, but judging by this Independent article, they obviously approved of her restrained, clipped […]

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Predicting BAFTA, part two — main categories

Posted by · 4:20 pm · February 7th, 2009

Continuing yesterday’s not-so-educated guesses at tomorrow’s BAFTA Awards, we move on the main categories. In many ways, they’re easier to predict than the frequently confounding technical categories, but that’s no reason to get complacent – as we saw last year with then-unexpected wins for Tilda Swinton and Marion Cotillard, BAFTA is more than capable of […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Slumdog’ stays happy, Bale gets angry

Posted by · 6:00 pm · February 6th, 2009

A slower news week, this, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t find plenty to discuss. Here’s what was on our (and your) minds: • In the week’s biggest precursor news, Danny Boyle won the Directors’ Guild Award. Hollywood is still reeling from the shock. • Oh, and “Slumdog Millionaire” nabbed the USC Scripter award too. […]

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‘Wrestler’ rules London crix awards

Posted by · 3:15 pm · February 4th, 2009

The London Film Critics’ Circle have just announced their winners, and I have to say they’ve done a pretty terrific job. (I discussed the nominations here.) The really heartening news is that “The Wrestler” finally has another Best Picture award to its credit, five months after taking the Golden Lion at Venice — who would […]

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Standard crowns ‘Hunger’ best film

Posted by · 1:44 pm · February 2nd, 2009

I have to hand it to the Evening Standard Awards: they are a breath of fresh air in a suffocating awards season. While their choices can have a bit of an over-democratic, drawn-from-a-hat feel to them (Stephen Daldry for Best Director? On what planet?), they are never afraid to veer from the herd. And so […]

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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by · 12:24 pm · January 21st, 2009

OK, I explained the deal with this yesterday, when I covered the technical categories. What follows are the names and films that I, in a perfect world, would like to hear announced by Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker bright and early tomorrow morning. (Or tomorrow afternoon, in my case … living across the Atlantic does […]

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