Month: September 2014

Salvatore Giuliano

Most people interested in the great days of post-war Italian cinema know the names Rossellini, Fellini and Visconti. But they may have forgotten about Francesco Rosi, once called “the heavy conscience of the Italian cinema”. His most celebrated film, Salvatore

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Night Will Fall

André Singer’s Night Will Fall, a documentary about the Allied liberation of Nazi concentration camps, is a weighty reminder of an awful past which even today some people still either deny or belittle as propaganda. In 1945 the British Ministry

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71st Venice Film Festival

No one could say that this year’s Venice Festival was a vintage affair. There were too few films of real stature and, long before the end of its programme, there were many who wondered where the next good movie was

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The Wizard of Oz

Poor Judy Garland. If ever there was a victim of the horrors of Hollywood it was she. Told she was dumpy from an early age — one producer called her “my little frog” — she took uppers and downers during

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The Sound and the Fury

You have to be highly ambitious or a little mad even to contemplate adapting William Faulkner’s complicated classic, The Sound and the Fury, to the screen. In which bracket you place actor-director James Franco depends upon your view of his

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Cymbeline

Rating: It is almost impossible to defeat Shakespeare, however much you update his plots or murder his language for contemporary purposes. Even Bollywood has had a go. American director Michael Almereyda, whose cinematic version of Hamlet starred Ethan Hawke, uses

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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Last year it was Gravity. This year the venerable Venice Festival opened its 71st edition with the equally star-studded Birdman, directed by the Mexican Alejandro Iñárritu. It proved another genuine coup for the festival as an expertly delivered black comedy

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