The story behind Amma Asante’s film Belle, which premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, is inspired by a painting attributed to German artist Johann Zoffany that currently hangs in Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland. It depicts two young women, one of whom is black and the other white.
A word of warning first of all. Do not go to see Chef on an empty stomach. Don’t go even if you are the slightest bit hungry. Really stuff yourself before you arrive at the cinema.
I’ve heard it said that some provinces within Canada refer to Ontario as “On-terrible” and I want to set the record straight because that just isn’t right. I don’t want to point fingers, but nobody likes to be called names, British Columbia. And whilst sticks and stones and 10 feet of snow for 5 months of the year and horrendous thunderstorms and tornadoes might break our bones, your words are childish and unjustified. So there…
It is hard to believe that it has now been 20 years since Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was released. QT announced himself to the world with his debut feature, Reservoir Dogs, in 1992; and if the first film was an explosion, the second was an earthquake. His rise to fame is comparable to that of Orson Welles in the early 40s and he has always had the supreme self-confidence and ego to match his cinematic forefather.
Although I am not a smoker, I’ll admit it can look cool in the movies. Humphrey Bogart has his fedora/cigarette combo to thank, in some part, for his illustrious career and ladykilling – he wasn’t the best looking chap. However high their theatrical ambitions, this is sadly not the case for either Withnail nor I in Bruce Robinson’s semi-autobiographical and perennially brilliant masterpiece.
As opening soliliquies go, a beefed up, tattooed and incarcerated Jude Law championing the exquisiteness of his male appendage while receiving fellatio from a fellow inmate is unusual. This ill-advised and unfunny speech has the necessary shock factor but misses the darkly comic desires of the film. It sets the tone for much of what is to come; if you’ll excuse the pun.
The British Film Institute’s annual listing of The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time came out last month. Having spent half a century in the number one spot, Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 1941) was ousted by Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). To be knocked off the top of the podium after spending 50 years as the greatest film of all time, as voted for by the world’s top critics, isn’t such a bad thing – especially if you concede your spot to a masterpiece by the master of suspense.
There are two sides to every city; just as there are two sides to every relationship and every marriage. One moment you gaze in awe at the silhouetted Eiffel Tower against the hazy Paris skyline from the balcony of your luxury hotel suite and the next you find yourself on your backside in a pile of empty crates and bags of rubbish outside an overly-priced seafood restaurant.
In February 2012, Bavarian authorities raided an apartment in Munich, wherein they found over 1,500 pieces of art stolen, or otherwise procured, by Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II. Nearly two years passed before this discovery was disclosed by authorities and it was not until last week that a small portion of the haul was revealed to be on display at a top-secret location somewhere in Austria. For more than fifty years Gurlitt’s son, Cornelius, now in his eighties, hoarded the enormous collection and sold a piece or two at a time when in need of money.
Upon receiving his Oscar for Best Foreign Film for The Great Beauty/La grande bellezza, Paolo Sorrentino thanked the usual suspects – the Academy, his producers, actors and family. He also paid homage to his “sources of inspiration” which included Diego Maradonna (as an Englishman this rather angered me), Martin Scorsese (naturally) and a fellow Italian director by the name of Federico Fellini.