Category Archives: British Film
by Emma Street
A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman is based on Graham Chapman’s fictionalised autobiography which was first published in 1981. Chapman recorded an audio version of his book and this voice recording is used as the soundtrack to the film along with new voice recordings from John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. Eric Idle is the only no-show from the Monty Python team.
Fourteen different animation studios worked on the project, animating separate chunks of the film. “Creatively, the different styles reflect the stages in Graham’s life.” said one of the directors, Jeff Simpson, in an interview “Also, it saves us a lot of time.”
Chapman died at the age of 48 from throat cancer. The other members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus have forged successful careers as directors, Hollywood A-list actors and the like while Chapman never had much chance to establish a career post-Python. What with being dead and all.
Lawrence of Arabia is 50 years old. If you can tell us when and where it premièred we have a pair of tickets for the screening tomorrow at Empire Leicester Square at 2.30 pm. It is a 1,330 seat cinema with a high quality 56K Watt THX certified sound system, showcasing Lawrence of Arabia in the best possible setting in its original road show presentation with an overture and intermission.
To win email editor at mostlyfilm dot com before 3pm today with your answer. First out of the hat wins. There’s a clue here in our original review. Good luck!
Ben Wheatley’s eagerly anticipated new film, Sightseers, is a black comedy about a couple on a caravanning holiday across England who start a killing spree. Written by its two stars, Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, the film is receiving regular comparisons to Mike Leigh and Natural Born Killers. What’s interesting is that, although he did not originate the project, the film is so clearly the work of the man who last directed Kill List.
In September, Mostly Film’s Gareth Negus attended a press conference with Ben Wheatley, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who talked about the creation of the film, its production and their choice of eccentric tourist spots.
With the 2012 London Film Festival in full swing, Siobhan Callas of Britflicks.com looks at the British productions in this year’s programme.
It’s time once again for the UK’s biggest (and possibly longest titled) film event of the year, The 56th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.
The festival sees a total of 225 feature films from 68 different countries playing across the capital city’s cinemas for 12 days throughout October. And much to my own personal joy, one sixth of this year’s chosen screen outings are home-grown.
by Blake Backlash
That title seems emblematic of film noir. In so many noirs the city is a malevolent presence, a place that seems both to warp and to be warped by the tortured psyche of the protagonist. If you had to send a telegram summarising the message of most film noir, the curt, four word missive: Hell Is a City, would be a pretty good way to get the job done cheaply.
But a part of what makes this film interesting are the other, non-noir traditions it draws upon. It’s British but it’s a markedly different work than the films I discussed in my MostlyFilm article on Brit Noir, back in March. Significantly, the three films I looked at then are set in London and the South. By contrast, Hell Is a City is set in Manchester. That shift north also brings with it a shift from a heightened reality to an emphasis on veracity. And along with that comes a more serious attempt to more authentically depict the lives of the British working-class.
Spank the Monkey and Clio attempted to review the BFI’s new digital archive for Mostly Film. With mixed results…
Spank The Monkey:
I love Sight and Sound magazine, even though I hold it personally responsible for the mediocre 2.2 degree I attained at university. It’s true. Much of my final year at Manchester was spent in the campus library, desperately trying to undo the results of two previous years of hedonism largely based around the university’s excellent Film Society. But during a break in studies one day, I discovered that the library had bound volumes of Sight and Sound (and its companion review magazine, Monthly Film Bulletin) going back several decades. The study breaks got longer and longer after that, ultimately leading to the Desmond that blights my academic record to this day.
I had a massive Proustian rush when I recently visited the new library at BFI Southbank, and found those same bound volumes taking pride of place on its shelves. So imagine my delight when I discovered shortly afterwards that it was now possible to access every issue of S&S and MFB online, through the newly-created Sight & Sound Digital Archive. Well, that’s the theory, anyway.
As the Nick Love-directed remake of The Sweeney reaches British cinemas, Dene Kernohan looks at the history of British TV in the cinema.
The subgenre of films based on British TV series is one I have a great deal of affection for, even if critical acclaim has been limited. And it’s one which has been around almost as long as commercial television itself. The earliest example seems to be I Only Arsked!, a 1958 Hammer comedy in which Bernard Bresslaw reprised his role of Pte “Popeye” Popplewell from Granada Television’s national service sitcom The Army Game.
Sarah Slade on a rediscovered classic of British film.
In cinema, marriage is the happy ending. Hero and heroine are joined together after many adventures, kiss for the first time, and everything is as rosy as the sunset behind them. Marriage is the ultimate destination, and even an adulterous liaison ends up with the protagonists returning to the marital home, chastened and penitent; or maybe an inconvenient spouse dies so that the golden couple can…well…get married. Because it worked so well the first time, didn’t it?
by Victor Field
As anyone who’s seen silent movies on Sumo TV can tell you, vision without some kind of sound only works in small doses. So providing brand-new accompaniment for the newly spruced-up print of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger is the perfect way to keep audience attention, and with Nitin Sawhney being a fan of Bernard Herrmann we have… history sort-of repeating itself. See, The Lodger is a film about a serial killer running amok in London, and Frenzy – also about a serial killer running amok in London – also wound up getting new music when Hitch became the only director to ever throw out a score by Henry Mancini (Ron Goodwin replaced him).
by Indy Datta
I’ve made my fair share of pointless New Year’s resolutions in my life, but the novels have remained unfinished, the excess pounds unshifted. This year, I set myself what I thought would be an easily attainable goal. All I had to do was stop voluntarily paying money to see films that I knew in advance were very likely to be awful. I made it about halfway through the year before I cracked, on which more later, but I knew deep down I was never going to get through the whole year. The thing is, you see, I love crap.