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Entries in Douglas Booth (10)

Wednesday
Sep052018

The Men of Venice '18 Can Get It.

TIFF begins tomorrow (Chris and Nathaniel will both be reporting to give you double the coverage!) but the 75th annual Venice Film Festival is still swinging. It concludes on Saturday September 8th so that's when we'll know who took the coveted Golden Lion (you may recall that a little film called Shape of Water won last year, though their winner is usually far less mainstream).

Alfonso Cuarón, Lee Byung-hun, Nicholas Hoult, Bradley Cooper

But here are the most handsome men in lux menswear we've spotted on the red carpet coverage. Joe Alwyn, Ryan Gosling, Matt Smith, Mads Mikkelsen, Matthias Schoenaerts and many more are after the jump...

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Friday
May252018

Review: Mary Shelley

by Jason Adams

In the summer of 1816 one of the most legendary of literary happenings occurred - the poet Percy Shelley and his wife Mary went to stay at the poet Lord Byron's house near Lake Geneva for the summer. Mary's step-sister Claire wrangled them an invite (or so she said) since she was having an affair with the spitefully torrid Lord himself. Also joining them at the house was the Lord's physician John Polidori, who also fancied himself somewhat of a writer. And birthed from those weeks of most gothic merrymaking was basically the entirety of the horror genre to come: Mary Shelley would come up with her lovely little monster Frankenstein, while Polidori would write "The Vampyre," the inspiration for a certain Bram Stoker a swift generation later.

The story of that time and place has been well-trod by fiction before...

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Wednesday
May232018

Interview: Director Haifaa al-Mansour & Actor Douglas Booth on "Mary Shelley"

by Murtada Elfadl

Douglas Booth and Elle Fanning as the Shelleys in "Mary Shelley"

The new biopic Mary Shelley is about the famous writer, played by Elle Faning, while she’s in the throes of writing the Gothic magnum opus Frankenstein, at only 18 years of age. The film tells the story of the events that led her there. Those include her tempestuous relationships with renowned romantic poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth) who would become her husband, and with her half-sister Claire (Bel Powley). The film takes us to the trio’s fateful stay at Lord Byron's (Tom Sturridge) house at Lake Geneva, where the idea of Frankenstein was conceived.

This is Haifaa al-Mansour’s second directorial project after the 2013 festival hit Wadjda. Wadjda was the first feature shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia, and the first ever directed by a Saudi woman, making al-Mansour a true trailblazer. It''s not surprising then to find her drawn to the story of Mary Shelley, another pioneer. I found a through line, despite the period setting and different locations, between the two films. Both stories of young women determined to chart their own destiny. So that was where I started my conversation with al-Mansour and Booth when they were in New York last month for the Tribeca Film Festival. THE INTERVIEW IS AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wednesday
Sep132017

TIFF: Elle Fanning is "Mary Shelley"

Our ongoing adventures at TIFF

In the summer of 1816 legendary Romantic literary figures Mary Shelley (and stepsister Claire Clairmont), Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori were holed up in a Swiss estate and challenged each other to write scary ghost stories. From that fateful contest two famous works of horror emerged ("Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" in 1818 and "The Vampyre" in 1819 -- neither of them actual ghost stories!). Ken Russell attacked this collision of authors with his trademark sexual abandon and visual insanity in Gothic (1986) and his wasn't the first or last film to stare with fascination at that morbid contest 201 years ago. We return to that summer for a good chunk of Haifaa al-Mansour's Mary Shelley but with far different intent.

Haifaa al-Mansour, the first Saudi female film director (she previously directed Wadjda) is more interested in the trailblazing of Mary Shelley (née Godwin) as a female author -- and the unique challenges that came with her gender in the literary world of 1818 -- than in the creation of Frankenstein...

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Saturday
Feb062016

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad...

Lily James, from Cinderella to Zombie Slayer

“Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen’s classic novel about the Bennet sisters and their suitors, has one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an adaptation Jane never could have seen coming despite her gifts, twists the opening line so that we’re no longer talking courtship but hunger; zombies in want of brains. So let’s twist the line again. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that pop culture, possessed by the love of fanfic, must be in want of works in the Public Domain!’

more...

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Thursday
Aug202015

The Riot Club: or, a brief history of posh British cinema

David takes a look at the British cultural legacy of poshness as The Riot Club now out on DVD...

Before The Riot Club was a movie, it was a West End play called Posh. Laura Wade’s simple, cutting title gets right to the heart of the social crisis at the centre of her work, which presents a fictionalised version of Oxford’s infamous Bullingdon Club, whose members have included both the current British Prime Minister and Mayor of London. While the traumatic events of the play and film are invented, the social privilege they demonstrate is a British legacy that has lingered throughout history. It continues to be a talking point today, with British soap opera actor Danny Dyer memorably taking pot shots at ‘posh boy’ Benedict Cumberbatch and the social elitism of the British cultural industries. (Dyer’s complaints of elitism are perhaps reflected in some of The Riot Club’s casting – Max Irons (son of Jeremy) and Freddie Fox (son of Edward) both come from British acting dynasties.)

Britain’s exports and image abroad have been shaped by the likes of Merchant Ivory, Jane Austen and Downton Abbey as one steeped in this kind of privilege and elitism. Occasionally British films of a different kind will have a big enough cultural impact to surface in the timeline of world cinema, with the kitchen-sink dramas of the late 1950s and ‘60s perhaps the most notable instance. But it is the posh boys that have really dominated British cinema’s worldwide reputation, from Leslie Howard (the first cinematic Henry Higgins) through Hugh Grant to the current crop led by Eddie Redmayne and Cumberbatch. 

But why is this model of Britishness so favoured internationally? [More...]

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