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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel

 

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Entries in London (24)

Sunday
Oct202013

LFF: Saving Mr. Banks

David brings you one of the first reviews from the London Film Festival's world premiere of this unseen Oscar tip. Will Disney add some more statues to his vast collection?

Emma Thompson is an exquisite crier. Friends, acquaintances and enemies still cite her strand of Love Actually as easily the film’s strongest aspect, and her reaction to her husband’s thoughtful but incorrect present as one of the actress’ finest moments. There’s something about the way the composed, somewhat remote attitude crumbles, drawn all over Thompson’s face, that makes it so sympathetic and wistfully beautiful to witness. And it’s due to this, partly, that Saving Mr. Banks is as successful as it is – the experienced, perceptive way both Thompson and co-star Tom Hanks have of selling their monologues and close-ups, which in less experienced hands could so easily have seemed hackneyed and manipulative.

John Lee Hancock’s tale of the negotiations between Walt Disney (Hanks) and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Thompson) is pretty standard sentimental stuff, quickly establishing the hearty transatlantic binary between uptight Brit and liberal American. Travers insists on being called “Mrs. Travers”; Walt, his employees whisper to her, only works on a first name basis. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith’s screenplay mines this for as many laughs as it can possibly produce. [More]

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Saturday
Oct192013

LFF: Home to Britain

David reporting on four of the British films in the London Film Festival.

The crown jewel in the archive selection this year is the BFI’s pristine restoration of J.B.L. Noel’s overwhelming 1924 documentary, The Epic of Everest. It’s one of those films where the sheer audacity of what’s being filmed, as opposed to any technical prowess, is what really impresses. And when the intertitles (it’s silent, of course, though outfitted with a gorgeously minimalist new score from Simon Fisher Turner) announce that a particular shot is brought to you using a revolutionary telephoto lens, that’s quite an achievement. Though no words are spoken, and faces barely seen, it’s hard not to become enthralled in Noel’s recounting of their journey through Tibet and up the mountain, with breathtaking long takes of some passages of the mountain gripping in the simplicity of distant figures precarious movements. Andrew Irvine and George Mallory died in the attempt, a tragedy captured in a climax that combines painful distance – the camera could only be taken so far up the mountain – with melancholic intertitles that seem to reach out through time. The BFI restoration is released in the UK this weekend, with a detailed DVD and Blu-Ray release sure to follow – in any format, it’s an awesome experience of an extraordinary expedition.

Charlie Cox (remember him?) in Hello Carter plus two more new films after the jump...

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Thursday
Oct172013

LFF: Kill Your Darlings

Dave is at the London Film Festival, plotting how best to avoid the hoardes of Daniel Radcliffe fans who'll be coming for him soon.

In writing you must kill all your darlings."

The dilemma of how to literally take William Faulkner’s melancholy quote is the central crisis point of John Krokidas’ debut feature Kill Your Darlings. The film is a playful, confident but messy tale of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and his obsessive friendship with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a fellow student at Columbia University. Krokidas makes this relationship the heart of his film, aesthetics and narrative bound up in their complex bond, relying heavily on the two young leads who have reached this point in their careers by markedly different paths. Despite the presence of some more seasoned hands in the cast - Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross - this is a strikingly youthful film, effectively matching the burgeoning talents it explores.

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Saturday
Oct052013

LFF: All is Lost

David reports from the London Film Festival on his first voyage to meet Robert Redford, lost at sea... (This film is also playing at NYFF)

Since Kanye West just brought The Truman Show and its climatic sailing sequence into public parlance again, it’s perfectly appropriate for me to refer to All is Lost as an enlarged version of that scene. The manipulator of the heavens here is not a flatcapped Ed Harris, but writer-director J. C. Chandor, fleeing from the immensely talkative boardroom of Margin Call to the vast sea of a practically wordless one-man-show. ‘Our Man’ (as the credits call him) is Robert Redford, in an Oscar-buzzed performance that is certainly his most remarkable in many years. Not only for the physical commitment - the rough winds of the sea buffet the sailor every which way - but for the restraint with which he crafts a stolid and complex man who barely says a word.

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Sunday
Feb102013

BAFTAs "live"

David here, bringing you the least live 'live blog' in TFE's history. Nowhere on the planet are the British Academy Film (and Television) Awards broadcast live - not even in their home country. No, we Brits struggle along with the rest of you as the BBC stubbornly refuses to move with the times and shows the edited ceremony two hours after its begun.

But let's make the best of it. Over the next few hours I'll bring you a melange of results and commentary, mostly surmised until the ceremony comes in, which will hopefully have some individual flavour worth reporting. The celebrities have already walked up the foaming red carpet in London's famous torrential rain, so, to kick off, here are a few highlights from the BBC's brief coverage so far.

Chilled to the rust and boneMarion Cotillard couldn't even muster a brave face as she was persuaded to stop racing down the carpet and pose for a few photos. Has it ever NOT rained on BAFTA night?

Marion's here tonight as a Best Actress nominee for Rust & Bone - BAFTA also nominated Helen Mirren, leaving Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts on the sidelines for tonight - but it's Emmanuelle Riva, who wisely skipped the long route into the building, who I've got my fingers crossed for tonight. Can she add a little flavour to the Best Actress race by surprising J-Law here?

Helen Mirren. Pink hair. The interviewer here oddly didn't even attempt to ask what's going on with this. MORE...

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