The Playlist

LFF Review: Francois Ozon's Puzzle Box 'In The House' Never Quite Forms A Full Picture

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • October 24, 2012 6:28 PM
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Francois Ozon’s previous film, “Potiche,” was a fun and frothy effort, and while it was undeniably beautifully composed and performed, it was arguably also a little inconsequential. Ozon approaches the structurally more ambitious “In the House” from a more devious and darkly comic perspective, yet despite this approach sustaining intrigue for much of the 105 minute running time, there’s still a sneaking suspicion once things are done that once again it doesn’t amount to very much.

Exclusive: 'Sightseers' Writers/Stars Alice Lowe & Steve Oram Planning Directorial Debuts

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 22, 2012 11:02 AM
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To much of the world, the stars and writers of "Sightseers" are still only vaguely familiar at best. Alice Lowe was perhaps the best known, thanks to being one of the principle cast members of the cult comedy classic "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace," and for an appearance in "Hot Fuzz," while Steve Oram is a fixture on the UK comedy circuit, but has mostly taken fairly small film and TV roles so far.

LFF Review: Richard Dormer Shines In Touching & Uplifting Punk Rock Terri Hooley Biopic 'Good Vibrations'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • October 20, 2012 3:34 PM
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We’re introduced to Terry Hooley (Richard Dormer) when he’s just five years old, playing in the front garden of his Belfast home. When one of the other children he has been arguing with slingshots a stone at his face, Terry becomes Terri – with one i.

LFF Review: Rolling Stones Doc 'Crossfire Hurricane' Is Little More Than A Familiar Nostalgia Trip

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • October 19, 2012 1:43 PM
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There’s been the little-seen “Charlie Is My Darling” and “Cocksucker Blues,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Sympathy for the Devil,” 1970’s Altamont-focused “Gimme Shelter,” Julien Temple’s “Stones at the Max” and Martin Scorsese’s “Shine a Light,” and that’s just scratching the surface when it comes to documentaries that have put “the world’s greatest rock and roll band,” The Rolling Stones, up on the big screen. For a band who are celebrating their 50th anniversary perhaps that’s to be expected, but it leaves "Crossfire Hurricane" (the official celebration of said anniversary) with the onerous task of having to tell a story that has been well documented many times before.

LFF Review: Stephen Graham & Mark Strong Impress In Generic But Powerful Cop Thriller 'Blood'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 18, 2012 3:03 PM
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The history of the British police movie is not a glorious one. Perhaps it's because (for the most part) UK coppers aren't allowed to carry firearms, which somewhat reduces the capacity for squib-happy action sequences. Or maybe it's the lack of glamorous locations for said shootouts, which can hardly compete with Manhattan or L.A. But after Edgar Wright imported the cop movie to rural Britain with "Hot Fuzz," we've seen a string of more straight-faced takes on the genre from the UK, including the Jason Statham vehicle "Blitz," '70s remake "The Sweeney," and the upcoming "Welcome To The Punch."

LFF Review: Strong Performances Carry An Otherwise Pedestrian 'Zaytoun'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • October 17, 2012 4:58 PM
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How affected you are by the closing scenes of "Zaytoun" may depend on your pre-existing knowledge of the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli incursion in the country. Nothing’s spelled out in "Zaytoun" other than pointing out the date and location -- Beirut, 1982 -- but that would place the events depicted in the film shortly before the Sabra and Shatila massacre so brutally recalled in 2008’s “Waltz With Bashir.” It’s not something that directly impacts upon the story told on screen, but that the film assumes knowledge of will fundamentally affect the emotional impact its final act carries for different viewers.

LFF Review: 'My Brother The Devil' A Fresh & Exciting Take On The Familiar Urban Crime Drama

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • October 17, 2012 3:58 PM
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British urban drama is fast becoming a crowded genre. It seems that every couple of months there’s a movie released depicting issues of drug abuse, violence and poverty in the council estates of one of London’s many recession hit suburbs. Well, in UK cinemas that is. Not many make it out of the country, and in fairness probably few deserve to. Sally El Hosaini’s debut feature is playing at the London Film Festival and will get a limited UK cinematic release in November, and it would be nice if it got the opportunity to travel further because it’s one of the better examples of the genre.

Exclusive: Jacques Audiard Says English-Language Western Might Be Next, Wants James Murphy To Write Songs For Musical Project

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 12, 2012 12:57 PM
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The emergence of French filmmaker Jacques Audiard on the world scene has been one of the great cinematic pleasures of the last decade or so. Although he's been in the business for years (winning the Cesar for best debut for 1994's "See How They Fall"), it was 2005's excellent "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" that really brought him to the attention of world audiences.

LFF Review: Saudi Arabian Film 'Wadjda' Is A Phenomenal Debut From An Exciting New Talent

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 10, 2012 6:25 PM
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The cinematic revolution in the Middle East over the last few of decades, led principally by a generation of Iranian filmmakers who've flourished creatively despite restrictions placed on them by the regime, hasn't necessarily carried over to every region. Saudi Arabia, for instance, is hardly known for its cinema, which isn't necessarily surprising, given that movie theaters were banned in the country 30 years ago.

10 Highlights Of The BFI London Film Festival Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 4, 2012 11:00 AM
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The early months of fall are pretty much stacked with film festivals. From the end of August, when Venice and Telluride kick off the season, to the prestigious and star-studded selections at Toronto and New York in September and October, to the increasingly important AFI and Rome film festivals, globe-trotting cinephiles could happily go back to back from the late summer pretty much up to Christmas hopping from one festival to another.

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