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  • Feature Film: The Stuart Hall Project
    career We hear first hand depictions of the problems of assimilation in Britain and how the many Afro Caribbean and Asian populations felt and were depicted as outsiders within This contrasts starkly with Hall s imagining of one s culture and identity as ever changing and in flux symptomatic of the globalised world and yet by the end of the film it is evident from Hall s language that he regrets that his idealistic vision for a tolerant society has not been realised It is interesting that Akomfrah has chosen to make the film at this time when immigration policy has reentered British politics and public dialogue reflecting quite closely some of the film s coverage of the views and support of Enoch Powell which Hall labels as a significant minority A more recent sound bite has Hall describe this world as alien to him as it has ever been I wonder what he thinks now The style of the documentary while innovative lacks a real narrative of the life of Stuart Hall The shift of subject matter roughly follows the timeline of his life but lacks the coherence to give a real indication of the man I found myself craving either a simple biography or a substantial inquiry into the theoretical implications of his work the film is neither That said it offers an opportunity to delve into the life and work of a man who has influenced the British left so much and yet isn t a household name to many This and the excellent carefully chosen score from Miles Davis makes the film well worth a watch The Stuart Hall Project is now out on DVD About Christo Hall Christo is Film and Media Editor at Litro Online co editor of culture and politics magazine The New Wolf and freelance journalist He recently co edited New Cartography the winning brief for arts charity IdeasTap s Anthology magazine Mail Web More Posts 5 Comments comments Prev Drama Matters Political Theatre In Action Next London International Mime Festival Lebensraum Related Posts His Heart On His Sleeve Jumpers For Goalposts at the Bush Theatre Feature Film Cul de sac Much Bothered With Buffalo Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/feature-film-the-stuart-hall-project/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Kiss the Water
    film invites you to do Few lives really move in such neat tidy and predictable patterns anyway and in order to appreciate this form of Nonfiction cinema we must accept that the truth is something not wholly tangible Rather than leaving no stone unturned Kiss the Water prefers to let your attention flow over them marvelling at what may lie beneath Even when we do receive the barest glimpse of Boyd it seems ultimately inconsequential she is elsewhere There is obviously no attempt to document Boyd s life in the literal sense We hear of the long journey that people took to make it to her door and at times it feels like we too are on that journey As various people who encountered Megan while she was alive whose names remain unknown during the film chip in to share their memories there is an element of mythmaking about the film that felt concerning It does seem to drift into the realm of the fanciful at times particularly concerning Megan s personal life The subtitle to the film is A Love Story and one does wonder what Megan herself would have thought about such a hazy and romantic depiction of her seemingly mysterious and fancy free existence Steel s resistance to plunge deeper into Megan s life and work may leave one with the same impression that an admirer once wrote to tell her about that her work was in some way magical At the same time it may be good to remember the words of one of Megan s schoolmates in the film she was Megan and that was it It is really a minor aside to what is a very gentle and artful film that fills your head with the joys of the improbable yet possible in life Megan Boyd was someone who lived according to her own will in general isolation whilst maintaining an ability to connect with others that transcended most modern technologies and comforts Opportunities to become enchanted in our own lives are precious few as the many admirers of Megan s work must have known and for a documentary about a seemingly simple subject to achieve such a thing is a delight Kiss the Water is showing at the ICA until 29 th January and JW3 until 28 th January For other screenings visit the website http kiss the water com About Becky Ayre Becky is a writer editor and researcher of visual arts and the environment She lives in Oxford She works collaboratively with Inheritance Projects a small group of independent curators and researchers that organise exhibitions events new commissions publications and research projects She blogs at Atmospheres of Uncertainty Mail More Posts 17 Comments comments Prev Feature Film Inside Llewyn Davis Next Empty Factories Poisonous Cheesecake and American Celebrities Lynch Burroughs and Warhol at The Photographers Gallery Related Posts Generation Y at Work 5 Expectations Drama Matters National Student Drama Festival 2014 Top Ten Small Outer London Libraries Litro TV Recent Posts

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/feature-film-kiss-the-water/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Inside Llewyn Davis
    opportunities present themselves Doubtless it will always be someone else s fault but it s clear that he has not and maybe never will get over the loss of his performing partner emotionally or professionally It becomes painfully evident that Llewyn s musical career is no longer ailing but has flatlined and the question arises over whether this is the time to give it all up Oscar Isaac provides a star maker of a turn a man on the street combining the sorrowful soulful performer with a comically derisory outlook on the pop ditties for which he has to play session guitar to make ends meat A late Bob Dylan cameo is arguably there to hint at a brighter future for folk but that is not a glory that Llewyn was ever destined to share in this is the ballad of an also ran As he touchingly plays the song for which he and his partner were once known the sense is formed of an eternal circle to which our hero is finding it impossible to say farewell This is accentuated by the film s beautiful photography which captures the era flawlessly in earthy hues and hazy focus Seeing a new film by the Coen brothers is like listening to a new record by your favourite band you kind of know what to expect the familiar sounds are all there but there s something new and unexpected running through it In most cases you like the new album even if it s going to need to grow on you but that s okay though because you can put it on repeat In the case of Inside Llewyn Davis you ll be happy to press play again as soon as those credits end It s a tenderly handled tale of artistic failure dressed up as endeavour and a man trying to keep pressing on even when he s going nowhere About Ben Nicholson A compulsive cinephile Ben fell in love with film through repeated viewings of Michael Jackson being transformed into a werewolf behind the scenes of John Landis seminal video for Thriller This passion has manifested itself in his consumption of movies and the enjoyment derived from reading discussion and writing about cinema which can all be found on New Urbanite His favourite films include The Third Man In The Mood For Love Badlands 3 Iron Casablanca Ran and Last Year in Marienbad to name but a few Mail Web More Posts 16 Comments comments Prev Immersive Dystopia Forget Me Not at the Etcetera Theatre Next Feature Film Kiss the Water Related Posts Part 4 My Interactive Comedy Extravaganzas for the Edinburgh Festival Podcast Tatort a German Pop Culture Phenomenon Eminem at Slane Castle A Song For Da Ladies Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/lff-inside-llewyn-davis/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: The Third Man
    and nihilism As he tells Martins whilst looking down at people below Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever If I offered you 20 000 for every dot that stopped would you really old man tell me to keep my money Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare Free of income tax old man Free of income tax the only way you can save money nowadays Watching the film in the 21 st century is fascinating historically the viewer is thrown back into the world of post war Vienna during its occupation by the Allied powers the beautiful architecture what remains of it the cobblestone streets and the romantic cafés are in stark contrast to the vast underground network of sewers that were patrolled by the police and the black market of pretty much everything inclusive of tires petrol cigarettes and of course dubious pharmaceuticals Food rationing was so limited in post war Vienna the average daily ration in May of 1945 amounted to 350 calories In 1946 it did not go higher than 1 500 calories that it had to be supplemented by the black market This does not obviously even remotely justify or exonerate Lime s actions or cynical outlook Lime is a rat and will finally die like one in the subterranean sewers of Vienna however Lime does not deny his own villainy and even tries to rationalise it to Martins As Lime tells him the film s arguably most infamous sentence albeit its inaccuracy Oh Holly you and I aren t heroes The world doesn t make any heroes outside of your stories in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare terror murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance In Switzerland they had brotherly love they had 500 years of democracy and peace and what did that produce The cuckoo clock The Third Man has regularly been voted one of the best British films ever made and with very good reason It is stylish and suspenseful and features an incredibly memorable cast and a mesmerising musical score In the age of 3D spectacles black and white masterpieces like these still take your breath away About Linda Roland Danil Linda Roland Danil is a Doctoral candidate teaching assistant and researcher based at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds Her academic work can be found here http leeds academia edu LindaRolandDanil Mail More Posts 5 Comments comments Prev Feature Film 12 Years a Slave Next Immersive Dystopia Forget Me Not at the Etcetera Theatre Related Posts Eating Blind at Dans Le Noir The Voices In Your Head The Authorial Impulse Writ Large Litro Does Latin America CASA Latin American Theatre Festival 2013 Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/feature-film-the-third-man/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: 12 Years a Slave
    who challenge and explore other aspects of slavery This is not purely one man s story but the story of one man amongst a thoughtful and intelligent examination of the wider issue Several different plantation owners are encountered Benedict Cumberbatch s intelligent if green Master Ford serves as a stark contrast to Michael Fassbender s vile turn as Master Ebbs known for breaking his slaves One man actually listens to the intelligent Platt whilst the other humiliates and assaults his property regularly despite having a complex but unhealthy sexual fixation on his most productive slave Patsey Lupita Nyong o Others also cross his path from the truly malicious to the ultimately heroic with Paul Dano Sarah Paulsen Paul Giamatti Alfre Woodard and Brad Pitt all members of a uniformly excellent cast Together they give texture to a subject with many different sides and present not only the horror of slavery but the effects that it can have on those involved Those arriving at 12 Years a Slave expecting the same artistic visuals as in his previous films may be somewhat disappointed that here McQueen has dialed it down in doing so though he has enabled himself to mature as a filmmaker In this film the bravura shots have been incorporated into a greater understanding of their potential narrative attributes There a fewer shots that stand out when considered on their own though that is not to say that Sean Bobbit s photography is anything less than sublime What has been utilised to maximum effect is the film s sound design which manages the unlikely task of creating heart pounding tension with a paddle steamer along with adding terrifying clout to the almost entirely out of shot beatings Ultimately McQueen had put the material before himself and serves it with his undoubted ability The combined effect of this screenplay the performances the visuals and the sound is in a word overwhelming 12 Years a Slave is an endurance test of sorts It is beautiful exquisitely crafted but as difficult and harrowing a watch as the director s debut and then some When Solomon reaches his lowest ebb it feels as though your stomach is attempting to consume you from the inside your eyes will try to stop you seeing his pain despite the inability to look away It is never wise to describe a film as definitive but on the subject of American slavery this is leagues ahead of the competition at present it s painful it s hard work it s gruelling and astounding It may not have been the most enjoyable film at the London Film Festival but this was easily the best and could be the best for some time to come yet About Ben Nicholson A compulsive cinephile Ben fell in love with film through repeated viewings of Michael Jackson being transformed into a werewolf behind the scenes of John Landis seminal video for Thriller This passion has manifested itself in his consumption of movies and the

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/lff-12-years-a-slave/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: The Railway Man
    cast in this role dropped out due to scheduling conflicts This does not however undermine the overall power of the film The young Lomax is played sensitively by Jeremy Irvine who insisted on filming longer scenes of torture than the director intended Hiroyuki Sanada likewise sets his heart on playing the role of the older Nagase keen to inform the next generation of Japanese about the darker moments of WWII history The mirroring of roles enhances the dramatic impact of the story We agonise as we see Lomax show great courage standing forward to face the harsh retribution of the Japanese guards only to later see the mirror image of his young interrogator Nagase standing forward claiming to be just an interpreter not a torturer to save himself Teplitzky the director of Burning Man about a traumatised British chef who acts out his grief by venting his anger deals with similar themes to great emotional effect in The Railway Man Lomax continues to suffer the debilitating symptoms of post traumatic stress and is consumed with hatred towards his interrogator Nagase When he learns Nagase managed to escape death as a war criminal and is conducting tours of the internment camp he has every intention of killing him In reality this was made all the worse for Lomax revenge going against his religious faith which curiously isn t developed up to this point fundamental though it was to his survival as a POW This aspect if developed could have enriched the story and added to the dramatic irony It is only when Lomax discovers that his torturer also suffered crippling guilt and horrifying flashbacks and is desperate for atonement that he can finally find forgiveness The closing words Sometimes the hating has to stop sum up the need for reconciliation and forgiveness which echo the theme of Lomax s memoirs There is a sincerity about this film Teplitzky and the film s producer Andy Paterson having worked closely with Eric Lomax before his death in October 2012 to convey the emotional truth of his ordeal with the seriousness and respect that the subject matter deserves It speaks for all those Far East POWs who were condemned to suffer in silence for decades having signed an undertaking on liberation that they would not talk about the war crimes they witnessed for the sake of the West reconstructing Japan as an ally and fearing the resurfacing of painful memories About Nicola Hodges Nicola Hodges is an English writer living in Zürich Switzerland She writes short stories poetry and non fiction and her longer pieces of work are waiting in an orderly queue for her time and attention Her latest short story has been published in the September October double issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Find out more about her here http nicolahodges weebly com Mail Web More Posts 4 Comments comments Prev No Pasarán How Pussy Riot Made A Slogan Their Own Next Meet The Composers Górecki Related Posts Small Talk Documentary

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/01/feature-film-the-railway-man/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Cul-de-sac
    de Sac he added humour From the start the film is full of black humour role reversal and a sense of the ridiculous The castle is overrun by chickens there seems to be nothing but eggs would Freudians have a comment and home made vodka to consume In one delicious scene the rough hewn Richard is transformed into the butler And one of my favourite moments in all cinema is when Teresa listless tipsy and playful rips and folds pages from her magazine gently inserts them between the slumbering Richard s toes and sets them on fire As with Knife in The Water Polanski maximises the atmosphere afforded by his location The film was shot on Holy Island off the Northumbrian coast with all the attendant difficulties that that entailed A brand new camera car was enveloped by the waves But visually the film benefits from a strong clear northern light and vast horizons A visit by former friends is announced by their Jaguar racing over the flat sands Chickens gulls and owls punctuate the soundtrack Powerful sequences are allowed to unfold with little or no dialogue The castle offers creepy stone passageways and a plethora of ticking clocks True not all the acting is of the first order Maybe the budget limited his casting choices and Polanski of course was not working in his native tongue But Pleasence delivers a beautifully sustained over the top performance one of the best of his career At the centre of the film is an extraordinary sequence which exemplifies the developing relationship of the three protagonists They are on the beach George and Richard are drinking Teresa contemptuously flounces off to have a swim George follows her but falls in the sand and returns to Richard He pours his heart out describing the difficulties of his marriage Richard hears a small plane and thinks that rescue is at hand George assures him that it is a regular flight and as the plane sweeps low overhead Richard angry at being betrayed pulls out his gun and fires uselessly at the receding shape Teresa emerges from the waves shuns George s overtures and the three of them disappear over the dunes Polanski against all the advice on offer insisted on shooting the sequence in a single choreographed seven and a half minute take including the appearance of the plane Perhaps only a young confident director absolutely on top of his talent would have dared Polanski went on to make more extraordinary and bigger movies but one feels especially when he stopped originating his own screenplays that there was less exuberance in his movie making And it is amazing to know that even fifty years ago Cul de Sac cost only 120 000 to make Cul de Sac a little seen gem well worth your attention has been known to crop up on late night TV and can be found on DVD and Blu ray About Graham Buchan Writer and film maker Published two books and

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/12/feature-film-cul-de-sac/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Cinema Paradiso
    day when middle aged he returns for Alfredo s funeral It is the father son bond between Alfredo and Salvatore Salvatore s biological father died fighting in World War II that makes the film memorable and meaningful In addition Cinema Paradiso highlights the magic that transpires between films and the spectators spellbound by them In the theatre of Cinema Paradiso whether the old or new one the old theatre would eventually burn down due to an accident owing to the nitrate films setting on fire Alfredo as Salvatore would come to discover was not joking the viewers are transported into different realms In the theatre of Cinema Paradiso love making and even murder slyly occur Cinema Paradiso is known for and is indeed imbued in nostalgia One does not know much about Salvatore s middle aged life other than he has done well for himself and now lives an opulent lifestyle populated by numerous mistresses in sharp contrast to the profound and significant love affair that he had with Elena Indeed the dissimilarity between the life that Salvatore now has as a middle aged successful and wealthy man and the one that was relatively materially impoverished and yet full of love in the small Sicilian village of Giancaldo is stark One is reminded of Paolo Coelho s novel The Alchemist 1988 in which Santiago a young shepherd living in a remote part of Andalucía sets off on a pilgrimage in search for treasure The treasure he will come to discover at the end was back home all along About Linda Roland Danil Linda Roland Danil is a Doctoral candidate teaching assistant and researcher based at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds Her academic work can be found here http leeds academia edu LindaRolandDanil Mail More Posts 5 Comments comments Prev Family Feature Film Nebraska Next Puppets and Pandemonium Boris and Sergey s Vaudevillian Xmas Adventure at Theatre503 Related Posts Other People London Through The Lens The Small World of Sammy Lee 1963 VAULT Festival 2015 There s a Monster in the Lake Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/12/feature-film-cinema-paradiso/ (2016-02-15)
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