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  • post Star Wars: The Last Jedi world premiere ? in pictures - 10 December
  • From R2D2 to the Praetorian Guard, Mark Hamill to Daisy Ridley, everyone turned out for the premiere of The Last Jedi in Los Angeles Continue reading...
  • post Jodie Foster: ?I make movies to figure out who I am? - 10 December
  • Directing a new Black Mirror film gives Jodie Foster the chance to look back at her own upbringing. The Hollywood titan talks to Tim AdamsLast week Charlie Brooker was recalling for me the moment he learned Jodie Foster would direct an episode of Black Mirror, his inspired series of one-off dramas about the ways our gadgets are colonising the idea of ?human?. Brooker had written a script for the new series in which a neurotic single mother uses technology to spy on her young daughter and keep her safe from the world. The Netflix people suggested they tried the script out on the two-time Oscar-winning actor.Brooker has had considerable global success with Black Mirror but still, the thought of working with Foster, ?an actual icon?, made him come over, he says, ?all British and starstruck?. He turned to his co-showrunner for the series, Annabel Jones. ?We were like: ?You?re kidding, right? You are going to try Jodie bloody Foster? Yeah right, of course you are.?? Continue reading...
  • post The Square triumphs with six prizes at European film awards - 10 December
  • Brexit, the rise of nationalism and sexual harassment in the film industry were recurring themes for speakers in BerlinThe Square, a surreal, freaky and at times difficult to watch satire set in the world of contemporary art, has dominated the 30th anniversary of the European film awards.The film followed up the Palme d?Or it took at Cannes by taking six awards at a ceremony in Berlin for prizes that aim to be the European arthouse equivalent of the Oscars. Continue reading...
  • post Mark Kermode?s best films of 2017 - 10 December
  • Cannibalism in France, a latterday Our Gang in Florida, three women in Tel Aviv, and ? at last! ? a Blade Runner sequel are among the year?s must-sees

    ? Observer critics? reviews of the year in fullTo get a sense of how many great movies played UK cinemas in 2017, just look at some of the outstanding titles that didn?t make my top 10 list. From Park Chan-wook?s The Handmaiden (brilliantly adapted from Sarah Waters?s novel Fingersmith) to Anocha Suwichakornpong?s dazzling By the Time It Gets Dark, Paul Verhoeven?s Elle (featuring an Oscar-nominated Isabelle Huppert) and Kleber Mendonça Filho?s Aquarius (with Sônia Braga in breathtaking form), there was a dizzying array of delights on offer. Even so-called mainstream cinema seemed particularly adventurous this year, ranging from Patty Jenkins?s rip-roaring Wonder Woman to Christopher Nolan?s overwhelming Dunkirk, Kathryn Bigelow?s gripping Detroit, Edgar Wright?s pulse-racing Baby Driver and Darren Aronofsky?s bewildering Mother!.Home-grown triumphs included William Oldroyd?s Lady Macbeth (which made a star of Florence Pugh) and Francis Lee?s passionate God?s Own Country, while Zambian-born, Welsh-raised Rungano Nyoni emerged as a major new talent with the uncategorisable I Am Not a Witch. My favourite Bollywood film of 2017 was Advait Chandan?s Secret Superstar, which cleverly interwove dark themes of domestic abuse into its musical fantasy narrative. There were also several Netflix-backed movies that cried out to be seen on the big screen, most notably Bong Joon-ho?s creature-feature Okja. Continue reading...
  • post As Snow White turns 80, inspiring images of gentle innocence go on sale in Big Apple - 09 December
  • Original artwork from the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could fetch $10,000 at auction in New YorkAn obscure German folk tale about a beautiful woman undermined by her evil stepmother before becoming housekeeper to seven miners was perhaps an unlikely hit in early 20th-century America. But during the California Christmas of 1937, Walt Disney?s romantic retelling of the Snow White story proved a game-changer for popular culture.Now, 80 years after his animation Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs enjoyed its premiere on 21 December 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, rare original drawings from the film are to be sold at auction. The animated film, which was the first full-length feature from Disney?s studio, went on to make an unprecedented $8m during its initial release, and nine years ago was named the greatest American animated film of all time by the American Film Institute. Continue reading...
  • post ?It?s not just about the Weinsteins?: how do we fix the gender problem in Australian film? - 09 December
  • After the Aacta awards brought gender issues to the fore again, women at the coalface of industry change discuss practical solutions
    On the surface, Wednesday?s Aacta Awards ceremony at The Star in Sydney was business as usual for the Australian film and TV industry. A deserving line-up of luminaries took out top awards, including legendary director Philip Noyce, the all-male judging panel of MasterChef, producer Emile Sherman, documentary trail-blazers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, and ?all round top bloke?, the winsome actor-director Simon Baker. Continue reading...
  • post Adam Driver: ?Compared with the military, acting isn't that difficult? - 09 December
  • The Star Wars actor on leaving the Marines, filming nude scenes with Lena Dunham and getting in touch with his dark sideAdam Driver has a reputation for being a serious young man, which is partly a matter of attitude and partly, I suspect, to do with some aspect of his physiognomy: he has a large head and outsize features that somehow combine to give an impression of gravity. Before the photoshoot, he let it be known that he finds it uncomfortable to have a journalist (me) in his sightline on set, the kind of specification one might expect of a particularly precious Hollywood star. But this turns out to be misleading. Driver?s discomfort is with the entire celebrity aspect of his job, which makes talking about his role in the latest Star Wars trilogy somewhat tricky. I don?t even know where to start with The Last Jedi, I say, as we settle down after the shoot, and Driver grins, then looks gloomy. ?Me, neither,? he says.We are in downtown Manhattan, a few miles from Driver?s Brooklyn Heights neighbourhood (Lena Dunham lives there, too) and a more upscale part of Brooklyn than the grungy Greenpoint location of Girls. That show, the sixth and final season of which ran on HBO earlier this year, was watched by relatively modest numbers, but has had an outsized influence on the culture. Barely a day goes by without Dunham being mentioned in a blogpost somewhere, and it gave Driver, who played her on-off boyfriend, the kind of career launch twentysomething actors can only dream of. At 34, not only does he have his second go as Kylo Ren in the latest Star Wars movie, but he has just shot The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, directed by Terry Gilliam, was in the Steven Soderbergh film Logan Lucky and played the title role in the Jim Jarmusch movie Paterson. Pretty good, I?d say, although I assume the two Star Wars films ? The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi ? are the real life-changer. Continue reading...
  • post Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle review ? fantasy romp likeably upgraded for gamer generation - 08 December
  • Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart have fun in a video-game world in an amiable sequel-by-numbers with a body-swap twistThe 90s family adventure Jumanji was a fantasy romp about children being whooshed into the universe of a magical board game, where a former kid player played by Robin Williams had grown to adulthood, having been marooned there. The film seemed to be using the grammar and rhetoric of video-gaming, which is about getting from one level to another by not getting killed. Now it has been upgraded for 2017 in a way that makes the gaming idea explicit, and yet also as quaint and antique as board games might have looked in 1995. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a big, brash, amiable entertainment with something of Indiana Jones, plus the body-swap comedy of Freaky Friday, or F Anstey?s Victorian classic Vice Versa. It features an endearing performance from Dwayne Johnson who, as a teen wimp magicked into a giant Herculean body, has to look nervy and nerdy and say things like ?Oi vey?. Continue reading...
  • post Dustin Hoffman accused of 'abusive' sexual harassment on Broadway - 08 December
  • Actor Kathryn Rossetter claims that the actor repeatedly groped her while the pair worked on a 1983 production of Death of a SalesmanAnother claim of sexual harassment has been aimed at Dustin Hoffman, detailing a ?horrific, demoralizing and abusive? experience on the set of a 1983 Broadway show. Related: Dustin Hoffman needs to realise that it?s not how he feels that matters | Deborah Orr Continue reading...
  • post Out of tune: the big star songs that were rejected for movie soundtracks - 08 December
  • As Sufjan Stevens reveals his unused song for I, Tonya, here?s a look back at other artists, from Bruce Springsteen to Frank Ocean, who failed to make the final cutThis week Sufjan Stevens released Tonya Harding, a five-minute tribute to the ?shining American star?, as he sings in the song, that the songwriter says he?d been trying to write for over 20 years. In composing the song, Stevens says he felt a ?conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this strange and magnificent American hero?. Related: I, Tonya review ? scattershot skating biopic offers flawed, foul-mouthed fun Continue reading...

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