Mor Loushy – Censored Voices (2015)


The 1967 ‘Six-Day’ war ended with Israel’s decisive victory; conquering Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank. It is a war portrayed, to this day, as a righteous undertaking – a radiant emblem of Jewish pride. One week after the war, a group of young kibbutzniks, led by renowned author Amos Oz, recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The recording revealed an honest look at the moment Israel turned from David to Goliath. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing the kibbutzniks to publish only a fragment of the conversations. ‘Censored Voices’ reveals the original recordings for the first time. Continue reading

David Thompson – Arena: Nicolas Roeg – It’s About Time (2015)


The first major profile of the great British film director Nicolas Roeg, examining his very personal vision of cinema as in such films as Don’t Look Now, Performance, Walkabout and The Man Who Fell to Earth. Roeg reflects on his career, which began as a leading cinematographer, and on the themes that have obsessed him, such as our perception of time and the difficulty of human relationships. With contributions from key collaborators, including Julie Christie, Jenny Agutter and Theresa Russell, and directors he has inspired such as Danny Boyle, Mike Figgis, Bernard Rose and Ben Wheatley. Continue reading

Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi – The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument (2014)


The 50 Year Argument is Martin Scorsese’s latest film, co-directed with his longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi. It charts literary, political and cultural history as per the New York Review of Books, America’s leading journal of ideas since 1963. The film weaves rare archive material, interviews and writing by icons such as James Baldwin and Gore Vidal into original verite footage, filmed in the Review’s Greenwich Village offices with longtime editor Robert Silvers. Continue reading

John Irvin – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979)


Complete 7-part, 290-minute BBC miniseries plus BBC interview – John Le Carre – The Secret Centre

Complex but compelling, this miniseries is based upon one of John Le Carré’s greatest works and serves as a grand summing-up for the late Sir Alec Guinness, one of Britain’s greatest actors. Guinness literally is Smiley: Le Carré said that Guinness served as a template for the character’s cunning and mournful rectitude. In anyone else’s hands, Smiley might have seemed a blank and lifeless character, but Guinness’ matchless ability to play within a scene while seeming to think well beyond it is magnetic. Guinness was the great everyman and underplayer of the generation that gave us such great British Shakespearean actors as Olivier, Richardson, and Gielgud. He’s helped, too, by sharp dialogue lifted almost word-for-word from the book and terrific supporting performances (particularly an entirely silent but amazingly communicative Patrick Stewart, who has a cameo as Karla), which almost entirely obscure the fact that the miniseries largely consists of people sitting in rooms talking. It’s a literate treat that brings to life the gray morality and conflicting loyalties of the Cold War. Be advised: viewers can get lost in the intricate plot if they don’t pay close attention.
— Nick Sambides, Jr. Continue reading

Virginia Heath – From Scotland with Love (2014)


BBC wrote:
Made entirely of Scottish film archive, a journey into our collective past, the film explores universal themes of love, loss, resistance, migration, work and play. Ordinary people, some long since dead, their names and identities largely forgotten, appear shimmering from the depth of the vaults to take a starring role.

Brilliantly edited together, these silent individuals become composite characters, who emerge to tell us their stories, given voice by King Creosote’s poetic music and lyrics. Continue reading

Ken Russell – The Miner’s Picnic (2006)

bbc’s website wrote:
Back in 1960 Ken Russell made a remarkable film about mining in Northumberland called The Bedlington Miners’ Picnic.
Forty five years on, Russell is back in the North East revisiting the people and places featured in the film.
It’s a poignant story of survival, loss and community spirit.
South East Northumberland was once one of Britain’s richest coalfields, producing tons of coal for industry and homes.
Today the coal mining industry is virtually extinct in the North East of England with no deep pits left in production.
Inside Out follows film director Ken Russell as he revisits the area where he shot one of his first documentary films in 1960.
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