Synopsis: Director Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty team up again for the romantic drama Ae Fond Kiss. The filmmaking team’s third film set in Glasgow, this story involves a mixed-race relationship that causes problems for all involved. Casim Khan (Atta Yaqub) lives with his Punjabi-born Muslim family in Scotland. He wants to open a nightclub with pal Hammid (Shy Ramsan), but his parents have arranged for him to marry his cousin Jasmine (Sunna Mirza). Then he meets Irish schoolteacher Roisin Hanlon (Eva Birthistle), whom he quickly falls for. After calling off his family-approved engagement, Casim is ostracized by his father, Tariq (Ahmad Riaz). Meanwhile, Roisin runs into a concerned priest (Gerard Kelly) when she tries to get a job at a Catholic school. Ae Fond Kiss won several prizes at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004. -Andrea LeVasseur (AMG) Continue reading
“This digital-video biopic uses the life of journalist, record mogul and club owner Tony Wilson to frame the story of the Manchester, England, music scene from the heyday of punk through the late-’80s “Madchester” era. As the founder of staunchly independent Factory Records, Wilson (Steve Coogan) shepherded the careers of doomed post-punk combo Joy Division, synth-pop superstars New Order and hedonistic louts the Happy Mondays. Along the way, he helped bring rave culture to Britain under the aegis of the legendary Hacienda nightclub. 24 Hour Party People follows Wilson from his conversion to punk at a seminal Sex Pistols concert through the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, the overwhelming success of New Order and the eventual dissolution of the Factory empire thanks to bad business decisions, underworld ties and the hedonistic excess of the Happy Mondays. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and written by frequent collaborator Frank Cottrell Boyce, 24 Hour Party People features cameos from a large number of Manchester music luminaries. The supporting cast includes Shirley Henderson and John Simm, both of whom appeared in Winterbottom’s Wonderland, while the film’s title comes from a Happy Mondays song. –
Around the World with Orson Welles (1955) is a series of 26-minute TV documentaries, made for British television. Five of the episodes survive, and have been collected and released on a DVD. Welles compared the series to home movies. This is a bit misleading. There are travelogue sections shot silent, edited together with narration by Welles – segments that do resemble in form the average person’s vacation films of the era. But there are also extensive synch sound interviews with people Welles meets in his travels. These parts are a bit like a talk show, although they are generally set on locations where the person lives, rather than in a studio. In general, Welles resists “voice of authority” narration here, and tries to disguise his comments as elements of conversation with another character. Welles will also frequently show the camera, microphone, and the camera crews filming. It is part of the spectacle. Continue reading
Several figures move through the darkness on a cliff-edge. An inaudible conversation near the brow of the cliff may be the cause for the group to disband. The rest of the film follows the solitary journey of the youngest member of the group, until she rests; where land meets the sea.
A beautiful but hopeless fight against circumstance and the death of an American dream in a by-passed Welsh town. Three kids, forced to make up their own rules, are seduced by the possibility of something better. For what other choice is there when reality lets you down?
Set in the present day in Banwen, a two-bit town in the wilds of Wales’ industrial south, House of America, centres around the Lewis family – Sid, Boyo and Gwenny – whose father Clem has apparently run away to America. Left in charge of their eccentric and mysterious mother – Mam – the kids yearn to escape to the States to visit their father, but the chance of them doing so is remote as there are no jobs for them in the small town.
by Stephen Dwoskin (2012)
Exploring the texture, the beauty and the singularity of aging faces and silhouettes, Age Is meditates through tiny details, a gesture, a pause, a look, on the subjective experience and cultural concepts of ageing.
Jane Arden’s The Other Side of the Underneath is a seriously disturbing film. It is also an uncharacteristically bold one. I think that in a lot of ways it is quite similar to Bernardo Bertollucci’s Partner (1968), a film about a young revolutionary, played by Pierre Clementi, whose life changes dramatically when a double appears and foils his plan to commit suicide. In the opening scene of The Other Side, a schizophrenic woman (Sheila Allen, The Legend of Spider Forest) is pulled out of a lake and placed in an asylum.
The film is based on director Arden’s “A New Communion for Freaks, Prophets and Witches”, a play she staged with the Holocaust women’s theatre troupe. It is comprised of a number of different episodes, each exploring a specific theme – female exploitation, voyeurism, sexual deprivation, etc. The Other Side is also a reflection of its creator’s brush with madness.
The key concept behind The Other Side is intriguing. The film argues that madness is part of a cycle that leads to sanity. It also stresses that this complex process is often misunderstood by those who have never experienced madness. Cultural and societal taboos are cited amongst the main reasons for its existence. Continue reading