United Kingdom

Margaret Tait – Blue Black Permanent (1992)

Quote:
The film’s complex, ‘Russian Doll’ narrative spans three generations of an Orcadian family. Barbara’s attempt to understand her past forms its outer shell. Flashbacks to her mother Greta and Grandmother Mary form the second and third layers, as the action in both past and present switches between Orkney and Edinburgh. At its core is Tait’s abiding interest in natural cycles, which in her films seem to dwarf all human concerns. The final five minutes of the film is a leanly edited sequence of shots from the Orkney coastline, juxtaposition grand sweeps of the seafront to details of shells, driftwood and shale. Read More »

J. Lee Thompson – Tiger Bay (1959)

Wikipedia wrote:
Cardiff Bay played a major part in Cardiff’s development by being the means of exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helping to power the industrial age. The coal mining industry helped fund the building of Cardiff into the Capital city of Wales and helped the Third Marquis of Bute, who owned the docks, become the richest man in the world at the time. Read More »

Harold Pinter – Mountain Language (1988)

Synopsis:
‘Inspired by a visit to Turkey and Pinter’s experience of the suppression of the Kurdish language, this short, sharp shock of a play explores the increasing intolerance of dissent.
Written in cold fury, it’s a play that shows how, in dictatorial states, the suppression of language becomes an extension of physical brutality.’
– BFI Read More »

Stephen Frears – Bloody Kids (1980)

Quote:
This 1979 collaboration between two of the UK’s brighter rising talents – writer Stephen Poliakoff and director Stephen Frears – is a strange affair. Set in a slightly slipped-reality version of faded seaside Southend, it follows two 12-year-old pranksters (Peter Clark and Richard Thomas) who stage a sham knife fight – just for something to do, or so it seems at first – which ends up with one of them in hospital. What follows is a drab odyssey through all the public spaces the era offered – football ground, shopping precinct, disco, underground car park, Chinese restaurant, cop shop, hospital, caff – as Leo (Clark) is quizzed in hospital by the police, keen to know who his assailant was. Read More »

Christopher Nolan – Following (1998)

Quote:
Before he became a sensation with the twisty revenge story Memento, Christopher Nolan fashioned this low-budget, 16 mm black-and-white neonoir with comparable precision and cunning. Providing irrefutable evidence of Nolan’s directorial bravura, Following is the fragmented tale of an unemployed young writer who trails strangers through London, hoping that they will provide inspiration for his first novel. He gets more than he bargained for when one of his unwitting subjects leads him down a dark criminal path. With gritty aesthetics and a made-on-the-fly vibe (many shots were simply stolen on the streets, unbeknownst to passersby), Following is a mind- bending psychological journey that shows the remarkable beginnings of one of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – A Closed Book (2009)

Sir Paul, a distinguished author, blinded in a horrific accident, advertises for an amanuensis, an assistant to help him with his writing. He employs the amiable Jane Ryder to be his eyes as he revisits scenes from his past and works on what he intends to be his final opus. Jane appears to be ideal: attractive, intelligent, unruffled by her employer’s abrupt eccentricities. But, gradually, we come aware that Jane has another agenda. Incrementally, Sir Paul’s familiar surroundings are altered. Strange things happen around the house and he becomes increasingly dependent on his new assistant. Jane plays increasingly sadistic games until their relationship breaks down. Read More »

Adrian Brunel, Alfred Hitchcock – Elstree Calling (1930)

Quote:
A series of 19 musical and comedy “vaudeville” sketches presented in the form of a live broadcast hosted by Tommy Handley (as himself). There are two “running gags” which connect the sketches. In one, an actor wants to perform Shakespeare, but he is continually denied air-time. The other gag has an inventor trying to view the broadcast on television. Four of the sketches are in color (in shades of yellow and brown only). Read More »