United Kingdom

Peter Gidal – Collected HD Works (1968-1983)

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Peter Gidal’s cinema is anti-narrative, against representation, and fiercely materialist.

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op. Read More »

Michael Winterbottom – The Claim (2000)

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from allmovie:
One man’s small empire threatens to collapse under the weight of his greed and deceit in this drama that transplants the story of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge to 19th century America. In 1867, Dillon (Peter Mullan) is an Irish immigrant who settled in California during the Gold Rush of ’49 and has done quite well for himself. Dillon owns nearly every business of consequence in the town of Kingdom Come; if someone wants to dig for gold, rent a room, open a bank account, or even order a drink, they have to go to Dillon to do it. One of the few profitable enterprises in town that he doesn’t own is the brothel, which is operated by Lucia (Milla Jovovich), Dillon’s lover. But Dillon sees his hold on the town threatened when Dalglish (Wes Bentley) arrives in Kingdom Come. Dalglish is a surveyor with the Central Pacific Railroad, which wants to put a train line through Kingdom Come. Dillon believes that Dalglish’s plans could pull control of Kingdom Come out of his hands, and he’s willing to go to any lengths to see that this doesn’t happen. Arriving in town the same time as Dalglish are two women, the beautiful but ailing Elena (Nastassja Kinski) and her lovely teenage daughter Hope (Sarah Polley); their presence is deeply troubling for Dillon, for they are the keys to a dark secret Dillon has kept from the people of Kingdom Come. The Claim is Michael Winterbottom’s second adaptation of the works of Thomas Hardy; his 1996 feature Jude was adapted from Hardy’s final novel, Jude the Obscure. — Mark Deming Read More »

Ralph Thomas – Percy (1971)

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Edwin Antony (Hywel Bennett) is emasculated in an accident which kills a young philanderer. Doctors successfully replace his member with that of the dead man, but refuse to tell him the full story of the organ’s origin. So Edwin begins a search which takes him to the philanderer’s wife – and also to his many, many girlfriends. Read More »

Isaac Julien – Derek [+Extras] (2008)

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Quote:
An artist spends his or her existence examining life through their art, so why is it often so hard to use art to examine the artist’s life in turn? We’ve all seen biopics that merely scratch the surface of a creative existence, either spending too much time focusing on the travails of the individual and leaving their creations by the wayside, or flat studies of the work alone that seemingly forget that there was a person behind the words or images.

Isaac Julien’s new documentary Derek tries to have the best of everything in its portrait of painter and visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman, and for the most part, it succeeds. As a tribute to the man, Julien and his collaborators, producer Colin MacCabe and actress Tilda Swinton, let the viewer behind the curtain to see who Jarman was and what fueled his inspired works; at the same time, we see pieces of that work, and we learn what it meant to him as a person and to the culture at large. Read More »

Roy Ward Baker – — And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

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Summary:
England 1795: the young Catherine just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes victim of an old curse that lays on the family. In her wedding night she’s raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.-imdb-

In 1795, in England, the young woman Catherine (Stephanie Beacham) moves to the house of her fiancé Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy) in the country to get married with him. When she arrives, she feels interest in the portraits of the Fengriffen family, particularly in the one of Charle’s grandfather Henry Fengriffen (Herbert Lom), which seems to have a sort of evil entity possessing it. While admiring Henry’s face, a severed hand attacks Catherine through the picture on the wall. Later, she gets married with Charles, beginning her journey of mystery, eerie apparitions, secrets and deaths, and having her days filled with fear and the nights with horrors in a cursed family.-imdb- Read More »

Roy Ward Baker – A Night to Remember (1958)

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Quote:
Director Roy Ward Maker, and his producer, William MacQuitty, have done a sterling job in putting the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 on the screen with an impressive, almost documentary flavour. With around 200 speaking roles in the film, few of the actors are given much chance to develop as characters. Even leading player Kenneth More, is merely part of a team. The ship itself is the star. Read More »

Basil Dearden – Frieda (1947)

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‘In the final year of WW2 a British airman marries the German girl who helped him escape from a POW camp and brings her home to meet his stolid middle-class family. Will they – and by implication, British society – come to accept this representative of the Herrenvolk?’

— Philip Kemp. Read More »