United Kingdom

Barnaby Southcombe – I, Anna (2012)

I, Anna is a highly stylized modern film-noir love story set in a grimly, bleak London. It follows the intersecting lives of an aging woman trying to pick up the threads after a painful divorce and an impossibly sensitive police commissioner tracking a murder case. Loneliness and alienation are the main themes scratched out by penetrating performances from the leads Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne. Read More »

Jason Massot – Louis Theroux: Twilight of the Porn Stars (2012)

Quote:
Back in 1997 Louis Theroux made a documentary, as part of his Bafta-winningly odd Weird Weekends series, about a subject that was then relatively unfamiliar this side of the Atlantic – the vast pornography industry that existed alongside mainstream movie-making in Southern California. It was a typically quirky Theroux production focused largely (and highly entertainingly) on the male “performers” and contrasting the stereotypical macho fantasy of easy sex with the crude mechanics of the job – and the physical and psychological dangers it posed to those involved. Read More »

Michael Apted – The Up Series – 49 Up! (2005)

Summary by Paul Gaita:
The premise behind the Up series is deceptively simple: take a cross-section of children at age 7, ask them about their hopes for the future, and then return every seven years to mark their progress. However, the results of these experiments, launched in 1963 by Britain’s Granada Television, are anything but mundane, and their revelations about society, maturation, and the human condition were compiled into seven extraordinary films. Read More »

David Lean – Oliver Twist (1948) (HD)

Quote:
Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. This version of Oliver Twist is topped by Alec Guinness’s masterly performance of arch-thug Fagin
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Anthony Stern – San Francisco (1968)

Anthony Stern’s San Francisco, could be described as a city film and allied with Jean Vigo’s A Propos de Nice (France, 1930) and Walther Ruttman’s Berlin: die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin: Symphony of a City, Germany, 1927). It could also be described as a film of visible and invisible journeys. It moves between day and night, the city centre and its outskirts, the shops and the counter-culture. The invisible journey travels between the two 1960s psychedelic capitals of the world, San Francisco and London; Stern shot the film in the city of its namesake but returned to edit it in London, firstly at the BFI Production Board’s facilities at Waterloo and then at the Arts Lab at Drury Lane. Read More »

Chris Wilson – I Killed John Lennon (2005)

Review from BBC news:
Newly released audio tapes of interviews with John Lennon’s assassin reveal Mark Chapman’s self-confessed “compulsion” to kill the former Beatle.

“It was like a train, a runaway train, there was no stopping it,” Chapman told interviewers in a New York prison more than a decade ago.

The singer was shot by Chapman in New York on 8 December 1980. The tapes were recorded in the early 1990s by journalist Jack Jones, who wrote a book about Chapman and his crime. Chapman describes how he shot ex-Beatle Lennon five times in the back outside the Dakota apartment complex, adding “nothing could have stopped me”.”I was under total compulsion,” he says. “I’m thoroughly convinced in my conscience and in my heart that there was nothing I could do beyond that point to help myself, totally convinced of that.” Read More »

Michael Powell – Return to the Edge of the World (1978)

Director Michael Powell, actor John Laurie and assistant Sydney Streeter return to the isle of Foula, on which they made the film The Edge of the World over forty years earlier.

Michael Powell always considered The Edge of the World to be his first truly personal film, even to the extent of keeping the rights to it. However, after its initial trade screening in 1937, the film was cut by seven minutes for a general release length of 74 minutes. In 1940, when it was re-released, the film was cut by a further twelve minutes, and for decades this was the only version available. Read More »