United Kingdom

Alan Clarke – Play for Today: Penda’s Fen (1974)

An extraordinary evocation of conflicting forces within England: authority, tradition, hypocrisy, landscape, art, sexuality, and most of all, its mystical, ancient past. All of this comes together in Stephen, a rather prissy adolescent, and his growing pains deep in Elgar’s Worcestershire. Marrying the very different styles and concerns of writer David Rudkin and director Alan Clarke, Penda’s Fen delves deep into the heart of England to try and find answers to its identity. You’re unlikely to have seen anything quite like this and its strange events will stay with you for years afterwards. Read More »

Eugène Lourié – Gorgo (1961)

Quote:
A salvage vessle is nearly sunk off the Irish coast by an undersea earthquake. A few nights later, a walking sea monster tangles with the fishing boats and enters the town. The salvage vessel captures Gorgo and takes it to London for display. Gorgo’s mother, who is upset and significantly larger follows his trail to London leaving a wake of destruction in her path. Read More »

Werner Herzog & André Singer – Meeting Gorbachev (2018)

Werner Herzog and Andre Singer’s riveting documentary, filled with unforgettable archive materials and based on three never before seen interviews, provides incredible access to arguably the world’s greatest living politician.

Now 88 and battling illness, the visionary Mikhail Gorbachev, the former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R., is still gently but resolutely pushing towards his goals. Herzog celebrates Gorbachev’s three remarkable accomplishments: negotiations with the U.S. to reduce nuclear weapons, cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc. All of this in six years! Read More »

Walter Tennyson – The Body Vanished (1939)

Despite a short run time this is a breezy, effective British mystery. A Scotland Yard Inspector (Anthony Hulme) is on holidays with his friend, a newspaper reporter. The two come into a small village for rest and refreshments before continuing their holiday. Their peace is disturbed when a villager runs into the local pub declaring the owner of a nearby mansion has been murdered. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Cleopatra (1963)

Synopsis:
In 48 B.C., Caesar pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Ptolemy, now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra, attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinos and Achillas. To win Caesar’s support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus, her servant, presents to Caesar. The Roman is immediately infatuated; banishing Ptolemy, he declares Cleopatra Egypt’s sole ruler and takes her as his mistress. A son, Caesarion, is born of their union. Caesar, however, must return to Italy. Although he is briefly reunited with Cleopatra during a magnificent reception for the queen in Rome, Caesar is assassinated shortly thereafter, and Cleopatra returns to Egypt. Read More »

Carol Reed – The Running Man (1963)

An Englishman with a grudge against an insurance company for a disallowed claim fakes his own death in order but an insurance investigator starts snooping around. Read More »

Jim Loach – Oranges and Sunshine (2010)

An Icon Film Distribution (in Australia/U.K.) release of a Screen Australia, Little Gaddelsden presentation of a Sixteen Films/See-Saw Prods. production, in association with Fulcrum Media France, EM Media, South Australian Film Corp., Deluxe, Screen NSW, BBC Films. (International sales: Icon Entertainment, London.) Produced by Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning. Executive producers, Rebecca O’Brien, Arnab Banerji. Directed by Jim Loach. Screenplay, Rona Munro, based on the book”Empty Cradles” by Margaret Humphreys. Read More »