United Kingdom

Jules Dassin – Night and the City [+Extras] (1950)

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Synopsis
Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) aches for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he stumbles upon a chance of a lifetime in the form of legendary wrestler Gregorius the Great (Stanislaus Zbyszko). But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, bottomless graft, and pummeled flesh-and soon Fabian learns the horrible price of his ambition. Luminously shot in the streets of London, Jules Dassin’s Night and the City is film noir of the first order and one of the director’s crowning achievements. Read More »

Michael Winterbottom – 9 Songs (2004)

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Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader wrote:
Working without a script, the edgy British independent Michael Winterbottom (24-Hour Party People) shoots a young couple (played by Kieran O’Brien and American nonprofessional Margo Stilley) having real sex and alternates these scenes with numbers from nine London concerts (mostly rock) that their characters attend over a few months. Beautifully shot on DV by Marcel Zyskind, with minimal dialogue but voice-over narration from O’Brien, this 2004 feature is short on story and character yet usually holds its own as spectacle. The music and the body types may be familiar to a fault, but the performances are expressive. Read More »

Michael Winterbottom – Wonderland (1999)

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The members of a British working-class family see their lives starting to come apart as the Nation prepares to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day (named for an anarchist who tried to blow up Parliament) in Michael Winterbottom’s drama Wonderland. Eileen (Kika Markham) and Bill (Jack Shepherd) are a married couple with four grown children. Bill has lost his job and is drifting through life, unsure of what to do. He’s also having sexual problems with Eileen, who is being driven insane by their noisy neighbors. Neither Bill nor Eileen have seen their son Darren (Enzo Cilenti) for a long time, and his birthday is a heartbreaking experience for them. (Darren, on the other hand, would prefer to celebrate his birthday by spending the night in a hotel with his girlfriend rather than seeing his parents.) Bill and Eileen also have three daughters, Nadia (Gina McKee), Debbie (Shirley Henderson) and Molly (Molly Parker). Nadia works in a cafe and has trouble meeting men; she’s signed up with a dating agency, but has yet to meet anyone she likes. Debbie is suddenly a single mother after separating from her drunken lout of a husband. Debbie drowns her sorrows in a series of meaningless one-night-stands, while her husband flies into uncontrollable rages and their son is left with no one to turn to on either side. And while Molly’s story seems happy on the surface — she’s soon to give birth to her first child and her husband has done well in kitchen sales — she’s suddenly thrown into instability when she finds her husband has quit his job, without telling her, to follow his dream of becoming a chef. Wonderland received enthusiastic reviews for its ensemble cast when shown at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. – allmovie.com Read More »

John Gorrie – The Tempest (1980)

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Making its debut with Romeo and Juliet on 3 December 1978, and concluding nearly seven years later with Titus Andronicus on 27 April 1985, the BBC Television Shakespeare project was the single most ambitious attempt at bringing the Bard of Avon to the small screen, both at the time and to date.

Producer Cedric Messina was already an experienced producer of one-off television Shakespeare presentations, and was thus ideally qualified to present the BBC with a daunting but nonetheless enticingly simple proposition: a series of adaptations, staged specifically for television, of all 36 First Folio plays, plus Pericles (The Two Noble Kinsmen was considered primarily John Fletcher’s work, and the legitimacy of Edward III was still being debated). Read More »

Various – Industrial Britain (1933)

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SPOILER

(from an imdb review)
“Ah, PROPOGANDA! See one of the early propaganda films–worth the viewing
Author: TheMrLee

Grierson set out to make “propaganda,” and this film–with it’s voice-over proclaiming the great value of the British industrial worker, without a hint of ambiguity or doubt–fits that category well. The authoritatarian narrator feels out-of-date and unsophisticated, but the footage is well shot and interesting, and the transparency of the propaganda aspect is almost a reflief at a time when so many films have hidden agendas. ” Read More »

Various – Aria (1987)

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Directed by Nicolas Roeg, Bruce Beresford, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, Ken Russell, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Robert Altman, Franc Roddam, Bill Bryden

Starring Theresa Russell, John Hurt, Elizabeth Hurley, Bridget Fonda, Buck Henry, Anita Morris, Beverly D’Angelo, Tilda Swinton, Marion Peterson, Valerie Allain, Gary Kasper, Peter Birch, James Mathers, Andreas Wisniewski, Angela Walker, Sophie Ward Read More »

Stephen Quay & Timothy Quay – Institute Benjamente (1995)

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Synopsis
Brilliant English animators The Brothers Quay create their first feature-length live-action film in this tale of a dilapidated boarding school for the teaching of servants run by a brother and… Brilliant English animators The Brothers Quay create their first feature-length live-action film in this tale of a dilapidated boarding school for the teaching of servants run by a brother and sister in which the curriculum is the repetition of one single lesson. When Jacob, a young man, enrolls in the school, he becomes entangled in the strange lives of the students and headmasters alike. Called by director Terry Gilliam, “The most visually beautiful and hauntingly humorous film I have seen in the last 300 years.” Read More »