United Kingdom

Elaine Constantine – Northern Soul (2014)

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Synopsis:
The storyline cleverly blends all the ingredients that defined the Northern Soul scene in the 1970s – from the obsessive record collecting, dancing and drug taking to the deeper aspects such as… well, the consequences of all of the above.

If you went to all-nighters at the time, it’s an emotional roller coaster ride that will hit you with the highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies all over again. If you didn’t go, it’s the closest you’ll get to ever understanding. Read More »

Jack Clayton – The Innocents (1961)

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Quote:
Jack Clayton’s celebrated screen adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898) is a brilliant exercise in psychological horror. Impressionable and repressed governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) agrees to tutor two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. On arrival at Bly House, she becomes convinced that the children are possessed by the perverse spirits of former governess Miss Jessel and her Heathcliffe-like lover Quint (Peter Wyngarde), who both met with mysterious deaths.

The film’s sinister atmosphere is carefully created – not through shock tactics, but through its cinematography, soundtrack, and decor: Freddie Francis’ beautiful CinemaScope photography, with its eerily indistinct long shots and mysterious manifestations at the edges of the frame; an evocative and spooky soundtrack; and the grand yet decaying Bly House.

Deborah Kerr gives the performance of her career and makes The Innocents an intensely unsettling experience. Are the ghosts the products of Miss Giddens’s fevered imagination and emotional immaturity, or a displacement of her shock at the sexually precocious behaviour of ten-year-old Miles? Is she the protector or the corrupter? Read More »

Mike Leigh – Naked (1993)

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Quote:
Mike Leigh’s brilliant and controversial Naked stars David Thewlis as Johnny, a charming, eloquent, and relentlessly vicious drifter on the lam in London. Rejecting all those who would care for him, the volcanic Johnny hurls himself into a nocturnal odyssey through the city, colliding with a succession of the desperate and the dispossessed, and scorching everyone in his path. With a virtuoso script and raw performances from Thewlis and costars Katrin Cartlidge and Lesley Sharpe, Leigh’s panorama of England’s crumbling underbelly is a showcase of black comedy and doomsday prophecy, and was the winner of the best director and actor prizes at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Read More »

Mike Leigh – Career Girls (1997)

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from allmovie:
Mike Leigh’s first film after his international success Secrets and Lies was this comedy-drama about two former college roommates spending a weekend together — the first time they’ve seen each other in six years. As teenagers, Annie (Lynda Steadman) was painfully shy, terribly nervous (so much so that it manifested itself in a severe facial rash) and in desperate need of self-esteem. Hannah (Katrin Cartlidge), on the other hand, had strong opinions about everything and a habit of blurting them out regardless of the hurt they would inflict upon others. Years later, Annie has gained a certain confidence and poise (and her face has cleared up), but she’s yet to learn how to relax, while Hannah is still incapable of letting a quiet moment speak for itself. As they spend the weekend hunting for apartments (Annie’s looking for a new place to live), they’re constantly reminded of their past together — how far they’ve come, and how far they still have to go. Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who won acclaim for her role as the daughter given up for adoption in Secrets and Lies, co-wrote the musical score for this film. Read More »

Jack Arnold – Games Girls Play AKA The Bunny Caper AKA Sex Play (1974)

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Quote:
Sultry ’70s B-movie bombshell Christina Hart (THE STEWARDESSES, HELTER SKELTER) stars as Bunny O’Hara, the underage man-eating daughter of a wealthy American businessman. After sleeping her way through the brass ranks of the U.S. military, Bunny is packed off to Swinging London and a remote finishing school for wayward rich girls.

Bored in the British boondocks, Bunny leads her nubile classmates in a contest to seduce a group of foreign dignitaries visiting London for disarmament talks…the winner being the first girl to get her V.I.P. into B-E-D!

Escapist, sexist and as politically incorrect as they go, GAMES GIRLS PLAY (aka THE BUNNY CAPER) is a titillating product of its heedless time, directed with an unblinking eye by Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN) and costarring Ed Bishop (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Read More »

Derek Jarman – Glitterbug (1994)

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Review

Glitterbug consists of film strips shot by Jarman with his Super-8 between 1971 and 1986, a format he was constantly experimenting with and made use of in the film collage In the Shadow of the Sun (1981) for example, it is an endless montage of loosely connected Super-8 sequences put together alternatively into an impressionistic shimmer of beauty, alternatively with an aggressive, rhetorical edge. The Last of England (1987), similar in a technical way, became even more famous. It was a devastating criticism of Thatcherism and of what Jarman per-ceived to be the decline of Britain. Jarman’s most distinct feature was his constant role as a man against the tide his attacks against anything considered to be part of the Establishment, whether it concerned sexual preferences or political power structures. The boldness re-appears in Glitterbug, where images from Jarman’s own everyday life in London in the early 70’s, with rooms filled with anti-cultural fetishes from the Swinging London era, are mixed with various documentaries from the making of some of Jarman’s notorious successes: the gay film Sebastiane (1975) and the punk protest Jubilee (1977). Read More »

Tom Shankland – The Children (2008)

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Excellent new horror movie, 27 November 2008
10/10
Author: Rocket-Pictures from United Kingdom

Saw a preview of this. Was worried that it would be a bit cheesy but it had me and my girlfriend on the edge of our seats. Really gripping and uses psychological rather than gore to scare. Very good for a British horror and has a kind of style and gloss that you usually associate with American films. Lead girl (the one from Hollyoaks) is fantastic and very cute and there are good turns from some excellent upcoming British actors. Jeremy Sheffield (the handsome one from Holby City) is excellent I’m surprised he has not been a leading man before. Story pitch is about a couple of middle class families with issues who meet up for Chistmas together. One of the kids seems to have a virus and over the holiday gradually the behaviour of the children starts to change as they become wild and feral and turn on their over anxious parents. For people with kids it’s pretty uncomfortable and creepy, but if you’ve ever got fed up of those overly protective middle class parents who let their kids do whatever they want and can’t control them, then this is good fun. I notice it’s from the same director as WAZ, which was also a good film so it seems like he knows what he is doing and is one to watch in future. Read More »