Monthly Archives July 2020

Get animated with BFI Player’s Japan 2020 Anime Collection

Note: this feature presents Japanese names in the traditional fashion of family name first, followed by given name.


One sparkling ray of light in this dismal year has been BFI Player’s Japan 2020 season. Originally intended for the big screens of BFI Southbank, everything inevitably shifted onto Player when COVID-19 struck.

Click here for our coverage of collections already available:
Kurosawa Akira Collection
Alexander Jacoby discusses the cinema of Ozu Yasujiro
The Classics Collection
The Vengeance Cinema of Kaji Meiko

Joining Japan 2020 from Friday 31st July is the Anime Collection. With five titles the collection may be small, but it’s perfectly formed for those with a craving for great animation.


CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT FILMS ARE PLAYING IN BFI PLAYER’S JAPAN ...

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Hamilton – The Movie Robcast

Episode 95 of The Movie Robcast sees our intrepid casters in pod venturing once more into London’s West End early on a sunny Sunday morning. And finding Leicester Square to be a rather noisier place than they’d anticipated. While dodging rustling papers, dustbin lorries and street cleaning buggies, they have a social distanced conversation about the Hamilton film, now available on Disney+.

They also make time to discuss the state of UK theatre, online virtual theatres, and the recently revealed plans for this year’s London Film Festival.


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE



To follow the podcast and the Robs on Twitter, head to:
https://twitter.com/MovieRobcast
https://twitter.com/Rob_A_Daniel
https://twitter.com/robertmwallis


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Greyhound & Palm Springs (feat. The Old Guard) – The Movie Robcast

Episode 96 of The Movie Robcast looks at two very different films, both of which bypassed cinemas due to coronavirus to premiere on streaming services.

Tom Hanks’ Greyhound tells the World War 2 tale of a captain having to steer a convoy of ships through U-boat infested waters in the North Atlantic. Friend of the podcast Adrian Zak cameos to give his opinion on this lean, impressive naval thriller which has docked on Apple TV+.

Then onto Palm Springs, an imaginative spin on the Groundhog Day premise starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J.K. Simmons, and which can be found on Hulu. The Palm Springs discussion begins at 55.55.

Rob Wallis also took one for the team and watched The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and which just dropped on Netflix.


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Tenet in Bondage – will blockbuster release dates in 2020 soon be hindsight?

The latest Bond film is currently titled No Time To Die, but that could all change yet. One replacement option is Dominoes Falling, because 007’s confirmed shift to 2021 could have a knock-on effect leaving this year bereft of big movie releases.

Sure, Fast 9 and Halloween Kills have already upped sticks and moved to next year. But, the acknowledgement that coronavirus has beaten Bond seems more significant.

The No Time To Die shift was confirmed end of last week. Yesterday came the news that Tenet is being postponed indefinitely.

Although they maintain Christopher Nolan’s latest will still see the inside of cinemas this year, Warner Bros. are wise not to fix a release date...

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Greyhound

Director: Aaron Schneider

Writer: Tom Hanks

Cast: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue

Producers: Gary Goetzman

Music: Blake Neeley

Cinematography: Shelly Johnson

Editors: Mark Czyzewski, Sidney Wolinsky

Cert: 12

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: 1942, the North Atlantic. Greenhorn captain Ernie Krause (Hanks) helms US destroyer Greyhound, leading a convoy of supply ships from America to England, battling a deadly wolfpack of enemy U-boats.

What’s the verdict: Greyhound’s journey to the screen has been almost as fraught as the eponymous ship’s North Atlantic crossing. Originally intended as a March 2019 release, it was shunted back to June 2020...

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Director: David Dobkin

Writer: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan

Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Eitan Evan, Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy

Music: Atli Örvarsson

Cinematography: Danny Cohen

Editor: Greg Hayden

Cert: 12

Running time: 123mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: All his life, Lars Erickssong (Ferrell) has dreamt of Eurovision Song Contest victory. Long-time friend and musical partner Sigrit Ericksdottir (McAdams) shares that dream and an unrequited longing for Lars himself. When events propel the duo from their tiny Icelandic fishing village to the big stage of Eurovision, they find themselves with a one in a (741) million shot of Europop glory.

What’s the verdict: Will...

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The Eyes Have It: The Vengeance Cinema of Kaji Meiko

Note: this feature presents Japanese names in the traditional fashion of family name first, followed by given name. Japanese language film titles and genres are presented in italics for ease of reading


Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss, both discussed below, are currently available on BFI Player as part of the Japan 2020 season


An entire feature could be written on Kaji Meiko’s signature stare.

Expressing an ocean of fury and recrimination, that “look” is evident in the Japanese actress’ two most famous films, 1972’s Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and 1973’s Lady Snowblood.

But, there is more to Kaji Meiko than a glare so glacial it ices blood in the veins...

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