award winner tagged posts

The Assassin (2015)

The-Assassin-posterDirector: Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Writers: Hou Hisao-Hsien, Zhong Acheng, Chu T’ien-wen, Hsieh Hai-Meng (screenplay), Pei Xing (short story)

Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen

Cert: 12

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2015


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The lowdown: Celebrated Chinese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien turns his hand to the wuxia-pien (martial arts) genre for his first film in eight years. But, those expecting House of Flying Daggers or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon may be surprised at what an anti-martial arts film Hou has produced. The plot, a female assassin is sent to kill the man to whom she was once betrothed, is standard fare. Hou’s telling is more focused on costumes and scenery than a compelling story or choreographed combat, meaning it’s pretty to look at but likely to leave scratched heads and soft snores.

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The fu...

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The Witch (2015)

The-Witch-posterDirector: Robert Eggers

Writer: Robert Eggers

Cast: Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger

Cert: 15

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2015


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The lowdown: Joining It Follows and The Babadook as one of the great horrors of recent years, The Witch is a sensational debut from director Robert Eggers. In 17th century New England, a family are banished from their devoutly religious plantation. Isolated on a small farm, they seem to be the targets of witchcraft when their youngest vanishes. But, as they begin to suspect each other, how much is hysteria? Dripping with a malevolent atmosphere, this is how horror movies seemed when you were too young to watch them.

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The full verdict: Vividly depicting an age when lives were governed by religion, supers...

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Son of Saul

Son-of-Saul---posterDirector: László Nemes

Writers: László Nemes, Clara Royer

Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont

Cert: 15

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: László Nemes’ feature debut, winner of the 2015 Grand Prix at Cannes, journeys to the very centre of Auschwitz’s extermination apparatus. In 1944 the Nazi’s enter a killing frenzy of unprecedented magnitude. A member of the Sonderkommando, Jewish inmates forced to assist the SS with the extermination of new arrivals, attempts to give a young boy a traditional burial against this background of evil. Within this slim story Nemes portrays the insanity of the Nazi’s Final Solution and the horrors facing prisoners placed in an impossible situation.

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The full verdict: Showing the unshowable is the great dil...

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Must-See Films at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

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The 59th London Film Festival runs Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th October.

12 days.

240 movies and documentary features, plus hundreds of shorts from all over the globe.

Even the most rabid movie buff will concede defeat in trying to see all those films in less than two weeks. So what to watch?

In the best tradition of internet Top Lists, we proudly present the Top 10 movies we are most hotly anticipating. And then looked again and had to expand it to 15.

They may be great, they may exhilarate, hell they may even frustrate… The only guarantee is they will be memorable. Which is what makes the London Film Festival such an essential event year after year.

Enough of the preamble, let’s dive into the idiosyncratic Electric Shadows 59th London Film Festival Must-See list...

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Leviathan (2014)

Leviathan - posterDirector: Andrey Zvyangintsev

Writer: Andrey Zvyangintsev, Oleg Negin

Cast: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Roman Madyanov, Sergey Pokhodaev

Cert: 15

Running time: 140mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Best Film at the 2014 London Film Festival. Best Screenplay at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Best International Film the Munich Film Festival. And almost guaranteed a Best Foreign Film nomination at the 2015 Oscars. Leviathan crashes onto screens riding a wave of critical and festival acclaim. All of it thoroughly deserved, Andrey Zvyangintsev’s tale of one man being crushed by the forces of the Russian state being a film of remarkable power and humanity.

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The full verdict: Early on in Leviathan a municipal government judge reads aloud court verdicts on local mech...

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Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher posterDirector: Bennett Miller

Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller

Cert: 15

Running time: 130mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Intense account of Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz and their relationship with bizarre multimillionaire John Du Pont. Ambition, paranoia, delusion and control are Du Pont’s driving impulses and his vast wealth and skewed perception of human interaction set the stage for a particularly dark tale, captured with a clinical eye by Capote director Bennett Miller. Likely to be too remote for some, but the performances by Tatum and Ruffalo as the brothers and Carell as the unsettling Du Pont are faultless.

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The full verdict: With pun fully intended, Foxcatcher is a movie to wrestle with.

D...

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