world war 2 tagged posts

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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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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Japan 2020’s Akira Kurosawa Collection – 5 Must-See Movies


For more information on BFI Japan 2020, click here

To view Japan 2020 on BFI Player, click here


BFI Player’s Japan 2020 season is now live, with two first rate collections to keep you occupied during lockdown. One focusses on Japan’s most famous filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, and features 21 films from the 30 he made in a career spanning six decades. The other showcases classics of Japanese cinema across the decades – click here for details on that one.

People most likely know the name, but as the years tick by the audience for Kurosawa’s films inevitably dwindles. Which makes Japan 2020’s collection essential… for many reasons.

Chiefly, Kurosawa movies are dazzling. As important, they still seem fresh and accessible to modern eyes.

Kurosawa was the first ...

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Darkest Hour (2017)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Anthony McCarten

Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Stephen Dillane, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Ronald Pickup

Cert: PG

Running time: 125mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: As Britain stands alone against the Nazis, and its army awaits capture at Dunkirk, newly appointed prime minister Winston Churchill clashes with critics in his own party about fighting Germany or negotiating for peace.

What’s the verdict: Unlike those brothers who shared his family name, Joe Wright has yet to successfully land a project. Sometimes his films soar briefly. But, audience expectations crash to earth with a sense of frustrated disappointment (Atonement) or outright annoyance (The Soloist).

Darkest Hour promises to be the director’s most sustained movie yet...

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The 10 Best Films of 2017

Another year, another 10 movies that define why we love cinema. 2017 was such a strong year for film releases that many excellent movies failed to make our Top 10.

Honorary shout-outs then to such must-sees as Wind River, IT, Mother!, Una, A Silent Voice and Wonder Woman. Great movies all, all pipped to the post by the titles below.

Whatever brow-furrowing misbehaviour 2018 brings, one sliver of good news is that cinema should remain in fine shape. From what we saw at the London Film Festival in October, at least three five-star movies will be released next year.

But, without further ado, here is Electric Shadows’ 10 Best Films of 2017…


  1. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Writer/director S...

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Tears and Laughter: Movie Reviews


Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama runs until Wednesday 29th November at the BFI Southbank. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

To read an interview with season curator and Sight and Sound features editor James Bell, click here.


OSAKA ELEGY

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Tadashi Fujiwara (dialogue)

Cast: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya

Cert: PG

Running time: 71mins

Year: 1936



What’s the story: To pay off her father’s debts and her brother’s university fees, young switchboard operator Ayako (Yamada) becomes her boss’ mistress. But, when he rejects her she is forced into prostitution.

What’s the verdict: A pre-war film from director Kenji Mizoguchi, the 1936 Osaka Elegy anticipates Japan’s rejection ...

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Dunkirk – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 27 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Robs Daniel & Wallis explore Christopher Nolan’s extraordinary Dunkirk. What makes it the best film of the year (for one of the Robs at least), why the movie’s different timelines work so well, why R&R recommend seeing it in IMAX, and a whole lot more.

Before our intrepid podcasters reach the dangerous beaches of Dunkirk, they provide a quick round-up of the barmy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the impressive War for the Planet of the Apes and the enjoyable but disposable Baby Driver.

But, it’s mainly about that Nolan movie. Proof positive you can make an intelligent epic that delivers a visual experience not seen on the blockbuster stage before. While not forgetting to include substance. And all in 106 minutes...

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Dunkirk (2017)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy, Jack Lowden, James D’Arcy, Tom Glynn-Carey, Barry Keoghan

Cert: 12

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: France, 1940. After Germany defeats Allied forces in the Battle of Dunkirk, 400,000 British soldiers are stranded on the beach, 26 miles from home. Operation Dynamo, the mobilisation of naval ships plus hundreds of civilian boats, is activated to rescue those across the Channel.

What’s the verdict: Expectations rode high when news broke that Christopher Nolan’s next film would tackle the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Nolan’s response has been to deliver perhaps his finest film to date...

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Allied

allied-posterDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Steven Knight

Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney

Cert: 15

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: In 1942 Morocco, French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard) and Canadian RAF wing commander Max Vatan (Pitt) encounter danger and passion during a mission against Nazi forces. On assignment in London they discover a new threat.

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What’s the verdict: Those bemoaning the lack of decent World War 2 era romantic thrillers will find themselves shouting “Vive le fromage!” at Robert Zemeckis’ latest directorial effort.

Taking a grab bag approach to such WW2 heart-flutterers as The English Patient, Hanover Street and granddaddy of them all Casablanca, Allied’s mission statement is to adm...

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Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

akira-kurosawas-dreams-blu-ray-coverDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Mieko Harada, Hisashi Igawa, Martin Scorsese

Cert: PG

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2016

 


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What’s the story: Across eight vignettes, including fantastical tales of Japanese folklore and dark apocalyptic visions, director Akira Kurosawa reveals his dreams.

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What’s the verdict: Those who remember Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams release in 1990 but are only now catching up with the film itself are due for a pleasant surprise.

Originally met with a mixed response (it still holds a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating), to modern eyes Dreams is a burst of sunshine through the current blizzard of smeary CGI pseudo-spectacle.

Split into eight separate stories, each introduced by a title and the legend “I had another dream…”, Kurosawa spir...

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