Thomas Beecham - News Poster


Made in England: Three Classics by Powell and Pressburger

Mubi is showing Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Small Back Room (1949), The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) and Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) in November and December, 2017 in the United States in the series Powell & Pressburger: Together and Apart.The story goes that when they were casting their first flat-out masterpiece together, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger sent a letter to an actress outlining a manifesto of their production company, called "the Archers." At the time, the Archers was freshly incorporated, with Powell and Pressburger sharing all credit for writing, directing, and producing, and their manifesto had five points. Point one was to ensure that they provided their financial backers with "a profit, not a loss," which may raise eyebrows among those who are used to manifestos burning with anti-capitalist fire—but then, in a system like commercial cinema, profitability buys freedom.
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Patrick Garland obituary

Director and writer celebrated for his work at Chichester Festival theatre and the BBC

The career of Patrick Garland, who has died aged 78, was as varied as it was productive. An actor, producer, director, writer and anthologist, he was a leading light of the BBC TV arts department for 12 years, twice artistic director of the Chichester Festival theatre and a close friend and associate of Alan Bennett, Rex Harrison, Eileen Atkins and Simon Callow.

Although he harboured ambitions in feature films, and directed a 1971 television adaptation of Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose (starring Richard Harris and an Emmy award-winning Jenny Agutter), as well as a creditable 1973 movie of Ibsen's A Doll's House (with Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins), his life developed in the theatre. Much of his work was informed by his love of literature, and the poetry of Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Philip Larkin and John Clare. In
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Quartet – The Review

If you’re looking for something gently humorous, and entirely unchallenging to take your elderly parents or grandparents to, Quartet should fit the bill. And that’s exactly what you’ll get; an amiable bore full of underplayed drama and mildly spirited comedy. If the idea of film set in a retirement home for elderly musicians sounds like a drag, don’t bother, but for those who have an affinity for lighthearted, predictable productions featuring some of the best actors working in the U.K., there may be just enough to Quartet to recommend.

Based on the 1999 play by Ronald Harwood and directed by Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, Quartet is entirely set at Beecham House, named after Sir Thomas Beecham, a famously oddball British conductor. It’s a picturesque rural mansion that serves as a dwelling for over-the-hill orchestra and operatic performers who wish to spend their final years in relative comfort and like-minded companionship.
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Quartet – review

Dustin Hoffman directs a stellar cast in this bittersweet tale of ageing opera singers forced to face their mortality

Dustin Hoffman was 30 when he made his screen debut as the 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Three years later, in 1970, he played the 121-year-old frontiersman Jack Crabb in Arthur Penn's western Little Big Man. In his 50s he returned to star as Willy Loman and Shylock. So he knows something about the vagaries of ageing. It seems therefore not inappropriate that he makes his confident directorial debut at 75, directing a formidable ensemble cast ranging in age from the 31-year-old Sheridan Smith to actors pushing 80 and beyond in a movie adapted by the 78-year-old Ronald Harwood from his own adroitly crafted play Quartet.

Sheridan Smith plays Dr Lucy Cogan, sympathetic manager and resident physician at Beecham House, a handsomely appointed home for elderly opera singers fallen on hard times. It's
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Trishna – review

Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto captivates in Michael Winterbottom's bold reading of Hardy's tragedy

"In this life," Sir Thomas Beecham is said to have advised us, "try everything once, except incest and morris dancing" – an admonition that Michael Winterbottom, Britain's most prolific and versatile director, has followed. Indeed after 9 Songs, his venture into unsimulated sex between consenting actors, he may well be contemplating an excursion into cinematic incest. Winterbottom's movies have ranged from the music scene in Manchester to incarceration in Guantánamo, and at regular intervals he has made versions of Thomas Hardy novels on three continents.

In 1996, quite early in his career, he adapted Jude the Obscure with some fidelity to its plot and its Victorian times with Christopher Eccleston as the doomed Wessex stonemason and Kate Winslet as his deranged second wife. In 2000 he transposed The Mayor of Casterbridge to the Californian gold rush of the 1860s as The Claim,
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Delius: beauty in the ear of the beholder

His life was as romantic and colourful as his exquisite music, yet his works are rarely performed today. Delius deserves better, writes Julian Lloyd Webber

No other composer polarises opinion like Delius. You either love or loathe his music. And it is rare to find someone who has grown to like it. Although this coming year – the 150th anniversary of his birth – will bring opportunities to reassess his work, that central fact will never change.

I feel as if I have known Delius's music forever. My father was a devotee and I must have heard all of his most famous works (On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, The Walk to the Paradise Garden, La Calinda, et al) well before I started playing his cello music. I always felt instinctively attuned to Delius's unique musical language, which seemed akin to watching a painting that is slowly changing in a constantly moving canvas of sound.
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Faust: damned if you do . . .

Goethe cursed attempts to set Faust to music – but composers kept trying regardless. As Terry Gilliam's version opens, Stuart Jeffries recounts a litany of depression, devils and duels

There is a curse on any composer rash enough to set Goethe's Faust to music. The German literary genius declared only Mozart capable of adapting his epic drama of damnation, sexual betrayal, witchcraft and freeform philosophic meditation. Selfishly, Mozart had died in 1791, almost 20 years before Goethe completed part one. So forever after, we have been doomed to suffer Faustian adaptations that the author would have disdained.

Perhaps Goethe's curse was issued because of That Thing he had with Beethoven. When Goethe met Beethoven (What a film! Hugh Bonneville as genteel, bewigged Goethe; Russell Crowe as Beethoven, surly and spoiling for a fight), the former bowed like a courtier; the latter didn't even remove his hat. You can see how
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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