Monthly Archives: August 2010

Gerard Depardieu calls Juliette Binoche ‘nothing’ in provocative interview

French star expresses incredulity that Binoche, an actor with more than 50 films behind her, has achieved such acclaim Continue reading… Continue reading

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Film review: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

A horror film that is deplorable and revolting, but sort of brilliant. By Peter Bradshaw

Despite being entirely deplorable and revolting, this B-movie horror from Dutch film-maker Tom Six is also … well, sort of brilliant. It scales the heights of yuckiness. It places a flag on a hitherto undreamt-of Everest-peak of offensiveness. Undreamt of by me, anyway. The central idea might get a thoughtful, respectful nod from Dr Hannibal Lecter. Dieter Laser plays Dr Heiter, a retired surgeon and predatory psychopath who has captured three young people – two Americans, one Japanese – and is holding them prisoner in a makeshift operating-theatre-cum-vivisectional-research-unit that he has built in his cellar. He plans to unite the destinies of this luckless trio in ways that I cannot bring myself to describe here. For this absurdist nightmare, the director may have been inspired by Josef Fritzl, or conceivably by the Jean-Paul Sartre maxim “hell is other people”. But it’s most likely he was inspired by the television programme that he himself developed in its original form on Dutch television: Big Brother. Those of a nervous disposition need to stay away.

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Film review: Mother

Another fine thriller from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. By Peter BradshawBong Joon-ho’s Mother is a suspense thriller, a gripping psychological study and, like his 2003 movie Memories of Murder, a witty subversion of the forensic-procedural genr… Continue reading

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Film review: The Last Airbender

Dev Patel stars in an unfortunately titled film continues the decline of M Night Shyamalan’s career. By Peter Bradshaw

The English language can be a treacherous and slippery thing, with some entirely innocuous words changing their character as they cross the Atlantic. This has sadly been the case with the new movie from M Night Shyamalan, which has just arrived here from Hollywood, a deeply serious and long fantasy epic – the first in a number of parts, in fact – based on an animated TV series. For a British audience, the film’s language is inadvertently flavoured by associations and nuances that are vulgar, abusive, and very, very unfortunate indeed.

The story is set in an imaginary era in which the world is divided into four nations based on the four ancient elements: earth, air, fire and water. The Fire nation is warring with the others for total domination. Yet each nation has a certain type of people, a favoured race different from the rest, people with the Jedi-like power to control or “bend” the elements. Firebenders. Earthbenders. Waterbenders. And airbenders. At the cinema showing I attended, the British crowd reacted derisively at key dialogue moments. One wise old lady says solemnly to a young man: “I could tell at once that you were a bender, and that you would realise your destiny.” One character tells another wonderingly: “There are some really powerful benders in the Northern Water Zone.” Another whispers tensely: “We want to minimise their bender sources.” A key figure is taken away by brutal soldiers, one of whom shouts cruelly: “It’s… a bender.”

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The Wizard of Oz: 71 facts for the film’s 71st birthday

As today’s Google doodle celebrates 71 years of The Wizard of Oz, we present 71 things you might not know about the musical classic starring Judy Garland Continue reading… Continue reading

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Was Bette Midler right to turn down Sister Act, Misery and Chicago?

She passed up Oscar-winning roles and is now playing a talking cat. Should life have worked out differently for Bette Midler? Continue reading… Continue reading

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