Monthly Archives: May 2014

Angelina Jolie on Maleficent: ‘I was drawn to the evil’ – video interview

Angelina Jolie, the star of Disney’s revisionist Sleeping Beauty story Maleficent, tells Andrew Pulver why she was attracted to the idea of making the wicked witch relatable, while her co-star, Sam Riley, talks about learning how to think like a bird C… Continue reading

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iOS and Mac users in Australia locked out of their devices via “Find my iPhone” ransomware

Some iOS and Mac users in Australia this morning woke up to a concerning message indicating that their devices had been remotely locked by a hacker demanding upwards of AU$100 to unlock them.

Originally reported by The Age, affected users (“dozens” … Continue reading

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iOS and Mac users in Australia locked out of their devices via “Find my iPhone” ransomware

Some iOS and Mac users in Australia this morning woke up to a concerning message indicating that their devices had been remotely locked by a hacker demanding upwards of AU$100 to unlock them.

Originally reported by The Age, affected users (… Continue reading

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Seth Rogen lambasts film critic over Elliot Rodger comparison

The star of Bad Neighbours, along with director Judd Apatow, has posted tweets responding to the Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday, who claimed that the comedy film is part of a culture that breeds violence like Elliot Rodger’s killing spree Continue… Continue reading

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Cannes 2014: The worst films of the festival in pictures

For every Palme d’Or there’s a please don’t. Catherine Shoard ventures
off-piste at Cannes to round-up the B-movies unlikely to appear in any
‘best of the festival’ lists. Could this year’s Sharknado be among them?

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Star Wars – a force that may be with you indefinitely: from the archive, 22 May 1980

The Empire Strikes Back may be a bit boring but there’s nothing to stop George Lucas playing with his own personal universe forever

It cost $22 million to make The Empire Strikes Back, which is just over 100 percent more than Star Wars. Star Wars grossed $400 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Empire did the same. It is technically even more proficient, has virtually the same ingredients and bursts forth into a world that still seems ripe for its special blend of nostalgically simple story-telling and complicated technology. If George Lucas wants to go on and on, imitating on the largest possible scale the Saturday morning serials of his youth, there seems no good reason yet why anything should stop him.

The only real surprise comes as early as the opening credits when we learn this is not episode two but five — Star Wars was apparently episode four and both pictures are the centrepieces of a nine-part series. When I was a little boy I invented a country called Malcolmia with a long and detailed history, an arch-villain called Peregrine who caused much dissension and an Emperor’s son (me) who eventually dished him. Lucas has gone one better. He has invented his own universe and intends to play with it forever. If this version of it isn’t as fresh as the first, it looks to me as if it is going to achieve that comforting familiarity that breeds content rather than contempt.

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Cannes 2014 review: White God – mad mutts as Hungary goes to the dogs

Kornél Mundruczó has upped his game for his latest Cannes premiere – a rabid relation to Hitchcock’s The Birds, in which Hungary falls victim to a canine apocalypse Continue reading…
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Cannes 2014: Wild Tales review – Argentinian portmanteau movie is a tinderbox of delights

Ricardo Darin features in this Pedro Almodóvar-produced collection of fine, fractious stories showing a nation at the end of its tether and a people poised to implode

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Kirsten Dunst: five best moments

Our pick if the star’s greatest roles to date. What would you add to the list?

As a model from the age of three, and film actor from the age of six (her first two roles were for Woody Allen and Brian De Palma), Kirsten Dunst survived growing up in the public eye to become a A-lister who can always be relied on to turn in a compelling, charming performance.

Here are five of her best roles to date – but what would you add to the list? Let us know in the thread below.

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Pulp Fiction review – Tarantino’s mesmeric thriller still breathtaking 20 years on

The dialogue, the soundtrack, the sheer directionless excitement – Tarantino’s thunderclap of a thriller is just as brilliant as it was two decades ago

Twenty years on, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction has been rereleased in cinemas, and it looks as mesmeric and mad as ever: callous, insolent, breathtaking. The icy wit, the connoisseur soundtrack, the violence (of which the N-bombs are a part), the extended dialogue riffing, the trance-like unreality, the inspired karmic balance of the heroin scene and the adrenalin scene, the narrative switchbacks that allow John Travolta to finish the film both alive and dead, the spectacle of him being made to dance badly, but also sort of brilliantly … above all else, the sheer directionless excitement that only Tarantino can conjure. In 1994 it broke over my head like a thunderclap, and in 1990s Britain this touchstone of cool seemed to extend its dangerous influence everywhere: movies, fiction, journalism, media, fashion, restaurants, you name it. Everyone was trying to do irony and incorrectness, but without his brilliance it just looked smug. (The Americans get Tarantino; we get Guy Ritchie and Jeremy Clarkson.) Travolta and Samuel L Jackson play Vincent and Jules, a couple of bantering hitmen working for Marsellus (Ving Rhames), who is highly protective of his wife, Mia (Uma Thurman), and about to conclude a payday from a fixed boxing match; Marsellus’s fighter, Butch (Bruce Willis), is haunted by a childhood encounter with his late father’s best friend (a jaw-dropping cameo from Christopher Walken). Everyone’s destiny plays out with that of a couple of freaky stick-up artists, played by Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth. In 1994, all the talk was of former video-store clerk Tarantino’s indifference to traditional culture. That patronised his sophisticated cinephilia, and in fact, 20 years on, the writerly influences of Edward Bunker, Elmore Leonard and Jim Thompson seem very prominent. Don DeLillo began the 90s by warning that the US is the only country in the world with funny violence. Maybe Pulp Fiction was the kind of thing he had in mind. Unmissable.

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Malik Bendjelloul obituary

Film-maker whose Searching for Sugar Man, about the hunt for a forgotten folk musician, won an Oscar Continue reading… Continue reading

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Lars von Trier to create panic in Detroit with horror film

Controversial film maker is developing project set in Motor City for Danish director Kristian Levring Continue reading… Continue reading

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Searching for Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul dies aged 36

Swedish police say no crime suspected in death of filmmaker who won 2013 Oscar for documentary about elusive musicianMalik Bendjelloul: Xan Brooks remembers a director full of puppyish charm Malik Bendjelloul, the Swedish film director who made the Os… Continue reading

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Jane Campion: ‘Life isn’t a career’

After becoming the first female Palme d’Or winner, Jane Campion looked ready to usher in a new era of feminist cinema – but tragedy intervened. As she returns to chair Cannes, she tells Andrew Pulver about surviving as a woman director

Jane Campion was the first woman to win a Palme d’Or and only the second ever to be nominated for the best director Oscar. So it comes as a surprise that her latest gig, as president of the Cannes film festival jury, isn’t another act of pioneering gender breakthrough. She’s actually the 10th woman to lead the festival’s prize-giving committee – even if men have done it on 57 other occasions – and shares the honour with some heady company: Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Liv Ullmann, Sophia Loren. But as the only female winner, to date, of that top prize, it’s the kind of honour that is her due.

As the festival gears up for its 67th edition, Campion appears stoical about what she calls an “experiment in socialism”, the shepherding of an eight-strong group – including fellow directors Sofia Coppola and Nicolas Winding Refn – around the Cannes competition films. “My job is to make sure everyone’s voice gets heard. They are all investing two weeks of their time to come and watch the films and think about them. But I will also be trying not to let things get personal, and keep a sense of humour. It’s a matter of looking after people – I think women do that really well.”

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Sugar is the real enemy, not fat itself, says film targeting obesity

US documentary calls for laws to limit consumption of harmful sweeteners hidden in ‘healthy’ food Continue reading… Continue reading

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Nicole Kidman: I understand royal huff over Grace of Monaco

Actor, who plays Grace Kelly in a film about the Hollywood star turned European princess, says she gets why the icon’s children are upset with the film’s depiction of their mother

Grace of Monaco to open Cannes 2014
Grace of Monaco director: Weinstein re-edit is ‘a pile of shit’ Continue reading…
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Matt Smith joins new Schwarzenegger Terminator film in ‘original’ role

Former Doctor Who star joins starry cast including Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke in Terminator: Genesis Continue reading… Continue reading

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Ilo Ilo review – novelistic Singaporean debut by Anthony Chen

A brattish boy finds friendship with the domestic servant employed by his stressed-out parents in an impressive and sweet debut by a new Asian talent

Ilo Ilo is filled with sweetness, humour and humanity: so assured and accomplished that it’s hard to believe this is a first feature. What an impressive debut from 30-year-old Singaporean writer-director Anthony Chen, who graduated four years ago from Britain’s National Film and Television School. In its gentleness, its shrewd psychological insight and unforced accumulation of detail, his film is something to be compared with the work of Taiwanese director Edward Yang.

The story is a domestic drama, with an addictive hint of soap, avowedly autobiographical and based on the director’s own childhood experiences of being cared for (along with two siblings) by a maidservant from the Philippines: the title is a Mandarin phrase meaning “mum and dad not at home”. Interestingly, the little boy at the movie’s centre is an unspeakably obnoxious brat: imperious, manipulative, slightly obsessive-compulsive. Perhaps all film directors have a little of these qualities somewhere in their pasts.

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