Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gérard Depardieu ducks out of Edinburgh film festival appearance after drinking session in Skye pub

Actor was due to attend UK premiere of Dominique Strauss-Kahn drama Welcome to New York, but pulled out at the last minute

Gérard Depardieu on Welcome to New York: ‘In all of us there is a monster’
Xan Brooks reviews Welcome to New York

When Gérard Depardieu failed to materialise for the UK premiere of Welcome to New York at the Edinburgh festival on 28 June, no one was especially surprised. After all, the man has a busy schedule shuttling between Belgium and Russia, the two countries that have given him sanctuary outside his native France, which include endorsing a line of patriotic, pro-Russian watches.

Now it turns out Depardieu had made it to Scotland, but became otherwise detained after an enthusiastic visit to the Hotel Eilean Iarmain bar at Isleornsay on the Sleat peninsula on Skye. Photographs emerged on Twitter of Depardieu sinking pints of beer and tucking into haggis on 27 June, the day before the film screening.

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And the Academy invitation to vote on the Oscars goes to … Jason Statham

Action star amongst substantial influx of younger potential Oscar voters, including Steve Coogan, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Barkhad Abdi and Pharrell Williams Continue reading… Continue reading

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Escape to Victory remake: who should follow in Pelé’s footsteps?

Open thread: Are any current players good enough to rub shoulders with Hollywood on the big screen? Tell what you think below

• Hollywood plans Escape to Victory remake to capitalise on World Cup

Ah, Escape to Victory. Not, perhaps, the film of which director John Huston was most proud, but an entirely satisfactory method of whiling away a dull Sunday afternoon. Plus, of course, the chance to see a sprinkling of assorted football legends (and some not so legendary) trying to mix it with the acting pros.

Much attention, not surprisingly, was focused on the absurdity of Sylvester Stallone on the same football pitch as Pelé, Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles et al. However, football hipsters approvingly noted the presence of several members of the highly-rated Ipswich side of the late 70s and early 80s: John Wark, Russell Osman, Kevin O’Callaghan, Laurie Sivell and Robin Turner.

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Michael C Hall: ‘I was always playing some fastidious control freak’

Michael C Hall found fame in Six Feet Under, then spent eight years as serial killer Dexter. And he’s not ready to put the corpses behind him yet. He tells Jonathan Romney about his return to the stage, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and how to divorce your wife while you’re filming together

You’d think that Michael C Hall would have had enough of death. He spent five years at the embalming table as sober, self-doubting undertaker David Fisher in the HBO TV series Six Feet Under, then eight as the anti-hero of Dexter, a forensics expert with a secret life as a serial killer. The 43-year-old North Carolina-born actor has become American TV’s poster boy for death – usually violent; with those series over, you’d think this would be a good time to try some nice decorous costume drama. But no: in the first 20 minutes of his new thriller Cold in July, there he is, doggedly wiping bloodstains off a living-room wall, the splashed residue of a burglar shot by Hall’s anxious protagonist.

When Hall walks into the darkened nightclub where we meet, on the top floor of a Cannes hotel, he is wearing a black Paul Smith suit and tie and still looks like a funeral director, albeit a rather more chic one than David Fisher. Having devoted 12 years to two characters, Hall is at last getting a chance to diversify, with considerable success.

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Bright Days Ahead review – more French adultery

Embarking on a bittersweet affair, Fanny Ardant is as classy as a champagne flute, but this French drama plays a touch too hard to the matinee crowd Continue reading… Continue reading

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Daniel Radcliffe: I turned to alcohol to cope with fear of failure and fame

The former Harry Potter star says he quit alcohol in 2010 because excessive drinking had been ‘unhealthy and damaging’

• Video: Kill Your Darlings stars Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan

Daniel Radcliffe has revealed he sometimes turned up to shoot Harry Potter films still drunk from the night before in a new interview.

Discussing his decision to give up drinking several years ago for a programme to be aired on Sky Arts later this year, Radcliffe said he turned to alcohol to cope with the pressures of fame and potential failure.

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The Man Whose Mind Exploded review – inside the head of the extraordinary Drako Zarhazar

An insightful documentary about a Brighton eccentric with no short-term memory

This surprisingly sweet and quietly insightful documentary about the so-called “seventh life” of Brighton eccentric Drako Zarhazar takes us into the home – and by extension, the mind – of its amnesiac subject, who appears to have found happiness living in the moment after brain damage robbed him of his short-term memory. Vacillating between documentarist and carer, Toby Amies traces Drako’s strange history, rude fragments of which adorn every inch of his flat – plastered upon the walls, scattered across the floor, hanging on strings from the ceiling. In between breakdowns, accidents and attempted suicides, Drako worked with Salvador Dali, cut a mean figure on a motorbike, and developed a great fondness for penises (other people’s) and nipples (his own). Tattooed on his forearm are the words “trust absolute unconditional”, the mantra by which he opted to live when other certainties failed him. He makes for an extraordinary subject, clearly much loved by family, friends and film-maker alike, his repeated cry of “love it all” a strangely sincere vindication of his life less ordinary.

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Harrison Ford injured on set of Star Wars: Episode VII

Actor, 71, taken to hospital and treated for an ankle injury that happened during filming for the Star Wars sequel Continue reading… Continue reading

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Ten great post-Soviet films

From this year’s Cannes festival award-winner Leviathan to a courageous documentary about civil unrest in the Ukraine, these films tackle stories of family, friendship and political struggle

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Last Man on the Moon recalls US era of courage to do the impossible

Documentary tells story of Captain Eugene Cernan, the glamour of the Apollo astronaut’s lifestyle – and the cost to his family Continue reading…
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Monty Python films: rank them from best to worst

Monty Python made five films together, but as their final reunion nears, we’re wondering which was the best one?

Terry Gilliam’s opera diary: ‘We have a big head problem’

With the Monty Python Live reunion shows at the O2 arena edging ever closer, we’ve been wondering: what is the best Monty Python film incarnation? Here are the five choices; we’d love to hear your order of preference in the comments thread below.

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Grace of Monaco – historically accurate? You’ve got some de Gaulle

The adherence to fact is as weak as the rest of Olivier Dahan’s tale of Grace Kelly’s princess years starring Nicole Kidman

• Olivier Dahan: ‘I don’t read the Grace of Monaco critics’
• Peter Bradshaw’s review of Grace of Monaco Continue reading…
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Angelina Jolie: Hollywood won’t be the same without her

The Maleficent star is dropping hints that she will retire from acting after her next big project, a biopic of Cleopatra. Perfect casting, all agree, but leaving the screen to concentrate on directing will leave a gaping hole Continue reading… Continue reading

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