Movies

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In quest of humanity: Aisha is important viewing

Aisha, written and directed by the Irish writer Frank Berry, is a transfixing reflection on the plight of asylum seekers who face the icy realities of bureaucracy at every turn. The narrative focuses on Aisha, a young Nigerian woman, played by Letiti..

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A blast from the pastoral: revisiting Britain’s rural traditions

Britain’s rural traditions hold an intriguing position in the nation’s soul. They also form its dark heart and its battlegrounds, from pagan rituals to raves and fox hunting. All of this turbulence and beauty is captured in the extraordinary collage ..

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India streams away from Bollywood

For many, it was the last throw of the dice for Bollywood cinema, as one of India’s most iconic cultural exports is enduring an unprecedented crisis. This year, 20 out of the 26 major Bollywood releases have flopped – defined as losing half or more o..

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The Queen of Europe: The ache and glory of Charlotte Rampling

When you think of the great European actresses, the mind tends to drift to the great sirens of Italy such as Sophie Loren or Claudia Cardinale, or the femmes of French cinema, such as Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and the younger generation of ..

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Jean-Luc Godard modified movie eternally

And, of course, quite often that’s literally what they’re doing as characters break the fourth wall and stare at you down the lens, challenging you, flirting with you, seducing you, making you and you alone complicit in their adventures and thoughts...

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Invoice Murray’s French Connection

It’s 1984 and you are Bill Murray (just go with it). You’re already a comedy icon who has made the successful transition from live performer with The Second City improv troupe in Chicago to TV with Saturday Night Live, to hit movies like Caddyshack a..

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Quiet girl, big noise: banging the drum for the Irish language

Bairéad’s film, The Quiet Girl, is making all the noise. It became the first-ever Irish language film to carry off Best Film at the IFTAs (Irish Film and Television Awards) in March, where it saw off the challenge of Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast to clin..

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Ennio Morricone: the maestro of modesty

Morricone died in July 2020 and this film, a standard-looking doc but with unfettered access and amazing guests, is put together by one of his biggest fans, the Italian film-maker Giuseppe Tornatore, best-known as the director of Cinema Paradiso, for..

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Inger Stevens: The actress who felt she was on borrowed time

The actress opened her eyes, raised her head and tried to speak but nothing came out. McNally called the emergency services but Stevens was dead by the time the ambulance reached the hospital and a post-mortem confirmed the actress had killed herself..

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Will Smith’s slap distracted us from the real story

I’m even going to ignore the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s seeming empathy: “I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good.” And I’m trying to ignore OJ Simpson’s ..

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Michael Curtiz: The brusque workaholic director who brought the world Casablanca

Casablanca shouldn’t really have worked. Intended as little more than a cash-in on the success of Algiers, the 1938 Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr vehicle, the script was only half-written by the time production started, and other than the interior of..

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God of shock: the weird and challenging career of Paul Verhoeven

Sex and violence – these are the things Paul Verhoeven is synonymous with. Make that graphic sex and violence. Whether you’re a fan of his early films or his raft of Hollywood blockbusters – RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct – few will be unfami..

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