Derek Jarman conference

The Serpertine Gallery in London is on Friday 7 March between 10:30 and 6pm holding a conference on Derek Jarman called Against the Grain: Learning from Derek Jarman's Cinema. Speakers include Malcolm LeGrice and Laura Mulvey. More info from here.

The London Australian Film Festival 2008

The enormous Australian community in London have a good opportunity to catch up with the cinema from their homeland during the London Australian Film Festival that takes place between 06 and 16 March at the Barbican Centre. Further information from here.

New on Kamera: Overlord and Benny's Video

Two new DVD reviews posted today: Michelle LeBlanc and Colin Odell review Stuart Cooper's classic war film Overlord, which metro is releasing on Monday, 03 March. We also have a review of Michael Haneke's 1992 Benny's Video, a chilling look at the image age.


New on Kamera: Africa in Motion

African filmmakers are being invited to submit their short films for a festival called Africa in Motion (AiM), which takes place annually in Edinburgh. Find out more here.

New on Kamera: Bergman

More Bergman stuff out there: Tartan has just released the late Swedish maestro's 'faith trilogy', which Kamera has reviewed here. We also have a report on the 2008 Rotterdam festival, which ended earlier this month. Check it out here.


Berlin 2008: Brazilian film wins Golden Bear

A Brazilian film accused of being fascist in its home country emerged as the big winner at this year's edition of the Berlin film festival. José Padilha's Elite Squad, a revenge cop thriller set amidst the elite troop of the Rio de Janeiro police, got the Golden Bear for best film. The Grand Jury prize went to Standard Operating Procedure by Errol Morris. The Best Director silver bear went to Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood.

More +


New on Kamera: Cinema at war and Shinobi

Fresh content alert: Andrew Benbow writes about cinematic representation of war based on Nick Broomfield´s Battle of Haditha, currently playing in the UK, and the upcoming Redacted, by Brian de Palma while Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell review the Japanese variation of the Romeo and Juliet theme.

Berlin 2008: Madonna says she's inspired by Godard and Pasolini

The old saying 'easier said than done' may apply to Madonna's declaration in her director's statement for the premiere of her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, at the Berlin Film Festival 2008. Said the singer turned director:

"I have always been inspired by the films of Godard, Visconti, Pasolini and Fellini and hope that I may one day make something that comes close to their genius."

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Berlin 2008: 'dull'

According to a report in Variety, this year's edition of the Berlin Film Festival has so far been 'dull' and 'unexciting'.

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Screening opportunity: Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

For those of you in London: The ICA is screening a documentary about the photograher Annie Leibovitz, she who gives Hollywood stars that patrician treatment on the cover of Vanity Fair every year and who took the last picture of John Lennon on the day he was murdered. But besides her celebrity work, she has also recorded war in Rwanda and Sarajevo and taken intimate shots of her own friends and family, including her lover Susan Sontag. Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens is directed by her sister Barbara Leibovitz and includes contributions from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hillary Clinton, Mick Jagger and George Clooney.


RIP Roy Scheider - one of the greats

From a person point of view Roy Scheider meant a lot to me. I was the generation that was brought up with JAWS and STAR WARS. I saw them both on VHS tape when I was a wee boy and they became my twin obsessions. But JAWS was the one that convinced me to start my first scrapbook (at five years old - dedicated to its star Roy Scheider) and which made me ask my mum to buy me every book on sharks available. I always wanted to be a zoologist after seeing JAWS but never got A's in science class.

But Scheider was so much more than Chief Brody from JAWS and JAWS 2. He also headlined THE FRENCH CONNECTION in 1971 (which, along with the same year's KLUTE, helped him break out), reuniting with its director - William Friedkin - on SORCERER in 1977. A remake of WAGES OF FEAR, SORCERER is Scheider at his best: a fantastic character role that is sadly underseen.

Then there was the John Schlesinger/ William Goldman team up MARATHON MAN. A top rate thriller from the golden age of American cinema (the 70s obviously), which Scheider was fortunate enough to be a part of. After 1978's inevitable JAWS 2 the actor continued to carve out a quirky niche for himself - taking on roles in the cult classic BLUE THUNDER (1983), the surprisingly impressive sequel 2010 (1984) and such tightly crafted thrillers as 52 PICK UP (1986) and COHEN AND TATE (1989). Although he never reached the fame of JAWS again, Scheider's 90s input still includes such interesting diversions as Cronenberg's NAKED LUNCH (1991), Peter Medak's ROMEO IS BLEEDING (1993) and the SEAQUEST DSV television series.

One thing is for certain, even when his screen time was minimal, Scheider also made a movie worth watching.

We will miss you Brody.

Calum Waddell


Berlin Film Festival 2008: Patti Smith

Music is a strong presence at the 2008 Berlinale and one of the most talked about presences in town is Patti Smith (pictured). The revered musician and poet is the subject of a documentary by Steven Sebring called Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which has been garnering praise for its unconventional presentation and intimacy with the subject portrayed. The Associated Press has an article about Smith's passage in Berlin and her rejection of labels. And last night Smith 'wowed reporters' when she did an impromtu rendition of her song My Blakean Year.


Video: Julian Schnabel's Guardian interview

Julian Schnabel talks about his acclaimed film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in the Guardian interview at BFI Southbank in a 22' video.

Trailer: Staircase

I've have always wanted to watch this Richard Burton and Rex Harrison-starred film, Staircase (Dir: Stanley Donen, 1969), although it seems to be hard to come by. Staircase was one of the films that Hollywood put out in the late 1960s to cash in on the new acceptance of homosexuality as an open topic, although from today's perspective it still looks very biased. Reflections in a Golden Eye, with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando, is another example of this mini-crop of films. Brando plays a closeted major married to Taylor's slutty Leonora...hhmm).

Prejudices aside, Staircase does look fun, though, and I have heard good comments about the acting. The story? Charles Dyer (Harrison) and Harry Leeds (Burton) are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers (what else?) in the West End of London and both care deeply for their mothers (surprise, surprise), but not each other as time apart takes its toll on their relationship when Harry has to care for his invalid mother who snips at him every chance she gets. The script was written by Charles Dyer.


Berlin Film Festival 2008 starts today

The annual film festival in Germany starts today with Scorcese's film about the Rolling Stones, Shine a Light, premiering at the event. More +

Madonna is also showing her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, at the event, which runs until 17 February.

And Reuters India has a list of films to watch out for during the event.


The Films of Jack Hill

So I finished my book on JACK HILL. More information on that soon. In the meantime, Jack is planning something of a comeback remaking his the four pictures of his that starred a frail Boris Karloff back in the late '60s. The movies were, of course, taken out of his hands and finished by somebody else but that does not mean that Jack ever lost control of the scripts.

You can find out more here:


You can find out more about this great director here:


Calum Waddell

New on Kamera: Film Festival World

Those of you looking to distribute an independently-made film, have a look at the interview we have with the founders of Film Festival World, which helps filmmakers to market their films.


Derek Jarman at the Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine Gallery in London will be hosting from 23 February an exhibition of works by Derek Jarman as well as Isaac Julien's film about the late director.

Full story +

Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)