Image of the Day: Burn After Reading

Still from the Coen brothers' new picture, Burn After Reading, currently playing across the globe.

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Anjelica Huston speaks up for animals

It's been a long time since I'd heard anything about Anjelica Huston so it was a pleasant surprise to see her hosting a recent Peta video exposing the cruelty against animals within the entertainment industry. If you thought child actors met a grim fate when their careers are over, you ain't seen nothing yet ...

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R.I.P.: Paul Newman

Legendary actor and philanthropist Paul Newman yesterday passed away at his home in Westport, Connecticut. Paul was 83. We all remember him from some great films, my favourite being Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, alongside Liz Taylor, but in the last decades of his life he channeled his energies into his Newman's Own foundation.

The organisation has released a statement in homage to the actor that reads as follows:

For 25 years, we at Newman's Own have had a front row seat to watch Paul's entrepreneurial brilliance, humor, and compassion at work helping those in need. Our company motto, "Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good," was Paul's vision for Newman's Own and it is a philosophy we are proud to continue.

Paul occasionally referred to Newman's Own as the "joke that got out of control" and would express astonishment at its success. Despite this humorous approach, Paul was committed to the company's business and to providing top-notch quality – he brought all-natural food products to a wide audience long before it was fashionable. And he was one of the greatest recyclers, giving back to charity all the money he earned from the sale of Newman's Own products.
We wish the Newman family all the best in this difficult time.

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New on Kamera: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The latest addition to the list of films that deal with the Jewish Holocaust, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, receives praise from Kamera's reviewers, Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell. The full review is here.


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Derek Jarman show in Zurich

(Edited Press Release)
- The new exhibition in the Kunsthalle Zürich Derek Jarman. Brutal Beauty is dedicated to the British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942 - 1994). The exhibition is curated by Isaac Julien who worked with Jarman for many years.

While “Derek Jarman. Brutal Beauty” aims to present a representative overview of Jarman’s creative output, it is not conceived as a classical retrospective. Instead, Julien is more concerned with making it possible to experience Jarman’s interdisciplinary approach and with refocusing critical attention on the work itself.

Derek Jarman was one of the outstanding representatives of British Independent Cinema of the period 1970 – 1990. However, although he was known to a large audience mainly as a filmmaker, he saw himself as an artist, in whose interdisciplinary and highly autobiographical oeuvre film, painting, stage design and writing assumed equal prominence. In his tireless struggle for gay rights and AIDS education and awareness, Jarman’s main priority was “to unite Art with Life and vice versa” (Isaac Julien).

The exhibition opens with a selection of paintings from the 1980s and 1990s. The double projection, which was developed for the Kunsthalle Zürich and provides the basic material for Isaac Julien’s documentary film Derek (2008), offers an introduction to the work and life of Derek Jarman. It is based on an interview with Jarman recorded by writer and producer Colin McCabe in 1990. The voiceover is narrated by the actor Tilda Swinton, who appeared in many of Jarman’s films including Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1988) and Edward II (1991). Tilda Swinton reads excerpts from a letter she wrote to Jarman after his death. In Derek, the interview, narrative and excerpts from Jarman’s feature films and super 8 films are interwoven with relevant contemporary news footage and media material focusing on the political events of the time to form a coherent and impressive work; in this way the film conveys an overview of Jarman’s biography from the perspective of his imminent death. At the same time, insight is gained into the England of the period 1960 - 1990 through the documentation of socially volatile topics such as the punk movement, the protests by intellectuals against the government of Margaret Thatcher, the struggle for gay rights and the AIDS crisis.

The installation is juxtaposed with a still life image by Isaac Julien which were taken inside Jarman’s house in Dungeness.

The exhibition ends with Jarman’s film Blue (1993), a moving and harrowing work by an artist who was about to go blind. In this his last film, the screen remains blue for the entire duration of the work - an homage to the French painter Yves Klein, whose Blue symbolised serenity and contemplation for Jarman. The soundtrack of the film is a text written and spoken by Jarman, in which he artistically explores and reproduces life and his experience with AIDS.

Between these two central works, Isaac Julien presents a selection of rarely shown films from the super 8 archive of Jarman’s artistic estate, e.g. Imagining October (1984) and In the Shadow of the Sun (1980). Having studied painting and stage design at the Slade School of Art in London, Jarman started working with super 8 as far back as the early 1970s and experimented with this medium up to the early 1980s. Jarman, who saw himself primarily as a painter throughout his life, achieves a painterly feel in the way in which he deals with light, colour, composition, abstraction, alienation and staging.

The work It Happened by Chance Redux (2008) is a ten-screen projection composed of footage which Jarman found on the floor of his editing suite. The installation is a re-working of It Happened by Chance (around 1976). The former was curated jointly by Isaac Julien and James Mackay, the owner of the archive, and incorporates Jarman’s most important super 8 films. The sculptural arrangement of the screens in the space is intended to evoke formally the Petersburg hanging of the Black Paintings, which were exhibited in the Richard Salmon Gallery in London in the late 1980s.

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New on Kamera: interview with Joanna Hogg

Joanna Hogg´s debut feature effort has been hailed as one of the best works to emerge from British cinema in recent years. We at Kamera agree with that and interviewed Hogg on her superb Unrelated. Read the full interview here.

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Interview: Naomi Watts

From the New York Times' Screen Tests series. Enjoy!

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London Film Festival 2008 announces line-up

The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival earlier this week announced the 2008 programme, which includes 189 features and 108 shorts screening alongside a line-up of special events and expected guests. The festival takes place between 15 and 30 October.

Opening Night film, Ron Howard’s FROST/NIXON, is one of the Festival’s 15 world premieres and the Closing Night Gala is the European premiere of Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Other highlights include Nick Moran’s TELSTAR, Eran Creevy’s SHIFTY, and Gerald McMorrow’s FRANKLYN in addition to Shashank Ghosh’s QUICK GUN MURUGAN from India and Samir Habchi’s BEIRUT OPEN CITY from Lebanon.

Also hosting 20 European and 119 UK premieres, the Festival will be showcasing new work from established and emerging filmmakers alongside feature film debuts by upcoming talents talents. The programme includes the latest work from Laurent Cantet (Cannes Palme d’Or winner, THE CLASS), Oliver Stone (W.), Steven Soderbergh (CHE PART 1 & PART 2), Raymond Depardon (MODERN LIFE), Jonathan Demme (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED), Stephan Elliott (EASY VIRTUE), Agnes Varda (THE BEACHES OF AGNES), Shyam Benegal (WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR), Rian Johnson (THE BROTHERS BLOOM), Gabor Csupo (THE SECRET OF MOONACRE), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (THREE MONKEYS); Fernando Eimbcke (LAKE TAHOE), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (THE SILENCE OF LORNA), Woody Allen (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA) and Terence Davies (OF TIME AND THE CITY). In addition to welcoming back previous Festival alumni - such as Kelly Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY), Pablo Trapero (LION’S DEN) and Bouli Lanners (ELDORADO) - the programme introduces the work of debut directors including Lance Hammer (BALLAST), Juraj Lehotský (BLIND LOVES), Enrique Rivero (PARQUE VIA) and Ursula Meier (HOME).

The British presence at the event includes Michael Winterbottom (GENOVA) and Richard Eyre (THE OTHER MAN), in addition to new work from Justin Kerrigan (I KNOW YOU KNOW) and Pat Holden (AWAYDAYS). British directors making their feature film debuts at the Festival also include Steve McQueen (HUNGER) and Sallie Aprahamian (BROKEN LINES), whilst a special panel event, BRITISH FILM BOOM, will celebrate and examine the new generation of British film talent.

New French cinema is also present via Arnaud Desplechin’s A CHRISTMAS TALE, Christophe Honoré’s LA BELLE PERSONNE and Philippe Grandrieux’s A LAKE. Other European efforts include Ole Christian Madsen’s FLAME & CITRON from Denmark, Hungary-Germany co-production DELTA, UPRISE by Sandro Aguilar from Portugal, and INVOLUNTARY by Ruben Östlund from Sweden. In addition, the Film on the Square strand includes Uli Edel’s THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX from Germany and Antonello Grimaldi’s QUIET CHAOS from Italy.

For more information, the festival's website is here.
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New on Kamera: Derek Hill on the American New Wave

All you need to know about the American New Wave, which includes those much-loved, quirky films by Richard Linklater, Spike Jones, Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, David O. Russell, Sophia Coppola ... is in Kamera Books' new title on the movement, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood's Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers - An Excursion Into the American New Wave. Author Derek Hill chatted to us about it. Unmissable...

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New on Kamera: Badlands

The BFI has re-released Terrence Malick's classic Badlands and Kamera's Sarah Manvel gives us her review of the film.

Badlands clip:

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