Film

Exposing hatred’s hidden face

By Nick Johnstone, March 19, 2009

Back in 2005, Israeli documentary maker Naftaly Gliksberg, an avid consumer of European news, noted another year of disturbing antisemitic outrages in France. In those 12 months alone, 504 antisemitic incidents were reported. Gliksberg, who had been following news reports of antisemitic attacks in France since 2003, when he was profoundly affected by the savage murder of Jewish Parisian DJ Sebastien Selam by an Arab neighbour, felt not enough was being done to protect French Jews.

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Review: Bronson

By Gerald Aaron, March 12, 2009

Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Britain’s longest-serving (34 years) jailbird “Charles Bronson” (born Michael Peterson) is extraordinarily visceral, foul-mouthed and terrifyingly maniacal. If you really, really have to see this over-directed (by Nicolas Winding Refn), pretentious and far too sycophantic “tribute” to Bronson/Petersen, wait for its appearance on television.

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Review: The Burning Plain

By Gerald Aaron, March 12, 2009

Screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga turns director but the result is disappointing, even with Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger in the leading roles.

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Review: Marley And Me

By Gerald Aaron, March 12, 2009

Energetic Labrador Marley is adopted by recently-married journalists John Grogan (Owen Wilson) and Jenny (Jennifer Aniston) in lieu of starting a family in their new Florida home. Director David Frankel slickly brings to screen life this entertainingly calculating — including an ending liable to flood cinemas with tears — adaptation of the real-life Grogan’s bestselling memoir about “the worst dog in the world” and his 13 years as the pet of a couple going through the tribulations of married life and child-raising.

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The man behind Britain’s other Best Picture

By Alex Kasriel, March 12, 2009

Simon Chinn has been making dramas and documentaries for television for the past 10 years. In all that time, the closest he has got to the Oscars is watching the event on TV. But, a fortnight ago, that all changed.

The 39-year-old film producer (son of Sir Trevor) won Best Documentary Feature for his film Man On Wire at last month’s Academy Awards.

“As a documentary-maker you never expect to be breathing the same air as Brad and Angelina,” he reflects, having returned to his north London home, swapping the glitz and glamour of

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Review: The Young Victoria

By Gerald Aaron, March 5, 2009

Queen Victoria is beautifully brought to life as a young woman by Emily Blunt in this charming biopic of her early years. Top-notch casting, including the excellent Rupert Friend as Prince Albert, sensitive direction by Jean-Marc Vall and Julian Fellowes's superb screenplay make this a historical drama to delight in.

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Review: Watchmen

By Gerald Aaron, March 5, 2009

How you react to this adrenaline-surging action fantasy depends on whether you enjoy graphic novel adaptations.

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Rudolf Kasztner: The hated Shoah hero

By Jenni Frazer, February 26, 2009

The film director and producer Gaylen Ross was working on the film Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold, when she first met a Holocaust survivor who said she had been on the Kasztner train. “I had no idea what she was talking about,” says Ross, “but I was fascinated and started to pursue the story.”

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Review: The Class

By John Nathan, February 26, 2009

Laurent Cantet’s award-winning portrait of a year in an inner-city Paris school is a magnificent adaptation of his semi-autobiographical novel, Entre Le Murs.

Non-professionals play the pupils and teachers, while schoolmaster François Bégaudeau plays himself, in what is a consistently thought-provoking and fascinating docu-drama, right up there with that other French school masterpiece, 2002’s Etre et Avoir.

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Review: The Unborn

By Gerald Aaron, February 26, 2009

A young woman is haunted by a dybbuk, a malicious spirit that appears as a demonic boy. Yes, it’s a Jewish take on The Exorcist.

A theologian might be able to pronounce on the Jewish exorcism ritual at the climax of writer-director David S Goyer’s shocker. For mere movie-goers, however, The Unborn is actually little more than a routine scaremonger decorated with Judaism to imbue its standard shockmaking with a “serious” element.

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