As the credits rolled, the audience sat in stunned silence as if they
had lost the ability to speak or move. I felt as if I had been punched
in my solar plexus, such was the impact of Marc Rothemund's chronicle
of courage and quiet heroism, Sophie Scholl, The Final Days.
For two hours we had followed a few days in the life of a young German student who, in 1943, distributed a few anti-Nazi leaflets in Munich University and found herself interrogated and charged by the Gestapo who had the might of the desperate Third Reich behind them. We watched with awe as this 21 year old girl grew in courage and stature under the pressure, replacing her initial protestations of innocence with affirmations of her abhorrence at everything the fascists stood for. Scholl enhances her strong political conviction with a humble strength of faith in the righteousness of her cause.
"I'd like to finish with a word of warning. You may have started something. The British are coming." If that statement, made by Colin Welland during his 1981 Oscar acceptance speech for Chariots Of Fire, is true then the British have been taking their bloody time. More than 25 years on, it's only now that British cinema seems to be at the beginnings of resurgence that could put it at a level as it was during the 1960s. Whilst it's true to say that the talents such as Danny Boyle and Stephen Frears amongst others have provided many high spots over the past couple of decades they have been - comparatively - few and far between. Now with recent Cannes winners such as Red Road, commercial genre successes in the shape of Shaun Of The Dead and The Descent plus a thriving independent scene our indigenous industry may not be fully resurrected, but its certainly pulling itself out of a hole. So it's quite timely that May Miles Thomas' One Life Stand has found its way on to DVD after some years in the wilderness.
This is a pocket book in three acts; Inspiration, Preparation and Delivery. Simple as that. But as we should know by now, making a pitch can never be as simple as it seems, even when it has been reduced to three acts. Help is at hand though, in this little book, a distillation of pitching wisdom from producer Eileen Quinn, filtered and polished through one of her faithful disciples, producer Judy Counihan,
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Ken Loach's films are simply OK, or all right, or not so bad. Loach divides opinion. ``The Wind That Shakes the Barley,'' which won the top prize -- the Palme D'Or -- at the Cannes Film Festival last month isn't going to change that fact. The film is, at least in part, a damning indictment of the British in Ireland in the years leading up to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Final Cut's latest offering on DVD is another fine garnering of some of the best shorts going, filmed, animated or even snapped with a stills camera and given a frantic screen life, as with Jo Barnes' Midst of Paradise. Don't be put off by the grotesque image from Cleanse that adorns the front cover. Just wait until you see the full story!
Ouch! A deep facial will never feel the same again...
Stranded on that no-man's land between graduation and a media career?
So was Engish Television and Film graduate Sabrina Ferro, but no more.
Instead she's launched a high quality glossy mag aimed at people like herself and at those on the lookout for rising talent. Media Directions, as the director's chair on the front cover exclaims, is dedicated to showcasing new talent.
- Paradise Now
- David Lynch: 2nd Edition by Michel Chion
- Thank You For Smoking
- The Art Of Ray Harryhausen by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton
- Close Up 01 Edited by John Gibbs and Douglas Pye
- The Worldwide Guide To Movie Locations by Tony Reeves
- Special Edition # 5
- Documentary Film Group New Website Open For Business
- United 93
- Despite the System: Orson Welles versus The Hollywood Studios