Sebastian Schipper – Victoria / DAZED

Victoria (Curzon Artificial Eye)

Shooting an entire thriller movie in one take: director Sebastian Schipper on his bank robbery thriller film Victoria.


“One city. One night. One take.” If the high-concept tagline for acclaimed new German thriller Victoria is quick and punchy, then all the greater to contrast the extended, torturous logistics of shooting a 138-minute film in one continuous shot. Yet that’s the feat director Sebastian Schipper’s team have dazzled audiences with since the film debuted last year – and no wonder.
Read more

Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night / Dazed

A skateboarding blood-sucker, a killer romance – Ana Lily Amirpour’s refreshing flick takes a bite out of usual horror tropes

Slicing and dicing movie genres like some psychotic cinephile on peyote, it’s safe to say that you haven’t seen anything similar to Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. It’s a vampire-Spaghetti-Western hybrid set in fictional Iranian outpost Bad City, a Lynchian dreamworld rendered in inky monochrome and hitched to a fiercely eclectic rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. Got all that? The kick is that, rather than be overwhelmed by its stylistic influences, Amirpour’s feature debut synergizes them and has been winning over audiences worldwide since its Sundance premiere last year.

Seemingly destined to work in horror-with-a-twist since she made a slumber party massacre movie aged 12, the buzz on A Girl… means that Amirpour is already on to her second feature, The Bad Batch – “a dystopian love story in a cannibal wasteland” – with Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey. We caught up with the intense, charmingly frank 25-year-old before Bad Batch was announced, on her whistle-stop London visit just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, which she naturally referenced as An American Werewolf in London’s denouement “where the werewolf cut loose”. Given that she was more interested in discussing David Lynch and her gruesome childhood pastimes rather than her movie, the werewolf’s not the only creature of the night to do so…


“In the very beginning there were three films that I was looking at and referencing: Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish (1983), which has such a surreal, stylized world and the black and white also separates reality in a way. I don’t like black and white movies, I have a reflex reaction, like, I’m going to take my medicine, so it’s really weird that my film looks like that. But I always just saw it that way, she’s this black graphic kind of shape.

And the other films were Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in the West (1968) and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990). I think I’ll probably be referencing it in every movie that I make. Bobby Peru is, like, the coolest gangster of all time…”

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - Courtesy of STUDIOCANAL UK

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – Courtesy of STUDIOCANAL UK


“He’s a wonderful man and mind and creator. Wild At Heart is my favourite of his movies, and I don’t love all of his movies without exception. But I love his mind. It’s like being inside a dream. I want to feel what he’s going to look for in his brain caves…”


“It was the weirdest thing. I was in film school and people were always talking about it. I’d seen it, like, 22 times but I couldn’t remember it – just a few scenes, like the audition scene, the lesbian scene and the homeless guy behind the dumpster… Then the 23rd time, the night before we did ecstasy and all the people I was with fell asleep, but I couldn’t sleep. I was in that weird seratonin-depleted dark weird state. It was 8am and Mulholland Dr. (2001) was about to start, so I put it on. And it starts with this green and pink animation at the beginning – it was crazy, I didn’t remember that and I’d seen it 22 times! There’s always stuff to discover in his films.”


“I had this over-exposure to horror from when I was seven years old. My father is a surgeon, so when I was young, I went to the operating theatre and watched him cut open this giant black man’s leg. It was like a tree trunk and they were pulling the fat out. So after that I would catch frogs in this swamp ravine across the road from our house. I’d pin them down to a piece of cardboard, and then their tongue comes out really long and I’d and cut them open from here to here with my dad’s scalpel. My dad thought I was going to be a surgeon – ha ha the trick’s on you! Then when I was 12, I shot a slasher film. I’d get through, like, three horror films a night at the weekend. Everything from Carrie, Poltergeist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all the Freddie Kruegers and Jasons…”


“I can’t watch those films now. It switched when I was hitting puberty and got into boys. Then I moved on to romance, like Dirty Dancing! So now, a film like A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, it’s almost like the perfect fusion of both. Hardcore horror-genre people, they fucking hate my movie, they think it’s so arty and emo and slow. They want some carnage.”

“When I was 12, I shot a slasher film. I’d get through, like, three horror films a night at the weekend: Carrie, Poltergeist, all the Freddie Kruegers and Jasons” – Ana Lily Amirpour


“They say I’m too extreme. Actually, I think that’s in my favour because if you’re more in the mainstream, they always want to advise you. They were just castrating every idea I had. They wanted to take the sex scenes out of certain scripts, less this, more that, change the age… They think in pie charts and percentages and numbers. You can’t anticipate the whims of what’s out there, you just have to believe what you’re saying.

I think there’s a big renaissance happening in a lot of independent film because of genre. All those Hollywood agents and companies are dumb and they hear the word ‘genre’ and they dumbly think it’s an easy way to make money. And really, genre’s the way for all of us to make something a little fantastical.”

A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night is out in cinemas on May 22nd.

To read the original article at Dazed Digital click here: Ana Lily Amirpour – Dazed

Céline Sciamma – Girlhood / Dazed & Confused

Why you want to be in a Paris girl gang.

Just three films into her feature filmmaking career and 34-year-old Céline Sciamma is the French ciné-poet of youthful angst. Her debut, Water Lilies (2007), showed the competitive nature and flowering insecurities among a teenage synchronized swimming team. Tomboy (2011) focused on 10-year-old Laure, who yearns to be a boy. And now Bande de Filles – or Girlhood as its known outside France – traces the journey of Marième, a black teenager from the infamous banlieues outside Paris, who falls in with a feisty gang of three fellow inner city teens and changes her clothes, her lifestyle, even her name, to find a place for herself within the group and without it.

Sciamma’s scripts (she was initially a writer, who had to be persuaded to direct Water Lilies) are characterised by how seemingly small fluctuations in a young person’s life can cause the most enormous emotional upheavals. Cast wholly with non-professionals, the vibrant, pulsing Girlhood is perhaps her finest work yet, displaying an added confidence in her filmmaking and tackling a more overtly demanding group of characters and more unforgiving environment.

So after Water Lilies and Tomboy have people referring to your ‘Teenage Trilogy’.

Céline Sciamma: Yeah, they have! I didn’t think about it, but people kept mentioning it and then because I’m done with [movies on] teenagers, it makes sense.

When we previously met after your debut feature Water Lilies, you said you’d had no plans to direct. Presumably that’s changed now.

Céline Sciamma: Definitely. But at the time I didn’t know if I was going to make a second film.

Because it was so hard? Or you didn’t enjoy it?

Céline Sciamma: No, I really enjoyed it actually. I guess I was just a little shy with my own desire; and also not knowing what the welcome was going to be, if people were going to look at me as a director.

So you’re more confident now?

Céline Sciamma: Oh yeah. And this film I really decided to go for it, not hide what I like and want to do. I strongly refuse the frontier of what’s supposed to be an arthouse film, supposed to be modest. I want a strong narrative, I want drama, I want entertainment.

I think this is your strongest film – do you agree?

Céline Sciamma: I think so. And it’s also opened new possibilities for me. I feel like now, I could make a horror movie, for instance. I still want to put a strong female character in the centre, I still want to talk about metamorphosis, but it could be in different genres. I don’t know yet but I’m excited.

“Spending time with those girls, I thought, my God, they’re so much better than me at that age: more alive, more inventive… I really admired them” – Céline Sciamma

The film’s original French title is Bande de Filles, but abroad, to be called Girlhood just after Boyhood came out…

Céline Sciamma: I picked the international title myself, which is not always the case. I didn’t know about Boyhood at the time but now I’m actually quite happy that both exist because we’re both looking at what youth is supposed to be today. Boyhood is about a middle-class white guy with average dreams, average ambition of being an artist. And the fact that the French Girlhood would be a young black girl from the suburbs of Paris…

It normalizes the characters as representing different aspects of youth.

Céline Sciamma: Yeah. I like that both can be compared.

What did you think of Boyhood?

Céline Sciamma: I liked it but I thought it was… kind of depressing. I find it hard on the female character. Ethan Hawke comes in and out over 12 years and he has a lot of evolution, great scenes. Whereas the mother always sticks with the alcoholic guy… (laughs) Why? And in the end she says, ‘Oh, it went so fast…’ Well, you waited a lot, you know?

Though isn’t that deliberate?

Céline Sciamma: Sure and it tells something about fatherhood and motherhood. I think Linklater knows what he’s doing. But people who came out saying, I cried so much – I didn’t. I saw it more as an experiment.

Your cast is largely non-professionals, from a different background and ethnicity to you – were you always confident you could connect with them?

Céline Sciamma: I wouldn’t have gone for it if I’d had any doubts. I grew up in the suburbs of Paris, spent the first 20 years of my life there – not in a hard suburb, but in a very mixed one. So for a middle-class white girl like me, I know the feeling of being at the periphery, of being so close to the centre but so far away. And actually one of my actresses comes from exactly the same city as me. And the lead actress, she’s from Paris. So it’s all more complicated than it looks.

Your lead actress, Karidja Touré, is amazing. How did you find her?

Céline Sciamma: It was the hardest part to cast. I auditioned 300 girls and actually there was only one option – her. We saw her at a funfair in Paris and offered her a casting. I was looking at her face in the camera and I could see she was immediately role-playing, trying on different personas. And that was the brief. So I thought, I can work with that girl. She’s hiding. And I like that.

What were your specific challenges of working with non-professionals vs. trained actors?

Céline Sciamma: Their own limits. But that’s part of the deal. And you don’t want to steal anything from them. But that’s where the mise-en-scene has to step up – it’s my problem, not theirs. They had several big scenes of improv, but they were really receptive, really committed and really wanted to work.

And presumably their natural energy is very infectious.

Céline Sciamma: It’s so energising. In the casting they have to choose you as much as you choose them. I’m the fifth of the group, you know? And I really lived it like that. That’s why I have to stop working with young people, otherwise I’m going to be stuck, because I enjoy it so much!

What’s your take on the reality of the suburbs having spent this time working and filming there? They’re still largely portrayed in the media as dangerous and troubled areas.

Céline Sciamma: Spending time with those girls, I thought, my God, they’re so much better than me at that age: more alive, more inventive… I don’t know maybe it’s another form of angst… but I really admired them. And at the same time, this is our future, our youth and look at the place we give them. And it’s even more terrible because they’re so great and have so much room to grow… It’s terrible when a country says its youth is a problem.

Girlhood is released in UK cinemas on May 8

To read the original article at Dazed Digital click here: Céline Sciamma – Girlhood

Damián Szifrón – Wild Tales / AnOther Magazine

Wild Tales director Damián Szifrón on Cannes, Disaster Comedies and the best movies ever made

Gatecrashing the upmarket Cannes Film Festival last year, like a rock star at a classical recital, came Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifrón’s Wild Tales. Amid the self-consciously highbrow, oh-so-serious Palme D’Or contenders, Wild Tales was a refreshing blast of foul air: a wickedly funny, audaciously brutal compendium of six revenge tales – from a sting-in-the-tale plane journey via an escalating road rage vendetta to the wedding reception from hell – packed into one defiantly disreputable feature.

Its very incongruity (you’re generally meant to respectfully admire Cannes competitors, not gleefully enjoy them) perhaps obscured Szifrón’s sophisticated filmmaking and resonant skewering of contemporary social injustice. But the film’s recent Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar nomination proved Cannes was no fluke. And the boyishly affable, smartly-minded and attired 39-year-old Szifrón (imagine a Latin-American Christopher Nolan) is now high on Hollywood’s wish list, having just signed up to direct a US thriller.

On Wild Tales’s blend of black comedy and violence…
“Our submission form for Cannes asked for “genre” and we were three hours discussing what to put. I think we settled on “disaster comedy”! It has a lot of humour, but when you see a comedy you feel a lot more comfortable – Buster Keaton or Ben Stiller, you know it’s going to end well, you’re safe. Not here. It’s also not performed as a comedy. I remember directing the actors in the road rage episode as if they were in a Michael Haneke film, but I was shooting it and talking to the rest of the crew as if I was making a Road Runner cartoon…”

On the film’s surprise Cannes inclusion…
“I’m not really a festival filmmaker and many of my favourite films, you won’t see in Cannes, you buy them on DVD. But when [festival director] Thierry Frémaux called and said he loved the film, I felt wow, a little change of direction in my life. I thought Cannes would be a very cold, snobbish place and that I wouldn’t be well received. But as soon as I read the reviews and tweets, I thought, OK, this is working.”

On the anthology film concept…
“For Wild Tales’s DNA, I go back to an anthology book from my childhood called Crime Tales. I loved the cover and the index with so many titles. Also Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and Alfred Hitchcock Presents… I was developing other screenplays and these new ideas started to come, so I tried to compress them. The result was these powerful stories, simple but very layered and I discovered they were all connected by the same themes. So without even noticing I had a new screenplay in my hands.”

On revenge…
“Revenge is here but more the pleasure of losing control or crossing the line – both for the characters, the audience – and the writer! And the ending, with the wedding story, goes to another place of compassion and rediscovering the other, getting conscious about the love that’s present in every hate story. I’m not a vengeful person, I feel too guilty, but as a writer I can exorcize lots of things that maybe regular people can’t. Otherwise I might be more like one of the characters in the film!”

On subconscious writing…
“I wrote these stories in a much freer way than usual. For years I immersed myself in writing a science-fiction film and huge ideas about the universe and intelligence. I discovered while dreaming you can influence the dream and those aspects of imagination. So now when I’m awake I try to write in that way, close my eyes, see the scenarios and wait to see what happens next.”

On working in Hollywood and the great ‘70s movies…
“Making a film outside Argentina would be interesting if it’s my movie. American movies from the ‘70s – Coppola’s The Godfather, Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and The Shining, Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon and Network, Alan Pakula’s The Parallax View and All the President’s Men – those movies are the best ever made. The dramas, the thrillers are intelligent and powerful, very grounded in real life and directors had a lot of freedom and support from the industry. If you make a film that way, it’s always going to be modern.”

Wild Tales is released in cinemas on March 27.

To read the original article at AnOther click here: Damián Szifrón on Cannes, Disaster Comedies & Revenge

Desiree Akhavan – Appropriate Behaviour / AnOther Magazine

Desiree Akhavan: Not the New Lena Dunham

Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan on her acclaimed debut Appropriate Behaviour and all those Girls comparisons

Let’s get two things out of the way from the start: Desiree Akhavan is not Shirin, the endearingly self-sabotaging lead of her debut feature Appropriate Behaviour, even though she actually plays this “heightened version of my worst and best” and they share a specific Iranian-American, bisexual, New Yorker background; neither is she ‘the new Lena Dunham’, whose Girls show is regularly name-checked in any Akhavan profile, for sharing the same hip Brooklyn environs and a protagonist beset by thwarted artistic ambition and disastrous relationships.

What Akhavan, 30, is, is a bold new female, cinematic voice with her own fresh insider-outsider perspective. Building on the promise of cult web series The Slope – co-created with her ex-girlfriend Ingrid Jungermann, which landed them on Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film list – Appropriate Behaviour is a super-smart, often very raw (she does share Dunham’s lack of inhibition) and touching film, whose sense of humour remains gleefully inappropriate throughout.

On inhibitions off and on-screen…
“Photographs make me really paranoid; so does video and listening to my voice. I’m actually not very good at this [interview] stuff, so I’m trying to learn to handle this part of the job with grace and dignity, which I do not have yet. But watching footage of myself when we’re filming, I’m OK with. Or choreographing myself in a sex scene. It’s very much how I’m part of a larger vehicle, moving a project forward and you’re able to talk yourself into the perspective you need to create it.”

On her formative film influences…
“My brother is five years older than me and my parents weren’t precious or overprotective with us. My first film at the cinema was Amadeus. I saw Se7en at around 10 years old, It didn’t haunt me, I was really fascinated. I saw Trainspotting in the cinema then too and it had a real impact on me. I had a very dramatic inner life and when I saw films like Trainspotting, it was like, this speaks to me, this is life how I felt it! The drama of the snobby elementary school I went to and the kids being mean to me, was on a par to being a crackhead and losing your baby – those were the stakes and they were exactly the same…”

On being a “half-assed Iranian”…
“I was born and raised in New York. Being Iranian is a huge part of my identity in a way but I’m getting this whittled-down, third-hand information from my family. Even my language is limited and very old-fashioned. I have a film school friend who grew up in Tehran and when we speak Farsi, she’s like, ‘You sound like my fucking grandma!’ I can’t go back [to Iran] any more because it’s just too dangerous. When you’re openly gay and make work about it, it’s like painting a target on your forehead. So it’s a very funny place to come from – when something so dictates your life and yet you’re an outsider completely.”

On whether her work is her therapy…
“I’ve seen so many different therapists in my life and I’m a real advocate. My work is very personal and in some ways how I take power over situations in which I’ve felt disempowered, for sure. But that’s the extent of it. If the film were a way for me to work through some things, it would be highly masturbatory and only I would enjoy it. At the end of the day you’re thinking about creating a story.”

On appearing in the new series of ‘Girls’ and Lena Dunham comparisons…
“Lena’s character goes to graduate school and I play her classmate. I’m really excited about it. It’s just a really collaborative and relaxed set – something that’s entirely contingent on the people in charge. It makes sense to say [Appropriate Behaviour] is of the same world. But there’s inherently an implication of ‘This seat’s been taken.’ And I think Lena, in the very action of casting me, was saying, ‘No, there’s room.’ I think it’s a real testament to how little she breeds competition and how she doesn’t care about superficial bullshit like that. I don’t think she has to watch her back!”

Appropriate Behaviour is released on March 6.

To read the original article at AnOther Magazine, click here: Desiree Akhavan Appropriate Behaviour

Agyness Deyn – Electricity

Agyness Deyn’s charged starring-role debut
The former model with the peroxide crop shifts gears, portraying epileptic Lily in Electricity

Every time a Cindy Crawford (Fair Game) or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Bend Over) lumbers gracelessly from runway to movie screen, the boo-boys gleefully lambast the very notion of an MTA: Model Turned Actress. That someone who’s evidently nothing but a vacuous mannequin should dare to talk, walk and even emote at the same time? Stick to the designer frocks, love; pose, pout and know your place. MTA? More like DOA.

Here’s a two-word f***-you to such presumptive, sexist bollocks: Agyness Deyn. 2007’s British Fashion Awards model of the year, the Lancashire girl whose distinctive peroxide crop and androgynous allure revamped an ailing industry after the initial supermodel cycle – Kate, Naomi & co – had spun out. Deyn’s everyday exoticism always suggested a certain nonchalance with the fashion world. Not that she didn’t work (it) hard; more that, while her catwalk stare was focused, her inner, artistic eye was wandering.

And so Deyn turned her attentions to acting. A play (The Leisure Society) here. A supporting film role (Pusher) there. Attention duly followed, though perhaps more from novelty value. That’s about to change big-time with her startling lead role in new British indie Electricity. Deyn plays Lily, a young woman suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy searching for her long-lost brother, while trying to keep her condition from overwhelming her.

Deyn’s in practically every scene. The entire film is filtered through Lily’s sputtering, hallucinatory perspective. It’s a role that demands complete physical, emotional and professional exposure, yet Deyn’s beguiling mix of strength and vulnerability makes it her own. It’s such a breakout performance that Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives), arguably England’s finest auteur, promptly snapped her up as the lead for his next film, Sunset Song. This MTA’s second career is lurching to vibrant life.

Lily’s condition isn’t one we’ve seen depicted on-screen. What was your key to understanding it?

Agyness Deyn: I basically camped out in the London office of this specialist. He’d show me videos of people who have it, because they have to collate the mental activity to the physical activity that’s going on. And I just kind of noticed that when (a fit) came on, it’s as if someone’s soul was being ripped out, you know?

That’s quite a description…

Agyness Deyn: It’s as if they’re being controlled by someone else. Not in a being-possessed way, and it’s not like being out-of-control either, because the actions are very repetitive. Some people have seizures and it’s not the same as an epileptic fit. Epilepsy is a rhythmic thing, it’s like a circuit that gets stuck.

Was there anything you could connect it to in your own experiences?

Agyness Deyn: Being controlled by something huge that you can’t overcome – everyone can relate to that in a tiny degree in their life. And just being a young woman and going through things, like puberty – it’s mental, isn’t it? As a young person going through that, you’re not in control of your body. But then magnify it a thousand times.

This is a huge step-up from your previous acting roles. Did you ever question: “It’s a great part, but has it come along too early…?”

Agyness Deyn: I didn’t really think about it in that way – ‘Am I ready yet?’ Maybe I should’ve done…

I’m not saying you weren’t ready…

Agyness Deyn: No, no, it’s good… That could have been a rational thought, but I read it and fell in love with Lily so much and knew that this was what I wanted to do for my career. So to audition and get offered it, when you truly connect to it on an emotional level – I was just so excited to be given the opportunity to create a story with all these amazing storytellers.

What was your most challenging scene?

Agyness Deyn: Hmm… There was one scene I did where she starts hallucinating with the snake on the table and she’s all over the place. When we were doing it, I felt so uncomfortable and thought it was terrible. And when I actually saw it, I realised it was actually because (Lily’s) in bits and by that time I’d been literally doing it for five weeks, six days a week. (I was) absolutely physically fucked and I was so in it, that I was experiencing what she was. And then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s where the magic happens…’

You obviously love the teamwork of filmmaking. Did you ever get the same collaborative buzz working in fashion?

Agyness Deyn: On a small scale. Sometimes you do a shoot and you’re just facilitating someone’s vision where you think, ‘OK, this isn’t really my thing but that’s my job I’m going to do it.’ But it can be very creative within the team – doing shoots with Tim Walker or Steven Meisel where they create a world. But it’s like a tiny drop compared to doing a film for weeks or months. You have withdrawal symptoms afterwards.

So Title A, the fashion label you started with your sister – is doing that a way to express more creativity within an industry you know?

Agyness Deyn: It’s something totally different. In a way it’s just clothes that me and the two other women I do it with… We just all crave a certain aesthetic. So we wanted to create it. And it’s going really well – we’re growing.

There’s often media cynicism when someone moves from one creative field to another, particularly so with a switch from fashion or modelling. How have you found that?

Agyness Deyn: It’s funny because it’s never been a consideration, and I only think about it when people bring it up…

Sorry, but it’s an obvious thing to ask…

Agyness Deyn: No, it’s a great question and, like you said, it definitely occurs. But I feel really strongly about what I want to do in life. And I feel that one should fulfil those things or else they’re not really living life. To be creative and work hard is such a beautiful thing.

“I feel really strongly about what I want to do in life. And I feel that one should fulfil those things or else they’re not really living life” – Agyness Deyn

Given that your husband (Giovanni Ribisi) is an actor, do you prefer to share work stuff or keep it separate?

Agyness Deyn: I don’t know, people in relationships have… Obviously, they talk about work and they share each other’s lives. But then you’re doing your own thing at the same time.

So would you do, say, script read-throughs together?

Agyness Deyn: No… (laughs)

Tell us about your Terence Davies experience. Did you know his work before?

Agyness Deyn: Yeah. Terence is such a beautiful storyteller from an emotional perspective. The first time I read the (Sunset Song) script, I just cried because it’s so emotional. I auditioned and months went by and then, I’ll never forget, I was on the street in LA and he called me up personally and offered me the job. That was a dream.

Is Sunset Song in the same vein as Distant Voices, Still Lives?

Agyness Deyn: I did just ADR a month ago, so I’ve only seen little snippets. It’s definitely very character-driven as Chris – the lead role – she narrates it as well. It’s very unsentimental in a way, but very connected to a bigger picture; relationships between humanity and the earth. Terence Davies is so… classy, without being at all pompous in any way. He’s all heart. And he has to feel it.

Electricity is out in cinemas on December 12

To see the original article at Dazed Digital click here:

Edward Lovelace & James Hall – The Possibilities are Endless

In 2005, Scottish musician Edwyn Collins suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke that left him only able to utter four phrases: “Yes”, “No”, “Grace Maxwell” (the name of his devoted wife), and “the possibilities are endless”. His long struggle to recover affected not just his musical ability but also his memory. Some semblance of his previous life has been movingly put together in the new film from rising British documentary makers Edward Lovelace and James Hall. Read more

Pawel Pawlikowski – Ida

British cinema, perhaps without fully realising it, has missed Pawel Pawlikowski. He left Warsaw as a teenager, eventually settling in England, where he studied literature and philosophy at London and Oxford before starting his filmmaking career – mainly BBC documentaries – in the 1980s. The best-known of these – Dostoevsky’s Travels, Serbian Epics, Tripping With Zhirinovsky – were festival circuit regulars and prestigious award-winners. Read more

Ari Folman – The Congress

Ari Folman is one animated guy, and this doesn’t just apply to his chosen film medium. Constantly roaming the stuffy hotel suite where we meet, the 50-year-old Israeli filmmaker is like a gruff but generous-natured shaggy grey bear, forever gesticulating, glugging water, interrupting questions and asking his own. This restless, curious nature is no surprise if you’ve seen the two features that have made his international reputation. 2008’s Waltz With Bashir, a singular, surreal, multi-award-winning flash/CG-rotoscoped animation based on his own horrific combat experiences as a young man; and now its follow-up, the even more striking live-action/animation hybrid The Congress. Read more

Get in touch