Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to abolish the UK Film Council. He plans to hand over the role of developing movies to the British Film Institute.
Director of the Film Council, Ken Loach said “The UK Film Council was essentially the equivalent of a research and development department. In cutting it, it is destructive to our emerging young talent. There is no other organisation that could invest in the future as it did.”
Chairman Tim Bevan said: “British film, one of the UK’s more successful growth industries, deserves better.”
The Film Council was founded in 2000 under Labour’s government. They employed a staff of 75 and had an annual budget of £15m to invest in British films.
Funded by the National Lottery, it has invested money into more than 900 films in the past ten years, including Bend it Like Beckham, The Last King of Scotland and This is England.
John Woodward, Chief Executive of the Film Council, said in a letter to the British film industry he had been informed that “the target is to have the organisation totally closed down with its assets and its remaining operations transferred out by April 2012″.
Chairman Tim Bevan said that the council’s core concern now was to ensure that the government locked in the funding levels and core functions that are needed for British Film. He added:
“To that end, we will work with the DCMS over the summer to identify how they can guarantee both continuity and safe harbour for British film.”
Coinciding with the much-awaited 2010 release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes the release of Tom Binns’ most adventurous jewellery collection to date. Having designed pieces for everyone who’s anyone, including the White House, Binns’ collection features jewellery influenced by Burton’s latest film.
Once an animator apprentice for Walt Disney Studios, Burton left the infamous film company as his drawings were considered too ‘dark’ to be used in any Disney picture. However, instead of restraining his unique illustrations and talents, Burton has reversed his fortune and become one of the most talked-about film directors of the 21st century. With blockbuster creations such as Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeny Todd, Burton’s next release was always bound to be huge. Partnering with the company he left, Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland has sparked inspiration upon many designers already, including Tom Binns. Read more »
Films are often buried by critics and distributors for being too ‘absurd’ or ‘offensive’, but more often than not they have simply predated their audience by a few generations and need to be cryogenically frozen until their message is able to resonate with the human psyche. Sometimes these films are forgotten – or worse, picked up by stoned students and left to languish for eternity in pretentious ‘cult’ purgatory – but occasionally an unassuming group of cineastes will find just such a celluloid treasure while trawling through the trash heaps of cinema, and hoist it up on their shoulders for all to see. Fortunately for all of us, The Flipside have dedicated their time to finding these buried jewels and, with a helping hand from the BFI Southbank, screening them for the audiences they were made for all those years ago.
The Bed Sitting Room (1969) is Richard Lester’s absurdist take on a play by the oft-forgotten and chronically underrated kingpin of surreal comedy, Spike Milligan. It is almost a shame that Monty Python’s Flying Circus arrived in the same year and changed the landscape of filmic comedy forever; because this film easily matches, and in many ways exceeds, the complicated weaving of irony and honesty, subtlety and outrageousness, brutal realism and absurdity, that made Python such a global phenomenon. Read more »
Quentin Tarantino, the sorcerer of US independent cinema, has once again brewed up a tempest at Cannes. Since winning the Palme d’Or with Pulp Fiction in 1994, his returns to the festival have usually resulted in battle lines being drawn up between his passionate supporters and his equally staunch critics. The tension was greater this year because even his supporters were finally beginning to accept that you cant just be ‘promising’ for two decades. ‘Inglourious Basterds’ needed to be an earth-shattering, soul-shaking second coming to leave his critics quievering in their hotel rooms and his supporters revelling along the Palais into the early hours. Unfortunately, the general consensus seems to be that Tarantino has failed again. The fact that his supporters came rushing out of the screening desperately claiming that he had rushed the edit to meet the deadline for the festival did not bode well; and, sure enough, even Tarantino-ites like the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw reluctantly reported, “today the full catastrophe of his new film arrived like some colossal armour-plated turkey from hell. The city of our hopes is in flames.” Read more »
It seems BAFTA loves an underdog, with an evening of surprises at the annual television awards. The Bill, The IT Crowd, Wallander and Skins all beat the heavyweight shows to win awards tonight, although neither of the two main favourites June Brown and Jonathan Ross were victorious at the BAFTA Television awards.
The red carpet was a-buzz with excitement and support for June Brown’s nomination for best actress. Eastenders co-stars past and present showed their support and admiration for the nominated monologue episode, with Patsy Palmer, Lucy Benjamin and Barbara Windsor keeping their fingers crossed for ‘Enders.
In a night filled with surprises though, the award for best actress went instead to Anna Maxwell Martin for her role as a mental health patient in Channel 4’s Poppy Shakespeare. Read more »
Kylie is set to storm Bollywood! The star is out in Mumbai making her debut in ‘Blue’ opposite Indian hearthrobs Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt.
Ms. Minogue has spent the last week in the capital city, filming her song-and-dance sequence opposite Kumar in the ‘underworld, Carribean action film’ with a budget of £20million – earning the quite staggering sum of £100,000 a day.
And she isn’t the only one getting in on the Bollywood action – Sylvester Stallone, yes really, will also be starring in a Hindi movie ‘Kambakht Isq’ or ‘Incredibly Love’. Fingers crossed for a song-and-dance sequence from him too!
If you see one film this summer, do yourself a favour and make sure it’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film starring Brad Pitt as a Nazi-killing commander.
The film is set for release in August, but just to tease you – here’s the trailer.
We’ve never been more excited about climate change – the ‘must see for worthy dinner party conversation’ film of the summer, Age of Stupid is finally set for release on 15th March – but today sees the release of The Making of the Age Of Stupid, a documentary which charts the epic six years it took to make the film.
The documentary – which is exclusive to the Guardian – features everything from the death defying helicopter rides and near-kidnapping dramas which the cast endured during filming, as well as enough snippets from the film without giving it all away…
Check out the documentary here.
There’s much more to this video and project than meets the eye, and that’s a lot in itself! Stay tuned for more information, just had to get this up on Insider on the first day of its release.
Oscar buzz is in the air ahead of the big day on the 22nd of this very month. While most nominations fell into the ‘expected’ category, as always, the Oscar panel appears to have relished their moment in the limelight and used it as an opportunity to stir things up a bit. While Heath Ledger got his well-earned Best Supporting Actor nod, The Dark Knight was shafted in every other way imaginable, missing out on nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for Christopher Nolan and Best Adapted Screenplay.
While The Dark Knight still came third in the overall nominations category with eight nominations (behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with thirteen and Slumdog Millionaire with ten), most of these came in technical categories seemingly reserved for comic book adaptations, like visual effects and art direction. Read more »