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Film4 enjoys double Cannes success

26 May, 2015 Productions Posted in: Cannes

Film4-backed films pick up two awards at the Cannes Film Festival…

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in The Lobster

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in The Lobster

At the prestigious festival Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster was awarded the Jury Prize, whilst Rooney Mara shared the Best Actress prize for her role in Todd Haynes’ Carol.

The prize-winning films were also praised by the critics. Carol was labelled “gorgeous, gently groundbreaking… an exquisite work” by the Daily Telegraph, whilst The Times acknowledged that “both Mara and Blanchett are magnificent”.

Of The Lobster the Daily Telegraph said “I haven’t seen anything quite like it before, and I’m still not sure that I have even now.”

Film4 had a record four films In Competition this year, with Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth also receiving their world premieres. The Times described Youth as “a visual banquet of a film… Sorrentino’s film-making is masterful”, whilst Macbeth prompted the Daily Telegraph to muse “Blockbuster battle scenes, spine-tingling staging, utterly believable performances: is this as good as Shakespeare on film gets?”

Hang: the trailer

26 May, 2015 Productions Posted in: Directors

Watch the trailer for a new play from Second Coming director Debbie Tucker Green.

Film4 are pleased and proud to be working with acclaimed playwright Debbie Tucker Green on her debut feature film Second Coming, in cinemas 5th June. For Debbie’s fans, June is a real banner month, as from 12th June, her new play Hang will open at the Royal Court. We’ve already shown you the teaser trailer for Second Coming, but in a first on are also proud to bring you a trailer for Debbie’s theatre too: you can watch the trailer for Hang, at the Royal Court from 11th June, below:

A crime has been committed.  The victim has a choice to make. The criminal is waiting.

A shattering new play about one woman’s unspeakable decision.

Click here to book tickets for Debbie’s play Hang now.

Click here to buy tickets to Debbie’s film Second Coming.

Second Coming Twitter

Left-to-right: Idris Elba and Nadine Marshall star in Second Coming

Cannes reviews round-up: Macbeth

23 May, 2015 Posted in: Cannes, Cannes, Festivals

Featuring a one-two punch of powerhouse performances from Michael Fassbender and Marion Cottilard, we reckon Macbeth is a muscular and raw imagining of Shakespeare from director Justin Kurzel (whose uncompromising Snowtown impressed in Directors’ Fortnight in 2011). But don’t just take our word for it – these critics were also captivated by the bloodily bleak world of the Scottish play.



Robbie Collin for The Telegraph:

“Justin Kurzel’s blistering, blood-sticky new screen version of Macbeth unseams the famous Shakespearean tragedy open from the nave to the chops, letting its insides spill out across the rock underfoot. Kurzel’s chilling debut feature, the 2011 true-crime thriller Snowtown, suggested the then-37-year-old Australian filmmaker was a talent to watch. But this towering, consistently ingenious film establishes him as a director to cherish.”

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Guy Lodge for Variety:

“The Scottish Play hasn’t enjoyed significant bigscreen treatment since Roman Polanski’s admirable if tortured 1971 version. The wait for another may be even longer after Justin Kurzel’s scarcely improvable new adaptation: Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period. Though the Bard’s words are handled with care by an ideal ensemble, fronted by Michael Fassbender and a boldly cast Marion Cotillard, it’s the Australian helmer’s fervid sensory storytelling that makes this a Shakespeare pic for the ages”

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Jessica Kiang for Indiewire

“Brooding, dense, and consistently magnificent to an almost self-defeating degree, Justin Kurzel’s “Macbeth” is a bloody, muddy, mighty adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s mightiest plays. Kurzel, whose only previous film, the excellent but confined “Snowtown” gave us no real idea that he was capable of such tectonic gravitas, does not offer a reinterpretation of the text so much as a head-first plunge into its depths, dredging up whole chunks of Shakespeare’s verse and raising them aloft like he’s ripping the beating heart from a mastodon.”

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Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian:

“This is a deadly serious Macbeth, with fascinating moments and shrewd, sharp insights, though often the pace is conducted at a uniform drumbeat. There are slo-mo battles, stylised blood-spouts and bellicose roaring, perhaps influenced by Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood.”

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Leslie Felperin for Hollywood Reporter

“With its foregrounded class conflict, horror-movie spookiness and — most importantly — use of brutal violence, it’s an adaptation that has a much better chance than most Bard-based works of crossing-over to audiences beyond the arthouses. The play’s evergreen popularity in high-school syllabi should help that along, as will the growing box-office draw of Michael Fassbender, sexy, charismatic and later poignant in the title role, opposite a surprisingly cast but completely persuasive Marion Cotillard as his manipulative wife.”

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Youth: first reviews at Cannes

20 May, 2015 Posted in: Cannes, Cannes, Festivals

Early signs indicate that Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, which premiered in Competition at Cannes this morning is polarizing critics: some love it, some certainly aren’t on board. We are, of course, proud to cherish what we think is a very special film, and we’re honoured to have had a hand in bringing it to the big screen here at Cannes. With that in mind, read on for our pick of the very best independent critics’ reviews so far…


Lee Marshall for Screen International

“The wry, flamboyant cinematic opera of Paolo Sorrentino reaches new heights of showy, utterly tasteful magnificence in Youth, a meditation on ageing, creativity and the staging of spectacles set almost entirely in a Swiss spa hotel. It opens up the pores with ravishing images and rubs in soothing musical ointments, occasionally varying the treatment with a bracing splash of cold drama, served by immaculately groomed actor-assistants.”

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David Sexton for the Evening Standard

“Throughout there are bitter, funny aphorisms about life, love and ageing exchanged by the two old friends, in between updates on their prostate troubles. And as ever with Sorrentino, there are intense visions of both sagging, bloated flesh and the transient bloom of ravishing sexuality — while the exquisite camerawork is itself always a reminder of how much beauty there is in the world and that it passes. Nobody else is making such operatic films half so well as Sorrentino: Youth makes nearly all the other contenders for the Palme d’Or this year seem to lack conviction.”

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Sasha Stone for Awards Daily

“Every shot is a thing of beauty. I spend most of my time here in Cannes finding beautiful/ugly/interesting things to take pictures of.  For most of this film I had the impulse to hoist my camera and take a snapshot of it. It is just one dizzying image after another.  Films like this hardly get made anymore. Probably American directors couldn’t get a movie like this made, not on anyone’s big name.  Actors certainly don’t get chances like this to deliver fully realized performances. [...] Both Caine and Keitel give career-best performances.”

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Jay Weissberg for Variety

“Everything the director’s fans expect is here: stunning compositions (with Luca Bigazzi again behind the lensing), a second-to-none understanding of music’s emotional range, delightfully unexpected interludes, and a towering performance, this time divided in two (or two-and-a-half, since Jane Fonda’s brief turn is indelible). In addition, there’s a stronger female presence than has been seen since This Must Be the Place. [...] There are the grand themes, including aging, memory, love and thirst for further fulfillment, and the minor entr’actes, ranging from spectatorship to the visual pleasure of contrasts, to a near-mystic sense of wonder at beauty in all its forms.”

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Jamie Graham for Games Radar

“Paolo Sorrentino’s new feature, Youth, is a companion piece to his last feature, The Great Beauty, albeit in a more minor key. It is an introspective work of tenderness, melancholy, joy, humour and considerable compassion, with the Italian director’s signature visual flair ensuring that any and all contemplation comes with a blast of brio. [...] Sorrentino has always been something of a visual chameleon – compare the poise of The Consequences Of Love to the camera chaos of Il Divo – and it’s the themes that remain: ageing, memory, creativity, love, loss, and forgiveness. Youth is Sorrentino’s aria, and is one for the ages.”

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Instant Twitter reactions: Youth at Cannes garners a wave of superlatives

20 May, 2015 Posted in: Cannes, Cannes, Festivals

Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, and backed by Film4, has provoked reactions from both ends of the spectrum here at Cannes, but the early response seems to be leaning in the film’s favour with many declaring it a masterwork. Here are 13 of the best reactions on Twitter – we’ll update with a reviews round up later when those come in.

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