“Oh! What have you done to me? What an impossible task. To pick ten titles from the Criterion Collection is difficult enough, but to put them in any kind of order would defeat Ockham’s sharpest razor,” exclaimed Nicolas Roeg, director of The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing, and Walkabout, all available from the Criterion Collection.
Roeg: “It’s a wonderful list that I have gone over again and again and everytime I’ve tried to make a selection, I’ve ended up with fifteen or twenty different choices—usually dictated by my mood of the day. Don’t do this to me. Please stop. I love them all. But only with a pin and blindfold can I land on ten. Now, looking at them, I find I could champion each one equally, but then of course I could do the same for all the rest the pin didn’t pick. My advice would be to work your way through the whole collection and look forward to new ones being added.” [ . . . ]
Bill Forsyth, right, on the set of Local Hero in 1983 with Denis Lawson and Peter Riegert
The screenwriter Bill Forsyth is turning his film Local Hero into a musical, 35 years after its release.
The movie about an American oil tycoon’s attempt to buy a remote Scottish village starred Jenny Seagrove and Peter Capaldi. It is being adapted for the stage by Forsyth and David Greig, artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. Marc Knopfler, founder of the band Dire Straits, will produce the music [ . . . ]
Continue at THE TIMES: Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero film adapted for stage musical | Scotland | The Times
Children are seldom seen in the cinema of Mike Leigh. This absence is doubtless due to the strictures of the director’s character- and story-building methods, which might make the participation of child actors in Leighland rather problematic. In fact, the only notable child protagonist in Leigh’s cinema is Charlie (Charlie Difford), Poppy’s student in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and even here the boy’s problems are merely used as a plot device to bring together the heroine and a social worker love interest. Though the issue is sometimes thematised in Leigh’s portraits of couples who are unable to conceive, the absence of children can seem a significant blind spot in films that clearly aspire to the presentation of full, detailed, realistically depicted social worlds.
Sweet isn’t the right word; in Mike Leigh’s 1990 film, life is unfair, frustrating and confusing by turns. Though, despite the darkness, Life Is Sweet exudes positivity and remains one of Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features.Many of the best lines are mumbled by Timothy Spall’s grotesque would-be restauranteur Aubrey, especially when he’s talking us through the menu for his Edith Piaf-themed restaurant. Anyone for prune quiche? Saveloy on a bed of lychees? Or liver in lager? Spall here is a brilliant physical comedian, whether he’s capsizing a caravan or tumbling off an expensive orthopaedic bed. And our final glimpse of him, semi-conscious on the restaurant floor clad in stripey-fronts, is difficult to forget [ . . . ]
Tom Jolliffe takes a look back at Mike Leigh’s 1993 film, Naked
The other day I attended a special screening at The Prince Charles Cinema in London.
It was part of a specially curated selection of films (from NFTS) devoted to the vile and unlikeable. The first film of the series was Mike Leigh’s 1993 masterpiece, Naked. Leigh was there himself to introduce the film. It was a passing gesture more than anything, as I always feel of the self-effacing Leigh, that blowing one’s own trumpet isn’t his bag.