Film | Anorak - Part 10

Film Category

Includes cinema reviews and trailers for upcoming films. A digest of the best and worst interviews on movies and cinema.

Stanley Kubrick explains the meaning of 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 A Space Odyssey kubrick

STANLEY Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was a film about… Well, what is about? In 1969, Kubrick told Joseph Gelmis:

You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe—a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.

When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny.

That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.

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Posted: 14th, October 2013 | In: Books, Film, Flashback | Comment

Julian Assange nearly makes Benedict Cumberbatch quit film, says leaked email


NOT a man known for attracting attention to himself, Julian Assange apparently refused to meet Benedict Cumberbatch while he was preparing to play the WikiLeaks founder for a film… and amusingly, it is a leaked email that has revealed this news.

In the letter, sent in January, Assange described Cumberbatch’s film, The Fifth Estate, as “toxic” and “distorted“, adding that the actor should “reconsider your involvement in this enterprise”.

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Posted: 10th, October 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

Terrible film lines: the Howling III howler

TERRIBLE lines in film presents: the only memorable bit from Howling III:

Posted: 10th, October 2013 | In: Film | Comment

King v Kubrick: The Shining sequel will be as unfilmable as all great books are


ARE some books unfilmable? Does reading the book first spoil the film and vice versa?

Stephen King’s The Shining is a cracking read. Stanley Kubrick film adaptation of it is also fantastic, a capacious, sinister  spine-tingler. But when the film came out many of the book’s fans were upset. Scenes had been omitted from the book’s version of life at the Overlook Hotel. But did you see that lift full of blood? Young Danny riding his tricycle over the wooden floor and then onto the oh-so-silent carpet? Once seen, never forgotten.

The book is not the film. The book is the book. The film is the film.

Talk of King and Kubrick’s work is relevant because the author has released a sequel to The Shining, entitled Doctor Sleep. Kubrick has died, so he won’t be any film version.

King might be relieved. As he says:

“I am not a cold guy. And with Kubrick’s The Shining I thought that it was very cold.

“Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film. She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid. And that’s not the woman I wrote about…I met him [Kubrick] on the set and just on that one meeting, I thought he was a very compulsive man.”

Jason Bailey:

King’s great novels work because they put us into the heads of his characters, because they convey psychological as well as external struggles, because their inner monologues can pour forth out of his prose. It’s part of what makes him a great writer. It’s also why there have been so many lousy films based on Stephen King books — because all of that is lost in the translation. And Kubrick would have been a lousy novelist, his meticulous detachment resulting in, we could presume, so pretty turgid and lifeless writing. But luckily, he was a filmmaker, and his gifts as an aesthete are what made him such a singularly fine one.


Laura Miller says King was right to be unimpressed by Kubrick:

King is, essentially, a novelist of morality. The decisions his characters make — whether it’s to confront a pack of vampires or to break 10 years of sobriety — are what matter to him. But in Kubrick’s “The Shining,” the characters are largely in the grip of forces beyond their control. It’s a film in which domestic violence occurs, while King’s novel is about domestic violence as a choice certain men make when they refuse to abandon a delusional, defensive entitlement. As King sees it, Kubrick treats his characters like “insects” because the director doesn’t really consider them capable of shaping their own fates. Everything they do is subordinate to an overweening, irresistible force, which is Kubrick’s highly developed aesthetic; they are its slaves. In King’s “The Shining,” the monster is Jack. In Kubrick’s, the monster is Kubrick.

Jack Hodge:

Kubrick understood the importance of taking a story and meticulously reworking it for an entirely different medium. The director was a master of genre cinema, stripping it down and blowing it up in its purest form. In fact two other successful King adaptations, Stand By Me (The Body) and The Shawshank Redemption (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption) are both riddled with inconsistencies between book and film – although not quite as fundamental as The Shining. King has highlighted these two films, along with Misery (1990), as his favourite cinematic interpretations.

It’s all about entertainment. You get to gorge on the book and the film.

Posted: 6th, October 2013 | In: Books, Film | Comment

Watch Manchester United legend Eric Cantona play The Stallion in erotic French comedy Les Rencontres d’après Minuit

eric cantona erotic french

AFTER mucking about playing himself and “a man at a bar” in the likes of Looking for Eric and Jack Says over the years, Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has finally landed the role he was born to play!

Cantona has reportedly been cast as a bearded Gallic lothario, known simply as “The Stallion”, in an erotic French comedy titled Les Rencontres d’après Minuit (which translates as “Meetings After Midnight”).

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Posted: 4th, October 2013 | In: Film, Sports | Comment

Project Drive-In: Possibly pointless renaissance for American drive-ins


ZOD knows there aren’t nearly enough stereotypes about lazy Americans spending too much time in their cars, so it’s a good thing Honda and Sony are sponsoring something called “Project Drive-In”  in an attempt to #SaveTheDriveIn,  which is not exactly trending on Twitter even though it has been tweeted (in sponsored posts) by such noted celebrities as Will Ferrell.

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Posted: 4th, October 2013 | In: Film, The Consumer | Comment

James McAvoy auditions for Jimmy Savile role at the Filth premiere

JAMES McAvoy’s new film Filth has opened in London. McAvoy would play Jimmy Savile if Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh ever penned a script about the BBC DJ, NHS ward wharbler and sex predator, the Scottish novelist has said. Welsh told the Radio Times that while making Filth, he discussed the subject of sexual abuse with X-Men star McAvoy, who apparently told him: “If you ever write a script about it, I’d love to play Jimmy Savile.” Maybe the film could feature a trial and name some of the enablers who let Savile prosper? After all, the law never did catch up with Savile while he was alive…

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Posted: 1st, October 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Is this the best movie death scene ever?

IS this the best movie death scene ever?

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Posted: 29th, September 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Education for Death: in 1943 Disney taught kids how to be a Nazi

IN 1943, Disney studios produced The Making of a Nazi,. This short film was funded by the US Government. Disney needed the money and the Government’s propaganda machine needed a new avenue. (The US had hired lost of top directors to produce its films, including Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford and Frank Capra). In all Disney produced 32 animated shorts.  But this one, based on a book by Gregor Ziemer’s book Education for Death was more hard hitting than Donald Duck declaring “Oh boy, am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!” as a tomato slapped Hitler in the face (even Bambi fought the Axis powers in Disney’s Volunteer Army).

Posted: 29th, September 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment

Failed audition tapes: Tom Selleck was Indiana Jones

Once upon a time, Tom Selleck was Indian Jones…briefly:

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Posted: 25th, September 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment

Terrible rap: Top That from 1989 film Teen Witch is a horror show

IN the 1980s, white rap was routinely terrible. In this 1989 teen dream flick Teen Witch, the cast are forced on pain of death (we presume) to perform a rap called Top That.

teen witch

The film, for those of you not in the know, is:

Louise is not very popular at her highschool. Then she learns that she’s descended from the witches of Salem and has inherited their powers. At first she uses them to get back at the girls and teachers who teased her and to win the heart of the handsome footballer’s captain. But soon she has doubts if it’s right to ‘cheat’ her way to popularity. 

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Posted: 25th, September 2013 | In: Film, Music | Comment

Simon Cowell commentates as Pudsey the dog urinates on a tyre in Sarratt


WHAT news of Britain’s Got Talent winner Pudsey? Well, Pudsey has been filming Pudsey: The Movie. The Watford Observer reports that he’s gone a bit Depardieu and urinated on a Bovingdon man’s car while filming in Sarratt. This might be news if Pudsey were human. But it’s a dog. When Pudsey starts urinating as he opens the batting for England, then it’s news.

The first canine winner of ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent has been spotted in Sarratt, relieving himself on a car wheel.

Was that in the script?

In the film Simon Cowell will be the voice of a pooch pal of the Britain’s Got Talent dog, while Mr Cowell’s fellow judge David Walliams will take on the voice of Pudsey.

A talking dog?

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Posted: 25th, September 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

JD Salinger: Five new manuscripts and a post-Holocaust film to duck


JD Salinger died in  died in 2010 at age 91. Some of his unpublished works have been found. Cornel Bonca looks at them:

[T]his is the biggest literary “get” of the American 21st century.

The books include a World War II novel featuring Sergeant X from “From Esme,” the most intriguing character outside Holden and the Glass family that Salinger ever created. It includes a novella, in diary form, written by a World War II counterintelligence officer — Salinger’s job during the war — “culminating in the Holocaust.” Given Salinger’s war experience and his painstaking writing process, these two works could conceivably add up to a contribution to American World War II literature on a par with the work of Mailer, Jones, Heller, and Pynchon.

A third manuscript is, we’re told, a “manual of Vedanta,” a book explaining Vedanta Hinduism (and presumably, its relation to Salinger’s work), “with short stories, almost fables, woven into the text.” Finally, there are two compilations, one entitled The Family Glass, gathering all the published Glass stories together with five new storiesabout Seymour, the last of which “deals with Seymour’s life after death.” Given that once Salinger got going on the Glasses, his “stories” inevitably metastasized into novellas, this book is likely to be a real tome, and might conceivably be the greatest contribution Salinger makes to American letters, dealing as it must, with the question of how to live a genuine spiritual life in a postwar, post-Holocaust world.

Then there’s the final book, which [biographers David] Shields and [Shane] Salerno describe as “a complete history of the Caulfield family,” gatheringCatcher, six previously published (and I would imagine, wholly rewritten) Caulfield stories written in the early-to-mid 1940s, as well as new stories featuring, presumably, Holden, Phoebe, Allie, and D.B. Caulfield. Five new Salinger books! Doubtless, they will make us entirely reconceive Salinger’s current oeuvre. If the books are even close in quality to Catcher or Franny & Zooey, they might reroute the course of late 20th-century American literature.

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Posted: 22nd, September 2013 | In: Books, Film, Flashback | Comment

Haifaa Al-Mansour: Saudi Arabia’s first female direction on Wadjda and growing up where cinemas are forbidden

Director Haifaa Al Mansour poses during the photo call of the movie 'Wadjda' at the 69th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

WHAT’S it like being Saudi Arabia’s first female film director? Haifaa Al-Mansour knows. Well, it has tricky. She directed Wadjda via a walkie-talkie.

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Posted: 20th, September 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Terrible tag-lines: Patrick Swayze trails Next of Kin

bad tag lines next of kin

TERRIBLE Tag lines:

In 1989 Patrick Swayze starred in Next of Kin. The trailer was punctuated with Swayze uttering the cracking tag-line:

“You haven’t seen bad yet, but it’s coming…”

…to a cinema near you…

Posted: 15th, September 2013 | In: Film | Comment

New RoboCop trailer released – start wetting yourself with excitement, now!

Michael Keaton, left, Samuel L. Jackson, center, and Joel Kinnaman attend the "RoboCop" panel on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19, 2103 in San Diego.. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

THE original RoboCop movie was a tense, bleak affair and any notion of remaking it was going to set everyone’s phasers to ‘uh-oh’. With that, the release of the trailer for the new movie will inevitably swing people either way.

Of course, there’ll be haters… but they’re wrong. That’s because the new RoboCop looks ACE!

Joel Kinnaman replaces Peter Weller as Murphy, who goes from Injured Cop to Super Cool Robot Cop.

There’s a fun cast too, including Samuel L. Jackson (of course), Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton (welcome back!), plus Abby Cornish as Murphy’s wife.

The new trailer shows loads of things getting shot, blown up and punched, which is all well and good, but the best bit is when Michael Keaton basically says ‘let’s make him look more bad-ass by making RoboCop’s suit black’.

There’s also a lovely ‘who is in control of the technology? The machine or man?’ which we’ll no doubt be able to read into, concerning our own technological habits… but mainly, it looks like it’ll be a hoot with loads of fighting and a cool baddie.

RoboCop should be released on Feb. 7, 2014. Here’s the trailer.

Photo :Michael Keaton, left, Samuel L. Jackson, center, and Joel Kinnaman attend the “RoboCop” panel on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19, 2103 in San Diego.. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Posted: 9th, September 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Acting masterclass: how to eat an egg like Faye Dunaway, Robert De Niro and Paul Newman

dunaway egg

IN this acting masterclass, we look at how to eat a hard boiled egg.

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Posted: 6th, September 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Diana the movie: brace yourselves for car crash cinema

LAST night’s premier of the Princess Diana romance featured no Royals, no Paul Burrell, no Tony Blair, no white Fiat Uno, three members of the SAS, Mr and Mrs Grassy Knoll, not Princess Diana’s lover Hasnat Khan (“It is based on gossip and Diana’s friends talking about a relationship that they didn’t know much about”), lots of paparazzi, “a squirmingly embarrassing script” (Times) , “car crash cinema” (Guardian) and Kathy Lette holding up a bag that we hope had a sick-proof lining loaded with irony:

Kathy Lette arriving for the Diana premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 5, 2013. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Posted: 6th, September 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

Princess Diana gives five stars to Naomi Watts’ Her Last Love film

naomi watts

NAOMI WATTS is plugging her new film, Her Last Love, the story of her rumoured love affair with Dr Hasnat Khan:

“There were definitely moments when I felt Diana’s presence – I dreamed about her a lot, too, and that’s a first,’ says Naomi Watts. ‘I kept wondering to myself: “Would she have liked it?” So I found myself constantly asking for her permission to carry on. I had saturated myself with Diana and her life and I felt this enormous responsibility of playing this iconic woman.  It felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted. That won’t sound right in print, I know.”






Posted: 6th, September 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film, Royal Family | Comment

Leads cast in Fifty Shades Of Grey… so start imagining them naked now

GOOD news everybody! The lead roles of Fifty Shades of Grey have been announced! You haven’t heard of them, but no matter, because the main bit of their job is to do a lot of sex, which is nice.

For those who must know, the British Charlie Hunnam and US actress Dakota Johnson will be taking their clothes off and talking to each other with clunky euphemisms, while Mumset tut about it all, before secretly frigging their collective pelvis off.

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Posted: 4th, September 2013 | In: Books, Film | Comment

RIP Jean E Hill – John Waters’ Desperate Living star

jean e hill

JEAN E. Hill has died. The actress most memorably appeared on greeting cards and played Grizelda Brown in John Waters’ Desperate Living:


Posted: 24th, August 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

Worinelve! The latest instalment of Wolverine, apparently…


DOES anyone fancy going to the cinema to watch Human Ghjac in the latest blockbuster, Worinelve? Obviously, you haven’t heard of either of those things, but look at the photo of this prime cock-up and you’ll learn more.

And there we have it, a bus-sized balls-up where one advertiser will be annoyed at Stagecoach making a hash of their paid-for advertising… although, with this surely on the cusp of going viral, maybe we’ll see all future film ads being garbled in such a manner.

Now, where can we get Human Ghjac’s autograph?

Posted: 14th, August 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Francis Ford Coppola’s original cast list for The Godfather

AROUND 1970: Francis Ford Coppola produced this potential cast list for The Godfather.

godfather cast list

Posted: 27th, July 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment (1)

The best British Jaegers – the Pacific Rim challenge

WHAT if Pacific Rim was set in Britain? Yeah. Pacific Rim? As if. First off, no-one would have been able to stop sniggering. And second, well, the sniggering right. But let’s imagine. In the film the characters are called Jaegers. (Yeah. Like the middle-class, provincial fashion outlets). Almost all these Jaegers have two two-noun names created in a Tokyo language school randomiser: Brawler Yukon; Coyote Tango, Solar Prophet and the excellent Gipsy Danger.

Warner Bros’ build-your-own-Jaeger toy lets you create your own:

british jaeger irn

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Posted: 26th, July 2013 | In: Film, Key Posts | Comment