Britannia Hospital (1982) - News Poster

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David Sherwin obituary

Screenwriter of the classic Lindsay Anderson films If…., O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital

The screenwriter David Sherwin, who has died aged 75 from sepsis, wrote three acerbic, funny, trailblazing films for the director Lindsay Anderson, each starring Malcolm McDowell as Mick Travis. In If.… (1968), the most influential of these, Mick was a public school revolutionary who opens fire on the quad with his fellow rebels. In the surreal, picaresque O Lucky Man! (1973), he was a coffee salesman who is mistaken for a spy, falls in with a rock band and then a CEO, and eventually emerges from prison to play the lead in O Lucky Man! And in Britannia Hospital (1982), a scathing satire that used the failing establishment of the title as a metaphor for Britain, Mick was a muckraking journalist who is killed and then resurrected as a modern-day Frankenstein’s monster.

Sherwin’s partnership with Anderson was combative
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99,’ ‘The Meyerowitz Stories,’ ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

78/52 (Alexandre Philippe)

There’s been documentaries that analyze entire cinematic movements, directors, actors, writers, specific films, and more aspects of filmmaking, but it’s rare to see a feature film devoted to a single scene. With 78/52, if the clunky title addition didn’t tell you already, it explores the infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with exacting precision and depth. Featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Guillermo del Toro,
See full article at The Film Stage »

The NHS on screen: from Carry On Nurse to 28 Days Later

The health service is an election battleground, but on screen it has long united the nation through film and television’s ongoing love affair with the NHS

Britannia Hospital was not a hit. Released in 1982, the film was a grand slab of British oddity from director Lindsay Anderson, arriving after the boarding school revolt of If … and business-land romp O Lucky Man. The lead was the great comic actor Leonard Rossiter, star of TV’s Rising Damp, cast as the administrator of a chaotic NHS hospital preparing for a visit from royalty.

It’s a movie that feels like a panic attack – the staff mutiny at creeping privatisation, strange experiments take place behind closed doors. Often it seems about to implode as you watch, leaving just a cloud of strange-smelling smoke – but then, it is supposed to be a portrait of collapse. As per the title, the idea was that
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The NHS on screen: from Carry On Nurse to 28 Days Later

The health service is an election battleground, but on screen it has long united the nation through film and television’s ongoing love affair with the NHS

Britannia Hospital was not a hit. Released in 1982, the film was a grand slab of British oddity from director Lindsay Anderson, arriving after the boarding school revolt of If … and business-land romp O Lucky Man. The lead was the great comic actor Leonard Rossiter, star of TV’s Rising Damp, cast as the administrator of a chaotic NHS hospital preparing for a visit from royalty.

It’s a movie that feels like a panic attack – the staff mutiny at creeping privatisation, strange experiments take place behind closed doors. Often it seems about to implode as you watch, leaving just a cloud of strange-smelling smoke – but then, it is supposed to be a portrait of collapse. As per the title, the idea was that
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Forgotten: Marco Bellocchio's "China is Near" (1967)

  • MUBI
Appearing at New York's Film Forum from the 20th - 26th of March, Marco Bellocchio's newly restored political-sexual satire plays something like Robert Altman at his most biting, but the flavor is distinctly Italian, the milieu that of local politics in a small city. Glauco Mori plays an aspiring socialist candidate for municipal office, a man who has tried every center-left party on the map, and even dabbled with communism; a man with no convictions but a vague itch for power, perhaps because he's so ineffectual in his own life.He's having an affair with his secretary, and his campaign manager is sleeping with his sister, and both lovers are conniving to force a lucrative marriage. Meanwhile, his brother is gravitating towards minor acts of terrorism...Nobody is admirable in Bellocchio's supremely cynical vision: there are no noble deeds to be done in politics, and the public's contempt for
See full article at MUBI »

Why I'd like to be … Malcolm McDowell in If …

You don't need to be an Old Etonian to identify with anti-hero schoolboy Mick Travis when he goes to war with the establishment

• Why I'd like to be … Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird

• Why I'd like to be … Julie Christie in Billy Liar

• Why I'd like to be … Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous

It is every unruly pupil's fantasy to run riot in the classroom and Mick Travis, the anti-hero in Lindsay Anderson's If …, takes schoolboy rebellion to the limit. This razor-sharp satire eviscerates the British establishment, and Malcolm McDowell relishes his role as the public-school refusenik at war with the society that created him. This was McDowell's debut, and his work with Anderson was to be his best. Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange made him a household name, but the rest of his career was spent playing minor-league heavies.

McDowell's roles in Anderson's loose trilogy comprising If …, O Lucky Man!
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

On 'Boyhood' as Richard Linklater's Truffaut film

  • Hitfix
On 'Boyhood' as Richard Linklater's Truffaut film
Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is a masterpiece. Full stop. It's an effortless piece of humanist filmmaking we don't often see, particularly on these shores where the Hollywood machine has forever altered the concept of what a movie should be, where independent cinema is pushed to the fringes while soaring budget gambles dominate the status quo and the middle ground of American cinema is consistently eroded. "Boyhood" is, at last, I think, the film Linklater has been striving toward his whole career. It is his Truffaut film. When the director was making the press rounds last year for "Before Midnight," I sat down with him and star/co-writer Julie Delpy to discuss their journey with that story and those characters over the course of three films and 13 years. The expectation for more adventures in the life of Celine and Jesse had already set in, and Linklater joked that he would like
See full article at Hitfix »

The Forgotten: Meat is Murder

  • MUBI
There's a pernicious misapprehension afoot that the Brits are the polite ones while Yanks are inclined to brusqueness or brashness, but a comparison of the varied reactions to the deaths of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher would seem to give the lie to this. While "The Great Communicator" was hailed for ending the Cold War (something surely Mr. Gorbachev deserves some credit for), with little mention of his disastrous economic policies and illegal covert wars, Thatcher has received her due as a "divisive" figure, even on the BBC. And, as I write this, there is a genuine chance that "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead," will reach number one in the UK charts.

Nor were the British uniformly polite about her when she was alive. The Tories gave no encouragement to the art of cinema, or most of the other arts. Invited to talk about her favorite works of art on television,
See full article at MUBI »

Richard Griffiths obituary

Actor of geniality, grace and solemnity, he excelled in playing characters on the margins of society

Richard Griffiths, who has died aged 65 from complications following heart surgery, was a fine actor defined by his largeness of spirit, his comic instinct and his empathy with outsiders, as well as his undeniable physical size. He was the kind of actor whom everyone remembers with affection, whether as the flawed but inspirational Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys (first staged in 2004, then filmed in 2006) or as the eccentrically gay Uncle Monty in Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I (1987).

Like most actors who have a thriving career in film and television, he learned his craft in theatre. I first became aware of him in the late 1970s when he rose steadily through the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I was especially struck by his ability to speak verse with mellifluous clarity.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Richard Griffiths obituary

Actor of geniality, grace and solemnity, he excelled in playing characters on the margins of society

Richard Griffiths, who has died aged 65 from complications following heart surgery, was a fine actor defined by his largeness of spirit, his comic instinct and his empathy with outsiders, as well as his undeniable physical size. He was the kind of actor whom everyone remembers with affection, whether as the flawed but inspirational Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys (first staged in 2004, then filmed in 2006) or as the eccentrically gay Uncle Monty in Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I (1987).

Like most actors who have a thriving career in film and television, he learned his craft in theatre. I first became aware of him in the late 1970s when he rose steadily through the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I was especially struck by his ability to speak verse with mellifluous clarity.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

sCare Foundation to Honor Malcolm McDowell with a Lifetime Achievement Award

  • DailyDead
The sCare Foundation has announced that it will honor Malcolm McDowell with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its Halloween Benefit this weekend:

Los Angeles, CA — The sCare Foundation announced today it will honor legendary actor Malcolm McDowell (Rob Zombie’s Halloween, A Clockwork Orange) with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at its 2nd Annual Halloween Benefit on October 28, 2012. The evening will be held at the Conga Room at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, and will include great entertainment, a silent auction and plenty of exciting prizes. The evening will benefit the life-saving programs of the Hollywood Homeless Youth Project (http://hhyp.org/), as well as Safety Harbor Kids (http://www.safetyharborkids.org/).

“Malcolm is an amazing actor and true professional,” said sCare Foundation founder, Malek Akkad. “He’s always been an ardent supporter and we’re excited to be able to honor him in this way. Besides being one of our greatest actors,
See full article at DailyDead »

sCare Foundation to Honor Legendary Actor Malcolm McDowell with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award

The sCare Foundation announced today it will honor legendary actor Malcolm McDowell (Rob Zombie’s Halloween, A Clockwork Orange) with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at its 2nd Annual Halloween Benefit on October 28, 2012.

The evening will be held at the Conga Room at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, and will include great entertainment, a silent auction and plenty of exciting prizes. The evening will benefit the life-saving programs of the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership, as well as Safety Harbor Kids.

“Malcolm is an amazing actor and true professional,” said sCare Foundation founder, Malek Akkad. “He’s always been an ardent supporter and we’re excited to be able to honor him in this way. Besides being one of our greatest actors, he has always shown unwavering support to our cause, and his generosity and compassion truly appreciated.”

Malcolm McDowell is arguably among the most dynamic and inventive of world-class actors,
See full article at Dread Central »

If…. Blu Ray Review

If.... Directed by: Lindsay Anderson Written by: David Sherwin Starring: Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Robert Swann Lindsay Anderson's 1968 film If…. sets a counterculture revolution within the walls of an English public school, creating an allegorical fantasy which reflects the volatile atmosphere of the time. Featuring a pre-Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, comparisons to Kubrick's masterpiece aren't totally misguided. Both films are populated with rebellious youths and flashes of ultra-violence, but Anderson's approach is a less austere look at aggression as a means of change rather than simply a way to curb boredom. The film begins with the start of the school year at an English school for boys. While the youngest kids (do they call them freshman in England?) attempt to navigate the halls of the school and acclimatize to the demands of their surroundings, Mick Travis (McDowell) returns for another year, lugging a giant suitcase and sporting
See full article at FilmJunk »

Top 10 Movie Riots

Over the past few days news coverage has been dominated by the widespread rioting which has plunged London and now other British cities such as Manchester last night into fear and despair. So to complete the saturation of riot-based media coverage, with something light-hearted and hopefully diverting in these scary times – here are my Top 10 Screen Riots that have ever graced the big screen… which is firmly where they should remain.

Before we begin, we need to lay out some ground rules for what constitutes a riot. A riot is distinct from a battle because it is not planned or co-ordinated by or around a certain individual. It is not the same as a mutiny because that also involves pre-meditation. And it cannot be confined to a single place, otherwise it becomes just another fight or bar room brawl. There are exceptions to these rules, as will become clear, but they are good guidelines nonetheless.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Psychoville: in a different league

Killing most of their characters off in the final episode was ruthless but ensured this dark comedy kept you hooked

As one of those viewers who drifted away from The League of Gentlemen, I barely noticed when Psychoville arrived. But I gave it a go and was quickly hooked. Fresher and more purposeful than Log, it had all the same references, humour and moods but they were tied together with a compelling, if ridiculous plot. Series two also blindsided me a little – I'd not even heard they were making it, and didn't know this was the last outing, and that they intended to kill most of the characters.

When Dawn French was stabbed in the neck in episode one it seemed a necessary way of pruning the busier, more expensive cast members. But when blind millionaire toy trader Oscar Lomax was found hanging from his neck dead at the end of episode three,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tonight's TV highlights

All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace | Injustice | Psychoville 2 | MTV Movie Awards 2011

All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace

9pm, BBC2

The third and final part of Adam Curtis's exploration of the defining phenomena of our times – mankind's increasingly dependent relationship with computers. During this typically brilliant series, Curtis has expounded a thesis that machines have not liberated us, but rather imprisoned us in a reality fixed by the efficient but inflexible logic of circuitry. Tonight's episode is witty, enthralling, provocative and occasionally preposterous: it's an Adam Curtis programme after all.

Injustice

9pm, ITV1

Spread across five nights, this is ITV's latest attempt at a gripping, grown-up thriller. James Purefoy is a brooding barrister with a past, Dervla Kirwan his breathy wife and Nathaniel Parker the old college chum who asks him to act as his defence in a forthcoming murder trial. It twists and changes direction madly,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

New Release: Malcolm McDowell in Never Apologize DVD

On May 31, Warner Home Video will release the DVD of the 2007 movie Never Apologize, a film of actor Malcolm McDowell’s (A Clockwork Orange) one-man stage show tribute to his great friend and mentor, British director Lindsay Anderson.

Malcolm McDowell salutes director Lindsay Anderson in Never Apologize.

McDowell worked with Anderson on a number of projects over the years, including the seminal British movies If… (1968), O Lucky Man (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982), as well as such theatre plays as the West End production of Holiday in 1987.

In Never Apologize, directed by Mike Kaplan, McDowell delivers an oral history of his partnership with Anderson, which gives him an opportunity to flex his acting muscles (included are his amusing impersonations of Anderson as well as fellow actors Rachel Roberts, Arthur’s John Gielgud and even All About Eve’s Bette Davis) and create a ‘live biography’ of one of post-war Britain’s most important directors.
See full article at Disc Dish »

Clip joint: hospital wards

Feeling peaky? You will be after this journey through some of the more disturbing hospitals of cinematic history

There's no safer place is there? A hospital is the only place you'd want to be if something was wrong with you, surely. A gleaming white palace of holistic healthcare where the only thing on the agenda is curing the ailments inflicted by the dangerous world outside. And in among all of this altruistic intent is the jovial atmosphere on the wards; the friendly banter of healthcare professionals and the recovering patients. Such visions recur so often in British cinema and TV history that we must hold a special respect in our collective consciousness for the wards. This can be the only reason for the remorseless 25-year domestic accident-based grind through the ranks of aspiring actors that is Casualty.

The happy-go-lucky pratfalls of the Carry On films aren't the worldwide norm though.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Graham Crowden obituary

Actor with great stage presence who found his metier in comic and satirical roles

There was something extra-terrestrial about the character actor Graham Crowden, who has died aged 87 – a mix of the ethereal eccentricity of Ralph Richardson and the Scottish lunacy and skewiff authoritarianism of Alastair Sim. He specialised in portraying doctors, lawyers or teachers in a satirical way.

Crowden was a tall, red-haired, serious and sometimes professionally diffident man – he turned down the opportunity of succeeding Jon Pertwee as the fourth Doctor Who, remarking that working with a lot of Daleks did not sound like much fun. He had a tremendous stage presence, always moving with an emphatic, loping gait.

Despite his eminence in plays at the Royal Court and the National Theatre, where he introduced roles in works by Nf Simpson and Tom Stoppard, and in films directed by Lindsay Anderson, he did not become widely familiar until
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

What's the most outrageous prediction for the future?

Sentient computers? Spandex in space? You told us the least convincing Nostradamus moment in a sci-fi flick

@thisismetypinganame Blade Runner is only nine years away, and we've barely started exploring the Tannhäuser Gate or the shoulder of Orion. And the current crop of replicants is rubbish too.

@Housey Surely Planet of the Apes, although the idea of de-evolution is looking to be very prescient.

@newdecade Well 2001 came and went without mankind reaching Jupiter, or ... without any of that ... other ... stuff.

@Sokket The eugenics war of 1999 – Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

@c0n0r The three shells of Demolition Man? Although we still have 22 years.

@Ragged Ignoring all the mutant/pre-cog stuff, the most unbelievable thing in Minority Report were the vertical motorways that ran, for no reason whatsoever, down the side of skyscrapers.

@herebutforfortune Sentient computers like Hal in 2001, whose emotional reaction to being told he was wrong
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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