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Subtitle European Film Festival, Kilkenny, 25th November – 1st December 2013

I just got this press release about the upcoming SUBTITLE European film festival being held in Kilkenny towards the end of November. I’m always a fan of European cinema, and nothing beats the ethereal atmosphere of a film festival, so I thought I’d pass it on. You can find more details about the festival and their line-up on their website here. I particularly recommend Headhunters and A Hijacking if you can get to see them.

The press release is below.

headhunters

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My 12 for ’12: Shame & Silence

I’m counting down my top twelve films of the year between now and January, starting at #12 and heading to #1. I expect the list to be a little bit predictable, a little bit surprising, a little bit of everything. All films released in the UK and Ireland in 2012 qualify. Sound off below, and let me know if I’m on the money, or if I’m completely off the radar. And let me know your own picks or recommendations.

This is #2

Addiction stories are very tough to do right. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the melodrama of the cycle – the excess, the withdrawal, the relapse, the epiphany. It’s tempting to wallow in each of those stages, to structure them as acts in a drama. It’s hard to resist the urge to heighten absolutely everything, to dwell on the heat of obsession and desperation that surrounds any addiction.

Director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender do a sensational job with Shame, avoiding these potential problems, offering a portrayal of addiction and personal collapse that is strangely understated and introverted rather than overwhelming or excessive. Indeed, the fact that the movie is about sex addiction might lead some potential viewers to worry. If ever an addiction lent itself to trashy and tasteless excess, one might imagine that sex would be that personal demon.

Instead, McQueen shows admirable restraint in tackling the topic. While he never blushes in presenting the depths of his lead’s degradation, he never sensationalises it. Instead, much like Brandon’s addiction, Shame is cold and clinical – and all the more powerful for it.

shame2

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Winners of the 2012 International On-Line Film Critics’ Poll

The International On-Line Film Critics’ Poll has just published the winners of their 2012 poll. I was honoured to take part, and I was very glad with most of the results. You can read the nominations here, but the winners are listed below. The superb Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the biggest winner – winning Best Film, placing on the Top Ten Films, taking home Best Director, securing Best Actor for a very deserving Gary Oldman, along with Best Cast and Best Adapted Screenplay to boot. A host of other wonderful films (including The Master) did very well as well.

Results after the jump.

Looks like we're all Smiley's people...

Looks like we’re all Smiley’s people…

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