After graduating in 2010, Steph worked as an intern at Raindance (Brussels) and Rise Films, and, predictably, had a job working at a dingy DVD rental store. She also volunteered at various film festivals, enjoying all sorts of filmy goodness ranging from the excitement and glamour of the red carpet to anarchic, toilet-paper laden horror all-nighters. She is currently a working in TV production and admits she spends an unhealthy amount of her free time watching and writing about films.
A boy. A boat. A tiger. Yann Martel’s ‘unfilmable’ novel was never going to be an easy sell to Hollywood or any director brave enough to take the plunge. Though several before him abandoned ship, Ang Lee took to the helm and created a film of breathtaking beauty and unbridled originality.
For her third feature, actor turned writer/director Maïwenn exposes the filth of humanity by venturing into the sordid world of child abuse. After gaining first-hand experience within the Parisian police’s Child Protection Unit, Maïwenn’s cop drama delves into several real life cases with unflinching detail and scorching realism. With its gritty fly-on-the-wall approach, Polisse follows the close-knit CPU team charged with covering the Parisian neighbourhood of Belleville. Ironically translating to ‘beautiful town’, its streets quickly become the morally reprehensible backdrop upon which we float from one sickening child abuse case to the other via the many auxiliary dealings that fall under the CPU umbrella; brutal child gangs, over-sexualised teens and the young victims of immigration and poverty.
The latest offering from Austrian master director Michael Haneke comes with the trenchant emotional power and sharp realism that has come to define him as one of the great auteurs of our time. With the Palme d’Or winning Amour, Haneke hones in on life, love and death with the story of an elderly couple succumbing to terminal illness. Like Von Trier's previous Cannes contender Melancholia, we know right from the off that we're in for a difficult watch. Indeed, the opening scene leaves little doubt of the grief to come but the Haneke touch makes it impossible to look away.
Samsara is a Sanskrit word seen in various Asian religions referring to the perpetual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Through glorious 70mm film, Fricke transports his camera far and wide to find the connections, sometimes abstract and sometimes less so, that link humanity and its life cycle to that of the natural world.
Whether you had a bad feeling about the Star Wars re-releases or not, the recent announcement from this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration has confirmed that the next 3D instalments are on their way.
However, the original plan to release the films annually, starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace in February 2012, has now been scrapped and instead Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith will be released back to back in autumn 2013.