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Russian Film Festival: The Coach

Writers: Sergey Chetverukhin, Danila Kozlovsky, Andrey Zolotarev Director: Danila Kozlovsky Reviewer: Maryam Philpott One thing we know about sports films is they’re not really about sport at all, but tales of human endurance, adaptability and teamwork, often rescuing the lead character from some terrible personal circumstances or an equally difficult temperament. Daniel Kozlovsky’s new film The Coach showing as part of ...

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Leeds International Film Festival – The Kindergarten Teacher

Music: Asher Goldschmitt Director: Sara Colangelo Reviewer: Rich Jevons Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lisa Spinelli who has a day job as a kindergarten teacher. She lives out a fairly banal existence but has aspirations to be a successful poet. Her attempts at poetry for her evening class in creative writing are fairly uninspired. That is until she starts to plagiarise the ...

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Russian Film Festival: Salut-7

Writers: Aleksey Chupov, Jeffrey Hylton, Natalya Merkulova, Aleksey Samolyotov, Klim Shipenko Director: Klim Shipenko Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The middle years of the twentieth-century were dominated by the US-Russia space race, of which Hollywood has arguably been the biggest winner. Since the arrival of 2001: A Space Odyssey along with Star Trek in the 1960s and cemented by Star Wars in the 1970s, the ...

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Leeds International Film Festival – Wild Strawberries

Writer & Director: Ingmar Bergman Music: Erik Nordgren Reviewer: Rich Jevons Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället) from 1957 is written and directed by the Swedish Svengali Ingmar Bergman and tackles the eternal question of our mortality and the meaning of our lives, especially as one approaches old age. Professor Isak Borg (played by silent cinema actor-director Victor Sjöström) is a 78-year-old widower. ...

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Jewish Film Festival: The Cohens and Kellys

Writers: Alfred A. Cohn. Harry Pollard and Aaron Hoffman Director: Harry Pollard Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Films Festivals are not just an opportunity to see the latest releases before anyone else, most include a classics strand, revisiting new prints of influential older works from the earliest days of cinema. At this year’s UK International Jewish Film Festival held from 8-22 November, ...

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Leeds International Film Festival – The Image Book

Director & Writer: Jean-Luc Godard Reviewer: Rich Jevons Director of some 127 films, including the recent Goodbye to Language in 3D, the 87-year-old narrates in a 10,000 Marlboro voice. It consists of a five-part mosaic of archive material and fictionalised sections that provide Godard's radical discourse on the state of the world. In particular, the Middle East. The sporadic scenes ...

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Leeds International Film Festival – The Drunkard’s Lament

Writer & Director: Jim Finn Reviewer: Rich Jevons The narrative of Jim Finn's The Drunkard's Lament is based on letters by Branwell Brontë, on the subject (mainly) of his sister Emily's Wuthering Heights. And, of course, there is a fair amount about his addiction to liquor and opium, too. He also waxes lyrical about his affair with a married woman ...

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Leeds International Film Festival – Penguin Highway

Director: Hiroyasu Ishida Writers: Tomihiko Morimi (novel), Makoto Ueda (screenplay) Reviewer: Rich Jevons Hiroyasu Ishida's coming-of-age anime is a fantasy with some incredible animation, from the characters in the rich narrative to the penguins and Jabberwockies in the magical mystery. The central character, 10-year-old Aoyama, embarks on a quest is to solve the mystery of why penguins are suddenly appearing ...

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