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tv   Talking Movies  BBC News  January 4, 2022 1:30am-2:01am GMT

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we will have the headlines on stories for you at the top of our street after this
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programme. hello from new york. i'm tom brook, and welcome to our talking movies review of 2021. in today's programme, we look at the highlights of the year infilm. there were many special moments. a real in person cannes film festival brought excitement and joy to the french riviera. a very pleasing end of the year adaptation of west side story. i used to be able to get into a room with the emeny. and a newjames bond film was finally released, and though it did not please everyone, it did gangbusters at the box office. but let's face it, 2021 has been a difficult year for the film industry.
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there has been some great artistry on display by way of some remarkable films, but there has also been an ongoing sense of doom over whether cinema going would ever return to normal. the pandemic has definitely had an impact on viewing habits and on the men and women who work in the film industry. we asked some of those who work both behind and in front of a camera to reflect on what impact covid—19 has had on them in 2021. professionally, it has been nerve—racking. i have seen a lot of my colleagues and friends, like camera assistance and props people, people who aren't so high up the food chain, as it were, really suffering and finding it difficult to put food on the table. it's possible to make movies with covid protocols, and i've been lucky that these movies have
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been made without problems. personally, it's a little tough, because like for everyone, i'm isolated, i'm in strange places during quarantine when i'm not working, going outside for dinner or something is not very promising, or sometimes it's even forbidden. i have found myself feeling a bit sad - i because i didn't get to release| this movie that was intended to come out a year ago, and i felti there wasn't really the room to feel this way and i felt _ a little shame or embarrassment that one of my biggest woes was that a film wasn't coming out. i everybody became very intimate with stories during the pandemic, were it books, movies, tv series, we needed stories to stay alive, and i felt it very much in a way i have not felt it before. the high point for me at any rate
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in 2021 was going to a real, in person cannes film festival in july. it was a vintage year. joining me on the film festival bandwagon was my colleague emma jones, who has been looking back at some 2021 festival highlights. cannes was the first major film event to bounce back in 2021 with a physical festival. those famous red steps were busy with celebrities and the cast of films including wes anderson's long delayed the french dispatch. they needed a bus to discharge them all onto the carpet. still water, starring matt damon also had its world premiere. the blockbuster was filmed in france, and matt damon summed up the feelings of many attendees about the return of the cannes film festival. i'm glad that we are here this year. after watching things on television for two years just about, to be in a room with 1000 other people, i never would have appreciated it in
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that way had we notjust gone through what we went through. the winner of the palm d'0r was a french director julia ducournau who was only the second woman to win the prize. the film titane is a cinematic spectacle starring vincent landon and agatha roussu who plays alexia, a troubled heroin who gets pregnant by a car. ducournau has enjoyed the strong reactions from audiences. i'm really happy because it's like this deal of trust in between us and the audience, and it is validated, and it feels really good. the bfi london film festival was also in the autumn, with stars such as george clooney and his new release the tender bar, and edgar wright with a 19605 horror comedy set in the capital city, last night in soho. the festival's big moment perhaps was bringing spencer to
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london. the story of diana princess of wales, it stars kristen stewart, is directed by pablo larrain, and was part made in germany. but stewart feels the film belongs to britain. i feel like we are bringing it home for her completly. one of the reasons it is fun to talk about this movie existing at all is that we get to have her again, even if it's just through the inspiration that she gave to pablo, stephen and myself. the power of the dog is the story of a rancher, phil who visciously bullies his brothers new wife rose played by kirsten dunst. it's world premeire was at venice where jane campion got the best director prize in venice. thejury, amazing, so to get a recognition from them was quite heart stopping. really happy. good breginning for our tour. miss caruso, welcome. thank you. the lost daughter also premiered at the venice film festival
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and got its first time director, maggie gyllenhaal, for best screenplay award. this is an adaptation of eleanor ferranti's novel starring 0livia colman, a nuanced portrait of the complexities of motherhood. in this story, a woman eventually leaves her children. i want women who maybe would never pick up an eleanor ferranti novel, that's not their thing, to still be able to take in what she offered me. some of the year's festival highlights are streaming releases, but they will also show in cinemas. 2021's return of the spectacle of cinema was something film fans could celebrate, and the new knowledge that such events are not always guaranteed. some of the very best films that i saw in 2021 were
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documentaries. indeed, it was a very good year for adventurous nonfiction film—making. 2021 brought us buzz worthy documentaries that run the gamut from roadrunner, a portrait of a late chef and late tv show host anthony bourdain to the first wave. one of a slew of films detailing the pandemic. 0ne documentary broke the storytelling mould, flea. there are a few remarkable films getting 0scar buzz that are documentaries. flee is a perfect example of how documentaries are blurring lines. it is a foreign language film, it's an animated film and it's a documentary. and it excels in all categories. flee tells the story of an afghan refugee who fled the taliban in the 19905 as a boy. his difficult, solitaryjourney
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from kabul to moscow and then copenhagen. the director said choosing an animation as a way to tell the story freed amin to tell details of his life as a refugee that he had kept secret for 25 years. what you see in the film, what you hear in the film it's the first time, it talks about these things, and it is difficult to talk about. the fact that he could stay anonymous and wouldn't meet people in the street who would ask him about his traumas and secrets was really key to freeing him and enabling him to open up and share his story. flee�*s strength lies in humanising those who make a dangerous trek from hardship into safer parts of the world. he is gay, so it is also the story of a man becoming comfortable with his sexual orientation. rasmussen says the film is compelling because it tells a universal story of trying to find a place to belong.
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there were also documentaries immersed in musical nostalgia, like todd haynes's film on the iconic �*60s rock band the velvet underground. peterjackson�*s get back, a three—part documentary on the beatles' final album. and the debut film summer of soul which tells previously untold story of the harlem cultural festival in new york. the festival is a celebration of black performers, and the film has been getting a lot of love from critics. the harlem cultural festival was hidden from the public for a decade. it happened here in the summer of 1969. the same summer as woodstock. but it was overshadowed by that music festival. but now it is stepping out of the shadows and basking in its own light. the film is filled with stars such as mahalia jackson, gladys knight and stevie wonder. you can't separate the festival from what was
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happening in the nation during a very tumultuous era. cities were burning, tensions were high and black people were moving into a new phase in the fight for racial equality. it was no longer just about civil rights, but there was a move in consciousness, and people were embracing blackness itself. like gladys knight said in a film, "we want "progress, we want "our people lifting us up." two gentleman approached me about this mythical, alleged black woodstock festival it happened 50 years ago that i never knew about and none of my music expert friends knew about. they came in with a0 hours on a hard drive, and i was like, this really happened? the burning question of how could this just sit in someone�*s basement for 50 years and not one person had the power to bring it to light? that was on my mind. of course, all these documentaries are being released at a time when the pandemic has been having a
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big impact on our lives, which has perhaps been increasing our appetite for them as well. more people were at home quarantining and watching a lot of television, and binge watching a lot of things like tiger king. one of the first documentaries that everybody watched when the pandemic started, and get back being one of the most recent things that people are watching. and both of them are hours long, but people make the time and are patient enough for it. i don't think they would have been as patient 20 years ago. there was one very dramatic and sad event in 2021, when a bullet killed a cinematographer on the set of the western rust in new mexico in october. emma jones has been looking at how that event reverberated through hollywood. we need an ambulance at the ranch right now. one of the people has been shot on set
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accidentally. in october, an appalling tragedy unfolded on the set of the western rust in october. we believe we have in our possession the weapon that was fired by mr baldwin. a prop gun used by alec baldwin during production contained a live round, killing the cinematographer and injuring the director. later, in an interview, baldwin insisted that he did not pull the trigger of the gun that killed hutchins, and that he had no idea how a real bullet had got on the set. baldwin also called this a one in a trillion episode. it has been nearly 30 years since the last time hollywood dealt with a similar incident, the death of brandon bruce lee in 1993 while filming the gothic fantasy the crow. lee was also accidentally shot while filming. is that gasoline i smell? the crow was finished and released. there was no chance of that with
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rust. according to figures released in 2020, at least 42% of american households owned at least one gun. the prevalence of firearms here in the us has been a hot topic for many years, but gun control in hollywood really hasn't been a mainstream issue until 2021. this is now a fundamental debate about the way the industry makes its films. whatever occurred on the set of this western, normally there are strict protocols and procedures in place on any film set with weapons, which means very few people ever handle them. director adam egypt mortimer made the film arch enemy in 2020. hutchins was the cinematographer. within just a few moments of talking to her, i felt like she had such a strong vibe, such a sense of commitment to art, and the integrity of wanting to make cinema, that i wanted
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to work with her. at the 2021 gotham awards ceremony in november in new york, many in the film community were calling for changes. to lose any crew member, to lose anyone on a set made my blood boil. i think it's high time, whether it's a major production or an independent one, that the industry take account and bear responsibility for the way we work and how we treat each other. it's essential. there are those already saying they will not work with real guns on set again, and when it is dwayne johnson speaking, it does have power. johnson was hollywood's highest paid actor in 2020 and has just brought out another successful action comedy, red notice, and he says in future his own production company will do things differently. we will not use real
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guns ever again. we will use rubber guns and we will take care of it in post. given the amount of gunfights the film industry recreates every year, statistically movie sets have low rates of these tragic incidents. some creators maintain real guns are necessary for authenticity of performance, but given how much can be recreated now with special effects, the debate on how necessary real firearms truly are to the movies is onlyjust beginning. one very positive development towards the end of 2021 was the arrival of steven spielberg's adaptation of the classic musical west side story. although its performance at the box office did not initially live up to expectations, it earned excellent reviews, and it is now quite a strong oscars contender.
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i've never seen you before. you're not puerto rican. is that 0k? do you want to start world war iii? west side story is a love story inspired by shakespeare's romeo and juliet. it is an adaptation of the 1957 musical movie. that the world premiere of his adaptation of west side story, stephen spielberg made it clear he was indebted to all the musical�*s creative forefathers. the first feeling is gratitude and such an honour to be able to be entrusted by the trustees, and stephen sondheim, to be able to make our west side story. stephen sondheim was a lyricist for the new film as well and was heavily involved
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in its production, but sadly he died at the age of 91 just a few days before the world premiere. # today all day i had the feeling... # of course, west side story is notjust a set of appealing songs set in the 19505 but deals with substantial matters. the film deals with a world of violence in people being displaced by developers from their homes, 5till i55ues today. it also addresses racism. it might be a romeo and juliet inspired love story, but it has spotlighted primitive bigotry. unfortunately, we have not learned our lesson. the tragedy is result when hate is ascendant and no room is made for love, that bigotry and prejudice, raci5m are terrible 5ins. well, 2021 is drawing
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to a close, so, in keeping with tradition, here is my list of the top ten films of the year. 0n the basis of what i've seen, and that's not everything, here are my choices. at number ten, stephen spielberg's adaptation of the cla55ic broadway musical west side story, reminding us of the talents of its lyricist, the late stephen sondheim. it had electrifying moments, great choreography, and of course great songs. taking the number nine spot, paolo sorrentino's the hand of god, the most personalfilm to date from the italian director, a memorable portrait of him and his exuberant family in naples as he was growing up,
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and beset by tragedy. watch out for that traffic there. number eight, from sir kenneth branagh, another personal film account of childhood, in this case belfast. the film is a valentine to the city and a loving tribute to his family, helped by a brilliant portrayal by young actorjude hill. your reading is stressing me out. this will affect the entire planet. in seventh place, don't look up, adam mckay's refreshing media satire, speculating on what would happen if a giant comet was hurtling towards earth, spelling total extinction. what i see in her is obvious. what she sees them he is a little more puzzling. in sixth place, and it, the opening film at this year's cannes film festival, in which the story and songs came from the pop duo sparks. a seriously weird but thoroughly engaging film.
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taking the number five spot, joe wright's cyrano, an adaptation of the stage musical based on the cyrano de bergerac play. the songs were performed live, and that really connected with audience. i don't know where my family is. can i go and check on them? i won't be long. in fourth place, quo vadis aida? not a documentary, but it felt hauntingly real. at number three, the velvet underground. todd haynes turns his hand to documentary making with a brilliant chronicle of seminal band the velvet underground. in second place, one of my favourite films of the year, the animated documentary flee, in which rasmussen makes ingenious use of animation to tell the story
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of a man fleeing from the taliban 25 years ago. what's it doing? getting mixed up with her. and the talking movies number one film of 2021 is the power of the dog, in which jane campion showed everyone just how film could be made. her western is a haunting portrait of toxic masculinity and cruelty, with a brilliant performance by benedict cumberbatch. that brings the review of 2021 to a close. we hope you have enjoyed the programme. remember, you can reach us online, and you can find us on facebook and twitter. from me, tom brooke, and everyone at talking movies, we wish you the very best.
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we will be back in the new year with a whole raft of new, exciting talking movies programmes. so, today, we will leave you with rachel sigler, one of the stars of steven spielberg's west side story, singing one of the musical�*s most popular songs. # tonight, tonight # it all began tonight # i saw you and the world went away # tonight, tonight # there is only you tonight # what you are, what you do, what you say # today, all day i had the feeling # a miracle would happen # i know now i was wrong... hello. after what was an exceptionally
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mild start to the new year, we have now started to see quite a dramatic change in our weather. something much colder has been working its way in. a chilly—feeling day for tuesday — snow and gales for some of us, particularly in the north of the uk. the cold airfiltering in behind this band of cloud and rain with some sleet and snow on the back edge. ice a possible hazard across the northern half of the uk, where it will be a really chilly first part of the morning. wintry showers starting to pile up in northern scotland. in fact, snow showers even to low levels over the highest hills — 15 cm of accumulating snow. and with gales or severe gales, especially around northern coasts, there could be blizzard conditions for a time. a band of cloud and rain with a little bit of sleet and snow over the high ground will slowly clear the southeast corner, then we see some sunshine, some wintry showers, a mix of rain, sleet and hill snow, especially out towards the west. those are the average wind speeds. the gusts will be stronger than that with the wind coming down from the north, so it is going to feel really chilly. 0n the thermometer, single—digit temperatures, 4—8 degrees. factor in the strength
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of the wind, this it what it will feel like. it will feel subzero across many northern parts of the uk. now, as we move through tuesday night, there's more snow to come in northern scotland, more wintry showers in the west, some clear spells elsewhere. it's going to be a cold night with frost and ice, temperatures dropping close to freezing, below freezing in quite a few places. so, a widespread frost to start wednesday morning, but wednesday should bring some decent spells of sunshine. a few showers still close to the east coast, one or two out west and up towards northern scotland. more in the way of dry weather, some spells of sunshine, temperatures still between 4—8 degrees. but this is actually where we'd expect to be for early january. this approaches from the west. a little wedge of milder air with it, so some snow initially. then it'll tend to turn back to rain as that wedge of milder air works in, but then colder air returns from the west. wintry showers will start to push in, so only temporarily will temperatures be just a little bit higher. friday, another chilly—feeling day, highs of 5—8 degrees. we'll see a mix of sunny
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spells and wintry showers.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: elizabeth holmes, who became a silicon valley billionaire after setting up the blood testing start—up theranos, has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. a legal document signed between virginia giuffre and jeffrey epstein 12 years ago has been made public. how will that affect her civil case against prince andrew of alleged sexual assault? the beijing winter olympics is just weeks away. how is china preparing to welcome spectators in the midst of a global pandemic? if their events are in the mountains, they'll be able to take a high—speed train there. that's because some of these trains are operating completely within the bubble.

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