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Jane Fonda: ‘Plastic surgery bought me a decade’

21 January, by Catherine Shoard[ —]

The 77-year-old Youth star on her Hollywood comeback, bionic body, sex and casting

“I like helping younger women be less afraid of getting closer to death,” beams Jane Fonda. “I’m 77 but I’m very youthful. I have passion. I have curiosity. I’ve always had a lot of energy.” She waggles a hand heavy with statement jewellery. “I have a fake hip, knee, thumb; more metal in me than a bionic woman, but I can still do Pilates.”

Fonda leans forward, channelling gran as styled by Cartier. “Looking at age from the outside is so scary. But when you’re inside age – and I’m very much inside age – it isn’t scary at all. You need maturity to learn this, but it’s important to figure out what you need to do for yourself every day to decompress. I meditate. And I always get eight hours’ sleep.”

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Person to Person review – Broad City star underused in meandering ensemble indie

https://www.theguardian.com/film/dramaplay episode download
21 January, by Benjamin Lee[ —]

Abbi Jacobson is a reliable comic presence but she’s lost in this slight tale of disparate characters over a single New York day

While Sundance has become a trusted, and often forgotten, launchpad for vital genre offerings (in previous years The Blair Witch Project, Saw, The Witch and The Babadook all premiered at the festival), it’s mainly associated with quirky low-budget indies that warrant use of the heinous term “dramedy”. The often overwhelming number of films that neatly fall into this bracket means that some fall by the wayside, their entire reason for existing boiled down to a Park City premiere.

Related: Al Gore's Inconvenient Sequel to open Sundance in acutely political year

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Calls to boycott French film awards over Roman Polanski honour

20 January, by Jon Henley European affairs correspondent[ —]

Women’s groups describe decision to have veteran director preside over César ceremony as ‘snub to rape victims’

French women’s groups have called for a boycott of the César awards, the country’s equivalent of the Oscars, after Roman Polanski was asked to preside over this year’s ceremony.

The veteran film director, who has won four best director Césars for movies including Tess, The Pianist and The Ghost Writer, is wanted in the US on charges of raping a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977.

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Kristen Stewart co-authors research paper on 'pioneering' film technique

20 January, by Andrew Pulver[ —]

Twilight star among three authors of paper explaining how ‘neural style transfer’ method was put to use in her directorial debut, the 17-minute short Come Swim

Twilight and Personal Shopper Kristen Stewart has co-authored a research paper on “neural style transfer”, an arcane technique that uses artificial intelligence to reconfigure an image in the style of another.

Written with Bhautik J Joshi, a research engineer at Adobe, and producer David Shapiro, Stewart’s paper is related to work done on her short film directing debut Come Swim, which received its world premiere at the Sundance film festival on Thursday. Called Bringing Impressionism to Life with Neural Style Transfer in Come Swim, the paper was submitted on Wednesday on Cornell University library’s open-access arXiv.org website, an online repository for scientific research papers.

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Whose Streets? review: searing film gives a voice to the people of Ferguson

https://www.theguardian.com/world/raceplay episode download
20 January, by Jordan Hoffman[ —]

Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’s outstanding documentary, which has premiered at Sundance, gets to the heart of the St Louis suburb rocked by the police shooting of Michael Brown

The common protest chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” isn’t heard in Whose Streets? until nearly the end, but perhaps the more relevant question is: “Whose cameras?”

Directors and activists Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’s outstanding and incendiary documentary about Ferguson does a tremendous end run around mainstream news outlets and the agenda-driven narratives that emerge, particularly on television. Its images aren’t leaked by law enforcement or stage managed for the media, but come directly from the people who lived through the violent events of 2014. “Return to your homes!” police shout from atop their tanks. “We are home!” a beyond frustrated civilian calls back. Whose Streets? depicts injustices that have always beleaguered the African American community, but this is a film that could only have been made now.

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Dangerous Game: can a Calum Best vehicle with Darren Day as a Russian mob boss really exist?

20 January, by Stuart Heritage[ —]

In the trailer, Best plays a Premiership star who robs shoe shops for the mafia while dressed as Gary Lineker. Alex Reid and Lucy Pinder also feature. Is this post-truth cinema?

I need your help. I’ve just watched a trailer for a film called Dangerous Game, and I think someone might be having me on.

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A Dog's Purpose premiere cancelled after video of stunt dog 'in distress'

20 January, by Catherine Shoard[ —]

Universal halt red carpet event and press junket pending a review of footage that appears to show a German shepherd being forced into a pool of water on set

The world premiere of A Dog’s Purpose, Universal’s new canine adventure, has been cancelled following the emergence of a video that appears to show a stunt dog in distress on the film’s set.

According to TMZ, the leaked footage shows a German shepherd being forced into a pool that is meant to recreate rapids, and scrabbling at the bank in an effort to resist. Finally submerged, the dog is buffeted by the waves for a few seconds while the camera crew secures the shot.

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An Inconvenient Sequel review – Al Gore's new climate change film lacks heat

20 January, by Jordan Hoffman[ —]

The former vice president’s latest documentary on the threat to the planet, which opened the Sundance festival, is desultory and surprisingly vainglorious

Al Gore knows everybody. He can whip out his cell phone and dial the treasury secretary or the head of a giant solar panel manufacturer and say things such as “I’ll check with President Hollande” or “Elon suggested I call.” It’s amazing, then, that nowhere in his contacts is the number of a documentary film-maker that knows a thing or two about keeping audiences awake.

Related: Al Gore's Inconvenient Sequel to open Sundance in acutely political year

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Lost in London review: Woody Harrelson's live movie is a miraculous oddity

20 January, by Ryan Gilbey[ —]

Shot in a single take and broadcast live to 500 cinemas, Harrelson’s directorial debut is a unique work that fuses technical wizardry with self-deprecating satire

Even at its liveliest, cinema can only ever be a refrigerated medium, relaying images to us that were shot months, years even decades earlier. But this week there was an exception to that rule. Woody Harrelson’s directorial debut, Lost in London, was broadcast live to more than 500 cinemas in the US, and one in the UK, as it was being filmed on the streets of the capital at 2am on Friday.

As if that were not impressive enough, the picture was shot in a single unbroken 100-minute take with a cast of 30 (plus hundreds of extras) in 14 locations, two black cabs, one police vehicle and a VW camper van festooned with fairy lights. Actors who try their hand as a director typically start off with something small-scale – a sensitive coming-of-age story, say, such as Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate or Robert De Niro’s A Bronx Tale. With Lost in London, Harrelson went as far in the opposite direction as one can imagine. This was edge-of-the-seat, seat-of-the-pants film-making. He didn’t just jump in at the deep end: he did so into shark-filled waters.

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Taxi Driver: the awkward teen of US cinema

https://www.theguardian.com/film/paul-schraderplay episode download
20 January, by Rowan Righelato[ —]

In Travis Bickle, Scorsese, Schrader and De Niro created an embodiment of 1970s disenfranchisement. Hate-filled and fond of firearms, he speaks to our age too

Last year was an apt one for the 40th anniversary of Taxi Driver, since in many ways Travis Bickle embodies the collective psyche of Trump supporters. A simplistic sense of political disenfranchisement, innate racism, fondness for firearms, self-destructive impulses; all of these seem to be echoed in the way Americans voted, or – perhaps more correctly – the way Trump stoked the “inner Travis” that lay dormant. One might equate Trump’s hate-fuelled policies with the famous line screenwriter Paul Schrader gives the embittered Travis: “Some day a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

The film’s canonical status and longevity is understandable. The convergence of Scorsese, De Niro and Schrader, each of them on fire creatively at this early stage in their careers, was a fortuitous alignment. Scorsese’s visionary film-making has been much celebrated. The nausea-inducing yellow of the cab emerging out of the steam of the New York streets; the vertiginous descent into the fizzing glass of Alka-Seltzer in the diner; the God’s-eye view of the blood-drenched finale – all of these are etched into the audience’s subconscious, the intensely subjective directorial choices keeping us locked into Travis’s warped perception of the world.

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