RIP Barry Hines, author of A Kestrel for a Knave that was adapted into the British film classic Kes. He also wrote the screenplay for Threads. [more inside]
Adam Frost and Melanie Patrick of the British Film Institute take a look at film noir and what makes a film noir-ish.
Ken Korda was probably the greatest British film director, and critic, of recent years producing the legendary Speeding On The Needlebliss back in the 90s and you can see his influence even now, such as in this year’s instant classic Kevin Curtis Is Dead (NSFW) [more inside]
A trailer for a British rom-com Love's Kitchen (previously known as No Ordinary Trifle ) recently appeared, notable for a cameo by chef Gordon Ramsay playing himself. The reaction was somewhat negative. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the trailer was taken down and replaced with a slightly improved version but handily the original had been reposted here.
One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
RIP Tartan Films. The UK-based film distribution company has gone into administration, laying off it's entire staff. [more inside]
Hammer films are back! ... The classic British horror film company has returned from the dead with the first new film in 20 years to be first broadcast in instalments via MySpace. This has allowed some news programs to camp it up just a little... See the trailer here. Behind the scenes. [more inside]
BBC News: UK Iconic cinema music gets a makeover (real video) A 30-piece orchestra has recorded a new version of the Pearl and Dean's iconic cinema music (aka Asteroid) at Abbey Road Studios in London. The tune, famous for its "pa pa pa pas", has been made more than a minute and a half longer. David Sillito reports for BBC News.
"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk". We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film "It Happened Here", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf), imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy, however, it became something else. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book about the film's production, "How It Happened Here", has recently been republished. More inside.