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Dave Calhoun

Dave Calhoun

Chief Content Officer, North America & UK

Dave Calhoun is Chief Content Officer for Time Out, North America & UK.

Articles (133)

The 100 best comedy movies: the funniest films of all time

The 100 best comedy movies: the funniest films of all time

It’s easy to make a funny movie. Making a classic comedy is an entirely different matter. It’s one thing to make audiences laugh in the present, but to keep them laughing through the ensuing decades is one of the most difficult tricks in cinema. Because as society changes, so does our sense of humour. What’s hilarious in 1923 might bomb in 2023, and one generation’s laugh riot is another’s laugh riot is another’s ‘huh?’.  That makes ranking the best comedy films of all time particularly difficult. You first have to ask, what makes a comedy truly great? There’s many criteria, but one of the most important is durability. Can it withstand the test of time, and stay funny five, ten, 100 years down the road? Making that determination isn’t easy. So we called in some help. To put together this list, we asked comedians like Diane Morgan and Russell Howard, actors such as John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker and a small army of Time Out writers about the movies that make them chuckle the hardest for the longest period of time. In doing so, we believe we’ve found the 100 finest, most durable and most broadly appreciable laughers in history. No matter your sense of humour – silly or sophisticated, light or dark, surreal or broad – you’ll find it represented here.  Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time🥰 The greatest romantic comedies of all time🤯 33 great disaster movies😬 The best thriller films of all-time🌏 The best foreign films of all-time

The 101 best sex scenes in movies of all time

The 101 best sex scenes in movies of all time

At the moment, Hollywood appears to be a bit sexually frustrated. Whether it’s because of a general puritanical shift in pop culture or the recent debates over the merits of cinematic sex scenes, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a sweaty, steamy, on-screen romp between the sheets in a major mainstream film. It’s a shame, because lust is an important part of life – and thus should be an important part of movies. So let’s talk about sex, baby. This list should put to bed (ahem) the idea that sex on film is always about mere titillation. No doubt, sometimes, arousal is the whole point – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in the best examples, sex is storytelling. It tells us something about the characters. It can be a joke, or a source of fear, anxiety and frustration. In other words, sex communicates many emotions beyond sheer carnal desire. So slip into something more comfortable – these are the 101 best sex scenes of all time.  Written by Dave Calhoun, Joshua Rothkopf, Cath Clarke, David Ehrlich, Phil de Semlyen, Daniel Walber, Trevor Johnston, Andy Kryza, Daniel Walber and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🕯️ The 35 steamiest erotic thrillers ever made🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time❤ The 100 best romantic films of all-time😬 The 50 most controversial movies ever made💪 The 100 best feminist films of all-time

The 100 best horror movies of all time

The 100 best horror movies of all time

Horror movies have rarely got the respect they deserve. Sometimes, it’s for good reason. Particularly in the 1970s and ’80s, the genre became a magnet for hacks and hucksters looking to make a quick buck via the burgeoning VHS video by crapping out a script and dousing horny teens in gallons of stage blood. But that phenomenon had a generational trickle-down effect, staining even the smarter, more artful entries with the taint of schlock.   Only recently has that started to change. Visionary auteurs like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele, and leftfield hits like A Quiet Place, It Follows and Get Out have brought horror to a higher standing in the cinematic universe. But let this list of the greatest horror movies ever made repudiate the idea that the genre has ever been of lesser value than others. After all, every film exists to make an audience feel something – and what makes you feel more than a good horror movie? Among our picks, you’ll find films that mine universal human fears, whether it’s the fear of death and disease or more specific phobias. Some stretch the boundaries of what can be shown on screen, but others can raise the hairs on your arms through mere suggestion.  There is, after all, more than one way to scare someone – and these movies do it better than all others. Written by Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Phil de Semlyen, David Ehrlich, Joshua Rothkopf, Nigel Floyd, Andy Kryza, Alim Kheraj and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🔥 The 100 best mov

The 50 best gangster movies of all time

The 50 best gangster movies of all time

As far back as anyone can remember, cinemagoers have loved gangster movies. It’s easy to understand why. Sure, in reality, life as a career criminal seems like a bum gig – always looking over your shoulder, never able to trust even your closest compatriots, and that’s not to mention all the amoral behavior. But getting to live vicariously through the ones we see on screen is one of cinema’s purest thrills, mostly because it’s a lifestyle the majority of us would never dream of adopting or even living adjacent to. But the truth is that the gangster movie isn’t a monolith. It may involve cigar-munching mobsters maintaining vast criminal empires or street-level bosses presiding over a city block. It could be yakuza enforcers in operatic gunfights or hard-boiled mobsters indiscriminately spraying the competition with bullets. Some movie gangsters are loud and gregarious, others cold and calculating – and you’ll find all of them on our definitive list of the best gangster movies of all-time. Recommended: 😬 The 100 best thriller movies of all-time💣 The 101 best action movies ever made🔪 The 31 best serial killer movies🕵️ 40 murder mysteries to test your sleuthing skills to the max

The 100 best British movies

The 100 best British movies

Other than location and accent, what signatures mark British cinema? Honestly, it’s hard to peg, if only because the UK movies industry hardly seems limited in the stories it tells and the cinematic experiences it puts onscreen. Want a sweeping, heart-swelling epic? Explore the films of David Lean or Powell and Pressburger. Prefer a smaller scale, more intimate drama? Try Joanna Hogg or Shane Meadows. Thrillers? Romantic period pieces? Sci-fi? Drug movies? You can find them, all with a specific, if sometimes intangible, English slant. To put together this list of the best British movies of all-time, we polled over 150 actors, directors, writers, producers, critics and industry heavyweights, from the likes of Wes Anderson, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Sam Mendes and Terence Davies, David Morrissey, Sally Hawkins and Thandie Newton. The results are as diverse as the country itself. Here are the 100 greatest British films ever made. Written by Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston, David Jenkins, Derek Adams, Geoff Andrew, Adam Lee Davies, Paul Fairclough, Wally Hammond, Alim Kheraj, Matthew Singer & Phil de Semlyen Recommended: 💂 50 great British actors🔥 The 100 best movies of all-time🎥 The 100 best movies of the 20th century so far🇬🇧 The 100 best London songs 

El TOP 5 de la cartellera de cinema

El TOP 5 de la cartellera de cinema

Si ja és difícil estar al dia de tot el que es pot fer a Barcelona, imagineu veure totes les pel·lícules de la cartellera! Per això en aquesta llista trobareu les nostres cinc pel·lícules favorites, algunes noves i també aquelles imperdibles que no podeu deixar escapar abans que desapareguin dels cinemes. No t'ho perdis: Els millors 10 plans de setmana

The 100 best animated films of all time

The 100 best animated films of all time

No matter how snooty and highfalutin their taste in movies gets, every cineaste has to start somewhere. And we’re going to bet that, in most cases, it starts with a cartoon. Whether it’s a classic of Disney’s Golden Age, a more recent Pixar heart-tugger for the young’uns or something weirder that your parents thought was age-appropriate when they picked it off a video store shelf, most first cinematic loves are animated.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that animation is only a realm for children. On the contrary, the best animated movies work on multiple levels, for broad audiences. In composing this list, we polled Time Out writers and experts including Fantastic Mr Fox’s Wes Anderson and Wallace and Gromit’s Nick Park, and the results show just how expansive the genre can be. Our list incorporates everything from Disney to Studio Ghibli, stop-motion nightmares to psychedelic headtrips, illustrated documentaries to however-the-hell you classify the work of maverick Jan Švankmajer. Take a look and massage your nostalgia receptors – and maybe find something mindblowing you’ve never seen before. Written by Trevor Johnston, David Ehrlich, Joshua Rothkoph, Tom Huddleston, Andy Kryza, Guy Lodge, Dave Calhoun, Keith Uhlich, Cath Clarke and Matthew Singer Recommended: 🐭 The 50 best Disney movies🇯🇵 The 20 best anime movies of all-time🤣 The best family comedy movies🦄 The 50 best fantasy movies of all-time  

The 12 most exciting films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

The 12 most exciting films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Okay, so the rumours were wrong and this week’s Cannes Film Festival will have to manage without a new David Lynch film. But there’s still a tonne of attention-grabbing new movies premiering over the next fortnight, ranging from the flamboyant (Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis) to the intriguingly niche (Ethan Coen’s Jerry Lee Lewis doc).It all kicks off with a hoard of zombies, in Michel Hazanavicius’s B-movie homage Final Cut, and ends with a seriously topical immigrant drama set in Paris’s banlieues (Léonor Serraille’s Mother and Son). Here are 12 films on the programme to look out for.

Pedro Almodóvar nos cuenta sobre su nueva película, Madres Paralelas

Pedro Almodóvar nos cuenta sobre su nueva película, Madres Paralelas

Pedro Almodóvar está hablando por video desde su oficina en Madrid, su inconfundible mata de cabello blanco llena el marco de mi computadora portátil. A su derecha, hay un Bafta en un estante (ha ganado cuatro), junto al Oscar que ganó en 2002 por Hable con ella. Le pregunto qué hay en su escritorio. ¡Está lleno de cosas, de muchas cosas! Es optimista y se desliza entre el inglés y el español, a veces en la misma oración. Aquí hay algunos guiones. ¡Mi próxima película está aquí! Pero no sé si la haré. Si lo hago, será en inglés. Pero necesito saber que puedo hacerlo con las mismas condiciones de siempre, con absoluta libertad.Ahora con 72 años, el cineasta español ha estado haciendo las cosas a su manera desde que comenzó a hacer cortometrajes punk en 1970, en Madrid. El nuevo guión que está considerando (que será el primero en inglés) es nn manual para mujeres de la limpieza, y es probable que esté protagonizado por Cate Blanchett. Pero hoy hablamos de su nueva película Madres paralelas, la séptima que protagoniza Penélope Cruz. Como muchas de las películas de Almodóvar, desde Volver hasta Julieta, se trata de mujeres y maternidad, y es contemporánea, preocupada por cómo vivimos ahora y los extremos de la vida cotidiana.Cuenta la historia de dos mujeres, la fotógrafa Janis (Cruz) y la joven Ana (Milena Smit), cuyas vidas se cruzan cuando dan a luz en el mismo hospital, el mismo día. Su manejo magistral del destino y la gran emoción es tan esperado de Almodóvar como su vívido

Pedro Almodóvar vuelve a trabajar con Penélope Cruz, ahora en Madres Paralelas

Pedro Almodóvar vuelve a trabajar con Penélope Cruz, ahora en Madres Paralelas

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ Solo Pedro Almodóvar podría envolver un grito de dolor sobre la incapacidad de España para aceptar su reciente oscura historia en un melodrama de aspecto magnífico sobre dos madres arrastradas por el destino a una relación complicada, dolorosa, y en última instancia, enriquecedora. Janis (Penélope Cruz, en su séptima colaboración con el director de Todo sobre mi madre) es una elegante fotógrafa madrileña que contrata a un antropólogo forense, Arturo (Israel Elejalde), para ayudar a recuperar los restos de su bisabuelo en una fosa común en el pueblo de su familia. Esa búsqueda luego desaparece de nuestra vista por un tiempo, oculta pero aún inquietante, se podría decir, ya que Janis tiene una breve relación con Arturo, cuyo resultado es una niña. Es en la sala de maternidad (pintada de un verde precioso; esto no deja de ser una película de Almodóvar) donde conocemos a la adolescente Ana (Milena Smit), que también está dando a luz a una niña. A partir de ahí, las vidas de Janis y Ana se cruzan, con varios giros extremos y revelaciones del tipo que Almodóvar puede orquestar tan brillantemente, con las actuaciones, la música, el diseño y la fotografía trabajando en un exquisito paso a la par. Como siempre con las películas de Almodóvar, entrar en su mundo es un placer, incluso cuando enfrentamos dolor y lecciones difíciles. Cruz está excelente aquí como Janis, una mujer que intenta moldear la realidad en torno a sus propios deseos y sufre enormemente en el camino. Como si

Pedro Almodóvar interview: ‘Now it’s not cocaine up our noses but cotton swabs!’

Pedro Almodóvar interview: ‘Now it’s not cocaine up our noses but cotton swabs!’

Pedro Almodóvar is talking via video from his office in Madrid, his unmistakable shock of white hair filling the frame of my laptop. To his right, there’s a Bafta on a shelf (he’s won four), next to the Oscar he won in 2002 for Talk to Her. I ask what’s on his desk. ‘It’s full of things, many things!’ He’s upbeat and slips between English and Spanish, sometimes in the same sentence. ‘There are some scripts here. My next film is here! But I don’t know if I will do it. If I do, it will be in English. But I need to know I can make it with the same conditions as usual – with absolute freedom.’Now 72, the Spanish filmmaker has been doing things his way since he started making punky short films in 1970s Madrid. The new script he’s mulling over (which will be his first in English) is A Manual For Cleaning Women, and is likely to star Cate Blanchett. But today we’re talking about his new film Parallel Mothers, his seventh to star Penélope Cruz. Like many of Almodóvar’s films, from Volver to Julieta, it’s about women and motherhood, and it’s contemporary – concerned with how we live now, and the extremes of everyday lives. It tells of two women, a photographer Janis (Cruz) and the younger Ana (Milena Smit), whose lives cross when they give birth in the same hospital on the same day. Its masterly handling of fate and high emotion is as expected from Almodóvar as its vivid design, music and photography. But Parallel Mothers has a less familiar political edge as its story also tackles th

The Tragedy of Macbeth, la reinterpretación en blanco y negro de la obra de William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Macbeth, la reinterpretación en blanco y negro de la obra de William Shakespeare

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑Esta es la primera vez, en casi cuatro décadas de producción cinematográfica, que el guionista y director Joel Coen ha hecho una película sin su hermano Ethan. También es la primera vez que adapta a Shakespeare: la pareja suele optar por historias originales como The Big Lebowski  y Inside Llewyn Davis, aunque ganaron el Oscar a la Mejor película por la adaptación de Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men en 2008, nunca le he tenido miedo a los remakes ni a los homenajes, ni a una mezcla de ambos.Si Joel Coen eligió el drama existencial de Shakespeare, Hamlet, para esta primera salida en solitario —y primer intento de adaptación del dramaturgo— nos alarmó, pero en su lugar, ha hecho esta deslumbrante, sombría, inquietante y, a menudo, gloriosamente extraña versión monocromática de Macbeth, y al hacerlo cambia el significado de la etiqueta "teatral" de es una mala palabra para describir películas. Está ligado al escenario en todas las formas correctas, que recuerda a un cine mucho más antiguo, cuando los cineastas apenas salían al aire libre y ejercían magia con sombras y luces en los escenarios de sonido. Es corto, agudo y salvaje. Representado con una creatividad extrema en negros, blancos y grises: hay tanta niebla que puedes imaginar que está ambientado en una nube purgatorial en algún lugar: La tragedia de Macbeth ve a Denzel Washington y Frances McDormand ponerse las túnicas medievales de la pareja de asesinos más famosa del teatro. Sin embargo, el cineasta se resi

Listings and reviews (414)

Fire of Love

Fire of Love

4 out of 5 stars

There are only so many times you can shout ‘woah!’ at yourself during one film, but this documentary about two French daredevil volcano chasers pushes that number up. Maurice and Katia Krafft spent the 1970s and 1980s married both to each other and to the pursuit of being right there in the heat of the action whenever a volcano turned lethal. Maurice was a geologist, Katia was a chemist, but they were both volcanologists, dedicated to understanding these explosive natural phenomena, which they decided could only really be classified two ways: they were either ‘red’ (obvious lava flows, less dangerous) or ‘grey’ (more like bombs, less fiery, but more murderous). It was a grey one, Mount Unzen in Japan, which killed them both in 1991. But only after the Kraffts had chased volcanoes all over the world, from Zaire to Washington state in the US, via the Philippines and Italy. A dreamy voiceover from Miranda July guides us through the Kraffts’ story, as directed by Sara Dosa, who creates a powerful tribute to obsession and to how tiny and powerless we are in the face of geological time and power. The star is the footage: the Kraffts were photographers and filmmakers as well as scientists. They popularised (and funded) their missions through the otherworldly imagery they brought down from the mountains. That means that we’re privy to staggering scenes of the pair in silhouette next to explosive lava – scenes which we could easily think were computer generated if we didn’t know bette

‘The Breach’ review

‘The Breach’ review

3 out of 5 stars

This bold and disturbing new play at the Hampstead Theatre leans in hard on structural inequalities and past injustices echoing down through the decades. It’s set in a Kentucky town in both the 1970s and 1990s, and it revolves around two siblings, Jude and her younger brother Acton, a tight pair made tighter in their youth by their parents’ misfortune: their father died in an industrial accident and their mother struggles to make ends meet. Here, time is no healer: the years between the play’s two time periods have clearly been ones of festering pain and grief, although it’s left largely to us to fill in the gaps. Both chapters unfold in the wake of a fatal tragedy, the first claiming the father, the second Anton. Jude lives on. But at what cost? In his school years, Acton (Stanley Morgan) had an uneasy friendship – marked by bullying – with wealthy Hoke and his sidekick Frayne. Two decades later, the boys, now men, are back in Jude’s life, attending Anton’s funeral, all three of them nervously avoiding a herd of elephants in the room. Not for long though: the reunion dredges up memories of sexual abuse at Jude’s seventeenth birthday party – and questions of consent and collusion involving all four characters. The soul of the play is Jude, played in the early years by Shannon Tarbet and in the later years by Jasmine Blackborow. Her energetic resilience is both endearing and discomforting. The play’s themes are daring, but its ambition outweighs writer Naomi Wallace and direct

‘The Fever Syndrome’ review

‘The Fever Syndrome’ review

2 out of 5 stars

This New York-set family drama is a spitting cauldron of pain, resentments and revelations in the grand mid-twentieth-century American tradition. In fact, it’s a brand new play written by British playwright-actor Alexis Zegerman (who as a performer has worked with Mike Leigh on stage and screen) and it’s set in a grand Upper West Side brownstone on the eve and morning of a tribute event to the family’s ailing patriarch, Professor Richard Myers (Robert Lindsay), a fictional pioneer of IVF treatment who is now on a downward curve with Parkinson’s Disease. Myers’s three adult children from two previous relationships, and two of their partners, come to stay with him and his attendant partner Megan (Alexandra Gilbreath) from various corners of the country, kicking off an intense inquiry into parenthood and parenting, science versus art and religion, with diversions along the way focusing on cryptocurrency, inheritance, sibling hang-ups, chronic illness and plagiarism. 
 If that sounds like a long list, it increasingly feels like one as the play goes on: Zegerman squeezes so many debates and ruminations into her story that it becomes exhausting. The characters are often individually interesting, and the performances under the direction of Hampstead’s artistic director Roxana Silbert, are spirited. But too often this feels like a series of mini-plays competing for our attention, all under the same claustrophobic roof. So many crises play out before our eyes – eldest sibling Dot (L

‘Our Generation’ review

‘Our Generation’ review

4 out of 5 stars

There have been entire cutesy reality TV series built on the idea that kids say the craziest things. A lot of the fun of the National Theatre’s ‘Our Generation’ is that the bold verbatim playwright Alecky Blythe (best known for the audacious musical ‘London Road’) spent five years interviewing teenagers all over the UK before editing and putting their words into the mouths of a brilliant ensemble of young actors. The dialogue in this extraordinary state-of-the-nation play (which runs to almost four hours) is comic gold dust. One girl reckons James Corden would make a wonderful Prime Minister; another describes the range of social media platforms she’s on as ‘all the classics’ (‘Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook’); a giggly posh boy breathlessly echoes his friend’s account of having sex with a girl for the first time. But ‘Our Generation’ is much more than just funny. We weave in and out of 12 lives via a mosaic of scenes, moments and interactions, choreographed with snappy dynamism on a largely bare thrust stage. They include Luan (Hélder Fernandes), a basketball-obsessed boy in a Kosovan immigrant family in south London; Mia (Sarita Gabony), a Welsh girl whose dad is in jail and who suffers abusive relationships; and Ayesha (Anushka Chakravarti), a bubbly girl in a Pakistani family in Birmingham with an extremely goofy brother, Ali (Gavi Singh Chera). There are common trends: obsession with phones and social media; escalating stress around school, friendships, body image, exams

Master

Master

3 out of 5 stars

The teaching staff and student body at Ancaster College, a university pointedly situated not far from the site of the Salem witch trials, are overwhelmingly white – but it’s the start of another school year, and things are getting better all the time, aren’t they? Aren’t they? The answer, when it comes, gradually and slyly, is chilling Jasmine (Zoe Renee) arrives on campus for undergraduate study, enthusiastic and green, although her optimism is dampened when everyone starts muttering about the room she’s been allotted. The rumours suggest a threat that’s deeper than the one posed immediately by her privileged-party-girl roommate Amelia (Talia Ryder), who has an all-white hedonistic crew in tow who act like they've never seen a person of colour before.  Elsewhere, garlanded academic Gail (Regina Hall) is starting a new role as the first Black Master of the college – a job title that alone should get you thinking about the lingering power structures, codes and beliefs that are going to make life tough for both Amelia and Gail. Another Black academic, Liv (Amber Gray), is fighting for tenure, but her engaged, radical persona might be hiding a story more complicated than it first appears.   In UK cinemas Mar 18. This is a smart, meaningful first film, with nods to The Shining and Get Out In a straight up drama this would be troubling and searching. But Diallo tells Master as a stylish horror, leaning into supernatural frights and finding scares in history, both recent and ancien

Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers

5 out of 5 stars

Only Pedro Almodóvar could wrap a cry of pain about Spain’s inability to come to terms with its recent dark history into a gorgeous-looking melodrama about two mothers drawn by fate into a complicated, painful and ultimately nourishing relationship. Janis (Penélope Cruz, in her seventh collaboration with the director of All About My Mother) is a stylish Madrid photographer who engages a forensic anthropologist, Arturo (Israel Elejalde), to help recover the remains of her great-grandfather in a mass grave in her family’s village. That quest then recedes from our view for a while – hidden but still haunting, you could say – as Janis has a brief relationship with Arturo, the result of which is a baby girl. It’s in the maternity ward (painted a lovely green; this is still an Almodóvar film) where she meets teenaged Ana (Milena Smit), also giving birth to a girl. From there, Janis and Ana’s lives cross, with various extreme twists and revelations of the sort that Almodóvar can orchestrate so brilliantly, with the performances, music, design and photography all working in exquisite lockstep. Entering Almodóvar’s world is a pleasure, even when we’re faced with pain and tough lessons As ever with Almodóvar’s films, to enter his world is a pleasure – even when we’re faced with pain and tough lessons. Cruz is terrific here as Janis, a woman trying to mould reality around her own desires and suffering hugely along the way. As ever, Almodóvar is no great moral judge lording over all th

‘Four Quartets’ review

‘Four Quartets’ review

4 out of 5 stars

  Ralph Fiennes is the most literary and self-challenging of actor-directors. For the cinema – beyond his world-famous turn as Voldemort in the Harry Potter films – he’s adapted Shakespeare (‘Coriolanus’), explored the messy romantic life of Charles Dickens (‘The Invisible Woman’) and directed a biopic of the ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev almost entirely in Russian (‘The White Crow’). So it’s no great surprise that the same determined performer and creator would now be spending 75 minutes alone on a West End stage performing hundreds of lines of dense, inquiring TS Eliot poetry – a staggering project that he initiated himself during lockdown (the shadow of which hangs over the whole affair). It’s a massive achievement, bewildering and otherworldly in its intensity, even if it’s near-impossible (for me, at least) to give Eliot’s words the same forensic attention in the theatre as they demand on the page. It’s a massive achievement, bewildering and otherworldly Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ reach for the stars in their attempt to make sense of time, existence, religion and other big philosophical questions. Eliot wrote these powerful, ambitious verses as four separate poems, later collected together, in the ’30s and ’40s, with three written during the peril of war (when Eliot was acting as a watchman during the Blitz at the Faber building in Bloomsbury, where he was based as a publisher). The threat of oblivion and the darkness of national crisis are palpable, but Eliot’s existen

‘The Shark is Broken’ review

‘The Shark is Broken’ review

3 out of 5 stars

If you’re a ‘Jaws’ fan, or into exploring the nooks and crannies of American movie history, you’re best-placed to enjoy this likeable if slightly navel-gazing three-hander set entirely on a boat: a watery location for Steven Spielberg’s 1975 cinematic game-changer. Actors Robert Shaw (Ian Shaw), Richard Dreyfuss (Liam Murray Scott) and Roy Scheider (Demetri Goritsas), loll about together on the repurposed fishing trawler, waiting to shoot scenes as an unseen Spielberg and crew deal with production troubles, especially that giant broken fake shark. Despite brief mentions of Richard Nixon, there’s little sense of the outside world here. It’s a testosterone fest as the three male movie stars rub alongside each other or rub each other up, with two of them, Shaw and Dreyfuss, prone to alcohol or drug-influenced outbursts and rows. Most of the chat is about acting and movies and a changing world (with a few too many hindsight gags; Shaw is given a special power of prophecy with his complaint about the coming wave of ‘sequels and remakes’; you half-expect him to moan about ‘Avengers 23’). There’s not a woman in sight (or barely a mention of one). Even the unseen animatronic shark is called Bruce. It’s larky and occasionally pensive, and good on the vulnerabilities of actors. The play has Shaw as rakish, morose, drunk, angry and reflective, with Dreyfuss as bouncy, anxious and full of the arrogance of youth, with Scheider essentially caught between the two, calmer, a little dull. It

ear for eye

ear for eye

4 out of 5 stars

This is playwright debbie tucker green’s second feature, although unlike 2015’s second coming, which starred Idris Elba, it’s an adaptation of one of her own plays, the extremely powerful ear for eye (tucker green prefers lower case), which premiered at London’s Royal Court in 2018. It’s not a film of the production, but it’s unashamedly filmed theatre: people and words, caught in a black box. Here, language is everything: language as a weapon; language as an oppressor; language as a mask for racist laws; language as a divider of generations, a divider of family, even a divider of comrades with similar aims who disagree over the means of achieving them. It’s presented as three parts, with the theme of racist violence running through them all – in the USA, but also in the UK. The first part gives us moments in conversations between many older and younger Black men and women, parents and children, but also between peers too, on the subject of how to deal with racist violence – how to avoid it, how to protest it, how to exist within and around it. The style of tucker green’s dialogue is distinct and stylised: sentences chopped up halfway through; interruptions; a poetic, cut-up back and forth. The second part is a two-hander in which a young Black woman (Lashana Lynch, seen recently in No Time To Die) confronts a white academic about the terminology used to describe, or explain away, a racist mass murderer. For the final part, we see snippets of people, all white, reading out va

‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ review

‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ review

3 out of 5 stars

This revival of Martin McDonagh’s first play takes us back to the mid-1990s, when the British-Irish playwright was in his twenties - long before his Oscar nominations for the movies ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ is a fierce and gloomy work, giving us a rural Ireland of savage stasis, a grim no man’s land where talk of faraway London and Boston looms as heavily as the skeletal tree that scrapes the window above the set of Rachel O’Riordan’s compassionate, tense production. We’re in a scrappy kitchen, and we won’t leave it. An elderly mother, Mag (Ingrid Craigie), and middle-aged daughter, Maureen (Orla Fitzgerald), carp at each other, with talk of Complan, porridge, pee in the sink and who’s the more hard-done-by of the two. It’s hard to know who’s the victim and who’s the bully here. Who’s most vulnerable? Who’s most scheming? Who’s crazy? Is anyone? It’s a dysfunctional relationship that Craigie and Fitzgerald draw us into with the help of McDonagh’s crafty writing that delights in covering up as much it reveals: perhaps a little too much so when its oblique style comes face to face with some sharp or simplistic story turns. The power of McDonagh’s play is more in the playful language and stifling atmosphere than the plotting, which is engineered to take us nowhere. There’s a promise of escape - and a welcome release of energy – when Pato (Adam Best) visits from England and woos Maureen. He’s the life she could hav

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth

5 out of 5 stars

This is the only time in almost four decades of movie-making that writer-director Joel Coen has made a feature without his brother Ethan. It’s also the first time that he’s adapted Shakespeare: the pair more often than not opt for original stories like The Big Lebowski and Inside Llewyn Davis, although they won the best picture Oscar for the Cormac McCarthy adaptation No Country for Old Men in 2008 and they’ve never been afraid of remakes or homage, or a mixture of the two. If Joel Coen had picked Shakespeare’s existential fratricide drama Hamlet for this first solo outing and first stab at adapting the playwright, alarm bells would have rung. Instead, he’s made this ravishing, shadowy, eerie and often gloriously weird monochrome take on Macbeth, and in doing so rescues the label ‘theatrical’ from being a dirty word when describing movies. It’s stage-bound in all the right ways, reminiscent of a much earlier cinema, when filmmakers barely stepped outdoors and wielded magic with shadow and light on soundstages. It’s short, sharp and savage. Rendered with extreme creativity in blacks and whites and greys – there’s so much fog you can imagine this is set on a purgatorial cloud somewhere – The Tragedy of Macbeth sees Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand slip into the sort-of-medieval robes of theatre’s most famous murderous couple. Yet the filmmakers resist any concrete sense of time and place. If there’s a Scottish accent among the cast, I can’t recall one; the approach to ch

The Restless

The Restless

5 out of 5 stars

The tortured male artist is regularly indulged by cinema: countless films describe creative men behaving badly in the service of their genius, with only lip service paid to the messy reality of their mental health or the effect of their behaviour on others. With this exceptionally moving and smartly observed film, Belgian filmmaker Joachim Lafosse offers something of a corrective, and a tense, disturbing one. It’s the story of a painter with bipolar disorder, Damien (Damien Bonnard), and those who exist in his orbit, especially his wife, Leïla (Leïla Bekhti), and young son, Amine (Gabriel Merz Chammah). It’s a deeply human film, full of the wonder and pain of family life – with the pain sometimes threatening to take over entirely. We meet Damien, a larger-than-life presence, in physique and character, in the sun of southern France and on the edges of a manic episode. A moment of distinct recklessness – he hands the steering wheel of a speedboat to his son and swims to shore alone – turns into full-blown hyperactivity and desperate insomnia as he cooks up an overblown feast in the kitchen, jumps wide-eyed on his motorbike or labours intensely over his paintings in the workshop of the rambling, bohemian home he shares with his family close to the Mediterranean. An art dealer indulges his offer to prepare a large number of new paintings to hit an impending exhibition deadline, but only his wife and child know the full horror of what’s going on. The slow tragedy is reflected all

News (30)

I went to see the Queen lying in state and eight hours later I still don’t know why

I went to see the Queen lying in state and eight hours later I still don’t know why

It’s 5.30am on the Thursday before the Queen’s funeral, and I’m snaking along the sort of soul-sapping switchback queue you might see at Luton if every Ryanair passenger decided to take their summer trip at the exact same hour on the exact same day. A chirpy volunteer with a big plastic bag is taking banned snacks and drinks off queuers and redistributing them to the shivering crowd to gobble quickly before they enter Westminster Hall. Let no one throw peanuts at a Beefeater. ‘Oooh, suddenly I’m everyone’s friend,’ smiles the volunteer on snack-handout duty. ‘There’s a big bag of Haribo here. Anyone? Oh, it’s already open.’ Someone grabs it anyway and starts shoving wobbly sugar bits down their throat. On the grass here in Victoria Tower Gardens, there’s a woman sitting alone with her head in her hands, face sloping, eyes staring as if she’s just staggered out of Shangri-La at Glastonbury. The line of stinking Portaloos adds to the festival vibe. So do the fluorescent wristbands we’re all wearing. Another Queuer asks if she’s okay. She is, she’s just knackered. Her legs have given way and she’s having a breather. Photograph: Jess Hand In front of me in the queue are two jolly adult Scouts, a couple, complete with neckties and woggles. They seem to know half of the volunteers along the route, many of them fellow grown-up Scouts. ‘We must catch up.’ ‘Let’s see each other soon.’ The Queue is quickly becoming the air-kissing highlight of London’s Scouting social season. I don’t

Why Time Out is leaping into the Metaverse – and how to get involved

Why Time Out is leaping into the Metaverse – and how to get involved

At Time Out we love sharing cities with you – and we love shining a light on the most exciting experiences and communities within them. Which is why it feels natural for us to continue guiding you through the virtual experiences of the rapidly emerging Metaverse – and also to make our own first step into the Metaverse by launching a Time Out House in the new virtual community, Metropolis World, which you can access and explore yourself from today. Just as Time Out exists to unlock the best of great cities like London, New York, Sydney and Tokyo in the physical world, so we increasingly want to unlock the emerging communities and spaces of the virtual world – so that we all know what to embrace and avoid in this developing space which merges digital and physical experiences like nothing before it.  But what is the Metaverse? Fair question – hard and fast definitions are slippery and tough to pin down right now, which is why we have put together this handy cheat sheet that dives into some of the key questions and definitions. The author Matthew Ball has recently spent over 300 pages attempting to define it in his book The Metaverse and How It Will Revolutionize Everything. Ball sums up the Metaverse as: ‘a persistent and interconnected network of 3D virtual worlds that will eventually serve as the gateway to most online experiences, and also underpin much of the physical world.’ At Time Out, it’s a movement – often characterised as ‘the next Internet’ – that we want to join and

Five seriously unexpected moments in the brand-new Princess Diana doc

Five seriously unexpected moments in the brand-new Princess Diana doc

With Spencer and The Crown both tackling the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, the appetite of audiences for stories about her shows no sign of fading 25 years since her death. The latest of them, The Princess, just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Made by British filmmaker Ed Perkins, it’s a documentary formed entirely of archive footage (ie: no interviews, no voiceovers). And there’s plenty of that to choose from, given that Diana was endlessly covered by the media from the moment her relationship with Prince Charles became public in 1980, where this film begins. The Princess retells her story from a new perspective by giving all these clips room to breathe, holding a chilling mirror to the strange effect Diana had on her country and the world beyond. Here are five of the film’s more eyebrow-raising scenes.  1. A newsreader casually mentions that the family of 19-year-old Diana has ‘vouched for her virginity’  The engagement of Diana Spencer, 19, and Prince Charles, 32, caused a media frenzy that never really stopped until her death in 1997. At one point in The Princess we hear a solemn newsreader explain how Diana was a good pick for the wife of a future king because of her innocence and her lack of previous sexual partners. The same newsreader then goes further, explaining that her family has ‘vouched for her virginity’. He might as well be talking about a prize cow.  2. A skinhead gets a Diana tattoo on the eve of her wedding  The Princess shows how Diana and Cha

A new film project invites us to embrace the uncertainty in our lives

A new film project invites us to embrace the uncertainty in our lives

Facing up to uncertainty and big decisions is a challenge that pretty much everyone has had to face on some level in the past 18 months. Where is this all heading? How much longer will this go on? Should I stay on the same path or take a leap into the unknown? IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? Those sorts of questions underpin a unique new film and science project that’s emerged from London called The Uncertainty Experts (which Time Out is happy to be supporting as a media partner having been given a sneak preview of the project at pilot stage earlier this year). The Uncertainty Experts is an experimental film event, but it’s also a live science project designed in tandem with scientists at UCL to test and stretch each of our abilities to withstand uncertainty in our lives. If it has a mission, it’s to turn uncertainty into a positive rather than something which stops us sleeping well at night. The Uncertainty Experts will be screening online over three Tuesdays this November, and everyone taking part is expected to watch all three episodes and to get involved by taking part in digital surveys and virtual tasks. It’s a tough project to explain, but as someone who took part in the project’s pilot earlier this year along with 500 others, I can tell you that it’s a challenging and surprising experience. It’s in one way a bold live film event and, in others, it’s a community wellness project. It’s hectic and invigorating. It challenges you to ask some hard and rewarding questions about

‘The Crown’ Season 3 review: long may this royal soap opera reign

‘The Crown’ Season 3 review: long may this royal soap opera reign

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The third series of ‘The Crown’ brings with it an almost wholesale change of cast and new problems to pile on old as we meet the British royal family in 1964. The challenges of the newly permissive 1960s are met almost entirely by a largely drunk Princess Margaret (an entertaining, if unfocused Helena Bonham Carter) dealing with her philandering husband Lord Snowdon (Ben Daniels). Elsewhere in the royal household it might as well be the 1860s when it comes to moral matters – not counting the high cut of the skirt worn by Princess Anne (a deliciously dry Erin Doherty). Prince Charles makes his first appearance in the series as an adult, with Josh O’Connor playing him as a gentle but haughty idiot, and he suffers the full weight of The Firm when his desire to marry Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell) is well and truly nixed by the joint efforts of the Queen Mother (a near-silent performance by Marion Bailey) and Lord Mountbatten (Charles Dance, of course). Yet there is one very twentieth-century phenomenon lurking in this series: the midlife crisis. As Olivia Colman takes over from Claire Foy, her Queen is more settled and forthright, but also prone to paranoia and anxiety, especially when it comes to Cold War threats, and to the distraction of racehorses. Meanwhile, her husband, Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies), enters a full-on crisis of purpose, brilliantly expressed in an episode when Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts visit the Palace and the Queen’s cons

'Rogue One' : que vaut le premier spin-off de 'Star Wars' ?

'Rogue One' : que vaut le premier spin-off de 'Star Wars' ?

Des rebelles qui ont du cran, un méchant ricanant, quelques plaisirs nostalgiques et des troubles politiques : Gareth Edwards livre un prequel de ‘Star Wars’ agréable et grinçant. Ce nouvel épisode de ‘Star Wars’ – dont l’histoire se déroule peu de temps avant celle du tout premier de la saga, sorti en 1977 – ressemble à un conte d'action autonome et dynamique, mettant en scène un groupe de résistants au sein de l'Alliance rebelle. Cette bande de combattants enragés, dirigés par Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones, une héroïne complexe, pas toujours attachante ; ce qui est assez rafraîchissant), se regroupent pour mener une attaque contre l'Empire – dont le plus visible salopard est le militaire Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn, tout en menace tranquille et huileuse). Frénétique, parfois irrévérencieux et un peu décousu, ‘Rogue One’ se plaît à rendre troubles les idées de bien et de mal, créant d’inattendues nuances de gris. En revanche, le film botte en touche les thèmes quasi-spirituels de la saga auxquels on pouvait pourtant s’attendre : ici, la Force n'est pas particulièrement présente, et les habiletés de combat à l’ancienne se révèlent plus importantes. Remonter dans le temps de la saga offre également une jolie possibilité de ressusciter, parfois, les plaisirs des films antérieurs – des bons vieux X-Wings à la présence d’un Dark Vador bien furax. Plus vous vous souviendrez du ‘Star Wars’ de 1977, plus l'histoire de ‘Rogue One’ prendra de sens. Dans le premier film, la princesse Leia

The real story behind ‘Rillington Place’

The real story behind ‘Rillington Place’

If, like us, you cowered behind the sofa watching Tim Roth and Samantha Morton in the BBC's new serial killer series ‘Rillington Place’ last night, prepare for the full, shocking story behind the drama. Warning - potential spoilers abound.   If you mention the name ‘John Christie’ to an older generation of Londoners, they’ll know exactly who you’re talking about. Christie was a serial killer hanged for his crimes in 1953. He’s now being played by Tim Roth in the new three-part drama series ‘Rillington Place’, with Samantha Morton playing his wife, Ethel. But what is the real story behind John Christie’s murders? Who was he? Why did he become notorious? And what happened to the real Rillington Place in west London? What did John Christie do? John Christie killed at least eight women between 1943 and 1953 in his flat at 10 Rillington Place in Ladbroke Grove, west London.         Where is the real Rillington Place? This Ladbroke Grove street was demolished in the late 1970s – after having been renamed Ruston Close in 1954 shortly after the murders were uncovered (at the request of residents). The site of 10 Rillington Place now sits roughly in the area of St Andrew’s Square, which is off Bartle Road. Who was Christie? Originally from a large family in Yorkshire, Christie served in World War One as an infantryman and was gassed – reportedly causing him to speak in a whisper for the rest of his life. He married Ethel in 1920 in Sheffield but they were separated between 1924 and 1

Why Netflix's new show ‘The Crown’ will change everything you think you know about the Queen

Why Netflix's new show ‘The Crown’ will change everything you think you know about the Queen

In November, Netflix will drop its most ambitious Originals series ever, ‘The Crown’ – the first season of a drama that'll tell the story of the entire reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Its creator and writer is Peter Morgan, who has previous with Her Maj – he wrote the movie ‘The Queen’ and the play ‘The Audience’, both starring Helen Mirren. We've had a sneak watch of all ten episodes, and can report that this is as good as it gets – exciting and smart drama. Claire Foy is terrific as young Elizabeth II, who we first meet in her twenties: her father, George VI (Jared Harris) is still king and she’s recently married Philip (Matt Smith). The first series examines how she copes with the responsibility of becoming Queen and explores the major relationships in her life: her husband; her first Prime Minister; her sister Princess Margaret; and her uncle, the former Edward VIII. It’s about power, duty, politics and tradition, and we’re hooked. Here are five things you need to know about The Crown 1. Claire Foy's performance will make you think twice about Queen Elizabeth II Claire Foy, 32, is best known for playing Anne Boleyn in the TV series ‘Wolf Hall’. ‘The Crown’ is going to make her a star. She’s flawless as the young Queen in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Minus the grey rinse, the young princess we meet is a privileged but sensible young woman, struggling with her own inadequacies (her lack of a proper education is a big theme). Foy – working with a genius script by Peter Morga

Why Netflix's new show "The Crown" will change everything you think you know about Queen Elizabeth II

Why Netflix's new show "The Crown" will change everything you think you know about Queen Elizabeth II

In November, Netflix will drop its most ambitious Originals series ever, The Crown – the first season of a drama that'll tell the story of the entire reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Its creator and writer is Peter Morgan, who has previous with Her Maj – he wrote the movie The Queen and the play The Audience’, both starring Helen Mirren. We've had a sneak watch of all ten episodes, and can report that this is as good as it gets – exciting and smart drama. Claire Foy is terrific as young Elizabeth II, who we first meet in her twenties: her father, George VI (Jared Harris) is still king and she’s recently married Philip (Matt Smith). The first series examines how she copes with the responsibility of becoming Queen and explores the major relationships in her life: her husband; her first Prime Minister; her sister Princess Margaret; and her uncle, the former Edward VIII. It’s about power, duty, politics and tradition, and we’re hooked. Here are five things you need to know about ‘The Crown’ 1. Claire Foy's performance will make you think twice about Queen Elizabeth II Claire Foy, 32, is best known for playing Anne Boleyn in the TV series ‘Wolf Hall’. ‘The Crown’ is going to make her a star. She’s flawless as the young Queen in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Minus the gray rinse, the young princess we meet is a privileged but sensible young woman, struggling with her own inadequacies (her lack of a proper education is a big theme). Foy – working with a genius script by Peter Morgan –

The actress playing the Queen in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ thinks 'the royal family could be massively pissed off'

The actress playing the Queen in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ thinks 'the royal family could be massively pissed off'

Claire Foy, who plays the Queen in ‘The Crown’, Netflix’s new ten-part drama series covering the early years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, has revealed to Time Out that she doesn’t care very much what the real royal family thinks of the show. ‘They could be massively pissed off,’ Foy told us ahead of the series’s release this week. ‘But I’m not going to bump into the royal family in Covent Garden! I’d be more concerned if I could walk down the street and meet someone who could say: “You’re a fucking liar! I hated sitting there watching you!” That’s not going to happen.’ Set in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the first two series of ‘The Crown’ are said to have cost the streaming service £100 million. It’s Netflix’s biggest gamble to date. The first ten episodes cover just a few years and see Elizabeth marry Philip (Matt Smith) at 21, lose her father, King George VI (Jared Harris), at 25 and deal with several national crises and one veteran Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (John Lithgow), before the age of 30. If the first two series are successful, ‘The Crown’ could run and run, covering events up to the present day. Foy might not be worrying what the royal family thinks of ‘The Crown’ – but how would she vote if we had a referendum on the monarchy? ‘Oooo! Whether to keep them or get rid of them? Of course I’d want to keep them! That’s literally my heart just going, “No, don’t get rid of them, that’s not necessary at all. They’re lovely!” But I realise that’s not a vie

Update on the Save the Curzon Soho campaign: 'We will relocate temporarily for ten years'

Update on the Save the Curzon Soho campaign: 'We will relocate temporarily for ten years'

The owner of the Curzon Soho cinema, which is under threat from the second stage of Crossrail development, has said that the much-loved West End cinema might have to move home for a decade before finally returning to a brand-new building at the same site. 'The Crossrail development is happening,' said Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull, talking to Screendaily. 'The station could be up to one kilometre long, stretching from the current Tottenham Court Road tube station to our venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. 'We will relocate temporarily. Then, after the ten years or so it will take them to build the station, we hope to come back above the ticket office as a cinema. But that’s only in early negotiations.' Last year it emerged that the Curzon Soho was being earmarked for removal by Transport for London to make way for a ticket hall for an enlarged Tottenham Court Road station as part of the proposed Crossrail 2 project. Now it appears that those plans are still in play but that TfL is aware of the Save the Curzon campaign – supported by the likes of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and French actress Isabelle Huppert – and want to work with Curzon to find an answer. 'Thanks to the outpouring of emotion around the closure of our Soho venue due to the Crossrail construction, TfL are keen to find a solution to that problem,' Knatchbull said. Curzon is also facing a parallel threat to its Curzon Mayfair cinema, and Knatchbull acknowledged the positive effect of a second public campaign to s

In must-watch new Netflix doc ‘13TH’, Ava DuVernay asks why American prisons are so full of black men

In must-watch new Netflix doc ‘13TH’, Ava DuVernay asks why American prisons are so full of black men

Next week, a new doc called ‘13TH’ comes to Netflix and it has a disturbing question at its heart. Why do black men make up 40.2 percent of the US prison population but only 6.5 percent of the general US population? Those figures mean that, while white American men have a one-in-17 chance of going to jail during their lifetime, black men have a one in three chance of being incarcerated. ‘13TH’ puts these staggering facts in historical context. It shows how severe inequality has persisted far beyond the end of slavery and the gains of the 1960s civil rights movement. ‘13TH’ also tracks the political decisions that have led to the US prison population growing from 346,000 people in 1968 to a whopping two million people in 2000.   '13TH' director Ava DuVernay with US politician Newt Gingrich         The doc is directed by Ava DuVernay, who in 2014 made ‘Selma’, which starred the British actor David Oyelowo as Dr Martin Luther King. Once DuVernay finished 'Selma', she spent two years quietly making ‘13TH’ and gathering facts about the history of racial inequality in modern America and the growth of prison numbers over the past few decades. She also saw the film as a contribution to the growing Black Lives Matter movement. ‘After shooting “Selma”, I was in the cutting room editing the movie when Ferguson was happening,' DuVernay told us in a recent interview. ‘We were cutting footage of Martin Luther King reacting to the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson in 1965 and seeing him marchin

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