Film

Josh David Jordan: You always want more but this film needed to be just this

With its echoes of Inside Llewyn Davis and Once, Josh David Jordan’s debut feature This World Won’t Break sets the unknown singer-songwriter’s struggle for recognition in the hot, dusty hues of the director’s hometown Dallas, Texas. The Fountain (TF) caught up with Jordan to chat about lessons learned, family projects and why making it big doesn’t necessarily prove you’re a great artist.

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Review: Billie, Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Rating 75%

Review: Billie, Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Without fully realising the story and background of jazz singer, Billie Holiday, it felt relevant to be going to explore her past with this James Erskine documentary of her life. This was prior to uncovering the facts, and those that journalist and Billie fan, Linda Lipnack Kuehl, had unearthed as she set out in 1971 to write a full biography on the artist. Over the course of eight years, Linda tracked down and recorded over 200 hours of interviews with the people that knew the jazz musician personally. The book was never finished nevermind published, and the tapes never before heard until now.

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Review: White Riot, Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Rating 78%

Review: White Riot, Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Rock Against Racism was formed in 1976 by Red Saunders, prompted by Eric Clapton. White Riot is a film that was produced to give the organisation a voice, that is still needed over forty years later. Screening as part of the Glasgow Film Festival, the documentary juxtaposes fresh interviews with archival footage along with snazzy graphics and imaging to convey the hostility of the environment between anti-NF and National Front marches.

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Peter Sant: And like the land, the human characters remain nameless

Australian director Peter Sant’s Maltese-language debut feature Of Time and the Sea, which follows a small family living underground on a mysterious island, boasts gorgeous cinematography and reuses various abandoned filmsets dotted all over Malta. Talking to The Fountain, Sant shares his thoughts on genre, cinematography as a means of storytelling and the power of film.

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Review: Screaming Masterpiece, Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Rating 73%

Review: Screaming Masterpiece, Glasgow Film Festival 2020

With Glasgow Film Festival’s Country of Focus this year being Iceland, it would be blasphemous not to have work that concerns the music that is embedded in the land. Albeit released in 2005, Screaming Masterpiece was incorporated into 2020’s Film Festival programme, and focuses on the strength and diversity of Iceland’s music, as well as the culture that determines the style and output. This documentary covers some of Iceland’s most talented and well-known musicians and was followed by a live performance from the Glasgow Percussion Collective, covering the music of their most celebrated, Bjork.

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Review: About Endlessness, Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Rating 80%

Review: About Endlessness, Glasgow Film Festival 2020

About Endlessness is the fourth film of Roy Anderssons I have now watched, and certainly fits with what we anticipate from the work of this auteur, his delves into relativity but more that reflective nature of his work. Screening at the Glasgow Film Festival, About Endlessness is highly anticipated, moving to a larger theatre to accommodate all that wish to see it.

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Mark Cousins: I love the Glasgow Film Festival to be honest so I was delighted

Glasgow Film Festival 2020 sits over International Womens Day this year, and coincidentally there is a key focus this year in the programme on female filmmakers with the Women Make Film strand. Part of this strand includes a five part screening of Mark Cousin’s 14 hour documentary, Women Make Film. Mark spoke with The Fountain about the film in more depth, as well as the onerous but pleasurable process it was to select the films for this thorough documentary.

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Review: Of Time and the Sea Rating 45%

Review: Of Time and the Sea

Technically masterful but narratively opaque, Australian director Peter Sant’s Maltese-language debut feature Of Time and the Sea (Ba?ar ?mien) is steeped in enigma so thick you can’t see through until the end. Part post-apocalyptic fable, part avantgarde rumination on existential themes, Sant’s struggle to create a meaningful message is both hypnotic and rambling.

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Review: Uncut Gems Rating 90%

Review: Uncut Gems

It feels a somewhat unlikely fit for Adam Sandler, star of varying quality comedies, to take the lead in the new Safdie Brothers film as a fast-mouthed gem dealer Howard Ratner but it is a perfect piece of casting with Sandler emerging as the infuriatingly reckless chance taker. The film is a nail-biting whirlwind of undermined opportunity, ridiculous risk and missed chances. Head in hands, groans of frustration and elated whoops came from all around the cinema as Howard’s attempt to get the life-changing score he seeks gets increasingly desperate. The stress level of the audience mimics the onscreen action as you simultaneously root for Howard to dig himself out of the mess he has created and grabbing his gaudy lapels shouting ‘for crying out loud cut the crap, stop endangering your family and reconcile with your soon to be ex-wife’ pitch-perfectly played by Idina Menzel.

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Jamie Robson: Live the lie truthfully

My introduction to Jamie Robson was through a series of confusing emails (due to our similar names) between The Fountain, myself and Edinburgh Short Film Festival, which I was reviewing at the time. As luck would have it, he had a spare ticket for the Festival’s Opening Night at the Filmhouse. My introduction to his acting was in one of the films shown that evening, My Loneliness is Killing Me. His introduction to me as a writer was my review of another ESFF evening, where he was on the post-screening discussion-panel.

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Review: Little Women Rating 89%

Review: Little Women

In my review of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird I wondered whether we might see Saoirse Ronan’s eponymous character in a future film. To an extent, playing Jo March in Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, Ronan is embodying another incarnation of the same character, insofar as the film seems to be another veiled autobiography for this writer-turned-director. Casting Ronan a second time, if the gossip is correct, was not Gerwig’s original intention, but since the actor insisted on playing her, it was such a ‘Jo’ thing to do that the director couldn’t say no.

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Allan Hunter: It is a small country whose films make a big impact in the world

The Glasgow Film Festival have announced its first events for the festival in 2020, which includes their Country Focus, Iceland. With many screenings including The County, a humanistic look at a small farm and the eagerly-awaited follow-up from Grímur Hákonarson, and a documentary about Bjork, as well as new feature from Yrsa Roca Fannberg, The Last Autumn. Film Festival Director, Allan Hunter, spoke with The Fountain about the Focus in more depth as well as some of his personal highlights that are programmed for 2020.

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