Eliza Hittman explores male sexuality in ‘Beach Rats’

“I’m not aspiring to explain the psychology of the character to the audience,” says Eliza Hittman of her style as writer-director. “That’s not my job. In a way, I’m more interested in exploring the complexity and contradictions in our behaviour. And the audience can think about why. I’m not trying to answer those questions.”

We’re on the phone to the New York-based filmmaker about her sophomore feature, Beach Rats, for which she picked up a directing award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hittman’s intimate 2013 debut, It Felt Like Love, made some waves on the festival circuit, but Beach Rats has already picked up the kind of acclaim, and subsequent international distribution deals, that one hopes will lead to more consistent opportunities for the rising talent, who also currently works as a film professor…

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‘The Square’ star Claes Bang on Ruben Östlund’s intensity, winning the Palme d’Or, and condom fights

A late addition to this year’s Cannes competition, Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s satirical drama The Square ended up a surprise winner of the Palme d’Or. The follow-up to his well-received Force Majeure, the film’s cast includes Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary, best known for his motion capture work in Kong: Skull Island and the recent Planet of the Apes films.

The main star of The Square, though, is Danish actor Claes Bang, who plays Christian, the respected curator of a contemporary art museum. His next exhibition is “The Square”, an installation that invites visitors to remember their role as responsible human beings, inviting them to be altruistic (“The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring, within it we all share equal rights and obligations”). Despite the thesis of his show, and his public commitment to good causes, Christian finds it difficult to live up to those same ideals in his personal life. Following a misguided response to the theft of his phone, he’s dragged into a series of strange and shameful situations; some of which are brought on by him, others by outside forces like a PR agency creating a disastrous viral campaign for “The Square.”

While he was in London for the film’s UK premiere, I spoke to the charismatic and entertaining Bang about Ruben Östlund’s intense directionhow he thinks he’d react in a Force Majeure situation, the feeling of being part of a Palme d’Or winner, having to share a scene with an intimidating ape, and filming a particularly funny sex scene with Elisabeth Moss…

Full interview for The Film Stage

Luca Guadagnino on ‘Call Me by Your Name’

“I think about the unconscious.” Luca Guadagnino tells us over the phone. “I think my gaze goes where my desire wants to go. I don’t rationalise technique upon which I make my own films. I always try to be in the situation that makes me the most comfortable…

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Michael Winterbottom on Wolf Alice doc ‘On the Road’

“Living on a bus is not to be recommended.”

We’re speaking to the ever prolific British director Michael Winterbottom about his new film, On the Road, in the decidedly calm confines of a publicity company’s meeting room, where the only wheel-based peril comes when we almost trip over an office chair on our way out at the end of the interview.

Despite a resume that includes various road movies (Butterfly KissIn This WorldThe Trip and its sequels) and films built around a clear love for music (24 Hour Party People9 Songs), On the Road is, somewhat surprisingly, Winterbottom’s first foray into the mode of the tour documentary. This is no ordinary rock doc, however…

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Scotland Loves Anime 2017: Preview

Each year, Scotland Loves Anime gives animation fans a chance to see an eclectic selection of Japanese fare on the big screen. This year marks the eighth instalment of the festival at Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, with tours across additional locations in Scotland to follow.

Though anime on the big screen in the UK is becoming more and more common thanks to the work of distributors like Anime Limited and National Amusements (both were behind box office hit Your Name, amongst others of late), many a notable feature slips through the gaps. As such, this year’s Scotland Loves Anime line-up is an appealing mix of wide-ranging titles for both hardcore enthusiasts and the anime novice; from European or UK premieres of new franchise entries to influential classics worth seeing big…

Full feature for The Skinny