Sad news Tim Hetherington died in Misrata now when covering the front line. Chris Hondros is in a serious status. Michel Brown and Guy are wounded but fine.
A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, Hetherington reported on wars for the last decade and along with author and journalist Sebastian Junger, co-directed the recent documentary Restrepo.
Detailing a year in the life of US soldiers stationed in the Korengal valley in Afghanistan, it won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and got nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar.
This is a lengthy discussion about the film Hetherington did with Peter Bergen at the New America Foundation last summer:
Also worth looking at is this short film he made called ‘Diary’, which he uploaded to his offical Vimeo page.
Of it, he says:
‘Diary’ is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.
He was also a cameraman on the documentaries Liberia: An Uncivil War (2004) and The Devil Came on Horseback (2007), in addition to winning numerous awards for his photography including the World Press Photo of the Year 2007, the Rory Peck Award for Features and an Alfred I duPont award.
Battle Royale (Arrow): The controversial 2000 film gets a 3-disc special edition re-release with numerous extras.
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, it is set in a futuristic Japan on the brink of collapse, where the government is forced to take extreme action to curb their rebellious youth.
Groups of students are selected at random and sent to an island, where they have to play a brutal war game overseen by an embittered teacher (Beat Takeshi).
It was box office sensation when it came out in Japan, prompting much controversy and debate, with its reputation further stoked by admirers such as Quentin Tarantino and the fact that it was unavailable in the US.
This 3 disc set features plenty of extras, which break down like this:
Disc 1 – Theatrical Cut
Trailer – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, 720p).
The Making of Battle Royale – an abundance of footage from the shooting of Battle Royale, cast and crew discussions, etc. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (52 min, 720p).
Disc 2 – Director’s Cut
Special Edition Theatrical Trailer – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, 720p).
TV Spot: Tarantino Version – in English and Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (1 min, 720p).
Shooting the Special Edition – raw footage from the cast and crew reunion for the Special Edition of Battle Royale. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (10 min, 720p).
Takeshi Kitano Interview – the famous Japanese actor answers a series of questions about his decision to appear in Battle Royale, the character he plays, the production process, etc. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (12 min, 720p).
Conducting Battle Royale with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra – raw footage from a soundtrack rehearsal conducted by Masamichi Amano. With optional English subtitles. (8 min, 720p).
The Correct Way To Make Battle Royale: Birthday Version – a look at various “weapons” needed to survive Battle Royale. Raw footage from an important birthday celebration is also included. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (4 min, 720p).
Tokyo International Film Festival Presentation – raw footage from the gala screening of Battle Royale at the Tokyo International Film Festival. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (5 min, 720p).
Premiere Press Conference – footage from a press event during which cast and crew members answer various questions. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (13 min, PAL).
Opening Day at Marunouchi Toei Move Theater – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (15 min, PAL).
The Slaughter of 42 High School Students – raw footage from the shooting of Battle Royale. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (11 min, PAL).
TV Add – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (1 min, PAL).
TV Promo – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, PAL).
TV Commercials – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (4 min, PAL).
Promo 1 – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (1 min, PAL).
Promo 2 – in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (1 min, PAL).
The Correct Way To Fight Battle Royale – a hilarious explanation of various rules and strategies. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (3 min, PAL).
Royale Rehearsals – Kinji Fukasaku directs the Battle Royale participants. Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (8 min, PAL).
Masamichi Amano conducts Battle Royale – Maestro Masamichi Amano conducts the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (10 min, PAL).
Special Effects Comparison – a loot at some of the most disturbing killings/special effects in Battle Royale. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (5 min, PAL).
Behind the Scenes Featurette – a standard featurette containing comments from various cast and crew members. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (13 min, PAL).
Filming on Set – raw footage from the shooting of various scenes from Battle Royale. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (11 min, PAL).
Trailer Gallery – a collection of trailers for various Kinji Fukasaku films. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (23 min, PAL).
36-page Booklet – includes Tom Mes’ essay “A Battle Without An End”; printed interview with director Kinji Fukasaku; Jay McRoy’s essay “Today’s Lesson is…You Kill Each Other”; extract from Koushan Takami’s original novel (LE Exclusive); and original promotional material, including Director’s Statement, cast and crew biographies (LE Exclusive).
16-page Booklet- including concept artwork for the limited edition set (LE Exclusive).
5×7 Postcards of stills from Battle Royale (LE Exclusive).
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (20th Century Fox): The sequel to the 1987 film begins with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) getting out of jail in 2001 and moves forward to 2008 where a trader, Jake Moore (Shia LeBeouf), is looking for revenge after his firm is taken over by a ruthless rival, Bretton James (Josh Brolin).
Enter Gekko, now the author of a new book warning of a market meltdown. Jake happens to be dating Gekko’s estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) and agrees to help him reconnect with her, in return for information about James’ firm.
Although watchable, this is curiously flat and lifeless and despite being set amidst the recent economic meltdown, lacks tension and intrigue.
The best thing about it is Douglas, who portrays a fallen villain with just the right amounts of regret and cunning, so when he is absent for long stretches the film gets bogged down in characters talking inside rooms about finances or their relationships.
Oliver Stone appears to have lost the energy and anger that marked out his best work and too much of the film is given over to inconsequential domestic drama, which makes this a missed opportunity to bookend the long economic boom which began in the 1980s.
Fox opened this early on Wednesday and with built-in awareness from the first film, can expect a decent opening weekend which will almost certainly see it claim the top slot. [*Read the full review here*] [Cineworld Haymarket, Empire Leicester Sq., & Nationwide / 12A]
The Death and Life Of Charlie St. Cloud (Universal): A drama based on Ben Sherwood’s best-selling 2004 novel about a sailor (Zac Efron) who has to choose between keeping a promise he made to his brother, who died in a car accident, or going after the girl he loves (Amanda Crew).
Directed by Burr Steers, it co-stars Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta. Universal will be hoping teenage girls turn out in force for this one as the poor box office and negative reviews from the U.S. do not bode well for its prospects over here. [Vue West End & Nationwide / 12A]
Life As We Know It (Warner Bros.): A romantic comedy about a caterer (Katherine Heigl) and sports director (Josh Duhamel) who have a first a bad first date, who have end up looking after their goddaughter.
Directed by Greg Berlanti, it co-stars Josh Lucas, Christina Hendricks and Jean Smart. Warner Bros will be hoping that undemanding female audiences don’t read the mixed reviews for this and won’t mind the fact that Heigl seems to be getting typecast as a sour, struggling career woman. [Nationwide / 12A]
Mr Nice (E1 Entertainment): A British made biopic about drug dealer Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) and his life and times, adapted from his autobiography of the same name.
Directed by Bernard Rose, it co-stars Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis and Christian McKay. [Cineworld Haymarket, Curzon Soho, Vue West End & Nationwide / 18]
Restrepo (Dogwoof): A documentary that chronicles U.S. soldiers on a remote 15-man outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley during the current conflict.
Directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, it garnered mostly positive reviews in the US and also won the documentary prize at Sundance earlier this year. [Curzon Renoir, Empire Leicester Sq., Ritzy & Nationwide / 15]
A Town Called Panic (Optimum Releasing): Based on the cult European animated TV series, this features three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse who share a house in a rural town. Directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar. [Curzon Soho & Key Cities / PG]
Jackboots On Whitehall (Vertigo Films): A satire set in an alternative WWII where the Nazis have seized London and the Allies must fight back from Hadrian’s Wall. Utilising the same techniques used in Team America: World Police, it features animatronic puppets and the voices of Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Richard O’Brien and Richard Griffiths.[ Empire Leicester Sq., & Nationwide / 12A]
Freight (IndyUK Films/Icon): A British crime film about a Russian human trafficking gang who cross a local businessman. [Selected Key Cities / 18]