Gertrude Bell was a formidably intelligent British woman from the late 19th century whose travels through expansive deserts in the Middle East helped establish modern society in countries such as Iraq and Jordan, and importantly cast an enormous amount of respect on women everywhere. She didn't care for behaving like British society expected women to behave, and she proved that she could be just as skilled in the likes of cartography, archeology and politics and refused to be treated any differently than her male peers. Even when she was threatened and accused of being a spy, she never backed down and her resilience and care towards Arabic peoples have left their mark in history.
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One man is plotting to carry out the biggest diamond heist in history in a bid to settle a debt that could otherwise cost him his life. He decides to target one of London's biggest and most secure safe deposit facilitys; the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company which could bag him up to $200 million. But the youth of today just aren't up for a job of this size; if they want to carry out this theft successfully, they need to get hold of the real veterans of the game. Criminal mastermind Brian Reader, getaway driver Kenny Collins and fixer and supplier Terry Perkins are all roped in to execute the crime. On the other hand, these crooks are the very definition of 'old' school, which means they could be more of a liability than a success.
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Miss Shepherd is a highly educated elderly woman living off barely anything in a small dilapidated van. She asks for nothing from her community, other than to be allowed her peace and to have a place to park her van. Constantly being moved by authorities, she finds herself taking up residence on Alan Bennett's road, much to the displeasure of his house proud neighbours. Despite her prickly disposition and shameless boldness, Bennett - a man of more timid and awkward nature - takes an immediate shine to Miss Shepherd, offering her his driveway to park her vehicle on a temporary basis. Soon, though, just a few weeks turns into fifteen long years as this impoverished musical scholar and this lowly gentleman of humble background become unlikely yet inseparable friends - a friendship rocked by Miss Shepherd's eventual ill health which soon strikes a sadness in the heart of the whole town.
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Kristian Levring's The King is Alive operates on a conceptual, pseudo-intellectual level, perhaps a touch too orderly to convey true madness. As the players become embroiled in King Lear, jealous Catherine (Romane Bohringer) plots against young hipster Gina (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who won the much-envied role of Cordelia. Meanwhile, disgruntled housewife Liz (McTeer) seduces the exotic black bus driver (Vusi Kunene) before the very eyes of her passive husband (Bruce Davison). As the actor playing King Lear (Brion James) quickly falls to pieces from dysentery, the scholarly director (David Bradley) watches the proceedings with detached malice, chuckling, "Is man no more than this?" And whatever became of Aussie survivalist Jack (Miles Anderson), who took off into the desert to find help?
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Lost in the African desert after their bus breaks down far off the beaten path, a handful of European tourists try to maintain sanity and civility by distracting themselves with ad hoc rehearsals for a do-it-yourself "King Lear" production in "The King Is Alive."
What comes of the experience, however, is not a productive pulling together. Bouts of bitterness quickly arise between couples, base behavior surfaces among those who feel they have nothing to lose, and with the portent of possible death looming as large as the blistering desert sun, individuals turn inward to face their own demons. Sanity and civility hang on by a very thin thread.
Co-written and directed by Kristian Levring as his contribution to the Dogme95 collective -- a quartet of Dutch filmmakers experimenting with cinematic minimalism -- the film's vérité style of handheld cameras and natural light (per the Dogme rules) makes it pop with tension and raw emotion as the tourists unravel.
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Gertrude Bell was a formidably intelligent British woman from the late 19th century whose travels...
One man is plotting to carry out the biggest diamond heist in history in a...
Miss Shepherd is a highly educated elderly woman living off barely anything in a small...
The premise is irresistible, combining dark humor with existential crisis. A busload of travelers...
Lost in the African desert after their bus breaks down far off the beaten path,...