David Puttnam

David Puttnam

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BT Sport Industry Awards

Lord David Puttnam - BT Sport Industry Awards held at the Battersea Evolution - Arrivals. at Evolution - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 30th April 2015

David Puttnam
David Puttnam

Picture - Lord David Puttnam , Thursday 31st May 2012

David Puttnam - Lord David Puttnam Thursday 31st May 2012 film producer and politician walking in Dublin City Centre on a rainy day

David Puttnam

Picture - David Puttnam and guest London, England, Sunday 15th March 2009

David Puttnam - David Puttnam and guest London, England - 'The Age of Stupid' UK film premiere held at Leicester Square gardens in a solar powered tent - Arrivals Sunday 15th March 2009

The Mission Review


OK
Roland Joffé's historical effort is all eye candy, no soul. But what eye candy it is! This star-studded endeavor is unfortunately muddy, telling the story of the religion-and-slavery-tinged war of Spain vs. Portugal vs. natives in 1750s South America. The movie eventually picks up steam but leaves the cast behind; performances by Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro are alternately great and stilted.

The Killing Fields Review


Excellent
People never really got the message about Cambodia that they did about Vietnam. Thanks to movies like The Killing Fields the story can be told, and in fine form. Sam Waterston plays New York Times Sydney Schanberg, who's angrily covering the war from the front lines, but the film (and the Oscar, ultimately) belongs to Haing S. Ngor, who plays Dith Pran, Schanberg's Cambodian translator and assistant. When the shit goes down, Pran can't get out of the country as easily as Schanberg, and the story he tells from the months that followed are epic and heartrending.

Local Hero Review


Extraordinary
I'd never even heard of Local Hero until I read an epitaph of Burt Lancaster, who has top billing but is hardly the star of this charming, unsung little film. Lancaster plays a wealthy oil company CEO who sends one of his crew, Mac (Peter Riegert), to a remote Scottish village where the company wants to locate an oil refinery. He's tasked with essentially buying the whole town, but -- as stories like this go -- the quaintness and unique character of the village creep on on Mac, and soon the whole plan is in a twist. Despite the feel-good, sports-movie title, this is a clever and fun flick from writer/director Bill Forsyth, who's directed only a handful of films that you have probably never even heard of (the exception being Housekeeping). And yes, God help me, it's the feel-good flick of the decade.

Midnight Express Review


Excellent
"Oh, Billy!"

Alan Parker's greatest achievement is probably this harrowing -- and infamous -- account of an American who foolishly tries to smuggle back drugs from his visit to Turkey. He's quickly made an example of and tossed into a revolting prison cell. After his 3 1/2-year sentence is nearly up, it's extended for 20 years. You can imagine how he feels, and are faced with the horrors of seeing it all on the screen. Based on Billy Hayes' book and a script from Oliver Stone, Midnight Express has earned a (rightful) reputation as one of the most distrubing films about third-world prisons... or any other prison, for that matter. All modern-day jail flicks owe it a debt.

The Duellists Review


OK
In every director's past there are some strange departures. Ridley Scott's directorial debut, The Duellists, is no exception: It's a competent but slow-paced outing that offers no hint that Scott would soon be making exciting thrillers like Alien and Blade Runner.

To be fair, The Duellists (based on Conrad's The Duel) is a type of movie made often in the 1970s -- a low-tech but visually authentic historical drama. As with '70s westerns, the point was to make a new kind of period drama emphasizing cinematic realism at the expense of entertainment values (instead of the other way around). The film is based on a Joseph Conrad story about a quarrel between two soldiers in Napoleon's army which turns into an obsessive folie a deux. Kind of a Gallic High Noon, but not as entertaining as High Noon.

Continue reading: The Duellists Review

Chariots Of Fire Review


Good
If nothing else, Chariots of Fire stands as a unique entry into the history of cinema: Its soundtrack is much more famous than the film itself. Ask anyone to sing the title song and they'll do it in a heartbeat. Ask them what the movie was actually about and you'll probably get shrugs and a mumbled comment about running.

Today, that Vangelis score -- produced when everyone thought the synthesizer was a really cool idea -- probably wouldn't win the Oscar it won in 1981. And whether Chariots itself would win Best Picture (among the total of four awards it was bestowed) is a matter for debate.

Continue reading: Chariots Of Fire Review

My Life So Far Review


Grim
I guess you're either one of those people who loves 1930's Scottish coming-of-age stories, or you're not.

Looks like I'm not.

Continue reading: My Life So Far Review

David Puttnam

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