The line-up for this year’s London Film Festival has now been announced - which means it’s time for me to give you a quick heads-up on some of the films we’re most looking forward to seeing during the festival. Apart from the new Mike Leigh and other festival die-hards, there’s plenty of promising stuff – docs on Lemmy, Mott the Hoople and Creation records plus Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Patrick Keiller’s Robinson In Ruins and Anton Corbijn’s The American.


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“This,” says Robert Plant, gesturing round the former church that he’s chosen as the venue for tonight’s gig, “used be a house of the holy, now it’s obsolete. But it’s available for wedding receptions…”

It’s funny the way Plant puts a slight tremble in his voice when he says “house of the holy”, the only reference he makes all night to his other band. Zepwatchers might also chose to read plenty into Plant’s use of “obsolete”, especially after his comment in The Independent last week – “I feel so far away from heavy rock” – further reiterated his position that more Zeppelin activity is about as likely as a Beatles reunion.


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In the four years since his film of This Is England, Shane Meadows has been a busy, if relatively marginal filmmaker.


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Ok, first things first, there’s some spoilers ahead. So, unless you’re one of the three people left on the planet who’s not read Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s sequence of books on which these movies are based, you might want to turn away now.

One of the most contested roles in Hollywood right now is Lisbeth Salander, the Gothy, tattooed computer hacker at the centre of Larsson’s books.


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The defining moment of this year’s Lovebox – possibly, even, of any festival this year – comes about 10 minutes into Peaches’ Sunday afternoon set. It’s already got off to a colourful start. We’re greeted by the sight of the electro provocateur arriving on stage wearing a head-to-toe coat that appears to be made of raggedy fibres. This is soon dispensed with, and she cavorts in what resembles an S&M bra and panties kit, wearing some kind of gimp mask. So far, so odd. Then it gets really weird. This, it transpires, is not Peaches....


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The last time we saw Paul McCartney on stage at Hyde Park was a year and a day ago. Then, he joined Neil Young for a coruscating version of “A Day In The Life”, sharing vocals with Neil and helping coax waves of feedback from Old Black. It was a major highlight during a tremendous run of shows last summer at Hyde Park that also included Bruce Springsteen and Blur.


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In one of those funny little coincidences that come along every now and then, I’ve just finished reading the film pages in the next issue. Among them is a very fine review of Francis Ford Coppola’s latest, Tetro. And now, I’ve just watched the trailer for Somewhere, the forthcoming film from Sofia Coppola.


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As part of our Great Lost Films feature in the current issue of UNCUT, I wrote a piece on the making of The Last Movie, Dennis Hopper's follow-up to Easy Rider. One of the people I spoke to was The Last Movie's screenwriter Stewart Stern. At one point during our interview, Stern mused dryly: "It was never quiet around Dennis."

Certainly, Dennis Hopper - who died today aged 74 – was too tempestuous a personality ever to be considered quiet, even by Hollywood's colourful standards.


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Many years back -- the last century, in fact -- when we were putting UNCUT together, Allan and I drew up a list of canonical film makers whose work would become central to the magazine’s editorial remit. Our A list included Scorsese, Tarantino, Peckinpah, Coppola, Stone, Hill, Hawks, Ford, Eastwood, and so on.

In the intervening years, the list has pretty much stayed the same. With, arguably, one exception: Francis Ford Coppola.


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Thinking back to Brass Eye’s 2001 “paedophile special”, and in particular the furore it caused among certain sections of the media, it’s easy to see how misunderstood Chris Morris often is. Typically outraged, the Daily Mail described the episode as “a spoof documentary on paedophilia.” Which is missing the point. The programme was a savage attack on the media's own thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction to a serious issue. It clearly didn’t stop, though, large sections of the press demonstrating their own thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction to the show.

It seems likely, I’m afraid, that those same sections of the media will be up in arms about Four Lions, Morris’ directorial debut, a “jihadist comedy”, no less, focussing on four wannabe suicide bombers in Sheffield. Which is a pity, as Four Lions is an extremely good film; far more than **just** a comedy about suicide bombers.


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Editor's Letter

The return of The Aphex Twin, and Caustic Window


Last year, Warp Records embarked on a campaign for Boards Of Canada's "Tomorrow's Harvest" comeback that was notable for its obtuseness. Unmarked 12-inches were hidden in record stores, strings of numbers and inexplicable broadcasts were strewn enigmatically across the internet. At one point, I...