It’s just gone 10.27pm, and the guy standing next to me turns to his friend with a big smile breaking across his face and says, “I can go home now.” Wild Beasts have just finished playing “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants”, their debut single, and possibly the only song I can think of that contains the word “moribund”. In fact, “Clairvoyants” is anything but moribund – it’s a great, joyous conflation of high end Johnny Marr-style melodies (I’m thinking particularly of his playing on Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers”) and the more life-affirming side of Arcade Fire, maybe something like “Wake Up”. It’s a high point, certainly, of what’s proved to be another excellent night at the Borderline.


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Gentle readers of UNCUT, you can rest easy. While large chunks of the Internet seem obsessed with quite how slavishly close to the original Zack Snyder’s treatment of Watchmen, the Holy Grail of modern comics, will be, I think we can permit ourselves a small smile. Bob Dylan, it seems, is a fan.


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Bob Dylan is everywhere and nowhere here at the Viennale, Vienna’s annual film festival, where your Uncut reporter has spent another arduous week slurping free champagne and scoffing luxury cakes on your behalf. Dylan was invited as guest of honour but, of course, declined. All the same, hardcore fans have gorged on a wide selection of Dylan-themed films, photo exhibitions, talks and concerts. There is even a “Bob burger” on sale in one of the festival’s main cinemas.


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In 2005’s Brick, Rian Johnson played a cute twist on the high school movie genre, importing the tropes of film noir for a murder thriller set in the halls of academe. The Brothers Bloom, last night’s premier at the London Film Festival, is a similarly knowing piece of work. On face value, it’s a movie about two con men brothers, played by Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody; but, more than that, it’s also a movie about the act of fiction itself.


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QUANTUM OF SOLACE
HHH
DIRECTED BY Marc Forster
STARRING Daniel Craig, Matthieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko
OPENS October 30 CERT 12A 105 MINS

Cumbersome title aside, it would be churlish to underestimate the amount of goodwill directed towards what, for brevity’s sake, we’ll stick to calling Bond 22.


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To London’s glamorous Leicester Square, then, and the opening night of this year’s London Film Festival. Sitting inside the Odeon cinema, watching a live feed of the red carpet activity outside, a brief if slightly disorientating Hall of Mirrors moment unfolds on the big screen. Frank Langhella, who plays the former American President in Frost/Nixon, is being interviewed on screen, while, about two feet away from him, the real David Frost is working the crowd.


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There’s a story about Steve McQueen being offered the role of architect Doug Roberts in The Towering Inferno. McQueen turned it down, asking instead to play fire chief Michael O’Hallorhan, claiming that there’s no way an audience would find him believable in any role other than a straight-ahead man of action. The part of Roberts, instead, went to Paul Newman. At that point, in 1974, Newman’s most successful roles had been as outlaws, con-men and rebels – characters arguably not that far removed from the kind of people who peppered McQueen’s own CV. But it says a lot, perhaps, about how cinema audiences were prepared to accept him, that despite the succession of outsiders and wild ones he’d played, there was something inherently likeable and appealing about Newman.


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At the tail end of 2006, I interviewed George Clooney in New York for our short-lived and sadly missed sister title, UNCUT DVD. It was around the time of Good Night, And Good Luck and Syriana, two movies that conspicuously harked back to the Seventies’ cinema of conscience. Syriana, particularly, referenced the political thrillers of the era, and during a lively, 40-minute conversation the man who in another life was the voice of Sparky the gay dog in South Park spoke enthusiastically about his love of great movies like Dr Strangelove, Network and All The President’s Men, and especially the classic alienated heroes from ‘60s and ‘70s cinema.


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Washed up fighters make great movie characters. Think of Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull, Marlon Brando’s “I coulda been a contender” speech in On the Waterfront, Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby and Stacy Keach, pissing blood in John Huston’s underrated Fat City. Add to their ranks Randy “The Ram” Robinson, played here by Mickey Rourke in the role that's justifiably attracting much talk of an Oscar.


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To Leicester Square this morning, and the launch of this year’s London Film Festival. There’s always something of a guessing game, prior to the announcement of the line-up, about what’ll be showing. This year, for instance, I’d been hoping we might get John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Mickey Rourke’s apparently astonishing comeback in The Wrestler and Sam Mendes’ film of Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates' novel I recently read and thought was incredible.

No such luck as at least two of them aren't finished yet, but still – the line-up is pretty strong. There’s an artful of choice of marquee name movies mixed with some excellent left-field selections, a fantastic looking documentary about one of the great 60s folk singers and a film which, despite having the most unwieldy name in film history, will be one of the biggest hits of the year.


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The 40th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A glut of very exciting 2015 music this week, but before you get to that, maybe check out the Milton Nascimento track below which, as KidVinil Vinil pointed out in the comments section beneath...