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Martin Scorsese Masterclass in Cannes

 

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Phillip Bergson


Writing about Films and Festivals.

 

Film Critic, UK,Invited Member  of  The UK Critics' Circle

FIPRESCI abd the European Film Academy.

Visiting Lecturer, Prague Film School.

 

Winner of the  "Student Journalist of the Year" competition in the UK weekly New Statesman, as a Classics Scholar Phillip Bergson then founded the Oxford Film Festival and, on graduating, was selected by "The Sunday Times" as a 'New Critic' and in the same week began broadcasting on film for many BBC Radio programmes. A contributor to the "Times Literary Supplement", "TES",The Spectator,film critic on "The Sunday Standard", "Screen International",Variety, "Film Bulletin", "Film a Doba" inter alia, and on the FilmFestJOURNAL in Berlin and Screen Dailies at Cannes,he also worked for the "European Script Fund", has scripted shorts and features (that have been produced and released) and, fluent in eight-and-a-half languages, currently programmes and advises several international film festivals and is.Casting Consultant on several international features. At the National  Museum of Photography, Film and Television, in his native Yorkshire, he created the "Eurovisions" project, to promote classic and contemporary European cinema,which was inaugurated at the Cine Lumiere in London by His Excellency the President of Iceland.

Presenter and Programmer,London Turkish Film Week, December 2018

Co=programmer, 2nd London Turkish Film Week, April 2019

Artistic Director, 3rd London Turkish Film Week, planned for 1-7 June 2020.

As a FIPRESCI Jury Member

and a member of  International Juries at

Thessaloniki, Europa Cinema (Rimini), Munich Documentary, Manaki Brothers,Cine Jove (Valencia),Chicago, TIFF-ODA


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Walt chez Wallace

It may seem an unusual collaboration, to house an exquisite exhibition illuminating some of the inspirations for Walt Disney's early animated shorts and more recent, internationally successful fairy-tale features, in the basement of one of London's richest and perhaps lesser-known art and artifact galleries, the privately endowed Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, a short walk from newly - if gingerly (post-pandemic)- bustling Oxford Street. But it is certainly a marriage ma...

Berlinale Blues

Life is change, but as the Dalai Lama says, the Lightbub has to want to change. New dates, new directors, new directions, and what changing temperatures during this 70th edition of one of the most celebrated international film rendezvous in the calendar, created by a former (in dispute), charming (not in dispute as I remember him well on my first-footing, fresh from Oxford University, to what was to become the last summer edition of the Cold War celluloid showcase in the metropolitan oasis of ...

Film Career of Korea

The 14th London Korean Film Festival opens tonight as a celebration marking the centenary of film-making in Korea in the aptly-chosen historic Regent Street Cinema, wthere the freres Lumiere first screened films in Great Britain.  Although the popular annual event has a varied selection of UK and international premieres, with thematic sections focussing on documentary, animation and video, the choice for the Opening Gala for the first time has fallen on a modern classic The Seashore&nb...

"Raindance means Raindance"

If it's Tuesday, it must be Raindance, or at least if the 22nd August then a double helping of events to launch and promote the 2019 edition of the  most independent, idiosyncratic and always-interesting film festival held in the heart of the West End of London. An early call (9.30 for 10am) to the largest auditorium inside the Vue cineplex off Leicester Square (for years Warner Bros's UK showcase as the Warner West End, home to Stanley Kubrick's feature debuts, with the maveric...

Marlene sings the Blue

No, they certainly do not make them like this anymore, nor like Her. A very willkommen benefit of the two--month season of cinema  marking the centenary of the Weimar Republic at the BFI Southbank in London is a re-issue of the legendary musical tragedy Der Blaue Engel , not only as a lovingly-restored DVD from the inestimable Eureka Entertainment but actually screened in selected cinemas across the United Kingdom and Eire, from St Leonard's On Sea to Cr...

Viva Italia! at Ciné Lumiere in London

With a sold-out curtain-raising preview of LORO, Paolo Sorrentino's latest Felliniesque politico-social vaudeville the latest Cinema Made in Italy launched its sunniest showcase of new Italian features in the Cine Lumiere, the French-owned  art deco art-house in the heart of London's South Kensington arrondissement (running 26 February to 3 March  2019). It was a day full of optimismo, after Signora May announced for the first time a potential&n...

Talking Turkey in London

Opening lunch in SOFRA off Oxford Street   film director Mustafa  Karadeniz on right Jean-Marc Barr Turkish Coffee Phillip Bergson with director of Yunus Emre Institute London Dr Mehmet Karakus, film week opening director Mustafa Karadeniz and Jean Marc Barr. Photos credits: Ayse  Goksen Yucel  A capacity crowd swarmed along the Strand and into the capacious and comfortable Arthur and Paula Lucas Theatre deep within King's College, next to the Thames, for...

Mannheim - Heidelberg: Meetings with Remarkable Films

With its 67th edition the International Film Festival, now running in both Mannheim and Heidelberg, adjacent antique and bustling cities  south of Frankfurt on Germany's celebrated Weinstrasse, continues to draw into its net debut features (and some documentaries) as well as "discoveries" from quite literally around the globe. After the Berlinale, it remains the oldest film festival in Germany, and the seventh oldest in the world and is determinedly true to its orig...

Canada can, and does still- with style!

For its seventh annual Quebec Lecture in London, the Francophone Delegation filled the superb surrounds of the Royal Geographical Society, which has nestled for well over a century in one of the capital's quaintest addresses - Kensington Gore-(theatrical slang for fake blood, and famously used to describe a ghostly, if not quite ghastly, operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan ("-and not as good as The Mikado" as a first night wag wrote of Ruddigore, which ha...

3 Tage in Regent Strasse

Today would have been the 80th birthday of Austrian screen legend Romy Schneider  so the semi-factual fictive feature reconstructon of her famous interview for Germany's Stern magazine, 3 Tage in Quiberon. made a poignant and apt curtain-raiser for the German Film Weekend running 21-23 September 2018 in the historic Regent Street Cinema.   Phillip Bergson        www.regentstreetcinema.com for full programme details and ticket prices ww...

Midsummer Nights' Dreams in Spain

No rain in Spain A land of movies and famed  for its film festivals (encouraged by Franco in the past to entertain and perhaps  district his citizens) Spain seemed recently to have come off the boil somewhat, after the merry madness of the Movida in Madrid, orchestrated by  Pedro Almodovar as the new Dolce Vita of  the 1980s and1990s. The boom of Madrid European Capital of Culture, the Olympics in a transformed Barcelona, and the last great  Expo of the cent...

Pierfull Pleasure in the Best British Comedy in years

Unquestionably the funniest film I saw at the  2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival, Eaten by Lions (99 minutes) had sold-out world premiere screenings, selected in the British Cinema strand. From the enthusiasm of the audience at the second screening I attended, on a suprisingly sunny Scottish Saturday lunchtime in the Cineworld complex, and their clearly appreciative questions to director,cast and crew  from the paying public, it could have warranted a more prominen...

Odd Man In

During the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, in a milder English heatwave, the marvellous Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image, in the heart of London's Bloomsbury, celebrated one of the greatest English actors with a Focus on James Mason (26th May 2018). In this most recently created institute, a part of the University of London, it takes over a splendid, purpose-built cinema, one of the few in the capital still capable of screening 35mm prints, and programmes some 70 fi...

Sunny start in Athens of the North

The sun shines down on the 72nd Edinburgh International Film Festival with large and enthusiastic audiences in new venues in an annual event (it has the longest unbroken record of any large scale film festival in the world) that has moved away from its traditional berth as part of the largest arts festival in the world (which fills the elegant capital of Scotland every August where prices, certainly for accommodation, rival those at Cannes) to become a stand-alone event now unreeling in late J...

Spring in the airs

Another underground venue in London's West End, not exactly for films but very film-related is  the fabulous  Art Deco cabaret bar called The Crazy Coqs in the bowels of what used to be the largest hotel in the world, the Regent Palace, off Piccadilly Circus in the very centre of London's film and theatre scene. Now transformed into the Brasserie Zedel but retaining many of the original period decorations it provides an intimate but comfortable venue for living lege...

A rage on the stage

"It's the pictures that got small" snarled Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. But that small screen in the corner of rooms around the world screening Game of Thrones ensures a mercurial,internationality for any actor cast in the fan-fascinating series.As Loboda in Series 5, the brilliant Bulgarian actor Zachary Bacharov, a lofty Leo,shaven-headed but with a winning smile, has probably been seen by more viewers around the world, that have ever bought tick...

Figures in a LANDSCAPE Exhibition

As part of the celebrations marking its 250th anniversary  as a teaching venue, the Royal Academy on London's Piccadilly has undergone some extensive, if not eccentric , renovations and refurbishing of adjacent parts of the building,sadly not  equipping its new Lecture Theatre with adequate facilities for screening cinema productions that could enhance the changing art displays or become a destination in itself  as that famous street is now utterly bereft of any pu...

SERET:Sabras a go go

While much of the international film world was cavorting across the Croisette, confused and often rain-swept, and desperately seeking empowerment for female cineastes on and off the screens of the largest festival in the world, where who knows how few of les femmes have received the Palme d'Or (apart from the Down Under champion Jane Campion?), once more with feeling the Israeli Film Festival  known as Seret was again unreeling in apparently sunnier Albio...

Cherchez les Femmes!

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In such grim times, and with such over-budgeted but under-scripted movies hurtling into cinemas around the globe, what a delight Picturehouses brought across the troubled British Isles last night with nation-wide previews in their lovingly-run cinemas -for One Night Only- of a simply marvellous new  documentary Nothing Like a Dame (83 minutes, co-produced by BBC TV and due for subsequent cinema outings in due course).Roger Michell has fashioned a fascinating and frequent...

Polishing up Polish Cinema

Easter comes early to the not-so-United Kingdom this year, and so has KINOTEKA which has brought for its 16th annual Edition a  cornucopia of features, shorts and documentaries of Polish provenance or connection,  as well as events, exhibitions, Master Classes (with  Krzystof  Zanussi, a true master of film-making returning from Warsaw to present his  very first feature The Structure of Crystals, made in 1969, and to discuss his work in the ICA),Workshop...

Russian about Town

It could hardly be a more topical time, given the international brouhahas in the media about Soviet cyberhacking and the alleged,well-funded if unsubtle  interference of Putinistas in elections around the globe for a second Russian Filmweek to be unleashed on an unsuspecting London.....the Brexiting metropolis whose only daily newspapers are now owned by a Russian plutocrat who also happens to run  the only full-time local TV  channel(which,incidentally, currently prog...

Frying tonight!

Though based in High Wycombe ,the Third Edition of the highly independent Fisheye Film Festival ventures to nearby Beaconsfield tonight with a special screening inside the cinema of the famed National Film and Television School (recently complimented in the Hollywood Reporter as the top international film school) of the remarkable and multi-award-winning strange romance God's Own Country. The film has just won another two top awards, at the Dinard Festival of...

"The Jungle" film launches tonight with Red Cross Charity Premiere in the West End of London

One of the most remarkable British directing debuts of this or any year, In Another Life is a swiftly-paced,convincingly acted and utterly involving recreation of the struggles of a handful of refugees trapped in the "Jungle" camp near Calais. Directed with flair,finesse and dignity by Jason Wingard it has credibly woven from clearly personal,true stories a fictionalised fable of flight and pursuit and optimism, blending a multi-racial cast of highly capable professional actors ...

Fasten your Seat-belts - Raindance is taking off tonight!

In characteristic contrast to the ever-earlier Launch of the BFI London Film Festival, held (on 31st August 2017) in the terror-attack capital's largest cinema, which was awash with sponsor's mineral waters and organic chocolate bars as countless clips and trailers unreeled after breakfast, the Raindance Film Festival hosted a week of press previews in one of the tinest but toniest of screening rooms in the West End, in the lower floor of the Virgin lounge on the Haymarket, where there...

On the Kindness of Strangers

There is another White House, an iconic apartment-house opened in  1936,and now a listed building, in bustling Marylebone, close to Regent's Park in the centre of London, and opposite the site of the Diorama, a fore-runner of cinema, which employed candle-light on huge paintings, with audiences literally moved around a flexible,arena-like space.Adjacent in Albany Street was another celebrated Victorian attraction, the Colosseum, constructed in the  1820s to house &qu...

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About Phillip Bergson

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