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Sight & Sound May 2020

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Break-out time: remembering Mathieu Kassovitz’s explosive debut La Haine, the film that turned French urban bust to boom, on its 25th anniversary. Plus contemporary banlieu tensions in Ladj Ly’s Les Miserables, Damien Chazelle’s Netflix jazz series The Eddy, Mark Cousins’s new history of female filmmaking and David Thomson on acting’s wrong turn

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Brought to you from under home quarantine conditions, our May issue revisits the break-out thrills of Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine on its 25th anniversary, with the director himself looking back at his fizzing depiction of French urban discord.

“It takes generations to make people change,’ he tells Kaleem Aftab. “You inspire the kids. I get 15-year-old kids coming up to me every day talking about the film. I’m very proud of that. Because that’s what you want when you’re a director, you want to inspire, and to know that your movie is not forgotten.”

We also explore contemporary banlieu tensions in Ladj Ly’s debut Les Miserables, and the hard truths of a present-day French jazz club in Damien Chazelle’s new series The Eddy. Mark Cousins introduces us to his history of female filmmaking Women Make Film, and David Thomson essays the enigmatic numbness and alienation of the modern style of film acting.

Features:

Viva Haine
Twenty-five years after Mathieu Kassovitz’s incendiary portrait of disaffected youth La Haine burst on to the screen, the director talks to Kaleem Aftab about the powerful legacy of the film, what he stole from the great directors and why Spielberg needs to turn down the music in his films.

The art of the steal
Mathieu Kassovitz on graffiti culture, stealing from Scorsese and Scarface, and thinking in black and white.

Predicting a riot
Kaleem Aftab on Do the Right Thing and La Haine.

The sound and the fury
Steph Greene on rap, reggae and resistance in La Haine.

“Film is a tool. It changes things.”
An explosive tale of police brutality and racial tensions on the margins of French society, Ladj Ly’s gripping Les Misérables revisits life in the Parisian banlieues 25 years after La Haine. Here he talks to Elena Lazic about fighting to create a space for filmmaking outside the country’s often insular mainstream channels.

Good cops, bad cops
Three actors on playing the policemen in La Haine.

What is happening to acting? What has acting done to happening?
As viewers grew more sophisticated in the 1950s and cottoned on to the artifice at the heart of all movies, they started to wise up to self-important attempts by actors to reflect emotional truth. But as acting evolved and performances grew more enigmatic, a numbness crept into them – the origins of a seductive culture that feels lifelike but now threatens to displace life itself, writes David Thomson.

Swingtime in Paris
Netflix drama The Eddy, featuring two episodes by La La Land director Damien Chazelle, punctures the romantic myths of jazz culture by exploring the gritty reality of the lives of musicians and staff in a club in modern-day Paris. Jonathan Romney tunes in.

All that jazz
Ten key jazz films to watch.

Women with a movie camera
The 14-hour documentary Women Make Film explores the art of cinema through a compilation of clips from some of the world’s greatest films. Its director, long-time S&S contributor Mark Cousins, explains the project’s genesis and picks ten images that highlight the full range of its eclectic treasures.

...Plus all the usual great features and reviews.

Please note that while most orders from the BFI Shop have been delayed due to restrictions put in place as a result of Covid-19, we can continue to dispatch orders of the May issue of Sight and Sound, as these will be fulfilled via a third party. Please note that this currently only applies to this specific issue of the magazine. 

Additional Information
More Information
SKU SSMAY2020
Publisher(s) BFI
Format Paperback
Original publication date March 2020
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