British Pathé uploads news archive to YouTube

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By Ray Bennett

British Pathé said it has uploaded its entire collection of 85,600 historic films in high resolution for viewers around the world to watch on YouTube.

The newsreel archive said the release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible.

British Pathé General Manager Alastair White said, “Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them. This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”

Once an essential part of moviegoing, British Pathé’s distinctive newsreels cover social, cultural, political and dramatic events across the UK and around the globe from 1896 to 1976. Its coverage of World War I and World War II is especially strong.

White said, “Whether you’re looking for coverage of the royal family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg (pictured), or quirky stories about British pastimes, it’ll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.”

German firm Mediakraft, which has been responsible for numerous past YouTube successes, will manage the project and create new content using British Pathé material in English and in foreign languages, British Pathé said.

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FILM REVIEW: Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ (spoilers)

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By Ray Bennett

Darren Aronofsky’s epic “Noah” is uproarious fun because it’s hard to tell if it’s an impressionist but serious take on the biblical tale or a giant piss-take. (Note: This review contains many spoilers.)

It has splashy special effects, outlandish dialogue, sumptuous music by Clint Mansell, and a pair of grandly entertaining performances by Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins. Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson in ‘Under the Skin’

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By Ray Bennett

The vivid old Scots word “eldritch” could have been coined for Jonathan Glazer’s spooky new film “Under the Skin” starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien on the prowl in Scotland.

Based on Michael Faber’s novel of the same name, it dispenses with much of the detail in the book to create an extraordinarily mesmerising mystery about the strangest of strangers in very strange land. Continue reading

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What an Oscar or Bafta means to home entertainment

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By Ray Bennett

The Oscars and the Bafta Film Awards generate huge publicity but it’s very hard to say how much they benefit specific titles. Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: The Coen Bros.’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

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By Ray Bennett

LONDON – In the 1960s, the sign that it was time to leave a party was when the humourless bloke with the beard pulled out his guitar. The Coen Bros. make that guy the focus of “Inside Llewyn Davis” and the impulse to leave remains the same.

Oscar Isaac plays the title role of a dull and charmless but pushy 1960s folk singer exactly like the performer played by Neil Innes in “The Rutles” who says before a song: “I’ve suffered for my music … now it’s your turn.” Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

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By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a blend of “Wall Street” without the great speeches, “Caligula” with the decadence and the porn and “Scarface” with the drugs but without the machine guns.

It’s a horror story about degenerate criminals who squander millions of dollars that they swindle from gullible Americans whose fate they and the filmmakers ignore completely. Continue reading

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‘American Hustle’, ‘Gravity’ top Oscar nominations

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By Ray Bennett

“American Hustle” and “Gravity” picked up 10 nominations apiece including best picture to lead the pack in the Academy Awards to be presented on March 2. Continue reading

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’12 Years a Slave’, ‘American Hustle’ win Golden Globes

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By Ray Bennett

Steve McQueen’s epic “12 Years a Slave”, released in cinemas here on Jan. 10 by eOne, was named best film drama at the Golden Globe Awards and “American Hustle”, which Entertainment released in cinemas on Dec. 20, won as best film comedy. Continue reading

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‘Gravity’ leads Bafta film awards nominations

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By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Warner Bros.’ space thriller “Gravity” leads the British Academy Film Awards nominations with 11 including best picture, best director for Alfonso Cuaron and best actress for Sandra Bullock. Continue reading

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Top 10 movies of 2013

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By Ray Bennett

It’s a very tough call to rank the best movies of 2013 as the top bunch are all so good, but here’s my list: Continue reading

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