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News Archive: August 2005
BBC Radio 4 Transcript
Posted at 12:00 PM (PDT) on Monday, August 29, 2005

Gillian was on BBC Radio 4: Saturday, August 27 -- Arts and Drama The Film Programme.

Chris Tookey talked with her about her new film 'The Mighty Celt'.

Click here to read the transcript.

Thanks, Laura!

'I'm not good at playing the game'
Posted at 9:19 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 29, 2005

From The Observer
August 28, 2005

Gillian Anderson has made no secret of her dislike for the paparazzi, so why did she marry a journalist, asks Rachel Cooke. And why does this American love England so?

It tells you quite a lot about Gillian Anderson that she is conducting interviews to promote her latest movie in the crepuscular Bloomsbury offices of a film publicity company. Even to my weary eyes, they seem depressing, all dirty woodchip and trailing cables that lead who knows where. In the loo are damp blue towels; on the wall are laminated signs reminding employees to turn off the lights. What I want to know is: where are the coffee and croissants? Where is the giant, flat-screen TV permanently tuned to Sky? Call this a film junket? Anderson lurks in a vast room with grubby skirting boards; it has bad light, a single bulb emitting a yellow gloom of a kind that would make even Marilyn Monroe look liverish. A make-up artist is leaving and I wonder how she coped. Perhaps she keeps a miner's helmet among her brushes and powder; either that, or she made Anderson stand at the window, gazing at the driving rain.

None of this seems to bother Anderson.

Read more here or here.

Tristram Shandy at the 43rd NY Film Festival
Posted at 11:50 AM (PDT) on Friday, August 26, 2005

The 43rd New York Film Festival
September 23 - October 9, 2005

The New York Film Festival, now celebrating its 43rd year, continues its proud tradition of showing the newest and most important cinematic works by directors from around the world. The 17-day Festival is an unparalleled showcase of inspiring and provocative cinema by emerging talents and first-rank international artists whose films are often recognized as contemporary classics.

Order forms will be mailed to Film Society members on August 26. Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Sunday, September 11.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

How do you film an unfilmable novel? In this case Laurence Sterne's "post-modern before there was even a modern" classic, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. The British director Michael Winterbottom, who enjoys working without a net, has fashioned an improvisation that achieves something quite singular as it goes on its merry, digressive way: a serious and utterly hilarious movie that feels loose yet rigorous in its approach to the problem of adapting Sterne. The sparkling cast includes Gillian Anderson, Shirley Henderson, and Jeremy Northam as a Winterbottom-ish director. And at the center of this merry enterprise is the marvelous Steve Coogan, playing a hapless version of himself playing Shandy, whose verbal sparring matches with Rob Brydon are not to be missed. 91 min. UK, 2005 A Picturehouse Release

FRI - OCT 7 - 6:00 PM (Alice Tully Hall)
SAT - OCT 8 - 12:00 NOON (Alice Tully Hall)

Thanks, Laura!

What about the second TXF movie?
Posted at 11:37 AM (PDT) on Friday, August 26, 2005

Entertainment Weekly
September 2, 2005
By Scott Brown

What of the X-Files movie sequel?

Chris Carter blames the delay on tangled contracts. The story was completed last year, and he says David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are on board.

"We'd want to tell a Mulder and Scully story, specifically."

Carter's a believer: "The chances are very good."

And the truth won't stay out there forever.

Thanks Cathy and Wendy!

Buy The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 2 - Black Oil DVD and get The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 1 - Abduction DVD at an additional $4 off's everyday low price.

Total List Price: $79.96
Buy Together Today: $55.98
You Save: $23.98 (Ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping)

New Interview and more reviews for The Mighty Celt
Posted at 11:04 AM (PDT) on Friday, August 26, 2005

This is LONDON
August 26, 2005

X-Files ex is in love with London
By Fiona Maddocks, Evening Standard

Even accepting she's just had her make-up done for our photo shoot, Gillian Anderson looks flawless. Though not normally the first thing you expect to remark on, with Anderson it's almost fair game.

Ever a reluctant interviewee, she's here to do her bit for The Mighty Celt, the film, opening today, in which she stars with Robert Carlyle, written and directed by Pearse Elliott and set in contemporary Belfast.

Anderson, unfamiliar with Northern Ireland, took her preparation seriously, driving around Belfast with her husband of eight months, ex-Financial Times foreign correspondent Julian Ozanne.

"I realised how little I knew about the complexities of the issues," she says, carefully and with no suggestion that she's now mastered them; merely that she's trying. "We visited the different sides of the Falls Road, the monuments, the graveyards, the murals. We looked at houses with nets draped over their back yards to protect them, like tiny prisons. But we looked, too, at what a beautiful city Belfast is, and how strong is its sense of community, its optimism."

To read the entire article, click here.


Lots more TMC reviews:

The Irish Times
Belfast Telegraph
Arts Telegraph
The Mirror
The Independent
The Guardian
Irish News
The Scotsman

Daily Record (excerpts)
By Alan Morrison

Scottish acting duo Robert Carlyle and Ken Stott take on Irish accents for this tale set in contemporary Belfast. Former X-Files star Gillian Anderson is also word perfect as the single mother of Donal (Tyrone McKenna), a boy who is obsessed with greyhounds. Behind the boy's story is a portrait of the adults' Northern Ireland, a country and its people trying - and sometimes failing - to change and move on from the sectarian violence of the past. t's a low-key release that doesn't really gain much from big screen projection, although strong performances and an absorbing story raise it above made-for-TV fare.

Evening Times, Glasgow (excerpts)
By Andy Dougan

THERE are a lot of good things coming out of both sides of the border in Ireland, cinematically speaking. Adam and Paul, for example, remains one of the best films I've seen this year. This is not in the same league but despite being a slight drama it is worth a look if only for the quality of a cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Gillian Anderson, and Ken Stott.

What we have here is National Velvet with greyhounds and Belfast accents. Director Pearse Elliot has a tendency to romanticise almost everything to the point where its one note of genuine discomfort - a sub-plot about Republican gunrunners - just disappears. That apart, it's the performances that make this one worth watching, along with a running time that doesn't overstay its welcome.

Gillian on GM TV and more TMC news
Posted at 10:46 AM (PDT) on Thursday, August 25, 2005

The GM TV web site has a video clip featuring Gillian: "No longer seen as Dana Scully, Gillian Anderson is moving on from the X-Files."

To read the transcript, click here.

Thank you very much to Maddy for the transcript, to Lorna for the screen caps, and to Lyze and monicafp for pointing us to the video clip!


Birmingham Post Review (excerpts)
By Mike Davies

Even knowing X-Files star Gillian Anderson was co-starring, it was still a while before I actually recognised her on screen, so on the button is her Ulster accent and so completely is she immersed in the character.

First time director Pearse Elliott keeps the political backdrop and the threat of violence on an understated simmer, preferring to concentrate on the coming-of-age drama which tends to play out rather like Kes with a greyhound.

The central performances are exemplary, Anderson first rate as the feisty working class mother (demonstrating fine comic timing in her learning to drive scenes), Carlyle never overplaying his reformed troubled terrorist and, smoking and swearing his head off, newcomer McKenna a real find as Donal.

One shockingly unexpected moment that will upset young viewers aside, the plot follows a fairly predictable course but knowing what's coming shouldn't lessen the impact or enjoyment at all.


The Times Online
By James Christopher

The story is so slender it almost crumbles between your fingers. The romance between Anderson’s single mum and Carlyle’s newly freed prisoner is made of sterner stuff, if only because they wear their unspoken grief like Marley’s chains. The winning ingredient is how these lonely adults square their differences for the sake of the young boy.

Who would have thought that the wellbeing of a dog would inspire the first example of Peace Process cinema? All credit to the exotic cast for trampling the issues that famous locals fear to tread. The accents are impeccable. Anderson is faultless as a bitter, loving mother. Carlyle is terrific as the wise lag, hailed as a hero for an act of terror he would rather forget.

The tribal friction is spot-on. If only Elliot could have extended the same subtlety to his soapy plot. But pack your expectations lightly and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Read more.

Thanks xfrgg and Wendy!


Film Exposed
By Chris Thornton

Pearse Elliott both writes and directs this semi-autobiographical tale and his closeness to the material is clear through well studied and developed characters and a general fondness for the Belfast setting.

Indeed this film is heart warming in its nostalgia, but in some rather surprising ways. ...The clear attention to the every day details is the core of the film’s strength whilst the film’s performances bring out the best in an already strong script. Everyone impresses; Carlyle and Stott are both wonderful, Anderson is virtually unrecognisable and puts on a decent Belfast accent that will convince most, but the real star of the show is Tyrone McKenna, a brilliant find who carries the film on his small shoulders with aplomb.

The Mighty Celt is funny, heart warming and also heart rending; it is a film for all age groups except perhaps the youngest. The story is a good one well told and well delivered; kudos to Mr. Elliott on a brilliant debut.

Read more.

Thanks Lyze and Wendy!


Film Ireland
By Rebecca Kemp

The film essentially belongs to its actors and characterisations, with fine performances from Tyrone McKenna as Donal, Ken Stott as Joe and Robert Carlyle as O. But the shining light is Gillian Anderson, virtually unrecognisable as Belfast single mum Kate, all boobs, roll-up fags and high hair. Her short-vowelled, nasal accent is nothing short of the real thing.

Entirely shot on location, The Mighty Celt is a semi-autobiographical homage to Elliott's home town, drawing on his passion for breeding dogs and injected with his own take on post-conflict politics. It's a moving story of atonement, told through sensitive characterisation, and using paradox to underline Elliott's particular political bug-bears. However, fans of the more hardened political drama will not find the depth of conviction or gritty realism evident in films made in the midst of the conflict, from the likes of Jim Sheridan and Terry George in The Boxer or In the Name of the Father.

Read more.

Thanks xfrgg!


Sky Movies
By Tim Evans

Pearse Elliott's solid and often touching film succeeds largely thanks to the quality of the acting (Gillian Anderson nails an Irish accent) and its non-sensational approach to issues including renegade republicans unwilling to give up the fight.

There haven't been a great number of films dealing with Northern Ireland's difficult emergence from decades of sectarian terrorism. Director Pearse Elliott doesn't actually focus on the political upheavals of the peace agreement but acknowledges there are those unwilling to forgive and forget. Instead, he's drawn to the everyday story of a young boy growing up in a Belfast still riven by ideological conflict but unquestioningly determined to keep the peace.

It gets a little bit of a canine Kes but terrific performances - particularly from the seasoned Caryle and luminous newcomer McKenna - lend it a voice of its own. Gillian Anderson - boasting a convincing Irish burr - makes the movie attractive Stateside and its level-headed approach to a complex situation deserves praise.

Worth a look.

Read more.


The Mighty Celt screenings at the Montreal World Film Festival are :

August 29, 2005 - 09:20:00 - CINÉMA PARISIEN 6
August 30, 2005 - 21:30:00 - CINÉMA PARISIEN 6
August 31, 2005 - 19:00:00 - CINÉMA PARISIEN 5
September 04, 2005 - 11:40:00 - CINÉMA PARISIEN 2

Thanks Martin!

TMC Director talks about the film plus an update on Celt the greyhound
Posted at 9:10 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 24, 2005


WATCH: Director Pearse Elliott talks about shooting dogs, working with newcomer Tyrone McKenna, and casting Gillian Anderson and Robert Carlyle.

They also have the trailer.

From the Sunday Express:

Why Dumped Dog is Such a Lucky Hound
By David Wigg

No one wanted greyhound Pal after he was abandoned for not being fast enough on the track - until an animal trainer was asked to find a dog to star in a film. David Wigg tells how the renamed Celt so nearly lost out again - before finding a new home and some much-needed love.

Read more.

Gillian in Edinburgh, Scotland
Posted at 1:12 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Last Saturday, Gillian attended the UK Premiere of On a Clear Day at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Thanks Wendy and Lorna!

Lots More on The Mighty Celt
Posted at 10:19 AM (PDT) on Tuesday, August 23, 2005

From Film

The cast are remarkable; Stott gives all little boys nightmares with his performance of the amusingly nicknamed Good Joe. Anderson proves once again that her acting talents are far beyond her famous TV role. Carlyle is wonderful, but is overshadowed by the young McKenna who seems to have taken to acting like a duck to water (or perhaps greyhound to racetrack?) and steals the film. ...the film is very touching and during the racing scenes, I couldn’t help but exclaim "Go Mighty Celt! Go!"

Read more.

Thanks xfrgg and Wendy!


From the

Extremely strong performances from the entire cast bring this to life. McKenna is terrific as Donal--edgy and tenacious, someone we like and want to cheer for. Nothing quite prepares us for Anderson's feisty turn as a skinny, working-class Irish mum. And Carlyle is perfectly cast as the charming man with a mysterious past. Stott has the thankless role as the guy who becomes darkly jealous and then vicious for no obvious reason. This cliche undermines the film somewhat, as does the structure of the race sequences (do we have any doubt what will happen?). And the frightening violence will be a bit much for young viewers. But it's a strong, engaging film that's well worth a look.

Read more.

Thanks Lyze and Wendy!


Yahoo! Movies UK & Ireland also has the trailer plus two new film clips of The Mighty Celt.

Click here OR go to Yahoo! Movies and scroll down to Movie Features: The Mighty Celt.

Thanks Vaughan!

More trailers at: My


From TV Listings:

All this week, ITV 3 will have repeat airings of Film File: Review of director Pearse Elliot's new drama The Mighty Celt, which stars Robert Carlyle, Gillian Anderson and newcomer Tyrone McKenna

For more information, click here.

Thanks, Laura!


MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL 2005: August 26 - September 5

The goal of the Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal International Film Festival) is to encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations, to foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, to promote filmmakers and innovative works, to discover and encourage new talents, and to promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.

Focus on World Cinema Section:

Ireland / 2004 / 35 mm / Colour / 80 min / Dir.: Pearse Elliot
A young man living with his mother enters the underground world of dog racing, with the encouragement of a local dog trainer.

Thanks monicafp!

Gillian on BBC Radio 4: Saturday, August 27
Posted at 9:58 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 22, 2005

Arts and Drama
The Film Programme
Saturdays 17:30- 18:00

This Saturday on BBC Radio 4's programme for movie enthusiasts: Gillian Anderson on her new film 'The Mighty Celt'.

Thanks Lyze and Wendy!

Lycos Film also has the trailer: low high

Gillian in Glasgow
Posted at 9:54 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 22, 2005

Aug 20 2005
Daily Record

X-Files star Gillian Anderson made a surprise visit to Glasgow Royal Infirmary yesterday. People making their way in were stunned when she turned up to film scenes for The Last King Of Scotland.

Anderson, 37, plays a doctor who has an affair with Scots actor James McAvoy's character in the movie about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. She was driven from the front entrance to a nearby trailer and was flanked by heavy security between scenes.

But Shameless star McAvoy, 25, insists Anderson is a dream to work with. He said: "She's been great - a really nice woman. Gillian's hard working and very professional."

A set insider added: "She isn't like a Hollywood diva and was having a laugh and joke."

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow Hospitals Trust said: "The crew were using parts of the hospital which are disused and there was no disruption to patients or staff.

Daily Star
August 20, 2005

There were spooky goings-on at a Scottish hospital yesterday as X-Files star Gillian Anderson jetted in to Glasgow.

But the 37-year-old actress wasn't investigating alien abductions - she was at the Royal Infirmary to film scenes for The Last King of Scotland, a movie about brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

A insider said: "Gillian has just returned from shooting scenes in Uganda and had to spend one day in Scotland filming. She has been having a laugh with the cast and crew and said it is a shame she can't get to spend more time in Scotland."

Thanks monicafp, gillyjumper2004, and baha!

More The Mighty Celt Reviews
Posted at 9:24 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 22, 2005

From the Sunday Business Post:

As Kate, Anderson is a million miles from her cardboard, monotoned X-Files character Scully. She conveys a hardened, often bitter weariness that masks a fragile but loving woman. So convincing are her mannerisms, accent, wit and the smallest of knowing expressions in her eyes, she is almost unrecognisable as the actor who played Special Agent Scully.

The Mighty Celt is a simple story, well told. It takes a welcome turn away from the fluffy sameness which has marred so many contemporary Irish films of recent years.

For the full review, click here.

From Film Focus:

Odd is the best word to describe things in Mighty Celt. First of all, it's odd that the film stars a Scotsman and an American when it's set so prominently in Belfast. It's even odder that they're both playing Northern Irish characters. But most of all, it's odd that within five minutes you almost completely forget they're not Northern Irish.

Indeed, both Robert Carlyle and Gillian Anderson are so convincingly Northern Irish that at times The Mighty Celt could have done with subtitles. The slang-heavy thick Belfast accent is troublesome if you've never known anyone who uses it.

Beyond the language barrier, though, The Mighty Celt has a lot going for it. It's the latest in a traditionally long line of wholesome-but-gritty heart-of-gold films to be produced in Britain and while, at times, it's almost sickly sweet, it's difficult not to fall in love with its brand of good-hearted drama.

For the full review, click here.

Thanks Lyze and Wendy!

New Interview
Posted at 9:05 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 22, 2005

Gillian goes to Andersonstown
The Irish Times
August 20, 2005

Gillian Anderson has just made a film in Belfast, playing an IRA widow. And her accent isn't half bad. But then a life on the move has left the 'X Files' star with a habit of changing her voice to fit in, she tells Donald Clarke.

There is, arguably, no more effective way of making American actors look ridiculous than asking them to attempt a Northern Irish accent. Reputation or experience count for little when confronted with vowel sounds a Californian could more easily reproduce by reversing a tractor over a goose. Fans of Gillian Anderson, the diminutive, buttoned down actress who set nerdish hearts aflutter in The X Files, might, therefore, be forgiven for approaching The Mighty Celt with trepidation. ...Against the odds, Anderson does a very good job. Some of the rounder sounds are a little forced, but for most of the film you would be hard pressed to identify her as an outsider.

"The production hired a terrific dialogue coach," she says. "So while I was still doing a play in London" - The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, at the Royal Court - "I would rehearse several hours a day. Then there was an excellent guy on set who would listen carefully. But, yeah, it is the hardest accent to do. You use so much of the range of your mouth. So little of it resembles anything else in any other dialect."

"I think I do have an ear for accents. I think I do find them easier to pick up. But it is, also, a little frustrating. I can be sitting before somebody from Australia or New Zealand, and, before I know it, I am slipping into the rhythms of their speech. It is a bit embarrassing. I could get a phone call right now from the States, and once the American voice hits my ear I will turn American."

The Mighty Celt is a sensitive, moving piece of work, which profits from consistently strong performances. But how on earth did she find herself doing it? Made on a minuscule budget, the film is not an obvious choice for somebody in her position. "I have a very good agent who knows what I like," she says. "I thought it was a really moving script. It was very, very sweet. I just loved the relationship between Tyrone and his mother. There was a real loving fondness there that I hadn't played before."

Read more.

The Mighty Celt at the Espoo Ciné International Film Festival
Posted at 4:15 PM (PDT) on Friday, August 19, 2005

XVI Espoo Ciné International Film Festival: August 23rd–28th, 2005 (FINLAND)

Espoo Ciné is an international film festival, arranged annually in August at the Espoo Cultural Centre, Tapiola.

The 16th edition of Espoo Ciné International Film Festival will once again screen an extensive selection of the best of contemporary European cinema. In addition to European fare, the festival lineup also includes a number of cinematic gems from Hong Kong, Canada and the United States.

The festival programme consists of six themes: Espoo Ciné Selection, Documentary programme, Pink Zone, Méliès d’Argent competition programme, films for children & the young, and Finnish gems.

Films for children & the young

The films from abroad screened in the children and youth programme comprise a selection of important cinematic works previously unseen in Finland. ...Social conflicts form the background for films directed at slightly older audiences: ...the coming-to-age story of the 14-year old Donal, The Mighty Celt, is concerned with the political turmoil of Northern Ireland.

Thanks, Laura!

The Mighty Celt in the News
Posted at 1:16 PM (PDT) on Friday, August 19, 2005

Excerpt's from's film review of The Mighty Celt:

When Pearse Elliott's film made its bow at the Berlin Film Festival, it was as part of the 'Kinderfest' strand. However, despite featuring a youngster in the lead, The Mighty Celt is no children's film. Alongside a friendship story, it tackles social and political issues that makes it comparable to Ken Loach classic Kes, even if it's not quite as powerful.

Aside from Elliott's sprightly direction and unsentimental script, The Mighty Celt's chief pleasure is the quality of the performances. While you might expect committed turns from the likes of veteran character actors Robert Carlyle and Ken Stott, it's Gillian Anderson that surprises most. Although 'The X-Files' star proved her acting chops on The House Of Mirth, she truly loses herself in this role. With a faultless Northern Irish accent and a dowdy makeover, it takes several minutes to even recognise her. Tyrone McKenna also gives a spirited performance, a world away from the mannered child stars of Hollywood.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the film is its ability to blend the residue of the Irish conflicts into the everyday. The character of O, solidly played by Carlyle (who is making a habit of humanising villains after playing Hitler in TV film 'Rise Of Evil'), remains a complex figure. Haunted by his past actions, he's nonetheless willing to continue the fight for what he believes in - only this time his words are his weapons. Whether this will appeal to children raised on Harry Potter remains to be seen, but The Mighty Celt is a film that deserves to find an audience.

It feels like a sophisticated Children's Film Foundation movie, but The Mighty Celt has much more to offer, including first-rate performances and a thought-provoking script.

Review by James Mottram
8 out of 10 stars

Thanks Wendy and xfrgg!


Today's Times Online (UK) has an interview with Robert Carlyle which includes comments by Pearse Elliott.

The Mighty Celt belongs to a new generation of films that examine how Northern Ireland has been transformed by the peace process. ...But terrorism dramas are no longer the only game in town. The Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, launched in 2003, is now attracting international business. ...The era when filmmakers sought unofficial permission from paramilitary groups to shoot in the province is over.

"Those days are long gone," says Elliott, who shot The Mighty Celt in his native West Belfast. "I actually think they are urban myths. The reality is that people from my community are completely over the moon to see a film getting made in their street. Every door was open, there was genuine appetite to see it. People get a buzz out of having Bobby Carlyle and Gillian Anderson walking down their street, especially when their street has only been famous for being bombed out."

Read more.


HEADS UP from The Mirror (UK)!

NEXT WEEK IN TICKET: Gillian Anderson on why she's in love with Britain.

The Mighty Celt Trailer
Posted at 12:01 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The trailer for The Mighty Celt is now available at the Metrodome web site. Thanks, Marie!

Screencaps are available here. Thanks, Lorna!

New Cafe Press Designs
Posted at 11:25 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Maurizio Di Bona (aka: The Hand), well known to all those who participated in this year's Spring Auction as the person who drew the fabulous Mulder and Scully cartoon, has created two new designs inspired by Gillian's love and concern for animals .

They can be found at our We Must Be Their Voices section of Cafe Press.

Savings: $5 off orders over $50
Use coupon code B2SALE
Sale ends on September 6, 2005

Maurizio also creates custom made cartoons. For information on how to be a protagonist in your very own comic strip, click here.

Attention Online Shoppers
Posted at 10:47 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Save money, time, and help a worthy cause too!

Join to shop at over 600 major online retailers and they will donate a percentage of the purchase price to NF, Inc. (listed as cause number 7859).

New iGive Members will get an extra $5 donation, on top of the money they raise, by shopping through

For delicious baked goodies, specialty coffees, gourmet teas, and unique gifts, try the heavenly fare at, proud recipient of the Customer Rated "Top Service Five-Star Award" for superlative quality. They were also rated "Best Overall" by Wall Street Journal in 2002. also sells NF, Inc. wristbands To learn more about this site and why they've chosen to help NF, Inc., click here.

A Cock and Bull Story at the San Sebastian International Film Festival
Posted at 6:21 PM (PDT) on Friday, August 12, 2005

A Cock and Bull Story has been included in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian International Film Festival: September 15-24

Official Selection

The best films of the moment are brought together each year in this section which, like other festivals considered by the IFFPA as "competitive non-specialized", shows a selection of competing films from among recent cinematographic works not to have competed
in other Festivals.

This means that the public and members of the media who come to the Festival can enjoy the latest work by some of the most appreciated film-makers on top of new additions to the fascinating world of cinema. 10 days when great films are the reason for getting together and having a good time.

An international jury has the obligation to award the following prizes to films in the Official Section:

Gold Shell for the best film
Special Jury Prize
Silver Shell for the best director
Silver Shell for the best actress
Silver Shell for the best actor
Jury Prize for the best photography
Jury Prize for the best screenplay

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story At Toronto Film Festival
Posted at 10:58 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Toronto International Film Festival
September 8 - 17, 2005

TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY by Michael Winterbottom, UK, Special Presentation World Premiere

The film is the clever, comic, post-modern take on the construction of a film, from an intricate, hilariously complex autobiographical novel,
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne.

The film stars Steve Coogan, Jeremy Northam, Stephen Fry, and Gillian Anderson.

The Mighty Celt: Shadows on the Wall Review
Posted at 9:56 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Review by Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

This gentle story of a boy and his dog has enough grit and energy to be both entertaining and insightful. It's nothing particularly original, and there's a willingness to drift into cliches, but it's enjoyable while it lasts.

In Belfast, Donal (McKenna) is a young teen who lives with his single mum Kate (Anderson) and works after school for Joe (Stott), a greyhound trainer. Donal has a natural ability with dogs, and makes an agreement with Joe to train a dog named Mighty Celt, with the chance of owning him if he wins three races. Then a shadowy figure from the past (Carlyle) reappears, dredging up memories of IRA violence and relationship secrets that begin to drastically change Donal's interaction with everyone around him.

Writer-director Elliott has a bracing ability to avoid childishness even though the story is about a young boy. Donal is allowed to smoke and swear like the best of them, which adds a realism we don't expect, as does a humorous subplot involving Kate's disastrous attempts to find a new man. Yes, on the surface this is a cute story about a boy bonding with his dog, but there's a strong undercurrent of Irish violence in here as well. And Donal's tenacity to pursue what he knows to be his God-given talent for dog-training is strongly felt throughout the film, even more so in the face of so many obstacles.

Extremely strong performances from the entire cast bring this to life. McKenna is terrific as Donal--edgy and tenacious, someone we like and want to cheer for. Nothing quite prepares us for Anderson's feisty turn as a skinny, working-class Irish mum. And Carlyle is perfectly cast as the charming man with a mysterious past. Stott has the thankless role as the guy who becomes darkly jealous and then vicious for no obvious reason. This cliche undermines the film somewhat, as does the structure of the race sequences (do we have any doubt what will happen?). And the frightening violence will be a bit much for young viewers. But it's a strong, engaging film that's well worth a look.

The Mighty Celt Review (BBC)
Posted at 9:48 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Reviewed by Neil Smith
04 August 2005
BBC Movies Review

Gillian Anderson brings a dash of Hollywood glitz to The Mighty Celt, a gentle rites-of-passage tale about a Belfast boy with a passion for greyhound racing. Directed by Pearse Elliott, scripter of last year's Man About Dog, it's a slight and rather dour tale with images of (simulated) animal cruelty that will have pooch lovers foaming at the mouth. That said, it's refreshing to see a flick from the top half of the Emerald Isle that doesn't focus exclusively on the troubles and their aftermath.

Billed as "the first post-conflict film to come out of Northern Ireland", Elliott's drama revolves around Donal (Tyrone McKenna), a resourceful lad who juggles school with after hours work for tough-as-nails dog owner Good Joe (Ken Stott). After saving an unpromising mutt from his employer's knife, Donal dubs him The Mighty Celt after one of his favourite comicbook heroes and trains him to beat all comers on the track.

Meanwhile, single mother Kate (Anderson, looking decidedly un-glam and sporting a perfect Ulster brogue) gets gradually reacquainted with O (Robert Carlyle), a former boyfriend and reformed terrorist who has returned from exile to rebuild his life.


As a writer Elliott romanticises both Donal's grinding poverty and O's balaclava past, while a subplot involving Real IRA gun-runners is left bafflingly unexplored. But the unlikely romance that develops between Dana Scully and Hamish Macbeth reaps rich dividends. And mischievous newcomer McKenna - despite boasting an accent that could easily cut glass - gives an eye-catching performance loaded with promise.

The Mighty Celt is released in UK cinemas on Friday 26th August 2005.

Thanks Norma and Wendy!

Happy Birthday, Gillian!
Posted at 5:20 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Hands That Shape Humanity
Posted at 10:39 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 8, 2005

Hands That Shape Humanity strives to extract the unique characteristics that have enabled the participants to achieve their success and to distil these traits into qualities, practices and approaches that any of us can use to improve ourselves and contribute towards creating a better society.

At the same time, part of the proceeds raised through the Hands That Shape Humanity initiative go towards the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in order to help further the DTPC's goals and objectives.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

The first phase of the Hands That Shape Humanity exhibition comprises words of wisdom, and shared thoughts and insights on humanity and what shapes it, from 38 high profile people, from all over the world and from all walks of life.

Gillian Anderson:

"The fears that live inside of us, whatever they are, and however they manifest, prevent us from living our highest potential as individuals, as contributors to the human race. If we can consciously and vigilantly transmute those fears into compassion for others, we will know what it is to live a peaceful existence on this planet."

Question: If there was just one piece of wisdom you could leave behind for humanity, what would it be?

Gillian's Answer: The phrase I think has been the most powerful and comforting and effective to me over the years has been "don't quit before the miracle". I love that and it is so helpful.

The first Hands That Shape Humanity Exhibition was launched on the 25th of November 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa - the hometown of the patron of HTSH, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Due to the fantastic response, the initial 3 months exhibition has been extended to 12 months. HTSH will soon embark on a global road-show as it is hosted in cities around the world throughout the Americas, the UK & Europe and Asia-Pacific. Appropriate venues are currently being sourced.

A permanent exhibition will also be housed in the Desmond Tutu Museum of Peace that commences construction in 2006 on the Foreshore in Cape Town, South Africa.

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition.

Read more at Marie Claire and Kulula.

Click HERE to view an 8 page PDF article. 624k

Thank you Marie, Laura, and Lina!

Greetings from Africa!
Posted at 10:04 AM (PDT) on Friday, August 5, 2005

Hello everybody.

I am presently in Ethiopia after finishing shooting in Uganda on LKoS. It was a really wonderful experience albeit frustrating and chaotic and impossibly mad at times. There are a lot of very funny moments that I should probably put down on paper sometime involving cows and cars and mud and rain and 'Asians' or lack thereof.

One of the things I did while in Kampala was to visit a school that a friend is chairman of. The school has been open for almost two years and has about 120 students in one of the poorer parts of the city. They have no electricity and hardly any books and have filled up their exercise books I don't know how many months ago, and some of the kids cannot afford the uniforms, etc. etc. etc. And yet the children are incredibly bright and disciplined and so ready and willing to learn.

The afternoon I was there, they held an assembly for me outside and I talked to them briefly about a few things until the sky opened up in a torrential downpour. We took cover in a hall with a dirt floor and a tin roof and my assumption that we might be able to continue the assembly was soon thwarted by the fact that I could not even hear myself speak. And so after sitting around silently twiddling our thumbs for fifteen minutes I asked if they had any songs they could sing. They ended up singing four long beautiful African songs accompanied by dance moves, solos, and percussion -- two boys crouched in the corner banging on yellow plastic jugs with sticks, as the rain pounded above us and my smile grew and grew and grew.

Over the next few years I think I will be focusing more on schools in Africa and this will be the first. More later!

Happy soon-to-be unbirthday to most of you. Tee hee.


Reminder: Gillian's Birthday Fundaiser

Thanks for the unbirthday link, Marke!

The Mighty Celt at the Cairns Film Festival
Posted at 1:23 PM (PDT) on Thursday, August 4, 2005

The Cairns Post/The Cairns Sun (Australia)
Big screen

Gritty yarn

The Mighty Celt

Shows: 4pm, Saturday, August 6, BCC

Superlative performances by enigmatic Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) and robo-cool Gillian Anderson (X-Files) put the final sprinklings of stardust on to this gritty Irish yarn about a disinterested teen giving an awkward greyhound the Cinderella treatment.

This film opened the Dublin International Film Festival 2005. Meet the director Peter Elliot in a special director's screening.

Do it like Dickens
Posted at 1:15 PM (PDT) on Thursday, August 4, 2005

August 2, 2005

BLEAK HOUSE: Do it like Dickens

Sets and costumes are nothing if you don't have the right actors to fill them, and Stafford-Clark confesses casting Bleak House was, well, a Dickensian struggle. The actors needed to appeal to a wide audience. "We didn't want people to go, 'Oh, it's those great British thespians again.' They needed to be there, but they needed to be mixed with people from different backgrounds." So along with Charles Dance and Alun Armstrong, there's Alistair McGowan and Johnny Vegas. There's also Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock, a real coup for the production. "We'd seen her in The House of Mirth and she was so brilliant in period. But we didn't think we stood the slightest chance," recalls Stafford-Clark, "but she's been such a supporter of the show."

Despite the drawn-out shoot, actors needed little encouragement to commit, which Stafford-Clark puts down to the material. "These parts are so attractive, they're so well-written. You don't have to ask in favours, even with the small parts."

And that meant getting the right faces for the roles was that much easier. "We never cast people just for their name," insists Mackie. "If people switch off after an episode and a half because the 'names' aren't appropriate to the parts, then we're in trouble," says Stafford- Clark. "Everyone cast had to be able to play the part they were cast in."

Read more.

ZBF: An Emergency Appeal
Posted at 3:30 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Operation Murambatsvina - An Emergency Appeal

Dear Friends,

I have been deeply, deeply distressed to see the wonderful, thriving, democratic country of Zimbabwe become a shadow of what it used to be. Zimbabweans are suffering and we hear there are numerous cases of human rights abuse and torture. It is a situation where we cannot stand by watching a tragedy unfold without becoming complicit through our apathy.

As a Patron I encourage you to support the Zimbabwe Benefit Foundation. The people of Zimbabwe desperately need our help and encouragement. I commend those who have established this foundation to make a practical contribution to alleviate the suffering of these people.

In South Africa a similar fund saved many of our people. Nelson Mandela himself might not have been saved the gallows without the efforts of the international community and those who selflessly strove to see that justice prevailed.

I urge you to support this eminently worthy initiative and hope you will respond with compassion and generosity.

God bless you

Desmond M Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus

Covance Monkey Lab Update
Posted at 9:55 AM (PDT) on Tuesday, August 2, 2005

From Contact Music:

Anderson's Efforts Pay Off For PETA

Gillian Anderson's efforts against an animal testing company are paying off, after a Virginia court ruled video footage showing the animals' plight can be screened.

Former X-FILES star Anderson caused a storm of controversy recently, when she showed footage of monkeys being tortured by a Virginia animal testing company on her website in support of animal rights activists People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Earlier this year (05), PETA was served with a cease and desist lawsuit by attorneys representing laboratory Covance Inc, after they aired the disturbing footage, shot during an 11-month undercover investigation.

But the legal threat didn't deter Anderson from putting the footage - which allegedly features workers hitting, choking, taunting and deliberately tormenting terrified monkeys - on her own website.

And in the first stage of the battle, a Virginia court has now ruled that PETA can show video. A final decision on the footage has yet to be made.

Thanks Laura and magnolia18!


Covance Drops Lawsuit Against PETA Europe

Covance Laboratories has been working overtime on damage control after undercover video footage taken by a PETA U.S. investigator exposed the company’s cruel treatment of animals. Unable to convince a court to prevent the public from seeing how monkeys are systematically abused in its laboratories, Covance has dropped its lawsuit against PETA Europe, an action that marks the latest in a string of legal victories for animals in the fight against the giant drug-testing conglomerate. Covance must also pay PETA Europe’s legal costs associated with the case.

Shortly after PETA U.S. went public with an 11-month investigation inside a Covance laboratory in Vienna, Virginia­documenting appalling physical and psychological abuse of monkeys­Covance requested an injunction preventing PETA Europe from showing the shocking video footage. On June 16, a U.K. judge dismissed that case, characterizing the video as “highly disturbing.” The judge also commented on the “rough manner in which the animals [are] handled and the bleakness of the surroundings in which they are kept,” matters which he said “cry out for explanation.”

In contrast to the abuse uncovered by PETA U.S., Covance’s “Animal Welfare Statement” claims that the company treats the animals in its facilities with “care and respect.” The judge called the difference between Covance’s claim and the reality exposed by the PETA U.S. investigation “a comparison between two different worlds,” and he went on to say that where Covance “has fostered a misleading impression, PETA Europe is entitled to correct it publicly.” He then ordered Covance to pay PETA Europe £50,000 for its legal costs. Covance appealed the judge’s decision, but following a preliminary review in which the Court of Appeals described that case as an “uphill task” for the company, Covance withdrew its appeal on July 25. This increased the amount of legal costs that Covance must pay for PETA Europe.

In the U.S., Covance’s censorship attempts also failed when it had to withdraw motions for both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, which were aimed at preventing PETA U.S. from showing the video. Covance is still attempting to sue PETA U.S. for placing an undercover investigator in its laboratory, but its failure to gag either PETA U.S. or PETA Europe means that the public and the media will be able to watch the undercover footage as the case unfolds.

Read more.

The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 2 - Black Oil
Posted at 11:09 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 1, 2005

Buy The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 2 - Black Oil DVD and get The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 1 - Abduction DVD at an additional $4 off's everyday low price.

Total List Price: $79.96
Buy Together: $53.98
You Save: $25.98 (Ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping) has a DVD CONTEST: "Win "The X-Files Black Oil" on DVD!. Contest ends August 13th.

In Black Oil, even as Scully searches for the truth behind her abduction, an alien autopsy tape leads her and Mulder to a professed group of women abductees who all have chips identical to the one found in Scully's neck. Then, while investigating a series of deaths connected to a sunken World War II aircraft and a mysterious black oil, Mulder encounters Alex Krycek, who claims to have a digital tape documenting the existence of extraterrestrials. A second encounter with Krycek leads Mulder to Siberia, where an unidentified object crashed into Earth in 1908. Yet for all the seemingly undeniable proof, when agents are asked to verify the remains of a 200-year-old-alien, they finally discover just how far the government will go to make Mulder believe.

The Official Gillian Anderson Website
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