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#OnTheBigScreen: Film stars, crooks, apostles and monsters

Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, Gringo , Paul, Apostle Of Christ and Pacific Rim Uprising open at local cinemas this week.

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool

If you are looking for a timeless romance with first-rate performances, make sure to see this well-crafted biopic with imaginative direction from Paul McGuigan, from a screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh, based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner.

For director Paul McGuigan, the appeal of making Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool lies in Gloria Grahame herself, and the fact that this fascinating part of her life story was told through Peter Turner’s unique experience.

“Having worked in film for so many years I have watched a lot of Gloria Grahame’s films,” he says. “She had this amazing life, which was somewhat controversial as well, but Peter didn’t know anything about her; it was in the days before the internet.”

“I also liked the clean storytelling device of having this young man falling in love with her. And then the audience gets to know her through his eyes,” he adds. “I thought that was really nice, and it was a great book as well. Then Matt’s script distils this story down even more; it is a very tight script.”


This exhilarating mix of dark comedy, white-knuckle action, and dramatic intrigue joyrides into Mexico, where mild-mannered businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of his back-stabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary. Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold battles to survive his increasingly dangerous situation in ways that raise the question: Is he out of his depth – or two steps ahead?

Directed by Nash Edgerton, who made his feature-length directorial debut with the acclaimed Australian thriller The Square. Gringo also stars Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Yul Vazquez, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley.

Paul, Apostle Of Christ

The story follows Paul (James Faulkner), who suffers alone in a Roman prison, awaiting his execution under Emperor Nero. Mauritius (Olivier Martinez), the ambitious prison prefect, can hardly see what threat this broken man poses. Once he was Saul of Tarsus, the high-ranking and brutal killer of Christians. Now his faith rattles Rome. At great risk, Luke the Physician (Jim Caviezel) visits the aged Paul to comfort and tend to him—and to question, to transcribe and to smuggle out Paul’s letters to the growing community of believers. Amid Nero’s inhuman persecution, these men and women will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and change the world.

It was written and directed by Andrew Hyatt.

Pacific Rim Uprising

Pacific Rim Uprising continues the mythology of a richly detailed, wholly original sci-fi universe. With a focus on complex, richly diverse characters, the film is a global adventure - taking the audience from the slums of a future Los Angeles to China, Japan, Australia and deep into the icy reaches of Siberia. With the multi-generational and multi-cultural appeal, this is an emotionally charged, visually spectacular film about the battle for our planet and inspiring human heroism on a whole new scale.

This science fiction monster film is directed by Steven S. DeKnight and written by DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin from a story by DeKnight and Nowlin. It is the sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za

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