News Archive: January 2010 - June 2010

Hi Kenians, a wee update, with one big new thing: a visit to the set of Thor by Entertainment Tonight. You can watch the event and see a short interview with Kenneth here. There are short articles with info from the visit here and here. You can see four images from the set visit here.

And the logo for Thor has been revealed (basically the same as the one floated at the time of the last update). Here is the blurb, from, 8June 2010:

EXCLUSIVE: Captain America & THOR Movie Logos Confirmed!

The images we posted here last week have proven to be the official movie logos for Marvel Studios' Captain America: The First Avenger and THOR.

Today was the first day of the 2010 Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, where production studios have been known for presenting their future films to vendors who are interested in merchandising opportunities. Thanks to our CBM Scooper Nick, we now have confirmation that the possible movie logos for both Captain America: The First Avenger and THOR revealed here exclusively last week (and re-posted above) are the official designs for the films.

Captain America: The First Avenger and THOR are easily some of the most highly anticipated films of 2011; with release dates scheduled respectively for July 22nd and May 6th, 2011.

You can see the logo on the Thor page.

During (literally) the last update KB was awarded the Bafta for Leading Actor for his turn in the second series of Wallander. You can read about it here and see/hear the acceptance speech (read by executive producer Andy Harris) here.

You can see the new photos from Wallander which I mentioned last week here.

Almost the end: an article about fundraising to save the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

And finally, Kenneth Branagh will celebrate his 50th birthday on 10 December 2010 and the Ken-Friends are doing something special for him. If you'd like to help us wish Ken the very best on that day, contact Jude Tessel at for details on how you can participate.

More when there is more...
(24 June, thanks Kate, Pierpaolo, Jude)

Aaack! Another month has gone by! So here's the news since the last update...

The second series of Wallander was been nominated for a bunch of Bafta Television Awards. Paul Hamblin, André Schmidt, Catherine Hodgson, Bosse Persson won the award for Sound Fiction at the Television Craft Awards on 23 May. The other awards are on as we speak (write) and I have half an eye on a Twitter feed, conveniently provided by on the Bafta site, since KB is up for Best Actor.

HE WON!!! (Kudos to the up-to-the-second Bafta web-updaters, who had the info up between one blink and another). Cue the dance round the laptop and through the house. Yay! And so well-deserved!

A chunk of the other news is Thor-related. Here we go:

The newest news is a couple of "concept images" of Thor in his costume. You can see them at this site. It is unclear how "official" they are. And still in the speculative realm, click here for a short article about a possible movie logo for Thor. No word from Marvel Studios. But, Marvel has released a new image - check out the model shot of Destroyer.

New articles: a short interview with KB; a short interview with Stellan Skarsgård; an interview with Chris Hemsworth; another (shorter) interview with Chris Hemsworth; a series of tweets from Stan Lee.

And here is the pertinent bit from Exclusive Interview: Stunt Woman Kylie Furneaux Talks Thor, Elektra, Supernatural, X-Men & More,, 26 May 2010:

Pietro Filipponi: To date, which director do you have the most affinity for and would like to work with again?

Kylie Furneaux: I don’t know whether it is just because it is fresh in my mind but I would have to say Kenneth Branagh [the ‘Thor’ director]. A lot of the time stunt performers don’t work very closely with directors. We take our instruction from the Stunt Coordinator who works closely with the director but Kenneth just seemed to have a lot of respect for stunt performers and often would ask our opinion on how best a move would look.

He has a great sense of humor and such a passion and enthusiasm for the movie making process that it was awesome to watch and be a part of.

And here's the pertinent bit from an article about Colm Feore, Colm Feore's Range Knows No Bounds, by Bob Thompson, The Montreal Gazette, 11 May 2010:
Colm Feore has a great deal of range.

He played Cassius opposite Denzel Washington's Brutus in the Broadway production of Julius Caesar. And he defines the uptight Principal Berkhoff in the quirky Canadian comedy, 'The Trotsky', opening in movie theatres on Friday throughout Canada.

So Feore should have no trouble with his fantasy role in 'Thor', the Marvel Comics movie extravaganza directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The frustrating thing, however, is he can't even tell us whether he's a good guy or bad in the much-anticipated superhero flick set for release next spring. "Marvel hasn't allowed me to say anything," says the respected 51-year-old Stratford, Ont., thespian of stage and screen.

"I can tell you makeup took me five hours every day, and that made for a very long day," he adds as a teaser. "But Branagh is a genius at scheduling, so it worked out fine for me."

And what about the Thor story? His gag order extends to plot lines and previews, too. "It was a lot of fun to do," he finally says. "And I imagine it's going to be huge."

'The Trotsky' is fun - check it out.

Here's a fun bit of info, from an item on Cynthia Nixon (Kenneth's co-star in Warm Springs), 14 May 2010:

Cynthia loves it when famous people admit to watching the hit American show. She was recently astounded to find renowned actor Kenneth Branagh is a big fan.

“Kenneth Branagh loved our show and that did surprise me,” she explained to Look magazine. “He seemed very versed in it. He was familiar with all the characters and the episodes.”

And still in "what they say about him" territory, here's an excerpt from a long interview with Michael Keaton (Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing), The Other Guys Set Visit Interview: Michael Keaton, by Katey Rich, Cinema Blend, 4 June 2010:
Has there ever been a moment where you’ve gone against your instincts and you found it actually did work.
Yes, yes, but it’s not so much that you go against your instincts, so much as someone, a director, hopefully – as opposed to some guy on the street saying who says, ‘you know, I was watching and I thought you f*cked up that one scene terribly’ – that will show you something, or tell you something that opens up, and that’s the most fun.

Are there any examples you can give of that?
Keaton: Well to some degree, to a large degree I would say 'Much Ado About Nothing', where [Kenneth Branagh] would see – things for me always work best when someone says, ‘OK, yes, if that’s what you want to do then, how about this? And how about here? And come back to this thing.’ It turns out a lot of the actors, not just the Americans, had to learn, literally because it was Shakespeare, what does it really mean. What is the interpretation? What is he trying to say? And because I took a rather unusual take on the character, Kenneth would occasionally go – so you had to know, ‘what does it mean?’ This guy knew it inside out, and he’d give you that plus more. Sometimes in 'Clean and Sober', [director] Glenn Caron did a few things where I thought I just knew, and I was right on, and he would say, ‘no, nuh uh.’ And I always want to be the guy who can do the job, I find that a challenge. He was right in several scenes, and I’m sure it’s happened other times.

No comment.   :-D

I have a couple of new photos from Wallander which I will be back with soon!
(6 June, thanks Jude, Pierpaolo)

Hey KBers - a photo of Thor has been released and the comic book universe is atwitter (as in, I had to wade through a zillion links, all the same in the end, hahahaha). Here he is, and looking mighty good! I thank Total Film for supplying a "Sight for Thor Eyes" headline (big weakness for bad puns, me).

There was an earlier sighting of another character, . You can see the mini-article here, but the photo has been removed under the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act". It's very easy to find on other sites, but it was not a great photo and so it's not here.

There is a short article about Idris Elba's response to comments about his role as a "Nordic" god. Good for him for not simply rolling his eyes like the rest of us. The doubters need only review the Branagh oeuvre to get over it.

Latino Review posted another small article, which is speculative, but the "spy's" spelling is just too entertaining to miss:

Possible Spoiler Of Stan Lee's Cameo In Thor
By George 'El Guapo' Roush on April 18, 2010

Stan Lee was just down in Anaheim promoting whatever it is Stan Lee promotes these days, and I'm pretty sure Stan isn't going around telling everyone what his cameo is in 'Thor'.

Comicbookmovie seems to have gotten the description of his scene from someone who was "on the set" from some dude or some website called "Fan Boy". Ya...I would say possible spoilers but this sounds too retarded.

Thor’s hammer ( Mjolnir ) is found in the middle of a road somewhere inside a crater by the army. The Army try’s to remove it but can’t because it’s way too heavy. They decide to bring in a truck to help. The army men tie Thor’s hammer to the back of the truck with chains hoping to pull it of the road. The truck driver accelerates to pull the Hammer. The back half of the truck falls apart from the front and the front keeps going. Finally,there’s a focus on the driver it reviled to be Comic Legion Stan Lee.
So the Army allows 88 year old dudes to drive their trucks? Even past the now age 62 retirement mandate? Take this description with a grain of salt people. Sounds like total bullcrap to me. Then again, this is the Marvel Universe and not the real world.
The big news today is that Listening has been posted on Youtube, in parts one and two. The powers-that-be are fine with it being made available this way. Having had the good luck of seeing the film on a big screen, it is a bit depressing that much of the film's beauty and impact is lost on the teensy screen... but this is probably the only way you will ever get to see it (if you haven't had the chance) so at least it is there. Maybe one day it will be available for direct streaming onto our wall-size home screens (may I live that long!).

Here is a nice little review tied to the upcoming Blu-ray release of Hamlet, from, 1 May 2010:

Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET to Get Blu-ray Digibook Treatment
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't"
Blu-ray and DVD news
By James Plath

Kenneth Branagh seems to have taken that quote from "Hamlet" to heart, for his film version of Shakespeare's popular play marks the first time that Shakespeare's words are used completely and totally from start to finish. That in itself appeals to fans of Shakespeare, but there are many more reasons why Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" is a cut above the rest.

Roger Ebert spoke for a great many critics when he awarded four stars to Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" and summarized why:  "His 'Hamlet' is long but not slow, deep but not difficult, and it vibrates with the relief of actors who have great things to say, and the right ways to say them."

As Ebert pointed out in his review, it's the first 70-mm film since "Far and Away" (1992) and at 238 minutes the second-longest major Hollywood production, clocking in at one minute shorter than "Cleopatra."

Plus the cast is an interesting one. Branagh plays Hemlet, while Kate Winsley is Ophelia and Derek Jacobi and Julie Christie are Claudius and Gertrude. Rated PG-13 for some violent images, brief nudity and sexuality, "Hamlet" has what Ebert called "visual showmanship," which is "breathtaking" in 70-mm.

The run-time on the Blu-ray is listed at 242 minutes, so Branagh must have tinkered a bit. Features will include an intro by Branagh, commentary by Branagh and Shakespeare scholar Russell Jackson, a featurette on the history of "Hamlet," a 1996 Cannes Film Festival promo, and movie trailers. The SRP is $34.99.

It seems the Blu-ray edition will be released in August this year.

And finally, if you are in the Washington D.C area you can see a production of Kenneth Branagh's Public Enemy, and you can win tickets to do so.

That's it for now - more soon, we hope!
(2 May, thanks Pierpaolo, Ilaria, Jude)

Greetings Bran-fans - a few things, starting with a review of Wallander from January which I missed. It has the distinction of referring to KB as "often just lumpy in other parts", which is one I've never heard before (possibly for a good reason).  :-)

And so we're back to Thor... the Los Angeles Times posted an exclusive interview with Kenneth Branagh accompanied by a photo. This photo, in turn, led to some speculation, which you can read about here. In the article there is also mention of another article with rumours of tension on the Thor set - we cover them all, so you can read it, along with two denials, here.

And here is bit more from Idris Elba, from a much longer article:

IESB: Now that you’re doing Thor, what’s it like to be a part of a big adventure epic?

Idris: It’s great. Thor is really, really an epic drama that has Thor as the centerpiece. I'm playing Heimdall, which is great. It feels like a big play. Kenneth Branagh is paying attention to detail. I'm very proud to be there. It's really special.

IESB: For those who aren't familiar with the story, who is Heimdall?

Idris: Everyone in Thor comes from Asgard – Odin and Thor. Asgard is protected by Heimdall. So, if you come in or leave Asgard, you have to go through his observatory, which is pretty much where all of my scenes are.

IESB: Will the costumes have a traditional look?

Idris: I can’t say too much about it. It’s traditional, in the sense of what the comic book has. They're being very cognizant about that and trying to make that authentic. At the same time, it’s a movie, so you can embellish it a little bit more.

And two paragraphs from the New Mexican, 10 April 2010:
Chris Hemsworth, star of Thor (now being filmed in Galisteo), took to the hills to ride with his family a week ago Saturday at The Broken Saddle Riding Company in Cerrillos. Hemsworth's parents were visiting from Australia and his brother, Liam, who plays opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song and dates her off screen, were part of the group led by wranglers Stephanie Abrams and John Wayne Haynes. After the ride, they were entertained by local cowboy singer Jasper McCoy.

Speaking of Thor (AAA, anyone?), the big-budget nature of the film is obvious by the number of yellow signs directing crews all over town. From a town built near Galisteo, to a site behind the Franklin Miles Park, shooting has been fast and furious for the Kenneth Branagh-directed blockbuster. One site that might be familiar to locals is a bar interior shot recently at the favorite Santa Fe nightspot, Cheeks — a scene that took 13.5 hours to capture to Branagh's satisfaction. According to an insider, "despite the fact that they had to do a million takes, everyone seemed pretty non-irritable. Very focused, perfectionistic, stressed but not flipping out."

Going back to the olden days (we do cover them all), Emma Thompson was in the news with a specific Branagh mention (from The Observer, 28 March 2010):
The actress Emma Thompson today talks candidly about her battle with depression during the split from her first husband, Kenneth Branagh, and reveals her continued efforts to escape the critical "voices in her head".

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, she tells host Kirsty Young that only work and the start of a long romance with the actor Greg Wise, her husband of seven years, enabled her to get through a "very rough" period. "I don't think I did stay sane," she says. "I should have sought professional help. Divorce. Ghastly, painful business."

Living alone as her marriage fell apart and dressed in an old black dressing gown that Branagh had left behind, Thompson struggled to produce her first screenplay, an Oscar-winning adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. "I used to crawl from the bedroom to the computer and then I was all right. Sense and Sensibility saved me from going under in a very nasty way."

She met Wise on the set of the 1995 Ang Lee film, in which she also played Elinor Dashwood. "Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again."

Don't hold your breath for similar candid comments from Himself, hahahaha.

Meanwhile, back on the prairies, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is holding their 6th Annual Bard’s Birthday Bash, on 24 April:

Join us for a night of fabulous food, fun and friendship as we celebrate William Shakespeare’s 446th birthday! The evening begins with a delightful dinner in the beautiful Delta Bessborough Hotel, followed by a fun-filled night of exciting activities and bard-brained revelry. Put your mind to the test with Shakespeare Trivia; bid on exciting prizes in our silent auction; and if you’re feeling particularly confident, put your skills to the test in front of our celebrity panel in the hilarious and always popular Shakespeare Idol Contest. Numerous prize draws will be made throughout the night! Celebrity auction donations to date include Kenneth Branagh, Cast of Desperate Housewives, Ian McKellan, Christopher Lee and Daniel Radcliffe.
Who donated Ken?  :-)   Oh, he donated something... ah... well, probably still worth bidding on!

You'll be really pleased to know that you can now get ready for bed with a goodnight story from Kenneth Branagh. From the marvellous tediousoldfools, two stories: here and here.

And that is it for the moment - more soon, I am sure.
(Dedicated to Marika, 18 April, thanks Pierpaolo, Lyn, Ina, Jude)

Hello keen Kenians. The news is almost Thor-oughly one-sided today. I have sifted through lots of repetitive stuff and tried to pick the articles with a teensy bit of "substance" (thin on the ground at this point). You can read more from Kate Dennings; you can read an official synopsis of the plot; you can read about Keri Collins' visit to the set; you can read two (one, two) articles with inside scoop; you can read a snip from the costume designer, and a blurb from Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Thor) about his costume. And finally you can see some "first location photos from New Mexico" (trailers in the distance, rather nice skies - you won't need a defibrillator :-)).

In the only other news, you can view the nice site for the French television edition of Wallander. There is a good photo gallery (some of which you can see here).

That's all for now! I hope to get it together to update the photo galleries (mwahahahaha! do not place any bets, despite my intentions being the best).
(28 March, thanks Jude, Pierpaolo, Isabelle)

Hi Ken-fans. Eeeek! I forgot to put something in the news last time (it may even have been somethingS, but there's one I have just noticed now).

The theatre company Point of You Productions is celebrating its tenth anniversary and has decided to remount a production of A Midwinter's Tale, which is staged to great success about five years ago, sanctioned by Kenneth Branagh. It has already begun (mea culpa) but continues until March 13, at the American Theater of Actors, 314 West 54 Street in New York. You can get details here.

More soon I'm sure.
(6 March, thanks Paul)

Greetings Branaghians - mixed bag of news coming up...   Starting with a bunch of pertinent snips from various sources...

First the important stuff (in the KB hierarchy), a snip from an article on the Tottenham Hotspur site, 30 January 2010:

We also track down renowned actor/director Kenneth Branagh who is in the States working on his latest film. In yet another exclusive interview, he reveals his deep love for Spurs...and Alan Gilzean in particular. He says: "Once you have an affinity with a team then it's there forever. Spurs have always been about commitment and style and, quite frankly, we've still go it.

"This is a very exciting time to be a Spurs fan. We possess some genuinely top class players...and the strength in depth to deal with the inevitable injuries." And Harry Redknapp? "To me, he seems a good fit for Tottenham, he really does," insists Branagh.

Snip #2, this one from the book Something Sensational to Read in the Train (John Murray, 2009) by Gyles Brandreth:
Thursday, 3 June 1999

Went to the Dorchester to interview Kenneth Branagh. It was one of those absurd conveyor-belt interviews favoured by the movie-industry: the star sits on a sofa in the middle of a vast hotel-suite while, at fifteen-minute intervals, hacks are led to squat briefly at the feet of the deity. Normally, the vacuous PR girl remains in heavy attendance. Kenneth said, kindly, "I know Gyles," so we were left in peace. We had a cup of tea and stood by the window looking out onto Hyde park. I gushed about his Hamlet - not surprisingly. He gushed about Venice Midnight - which was good of him. It's about an actor exactly like him. (I want him to make the movie.) He said he particularly liked the three rules of charm - the three Cs: Be courteous. Be carefree. And Concentrate. He said, "I'm trying to adopt them."

And snip #3, from an article featuring Anthony Hopkins, 13 February 2010:
Hopkins, or Sir Tony as he sometimes is called, currently is in production on the filmed adaptation of the popular comic book series, “Thor.” He plays the hero’s one-eyed father, Odin.

“It’s one of those parts where I go in and do my stuff and then I get some time off and then I come back in at the end,” he says.

He is fond of the fantasy film’s director, Kenneth Branagh, whom he met years ago when he was filming “Remains of the Day” with Emma Thompson, Branagh’s ex-wife.

“He’s got a great English sense of humor,” Hopkins says. “He never screams or yells but the other day on set, he said, ‘I would like some quiet. I don’t know if it’s possible but I live in hope we can have a quiet set.’ That’s wonderful dry English humor.”

Then snip #4, from a longer article about Oscar-nominated Carey Mulligan, in The Mirror, 20 February 2010:
Aged 16, while at Woldingham Roman Catholic School in Surrey, Carey wrote to actor Kenneth Branagh, begging him to be her mentor. "I said that my parents didn't want me to act, but that I felt it was my vocation in life," she says.

She still has the letter she received back from Branagh's sister which read: "Kenneth says if you feel such a strong need to be an actress, you must be an actress".

And finally, snip #6, from an article about a tango-inspired production of Romeo and Juliet, in EADT24, 24 February 2010 (check out the photo gallery for images of gorgeous creatures rehearsing):
“It's not a musical version of Romeo and Juliet, it's not a dance version of Romeo and Juliet,” explains Ed: “It is a proper full-length stage production of Romeo and Juliet but it is shot through with the sounds of the tango and the wonderfully evocative, passionate tango dance. The tango, both musically and as dance, complements the play so well, that it could have been designed with that in mind.”

Ed has been developing this unique production for eight years and has managed to get some high profile support in the form of Kenneth Branagh who was so taken with Ed's idea that he agreed to become the project's patron - which has helped persuade ever reluctant financiers to part with their money.

In a letter Kenneth Branagh said that it was Ed's passion and commitment as well as his vision which allowed him to lend his support. He wrote: “His imaginative response to the play is startlingly original and his tenacious devotion to its execution has been very impressive.”


Further plans were put on hold as Ed had to return to the UK but he immediate started firing off letters trying to get his audacious production off the ground. “I wrote to Ken Branagh and he suggested we meet and he was very encouraging. He helped me push the idea along, explore it fully, think about what I was trying to achieve. He said that I should think about what audiences needed to see and how it could be achieved in a cost-effective way because it was at the dawn of the credit crunch and we were planning a show which employed 17 people on stage. It was always going to be a very expensive production. He said that people would be nervous about investing because I am a first time director. He has coaxed me along. He hasn't ever told me what to do but suggested things I should think about.”

So now, in other news...

There are a few Thor items: a short interview with Anthony Hopkins; a short interview with Kat Dennings; and a note about the special effects guys. You can also click here for an exclusive first look at a (large) prop from Thor (they say) and, a titch more excitingly, you can click here for a collection of Twittered indiscretions and/or fantasies relating to the film.

In home entertainment news, believe it or not, after the lengthy campaign (valiantly led by Mark Cassello) to get Hamlet released on DVD, Mark has been informed (without needing to fight!) that Warner Brothers will be releasing both Hamlet and A Midwinter's Tale on Blu-Ray later this year. I'm thinking the Hamlet release was a success...

As well, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing Pirate Radio (a.k.a. The Boat That Rocked) on on DVD and Blu-ray on 13 April 2010. The "bonus material" featuring KB is: Tuning In: Richard Curtis and cast members including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kenneth Branagh and Bill Nighy discuss the enormous influence pirate radio had in the UK in the 1960s.

In the this-news-is-too-late department: Kenneth participated - with a very amusing drawing - in a charity initiative of the organisation Doorway to Dignity. His drawing, and many others by celebrities, were displayed in various venues in London (read about it here), but today was the last day (sorry!). However, you can still see KB's drawing on the site, just watch the slideshow that comes up on the homepage.

Our parting shots: a very nice article with Kenneth in the Reader's Digest and a new (to the Compendium) photo from Coriolanus.

(29 February, thanks Fiona, Jude, Renie, Mark, Robina, Anja)

Okay, so "I'll be back this week" is happening on the last day of the week (though calendars always put Sunday first, so maybe it's already next week...).

If you are wondering where the 2009 news went, you'll find it in the News Archive.

Here are a few more things, the end of the last update...

Regarding Thor, has put up a very handy gallery of the characters and cast. I'm assuming they will add or subtract as necessary.

This is the link to the Wallander review by AA Gill. It contains these memorable lines: "He transcends this slight, under­powered and underwritten detective story so that you realise what a blindingly subtle and talented actor he is. Every year he has not been on the stage or screen was a waste."  Yup.

And one which I had forgotten, an interview from the Radio Times, here, which comes with a nice photo.

And here is a little article from The Mirror, 20 January 2010:

Kenneth Branagh's Swedish Sleuth Wallander to Get a Girlfriend
By Nicola Methven

He's the grumpiest detective on the box - and with good reason.

Over the past few weeks poor Wallander has had to deal with getting divorced, losing his job, suffering a nervous breakdown, getting diabetes and his dad's death. But at last the Swedish sleuth - played by Kenneth Branagh - has got something to look forward to.

Breaking from the Henning Mankell novels, BBC chiefs are to give Kurt Wallander a bit of light relief - in the form of a girlfriend - for the third series of the Bafta award-winning drama.

And my money is on it being Vanja Andersson - actress Saskia Reeves - who appeared in last Sunday's final episode of the series playing a florist.

My source whispers: "Wallander is the epitome of a worldweary detective and it's about time he had a bit of romance in his life. The books never gave him a lady friend but we're going to let him have a bit of fun."

So cheer up now, Kurt.

Hmmmm... we shall see... A couple of other tidbits...

Here's an excerpt from a report on Widescreen Weekend 2008 in Bradford, from The 70mm Newsletter,

Quality, Quantity and Width, Widescreen Weekend 2008 – Better Than Ever
By Mark Trompeteler

Kenneth Branagh
After Sunday lunch delegates returned to a packed cinema to hear Kenneth Brannagh [sic] in conversation on stage with Bradford Film Festival artistic director Tony Earnshaw. The interview covered his film career and Mr. Brannagh spoke in depth about certain of his films, his screen roles and his approach towards them. The conversation ended with discussion on his 70mm, four hour, full play text version of “Hamlet“. The interview which lasted well over an hour also concluded with Kenneth Brannagh being awarded with the Fellowship of the Bradford Film Festival, of which the annual widescreen weekend is a part. Mr. Brannagh gave a short but very eloquent thank you to the museum, the festival and the audience. Mention of “Cinema Technology” to the museum press office had successfully secured late access to the museum’s “green room“ for this CT reporter. Kenneth Brannagh kindly sat for an exclusive CT widescreen weekend report portrait. The screening of “Hamlet” (1996) that then followed displayed a modern 70mm print of fabulous quality. Shot more recently on film emulsions that would have used T-grain emulsion technology, the increased image sharpness and almost disappearance of all grain in the projection to a large screen, gave a presentation of breathless quality. The improved projected image of 1996 70mm film could very clearly be seen when compared with the screening of the earlier “STAR!” (1968 ) the previous evening.

And here is an excerpt from an interview by William R. Braun with the young soprano Anna Christy, from Opera News magazine, September 2009:
Given [Anna] Christy's theatrical bent, it seems logical to ask if she has a favorite actor. She answers the question before it is even completed: "Kenneth Branagh," she blurts. Asked what she admires in him, she thinks a bit. "Intent, I suppose. I have just always, always loved anything I've ever seen him in, starting with 'Henry V'. I saw 'Henry V' in eighth grade. My father dragged me to the theater, and I was completely smitten. And then I was one of the last dozen or so sopranos to be considered for Pamina in his movie of 'The Magic Flute'. So they flew me to London for screen tests and things like that. He was directing those screen tests, he directed me, and I don't know if I was even remotely able to get anywhere near what he wanted, because I was so starstruck, but that was..." And there is a sigh worthy of Sally in the Peanuts comic strip. "And ultimately, of course, I didn't get the role. And he sent me a handwritten note thanking me for coming to the audition, and I have it framed in my study just to remind me that that actually happened - that I was actually in the same room with such a man."
Are we smiling? Yeah.

For the photo finish: there are 4 new screen caps, added to the single image on the Compendium from the ever-mysterious Alien Love Triangle. I don't usually use screen caps, but it seems like Alien Love Triangle will never be seen by more than a handful. Even these caps are from snippets, not from the film. Ah well...

But we can live in the present with these photos from the Golden Globes red carpet, KB and the lovely Lindsay.

Thar's it for today. I am sure there will be more soon.
(24 January, thanks Pennie, Gillian, Lyn, Virginia, Kath, Patricia)

Happy New Year! Yeesh - where did the first two weeks of 2010 go?

We have a whole passle of things to catch up with. Let's start with a word from Himself. You can read about the Ken-Friends 2009 Birthday Project, and read Kenneth's thank-you here. Well done pals!

In his thank-you Ken says he'll be "hurling hammers" in January, but apparently not with Stuart Townsend. Here's a blurb from The Huffington Post, 10 January 2010:

Stuart Townsend Replaced In Marvel's 'Thor,' Shooting Starts Monday
By Mike Cidoni

Stuart Townsend has departed Marvel Comics' movie adaptation of "Thor" because of creative differences, according to sources close to the production.

Townsend had been cast as Fandral, an ally of Norse god Thor. He was replaced by Joshua Dallas, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record. The cast change came as production was about to begin. Shooting starts Monday on the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Irish actor Townsend, 37, best known as the boyfriend of Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, starred in "Queen of the Damned." He had been cast as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy but was replaced at the last minute by Viggo Mortensen.

Dallas, an American actor who is a relative newcomer, appears in George Lucas' upcoming Tuskagee Airmen drama "Red Tails."

"Thor" stars Chris Hemsworth in the title role, a warrior cast down to Earth to live among mortals as punishment for his reckless actions, which rekindled an ancient war in the realm of Asgard. Thor's troubles continue after dark forces of Asgard are dispatched to invade Earth. The movie co-stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Renee Russo and Tom Hiddleston. Kenneth Branagh is directing.

"Thor" had been scheduled for release May 20, 2011, but Marvel has just moved it up to May 6, 2011.

And at the end of the article you see the second bit of news, the earlier release date. You can read a short article about this here. And then there are a bunch more...

As previously mentioned, the Thor literature defeats me:  10,000 comic afficionados all typing the same thing more or less - who do you choose (especially when your brain has been numbed by trawling through it all)?   Anyway, here you go, in chronological order:  4 January; 6 January; 8 January; 13 January; 14 January; and 14 January.

One of the articles has a lot of quotes from Ray Stevenson (who was in Theory of Flight with Kenneth). You can watch the whole video at here.

And finally, you can listen to a song composed for Thor by Nigel Cranswick in Sheffield. If you like the song and know any powers-that-be let 'em know.

And now we move on to Wallander...

There are a whole lot of articles and reviews, as the second series of Wallander premiered in the UK on 3 January. Here is a brief excerpt, from an article by David Lister in The Independent, 9 January 2010, which is much in tune with the general reception of the series (not sure about the last line though!):

Watch the master at work

Kenneth Branagh's career has been largely concentrated on stage and the big screen. But what a magnificent TV actor he is. That much is certain from his Sunday night performances in Wallander, and it's the reason that I shall be sure not to miss the programme on BBC1 tomorrow night.

In his portrayal of the moody Swedish detective, Branagh catches with great poignancy a man at that moment in his life when difficulties with job, friendship, love life, an ailing parent and a daughter needing help with big decisions all converge on an already existential angst. There is no fire or overt emotion in him, yet somehow he conveys that his struggle to make sense of the world gets no easier as he gets older. It's masterful acting, and, for all his many triumphs in theatre and cinema, this is the role that will, I suspect, become the one that he will be best remembered for.

And here are a bunch more, again in chronological order: comments from co-star Sarah Smart, 30 December; interview from BBC News, 1 January; review 1, 4 January; review 2, 4 January; nice long article, 8 January; review 3, 10 January; and fun article about Wallander's ring-tone, 13 January. I have another super-duper review from AA Gill, but I've messed up and will have to wait till next time. You don't want to miss it, so come back!

Meanwhile, it was a slow day at the Sunday Mercury, so someone threw together a few Branagh facts: you can read them here.

KB did not win the Golden Globe, but he attended the event and you can see a short please-tell-us-something-about-Thor video here.

I have more photos from the GGs and a couple of other little things (as well as AA!) and will be back later this week.
(18 January, thanks Nigel, Gillian, Anna, Lyn, Jude)