The best film and TV of 2023

From M3GAN’s first ever interview to How to Have Sex and Kendall Roy, here are our favourite big and small screen articles of the year.

M3GAN speaks: the first interview

Who could forget M3GAN, the all-singing, all-dancing AI star of last winter’s campest film? Well, reader, we secured an exclusive interview with the killer robot, whose viral dance moves captured the world’s attention at the very start of 2023. I’m entirely autonomous,” she told FACE Consultant Editor Craig McLean. I can literally teach myself how to do anything. But I try not to brag about it.” Giving ChatGPT a run for its money.

Read more here.

The making of How to Have Sex, the British film of the year

Director Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature has it all: fishbowls, blowjobs and cheesy Euro-bangers. But How to Have Sex is also about young female friendship, how quickly it can fracture in the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, consent and the very essence of what sex should look like. It’s still in UK cinemas for a little while, so catch it if you can, and read this feature interviewing the film’s cast and crew about it.

Read more here.

Top to bottom: what makes a great gay film?

It’s been an excellent year for gay cinema. We’ve been treated to Ira Sachs’ Passages, Netflix’s Red, White & Royal Blue and, in January, we’ll finally have the chance to settle into Andrew Haigh’s steamy All of Us Strangers, starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal. Things haven’t always been this way, though. Which is why Style and Culture Editor TJ Sidhu asked leading gay writers and critics including Charles Gant, Alex Needham and Alim Kheraj what the hell makes a great gay film in the first place.

Read more here.

Inside the making of Champion, Candice Carty-Williams’ first TV show

We’re big fans of Candice Carty-Williams at THE FACE – the Queenie author interviewed Adele for our Winter 2022 cover story, after all. So when we found out that she was writing a TV show, it only made sense for her to take us behind the scenes. Champion centres on a Jamaican family from Lewisham, the Champions, and the rival musical talents and aspirations of brother and sister Bosco and Vita. A poignant celebration of Black British music.

Read more here.

The trans film programmers dolling up British cinema

Via special screenings that shine a light on cinema’s forgotten trans women, queer film society TGirlsOnFilm and Funeral Parade give trans moviegoers a place to come together, usually at London’s Prince Charles Cinema, without ignoring the thorny history of exploitation cinema. We wanted to create a safe space, for a lack of a better term,” says Sarah Cleary, who founded Funeral Parade.​“We felt we could do something that we hadn’t seen anywhere else.”

Read more here.

Behind the scenes on Brit action-comedy Sumotherhood

Director Adam Deacon’s had a rough time of it over the last few years, and it was no small feat for him to release this anticipated sequel to his 2011 cult classic, Anuvahood. In this piece, FACE Deputy Editor Olive Pometsey goes behind the scenes with Deacon and some of the film’s cast and crew to talk perseverance, mental health and bringing British comedy to life.

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Acting hard with British cinema’s toughest lads

Sweet Sixteen (2002). Courtesy of BFI

In September, the BFI released a smashing programme that paid homage to working class men on-screen, Acting hard: working-class men and British cinema. Featuring cult classics such as The Football Factory (2004), My Beautiful Landerette (1985) and Sexy Beast (2000), Acting hard held up a mirror to the UK’s wealth divide and class system. I think people really want to understand working classness through characters who are quite decent or politically engaged,” says Nia Childs, the programme’s curator. For me, there is so much to say about characters who kind of don’t care or maybe are just completely disillusioned.”

Read more here.

Breakout Lola Campbell brings grief to life in Scrapper

Charlotte Regan’s charming comedy-drama Scrapper was one of 2023’s hidden gems. It stars 12-year-old Lola Campbell as Georgie, a little girl who’s just lost her mum and embarks on a quest to make it on her own. That is, until her dad Jason, played by Harris Dickinson, re-enters the picture after years of being estranged. Scrapper, basically, is British social realism lit up from the inside out, filled with humour and naturalistic dialogue that celebrates the joys of working class life.

Read more here.

Kendall Roy is a teenage girl and that’s why women love him

It would be impossible to close out this list without at least mentioning Succession and its man-baby-in-chief, Kendall Roy, aka the ultimate troubled millionaire nepo baby. It turns out a specific subsection of TikTok felt emboldened to defend Kendall’s wrongs, dubbing him a misunderstood teenage girl”. They stan him with the ferocity of the BTS Army, making viral edits of him to Mitski and Taylor Swift songs. Make of that what you will.

Read more here.

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