Dec 6th

TRIFORCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2014 Seminar - Career Development 101

By Tremayne Miller

TRIFORCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2014

SAT 22ND NOVEMBER 2014

11 am- 11 pm
 
at The Princess Anne Theatre, BAFTA,

 

CAREER DEVELOPMENT 101

SUPPORTED BY Creative Skillset 


Seminar chaired by Brenda EmmanusBBC London News Correspondent, (and previously The Clothes Show).

Cynthia Okoye – Talent Agent, Curtis Brown.

Camille McCurry – Literary Agent, United Agents.

Camille Gatin – Producer.

Gavin Humphries – Film Partnership Manager – Creative Skillset.
c7210921-6a2d-43dd-a73f-359847ddf8d3.jpg 

 Questions in summary (pieced together by the Interviewer, herself  and Twitter)

Cynthia, a Talent and Literary Agent from Curtis Brown says she is always on the look-out for a “new voice.”

Camille (Gatin) has expanded her  work to “immersive theatre”
 

Question 1 – where do you go for New Talent?

Gavin: “referrals are really useful. 'People vs. George Lucas' came about through an initial meeting at a film festival.”

 

Subject/Question 2 – Tastes:

Camille (Gatin) is currently looking for a specific Writer to adapt The Pianist into a play.

Gavin says there are different types of Directors, those who are more auteur based, and those who are led by genre.

Camille (McCurry): “having a strong Short is key”, in seeking representation as a Direcor.

 

Question 3 – what is seen as a suitable balance in one’s persistence when following up on the leads (Contacts) one has been given?

“follow-up with people but give it time. A couple of weeks. IT will eventually bear fruit.”
 

Subject/s  4  - challenges for them and the people they represent:

Cynthia: “getting them out there.”

Gavin advises that people should prepare themselves for “The Stretch”, the length of time it takes to get a project/deal off the ground.

Camille (Gatin): Clients should have versatility and the aptitude to adapt.

She further adds that it came as a surprise for her to do a Short but “everything that comes your way will come in useful”, even if it sn’t clear at first as to the reason why.  “Just take it (all) in.”

Gavin: “building up one’s network is useful (beneficial).”

 

Subject/Question 5 – other platforms  one can show off one’s work:

 Cynthia: “ “Short of the Week” and “Vimeo”.  There’s.. still a lot of emphasis placed on festivals.”

Superbowl, a Short uploaded onto “youtube” is an example of a success story, as it then gathered enough momentum to be made into a Feature.


 
Question 6 – how much does the risk factor get in the way?

Camille (Gatin): “if the script and the team behind it are good, then you’re onto a win-win!”

Camille (McCurry) happens at this stage to mention, Whiplash*, my favourite film at this year’s London Film Festival: “A strong scene from the story was shot in isolation, which members of the public caught and liked; afterthat they were able to pick up enough funding to finance it.”

Camille (Gatin) then mentions a zombie-feminist film she got behind.


Question 7 – provide “a jump out moment” in your career:

Camille (McCurry): Lilting (starring Ben Wishaw, who stars in Paddinton, now out on general release), which was made through a micro budget scheme.

Cynthia: “when you see the "newbies" you handpicked grow ”, adding that she happened to discover someone on-line while munching on a sandwich sitting at her desk.


 
Question/Subject 8 – advice for Actors who wish to break into The Industry; as well as any aspiring Filmmaker.

Contact The London Film School (LFS) and The National Film and Television School (LFTS) and request to appear in projects they’re putting together.  Projects have been known to grow out of these two places, which have gone on to be put up for a BAFTA.

Enter work into The London Short Film Festival (LSFF, shortfilms.org.uk/) and look for short film screenings in your area.

Gavin: “crowdfunding and crowd source schemes can help you to get your film off the ground.”

 

 *Whiplash will go on general release on 16 January (2015).

 Writer© Tremayne


 

 

Dec 3rd

TRIFORCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2014 Screenings - (Relationships category)

By Tremayne Miller

TRIFORCE PROMOTIONS presents

TRIFORCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

 SAT 22ND NOVEMBER 2014

11 am- 11 pm
 
at The Princess Anne Theatre, BAFTA,
Thursday 15th March 2012.

© Writer: Tremayne


Screenings – Relationships

 2- Passenger

PASSENGER_IntTrain.JPG Shortlisted.

Director: Ed Rigg.

Producer: James Davidson.

Running Time: 11:05.

Short synopsis: ‘Who are you sitting next to?  Two Londoners are thrown a sudden curveball to their regular commute in the most claustrophobic of places: The Underground.’

A couple start to chat with a passenger on the tube, or to be exact, The Passenger strikes up a conversation with them!

The couples’ eyes appear to smirk at one another, amused by another passenger, who, obese in appearance, decides to sit  down next to The Passenger they have  been speaking to, when the carriage isn’t short of space.

It turns out that The Passenger has recently come back from Afghanistan.  He starts telling a story in which he fails to mention, as we, the viewer, are provided with the footage of his mind that in the pub setting he glasses a man.

He encourages the male in the couple to reason with the girl who has sat next to him, to see if she will lower the music on her i-pod. They begin to be a little freaked out by him.

We learn he was thrown out of the army for displaying too much violent.

Prominent quote: “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to be prepared to do something you wouldn’t expect (of yourself).”

The female of the couple suggests they get off at the next tube stop, considerably nervous over what The Passenger might do to them.   At which point we are left to question whether or not his own love interest left him behind or descended up to the heavens.

 Watch Passenger, No Smoking and The Date at: 

4- Don’t Miss The Cup


 
Shortlisted.

Director: Stuart Renfrew.

Producer: Tracey Adam.

Running Time: 14:41.

‘May the best sperm win...’

 

 One of the women’s partners when asked how often he masturbates in the space of a month, argues that he does it every day for “therapeutic purposes!” Hilarious!

Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Black Books) stars. Her partner, Scot is caught fiddling with the doctor’s ruler, just at the moment that he walks into the room.  Very funny!

Interestingly (or intriguingly) one of the jerk-off mags provided in one of the sperm booths relates to fishing!  Whatever works, I guess ;)!

Greig, in the film is informed of her slim chance in ever being able to conceive, which leads her into the following monologue, which I have broken down. It reflects aspects in her life that will never come to play out for real. Heart-wrenching!

“..the first poo to (their) Graduation Ceremony, to how (he/she) will cope on hearing the news that Mummy and Daddy are getting a divorce!”, which she says in a throw about way but with an inner angst deep inside.

Dec 2nd

Scream, Blacula, Scream

By Tremayne Miller

Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973)

Country USA  Length 96 minutes
scream-blacula-scream-pam-grier.jpg 

 Directed by Bob Kelljan

Written by Maurice Jules

Raymond Koenig

Joan Torres

 

Starring William H. Marshall

Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)

Don Mitchell

Michael Conrad

Lynne Moody

Richard Lawson

 

The film opens on the deathbed of Willis Daniels' (Richard Lawson) mother; and when Willis gets up to leave the general feeling in the room is that the voodoo cult his mother ran will be picked up by Lisa (Pam Grier), and not Willis.

In the next scene the Voodoo Priest assures Willis that“they will pay for throwing him off the throne!”, as he passes the voodoo doll through his fingers tips; in doing so a message is revealed which is meant to tell him all he needs to know.

The cut away shots used in the sacrificial scene with the pigeon allow for tastefulness, while  the chant itself appears to contain a lot of broken French words. A pidgin, perhaps?

At the same time  a set of bones, criss-crossed with a skull at the top conjure up a flame, Lisa fears an evil spirit lurks about the place, as she stares intently into the flames of the fire.

I would say in that short moment we are provided with an insight into the broad Acting ability of Grier and what it was about her that led director Quentin Tarantino to later cast her as his lead in Jackie Brown.

Blacula is brought back to the land of the living, as the opening credits put in an appearance. These are set to the  blood-dripping grin of Blacula in the background.

I found the graphics to be similar to those in Blacula (the 1st film in the Series).

In the next scene Blacula is withhis initial victim, Willis, who could become  his side kick, or what's more likely, his servant.  Willis, however can't help but feel discriminated against when he is no longer able to see himself in the mirror.

 “The Cursed cannot see their faces again”, says Blacula, almost as if is part of the deal.

He, therefore,  resorts to asking Blacula, himself  how he looks.

“I will slice into your chest, and pull your worthless life out”, Blacula says to Willis when he makes  an attempt to step into the big outdoors, and go to the party he was invited to prior to Blacula sinking his teeth into his neck!

Flashback to the moment  Blacula first changed, which tells me he has  a conscience.

Blacula then turns up at the party of African antiquities, and Justin suggests that Lisa might show him round.

Music, as in the previous film, is used as an extension of the dialogue, i.e. the song Mystery Man.

Lisa seems certain she has met Blacula before.

We catch sight of a Voodoo doll behind a glass cabinet; at the same time  Blacula learns Lisa’s knowledge of “voodoo” is nothing short of exceptional.  Lisa sees it as a powerful faith.

Blacula says his goodbyes, least that’s what everybody is led to think till we see him wandering up the stairs and into the bedroom of the Guest who earlier cut her hand. Perched in front of the mirror their eyes lock, and as Blacula pulls her closer into him, one could easily mistaken gasps of fear, for exhilaration during a love-making session.

The red droplets that remain on her neck after the attack bear a striking resemblance to Royal Mail's letter boxes.

Blacula steps outside and transforms  into a bat but the only man to see it can only assume he has smoked too many strong substances.

In the next scene, Blacula is approached by a Prostitute but cannot, for the life of him understand why she insists on talking to him; then, two men jump out in front of him, threatening to slit his throat with a knife, if he doesn’t give them his wallet.

The Police begin to suspect Lisa might have had something to do with the series of murders.

 Lewis's luring of his "lady friend" is comparable to a serpent on the verge of engulfing a mouse (soris). He says “I can feel the blood just running through this fine body.”  She takes one look at him , and recognizes  his vampire- teeth, which she first mistakens for fake ones.

The reactionary cries  of Elaine I can safely say are nothing short of ridiculous! 

At which point Willis puts in an appearance, and  as he calmly proceeds to walk towards her, she only has to catch sight of his bloody mouth, and she begins to yelp.  Her slower (more controlled) shrieks might even be mistaken for multiple orgasms.  

She collapses to the floor, making it all the easier  for Willis to lap the blood from her neck.

Lisa continues to guard Gloria's body, oblivious to the fact that she has  immerged fromthe coffin and is about to sink her teeth into her neck, when the outside door flies open, and Blacula appears in the doorway.

Rumour has it a new species lurks.

When “a man comes face-to-face with a vampire, he most certainly is at his mercy”, a line said by Blacula to Lewis.

Blacula assures that no harm will come to her (Lisa), and explains how voodoo can be used to fuel good as well as evil.  After which Blacula requests that she might exorcise him: the“demonic creature .. inside his body.”

The Police are apparently sent round to Lisa’s with a warrant by way of protecting her.  The séance she’s holding is interrupted, which leads Blacula astray once again.  Lisa pleads but it is of little avail.

She manages to control herself until he begins to lay into Justin, she then grabs hold of the voodoo doll and stabs it twice.  Blacula’s body goes berserk. But does this spell out THE END for Blacula?

 

RRP £17.99 (BLACULA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, including the first film, Blacula).

Release Date: 27 October 2014

 

DUAL FORMAT EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES including:

GORGEOUS New high-definition presentation with progressive encodes on the DVDs.

New and exclusive introduction to the films by critic and author Kim Newman.

Trailers for both films.

Optional English SDH.

A 32-page booklet with new writing by Josiah Howard, reprints of original Blacula ephemera and rare archival imagery.

Eureka! Entertainment release BLACULA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, the funkadelic, fangadelic Soul Cinema sensation, on Blu-ray as part of a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition.

 

 © Tremayne 

Nov 27th

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? GIRLS? BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FILM INDUSTRY? Seminar

By Tremayne Miller

TRIFORCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

SAT 22ND NOVEMBER 2014, at BAFTA

20141122_185411.JPG

 

 #WHORUNS? #TRIFORCEFEST @TFSFF2014

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? GIRLS?  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FILM INDUSTRY?
c7210921-6a2d-43dd-a73f-359847ddf8d3.jpg 

SUPPORTED BY NICHOLAS PINNOCK

 Seminar chaired by Emma Thomas – Women in Film & TV Board Member / Script Supervisor.

Destiny Ekaragha – Director/Writer.

Belinda Campbell – Head of Drama, Red Planet Pictures.

Hannah Pescod – Big Talk.

Hilary Bevan Jones – Endor Productions.

 
Hannah from Big Talk’s background involves having worked for Warner Sisters, who no longer exist but she mentions working with Jimmy (Akingbola) on  Rev; an unintentional plug.

Hilary discusses current projects, including an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s – Esio Trot, starring Dustin Hoffman.

Her own background found her entering into  “line producing”; and to quote her, she makes a point to say that  “it’s not about your gender” but “what you have to give.”

Other projects she mentions she is involved in include a Musical Drama ,That Day We Sang, penned by Comedienne, Victoria Wood .

Belinda  began in theatre, at the same time that she learnt how to touch-type. She then moved on to work for red planet pictures, where she has involved herself in the following productions: Death In Paradise; Passing Veils and The Ark.

Destiny (writer/director)

Background

She was lucky enough to do an Internship at BBC Films; and she goes on to further add how incredibly useful attending The Tribecca Film Festival proved to be.

Her first Short entitled Tight Jeans was made as part of her showreel.

In the early days, to quote her, she says how she felt “like a real filmmaker “, when she received her first rejection letter!

After her success at The bfi London Film Festival, she went on to direct other people’s pieces of Writing, which she equally enjoyed, including something called The Future Rags Of Great Britain.

She says how it took her 3 years in development to get her first Feature,based on a 2008 play, off the ground.  Therefore, perseverance is key!

 Questions in summary (pieced together by the Interviewer and Twitter)

Subject – the appeal of roles.

It so happens that the Script Supervisor on Rev was male but when it comes to one’s career Hilary exclaims that:“you’ll enjoy it and do well”  But only “ if you choose something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning!”

Subject – having a family.

Hilary: “there’s always a way..”

Belinda adds: Although “the theory is that women are emotional and men are technical (practical)”; only highlighting a drastic need  for change still.

Destiny comments how she is seen as a bit of an anomaly being the first Black African woman to reach the level she has.

Subject/(Question) – why are there so few female directors?

The Three Tick Rule is mentioned here to put a stop to this statistic.

Prominent Quote (1): “the industry was started up by men.. who then hired in their friends (who were also men).”

One cannot help but draw parallels with the popular HBO Series, Mad Men at this point.

Prominent Quote (2): “where’s the other voice?”, when the world is made up of two sexes, points out Destiny.

Belinda  can’t highlight enough the importance of “mentoring”; and says “as a Freelancer, one is unprotected!”

 

Writer© Tremayne
Nov 18th

Blacula (1972)

By Tremayne Miller

Blacula (1972)

Country USA  Length 93min

 Release Date: 27 October 2014
 

images.jpg


RRP £17.99 (BLACULA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, including the sequel SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM, starring Pam Grier (Jackie Brown).


Directed by 

William Crain

 

Writing Credits  

Joan Torres

...

(screenplay) and

Raymond Koenig

...

(screenplay)
 

Transylvania, 1780.  A Black Prince (or Mamuwalde) and his wife, Luva (Vonetta McGee) dine at Dracula’s castle but when they come to leave, they are not granted permission; at which point Dracula (Charles Macaulay)

 

calls on his servants.  Two, then three appear, and they instantly grab hold of the Prince’s wife.

The Black Prince (William Marshall) has a spell cast over him,  as he is told that he will crave human blood, and will take on the persona of “Blacula.”  Luva who has not had the spell placed on her, is locked up in a chamber where she's just left to rot away.   Soul Music then kicks in, music we will become all too familiar with. Impressive graphics appear, not  dissimilar to those of James Bond.

Transylvania, present day.

Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) and his partner, camp as anything, are set on purchasing the Castle of Dracula (little do they know); including the coffin which they see as a good party piece. The suggestion is even made to  use it as a guest bed! 

Bobby nurses his partner who cuts his arm, which leads Blacula, fixated on the smell of blood, to immerge from the coffin without the slightest hesitation.

After killing them both, voices play  inside his head, reminding him of the moment where the curse was laid upon him.

A doctor who examines Bobby’s body at the morgue is suspicious of his symptoms.

In the next scene, Blacula in the pitch black approaches Tina (Vonetta McGee), who mistakens her for his late wife.  She manages to escape his clutches but leaves her purse behind.  He then ploughs into female taxi driver, Wanetta, whom he feasts on, before crawling back into the coffin from whence he came.

The Dr.goes to the police station to look over Wanetta Jones’s body, and spots two teeth marks   on her neck. This leads him to ask for reports on the two men who lost their lives before her.  He then telephones through to the funeral director, requesting that the bodies be released for collection, so that an autopsy can be carried out.

It turns out that the friend who goes round to see Tina after she's been  followed by Blacula, is the doctor’s girlfriend, who is a forensic scientist.

The bodies are no longer at the funeral parlor by the time the police arrive.

The Show Girl , just one of  the few Blacula  has sunk his teeth into puts on a maiden in distress act in order to acquire the fresh blood she requires from one of the policeman.

“I’ve lived again, to lose you twice”, utters Blacula to Tina as he senses her rejection.

An hilarious scene follows where Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala) takes his girlfriend to a graveyard,  part of their date.  He then proceeds to dig up the grave of one of the two men (victims), next thing we know Brett immerges from the coffin he was put in and the dr. drives a stake through his heart vampire style, in order to keep him at bay. 

The Coroner's is instructed to take  the female taxi driver out of the deep freeze, and whilst on the phone to the dr. she charges at it from behind. 

‘It’s an epidemic. A multiplication of vampires.’

The Ring Vamp is recognized amongst the images developed in  the dark room; as lyrics to the theme tune of1970s cult cop Classic, Shaft find their way into my head.

 Who's the black private dick. That's a sex machine to all the chicks?  (Shaft!) ..  Who is the man. 

That would risk his neck for his brother man?  (Shaft!)’

Shaft, was later made into a film in 2000,  starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Blacula / Mamuwalde is able to transform himself into a bat.

Song lyrics are used heavily in the film to act as additional pieces of dialogue.

Blacula saves “his love”, and brings about a life eternal for her, as he sinks his own teeth into her neck.

Interestingly, when he sacrifices himself to the rays of the sun, his face transforms into a bloody, maggot filled mess, then into a complete skeleton, almost as if one could foresee it  preserved like a  Bog Body.*

 

*A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified within a peat bog. Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are both geographically and chronologically widespread, having been dated  etween 8000 BCE and the Second World War.

..The oldest known bog body is the skeleton of Koelbjerg Woman from Denmark, who has been dated to 8000 BCE, during the Mesolithic period.’

 

DUAL FORMAT EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES including:

GORGEOUS New high-definition presentation with progressive encodes on the DVDs.

New and exclusive introduction to the films by critic and author Kim Newman.

Trailers for both films.

Optional English SDH.

A 32-page booklet with new writing by Josiah Howard, reprints of original Blacula ephemera and rare archival imagery.

Eureka! Entertainment release BLACULA – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, the funkadelic, fangadelic Soul Cinema sensation, on Blu-ray as part of a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition.

© Tremayne

Nov 14th

ARPA International Film Festival, CA

By Robyn Stewart


ARPA International Film Festival celebrates its 17th year which takes place on November 14 -16th at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California. The festival welcomes a diverse universe of independent cinema from all over the world. Its competition categories includes documentaries, shorts, feature film and music videos. 

The festival judges range from seasoned producers and actors and the awards range from ‘the best of’ as well as an Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, which is presented to a filmmaker whose film deals with subjugated peoples, ethnic cleansing, forced deportation, massacres and genocides in honor of Wegner, who devoted his life to the fight for social conscience and human rights,.

This year, film makers had a deadline of August 1st, to submit their master pieces for consideration. The accepted entries range from Armenian, British, Spanish, Canadian, French, Chinese, Russia and many more.

It seems like a refreshing film festival accepting a diverse range of film and I’m excited to know more.

The UK Film Network and Irish Reviewers will be at the 3 day festival and check back in with us soon for a review on this festival as well as the world wide talent and award winners in each category.

We are going to find out who is who and give you an inside track on what to expect and how to navigate to festival and how you can be most successful with your submission to this festival.

An all access VIP pass is $160 online and fore more information on the festival and film entries you can visit http://www.arpafilmfestival.com

Marty Steward

Entertainment Correspondent

Nov 11th

Highlights from The 58th bfi London Film Festival 2014 - Mr Turner

By Tremayne Miller

Mr Turner (Cert 15)
UK  (2014)  150 min
turner big-2026.jpg 

*Featured at The 57th BFI London Film Festival 2014


Directed by 

Mike Leigh

 

Writing Credits 

Mike Leigh

...

(screenplay)

Cast 

Timothy Spall (Topsy Turvy), Paul Jesson,  Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville (Topsy Turvy).

 

JMW Turner is described by the biographer and novelist Peter Ackroyd as a “cockney visionary”. He was born in Covent Garden to a Barber, who is appropriately cast in Mr Turner, played by Paul Jesson.

Turner would display his paintings in his grenier for prospective buyers to look at, and his father and housemaid would be the ones to show them around. 

He leads a very separate life from his wife, Sarah Danby (Ruth Sheen), and daughters.  This is made clear to us when she pays him an unexpected visit, to share the news of the arrival of their first grandchild; ever in the hope of receivingt a big hand-out .

He finds himself travelling out to Margate for new inspiration, where he takes up a room in a Guest House under the name of “Mr.Mallard”.  Whilst there he delivers out inoffensive sexual jibes towards the Lady of the Household.

A  thought provoking shot is captured of the waves, resembling the mane of a horse, as he walks into Broadstairs.

Back in London Mrs Somerville (Lesley Manville), a Philosopher, Mathematician and Astronomer comes to visit.  Manville’s performance is both consistent and strong.

The idea is that she will shed literal light behind The Physics of Light, which Turner will then apply to the craft of painting.

 “colour is contradictory”Turner says to Mrs Somerville, who responds:

“The universe is chaotic, and you make us see it”.

Turner’s father’s health is rapidly deteriorating, we see this in his  long drawn out coughs and spluttering, which become more frequent

Shivers creep up on me as the inevitable occurs.  Turner in order to distract himself goes to a brothel. However, he isn't  seeking sexual pleasure but instead wants to produce a series of sketches, with The Naked Muse as his subject. In this instance, a young prostitute but no longer can he retainhis grief, as a noticeable tear trickles down his face. 

In the next scene his sexual urges are answered as he grabs the housemaid from behind; and for the little romance there is between them, he may as well  have not involved her at all, and carried out the deed all on his own!

He returns to Margate, only to find that the lady whose guest house he stayed in before has lost her husband at  sea.

There is a standout scene where Turner meets the other Artists, including John Constable (James Fleet, The Vicar of Dibley) at The Royal Academy. Their behaviour is comparable to that of a pub “knees-up”.

Turner to have the literal upper hand over Constable wrecks one of his masterpieces, as he smears it with a red splodge of paint, copying the precise brush stroke used by Constable .

The cinematographic shots reflect Turner’s exquisite paintings .

Turner returns once again to Margate, where a romance blossoms between him and Mrs Booth (Marion Bailey).

There is another standout scene when Turner insists on taking Sophia (Mrs Booth) up to The Strand, where they will have their photographic portrait taken. The idea is so alien to them both that the Photographer really  struggles to lessen their frightened expressions!

Turner must surely be commended for refusing to sell his entire collection, including notebook to a wealthy businessman. Instead, he wishes to donate them to the public (gratis).

 “Spall’s method approach chimes”; and whilst many doubted Leigh, “the film is a stroke of total genius – warm and hilarious, with so many wise things to say about the creation of art and the desire to entertain.”

An insightful exploration of Turner’s character, and where  he drew inspiration from for his paintings, every inch of which as colourful as his personality. 

 

Release date: October 31, 2014 (United Kingdom)

Writer ©Tremayne

Nov 3rd

FEDERICO FELLINI - I clowns (The Clowns)

By Tremayne Miller

FEDERICO FELLINI - I clowns (The Clowns)

Eureka! Entertainment to release I clowns (The Clowns), Fellini’s masterpiece which has been out of circulation for years, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of their award winning The Masters of Cinema Series.
I Clowns.jpg

 
‘I clowns is a 1970 television film by Federico Fellini about the human fascination with clowns and circuses.’  The film features Anita Ekberg, star of 1960’s masterpiece, La Dolce Vita and Fellini himself.

‘Fellini’s fascination with the circus and the surreal come to a head in one of his final masterpieces, The Clowns. The film reflects Fellini’s childhood obsession ..’

The film explores ‘deeper human conditions such as authority, poverty, humility and arrogance all of which manifest themselves through the characters of the clowns ..’

 

“Up, up” can be heard outside a children’s bedroom window, as the child draws parallels between the absurd characters in the Circus, and the folk who live in the village.

An air of stillness is captured in the background, which reacts in strong contrast to the lively movements of each fanciful character. The Technicolor is sharp and beautiful.

“I’ll ruin your life”, are the dramatic words of the station master as he tells the little boys off who pass him on the train with their tongues dangling out. 

Circuses at that time, although outstanding, were made up of freakish ghouls; and one act involves a man prepared to bury himself alive for a period of forty years!  Performers in travelling theatres and circuses weren’t necessarily well thought of as a general rule.

Elements of one of the shows leads us to ask if  we are, indeed, bearing witness to “real (sheer) chaos”, instead of it having been scripted beforehand.

Guidizio is a good natured man with a stammer, whose job entails following  the game of billiards.

The effects of a blonde bombshell in the bar cause the men to swoon, almost like their eyes have  never  come across a member of the opposite sex before.

Guidizio is known for creeping around the streets in which he lives, convinced there is a war on.  He pays absolutely no heed to those around him who seem set on making him look like the idiot he is not!

Newsflash  as we hear theatres are being transformed into musical halls.

Jimmy Guyon, inventor of Auguste the Clown, became an alcoholic. We bear witness to him sneaking out of the hospital he has ended up in, alone and forgotten about, to catch the duo act, Foolit and Chocolat perform.

Bouglione was an established  Lion Tamer.

In an interview with Mr. Houcke, the nurses who care for him tell the television crew that the Circus is all he ever talks about.

Charlie Rivel, one of two clowns who became rich from his craft speaks of  his mother, who, a talented tightrope walker, endured the process at the same time she had  labour pains!

“The whole world needs to laugh again..”,  in unison with The clowns.

Rhume’s funeral epitomizes “a lost world”

 “your sorrow will refresh my feet”, a relevant quote to highlight The Circus taking on the same responsibility as a theatrical act.

Auguste The Clown is laid to rest in one of the acts but in a take-the-mickey kind of way.  The human horses pulling the funereal chariot around the ring look most effective.

“We’re sick of working like animals”, says one of them as it jumps out of the sequence, and into the middle of the ring.

Maya, the television presenter who speaks directly towards the camera is, in effect, also talking to us, as she takes stock of all the action that’s happening around her. 

The trumpet duo gradually build up to the grand finale of “you’ll never walk alone again”, as an empty  circus ring is left behind. This would have been the song the original Auguste The Clown played out to his partner, the other half in his double act.

 

In Fellini’s Circus, a visual essay available to see at the end of the film we learn that the film was screened on Christmas night in 1970, in black and white but in colour in cinemas.

The beginning of the film is meant to act like a daydream.  The kind where, as we awaken from our slumber, we get out of bed, then step inside the dream itself. Inspiration if I am not mistaken was taken from Winsor McCay's Little Nemo, (1905), which I have seen the original comic strips of at The Comic Strip Art Museum, in Angouleme, France

The images themselves on screen are displayed in an unusual manner, as quick shots, not long ones, whilst the spirit of The Clowns and Circus are well defined; in contrast to other scenes where they are caught in an almost documentary style. But more extravagant, somehow. 

Reenactments should be seen as historical recordings of facts; a perfect mix of documentary versus fiction, I would say.

“Image is an expression through light”; as the film favours fixed shots.

The White Clown and Auguste are said to work in pairs, with The White Clown representing authority and Auguste representing unwilling submission. The mother and naughty child, if you will. Whilst The White Clown scares children; they can immediately identify with Auguste, who derived from Italy.

In the film there is a close-up shot of Victoria Chaplin, daughter to Charlie; and Houche, 92, the oldest surviving Circus Owner.

“The Circus is dead. The Clowns are dead”.  But  vivid, fond memories of them  live on!

“Poetic and improbable” was how Fellini saw both clowns to be.

 

Language Italian

Subtitles English (Optional)

Run Time 97 min.

RRP £19.99

 

 Release Date: 20 October 2014

 

Special Features include:

-      New high-definition 1080p presentation of feature on the Blu-ray, and in a progressive encode on the DVD.

-      New and improved English subtitles.

-      Fellini’s Circus – an essay-film about the picture by the great Italian critic and scholar Adriano Apra.

-      A 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring new writing about the film, rare archival imagery, and more!

 © Tremayne 

 

Oct 27th

Son of a Gun Q&A Session,at the Odeon West End

By Tremayne Miller

Highlights from The 58th bfi London Film Festival 2014 - Saturday 18 October

The Q&A Session of ‘Son of a Gun’, held directly after the screening at the Odeon West End
517436435RM006_Son_Of_A_Gun.JPG 

Julius Avery, a writer and director, known for Jerrycan* (2008), Little Man (2004) and Yardbird (2012)

Son of a Gun is a heist film, in which adolescent, JR (Brenton Thwaites) is imprisoned for a minor crime he committed but while he’s inside he agrees to work for notorious criminal Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor).  The two characters represent, on paper, a simple father-son relationship.

 

Q & A conducted after the screening

 

Q1 - Casting

Did you have Ewan McGregor in mind?

“I felt him charismatic, and he responded to the story well.”

Alicia Vikander starred in Testament of Youth** but just as soon as Ewan McGregor was onboard, I could play a lot more with the other Cast members.

Alicia was blown away by the story.”

Avery comments Michael Mann is a hero of his; and as a child he would always pull out the father type figures from Action movies. It somehow helped to fill a void after he lost his father when he was a young boy.  Writer and director, Julius Avery had not done heists on this scale before; and he wanted to return to the Mad Max days in Australian Cinema, where there was a sense of having got down to the bare bone of everything.

 

Q2 – How many Shorts had you made before Son of a Gun?

“Half a dozen but End of Town, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Congress, A Birder's Guide to Everything, Let Me In and The Road, was the first of them to veer off in a direction I wished to head.”

 

Q3 – Action shots.

Avery points out how the detail in the action shots brought back some really bad memories.

 

Q4 – Australia and Australianism.

Avery says he didn’t want Australia to appear in his movie as a touristic postcard but more as a modern version of the television series, Deadwood (starring Ian McShane).

Son of a Gun is shot in Perth, a place Avery couldn’t wait to get out of, and yet it is ‘an amazing melting pot of cultures.’

A lot of crime films come out of Melbourne or Sydney, therefore, he wanted to break that mould.

 

Q5 – Chess.

A references is made to chess as it is played in the movie, and the 1994 film, Chess, starring Samuel L Jackson as an alcoholic, chess master.

Avery admits to there not being much back story behind the chess reference, except for the pawn which represents the assertion of power of the stronger characters.

 

Q6 – Financial backing.

The movie had a budget of 10,000 dollars (I presume Avery, here, refers to Australian dollars?), a large proportion of which went towards covering those people who had to be brought across from The East Coast.  The Government had to be convinced about bringing genuine weapons into the State.

Avery comments that “pro-activity came about through the budget limitations that were imposed .”

 

Q7 – Purpose of the characters.

“Baddie misfit types, who seek acceptance and belonging.”
 

 Release Date: Son of a Gun was screened at the BFI London Film Festival on October 16. The film will see its UK release on January 16 but a release date in the US has still to be announced.

 

*The short film Jerrycan won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival.

**Testament of Youth received a screening at The 58th bfi London Film Festival, 2014.

© Tremayne 

 

 

 

Oct 24th

FURY Press Conference, held at The Corinthia Hotel on 19th October.

By Tremayne Miller

Highlights from THE 58th bfi London Film Festival 2014

FURY Press Conference, held at The Corinthia Hotel on 19th October.
517156779BD00022_Fury_Photo.JPG 

 

Michael Peña (End of Watch), who plays Trini 'Gordo' Garcia in the film, says the preparation for it was not unlike having a root canal done!

Don 'Wardaddy' Collier, played by Brad Pitt, talks about the backstories created by each Actor, and the mental fatigue endured in order to bring out the character.

Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) provides the eyes into the world they are all in; Shia LaBoeuf (Boyd 'Bible' Swan) adding that “everybody was equally committed.” Jon Bernthal (Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis), adds further still how they were a team,  kind of like a family.

 

Question 1 in summary - The conflicting morals in War.

Director, David Ayer (End of Watch) uses All Quiet On The Western Front (1930, 1979) as an example to cite the psycho hazards of War.

 Question 2 – post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which Brad Pitt agrees, was the precise condition to come up as he carried out his research.  He recommends a book called Outkilling, recognizing it as a good source of reference.

 As part of Question 3 David Ayer, the Director, comments that closing the festival with Fury is a high privilege and honor. 

 In Question 4 Logan Lerman says how close him and Brad became during the pre-production stages of the film.

 Question 5 - “backstories”.

D. Ayer claims that Brad had a specific back story, and that Logan was given an idea of where he came from. It then fell down to directorial choices.

 Question 6 looks at the role of the soldier and how the Cast hope they will be perceived.

 “I hope the soldiers will ..be .. respected.  War is ludicrous,” says Brad Pitt.  There is no logical stance to it.  “We can be chopping each other up, then sharing in a pint!” (Brad Pitt).

 The topic of “The Warrior” in Question 7 is insightful as Jon Bernthal says “For the most part people go to War to fight for the guys who are next to them.”

D. Ayer adds that Volunteers sign up to the army, whereas in World War II, the men involved were everyday people.  “The Warrior is in all of us but it will be dependent on the environment.”

Brad Pitt comments on how important it was to establish the right chemistry between the Actors, who would also have to be willing to expose themselves (their vulnerability).

 Question 8 – Brad Pitt as Producer and the impact the film had on each of the Actor’s personal lives.

“I was given the honour of becoming a Producer.  We all walked away (from the project), enriched, with a higher sense of one’s responsibility over others” (Brad Pitt).

 Shia LeBoeuf: “We operated under an umbrella of safety, where we fought, worked out, slept and stayed in”, for the best part of 8 months.  “I have real respect for the “real guys” who go home with the ringing (of gunfire) inside their ears.”

 Logan Lerman: “I dedicated the whole of this past year to the project.”

 Shia LeBoeuf: “It had a profound effect on me and my life.”

 Question 9 – in summary – the tension that was created on screen.

D. Ayer describes himself as “a shooter”.  “I like to take a lot of coverage”, he says.

Brad Pitt talks about working with a tank. “There was nothing ergonomical about it. You could lose your fingers bringing the lid down!  We became quite protective over our tank, or “tin can”,as it it is also referred .

 D. Ayer says that Pitt treated the tank (or “tin can”) like his bird’s nest, which he would gaze down from.

 Question 10 –  in summary - The more harrowing aspects of War, the final leg, when  one is no longer fighting against The Nazis but the innocents themselves.  A member of the Press with Germanic heritage said that the film dealt with this area of history most tastefully.

 Question 11 – shooting on celluloid.

“Our initial test for the film was carried out on film itself, using a G-series lens. True Romance, comments D. Ayer, was also shot in this way.” “I was conscious to apply traditional lighting. Film loves skin and texture.”

Although Pitt recognizes the benefits of shooting on both film, and digitally, he does confess to being a bit of a Purist. Therefore, he was “happily pleased inside”, when he heard that Fury would be shot on film.

 

Release Date of Fury: 22 October 2014 (UK)

 

© Tremayne