Nov 18th

Blacula (1972)

By Tremayne Miller

Blacula (1972)

Country USA  Length 93min

 Release Date: 27 October 2014


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



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.’



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

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




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

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.


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 .. 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






















Oct 20th

Love, Rosie

By Tremayne Miller

Love, Rosie

Directed by

Christian Ditter


Writing Credits

Juliette Towhidi




Cecelia Ahern


(novel "Where Rainbows End")


The opening sequence shows principal character Rosie (Lily Collins) sitting at a wedding table; and we immediately start to question,  ‘is it her Wedding or someone else’s?’

 Cut then to 12 years earlier; and the quotation “too drunk to remember!”  Rosie, at which point, is 18.

The Credits steadily creep their way up the screen as she can be seen slumping to the floor in a nightclub.

There’s a stand-out, comic moment when best friend, Alex (Sam Claflin) unintentionally gets Rosie into trouble in an I.T. lesson; and the string of live messages they have been sending each other is projected onto the whiteboard for all to see.  In the message he happens to mention the loss of his virginity to Rosie’s rival, Bethany (Suki Waterhouse).

 “The condom came off, and I’m unable to locate it”, is what Rosie says to Alex matter of factly over the phone whilst the lift attendant is still in earshot. A prime example of the film’s quirky script, and a sound delivery by Lily Collins.

Rosie wanders into the pharmacy where Jaime Winstone’s  character  works. A friendship soon blossoms between the two young women.  Rosiehas gone there after  vomiting at random intervals.  It turns out she is pregnant. 

 The film carries an eclectic collection of Music including ‘Salt n Pepa’s’ – ‘Push It’, appropriately placed at the point where  Rosie is in labour.  The music, therefore, acts as a dramatic device.

 The prejudice a young mother faces is dealt with  realistically, as Rosie is chatted up by a guy she meets at the pool party she is taken to   by Alex during her visit to Boston. But the guy is only too quick to reject her  once he realizes she is mother to a five year old girl.

 “just don’t come crawling to me when you’re feeling empty inside”, are the words Rosie utters to Alex as she prematurely returns to the UK, at the same time the song lyrics ‘alone again. Naturally’, kick in.

 Whether it was intentional or not by Casting but Katie, Rosie’s daughter bears a striking resemblance to Alex, who in the end proves to be much more of a father to her than her natural father.

 I found the foreplay scene between Rosie and the policeman slightly over dramatised, as she has  to resort to taking her daughter into school whilst she remains chained up to the bed headboard after the keys to unlock the handcuffs around her wrists are nowhere to be found!

 “you did what?!, says Jaime Winstone's character, adding “You let a man let you go to casualty on your own with a condom stuck up your fanny!”, referring to Greg (Christian Cooke), whom Rosie barely had a one night with, and is contemplating rekindling a relationship with.

There’s an endearing scene as she walks in on Katie, who’s in the company of her new playmate, and potential boyfriend.

Alex leaves his wife ( Tamsin Egerton) after it becomes evident that he is not the father of their unborn child but Herb (Nick Lee) is.

Rosie turns the drawers in her house upside down, when she, herself   discovers that her husband has been cheating on her, and in doing so she discovers a drawer she is unable to open. Who will the letter stashed away inside be from? And what will it say?

Rosie uses the money she is left by her father to open up the hotel she has always dreamt about. Hysterically, her first customer turns out to be the lift attendant, who appeared earlier on in the film. But who else might decide to turn up, to mark Rosie’s special day?!

Release Date: 22 October 2014 (UK)

 © Tremayne


Oct 12th

Tony Benn: Will and Testament

By Tremayne Miller

Praslin Pictures presents ‘Tony Benn: Will and Testament’

Directed and written by Skip Kite

Produced by 

Jacqueline Jean-Louis


executive producer

Skip Kite



images.jpg Quote and/or opinions of ‘Tony Benn: Will and Testament.’


‘Tony Benn, a Socialist from a socialist background, a true embodiment of what a committed Socialist is and believes he should be.

 This biopic tells the story from a very different viewpoint, one not often heard.  A film that will appeal to all ages; and to quote Tony Benn: don’t be ashamed of (one's) mistakes; “that is how you learn!”, a prime example of the  drastic change in his opinions over nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

 A most eloquently spoken intellectual whose dedication to ‘the people’ can never be debated.’ 

star rating - 7.5 out of 10

Writer © Tremayne

I am immediately struck by Tony Benn’s eloquent speaking voice; and the imaginative credits at the beginning of the film from which a set of red curtains unveils a theatrical set-up.

 In 1973 Tony Benn was crowned ‘The most dangerous man in England’, despite admiration held over the strong intellect he bestowed.

One newspaper headline read ‘Messiah or Monster?!’ But one could argue  he was 10 years ahead of his time; and the pressure of what needed to be done was indeed what drove him.

I love the ripple analogy he uses; something passed down to him from his father; the idea that ripples travel back and forth, and life is a continuum we aren’t able to bring to a halt. We must, therefore, reset it in order to prevent the same mistakes from happening. 

As a child he often felt distress when anything untoward and beyond his control should occur. 

Benn said that after being privately educated, that it was, in fact, the air force that helped to shape his way of thinking, as well as the loss of his brother, who was killed in action.

He talks of the Hiroshima, and a vaporised patch, all that was left to identify a child's remains.

It was at that moment he realized what his vocation in life would be  – to enter the World of Politics.  He confesses, nevertheless, to not be a complete Pacifist.

From 1945 to 1951 nuclear weapons continue to be made; and in the interview space resembling a theatre set, we spot the mug from which he drinks, that reads ‘Make Tea. Not war!’

1945 brought with it a  big social change; and adamantly he says “I don’t believe in hereditary lawyers”, which is how he looks on The House of Commons.

Benn says he learnt that if you seek justice, one must flock to ‘the people’, and not ‘the people at the top’.

Concorde,   at its peak, he saw as an absolute phenomenon. He, however, was more interested in the people that were behind it, rather than the metal itself; as well as the jobs it would create.

 “I’m not ashamed of mistakes; that’s how you learn!”

He raises the issue of ‘nuclear weapons’  but could not foresee the full impact they would have on the world.

 “Many people go into parliament on the left”, then turn to the right but he was the opposite.

During the 1984 Miners' Strike Tony Benn became one of the most vocal supporters and one of the fiercest critics of Margaret Thatcher.  Society was simplified, and people, in some cases, were unemployed for the best part of a year.

 In one of his  speeches he pays tribute to his favourite film, Brassed Off (1996).

He could not think of a higher honour than when his image appeared on a Miner’s banner in Durham.

“you can close a pit” says Benn but  a Miner cannot be eliminated.

Benn  goes on to talk about his transition from “most dangerous man in the World” to ‘’National Treasure” and is genuinely chuffed on receipt of a death threat; and The Media are referred to as a ‘powerful  assassination squad.’

1997 to 2007 saw the arrival of New Labour Leader, Tony Blair.

We are then  provided footage of an exclusive interview between Benn and Saddam Hussein, where, out rightly,he declares that there are  no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"Until the day he (Blair) dies, he will live with the knowledge that the mass of people's lives taken could have been avoided!", says Benn.

My eyes fill with tears as he discusses the period leading up to his wife’s passing. Cue WH Auden Poem, Funeral Blues.


 ‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,


Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.’ 

Tony Benn was the longest serving Labour MP, and arguably managed to retain the most popularity from the public.  His approach to socialism struck a cord amongst people of all ages and practically  every walk of life.  ‘Will and Testament’ reveals the human face  behind the political mask, through the use of intimate, confessional interviews and archival footage.

The World Premiere of ‘Tony Benn: Will and Testament’ was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Friday 27th June 2014 and is now out at cinemas nationwide.



Oct 6th


By Tremayne Miller

Artificial Eye Presents


A film by Pawel Pawlikowski

Featuring: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik and special guest appearance by Joanna Kulig.


IN CINEMAS Friday 26th September 2014

RT: 80 Mins


Pawel Pawlikowski – one of the bright lights of British cinema uses a monochrome palette and a boxy, old-fashioned aspect ratio to capture the gloom of 20th-century Polish history and the glimmers of hope that managed to persist.  “Ida” touches on both the legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of post-war Communism with apt sorrow and an equally apt touch of fatalistic humor.” AO Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES


Anna, a young Novice in 1960s Poland, who is on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating back The Nazi occupation.

IDA is written by Pawel Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, directed by Pawlikowski of  Last Resort and My Summer of Love fame and stars  Agata Trzebuchowska as IDA.

It is Poland 1962 and ANNA, a beautiful ethereal looking eighteen year old Novice is preparing to become a Nun but before doing so, she is encouraged to visit her mother’s sister, WANDA, who reveals her Jewish heritage, as she shows her a photograph of her mother, Roza, who she bears a striking resemblance to .  ANNA also discovers that her real name is IDA, which compels her to delve deeper into her family’s past.

The two women set out on the same journey together; and whilst travelling in the car WANDA remarks on IDA’s dimples, a feature she feels may well attract the male gender.

 IDA learns that not only is her aunt a former Communist state prosecutor, known for sentencing priests and others to death, but also a Jew. 

There are  some Ingmar Bergman moments in the film, for example, when  IDA’s gaze catches the sunlight as it streams through the stain glassed window.  At which point I question if the statues featured in the film represent her own sentiments, especially those of the statue whose eyes remain closed?

On their travels they give a lift to a stranded Saxophonist, who invites them to a venue his band are playing in.  Wanda is more than enthusiastic about it, hoping that the handsome Musician will manage to provoke sexual urges inside her Niece.

A contrast is made between Darkness, as the people sport dismal clothing; and Light, as the intricately cut net curtains   work as a  backdrop, allowing an innocent demeanour to waft through them.

 The young man the two women discover inside IDA’s parents’ house pleads with them not to continually hassle his father, whom they’ve already been to visit in London.

In the trench-like pit he digs out, the bodies of IDA’s parents are unearthed, and he confesses to having been the one to put them there.  The bodies are rightfully provided with a reburial, and a blessing is read.

An exquisite shot is taken of the back of each lady’s head, managing to capture the sheenof each  headscarf.  Tension is allowed to mount as the Actors are purposely shot from the extremities of the frame.

Underneath we see how shiny and beautiful IDA’s hair is, and cannot help but feel an inner sadness  when she feels the need to hide it away. A part of herself, one might go so far as to say.

IDA must choose, between her true identity and her faith, which was to spare her from the massacres of the Nazi occupation; and WANDA, must  face head-on the decisions she made during the War, when she placed  loyalty to the cause infront of her family.

© Tremayne

Sep 5th


By Tremayne Miller



 David Wain


 Michael Showalter, David Wain

Stars:Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader 

When Amy Poehler, who plays Molly in “They Came Together” utters the words “New York was like a boyfriend to me”, I immediately find my mind wandering towards HBO’s Sex and the City, and a particular episode where Carrie, (Sarah Jessica Parker) talks about the principal three areas of a woman’s life: 1) securing an apartment, 2) sustaining a committed relationship and 3) finding a fulfilling job.

For me, Ed Helms, who plays Molly’s Accountant, is a combination of Ben Stiller and one of the many characters one can expect to find in the American version of The Office, based on the BBC Comedy Series created by Ricky Gervais.

Some standout moments include the collage of scenes put together to define the beginning of Joel’s (Paul Rudd) and Molly’s relationship, including a scene where they canoodle among a pile of leaves in Central Park, throwing them up in the air, only to discover that a dead body is lying beneath them.  It quite clearly has been stowed there to rot away.

Another is when Roland, Joel’s Boss, played by Christopher Meloni, is at a Halloween Party dressed as The Green Lantern; and struggles to unzip the back of his costume in time to take a no. two. His costume, with a deposit left behind in it is discovered moments later inside the shower!

 Director and co-writer David Wain has essentially made a straight-up romantic comedy but

the humor for the most part is painful to stomach.

 The jokes flit between annoyingly repetitive to everything being spelt out.

One example of a joke that went on for too long is when the bartender utters the phrase "Tell me about it" and "You can say that again" over and over again as Joel drowns his sorrows sprawled across the bar.

A light hearted easy to watch Comedy, if a little strained in places, with a not dissimilar style in humour to ‘Aeroplane’ and goof disaster movie series ’Naked Gun’.



© Tremayne