This tab contains blog posts submitted by network members. When writing a blog for your profile you have the option to submit it into this tab for other members to read.
Fully restored for cinemas
Written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio
Release date: At cinemas from
Running time: 120 mins, Cert: PG
‘Enchanting in every way, Cinema Paradiso on the big screen will make you wide-eyed with childlike wonder..’
Cinema Paradiso, a love letter to the cinema if ever there was one. The second feature by Sicilian writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore, which tells the tale of Toto, a young Sicilian boy, also a film enthusiast. Little time passes before a strong bond is forged between him and the local projectionist.
The film reignited Italian cinema, which otherwise had been on shaky ground for a quite some time.
Historian Gian Piero Brunetta commented that Italian cinema in the 80s was broken into two parts. The first of ‘chaos’, that lead to ‘a breakdown in structures’; and the second of ‘growth and renewal’, with an important contribution by younger faces.
Tornatore, and other filmmakers like Gabriele Salvatores, heavily influenced the second phase but struggled to get projects off the ground.
He recognised that ‘any attempt to make films seemed impossible’, and began ‘to feel like someone who had started doing what he had always wanted to do’, only found that the world no longer needed it.
However that was to change when Cinema Paradiso won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, in 1990. The last Italian film to win such a prestigious award was Federico Fellini, for Amarcord. In 1973
Cinema Paradiso seen as Tornatore’s most ‘Truffautian film’ holds bold cinematography and reminiscent sentiments towards childhood, only enhanced further by the recognizable music score by Ennio Morricone, which spans over thirty years.
A story to stretch across generations, with focal themes of ‘friendship, love and filmmaking.’
Jacques Perrin, plays Salvatore, a reputable film director, who visits where he ws brought up to attend the funeral of his old friend and mentor Alfredo (Philippe Noiret).
Alfredo had been the projectionist at the Cinema ‘Paradiso’, where much of his upbringing was centred, and where he focuses a lot of his fondly natured adult thoughts.
Soon his memory box is swilling around with memories of a sentimental kind, as he reminisces about ravishingly beautiful first love, Elena, and the experiences that were to occur, that sculpted out his life.
Salvatore engages again with the people he was to leave behind thirty years earlier
The film then travels back to the 1940s, where we view Toto, as an altar boy, who, at the end of completing all of his errands, spies on the priest, who sounds a bell by way of signalling to delete specific scenes he perceives as scandalous, chiefly subtle forms of affection, including kissing.
Toto is quickly drawn to the projector, celluloid, and what they both represent. He begs Alfredo to let him assist him. Reluctant at first, he gives into the charms of Toto, and his inquisitive eyes, providing him with the opportunity to peer out from the booth they now both work in, and down on the audience they enchant with the images they reveal to them.
After a full restoration and to mark its 25th
Cinema Paradiso will receive a re-release into cinemas on 13th December.
The Photoplay Productions restoration of
The Phantom of the Opera
A FILM BY RUPERT JULIAN
3-disc Dual Format Edition
The Phantom of the Opera a silent picture made in 1925 adapted from Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name.
Lon Chaney stars as the hauntingly disfigured Phantom, whose presence is felt at the Paris Opera House, and will go to fatal lengths to see the woman he carries a flame for famous.
The film remains well known for Chaney’s ‘ghastly, self-devised make-up’, a secret until it premiered; and supplementary direction given by him.
At the beginning the debut of the new season at the Paris Opera House opens with a production of Gounod’s Faust.
Raoul attends with the intent of hearing the dulcet tones of his beloved Christine Daae (Mary Philbin).
Christine makes a fast climb from the chorus to the understudy.
Raoul intends Christine to forego her career and marry him.
At the Opera’s peak the management resign but before they depart, they let those who are taking it off their hands know about ‘the Opera Ghost’, who will insist on asking for box number 5.
The ballerinas are frightened as they catch sight of an ethereal looking man in a fez, who resides in the cellars.
Meanwhile, Virginia Pearson, the prima donna of the Paris Grand Opera, storms into the managers office fuming. "The Phantom" has sent her a letter, insisting that Christine take on the role of Marguerite,
Christine reports to Raoul that she is being taught by the "Spirit of Music," and it is impossible for her to give up her career.
Two of the managers enter box number 5 during the performance, and are dumbfounded by the figure perched upon the chair. They flee from the scene.
Christine’s performances lead to a standing ovation.
Raoul unbeknownst to Christine waits outside her dressing room door, and when the others have left, ready to enter, he can hear a voice in the room with her.
Soon “the spirit” will demand her love.
This version of The Phantom of the Opera has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress, as well as being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
A most cherishable piece of film heritage for Film Professionals and Film Buffs alike!
●Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
●Original 1925 version (b&w, 103 mins) with newly commissioned piano accompaniment by Ed Bussey
●Original 1925 trailer and 1929 sound reissue trailer
●Reel 5 from lost 1929 sound reissue: the only surviving element, discovered in the Library of Congress archives
●The ‘man with the lantern’ sequence: mysterious footage thought to have been shot for non-English speaking territories
●Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000, Kevin Brownlow, 86 mins, DVD only): the definitive documentary on the legendary actor and make-up artist
●Channel 4 Silents restoration souvenir programme (PDF)
●Illustrated booklet featuring new essays, an original review and film credits
RRP: £22.99 / Cert PG
USA / 1929/ tinted and toned, black and white, and colour / silent with music / 91 mins
GOTHIC: The Dark Heart of
Film runs from August 2013-January 2014 celebrating one
of Britain’s biggest cultural exports. With over 150 titles and
around 1000 screenings GOTHIC features spectacularly terrifying
special events to thrill every corner of the UK. The project also incorporates
the longest BFI Southbank session yet (4 months), UK- wide
theatrical and DVD releases, an education programme, a new BFI
GOTHIC book and a range of exciting partnerships, special guests
GOTHIC will explore film’s most popular theme, spawning some of
the medium’s most iconic, powerful and terrifying scenes and
characters whose lasting popularity just refuses to die.
Review by ©Tremayne
Written by Rachel Hirons
Produced by Damian Jones, James Cotton, Nichola Martin
Starring Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone, Kate Nash, Oona Chaplin,
Riann Steele, Sarah Hoare, Johnnie Fiori
Running Time: 86 minutes
The opening credits are in an Aztec style, which appear to match the wrapping of the lollipops and toiletries inside the ladies toilets; as well as that of the powder room lady’s garments. I’m not sure if this was an intentional move on the part of the Director?
Powder Room is based on play, When Women Wee by Rachel Hiron, previously performed at the Soho Theatre.
It’s a Friday night Sam (Sheridan Smith), ‘a lovely girl’, who feels she has done nothing with her life is conscious about enjoying herself. Although excited, she is also nervous as she will be meeting with old college friend, Michelle (Kate Nash) after five years. They haven’t been that much in contact but Sam has been curiously following the fashion blog she writes from Paris.
Sam enters the nightclub, and it isn’t long before she has red wine spilt over her but rather than let it jeopardise the rest of the evening, she tries to see the amusing side, and, ironically, it develops into quite the conversation piece. The arse or crack-breaker, one might say, as it is mistaken, time and time again for being a period stain patch.
Throughout the night we are introduced to an assortment of characters, and given a real insight into the ‘real speech’ girls use in a nightclub setting; more particularly, in the toilets, where no-one is sporting a masque.
As the film unveils it becomes more apparent that the Powder Room lady is a kind of ‘support bra’, as she holds each person’s life together as it appears to disintegrate, aired before her very eyes!
“don’t raze that rat in here!”, says Sam to Chanel (Jaime Winstone), her best friend, the ‘loose one’, with a heart of gold, when she attempts to shave her pubic hair in front of the mirror, and does this in between meeting different men .
Chanel despite having no shame with her promiscuous behaviour, is, as Jaime Winstone, who plays her has commented, ‘in control of her body and what she wants to do’; an attribute that each one of us would be envious in having!
What I have coined ‘the flick & lick scene’, where Paige (Riann Steele) and Saskia (Sarah Hoare, who recently appeared in an episode of Misfits) are tripping out on the drugs they’ve taken, is hilarious. Not only have they switched bras but they have also attached them to their heads, with the cups facing upwards so that they bear a striking resemblance to alien life forms.
Saskia, straight laced, is persuaded out of her comfort zone by Paige, who implies she needs to take more risks; when people, in actual fact, would give their right arm to have her stable lifestyle, including longstanding boyfriend.
Chanel refers to Sam’s ‘new friends’, Michelle and Jess (Oona Chaplin, Game of Thrones), who she tries to keep separate, as ‘The Bitches of Eastwick’. Brilliant!
It isn’t long before Sam realises she cannot go around holding up a pack of lies; and it results in a ‘freak-out speech’, mirroring a quarter life crisis.
The Powder Room Lady shows her maternal side as she hands folded up pieces of tissue paper to a sobbing Sam in the cubicle next door. And as the pound coin Sam chucks, lands in the tip dish, she knows the only way she can set everything straight between her and her friends, is to get up on the pokey stage, and imitate her group of friends’ usual dance routine.
Sheridan Smith is consistently good at playing “natural”.
Powder Room, like Sex & The City, has an immediate appeal to a female audience, but that does not mean to say that it wouldn’t manage to draw in a smattering of interest from the male population too; intrigued by the goings on, during a girls night out.
Powder Room holds a lot of strong messages but above all, perhaps, the misconceptions we make about the people amongst us whose lives, seemingly perfect, may actually carry as many cracks as our own, if not more!
UK RELEASE DATE: FRIDAY 6th DECEMBER
A new, epic film on Australia by John Pilger, 2013.
Fact. A twelve-year old boy is tasered by Police in 2011. They weren’t prosecuted.
Sub-human status: ‘you’re a black Aboriginal Australian. You’re not wanted on this earth.’
In contrast with ‘the eclectic white Australian’, who can rent a holiday apartment along Palm Beach, with a seafront view for $A 30 or 40,000 a week!
Amphilawatja Health Centre, in the Northern Territory has no electricity, and produces warmth and light by striking up a fire outside. Showering is also done outside, with a hose for the children.
Quite astounding when you realise there is a government managed building, across from it, that has a fully functioning air conditioning system!
At The National Museum of Australia, in Canberra, Barton, the first President of Australia is featured but there is absolutely nothing on the country’s longest surviving people, The Indigenous Folk.
Utopia is an Aboriginal homeland that was formed in November 1978. The name, I suspect, a corruption of ‘Uturupa’, meaning ‘big sand hill’, which is a region situated in the north west extremity of the area.
Neither a former mission, nor a government settlement, it was successfully claimed by the indigenous people who have never been completely dispossessed. They live in a score of outstations or clan sites, each with their traditional claim to the place.
David Smith, Manager of the Health Centre, takes us through the area’s living conditions.
There’s “ no bush bus service”. He also speaks of ‘cross contamination’, a result of the poor quality in housing. Cockroaches have been extracted from the ears of both adults and children. Other health issues include something which is referred to as ‘blue ears’, which can cause a delay in the learning process, and lower hydration levels, so there is a ten percent loss of body fluid.
Old footage taken twenty years ago could easily be mistaken for the present day.
Government communities don’t invest because they know if they do, that their governmental status will cease to be.
Mr Snowden, the Minister of Indigenous people, 2009-2013, when interviewed, focused on issues of legacy and poor government policy, pointing out that considerable changes
have occurred since 2007.
“when an Aboriginal dies, their home dies too”, said by a forty seven-year- old man, which bears great significance to when a Doctor draws parallels with a Dickensian Britain, further adding that almost one third of Aboriginal people are dead by the age of forty six!
“we are civilised; and they are not”, is a quote to be found in a school textbook; just one representation of how Aboriginees are seen.
Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the British in 1788. Or the English and Irish convicts, along with genocide?
“you’re full of shit mate”, is one person’s reaction to the idea of a whole community being airbrushed.
Interestingly, nothing in the tourist catalogue acknowledges the concentration camps; and today where they once were, stands a hotel complex with spa.
“it’s so degrading. We feel traumatised..”, are the comments made by a man visiting, who holds Aboriginal ancestry.
It’s quite alarming when you think at one time 51 people on the camp, would have been squeezed into the space that makes up one hotel room; with Clients now being charged
$A 240 for the priviledge!
“we’re refugees in our own country, a supposed ‘Lucky Country’.”
And what was The Morgue, is now the hotel’s kitchen area.
Margaret Quirk - Minister of Corrective Services, 2007-2009, insists that the team she used to work with were put on a ‘cultural sensitivity training’ course in 2008, a consequence of an aboriginal man being carried in a van of up to 57 degrees in heat, put through an agonising death as he was burnt alive!
Gerry Georgatos, a Journalist, states that the Black Australians are the most imprisoned people on earth. A fact I was not aware of. Examples are then given. The first, brother of Patricia Morton Thomas (Film Producer & Actor), was imprisoned when he had committed no criminal act, except for being critically ill and heavily laden with alcohol.
At the tender age of twenty he was a death’s door. The Coroner acknowledged he would have survived had he not sustained such brutal treatment at the hands of the police.
The second, Eddie Murray’s death in 1981, who was found hanging in his cell at Wee Waa Police Station. Parents, Leila and Arthur unconvinced that he took his own life, and was, in fact, killed by a police officer sought justice, which lead to the family experiencing complete intimidation.
Leila who passed away in 2004, died continuing to fight for justice; and husband Arthur, in 2012. But their son’s death was not in vain as it started up a huge justice campaign for
him and others alike.
“you can’t renovate an asbestos house. It needs to be pulled down”, is what is said when we visit another Aboriginal patch.
Malnourishment, also an issue, which also includes those who manage to tip over the scales.! Protein is provided in meat but vegetables are sparingly purchased since they are considered too expensive.
A Medical Practitioner brings up the topic of the 1780s, as comparisons are made with the terrible infectious diseases that were around at the time.
I had not realised the extent to which the film would centre on the continual problems the Indigenous People of Australia face but in no way did that act as a deterrent.
The film was able to lay bare the raw facts. My only criticism of it would perhaps be, that at no point did it expose us to any shade. One, therefore, stepped away from it with little hope left in the human race. The ideology being that ‘we become part of the earth we come from’.
Picturehouse Cinemas Hyperlink to:
*Featured at The 57th BFI London Film Festival 2013.
Directed by Alexander Payne, USA, 115 min.
Written by Bob Nelson.
Cast: Bruce Dern (Woody Grant), Will Forte (David Grant), June Squibb (Kate Grant), Bob Odenkirk (Ross Grant), Stacy Keach (Ed Pegram).
Release date: 6 December 2013 (UK).
© Writer: Tremayne
The focal point of the film Nebraska is the father walking to Nebraska to pick up a million dollar cheque he is convinced he has won.
We learn it is the second time he has snuck out.
The mother lets it slip that he has memorized the prize winner’s letter word for word, which she didn’t even think he was capable of.
“You were an extended mistake!”, is her attitude to their longstanding marriage.
The girlfriend of their son, who lives separately, drops round one day delivering the empty cases she used when she moved out.
We learn the reason for this was his lack of marital commitment, which has, as a consequence, left their relationship in a fuzzy, cloudy place. That interim phase, one might say?
Son David is convinced the only way to prevent his father from wandering off again, is to take him to his desired destination
Whilst on the car journey, they stop off to take a look at Mount Rushmore, and the father just assumes it hasn’t been completed. Hilarious!
There is a particularly funny scene where father, Woody is adamant that he has lost his false teeth. David encourages him to retrace his footsteps, and this leads them to the railway track. David teases his Dad saying the only pair he has come across aren’t his. The first sign, I would say, of the dry witted humour one can expect to see more of as the story evolves.
I love the shots the camera manages to capture of the expanse in land along the open road.
In my mind, the humour isn’t dissimilar to that which we find in 1996 Coen brothers American black comedy, Fargo. An example of this might be when the son, in an attempt to get closer to his father, asks him about the feelings he had for his mother in the early stages of their relationship, and what his attitude towards marriage was.
He responds back with ‘he figured what the hell but he had been regretful of his decision ever since!’
Another hilarious scene, is when the mother, having met up with them on their escapade, goes to the cemetery, and at random, it would seem, proceeds to lift up her skirt and shout out expletives . It turns out the expletives are directed at someone in the district, whom she had to let go, when she showed she wasn’t prepared to take her knickers off for him!
The time spent in the Woody’s hood proves to be quite the enlightening character study; and it is through the lady at the mail sorting office, David learns that both she and his father had a fling together. At which point I am hit by a multitude of images, of two women fighting over one man.
“I knew I didn’t have a chance anyway”, she says; adding: “I wouldn’t let him round the bases!”.
In the restaurant scene, Woody is acknowledged by other people there, for being an all round Winner, and is then asked to get up out of his seat, and proceed to take a bow,
Kate, the mother is astounded by how vulture like her husband’s supposed friends and relatives are, implying that normally a person has to die first before people begin to grapple for their money. She bluntly tells them they can all go and fuck themselves!
And what a fabulous delivery she gives!
A moving but tearful scene is to follow, as they drive to where the Dad used to live, and sift through what memorabilia remains from his childhood.
A lot of films lack considerably in 'light and shade' but that is something which cannot be said of Nebraska, where I laughed as much as I wept.
LFA (London Film Academy) ANNUAL SHOWCASE 2013
Tuesday 29 October 2013, British
© Writer: Tremayne
It was my pleasure to be cordially invited to the London Film Academy’s Annual Showcase, which consisted of screenings from Filmmaking Diplomas 21 & 22, and further screenings from the Writer-Director Diploma. I also had the chance to chat informally with the Founders of Britain’s only female-run film school (The London Film Academy), Anna MacDonald & Daisy Gilli , long-term Supporter, Director & Cinematographer Nicolas Roeg (Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Performance and Insignificance to name but a few) and British Actress,Writer & Director Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz, Kill List & Sightseers), who wrote and starred in one of the London Film Academy's graduate films, Stiffly directed by friend Jacqueline Wright.
I stepped away from the LFA Showcase thinking what a refreshing and loving environment they provided for their students. A supportive network in which one is complimented for mistakes made, as the philosophy is that it is through errors, one makes discoveries of brilliance. I couldn’t agree more! Why, if I were to seriously consider taking a Filmmaking course at any point in the future, I would definitely consider those being run at The London Film Academy!
Filmmaking Diplomas 21 & 22 Screenings
1 Housefly 5:58 min
‘The way flies make
Writer: Demitri Vassiliadis.
Producer: Hripsime Khojayan.
Director: Lisa Fischer.
The daughter is set up as a ‘Damien demonic type’; and when her father chooses to break it off with his girlfriend, he chooses to do so in front of his daughter
In the lovemaking scene that follows, we get a sense that they’re being watched; and at the very end of the film, the little girl can be seen squirting herself with her mother’s perfume. It is, however, up to us, the audience, to decide whether or not the mother is estranged from the father, or no longer in existence.
2 Dorian 5:30 min
‘A life of crime and regret.’
Producer: Eleanor Russell.
Director: Frankie Contino.
“Fuck you and everyone who looks like you!”
The delayed reactions of each Actor only enhances the poor quality in performance. However, I’m convinced that if the principal Actor were to perform in his native language, that a more naturalistic element would come out, and thus, captivate the viewer.
A man is held prisoner just long enough for a picture of a male visage to be revealed to him. The consequence of this speeds up the ageing process, and transforms his skin, smooth as a peach into a wrinkly, dried up prune.
The film is said to be based on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
3 The Machine 3:55 min
‘Forget the past, travel in present.’
Producer: Robert Hillier.
Director: Yogesh Sudhakara.
I feel I would need to discuss the film’s content with the
filmmakers, before I was able to write anything of
4 Bell Tower Enigma 9:59 min
‘No rest for the wicked.’
Producer: Elizabeth Lockard.
Director: Daniel D. Reimer.
The film opens on a young man scrubbing a bell, before discovering it is adorned with an enigmatic emblem.
In the mirror as he washes his hands, a female figure appears before him but no sooner has she uttered a few words, she then disappears; almost as if she was never there in the first place, and is but a figment of his imagination.
A glimmer into the higher quality of films we later come to see..
5 Zap Now 5:30 min
‘Lost in reality, found in fantasy.’
Writer: Emanuele Gabbi.
Producer: Annie Wood.
Director: Teodora Berglund.
“Stories are for babies”, is the attitude of the father, who refuses to read a story to his son. In the next sequence he is inside the television box, looking out at one of the character’s from the children’s book. A clever concept, if a little overdone. And in moralistic form, it is the son who has to set things right, for it is he, who has to pull his father out of the television, after which, he interestingly, has no problem in reading him a story!
6 Trace Of Madness 9:02 min
‘Nobody is safe.’
Producer: Yogesh Sudhakara.
Director: A.P. Silva.
The father returns home to find his two children stood over their mother, who has slit her wrists.
There is a scene in which the mother stares back at the daughter through the mirror. Is it by way of a signal to make her protect herself?
Daughter and son are imprisoned within their rooms, with the father holding the code to enter.
One day the son decides to retaliate with a cricket bat, and from the other side of the wall, the daughter hears him bludgeoned to death.
Eventually the daughter is able to break out of her room but will she manage to step outside the front door?
**7 Parson & Son 8:38 min
‘What will be your past?’
Producer: Annie Wood.
Director: Eleanna Santorinaiou.
The father, at work, has still to open up the birthday present he was given from his daughter, which, in actual fact, is from his wife. It turns out to be a wind-up robot he had as a boy. He sees the tag beneath it inside the box it came in, and goes to the address.
The film manages to rekindle one’s childhood, as can also be said of Martin Scorsese’s, Hugo, which it bears a likeness to.
The red-topped houses to feature, quite Austrian in style, remind me of ones I had as a young child.
The address he goes to turns out to be a toy shop, where his father continued to work despite abandoning him and his mother when he was just a boy. He learns through the man with whom the shop was jointly run, that his father made a mechanical copy of him. At first there is resentment, when his father could have seen the real copy, made up of flesh and bones but then later finds himself returning, to mend the robotic boy.
**One of my favourites.
8 Awake In His Dream 4:18min
‘When reality is better than your dream.’
Writer: Teodora Berglund.
Producer: Emanuele Gabbi.
Director: Fitria Tjandra.
‘Legend has it that when you cannot sleep at night, it’s because you’re alive in someone else’s dream.’
In this ‘boy meets girl’ film, the guy discovers the girl he has been dreaming about frequents the same Psychotherapist as him; and one day their paths meet in the waiting room.
9 Tramping 7:18 min
‘The art of junk.’
Writer: Robert Hillier.
Producer: Hripsime Khojayan.
Director: Demitri Vassiliadis.
A tramp wading his way through a rubbish bin, comes across the hand of a human. He then proceeds to the shrine he has made up in memory of, I’m supposing, his girlfriend? And after he has taped it onto her skeletal form, and wandered off, two boys become distracted on their way to school. The difference is, one is eager to seek out the shrine, whereas the other is not. And it is the one to venture inside who mistakes the tramp’s angst over seeing him there, for violence. Instinct directs him to a blade lying on the ground, which he uses to jab into the tramp’s neck; leaving him for dead.
One could argue that the shrine the tramp built up for his lost love, also becomes his own.
*10 The Lost Lullaby 6:20min
‘Some things are best kept hidden.’
Writer: Stephanie Lapena.
Producer: Elizabeth Lockard.
Director: Yury Sharov.
We ask ourselves what the relevance of the red ribbons are, that is until we learn later that a little girl, sporting a red ribbon, wandered into the woods one day and was never to return again.
The film hauntingly plays with your mind, as it tunes into every part of your imagination.
*My personal favourite but ‘Parson & Son’ definitely came a close second!
11 Morgumentary 6:14 min
‘Life surrounded by death.’
Writer: Elizabeth Lockard.
Producer: Fitria Tjandra.
Director: Lex de Vroomen.
An original title, with humour not far away from that of Ricky Gervais.
12 Working Late 5:09 min
‘Good night, titch.’
Writer: Annie Wood.
Producer: Atticus Athill.
Director: Giacomo Hug.
The little girl is well cast, bearing a striking resemblance to the Actor who plays her father.
A prominent moment in the film is when the father explains the reason for them living in the house they do. I cannot be certain as to the location, except to say it’s ideal for surfing, despite the vicious storms.
The father, starring up at the glass pane, says to the little girl, that they live where they do so she can keep an eye on the storm through the skylight. At which point, any angst she has disperses, and she is then able to settle down for a comfortable night’s sleep.
13 Street Fighter 7:15 min
‘Who will win?’
Writer: Lex de Vroomen.
Producer: Elizabeth Lockard.
Director: Emanuele Gabbi.
Both imaginative and inventive as a fight breaks out amongst the different street performers.
*The Writer-Director Diploma Showcase was to follow, which included excerpts from the Participants’ Feature Film Pilots, as well as Graduate Co-Production Highlights.
Three of which, in particular, stole my interest. Those were: Melaka: an historical reenactment of events which took place in 1511, and although I am not one on the whole for Epic Drama, excluding Gladiator, of course, Melaka carried with it a somewhat David Starkey feel, which I adore; Interference, with echoes of 1991 French film Delicatessen, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro; and Architecture Of The Gaudi Jacket, where Dance meets Art, and it is at their fusion point where Cinema immerges.
If you like the sound of any of the films I have described to you, you may find out more about them, along with the courses The London Film Academy run here:
A: 52A Walham Grove
London SW6 1QR, UK
T: +44(0)20 7386 7711
F: +44(0)20 7381 6116W: WWW.LONDONFILMACADEMY.COM
Featured at The 57th BFI London Film Festival 2013.
Dir-Scr Ivan Sen. Prod David Jowsey. With Aaron Pedersen, Hugo
Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jack Thompson. Australia 2013. 121min.
Sales Arclight Films
The film opens on a sign with Massacre Creek emblazoned across it. Then the body of an indigenous girl is discovered by a lorry driver underneath the highway, as a cry from what sounds like a wild dog can be heard in the background.
Jay Swan, an indigenous ‘cowboy detective’, is put on the case and, when he arrives at the scene, is curious to know why it hasn’t been cordoned off.
The Coroner who assesses the body reckons the victim died anywhere between forty eight and seventy five hours before. Canine bite marks are discovered and a wild grass seed extracted, which shows ‘the last signs of life’.
We learn the victim’s name, and her mother, Ashley, is set up as a junkie, unable to remember the last day she saw her daughter.
Jay learns the girl was into a lot of shit, including drugs; and he is told by an old man from of the neighbourhood that she would take money from truckies in exchange for sex. He puts forward to his Sergeant the idea of using an undercover female police officer as a pawn, to gather more information from the truckies, as it may well be one of them who committed the murder.
It is confirmed she was stabbed, with a laceration to her throat; traces of alcohol also show up. At this point he feels compelled to go round to see his ex-wife.
He manages to make out the name Crystal, his daughter’s, in one of the text messages he reads on the victim’s phone.
Jay suggests that Crystal go and live with him, and he will look into the work there is to do.
A condom is found on the ground at the murder scene, and a police car arrives as a van parked up, continues to wait.
He is stopped by two of his colleagues, who say they’ve been carrying out a lot of intelligence work, and they would hate for anyone to fuck it up.
Whilst out testing a gun he comes across the dead corpse of a wild dog, and a sign which reads ‘poison for old dogs’.
“Time has a way with ya. ..not even your dreams can bring it back”, are the words of an older man he interviews on the plains, who’s likely to be the farmer of the field.
Jasmine, one of the girls he talks to about the dead girl, says there was a particular man who would provide her with pills and grog if she agreed to meet him at the hotel, From Dusk Till Dawn.
It turns out the dog’s saliva does not match the DNA of the dog he has recently discovered; and the micro fibres found in the finger nails of the victim show that blood was drawn. This highlights the immense pain she must have endured.
A prominent line in the film is ‘For some people it already is a war zone’, where Jay’s character is alienated against by a top heavy white police force, as well as the Indigenous community.
Another body is found. Jay tackles his ex-wife over Crystal’s whereabouts. She confesses not to know; and the last comment a colleague makes to him, as they dine in a Chinese restaurant, is how beautiful his daughter is, and he should learn to look after her.
In the back of his ex-wife’s car a stash of drugs is dug out.
After a mass shoot-out he is left to gaze in wonder at the wilderness that surrounds him, and the noise of the wild beast heard at the beginning of the film can be faintly picked up on in the background.
’a gripping murder mystery with a cultural perspective.’
Mystery Road was one in a small handful of my preferred films at the festival but then, I was always a stickler for films which had an Australian element!
UK release: 2013
© Writer: Tremayne
Irish Reviewers checked out Hollywood’s newest cinema – The Arena Cinema which just opened in January of this year. We were invited to check out Indi film ‘2 Jacks’ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1799585/.
‘2 Jacks’ is a modern-day adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s short story ‘The Two Hussars’. Directed by Bernard Rose, the film is about a washed up famous director, Jack Hussar, returning to Hollywood to make his next picture. We are immediately introduced to the classic escapades that surround his lifestyle - from seduction, gambling and landing on his feet at the most incredible parties and never putting his hand in his pocket as he roams through everyday life. Remind you of anyone? We are seduced by the brilliance of this character played so powerfully by Danny Huston. Rose’s adaptation captures, so currently the stereo-type entertainment bad ass while portraying the life of the director, always seeking his inspiration. This film captures the everyday in Hollywood from struggling actors, wannabe producers and random and wild party encounters – it’s the real Hollywood with no airbrushing.
At an extravagant party where Hussar is on a mission to seek finance for his next film he seduces Diana (Sienna Miller) and beds her, sneaks out to another party on the same mission in Diana’s car where he has now seduced two more women who drunkenly fall out of the convertible at a traffic light. We his charisma shine when being pulled over by a cop while he is drinking and driving while he simply gets away with some directions. We also see him so powerfully win finance for his next film at an underground card game with long-time acquaintance’s. But as Jack leaves our life as time passes, we meet his now grownup son, Jack Jnr, who carries on his father’s traits as he enters Hollywood.
Founder of the Arena cinema was kind enough to give us a quick chat. Here’s how it went…
What's your full name and where are you from?
Christian Meoli. I'm from Philadelphia, been in LA 20 years.www.imdb.me/christianmeoli
How did you start the Arena Cinema?
Arena Cinema is an endeavour of my company Voltaire Media. Arena Cinema is our theatrical exhibition arm.
Are you open 7 days a week?
How many screens do you have and how many seats per screen?
One screen - 92 seats
What kind of movies can an audience expect to see here – is it just independent movies?
Yes. We work with the top distributors as well as producers and directors who self-distribute their films. Giving independent films another screen in LA is the whole reason we began. We also play shorts and festival screenings. Sandfly Film Festival will play at Arena Cinema on 2nd November www.sandflyfilmfestival.com
Do you host premiers at the Arena Cinema or will you in the future?
Yes. We've hosted many red carpet premieres.
How would an independent film maker get their movie into your cinema and what kind of costs would be associated with this?
What camera format do you require and play at the arena cinema?
From 1972-1992, when United Artists Theatre Circuit ran The Egyptian Complex the venue was known as Egyptian 2 and 3.
Remember you can follow Irish Reviewers on Twitter @irishreviewers
Highlights from THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS – CITY OF BONES Press Conference at The Soho Hotel, Monday 19th August, 2013
At the start of the Press Conference, Director, Harald Zwart comments that Karate Kid (2010), starring Jackie Khan and Jaden Smith was made for his son, and that current movie, The Mortal Instruments – City Of Bones, is for his daughter, aside from believing she is of an age where she is too young to fully appreciate it.
- The Demon Dog
(Zwart): “audiences today are more sophisticated.”
His inspiration was said to be drawn from the films, The Exorcist and The Thing, with a conscious effort made to keep it looking as authentic and realistic as possible.
Clary Fray, Species: Shadowhunter (Lily Collins)
(Lily Collins): “Clary is very normal. She is going through an identity crisis, all the while, her young, feminine moments are allowed to come out..”
Jase Wayland, Species: Shadowhunter (Jamie Campbell Bower)
(Jamie Campbell Bower): “He’s everything I’m not! He was a great character to play.”
Jamie Campbell Bower had to get into his character in a ‘physical sense’ too, which required him to hone in on skills. A joy but admits to there being a certain amount of relief when all of the shooting was complete, which he emphasises with an outward sigh.
Simon Lewis, Species: Mundane (Robert Sheehan)
(Robert Sheehan): Sheehan’s comment on playing the supposedly ‘normal one’ is that “there’s always Comedy to be juiced”; and describes the whole process as being “lovely fun.” At which point Director, Zwart pipes up and says, “it’s gotta be real”, as he steered Sheehan away from his usual flamboyant and enthusiastic gesticulative movements (The Press laugh out loud as Sheehan splays his hands all over the place).
Actress, Lily Collins, a huge fan of books, speaks fondly of The Institute in the film, where her character, Clary is confronted by Alec (Kevin Zegers, who, oddly enough I saw in Transamerica (2005), alongside Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman, the night before!), who is adamant that she return to her own world, fearful that she will place Jace in danger.
She also mentions the intricacy, and detail behind each book used, and every weapon made.
Training and Kicking butt!
Lily Collins trained for three months in L.A. prior to shooting but never in the outfits she wore in the film.
Jamie Campbell Bower has a rune*, or tattoo inscribed into his skin as a memento to represent every role he has played, and is thought to be getting another at the end of The Mortal Instruments run.
The irony is, that despite it being a requirement he have fake runes painted onto him for the part of Jace, it is necessary for him to remain in the make-up artist’s chair for up to five hours to cover up those he already has!
Hype and Consequence
Robert Sheehan: “There’s been a feverish anticipation amongst the fans” (principally, followers of the books).
Effect: “Infectious, with the adrenalin kicking in at key moments.”
Sheehan not at all adept at working with the Media, compares the build-up, and hype surrounding the film not dissimilar to ‘Beetlemania’.
Lily Collins mentions her bizarrest moments. One example was when she returned to a Shopping Mall she went to as a child, where she came across merchandise for the movie.
A slight side step away from the Press Conference occurs as Actor, Robert Sheehan is asked about his role in recent Channel 5 series Love/Hate, an inspirational, Irish drama.
He admits to not having been on the continent, whilst it got its screening to English audiences; and that he does not have the authority to say whether or not it is a true depiction of the Irish gangster underworld. The vast majority of its storyline was taken from stories found in the Irish Media, which was then modified and dramatized accordingly.
Of Stuart Carolan, he says: “The rest is just good writing.. .. just one man who straps himself to the beast.”
Two and a half years ago it was the responsibility of Actor Jamie Campbell Bower to take on the role of Jace, body and soul, to change both emotionally and physically. He describes the negativity of the Press, whose initial reaction to him was based solely on the way he looked, working in a ‘brain to hand coordinator’ type manner, not at any moment looking outside of the box.
CGI used with Actors (Answered by everyone on the Panel).
The characters already had their emotions intact, and the CGI was simply the icing on the cake.
- stopping demons: Lily Collins (Clary) was said to have tennis balls thrown at her.
- The Demon Dog: Zwart says no CGI was used for it, Collins instead was fed the following lines by me, “They’re growing, growing. They’re merging”, as body parts regrouped. But Collins admits to the visual language used by her Director not making any sense to her till she came to see the final cut.
DISCOVER A WORLD HIDDEN WITHIN OUR OWN ON
August 21st 2013
for the sake of the film, is a marking ‘used by
stele (the weapon of choice for a Shadowhunter) is used to draw
them and they have a variety of effects. The placement of runes also
adds to their effectiveness. The closer a rune is placed to
the heart, the more effective it is.’
© Writer: Tremayne
Beyond The walls
*Official Selection at The Cannes Film Festival 2013
*Featured at The 27th BFI London
Lesbian & Gay Film
Director-screenwriter David Lambert
Cast Matila Malliarakis, Guillaume Gouix, Melissa Desormeaux Poulin, David Salles
(United Kingdom, 1986, 112 mins approx.)
DVD On Sale:
Country: Belgium | Runtime: 98 mins Language: French | RRP: £15.99
David Lambert follows recent films Weekend and Keep the Lights On by analysing in detail the intricacies of a gay relationship.
The film follows the story of Paulo (Matila Malliarakis) and Ilir (Guillaume Gouix), who rapidly embark on an extraordinarily physical and emotional relationship. The two meet when bartender Ilir takes a drunk Paulo home with him. In turn, each instills a confidence in the other over their sexual identity. Anka has been Paulo’s long standing girlfriend, in contrast Ilir has not managed to conjure up the courage to tell his family, and the Albanian community to which he belongs that he is gay. It is well captured, and comical, at times; an example of which would be when Ilir asks shop attendants and customers where he and Paulo might find the lubricant! He is compelled to do this, as a consequence of Paulo displaying his open affection towards him in his neighbourhood. However, the freedom behind their sexual liberation is short lived.
As Paulo and Ilir become hard to prize apart, Ilir’s imprisonment separates them. He is found in the possession of class B drugs but the situation is made worse by the fact he has also lashed out at an Officer. Ilir is given a one-year sentence, and Paulo responds as anyone intensely in love with someone would. A year of intermittent contact lessens the bond that is held between them; and Paulo, the slightest of the two, immerges the stronger one. However, Paulo’s boyish looks, more prominent at the beginning of the film, meant I could not be completely convinced by their love affair.
Paulo has, in the meantime, entered into another relationship.
Lambert, in the second half of the film, displays beautifully how infatuation can develop into an enriching, if not scathingly torturous romance. Furthermore, that with pleasure must come pangs of suffering no matter the decision reached. Lambert represents relationships in such a way, that Beyond the Walls can be placed on a par with Weekend and Keep the Lights On. He draws on his experience as a shorts director, and like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose, the scenes embody concise storytelling, underlining one’s behavior, and how precisely it can be effected through a variety of circumstances, such as impulse, desire and volition.
Even Gouix’s eyes alone carry meaning.Strong waves of symbolism can be found in the film, Ilir’s name, for example, means ‘freedom’, and the physique of Paulo who, as they ascend together in a hotel elevator, hovers over Ilir. Ilir set against the interior looks weak, not unlike a fold-up chair which hasn’t been completely opened, whilst Paulo stands off to one side, with not so much as a crease, or visible kink in his back. It is rare to come across a Director whose attention to detail is so intricate.
Beyond the Walls is a notable addition to contemporary gay cinema. Simplistic in its beauty, with authentic, real performances from its lead Actors, who it just so happens have recently appeared in Channel 4’s original Horror Drama, The Returned.