Showing posts with label Amy Seimetz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Seimetz. Show all posts

30 December 2013

DVD Review - Upstream Colour

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Sci-fi, Drama, Arthouse
Metrodome Distribution
BD/DVD Release Date:
30th December 2013 (UK)
Shane Carruth
Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth
Buy Upstream Colour:
[DVD] or [Blu-ray] [Amazon]

Upstream Color is without a doubt the strangest film of 2013 and there have been some strange films this year. It’s the 2nd film by Shane Carruth who made a splash in the indie world 9 years ago with the incredibly overrated Primer which was made for $7,000 but it was unnecessarily complex for it’s own good. Carruth worked on a highly ambitious science fiction epic for the years in-between films but it eventually gave up due to lack of funding.

The film starts with a woman being tasered and kidnapped by a man called “The Thief” in the credits. She is under his mind control and forfeits her money to him and she is only allowed to small portions of water. The Thief performs surgery on her which involves putting a live roundworm in her which has blue tinged orchid leaves dust in it which infects her system.

She awakes and the roundworm is attracted by infrasound waves and she goes to a pig farmer/field recorder’s farm in trance. The farmer performs a transfer of the worm into one of his pig’s. She awakes and has no memory of what happened in her SUV. The woman finally realizes that all her money has been stolen and her employer fires her.

The film picks up a year later and she meets a man on a train (played by the director) and they bond and fall in love. They may have more in common than they initially thought. It then becomes increasingly stranger and stranger.

Carruth literally served as director, writer, producer, actor, cinematographer, editor, composer, casting director, production designer and sound designer… take that Orson Welles! His cinematography is reminiscent of the recent Terrence Malick films at times. The sound design is outstanding which he won a special jury award at Sundance for his sound design. Carruth is being a very talented director and he has the makings of a real auteur but give it a couple more films before calling him one.

It’s a very admirable film even though it’s extremely pretentious at times and utterly baffling. Despite some of the film’s problems it’s a breath of fresh air in a time of endless sequels and comic book films than somebody makes a film this out there. I don’t full understand what the film is about and it’s quite possibly Carruth himself doesn’t. It’s a pretty unforgettable film with plenty of ideas and an endlessly fascinating story that surprisingly wraps itself up in the end. There are still many unanswered questions and people will debate them for years to come.


Ian Schultz

20 December 2013

Programme Announced For 2014 Glasgow Short Film Festival

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Glasgow Short Film Festival today announced the selection for its 2014 competitions, which include some notable world premieres and exciting new works by leading Scottish and international artists.

Organisers highlighted the strength of Scottish filmmaking talent, which has made it necessary to expand the Scottish competition this year. GSFF Director Matt Lloyd said: “At a time when Scottish film producers are forecasting an extremely bleak future for indigenous production, we can at least demonstrate that there is no shortage of emerging talent. We couldn’t contain our selection within the usual four programmes - this year a mighty thirty films screen across five programmes of new Scottish work.”

Notable inclusions in the Scottish competition include the world premiere of No Hope For Men Below, the first film from musician and film-maker Adam Stafford since his 2009 short The Shutdown, which won six Jury Prizes in international festival competitions including San Francisco International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Shorts Fest; Gavin C Robinson's BAFTA Scotland-winning animation Hart's Desire; and The Port, Rory Alexander Stewart's depiction of infamous Leith pub The Port O’Leith. The international selection includes the UK premiere of When We Lived in Miami by US indie actor/director Amy Seimetz (best known for her leading role in Shane Carruth’s Upstream Colour), new works by award winning internationally renowned artists Mika Taanila, Mike Hoolboom and John Smith, and L’Assenza, by UK film critic Jonathan Romney.

Glasgow Short Film Festival runs from 13 – 16 February 2013. The full 2014 festival programme, including a number of large-scale events focusing on the relationship between film and music, and an examination of the state of Scottish filmmaking, will be announced in early January.

Sponsored by Mother India’s Café

Ahora, no
Scottish premiere / Elia Ballesteros & Kate Campbell / UK & Spain / 2013 / 17 min

Bear With Me
World premiere / Colin Healy / UK / 2013 / 12 min

The Bird Man of Red Road
Chris Leslie / UK / 2013 / 8 min

Scottish premiere / Graham Fitzpatrick / UK / 2013 / 15 min

Fishcakes & Cocaine
Scottish premiere / Alex Nevill / UK / 2013 / 26 min

Getting On
Ewan Stewart / UK / 2012 / 9 min

The Groundsman
Scottish premiere / Jonny Blair / UK / 2013 / 16 min

Scottish premiere / Michael Crumley / UK / 2013 / 17 min

Harry & Avis
World premiere / Nathan Hollis / UK / 2013 / 10 min

Hart's Desire
Gavin C Robinson / UK / 2013 / 6 min

I Love You So Hard
Ross Butter / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Peter Shaw / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Let's Go Swimming
Douglas King / UK / 2012 / 19 min

Martin Smith / UK / 2013 / 12 min

Scottish premiere / Katri A Vanhatalo / Finland & UK / 2013 / 10 min

The Man Who Was Full Of Birds
Scottish premiere / Gianpiero Vannucci / UK / 2013 / 18 min

The Misbehaviour of Polly Paper-Cut
Bryan M. Ferguson / UK & USA / 2013 / 6 min

Scottish Premiere / Mark Buchanan / UK / 2013 / 22 min

Nae Paresan
Felipe Bustos Sierra / UK / 2013 / 13 min

No Hope For Men Below
World premiere / Adam Stafford / UK / 2013 / 11 min

Orbit Ever After
Scottish premiere / Jamie Stone / UK / 2013 / 20 min

The Port
Rory Alexander Stewart / UK / 2013 / 17 min

Radio Silence
Duncan Cowles / UK / 2013 / 21 min

Red Dust
Ilona Kacieja / UK / 2013 / 16 min

The Registrars
Jane McAllister / UK / 2013 / 29 min

Romance & Adventure
Douglas King / UK / 2013 / 23 min

Seams and Embers
Claire Lamond / UK / 2012 / 6 min

Ross Hogg / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Stay The Same
Sam Firth / UK / 2013 / 14 min

Scottish premiere / Rose Hendry / UK / 2013 / 7 min

The Things That Are Important To Us
World premiere / Richard Poet & Frances Poet / UK / 2013 / 11 min


Afghan '72
European premiere / Pierre Forcioli-Conti / USA / 2013 / 4 min

Scottish premiere / Ben Cady / UK / 2012 / 12 min

Buffalo Death Mask
Scottish premiere / Mike Hoolboom / Canada / 2013 / 23 min

The Butter Lamp of Yak (La lampe au beurre de yak)
Scottish premiere / Hu Wei / France / 2013 / 15 min

The Case
Scottish premiere / Cecilia / Stenbom / UK / 2013 / 9 min

Scottish premiere / Graham / Fitzpatrick / UK / 2013 / 15 min

Dad's Stick
Scottish premiere / John / Smith / UK / 2012 / 5 min

The Danger of Complete Extinction
UK premiere / Konstantin Kolesov / Russia / 2012 / 26 min

Ebb and Flow (A Onda Traz, O Vento Leva)
Gabriel Mascaro / Brazil / 2012 / 28 min

Emergency Calls (Hätäkutsu)
UK premiere / Hannes Vartiainen & Pekka Veikkolainen / Finland / 2013 / 15 min

UK Premiere / Grégory Montaldo / France / 2013 / 7 min

Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven
Åsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren / Sweden / 2012 / 14 min

Scottish premiere / Amalie Vilmar / UK / 2013 / 2 min

How To Abandon Ship
International premiere / Robin McKay / USA / 2013 / 10 min

The Immaculates (Gli Immacolati)
UK Premiere / Ronny Trocker / France / 2013 / 13 min

European premiere / Rannvá Káradóttir & Marianna Mørkøre / Faroe Islands / 2012 / 5 min

Scottish premiere / Jonathan Romney / UK / 2013 / 21 min

Scottish Premiere / Christian Schmeer / Germany / 2013 / 6 min

The Missing Scarf
Scottish premiere / Eoin Duffy / Ireland / 2013 / 6 min

No Hope For Men Below
World premiere / Adam Stafford / UK / 2013 / 11 min

Off-White Tulips
UK premiere / Aykan Safoglu / Turkey & Germany / 2013 / 24 min

On the Threshold (Sto katofli)
UK premiere / Anastasia Kratidi / Greece / 2013 / 19 min

Pandas (Pandy)
Scottish Premiere / Matus Vizar / Slovakia & Czech Republic / 2013 / 12 min

Plug & Play
Scottish Premiere / Michael Frei / Switzerland / 2013 / 6 min

The Questioning
UK premiere / Zhu Rikun / China / 2013 / 22 min

International premiere / Frederico Biasin / Italy / 2013 / 14 min

Six Day Run (Kuuden päivän juoksu)
UK premiere / Mika Taanila / Finland / 2013 / 14 min

Scottish premiere / Stephen Fingleton / UK / 2013 / 23 min

Stay The Same
Sam Firth / UK / 2013 / 14 min

Summer Fall

UK premiere / Maryna Roshchyna / Ukraine / 2013 / 24 min

That Music (esa musica)
International premiere / Dario / Vejarano / Colombia / 2013 / 27 min

A Third Version of the Imaginary
UK premiere / Benjamin Tiven / Kenya & USA / 2012 / 12 min
Trusts and Estates
Scottish Premiere / Jeanette Bonds / USA / 2013 / 5 min

When We Lived in Miami
UK premiere / Amy Seimetz / USA / 2012 / 13 min

20 September 2013

TIFF 2013 Review - The Sacrament

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Directed By:
Ti West
Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, AJ Bowen
Release Date:
8th, 10th & 13th September (TIFF)

New Splat Pack maestro Ti West wowed us back in 2009 with House of the Devil then again last year with Innkeepers. Whilst House of the Devil was a slow burning kind of 70’s hark-back, Innkeepers was very much a modern horror.  His latest feature, The Sacrament, played at Toronto’s International Film Festival, but is it any good?

Unfortunately West goes for the slow burning thing again and it doesn’t pull off. Any slower and you’d be catatonic. The Sacrament is a film in the spirit of The Wicker Man but way less spooky. Two reporters ( AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg) venture into South America after a friend receives a summons from his estranged sister. The trio arrive to discover the sister is living in an idyllic but secluded religious convent lorded over by the mysterious ‘Father’ (Gene Jones). About half way through you’re going to start wondering what the point of the film is, because it certainly isn’t to scare or entertain. Sure there’s an interesting concept here, but when the final act kicks off you realise that this has been a one trick pony: a script formulated around its ending, and no film should merely be a means to its own end.

Step away from the lack of substance and look at it from a different angle, then you can see that there are plenty of great components at work. The set for one is fantastic, no arguments there. But where Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno managed to successfully convey hell in a South American paradise, West squanders a set on an uneventful plotline and flopped mounting tension. By this I mean that West orchestrates his characters into position, presents us with the stage, but then it doesn’t really go anywhere bar its predictable finale. Actually, there’s one sequence of particular merit that ignites interest in the long shadowy boredom of the feature.

The performance of Gene Jones (the only man to win a coin toss in No Country for Old Men) is a carrot on a stick, enticing us through the film. Like Michael parks in Red State, there’s something utterly watchable about religious zealots, and they have the followers to prove it. Jones’s interview sequence with AJ Bowen, is one of the few really great moments in the film, its more intense than most of the film, and shows how much shit the three guys are in. Jones is masterful in his execution of dangerous hospitality and manipulation, as is Amy Seimetz as religious nut Caroline.

Bar a few great performances, West disappoints here with a predictable escapade into religious mania, perhaps faulted by its positioning as a post-Red State feature. Even then it’s still dull as dishwater, void of previously flaunted visual flare, and lacking any real drive to develop its characters. When the inevitable set piece kicks off, you really won’t care who survives.


Scott Clark

2 July 2012

EIFF 2012: Sun Don't Shine Review

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Amy Seimetz's debut feature film, Sun Don't Shine recently received its international premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. This indie picture feels like a fusion of a road movie, psychological drama and thriller - proving to be an impressive feature debut and stirring watch.

Two young lovers, Crystal (Kate Lyn Sheil) and Leo (Kentucker Audley) go on the run in rural Florida, the pair both haunted by a dark secret that bounds them together. With a gun in the glove compartment and ever growing paranoia - their relationship begins to hit new extremes.    

Seimetz creates a tense and brooding atmosphere, using the humid Florida landscape as a canvas for this paranoia-infused drama. Sun Don't Shine is a film shrouded in mystery, the opening thrusts us into one of the couples' heated disputes, immediately spurring the question what have they done? Seimetz screenplay is a slowly unravelling puzzle which eventually reveals to us that Crystal stabbed her abusive husband, whose body lies in the car trunk.

Once this crucial detail is revealed Seimetz amps up the tension with the inclusion of encounters with suspicious passers-by or simply by reflecting an ever-recurring police presence. The fusion of this brooding atmosphere, combined with Seimetz's grainy, dreamlike direction produces a completely stirring, haunting film.

The dreamlike direction of Sun Don't Shine bares resemblance to the issues of one of the central characters, Crystal. Crystal seems completely unaware of her actions or the effect that her behaviour has on others - baring an almost childlike presence throughout the film. The character is somewhat of an enigma, who she herself does not even understand. Kate Lyn Sheil's performance mostly reflects  this, but some flaky line-delivery means that she does not always convince.

Kentucker Audley's performance as Leo is perhaps one of Sun Don't Shine's strongest assets. The actor always gives us an insight to the gears turning in Leo's head, as he attempts to fix Crystal's problems. No sooner has one issue been dealt with, then another arises - as he is slowly becoming bound to her by their dark secret. Audley's performance gradually unveils the effects that these mounting problems have on Leo as looks for release from an old flame.

Sun Don't Shine is a thoroughly impressive feature debut from Amy Seimetz. The director's haunting fusion of genres results in a tense, atmospheric drama with strong performances, most notably from leading man, Kentucker Audley.

Andrew McArthur

Stars: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen
Director: Amy Seimetz
Release: 23rd June (EIFF)

SUN DON'T SHINE Teaser from David Lowery on Vimeo.