Showing posts with label gff 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gff 2013. Show all posts

11 November 2013

Film Review: How To Survive A Plague

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Genre:
Documentary
Release Date:
8th November 2013 (UK, Cinema)
DVD (tbc)
Rating:
PG
Director:
David France

How to Survive a Plague is a film that was only released in UK cinemas last weekend, but which won a number of awards during last year’s film festival circuit; including the Boston Society of Film Critics best documentary, as well as winning in the same category at the Gotham Awards. It was also nominated for an Academy Award.

The documentary – directed by David France, and written by France, T. Woody Richman and Tyler Walker – provides an overview of the AIDS epidemic in New York City during the 80s, as both the casualties and the heinous reputation of its sufferers grew to extreme heights. As NYC Mayor of the time Ed Koch did little to act on the sweeping infection, activist groups such as ACT-UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group), led a powerful campaign in order to gain access to medication that was currently being denied to AIDS victims. Their movement also sought to alter perceptions of New York’s LGBT community, whose identity was, and still is, inherently linked to the spread of the virus.

France’s How to Survive a Plague is a work that should be applauded for bringing to our attention a struggle that was so intensively ignored during its time – a period not too long ago, where sick people were turned away from hospitals due to the stigma attached to their illness, and politicians and presidents recoiled in fear and disgust. Praise should also be given to the activist groups featured here, for the ceaseless filming and documenting of their meetings and campaigns; without which this production would not have been possible, and the struggle of this marginalised group would have remained unknown to its audiences. What France’s film ultimately achieves is in showing how meaningful change can occur when people are willing to stand up to their oppressors - there is a revolutionary spirit on display here which often feels lost in the current Twitter-age.

How to Survive a Plague is an affecting snapshot of a period of history, which remains relevant due to the comparable problems posed to others in similar situations today – albeit most likely on a different continent. A must see for non-fiction fans.

★★★★

Sophie Stephenson


11 June 2013

Joss Whedon Talks Shakespeare and Superhero’s Ahead of his Latest Release

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Buffy creator Joss Whedon answered my questions at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival; ahead of the UK premiere of his latest big-screen endeavour: an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. In addition to the release of Much Ado, Whedon is currently working on Avengers 2 and its forthcoming spin-off TV show, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Much Ado About Nothing departs from the Whedon canon, as unlike fan favourites such as Firefly and The Avengers, it is not science fiction (however – with the film’s script making use of original Shakespearean dialogue – it could be said that this also functions as a form of fantasy). Whedon notes the alterations in filming a much smaller scale production this time around than with The Avengers, saying: “It’s quite different. Ultimately what you’re looking for on the set is that camaraderie, where everybody’s pulling in the same direction. When you’re doing Avengers – and this is something that I’m hoping to rectify – you didn’t really have the same, everybody working on a huge movie, coming off another huge movie (with people much bigger than you are), and going off to do another huge movie with someone much bigger than you are; and their just sort of jobbing. When we did Buffy, people would come up and go ‘Oh, this is my favourite script’, they understood why they were doing everything. When we were shooting Avengers, a crew came up to me on the Helicarrier and said to me ‘Are we in space?’…and I realised oh they haven’t been allowed to read the film, because Marvel is so secret. Also cause there’s so many people and you’ve got to spend so much time blowing stuff up and this that and the other. With this film, I’m at my house, with my best friends, and every day we’re completing at least one – if not more – really thick, meaty delightful scenes. So we go away every day going ‘God we just accomplished all this as opposed to ‘we shot a tenth of that explosion and tomorrow…’. It’s a very different feeling. Ultimately, you try and get to the same thing. The camaraderie on set, of the Avengers themselves, was absolutely terrific. The only problem of them was that they would not. Stop. Talking. They were having so much fun…’Guys we have to shoot a film…will you please shut up’…That didn’t happen on Much Ado because we had twenty minutes to make the film.


Whedon praises his actors – most of whom he has worked with on previous projects – for their ability to handle the source material so well. He states, “A lot of them were classically trained, Alexis and Amy and Reed had theatre experience; and those who weren’t, I just had confidence in, particularly Nathan, who had no confidence in himself; which is an amazing thing to say about Nathan Fillion. He was very worried about it, and he tried to duck out of it. I was like ‘I’ll trim the part, I’ll take you out of that one scene where you don’t talk, but I don’t care how busy you are on Castle, you’re gonna do this!’ He closes the book on Dogberry. I can’t imagine a better version. But for some people it was a little bit new, and tricky; for some who hadn’t it came very naturally. Sean had also never done any Shakespeare and you would never know from the film. He’d also never played a bad guy, I was like ‘Whaaat’… you’re far too pretty not to have played a bad guy.” Fortunately, the filmmaker was lucky enough to get his perfect cast, stating: “You know, yeah I got pretty much everyone I wanted to. I had this idea of Claudio as a jock, as a warrior, and not as a huge wet. I forgot that Fran, when he played the nerd on Dollhouse or the stoner on Cabin, we had to layer tons of clothing on him to hide the fact that he’s incredibly buff. And he’s got such a gentle face and demeanour, you would never think of him as this kind of guy, but I couldn’t have been happier, I think he was absolutely the right guy for it. His commitment, to being a dick, was so great. And Clark I wanted for Leonato, he had fallen out and Tony Head was gonna do it, then he fell out, then Bradley Whitford fell out, everyone’s schedule kept not working. Then finally I called Clark again and said ‘so is that thing that you were doing still happening, in this month?’…he was like ‘You’re fucking kidding right?’ Those were his exact words. He said ‘Don’t you start shooting in three days?’ I was like ‘You can come over now!’ So yeah, I really got exactly who I wanted, even down to the first and second watchmen who I had never met but was just a fan of.



Undoubtedly, helming the largest grossing film of all time was a slight change of pace for Whedon. “At the very beginning of Avengers I had a little moment, and thought ‘Oh my God it’s bad…I have a lot of money…’ And, my wife said, ‘It’s just a story’, and the moment she said that I was done with worrying, and I never have since. The flip side of never worrying, is that when it blows up huge, you don’t really get to go ‘Yay’, because you think ‘That was the point. Wasn’t that what we were trying to do?’ And it did, more than I could have hoped. But, that’s because I didn’t hope. I couldn’t afford to think about numbers, because that would hamper my storytelling. All I can say is the first three weeks of doing The Avengers this was more like doing an internet musical than anything I’ve ever worked on: nothing was ready, the actors weren’t available; everything was being juggled at the last minute. Yep, here we are, it’s an internet musical. So you’re always one step ahead of the reaper, or the giant Indiana Jones ball. No matter what you’re working on. Any schedule will give you just not enough time.” Now having a little experience behind his belt, Whedon has been able to engage more fully with the entirety of the creative process second time around: “When I came in on Avengers the first time, the script had to just be thrown out. And so we were under the gun, with storyboarding sequences that I hadn’t even written yet. Which was frustrating, because you cannot let the ball overtake you. As talented as these people are - being some of the best in the business - your job is to be the storyteller, and you’re gonna get something generic if you don’t stay in front of it. Now, I feel like I have an opportunity to design scenes and set-pieces. Not that I didn’t design the ones that are in the first film, but now in a much more relaxed and holistic, and even possibly artistic way.

As Avengers 2 will not hit cinemas until 2015, it is too early to think about what other projects he will take on in the future. Despite being an avid fan, don’t count on another Shakespeare adaptation. “For years I wanted to do a film of Hamlet, until everybody else was, and so I tabled it. It would be delightful to do another film, with this exact cast, in that exact style; but I feel like part of the attraction of it was that it was something I had never done. It is no longer something I have never done and so my heart sort of goes more towards things that are untested, because one wants to challenge oneself, as one realises that one’s life is dwindling.

Finally, I asked Joss: If you could live the life of one of your characters for 24 hours, who would it be? To which he responded: “Well…Benedick gets to make out with Beatrice a lot…Gosh. I think I would probably go with Tony. His life doesn’t suck. I’m already as messed up as he is, so I may as well have a cool flying little suit.”



Joss Whedon's version of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is released in UK&Irish cinemas from Friday 14th June.

Sophie Stephenson

18 March 2013

The Bay DVD Review

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The Bay is one of those films that, for a while, refused to dismount all your favourite horror sites, instead riding a wave of publicity that saw its posters, trailers, and clips trickle down to a (generally) not-too-bothered fan base. Considering the fact that Barry Levinson (Rain Man) is in the director’s chair it’s easy to see why The Bay is getting so much attention.

The Bay takes Jaws, Piranha, our terror for ecological disaster and conspiratorial governments, mixes them up, plants them in an adorable wee fishing town in Maryland then lets everything spiral out of control. Amateur reporter Donna Thompson recalls all this three years later, narrating the patchwork of news coverage, home movie, and CCTV that has been salvaged since the terrible events of July 4th 2009, when a mysterious plague swept through the town.

Levinson tackles the beginnings of the epidemic with ease, carefully constructing a community so idyllic its almost queasy. The initial signs of trouble slip quickly into a fully-fledged plague-like affair but it’s those first moments of panic and terror that are presented in a much more sombre tone to help to set the film’s regretful mood. Unfortunately the last half skips on tension: suddenly everyone is dead and people blowing their brains out on first signs of itchy patches. The film just seems to lose itself in the imagery of chaos, enjoying the sight of panic and eventual silence more than trying to relay that disorientation to the audience.

Cut with all the finesse of a five year old with ADHD, The Bay squanders a nice tense first half by trying to spread itself over too much ground in the last. Jumping between perspectives should have given the story a much needed scope but it doesn’t pull off. ‘From the producers of Insidious and Sinister’ is what you’ll find proudly flaunted close to the film’s title in any publication, notice the pattern of naff third acts emerging here. Hopefully the producers will too.

One of the more interesting found-footage escapades of the past few years, The Bay fails to close the curtain on a successful feature, losing its way after a great set-up. However there are still a good few moments and a squeamish enough creature to sustain some frights.

★★1/2☆☆

Scott Clark

Rating:15
Release Date: 15th March 2013 (UK Cinema) 18th March 2013 (UK DVD)
Director
Cast,,
Buy The Bay:Blu-ray/ DVD

GFF 2013: John Dies at the End Review

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When I hear cult-auteur Don Coscarelli is working on a new film I get pretty excited, I read a synopsis and my excitement grows, Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man!) signs on for a cameo and I find out the film is based on a book reputed to be “unfilmable”. I swoon in my soul.

What you’ll notice first is that Coscarelli hasn’t sabotaged his aesthetic in taking his closest step into the main stream; the general look of the film and its cast, which includes the fantastic Paul Giamatti, may scare away some seasoned fans of that garage-feel of his early films. Don’t fret however, there’s plenty of his usual nonsense crammed in John Dies at the End to make up for that.

If there was a genre called fucking with the future, or unravelling the universe, then John Dies would definitely be a perfect example; it aint time travel and it aint really anything else. You just have to see it and try to let it happen. Essentially it’s the story of a new street drug that pushes the boundaries of human physics, and how two friends are dragged into a mess of alien invasion through the drug, but it’s so much more. It’s like a more elaborate Phantasm on acid.

John Dies flaunts Coscarelli’s signature black humour (see Bubba ho-Tep), those tooling-up sequences he deploys in all his films, a general feel of badass at more than a few points, and enough weird to do you the year. However, the film frequently threatens to be too bizarre for its own good and that will distance some viewers, at points it stretches patience especially in the last twenty minutes where any idea of acceptable narrative seems to boil off and leave a multi-coloured, fantastical, and wholly silly residue. If you consider this amidst the context then sure it pulls off. Time travel, supernatural encounters, aliens, and drugs, it’s difficult to criticise a film for being silly when there’s so much going on.

Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes hold their own throughout as Dave and John respectively, a pair of Coscarelli heroes if ever there was. Giamatti is great, as a wry and doubtful journalist, Doug Jones (he plays all your nightmares in del Toro films) pops up as an alien, and Clancy Brown plays an egocentric exorcist. Special mention goes to Glynn Turman as the cynical old-school detective caught up in something he doesn’t understand. Three guesses as to who I sympathise with most.

Earlier I mentioned context: that’s an important word when you consider Coscarelli’s CV. Don’t question his world too deeply, you won’t get answers, don’t pull a ridiculous face when things get crazy, because I promise it will get weirder. Sit back and watch, enjoy, savour every stupid moment courtesy of a sharp script and a director obviously having the time of his life.

The embodiment of the “Marmite Film”, John Dies at the End will polarise audiences and perhaps even Coscarelli fans. It is entirely unforgiving in its embracement of the bizarre, silly at times, hilarious at others, conceptually intriguing, and above all entertaining. Miss it if you dare.

Scott Clark

★★★★


Rating: 18
Release Date: 22nd March 2013 (UK)
Directed By
Cast 


12 March 2013

GFF2013 - Everybody Has a Plan (Todos tenemos un plan) Review

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Ana Piterbarg's Argentinean drama, Everybody Has a Plan, may be lying as I struggled to detect a clear plan in it whatsoever.

Everybody Has a Plan follows Agustin, a middle-class man who seeks an escape from the confines of his life and family. The arrival of his criminal and terminally ill twin brother, Pedro, provides that escape. Agustin murders Pedro, yet soon becomes embroiled in his deceased brother's criminal past.

The main issue with Everybody Has a Plan, is the sheer lack of narrative drive and focus with the feature lethargically dragging from one scene to another. A narrative involving the relationship between twins should be thrilling (Just look at Dead Ringers, or even Van Damme's Douple Impact), but this only receives around ten minutes of screen time here. Instead we see Agustin venture to rural Argentina and lay low in a shack, for what feels like an eternity.

Quiet, low-energy narratives can work if building a sense of foreboding or with the aim of escalating to something more substantial, however this never seems to arrive in Everybody Has a Plan. Pitebarg's feature lacks any sense of atmosphere or passion, and I struggle to interpret exactly what sort of audience this is aimed at. Surely it is not Viggo Mortensen fans? Mortensen is the least-engaging that I've ever seen him , in a performance void of depth or sense of natural charisma. Whilst in this mode, Mortensen struggles to carry the film independently, instead simply merging into the scenery.

Pitebarg does successfully capture the picturesque quality of the rural Argentina, showcasing the rural shacks set amidst the gloomy canals. However, this is unlikely to maintain your interest for the somewhat bloated 118 minute runtime.

Despite high hopes, Everybody Has a Plan lacks any narrative drive, simply trundling along at a snail's pace. A flat performance from Mortensen and lack of atmosphere, further the tedious nature of Piterbarg's feature.

Andrew McArthur

★1/2☆☆☆

Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego
Director: Ana Piterbarg
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release: 10th May 2013 (UK)21st February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival)

24 February 2013

GFF 2013: Arbitrage Review

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Richard Gere is known for being particularly selective over his roles in recent years. One cannot deny that it is a tactic that works - the past ten years have seen some of his strongest work from The Hoax to gritty cop thriller, Brooklyn's Finest. Gere's latest leading role in feature-film newcomer, Nicholas Jarecki's Arbitrage, maintains this high standard.

Arbitrage sees successful businessman Robert Miller (Gere) attempt to cover up fraudulent business activities and personal secrets from his associates and family. However, this grows increasingly difficult after Miller flees the scene of a car-crash that kills his lover, Julie (Laetitia Casta).

Both directed and written by Jarecki, Arbitrage proves to be a punchy, fast-paced thriller, remaining tense and gripping throughout. Seeing all facets of Miller's life gradually spiral out of control, as the businessman continually tries to wind them back in makes for a thoroughly engaging central narrative. As a result of his dishonest behaviour we see his family life crumble - particularly his relationship with his wife (Susan Sarandon), the future of his business come under fire and the eventual death of his lover. Who knew that life in the corporate world could be so exciting?

After the death of Julie, Arbitrage becomes an almost cat and mouse like thriller, as the police try and pin the car-crash on Miller. This further amps up the gripping tension and unease that courses through Arbitrage - with the viewer never quite sure if Miller will be caught or convicted. Unfortunately, the narrative power slackens towards the conclusion - with many integral questions going unanswered in a somewhat lazy finale.

The role of the troubled Miller allows for Gere to deliver one of his strongest performances in recent years. Seeing the actor as a man out of his depth, yet never willing to accept defeat - even if it means more dishonesty, is one of the endearing qualities of Arbitrage. Gere carries the central narrative with ease, continually reminding us of just how strong an actor he actually is.

Susan Sarandon also manages to shine with the smaller supporting role of Ellen, Miller's wife. Sarandon tackles the role with a subtle emotional power, bringing a sense of dignity and life to the the wife who knows more than she lets on. Further gravitas is added through Tim Roth's role as Detective Bryer, the man hoping to bring Miller to justice over his crimes.

Arbitrage is a taut thriller that holds the viewer in its vice-like grip from the onset with much debt to Richard Gere's magnificent central performance. Jarecki's screenplay and direction are largely excellent, even if the conclusion does feel somewhat dissatisfying.

Andrew McArthur


★★★★

Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling,Tim Roth
Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release:18th February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival) 1st March 2013 (UK)

GFF 2013: In The House (Dans La Maison) Review

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In the House, François Ozon's first directorial feature since the magnificent, Potiche, sees him once again team-up with Fabrice Luchini for equally strong results.

Germain (Luchini), a literature teacher receives essays from student, Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer), confessing his desire to visit the perfect family home of one of his classmates. As these essays grow more troubling, Germaine is unable to distinguish between fiction and reality, suspecting the motivations of the manipulative Claude.

Part of the pleasure of Ozon's feature comes from the ever-shifting tones, with In the House blurring the lines between psychological thriller, drama and comedy seamlessly. Every genre that the director delves into is handled with the utmost confidence, making the many twists and turns that Ozon's rich screenplay (based on Juan Mayorga's stage play) takes us on, all the more thrilling.

Using the dual narrative of Claude's stories and real life allows for Ozon to have a lot of fun. Watching Germain's paranoia as he grows continually more infatuated with Garcia's stories, so much so that he begins to lose his grip on reality, makes for thrilling viewing. The audience eventually becomes like Germain and Claude, voyeurs looking into the Artole Family home, where we discover that despite Claude's first thoughts, they are very far from the perfect family. There's a sinister energy generated by this voyeurism, mainly sourcing from Claude's fantasies surrounding the Artole Matriarch, Esther (Emmanuelle Seigner), culminating in an almost Gothic sequence where Claude stays over night at the family home. These dark psychological thrills strike parallels with Ozon's earlier feature, the masterfully unsettling Swimming Pool.

In the House is not a completely dark watch, Ozon gives occasional moments of playful humour. These mainly stem from Fabrice Luchini's staggeringly brilliant performance - Luchini is truly an actor gifted with a great versatility, being equally convincing at both light comic elements and heavier dramatic material. Many of these laughs come from Luchini's scenes with on-screen wife, Kristin Scott Thomas who runs an exhibit at a local art gallery, which Germain dubs "Art for perverts." The actress heads a stellar supporting cast which also includes Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet and a wonderfully sinister turn from newcomer, Ernst Umhauer.

In the House is a truly absorbing watch, thanks to an inventive screenplay providing us with a mix of mysterious psychological thrills, well-paced drama and some light comic flourishes. Ozon handles these elements with his ingenuity, wit and competence, allowing for some standout performances from Luchini, Umhauer &Thomas.

Andrew McArthur

★★★★

Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas , Emmanuelle Seigner
Director: François Ozon
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release: 21st February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival)29th March 2013 (UK)

23 February 2013

GFF 2013 Review: The Paperboy

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After a rough reception from critics at Cannes in May 2012, The Paperboy finally makes its way to the UK. Even before its general release, The Paperboy has become something of a modern trash classic thanks to director Lee Daniel's pulpy direction and eye for a scantily-clad Zac Efron.

Based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter, The Paperboy follows Miami Times reporter, Ward Jansen as he returns to his home of South Florida to exonerate innocent death row hick, Hilary Van Wetter (John Cussack). Alongside his younger brother, Jack (Zac Efron) and Hilary's fiancé, trashy femme fatale Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), Ward sets out to prove the condemned man's innocence.

Lee Daniels is truly a man with a vision, The Paperboy is the film that he set out to make. Filled with a darkly Gothic Southern charm, Daniels' feature is chock-full of rich atmosphere - fully transporting us to the hot, sweaty world of 1960s Florida. This swampy, heat-soaked atmosphere feels like an apt backdrop for Daniels' themes of primal desires like lust and violence to play out. These run their course through Dexters' rich palette of characters from perpetually horny teen, Jack, to over-sexed Barbie doll, Charlotte Bless.

Fans of the book may feel that Dexter's narrative structure and character development have suffered through Daniels' artistic flourishes. Dexter's novel was a brooding read with a natural narrative structure, something that sometimes feels lacking from Daniels' adaptation. On occasion, The Paperboy feels like a disjointed, patchwork of loosely connected sequences which is likely to hamper your emotional investment in the narrative and characters. This lack of emotional investment, is not to say that The Paperboy is not enjoyable, it is a lot of fun.

Daniels' feature is filled with an endearing trashy-charm from the loud aesthetics to the kitsch soundtrack. This charm carries on into the performances too. Nicole Kidman is the clear standout, bringing a large helping of Southern gumption and lashings of trashy sex-appeal to the role of Charlotte Bless. However, there is also an a sense of vulnerability in Kidman's performance - Charlotte's blatant over-sexed demeanour works as a means of masking her insecurities, allowing the actress to give one of her strongest performances in recent years.

The role of Jack also allows Zac Efron to shine, with the actor finally being given the opportunity to showcase his talents in a darker, less-family friendly role. Daniel's voyeuristic gaze of the handsome, lust-filled Jack further thrusts into the sweaty, pulpy atmosphere of The Paperboy. Praise must also go to the wonderful Macy Gray, for a stellar comic turn which also brings themes of 1960s race relations into The Paperboy's frame.

The Paperboy is a thrilling, sweat soaked Southern-Noir, rich in atmosphere and directorial vision. The varying tone, camp aesthetics and powerful performances from Kidman and Efron completely overshadow any of the narrative inconsistencies. The Paperboy is a must-see.

Andrew McArthur

★★★★

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey
Director: Lee Daniels
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release: 18th February 2013(Glasgow Film Festival) 15th March 2013 (UK)




















16 February 2013

GFF 2013 - Bernie Review

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In a small town in Texas lives Bernie (Jack Black), a popular mortician who befriends the lonely, rich Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine). The pair do everything together, however Marjorie eventually becomes abusive, and after one demand too many Bernie makes a fatal decision. The film is presented in a documentary style, with the story told by residents of the town in interviews which flash back to the events, some of whom are in fact real-life Texan’s who took part in the real case.

Richard Linklater has assembled a great cast for his latest offering. Matthew McConaughey stands out as the district attorney, while this is Jack Black’s best role for a long time, and shows he has a wider range of ability than his usual performances would have you believe. The problem however lies in the narrative: it is just not engaging enough to care about the characters. There is no build-up of events, just a meandering plod from start to finish. While displaying moments of quirkiness and charm, the script does not contain enough humour for it to deliver as a comedy. It is difficult to guess what Linklater’s intentions were, as the light-hearted tone of the film persists from start to finish, despite the turn of events. Bernie is an enjoyable watch, just not satisfactory, and may leave you wondering: what was the point?

Sophie Stephenson

★★★☆☆

Rating: 15
Release Date: 15th February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival) 26th April 2013 (UK&Ireland)
Director
Cast 

18 January 2013

GFF2013 – UK Trailer Barry Levinson’s Eco Horror The Bay

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Barry Levinson's unnerving eco-disaster thriller The Bay hits UK cinemas on 1 March 2013 and before then Saturday 23rd at Film4 Frightfest at Glasgow Film Festival and we've been sent the new  UK trailer from Momentum Pictures!

Synopsis:The quaint coastal town of Claridge, Maryland thrives on the safe, tranquil and abundant waters of Chesapeake Bay. During their annual Independence Day celebrations, a gruesome plague is unleashed, quickly infecting the residents and turning them against each other. A brutal and harrowing creature feature for the 21st century, “The Bay” graphically chronicles the descent of a small town into absolute terror.

You may cringe at this been referred to as been a found footage however it's a spin on that sub-genre using the like mobile phones, TV reports and CCTV police emergency recordings and even the old web cam. It's effective, chilling and one of the highlights we're looking forward too at this years Glasgow Frightfest plus you can't go much wrong with Oscar winning film director behind the camera for this one!

The Bay stars Kristen Connolly (The Cabin in the Woods), Christopher Denham (Sound of My Voice), Kether Donohue (Pitch Perfect), and Jane McNeill (The Walking Dead).produced by  Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity; Sinister; Insidious), Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity; Insidious), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity; Insidious), The Bay will be with us on 1st March.



17 January 2013

Much A Do About Something! Glasgow Film Festival Launches 2013 Programme

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On the day the first major film festival of the year Sundance opens in USA, the first official major film festival Glasgow Film Festival launches its 2013 programme which is nothing but exceptional.

Love will be in the air as the the 9th edition of the festival as the festival will open with 2 romantically  themed film with the opening film Régis Roinsard’s Populaire starring French heart throb Romain Duris , The Artist's Bérénice Bejo and Déborah François.If you ever wondered what Joss Whedon did after Avengers Assemble  its making the closing gala film Much A do About Something. A contemporary reworking of William Shakespeare's classic Play created in 12 days with a bunch of friends which include the likes of  Amy Acker , Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg, this is Whedon's foray into arthouse cinema. Populaire will open the festival on Valentine's Day 14 February, Much A Do About Nothing closing the festival on 24th February Oscars night, both films are UK premiere's.

In between these two great films this is where Glasgow Film Festival show their progression, strength with other 50 screenings many of them UK, European some cases World Premieres. Fans of Blue Valentine will be eager to see Derek Cianfrance's follow up The Place Beyond The Pines (UK première)starring Ryan Gosling,  Eren Creevy’s Welcome To The Punch starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong will deliver some UK action. 2013 seems to be the year Korea's finest film makers try take over Hollywood  when  Park Chan-Wook's anticipated chiller Stoker starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman will take over Glasgow. Fans of Nicole Kidman will be delighted to see the actress will be making a second appearance t Glasgow Film Festival as you can catch in Lee Daniel's The Paperboy which stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron. Richard Geer 's Arbitrage,Broken starring Tim Roth, Michael Winterbottom's The Look Of Love with Steve Coogan, Guillermo Del Toro's Mama, Sundance & London Film Favourite Robot & Frank starring Frank Langella all will make an appearance at the festival too. The Wachowski's Cloud Atlas will make its first British Appearance at the festival,how fitting as one of the film's scenes (with Halle Berry) was filmed only minutes from the festivals main venue Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT).

With over 368 screenings, events, discussion panels, workshops happening in various venues across Glasgow there's bound to be something from everyone.From from Calamity Jane Barn Dance, secret screening within the city's famous clockwork orange , watch Jaws on a Tall Ship or even watch a screening of the silent movie masterpiece The Passion of Jean D'Arc at Glasgow Cathedral.If your not a big fan of contemporary cinema the annual Retrospective will be in force and this year's classic star is James Cagney with a selection of his best films been screened such as Angels With Dirty Faces,Yankee Doodle Dandy and White Heat.

We must n't forget the whole of February is given upto film festival with festivals within festivals with Glasgow Youth Film Festival kicking things off  with Scottish premier of Disney's Oscar nominated Wreck It-Ralph starring the voice of John C Reilly, the festival closing film Michael Gondry's The We And I.Scotland's leading short film festival Glasgow Short Film Festival (7-10 February) bigger and better packed with over 60 of the best short films not just from Scotland, rest of UK but the world. Glasgow Music And Film Festival returns with another pack schedule with music related films, rockumentaries, watch classic films with live scores and off course live performances with the one and only Jane Birkin making a rare live performance in the city. The highlight for myself is the annual horror fest Film4 Frightfest , the london based premier horror festival heads north for its annual mix of gore, monsters and  blood now in it's 8th year and around 930am we will reveal the line up, trust me love horror  you wont be disappointed!

As Glasgow Film Festival is the local film festival for The People's Movies and Cinehouse we will do our best to cover the even to the best we can. Some fantastic films but what I really like is finally now Glasgow looks now to be getting the credit it deserves and if everything goes well, Glasgow film festival will become BFI London Film Festival's strongest rival. I'm fortunate to say I work at GFT the festival's main venue I will be there as reviewer but also working if you know me, do say hello and if your heading to Frightfest I will see you there too!

For more information, book tickets which go on sale from 9.30am today head to www.glasgowfilm.org/festival

Here is the very detailed Press Release on the Glasgow Film Festival:

Love is in the air as Glasgow Film Festival announces biggest-ever programme.
Film lovers, rejoice! Glasgow Film Festival today announced its most ambitious programme yet: bookended by two very different romantic comedies, kicking off on Valentine’s Day and ending on the night of the 85th Academy Awards.

Supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, with 368 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and special events, this is the most extensive Glasgow Film Festival programme to date. It truly is a festival for the whole city, too, spreading out further than ever before into twenty six venues – everywhere from the stately surroundings of Glasgow Cathedral to a secret location somewhere in the depths of the Subway system. There are a record number of UK premieres amongst this year’s films, and GFF’s unique programme of special events celebrating the joy of cinema gets even more innovative in 2013, with contributions from comedians, musicians, comic book legends, fashion designers and even Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. It’s a programme that wears its love of film – and of the cinema-going experience in all its forms – very prominently on its sleeve.

Opening Gala: Populaire   **UK PREMIERE**
On Valentine’s Day, movie lovers will walk down the red carpet for the UK premiere of sparkling French romantic comedy Populaire, starring Déborah François, Roman Duris and The Artist’s Běrénice Bejo. With the retro appeal of Mad Men and the glossy allure of a Doris Day/Rock Hudson tussle, this gorgeous, candy-coated romance between the fastest typist in the world and her handsome, commitment-phobic boss will melt hearts (and inspire wardrobes).

Thursday 14 February (19.30 & 20.15)

Closing Gala: Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing  **UK PREMIERE**
What do you do when you’ve just made the most successful superhero blockbuster ever? In the case of Avengers Assemble writer/directorJoss Whedon, you invite a group of actor friends to your home for a fortnight and shoot an inspired, inventive version of Shakespeare’s classic battle of the sexes. Stuffed with familiar faces from Whedon’s cult oeuvre (look out for actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly giving their best hey nonny noes), this Much Ado About Nothing is a warm, witty and accessible take on one of the original rom coms.
Sunday 24 February (20.15)
We are delighted to announce that the Sponsors of our Opening and Closing Galas, Link-Tel Communications have received a New Arts Sponsorship grant supported by the Scottish Government in conjunction with Arts & Business Scotland, as first time Sponsors of the arts.
SEE OVER FOR SPECIAL EVENTS, UK PREMIERES, NEW STRANDS, AND MUCH MORE…

Allan Hunter, Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival, said‘Glasgow Film Festival has grown into a massive celebration of every aspect of the moving image. We all spend part of our lives watching films, playing games or catching up with television but there is still nothing to match sharing the experience with fellow enthusiasts, meeting the filmmakers and finding fresh inspiration. We are extremely proud of an ambitious 2013 programme that promises unforgettable moments in venues all across the city.’

SPECIAL EVENTS
Catwalk shows. Live video gaming. DJ sets. GFF’s events programme has always made the festival particularly unique, and this year we celebrate cinema with almost fifty different events from panel discussions to comedy, some embracing the cinematic in television and computer games, some tracing the relationships between film and fashion or music. Highlights include:
  • Entre chien et loup, a series of new commissioned works by some of Scotland’s best artist filmmakers, curated by Henry Coombes and premiering at a fabulous grand ball.
  • The first ever film screening in Glasgow Cathedral will be the 1928 silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, with a brand new live score for organ and soprano.
  • Legendary Scottish actor James Cosmo in conversation about his life and career
  • A secret film screening in a hidden location in the depths of Glasgow Subway.
  • Comedian Simon Munnery’s new show, Fylm-Makker.
  • A panel of actors from HBO’s award winning television epic Game of Thrones introduce an episode screening and launch Season Three.
  • The Calamity Jane Barn Dance, at Glasgow’s legendary country and western club, Grand Ole Opry
  • Scary watery movies Jaws and Dead Calm screened – comfortingly enough – on board The Tall Ship.
  • Comic book legends John Wagner (creator of Judge Dredd), our Kapow!@GFF curator Mark Millar (Kick-Ass), and Steve Niles (creator of 30 Days of Night) discuss their work.
  • Hop on board our samba bus and be whisked off to a proper Brazilian Carnival.
  • Live music performances from Jane Birkin, Auricle Ensemble and Lau.
  • Celebrate fifty years of Doctor Who with members of the cast and series writer Tom McRae.
  • DCI Caroline Goode, who led the investigation into the death of young British-Kurdish woman Banaz Mahmod, joins us for a discussion on honour killings.
  • Fashion label Obscure Couture launch their next season collection with an outrageous live catwalk/film extravagana.
  • Detroit techno icon Jeff Mills headlines our day-long Sonic Cineplex, where DJs and musicians create new soundtracks to old film footage.
  • First Minister Alex Salmond reveals his nerdy side, introducing his favourite geek cinema classic.
  • Computer game experts compare highly anticipated game Aliens: Colonial Marines to the original 70mm Aliens, both on the big screen.
  • Dress up like your favourite cult character and walk the red carpet at our Cosplay Gala.
INNOVATIONS AND PREMIERES, OVER
SELECTED UK PREMIERES

This year, fifty-seven of our films are UK premieres,  including:
  • Stoker, starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman.
  • The Place Beyond the Pines, which reunites Ryan Gosling with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.
  • Neil Jordan’s dark vampire thriller Byzantium, with Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton,
  • Arbitrage, with a bravura performance by Richard Gere.
  • The Look of LoveMichael Winterbottom’s stylish look at the life of Paul Raymond (played by Steve Coogan).
  • Mama, starring Jessica Chastain.
  • The Paperboy, with a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Nicole Kidman alongside Matthew McConaughey.
  • James McAvoy, Peter Mullan and Mark Strong team up for the sleek, powerful thriller Welcome to the Punch.
Glasgow Film Festival is also delighted to host the first public UK screening of the eagerly-anticipated Cloud Atlas, which was partially shot in Glasgow.

SELECTED WORLD PREMIERES
  • Kevin Cameron’s Alasdair Gray: A Life in Progress, a film as entertaining and multi-faceted as the man himself, featuring Liz Lochhead and the late Edwin Morgan.
  • A Tale of Two Syrias: award-winning documentary filmmaker Yasmin Fedda’s unique, personal take on recent events in Syria.
  • Created especially for GFF with CCA and Stills Gallery, feature film Staande! Debout! is based on true events, examining the aftermath of a strike on a workforce.
  • Outwork, by the internationally-renowned artist filmmaker Stephen Sutcliffe, is the third annual Margaret Tait Award project.
  • The Devil’s Plantationbased on May Miles Thomas’ BAFTA-winning website, is an innovative look at Glasgow’s secret geometery, narrated by Kate Dickie and Gary Lewis.
  • We Are Northern Lights, a film created from submissions across Scotland.
NEW FOR 2013
Three new programming strands for this year’s Festival were announced in November 2012.
  • Buena Onda: New Brazilian Cinema: As Brazil begins to take its place on the world stage, both as an emerging superpower and as the next host nation of the Olympics, we examine some of the great new work coming out of the country. It’s also a great excuse to throw a traditional Brazilian Carnival party, with a samba bus to take you to a secret location, and a special screening of 1970s classic Black Orpheus.
  • James Cagney: Top of the World, Ma! Our retrospective this year takes a long, loving look at the career of the Oscar-winning Hollywood tough guy, from the young street rat–turned gangster of Angels With Dirty Faces, to the menacing obsessive lover of Love Me or Leave Me.
  • Game Cats Go Miaow!: Robert Florence, star of the BBC comedy series Burnistoun, curates a look at the cross-over between cinema and video gaming. A panel of gaming experts review the hotly-anticipated Aliens: Colonial Marines on the big screen, followed by a comparison screening of Aliens itself. A whole host of comedians pack themselves in for Rab’s Video Game Empty, a quiz show with a difference, and we take a searing look at epic game Dark Souls and the whole of the dark fantasy genre.
Our brand new Festival Club takes over CCA’s Terrace Bar every day and night for the duration of the Festival. Rub shoulders with filmmakers and visiting guests, ask the GFF team for advice planning your schedule, take part in a daily programme of debates and discussions and then dance the night away with a great selection of DJs and live acts. Festival Club listings will be online at www.glasgowfilm.org/festivalclub and posted daily in the GFT foyer.
FESTIVALS WITHIN THE FESTIVAL, OVER
FESTIVALS WITHIN THE FESTIVAL
Glasgow Short Film Festival: 7–10 February
Scotland’s leading short film festival returns with a packed programme of screenings, workshops and parties. This year sixty films compete for the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film and the Scottish Short Film Award. The 2013 programme pays tribute to the behemoth of underground cinema George Kuchar, forecasts tomorrow’s US indie darlings with a showcase of filmmaking from Columbia University graduates, celebrates the groundbreaking work of Caroline Sascha Cogez and assembles heavyweight panels to ask ‘why can’t women make feature films?’ across a series of discussions during the weekend. www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff

Glasgow Youth Film Festival: 3–13 February
The only film event in the UK curated entirely by 15—18-year-olds presents international film premieres, workshops and events for child, teenage and young adult audiences.  Highlights include premieres of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Michel Gondry’s hilarious comedy The We and the I, plus anime previews and a cosplay parade! GYFF will also be turning the banks of the Clyde into a pop-up cinema and dance space, screening recent dance classic Girl Walk // All Day, and the cast and crew of Channel 4’s Fresh Meat stop by for a masterclass. GYFF also offers a range of practical workshops to aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers. www.glasgowfilm.org/gyff

Glasgow Music and Film Festival (dates as Glasgow Film Festival; Jane Birkin on 29 January)
Curated by the GFF team and long term partners-in-crime The Arches, this year’s GMFF embraces local artists and global greats alike, with live performances from Jane Birkin, techno legend Jeff Mills, gold star folkers LauAlasdair Roberts, and Auricle Ensemble. Witness some intriguing new live soundtracks created to old classics – in particular Irene Buckley’s spine-tingling new score for The Passion of Joan of Arc, for soprano, electronics and organ, in the very atmospheric setting of Glasgow Cathedral. Accompanied by a jam-packed programme of excellent rockumentaries and biopics.

Film4 FrightFest: 22—23 February
Our special horror Fest-within-a-Festival may now be in its eighth year at GFF, but there’s still no let up to that heady mix of mirth, menace, monsters and mayhem that characterises the Film4 FrightFest Glasgow experience

20 November 2012

Glasgow Film Festival announces 3 New Strands For The 2013 Line-up

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They may not call themselves an international film festival but the Glasgow Film Festival is growing in stature every year with 8th, 2012 film festival proving they are the fastest growing film festival in UK. The third biggest film festival will hold there 9th festival next February between 14 and 24th February 2013.

With 3 months to go until the next festival, the festival organizers have announced 3 of the strands. The films of James Cagney will take centre stage in the very popular retrospective strand. New cinema will focus on the films of Brazil and a brand new strand which has a big screen look at video games.

Robert Florence of BBC Scotland’s Burnistoun will join the GFF team to curate a gaming strand called Game Cats Go Miaow! The highlights of the strand is a live review of the new Aliens: Colonial Marines game with James Cameron's Aliens been shown right after the review. Also a special costume Gala Cosplay Go Miaow! With a very special film been screened possibly anime or comic book film.

Brazil is fast becoming a leading light in cinema and in the Buena Onda: New Brazilian Cinema Strand Xingu (dir Cao Hamburger), Prime Time Soap (A novellas das 8) (dir Odilon Rocha), Neighbouring Sounds (O som ao redor) (dir Kleber Mendonca Filho) and Southwest (Sudoeste) (dir Eduardo Nunes), will all play showcasing the diversity and quality of the films from the country.

After very popular Gene Kelly Retrospective, the 2013 festival's James Cagney will go down a treat with adoring film fans. The Public Enemy (1931), Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), White Heat (1949) and Love Me Or Leave Me (1955) are all set to play and like every year the strand finishes with a bang Gene Kelly's finished with The Gene Kelly ceilidh, this years I can guarantee will beat this, all will be revealed at press launch!

The official press launch will  happen 16th January 2013 and we will be in attendance and nearer the time we will share you the programme details when we get them. Public tickets will go on sale the following day, 17th January 2013.


Official Press Release:

Glasgow Film Festival announces the addition of three innovative new programming strands to the 2013 festival.

Glasgow Film Festival's growing popularity is anchored in the programme's wide range of individual strands that target specific areas of interest, bringing together themed screenings, special guests and an outstanding programme of city-wide tie-in events to reach a huge spectrum of audiences. The Festival today announced three exciting new strands:

JAMES CAGNEY: TOP OF THE WORLD, MA! focuses on the extraordinary life and times of Hollywood's Oscar-winning tough guy. As Brazil edges every-further into the global spotlight, BUENA ONDA takes a look at new cinema coming from the emerging superpower. Meanwhile, the star of BBC Scotland's Burnistoun (and obsessive gamer) Robert Florence joins the GFF team to curate GAME CATS GO MIAOW!, which takes a star-studded big-screen look at video games - as they grow ever-more cinematic, could they begin to challenge the movie-going experience?
This month also saw the launch of the festival's official trailer which was directed by Lesley Barnes in a collaboration with animator Bruce Cameron both members of Toads Caravan. Sound comes from members of Glasgow Indie pop band Belle & Sebastian