Showing posts with label independent film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label independent film. Show all posts

6 March 2015

GFF 2015 - Man From Reno (2014)

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Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Glagow Film Festival
Rating: 15
Dave Boyle
Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna, Kazuki Kitamura,

One night, after hitting an unidentified Japanese man with his car, Sherriff Del Moral (Pepe Serna) stumbles on a mysterious case that leads him to San Francisco. There, author Aki Akahori (Ayako Fujitani) has fled Tokyo and after enjoying a brief fling with a mysterious stranger, is thrust into the very same case. Dave Boyle’s Man from Reno keeps threatening to be a dark (at least consistently serious) film pulling on film noir inspirations and pulp paperback detective stories, but it never quite gets there.

The humour is off, sometimes far too dry, others far too silly, considering the story, but then, there’s another issue. The story, in attempts to achieve the kind of ludicrous twisting narrative of the noir thriller, loses itself too many times. It delves in deeper and deeper but doesn’t manage to drag us with any great zeal. Though, one of the most interesting things about Man from Reno is its array of zany multinational characters who, though sometimes jarring, are often enjoyable. Unfortunately its array of strange characters are left in a pile somewhere out of sight, its story hopelessly convoluted and confused by too many characters and not enough intrigue. There is some success in Kazuki Kitamura’s portrayal of a handsome stranger and Serna’s wily old cop, but even when those two characters eventually meet, it’s unfortunately underwhelming.

The humour along with the mix of genre templates is surprisingly uninvolving. The darker streaks work best when married with a significant amount of mystery, but the humour inevitably sinks the boat. Del Moral’s investigation really pulls you in, but is thrown overboard by a middling and distracted story of author melodrama. This is a mixed pot that’s trying far too hard to achieve a type of story usually marked by shameless nonchalance.

Moments of gorgeous noir cinematography are few and far between in the glorified melodrama of Man from Reno. Viewers will be split by which side of the plot they enjoy more, but as a whole this isnt quite there.

Scott Clark

17 December 2014

The Critically Acclaimed Harry McQueen's Hinterland To Get February UK Release

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Critically acclaimed directorial debut Hinterland from Award-winning Actor/Director Harry Macqueen will be released in UK cinemas and On Demand from 27th February 2015. Nominated for Best UK Feature at Raindance Film Festival 2014, the film will open at Curzon Cinemas and will be simultaneously available on Curzon Home Cinema from 27th February through Soda Pictures, before touring UK cinemas.

Shot in 13 days in February and March 2013 in London and Cornwall and set over one February weekend, Hinterland is an original and visually stunning British road-trip and a tender and honest exploration of love and change.

Hinterland follows two old friends who escape the city for a trip of nostalgia, love and new beginnings. When Harvey (Harry Macqueen) hears that his old friend Lola (musician Lori Campbell) has been forced to return home after years abroad he arranges to take her away for a weekend to the seaside cottage where they spent so much of their youth. What follows is a touching and beautiful story of an old friendship rekindled within a new context. Hinterland is a poetic journey of self-discovery and heartbreak in contemporary Britain.

Hinterland stars Harry Macqueen (Me and Orson Welles, Eastenders) as ‘Harvey’ and introduces musician Lori Campbell as ‘Lola’ in her acting debut. Lori is a fulltime musician with her first album as a singer/songwriter recently released in 2014.

Harry Macqueen said: “I am interested in telling intimate, personal stories that focus on character and relationships but that have a broader resonance be it social, moral or political. I admire filmmakers that allow their cameras to be passive observers and that give the actors the freedom to perform organically.

Perhaps due to my background as an actor I am also a great believer in the use of structured improvisation and the creation of the scripted dialogue as a collaborative process. With HINTERLAND I wanted to explore the themes of love and re-connection. How people and situations change and the impact this can have on them and those around them. The film also deals with people in a period of personal flux within the context of a country itself unsure of its direction.”

If you missed the trailer, you can check out Hinterland trailer below...

1 March 2014

DVD Review - For Those In Peril (2013)

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Soda Pictures
Rating: 18
DVD Release Date:
3rd March 2014 (UK)
Paul Wright
George McKay, Nichola Burley, Katie Dickie, Michael Smiley
Buy: For Those In Peril [DVD]

British cinema has long since been known for its realist aesthetic with directors such as Ken Loach (Kes, Raining Stones, and Ladybird, Ladybird) and Mike Leigh (Life Is Sweet, Naked, and Secrets & Lies) working at the forefront of our national cinema within a social realist idiom. In more recent years, with Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and Andrea Arnold’s more recent Fish Tank springing to mind, the traditional realist mode as changed context and become more poetic in its form. And now we have Paul Wright, whose debut feature For Those in Peril uses local folklore to transcend the boundaries of realist cinema and imbue his story with a sense of magic.

The film concerns itself with the guilt and need for redemption that take their toll on Aaron (George Mackay), the lone survivor of a fishing accident that claimed the lives of several young men including his own brother. With the local townsfolk of the remote Scottish fishing community in which he resides either blaming him or resenting him for being the only one to return, and with his only solace coming from his mother (played by the excellent Kate Dickie) and his dead brother’s girlfriend Jane (Nichola Burley), Aaron retreats into his own world. With the conviction that his brother is still alive and after taking literally the fable his mother used to tell him as a child, he sets out to rescue his brother from the belly of the monster at the bottom of the sea.

My initial reaction when I watched the film was that the use of folklore to lift the film into the realms of magical realism was, as other critics have been eager to point out, a major misjudgement that diverts our attention away from the films compassionate and intense psychological core. But upon reflection the real problem isn’t anything to do with the films magical elements but more to do with the 18 certificate given to the film, because this film does work as a children’s fable, albeit a dark one, that should be made available for a younger audience. For while the film still has its problems, namely the credibility of the townsfolk’s resentment of Aaron, the film is an ambitious debut that deserves to sit alongside Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher, Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, and Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen as a children’s film that has fallen foul of the BBFC’s rating system.


Shane James

11 November 2013

The Moët British Independent Film Awards Announce Their 2013 Nominees

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The nominations for the 16th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards were announced today, at Saint Martins Lane, London by actor, BIFA Patron and previous winner, Ewan McGregor.

Joint Directors, The Moët British Independent Film Awards’ Johanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson said: “We would like to thank our dedicated members who viewed over 200 films, in an extremely competitive year. The variety of films submitted reached a new level this year with films covering a range of subject matters and genres that perfectly showcases the diversity and creativity at work in British independent filmmaking today. Now our wonderful independent jury, announced today, will have the unenviable task of choosing the winners who will be the first to receive the newly launched iconic signature trophy designed by Fredrikson Stallard, created by Swarovski at the Moët British Independent Film Awards.

The highest number of nominations this year goes to Starred Up with 8 nominations including Best British Independent Film, Best Director for David Mackenzie, Best Screenplay for Jonathan Asser, Best Actor for Jack O’Connell, and two Best Supporting Actor nominations for Rupert Friend and Ben Mendelsohn. The Selfish Giant picked up 7 nominations and Filth, Metro Manila and Le Week-end all picked up 5 nominations each.

Nominations for Best Actress go to Judi Dench for Philomena, Lindsay Duncan for Le Week-end, Scarlett Johansson for Under The Skin, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman and Saoirse Ronan for How I Live Now. Along with Jack O’Connell for Starred Up, leading men hoping to take home the Best Actor award include Jim Broadbent for Le Week-end, Steve Coogan for Philomena, Tom Hardy for Locke and James McAvoy for Filth.

Best Supporting Actor nominations go to John Arcilla for Metro Manila, Jeff Goldblum for Le Week-end, Eddie Marsan for Filth and the two Starred Up actors Rupert Friend and Ben Mendelsohn.

Siobhan Finneran for The Selfish Giant, Shirley Henderson for Filth, Imogen Poots for The Look of Love, Kristin Scott Thomas for The Invisible Woman and Mia Wasikowska for The Double are all nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award.

Directors who have delivered dynamic debuts this year and are fighting for the Douglas Hickox Award are Charlie Cattrall for Titus, Tina Gharavi for I Am Nasrine, Jeremy Lovering for In Fear, Omid Nooshin for Last Passenger and Paul Wright for For Those in Peril.

Elsa Corbineau, Marketing Director Moët & Chandon: “Every year the talent pool recognised by the Moët British Independent Awards continues to inspire us with the depth and richness it represents. With a century-long history supporting the stars of the silver screen, Moët & Chandon is looking forward to celebrating the British film industry's achievements in a fittingly glamorous way at the Awards on December 8th”.

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund comments: “Where other awards sometimes fear to tread, the MBIFAs puts the wild creativity of British independent filmmaking front and centre. This year we have witnessed a renewed confidence in bold UK filmmaking which has been recognised around the world and will inspire a new generation of talent. The BFI NET.WORK has been established to support extraordinary new voices who need a platform like the BIFAs to showcase their talent to the industry, and that’s why we are so pleased to support the Best British Short award this year.”

The Raindance Award nominees for 2013 include: Everyone’s Going to Die, The Machine, The Patrol, Sleeping Dogs and Titus. This award honours exceptional achievement for filmmakers working against the odds, often with little or no industry support. Elliot Grove, Founder of Raindance Film Festival and Moët British Independent Film Awards added: “Its a delight to see how In just a few years the BIFA nominations have become one of the most eagerly anticipated film events of the calendar year. Congratulations to all the nominees.”

The Pre-Selection Committee of 70 members viewed over 200 films, out of which they selected the nominations, which were decided by ballot.

The winners of The Moët British Independent Film Awards are decided by an independent jury comprised of leading professionals and talent from the British film industry.

The Jury for 2013 includes: Jury Chair - Penny Woolcock (Director), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Actress), Art Malik (Actor), Ate de Jong (Director), Bart Layton (Director), James Floyd (Actor), Jill McCullough (Dialect Coach), Julien Temple (Director), Liza Marshall (Producer), MyAnna Buring (Actress), Natascha McElhone (Actress), Pippa Harris (Producer), Roland Gift (Musician), Sally El Hosaini (Director), Sandy Powell (Costume Designer), Steve Hamilton Shaw (Producer).

The winners will be announced at the much anticipated 16th awards ceremony which will be hosted by actor and BIFA Patron, James Nesbitt, who returns for his eighth year on Sunday 8 December at the impressive Old Billingsgate in London.

The awards ceremony will be streamed exclusively live on from 8.00pm

The Moët British Independent Film Awards is proud to announce the following nominees for this year’s awards:

Sponsored by Moët &Chandon
Metro Manila
The Selfish Giant
Starred Up
Le Week-end

Sponsored by AllCity &Intermission
Jon S Baird – Filth
Clio Barnard – The Selfish Giant
Sean Ellis – Metro Manila
Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
David Mackenzie – Starred Up

Sponsored by 3 Mills Studios
Charlie Cattrall – Titus
Tina Gharavi – I Am Nasrine
Jeremy Lovering – In Fear
Omid Nooshin – Last Passenger
Paul Wright – For Those in Peril

Jonathan Asser – Starred Up
Clio Barnard – The Selfish Giant
Steven Knight – Locke
Hanif Kureishi – Le Week-end
Jeff Pope, Steve Coogan – Philomena

Sponsored by M.A.C Cosmetics
Judi Dench – Philomena
Lindsay Duncan – Le Week-end
Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
Felicity Jones – The Invisible Woman
Saoirse Ronan – How I Live Now

Sponsored by BBC Films
Jim Broadbent – Le Week-end
Steve Coogan – Philomena
Tom Hardy – Locke
Jack O'Connell – Starred Up
James McAvoy – Filth

Siobhan Finneran – The Selfish Giant
Shirley Henderson – Filth
Imogen Poots – The Look Of Love
Kristin Scott Thomas – The Invisible Woman
Mia Wasikowska – The Double

Sponsored by Sanderson & Saint Martins Lane
John Arcilla – Metro Manila
Rupert Friend – Starred Up
Jeff Goldblum – Le Week-end
Eddie Marsan – Filth
Ben Mendelsohn – Starred Up

Sponsored by Studiocanal
Harley Bird – How I Live Now
Conner Chapman / Shaun Thomas – The Selfish Giant
Caity Lotz – The Machine
Jake Macapagal – Metro Manila
Chloe Pirrie – Shell

Sponsored by Company3
A Field in England
Metro Manila
The Selfish Giant
Starred Up

Sponsored by LightBrigade Media
Shaheen Baig – Casting – Starred Up
Johnnie Burn – Sound Design – Under the Skin
Amy Hubbard – Casting – The Selfish Giant
Mica Levi – Music – Under the Skin
Justine Wright – Editing – Locke

Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer
The Great Hip Hop Hoax
The Moo Man
The Spirit of '45
The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

Supported by BFI NET.WORK
Dr Easy
Dylan's Room

Blue is the Warmest Colour
Blue Jasmine
Frances Ha
The Great Beauty

Sponsored by Wentworth Media and Arts
Everyone’s Going to Die
The Machine
The Patrol
Sleeping Dogs

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
To Be Announced

To Be Announced

Announced at the Moët British Independent Film Awards on Sunday 8th December

7 June 2013

Watch The Official First Trailer For Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

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It wouldn't be a Summer without Woody Allen and you'll be happy to know we now have the official first trailer for his next film Blue Jasmine a woman who had every thing financially only for her to go from riches to rags.

Blue Jasmine stars  Cate Blanchett as a wealthy New York housewife who becomes broke thanks to her husbands criminal actions (Alec Baldwin) and is forced to live with her sister in San Francisco.

I've always found it hard to appreciate Woody Allen's films (acting and directed by) his work is a required taste but 40 plus years in the industry he must be doing something right. It's hoped Blue Jasmine will buck the indecisive trend of Allen's recent films with it been back on home soil,New York but mostly San Francisco instead of the usual European city.The film does have the trademark Allen  humour however things do look a little more dramatic and darker in tone too. The story of rivaling siblings is something Allen excels at (Hannah And Her Sisters) really well and we're optimistic this one will follow suit and Cate Blanchett really does look the part and it's nice to see show film fans that she's more than the Elfish queen in Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit films.

Blue Jasmine does have a UK&Irish release date of 20th September (USA 26th July) and the film co-stars Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay ,Bobby Cannavale ,  Louis C.K and Peter Sarsgaard.

source: Yahoo

23 May 2013

Download The Summer Edition of The Big Picture Magazine

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The Big Picture is one of the best independent film magazines and its fantastic they are making new issues after a short spell out. The Big Picture is a fantastic visually dynamic film magazine provides an original take on the cinematic experience delivering great articles and features through it's visual power rather than wall to wall text.

The Summer 2013 issue is now available the theme of the new issue is 'Escape' with a varied selection of movies that all feature escapes – physical, emotional and spiritual - as their driving narrative force.

Along with the roundup of regular sections, features include an interview with Belgian illustrator and film-poster creator Laurent Durieux, a look at Charlie's Golden Ticket in Willy Wonka &The Chocolate Factory as an evocative cinematic object, a location focus on Marseilles and 1000 words on the lasting legacy of James Williamson's seminal 1901 film Fire!.

Print copies of the magazine will be circulated around arthouse and independent cinemas in the UK, USA and China in the next couple of weeks. Click on the link below for a direct download of the new issue.

Download The Big Picture Magazine Issue 20 Here

15 May 2013

Watch The Joy of Six - Director Google Hangout

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For anybody who missed the The Joy of Six Director Google Hangout on Monday 29th April, New British Cinema Quarterly (NBCQ) in association with Shooting People, are pleased to present an edited package of the highly entertaining and informative discussion.

Talking about their experiences to host Ben Blaine are Directors Romola Garai, Douglas Hart, Dan Sully and Chris Foggin, with special guest David Jenkins from Little White Lies.

The Joy of Six Synopsis

NBCQ presents a perfect package of award-winning short films, showcasing the best of British screen and directing talent. This may be the only time you get to encounter Dame Judi Dench on Facebook, as a woman attempting to woo her local choirmaster through social media, see Peter Mullan give a screen masterclass on how to smoke a cigarette (without the ash falling), or watch the rather handsome Luke Treadaway, run...a lot.

The Joy Of Six includes the directorial debut of Romola Garai and the first short from Dan Sully while Matthew Holness brings the pulp fiction of Terry Finch to the big screen. The Joy Of Six full programme: Long Distance Information (Douglas Hart)Man in Fear (Will Jewell), A Gun for George (Matthew Holness), Scrubber (Romola Garai), The Ellington Kid (Dan Sully) and Friend Request Pending (Chris Foggin)

Watch the Q&A Here....

Joy Of Six Directors Q&A from Cinehouse_UK on Vimeo.

BuyThe Joy of Six On DVD

Want to watch the trailer again, here it is too...

26 April 2013

Michael Winterbottom Retrospective (The Look Of Love)

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This indisputably underestimated Blackburn-born filmmaker has packed in a lot in a fifteen-year career. Looking at Michael Winterbottom’s folio, no genre goes uncharted: spanning everything from spoof documentary, eerie thriller to engaging realism.

In UK cinemas on 26th April, The Look of Love sees Winterbottom collaborating with Steve Coogan yet again, this time in a irreverent look at the life of Paul Raymond, controversial entrepreneur, nightclub owner and one-time richest man in Britain. The film co-stars Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton and Imogen Poots, along with Stephen Fry and David Walliams.

To mark the release of the newest addition to his oeuvre, here’s a look at some of his best work…

Trishna (2011)

With Trishna, Winterbottom took Hardy’s Tess of d’Urbevilles and embedded it in modern India, using the narrative to document the tragic relationship between the son of a property developer and the daughter of a rickshaw owner. The story was shot in the Indian cities of Jaipur and Mumbai and stars the beautiful Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed as its leads.

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

Based on a 1952 novel by Jim Thompson, the film follows the pillor of a small community, Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford, beneath whose calm and rational exterior is a violent sociopath harbouring a dark past. Despite scenes of extreme violence shocking audiences, the film is a stylishly shot and a gripping, intelligent take on classic film noir, starring Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.

The Trip (2012)

Winterbottom created an improvised six-episode comedy series filmed in the Lake District, in which a dissatisfied actor agrees to write a series of reviews for the Observer newspaper in order to impress his girlfriend, who unceremoniously dumps him at the start of the series. The episodes take place over a sequence of gourmet meals and stars Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in a ferociously hilarious double act.

Genova (2008)

This little known gem is impeccably acted and full of subtle moments of beauty. The story is about a father (played by Colin Firth), who, following the death of his wife decides to start anew, moving to Italy to teach English at Geneva University, accompanied by his two adolescent daughters. Crammed together in a cosy but chaotic flat, the family of three learn lessons about love, life, death and family through the events which ensue, all set against the beautiful backdrop of the beautiful streets of Geneva.

A Mighty Hart (2007)

The brilliant, suspense filled docu-drama was based on the memoirs of Mariane Pearl and produced by Brad Pitt. It documents Marlene, played by Angelina Jolie, on the frantic search to locate her husband, missing journalist Daniel Pearle, who was kidnapped and murdered whist on an assignment in Pakistan. Jolie was critically acclaimed for her emotionally charged performance.

The Road To Guantanamo (2006)

This British docu-drama focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were captured in Afghanistan and held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge. The reception to the film was mixed due to the controversial subject matter and it’s portrayal of interrogation and torture techniques used the US Army. Nevertheless, Winterbottom won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival, and the film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Sundance Film Festival.

A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

Winterbottom’s adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s 18th century novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is a film-within-a-film. It features Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing themselves as egotistical actors during the making of a screen adaptation of the novel. The book is about a man unable to write a novel, and the film quite aptly mirrors this in the men’s inability to make a film.

9 Songs (2004)

9 Songs revisits sex and rock n’ roll – two of Winterbottom’s favourite themes. The film charts the extremely full on, sexual relationship between an American college student and a British glaciologist, which sees the two lovers attending rock concerts in-between their intense physical encounters.

24 Hour Party People (2002)

This classic mock-u-mentary documents the 90’s ‘Madchester’ music scene. The narrative follows the career of Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan), a news reporter for Granada and head of Factory records. The film dramatises a combination of real events, rumours and urban legends to hilarious result, and features a fantastic Brit rock soundtrack featuring The Sex Pistols, Happy Mondays and Joy Division.

Jude (1996)

Featuring pre-Titanic Kate Winslet alongside the also relatively unknown Christopher Ecclestone. The film is another adaptation of a much loved Hardy novel, Jude the Obscure which is the well known tale of a working class man who dreams of becoming an academic, scandalising his small west country village by leaving his wife for his beautiful cousin. Critically acclaimed as an amazingly powerful and dark film.

The Look of Love opens in UK cinemas Today, 26th April