Friday, 22 September 2017

Time to Check the Gate


Last year I was lucky enough to get to the very popular screening of Thelma and Louise which was presented by The Bechdel Test Fest and was unfortunately in the audience during the ordeal at the end. Despite the drama the screening was hugely enjoyable. I also went to a screening of Single White Female which I had never seen before. It was presented by The Final Girls, my first intro to the world of feminism and horror together. Also, a fantastic screening complete with mask and zine to keep as a take away. Both screenings were part of Check the Gate, a screening season from Prince Charles Cinema and Park Circus, celebrating films presented on 35mm prints. I'm happy to say that I am lucky enough to part of the season this year, with contributions to The Killing and Boogie Nights screenings in small ways. The programme this year is intriguing with a different variety of films with no set link.

If you're in London this weekend, I'd suggest to check it out, if not just to sit in the PCC and saok up that film feeling. Check the Gate dates and times HERE.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Get Thee To A Film Festival!


Last year I wrote a couple of posts for My First Job In Film as they were launching their new blog/website. As well as a review of my favourite film of last year 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople', I also wrote a piece on why it is important to go to flm festivals as the audiences at fetsivals, I've noticed, aren't the new eager filmmakers of tomorrow but the veterans and the film enthusiasts. The post was meant to encourage those faltering film students into making the extra effort to go. As students get the best discount when it comes to BFI LFF I cannot recommend it more! of course if you are not a student but love films, I would still say 'get thee to a film festival!'

You can read the whole post HERE as well enjoy a few other related posts from others.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Janeane Garofalo Is My Idol


Do you ever look back at an era and think 'ah man, I wish I was there now'? If not, this may be a tad too nostalgic for your tastes but if you are a Janeane Garofalo fan, you may still enjoy it yet.

As I get older, I not only start to realise my age even more, but I'm starting miss things and remember, not necessarily the good old days, but the days of only four channels on the TV, computers being the size of a small car, having a stereo was damn cool and flat screens, let alone mobile phones, weren't a thing and gameboys were still around. I used to read, quite alot and make things with plasticine. TV and movies were a big thing and when you wanted to watch something you had to rewind the VHS tape back to the start so you watch it all over again. The 90s were a fascinating time, but there is a part of me that wishes I could have been a teenager or in my 20s during 90s so I could have appreciated things more. There are things that make me think that the late 90s and 2000s were 'my time' but my teens were mainly in the 2000s which feels too close. I find myself being nostaligic for an era I didn't quite experience.

In the last year, the 90s have been making a bit of a comeback, especially in fashion. Films made in the 90s are getting the 'remake' or 'rehash' treatment. Cashing in on those who loved the previous films and hoping a new audience will understand it. But before I go off on a rant (and I will), I'll get to the point of my post. When I think of the 90s, I think of action movies that seemed amazing back when first released and now seen in the cold light of the present seem brilliantly terrible, maybe even in the realm of 'so bad its good', these are movies I still think are good on a case by case basis and of course they made me think of when I first saw them. Certain actors and directors also spring to mind as well as Jane Austin adaptations, John Cusack, Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Geena Davis, Kevin Costner, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder and of course Janeane Garofalo. Rooted in comedy, in particular stand up, Garofalo, not only has a pretty cool name, and is a writer, she's also a funny lady. 

For me, she is the 90s, even if the film is not set in the then present day. From off the wall cult hits (Wet Hot American Summer) to thrillers (Wonderland - I know was 2003 but still) to small but important parts (200 Cigarettes) to animated heros (Titan AE), she's been there, lending her wit and attitude. 



I read about Reality Bites (1994) in Femme Fatles film zine (an excellent zine from Australia) and saw a photo of
Garofalo looking like how I was dressed that day - uncanny and she also seemed to dress in a similar way to me too. I had heard about the film but I had steered clear as it was Ben Stiller's film, not a fan of his. Garofalo plays Vicky who sleeps with lots of guys and is the manager of a GAP. She is the voice of reason and excellent lines and dressed like the 90s embodied and I loved this. But this was not my intro to the world of Garofalo.

Now and Then was a favourite of mine when I was a pre teen, which is just like the four friends in the video although I think they are teenagers... anyway, Garofalo is the local psychic and waitress as the local diner, she helps the girls find out how someone died using tarot cards. Insert emoji with hearts as eyes as I was obsessed with tarot cards when I was at school. The bizarre haircut that she pulled off coupled with her reputation as a tarot card reader was so cool, plus she always called people 'boys', whats not to love?


Heading into rom-com territory, The Truth about Cats and Dogs (1996) seems like any other of its genre. Abbey is a vet and radio host of an animal help show, she speaks to Brian, a photographer who needs help with a dog on his shoot and he eventually asks her out. She panics tells him he looks like her model neighbour Noelle, and bails on their date. But Brian is keen. In the end Abbey enlists Noelle hep to pretend to be here but it all goes a bit wrong when Noelle starts to like Brian too. So far so rom-com, but the story is really about these two women becoming friends and turning their lives around. Noelle to have more confidence is being without a boyfriend and taking on new challenges, Abbey to take a risk and go after Brian. Ok, that all still sounds rom-com.


In 1997 one of the greatest movies ever was released and it celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion was and will always be amazing. Its the film so good that my friend and I watched it back to back one evening. We love it that much. As well as the dynamic post-it inventing duo is Heather Mooney, a creation so frickin hilarious, verbally violent and with such impeccable taste, its unreal. She is one of the greatest secondary characters and I admire her and her chain smoking habits so much I wrote a post about it HERE. When you think of Garofalo, you think Mooney saying 'I like your hat Clarence, pick up the pace!'. I once tried to dress up as her for a party once, I didn't quite pull it off but the spirit was there.


Garofalo also dabbled in comic book adaptations when she was The Bowler in the terrible Mystery Men. I really did not like that film but she was still awesome with her tacky green hair strands.

I have recently realised that I haven't seen Clay Pigeons (1998) which is a huge over sight for me as the film not only stars Garofalo as a detective trying to solve a series of murder, but it has Joaquin Phoenix as the guy set up to take the fall. Never fear, I have located a copy to watch.

In comclusion Janeane Garofalo is my one of my idols and don't seem to be the only who thinks she's great. Check out this article HERE.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Financial World


The Other Guys
Funnier than I thought it was going to be mostly because of Mark Wahlberg who needs to do more comedy (not more Daddy's Home crap though). Hot head detective Hoitz is paired with mild mannered Detective Gamble (a below average performance from Will Ferrell) are odd pair who end up taking on a case that leads to a conspiracy after checking up on a lapsed permit.

Working Girl
I love this film. I didn't know how much I loved this until I saw it on the big screen on International Women's Day this year. This film fits into the theme as Tess works as a stockbroker's secretary then for a financial executive. She also knows what she's talking about when it comes to finances and gets to do her triumphant elevator pitch to a client. 

Money Monster
George Clooney is financial expert/TV personality who advises people what to do with their money. But when some advice leads to many people losing money, one of these guys hijacks the live show, making Clooney's character wear an explosive jacket as the intruder demands answers. A conspiracy thriller about what big companies do to screw over 'the little guy'. It was ok but the massive twists and turns this film took was a bit far fetched.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Film Festival Watch List


Usually I would I have been bouncing off the walls with excitement with the ticket release for BFI London Film Festival but as the release day was on my birthday I was a little preoccupied after the stressful half hour of trying to log back into the webiste and paying for the precious tickets.

As soon as the programme was released, lists starting appearing so I won't say what the picks of the festival are, instead I will talk about what I went for.



RACER AND THE JAILBIRD

From Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam, a thriller about racing driver Bibi and 'jailbird' Gigi who fall in love but Gigi's secrets about where and how he makes his money may bring the relationship crashing down. Very excited to see Matthias Schoenaerts back on the screen!

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES

Adapted from Neil Gaiman's short story of the same name, this sci-fi com-rom about a teen punk and his friends who accidentally crash a party full of super cool aliens, looks to be exactly that, super cool, with a cast to match. 

BEAST

Set on the island of Jersey, 'damaged souls' Moll and Pascal meet at a party and fall in love, while a series of murders haunts the island, ensuing a witch hunt for the killer. A slow burner from the UK caught my eye as I'd heard its name mentioned at work, plus the story is intriguing. 

INGRID GOES WEST

An unstable woman, Ingrid, played by Aubrey Plaza, decides to go to California after becoming obsessed with an 'Instagram personality'. Described as a stalker comedy or as BFI said 'Social Media White Female', which from the trailer seems spot on! I have been waiting for ages to see this film.

AMANT DOUBLE

This is a film I knew little about except that it is the latest film from Francois Ozon. Set up as a psychological thriller with names such as Hitchcock and De Palma mentioned, it looks to be (from the trailer) another twisted tale. 

GOING WEST

Another film I knew little about but the short synopsis for this Norwegian story about a family loss and an impromptu road trip with an alternative flare caught my attention. 

DARK RIVER

After the death of their father, Alice comes home to the family farm after 15 years away, while her brother Joe had been caring for their father and working on the farm. There is tension and anger between the siblings, especially when she claims tenancy.
I AM NOT A WITCH

A six year old girl is accused of being a witch and is outcast from her village, she is then forced to stay with a travelling 'witch camp' or she will be turned into a goat. The title caught my eye as well as the premise exploring attitudes towards women.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Lynne Ramsey directing a noir like thriller with Joaquin Phoenix starring? Of course I am shaping my entire festival around me seeing this film.


#LFF #BFI #FilmFestival

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Thursday Movie Pick: Animated Films Geared Towards Adults



Persepolis
Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of her autobiographical graphic novels was something I had never seen before back in 2007. Studying Film Studies at college, I tried to watch as many different genres of film as possible. I saw this film at the Chichester Film Festival which was screened in a little old church hall turned screening room. It was a drafty uncomfortable place but the film make everything sink away. The film's animation is as if the pages of the books were projected on screen. A fantastic story and brilliantly made in black anh white, the film is a rare sad joy.

Waltz with Bashir
 Still trying to understand Ari Folman's The Congress, his animated documentary was also something I had never seen before. An original creative and no less devastating way of showing a harrowing story on the big screen, especially the hard hitting end sequence as animation blends into real footage from the Lebanon War.
  
The Triplets of Belleville 
 I think I've used this film before and I wrote about it for my Blind Spot last year. The animation is both repulsive and intricately brilliant at the same time. With no dialogue or words spoken (apart from a song) everything is through expression, sound and movement. A story about a woman who travels from France to New York to rescue her cyclist grandson is, yes, I'm saying it again, a rare bizarre beauty. 

 
Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Intelligent Trash


 
Links: HERE, HERE, HERE
#SoBadItsGood #GuiltyPleasures #TrashyMovies #IntelligentTrash
 

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Edinburgh Film Festival: Final Portrait


With the release of Stanley Tucci's directorial debut feature film, Final Portrait, (last month) this seemed a perfect time to share my thoughts on the last film I saw at Edinburgh Film Festival back in June.

The setting for the screening was the perfect send off for me, sitting in the grand looking Festival Theatre audortorium on a very uncomfortable chair, eating a theatre ice cream and wondering where to put my coffee. A film about an artist's final portrait seemed fitting somehow.

Tucci himself introduced the film with affection and gusto to an audience who sounded as if they had just come from his masterclass special, cheering and clapping for a good 2 minutes. I wasn't sure what to expect, apart seeing Armie Hammer on screen again. Free Fire felt like a lifetime ago.

The art critic James Lord was Paris and had met the artist, Alberto Giacometti, and had been asked to be the subject of his next portrait. Lord had to repeatedly cancel and push back his return flight to US, while putting up with Giacometti's behaviour and his intrusive relationship with a prostitute, while he waited for the artist to finish his work. The film ends rather abruptly, with the portrait completed (although looked unfinished to me), Lord returning to the US and Giacometti dies not long after the completion.

The story was a simple one, about a painting, that should have taken an afternoon but in fact took weeks to complete. It's an interesting look into how an artist works and how these two men's relationship functioned. Alberto it seems would always want to meet up with Lord, for drinks, or dinner or a drive, he seemed like he wanted a friend to distract him. Alberto, like any artist, had an incredible studio, full of sculptures, finished, unfinished, with only a few bits and pieces of evidance that he was painting. As well as fascinating, it was also frustrating to watch a montage of the artist constantly repainting over the nose and face. The frustration from Lord leaks out of the screen. But the desire to see other parts of the artist's life is teased and the audience is given more of an insight into Lord'd daily routine in Paris.

An interesting story of the art world and an artist in the 60s, maybe not something for the big screen but a story to seen in a smaller, personal space.



Friday, 1 September 2017

TMP Television Edition: High School


Still trying to catch up! Getting there! This week, going all British but I won't be including Grange Hill.




Some Girls

Starting with the more recent, a show about four 16 year old friends in secondary school in South London wouldn't seem like a winner but it's very amusing, especially as knew these characters while at school. It's all about their lives, loves, parties, boys and thinking about the future. Funnier than I thought it would be. There are three series but I only caught the first. So much TV!

Teachers

I was obsessed with this show back in school which is odd seeing as its about a school. Mainly about the useless, terrible teachers that didn't do much except try to get out of teaching and get drunk at the pub but at the same time was very entertaining. I also had a weird crush on Brian the dim but sweet PE teacher which is odd seeing as I loathes PE. I also appreciated the Kurt and Brian duo who acted like an old married couple. The show also had inventive ways of showing what day it was, with 'Tuesday' appearing on someone's top, or 'Thursday' made out of drool. Loved series 2 & 3, but 4 lacked the great cast and went a little too off the wall. 

Bad Education

This was another surprisingly funny show with Jack Whitehall as the hapless History teacher (I think) with a class of amazing stereotypes that were also diverse as hell! Matthew Horne was the fantastically over the top headmaster, one to rival the dean in Community. Great series but why oh why did a film need to follow? 


Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Driving You Blood Simple

Last month was the most excellent weekend in Bristol at The Watershed for Cinema Rediscovered and The State of Things. 

I have teased on Instagram my first attempt at zine making - obviously a hell of a lot more work to do on that, but now I can share where the article is, on Cinema Rediscovered Blog.


Along with my piece 'Blood Simple: The Coen Brothers’ Characters and Genre Twisting Storytelling' are other great pieces of writing from other participants on the course which can be read HERE

Just to get you hooked, here is a little sneak at the edited zine...




Monday, 28 August 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: The Stage


Better late than never right? Didn't want to miss out on last week's theme but film duty called last week so had to take a week off. Haven’t had chances to read through everyone's posts yet for a few week either - mega behind I know. Will catch up though.

Topsy Turvy

I used to hate this film. Mostly because my parents went on and on about it but when I finally had the chance to sit down and take it in, I LOVED IT!. We used to watch The Mikado all the time when I was young and my Dad was in a production of it too. Love the music, love the story and the oh the costumes. A film about how The Mikado came about and the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan was superb. It is a mixture of pure Mike Leigh and Victorian theatre to brought to life.

A Night at the Opera

One of my favourite films of all time is the Marx Brother's A Night at the Opera. It is a comedy like no other (apart from other Marx Bros films of course) with slapstick, witty lines, perfect timing, talented musicians, opera that you want to watch and a story that is bizarre and wonderful. Taking on roles that suit them down to the ground Harpo, Chico, Groucho along with amazing singer Allan Jones, a story about a washed up manager, talented singer, his best friend and dresser take on the New York Opera company, on land and sea, is a joy every time I watch it.

Cradle Will Rock

This is one of those films where you forget how good it was. Directed by Tim Robbins, the film is a slightly fictional version about the development of Marc Blitzstein's 1937 musical 'The Cradle Will Rock' and events surrounding it, including Diego Rivera's controversial mural in the Rockefeller centre, the great Depression and affect on jobs, the theatre company set to perform the musical and general unrest in the country. Fantastic cast, great stories. 


Don't forget to check out where it all started over at


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Around the World: Hungary


Ever thought it was possible to see from a dog's point of view without animation or humans doing the voices in tacky live action films? Well it is possible and it is beautiful as well as bleak and heartbreaking. The curiously named White God is superb.

I remember seeing reviews about White God when it was first released, it was screened at Cannes in 2014 and was nominated as Hungary's choice for Best Foreign Language Film but wasn't shortlisted, sadly. It could easily been a film that was over looked as the story seems familiar but there is something special about this film.


Hagan is a mutt and loved by his own teenage owner Lili. When Lili is forced to stay with her father while her mother is out of the country, the estranged family don't see eye to eye. Her father doesn't like dogs and refuses to pay a harsh "mongrel" fine imposed by the Hungarian government. After he a Lili fight, he abandons Hagan on the side of the road. The story follows both Lili who searches the streets at night for her beloved dog while trying to mend her relationship with her father and keep up with the youth orchestra she is part of. Hagan has a very different journey. He lives on the streets, eating scraps of food where he can, avoiding the dog catchers and looking out for his owner. He passes through various people's hands eventually ending up being brutally trained for fighting. But instead of a happy reunion with Lili, Hagan, along with 250 other dogs who had been abandoned, takes to the streets, attacking, killing anyone in their way. They hold the streets hostage, but Lili is determined to find her Hagan again.


So many adorable dogs but terrifying when running in a pack. The ending scenes are truely marvelous, the dogs are as one, or as a characters describes, an army. The brutallity that Hagan and the other dogs suffer is heartbreaking, especially as they have been left aside by owners who didn't care enough about them. Their revenge is, in a way, justified but the violence against them is visited ten fold back on the people.

Although the film begins like a story we've heard before, you don't expect the outcome at all. The image of the quiet streets and just the sound of dogs in the distance is wonderfully constricted. But the last scene in the film, of the pack surrounding Lili is beautiful. Even though there is no real resolution, there is hope and that is sometimes better than a clear cut 'happy ending'.


Next up... check out all the films HERE
#AroundtheWorldin80Films

Friday, 18 August 2017

Around the World: Wales



After the last post from Around the World, I was hoping for a more upbeat story but having just rented Soloman & Gaenor, I should have guessed from the title (and synopsis) that things wouldn't end well. Nothing usually does with 'star crossed loves'.

Set in South Wales on 1911 in a small mining town. There are continous issues with the mines, with strikes and talks going on throughout. Solomon (Ioan Guffudd) is an Orthodox Jew who hides his ethnicity when he sells fabrics door to door. hi family own a shop in the small town and tend to keep to their own comminuty which is subject to abuse. Soloman meets and falls in love with Gaenor (Nia Roberts) who has a strict father and openly anti-Semitic brother. Soloman struggles to keep his love a secret from his family and his family a secret from Gaenor. When she discovers she is pregnant, she is publically disgraced in her church.


Released back in the late 90s, the BAFTA winning film was also nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category but it lost out to Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother. Tough year. The film was actually film in both English and Welsh. I think I saw the English version with a bit of Welsh and Hebrew too.

The story is familiar, two lovers who want to be together by their opposing families and beliefs keep them apart. But in this story, they keep secrets from each other. Solomon keeps his family a secret and in turn keeps Gaenor a secret from them. She later, thinking he doesn't love her, keeps her pregnancy a secret from him until it becomes too much to bear. As with all these stories, there is a feeling of tragedy in the air from the start but the gentle courtship and growing feelings between Solomon and Gaenor makes you desperately hope for a happier ending or at least a satisfying close. 


Next up... check out all the films HERE
#AroundtheWorldin80Films
#Solomon&Gaenor

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Rescue


So, all my picks this week are Disney. A happy accident.

The Rescuers
When it comes to rescue, the first thing that comes to find is that adorable song 'R-E-S-C-U-E/Rescue Aid Society...' you know it. A society of mice from around the globe meet up and help children. Its adorable. Really sad and rather gritty (a young child is thrown down in pot hole caves, almost drowned, threatened by pet alligators on a daily basis) but there is hope of course, in the form of American teaming up with Hungary...of course. Bernard and Bianca are fearless, the former less so but they do everything to help Penny who is kept captive by one of the great forgotten and rather hilarious villains, Madame Medusa who really wants the big jewel. This film is close to my heart as it was one of the old VHS Disneys we had when we were young.

In Search of the Castaways
Featured in my afternoon movie segment way back when, this Disney live action featuring 60s darling Hayley Mills is an adventure with the strangest group. Mary and Robert Grant convince Lord Glenarvan and his son to rescue their shipwrecked father, Captain John Grant. Along with their friend, French professor Paganel, who found an SOS in a bottle, they all venture round the globe. Well, South America then New Zealand. It's really fun and rather silly in places, complete with a couple of terrible songs and predictable romance, it is indeed a perfect afternoon movie.

Return to Oz
Continuing on the afternoon movie streak, Return to Oz is a classic (for me and my friends at least) and was someone I went to Uni with's favourite film ever. It is also terrifying as Dorothy is about to be given 'therepy' in the form of electric shocks (which has been proven to make things worse). At the start of the movie the farm house is still being built after the tornado and her aunt doesn't believe her stories. But after a power cut and a strange girl who she keeps seeing, leads her to the river where she floats in a crate to OZ, she knows its real. What's great is that characters from the real world double up again in OZ, also terrifying. More part of OZ are shown, the deadly desert, the big villain, Gnome King who has taken over the land and turned everyone in the Emerald City to stone. Dorothy, along with her band of misfits as that is exactly what they are, have to rescue the Scarecrow and the mysterious Ozma.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Slumber Party Massacre


I talk about them about them all the time, I know, but they have such great screenings I just can't help it. They were great at The State of Things in Bristol. I'm super excited about what they'll do for Halloween. Of course its The Final Girls.

Back in July, before all the madness happened, Fox (I've mentioned her a few times) and me got tickets to see a slasher movie. Not the sort of thing I'd do on a Friday night but the I remembered reading about it somewhere else before (I'm pretty convinced it was Dell on Movies) and thinking this sounds awesome.


The Slumber Party Massacre isn’t your average 70s/80s slasher, it is known as the first feminist slasher movie. Slasher films usually feature women half naked most of the time, getting killed all the time and overall, a negative representation of women.

Rita Mae Brown, feminist writer and activist, originally wrote the screenplay for The Slumber Party Massacre as parody of the genre but as production moved on, some things were changed. When editor and aspiring director Amy Holden Jones ended up with the script for The Slumber Party Massacre, things looked like they’d change for the better. But Roger Corman, praised in the industry for his work, wanted more gore, more naked women, as the film has filled its quota. Regardless of these changes, the film stands out as being progressive (in my eyes anyway) in more ways than one.

The story goes, a group of ‘high school girls’ all on the basketball team, plan a slumber party at Trish’s house whose parents are away. They invite new girl Valerie, who lives next door but feels uncomfortable and doesn’t go. It also just so happens that mass murderer Russ Thorn has escaped and starts killing everyone he meets, but he seems fixated on this group of girls. The girls are in for a scary and bloody night.

The panel talk that followed the screening was brilliant. Discussing how the women are depicted as more capable as they actually fight back, arming themselves with knives when a pizza delivery guy drops dead in the living room after one of the nastiest off screen deaths. It was also noted that the women who dressed in short wear lived longer which was a intriguing observation. The objectification of women is seen but in a way it was more natural, if a little pointless but this was on purpose. A shower scene where women discuss athletes and later on in the house, undressing in the living room so the boys have an opportunity to watch them. The men’s deaths are actually more gruesome, as the men are screaming in pain (and understandably). Even the killer is shown to be weaker than then women when he corners one of the final girls with his weapon of choice, a phallic like object, an electric drill than is chopped down with a machete. He begins to loose at this stage, whining like a child and falling into the pool. Another fair point is that women are seen in jobs such as carpenter and phone line repairer, which is refreshing and more importantly, completely normal. The team’s coach, also a woman, is a fighter. She senses something is wrong and goes over to help, fighting back, almost cornering the killer. These genre tropes being challenged were strangely uplifting. Feels odd to say this about a slasher movie, but it’s true, a Friday night out that is hard to beat.

@TheFinalGirlsUK 

@BFI

#BFI #TheFinalGirls #TheSlumberPartyMassacre #Horror #Feminism

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

All Quiet on the Blogger Front

Well hello there! No I've not disappeared, just took a break without meaning to. It is an understatement that I have been busy. I've literally keeled over from being so tired.


It all kicked off week before last when I went to Bristol (which you can read about HERE) and came back to the world of work. Launched into catching up on emails and invoices and the like, while at the same time trying to organise auditions for the short film I'm working on AND trying to finish off a piece about Blood Simple (which I can hopefully share with you all soon).

Obviously, getting into work and doing my job took precedence, as it is my day job after all. Getting into work mega early just so I can leave a tad early was also cutting into my sleep. Not that I don't nap every chance I get, I had to basically nap every chance I get. To the point I was falling asleep at my desk mid type. With no rest in sight, I just powered through and got to the other side, this week, where everythhing seems to be just the same. I'm shattered.

As well as various things happening, my short film I'm making with my friend Foxo, Late Nights at the Movies, has been taking up my time. Now that the cinema is secured, we were able to just get rolling. We've had a few production meetings, talking about equipment, costs and auditions. We organised auditions for the weekend just gone and we will be revealing good news very soon, but out of respect for the all the actors, I won't reveal anything on here. But just to say its been a very busy time. We also have another recce of the cinema this weekend, brief but vital and we have another meeting Monday.

I have also been panicking and painfully trying to put together a decent zine for my Blood Simple piece which was part of The State of Things course. Here's a sneaky preview..


On top of work I've been trying to catch up on writing here, which didn't work out... but I will make up for it with the following planned posts:

The Slumber Party Massacre
10th Film Anniversaries
20th Film Anniversaries
Blind Spot
Around the World: Wales
Watch List August
Against the Crowd Blogathon

I have also in turn been panicking and painfully trying to put together a decent zine for my Blood Simple piece which was part of The State of Things course. Here's a sneaky preview...



So, poor old blog has been neglected lately. But that will change in the next few weeks, got some big plans coming up!!


Monday, 31 July 2017

The State of Things: Film Critics' day - Weekend in Bristol

Round up of the Weekend!



This weekend I was lucky enough to take part in The State of Things: Film Critics' day course at the Watershed in Bristol, which was part of the Cinema Rediscovered festival. It was a fantastic day, filled to the brim with amazing panels and was great to meet and listen to other film critics and film fans taking part in the course. My fellow participants can be found HERE.

We kicked off the day with a meet and greet and went in head first to see Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity, presented by The Final Girls. Based the book of the same name by Frank De Felitta, which in turn was based a real case in California is about Carla, single mother of three who is violently raped by an invisible attacker. She tries to get help from a psychiatrist who believes its all in her head. But as the attacks continue, in more violent ways, she seeks help from parapsychologists believing these attacks are supernatural. Before the feature we were immersed in to the short film, which used footage from The Entity, Outer Space by Peter Tscherkassky.


A fascinating and in depth discussion followed the screening as well as an intro to The Final Girls and why they do what they do. The participants were continually treated to further amazing guests throughout the day. Film/Culture journalists RebaMartin; and Zahra Dahlilah talked about film journalism and the importance of start-ups, sharing their experiences, which were mostly positive (which was very encouraging). Film critic and author Sophie Mayer along with film programmer and journalist Michael Pattison talked about writing long form pieces, writing for publications and specialist writing. Director and video essayist CharlieLyne talked about making video essays and the different ways to examine film. Finally we had festival programmer Sven de Hondt and the organiser of the course, film critic, programmer and broadcaster Tara Judah talk about the power of podcasting. 

I may have compact the day into the above paragraph but the amount of knowledge and advice that these collectives minds had to share was something I thought (no exaggerating here) I would never get to be a part of. It’s funny that this opportunity came up in Bristol. You would have thought other film hubs such as, well, you know, London might have thought about doing a course like this. 

A few topics came up throughout each panel, two being about paid work and specialising in a subject. The former was mentioned by every one of the panellists. They couldn’t stress enough how much that film critics should be paid for their work. Quite a few of my fellow participants contributed to websites, most likely unpaid, myself included. But the rule that some critics have is that if it is a no budget project or no one is getting paid for their work, its fair but this is the only time. This was enlightening and encouraging at the same time. With anything in the creative industries there is always a line about paid or unpaid work. You do unpaid work to get to the next step with pay, hopefully. But thinking ahead, I will be more careful in my choices. 

Being in a room where everyone cares about the future of film criticism was a dream. Although I was pretty quiet for the discussions (talking near the end) as I prefer to listen and absorb, it was great to hear from like minded film fans and writers as its always nice to know, you’re not a lone.