BFI London Film Festival 2014 – Black Coal, Thin Ice

Posted Friday, October 10th, 2014

  Over the past decade the Berlin Film Festival has frequently displayed a somewhat wilful attitude when deciding on who to bestow its greatest honour – The Golden Bear. Often films that captured the jury’s attention fail to translate to a wider critical and commercial discourse and Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice is no exception. Following a muted critical reception in Berlin earlier this year, Yinan’s glacially paced noir arrives in London, where it’s been perversely selected for the

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57th BFI London Film Festival – The Double

Posted Monday, October 21st, 2013

For a film about dopplegangers it’s fairly apt that Richard Ayoade’s second feature The Double is drenched in a pervasive sense of cinematic deja-vu. A vast improvement on his twee ode to precocious teenagers – Submarine – Ayoade has dug deeper into his box of cinematic reference points, but rather than lifting them wholesale, here the allusions and gestures are interwoven with a deft slight-of hand. Jettisoning the ‘nouvelle vague,’ this time his concerns are far more literate, riffing on

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57th BFI London Film Festival – 12 Years a Slave

Posted Saturday, October 19th, 2013

12 Years a Slave is the latest film from artist turned filmmaker Steve McQueen, and marks another point in his move from provocateur formalist to award-baiting sentimentalist. Whereas with Hunger and to a lesser degree Shame he played his cards close to his chest, conjuring up a series of oblique yet exquisite images ripe with both mystery and provocation, pointing yet never telling the audience of his true intentions, here what was once internal has become external. The film positively

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57th BFI London Film Festival – Nautical Double-bill: All is Lost & Captain Phillips.

Posted Monday, October 14th, 2013

These reviews contain spoilers.  All is Lost Although the concept of spending two hours alone on a boat with Robert Redford sounds like some suburban housewife’s wet-dream, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost is a revitalising take on the survivalist drama genre, offering interesting parallels with Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi hit Gravity (see review here). Redford stars as a nameless sailor, who awakens one morning to discover water pouring into the hull of his yacht following a freak collision with an errant

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57th BFI London Film Festival – Gravity

Posted Sunday, October 13th, 2013

This review contains spoilers.  Gravity is the latest film from Alfonso Cuaron since 2005’s acclaimed Children of Men and so far things are looking good. It was positively received at this year’s Venice Film Festival and it’s been a stateside box office success, proving that, on the surface at least, it straddles the line between populist appeal and art-house acclaim. As is often the case with such eagerly anticipated films, especially those that fall within the realm of original science-fiction,

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57th BFI London Film Festival – The Epic of Everest

Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

For me, very little inspires a sense of fevered patriotism as much as acts of Edwardian hubristic extravagance, specifically ones destined for calamity. Following on from last years The Great White Silence, The Epic of Everest charts the doomed 1924 British expedition to conquer Mount Everest, an event that ultimately ended in the deaths of climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, who both disappeared a mere 600ft below the summit.  With scant evidence until the discovery of Mallory’s body in

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Adventures in self-distribution 2

Posted Friday, October 26th, 2012

Last year I wrote a blog entry about how we released Way of the Morris, our 64 minute documentary on Morris Dancing, in UK cinemas. I included a detailed breakdown of the exact amounts we spent. In it I argued that the reasons for self-releasing instead of trying to get a distributor boil down to the fact that if you go through a Sales Agent > Distributor on small scale projects you’ll probably never make any money. The basic advice

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56th BFI London Film Festival – Seven Psychopaths/The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Posted Friday, October 19th, 2012

I should point out that I’m not trying to do a Zizek and link two disparate cultural properties, it’s merely that the second review is quite short and seemed too lacking in content to warrant it’s own post. However if anyone would like to have a go at trying to find comparison then be my guest. Seven Psychopaths In his follow up to In Bruges, Martin MacDonagh has written and directed a film about a screenwriter named Marty/Martin. The level

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56th BFI London Film Festival – No

Posted Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

In 1988, the Pinochet regime responded to growing international pressure and agreed to hold a national plebiscite; making it the first democratic election Chile had seen in almost twenty years. The voting ballot was simple: vote ‘Yes’ for Pinochet or vote “No” for the Concertación, a conglomerate of centre-left political parties that stood for Chile’s transition into democracy. In the run up to the vote, each side was allowed 15 minutes of TV time a day in which to make

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MANCHESTER – Future Artists Film and Media Festival Nov 1st to Nov 4th 2012

Posted Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Future Artists’ Film & Media Festival ~ Thurs 1st-Sun 4th November ~ The Black Lion, Salford Opening LAUNCH PARTY @ THE SHARP PROJECT FILM STUDIO – YOU ARE INVITED!!!!!!!! Get your FREE Ticket here Future Artists’ Film and Media Festival is a collaborative project, bringing together a selection of both emerging and established entrepreneurs in the industry. Its aim is to explore how the next generation of media creators are breaking new ground in digital storytelling and to celebrate the

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