DIE SIGHT May 2011
The North West’s Independent Movie Magazine
Wirral School Film Festival Students prepare for the Wirral’s annual school film festival
V I VA ! LA VIDA
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This Month... Reviews Reviews & Movie News
Features & Interviews UK Film Council Fades Out
Viva! la Vida
In Cinemas We review the hottest indie films out now!
We celebrate Manchester’s annual Latin film festival with a look at the best Latin Cinema over the years.
The Wirral School Film Festival
Upcoming Releases Movies due for release in the coming months.
It’s the end of the UK Film Council, but what does this mean for British Cinema?
Movie Classics We review a classic movie. This month: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Upcoming Releases... ‘Sebastian’
he long anticipated American independent thriller is due for release this month. Director Gregori J. Martin tells the story of a cancer patient, miraculously cured by a handsome stranger. Meadow Williams and Above: Meadow Williams stars. Daeg Fearch lead the cast as Miranda (Williams) discovers that her new found health will cost the lives of her closest friends and family. Released: May 8
‘How I Ended This Summer’
The First Grader is out in June.
Also Released (Out Now) ‘Farewell’
Director Christian Carion tells the
story of Colonel Grigoriev in this biopic.
(May 6) ‘Hanna’
Joe Wright directs this story of a 16-year-old girl named Hanna as an assassin on a mission across Europe.
(June 3) ‘Rio Breaks’
This 2009 Portuguese film is set for a UK release this June. Think ‘City of God’... but with surfing.
Behind the scenes at one of the North West’s leading School Film Festivals.
(June 24) Interview: David Puttnam
We talk to one of Britain’s most celebrated producers.
Above: How I Ended This Summer is out now.
Picture Credits: Cover - Main picture original by Katie Parker/ Lord Puttnam - Original by Katie Parker/ Movie still courtesy of the Internet Movie Database | Page 3 - All pictures courtesy of the Internet Movie Database | Page 4 - All pictures courtesy of the Internet Movie Database | Page 5 - Original by Katie Parker | Page 6 & 7 - Movie stills courtesy of Cornerhouse.co.uk/ Pictures of Cornerhouse Cinema original by Katie Parker | Page 8-10 - Original by Katie Parker/ Storyboard drawn by David O’Connor (Weatherhead Sixth Form student) | Page 11 - Original by Katie Parker | Page 12 & 13 - Movie Stills courtesy of the Internet Movie Database/ Picture of FACT Cinema original by Katie Parker | Page 14 & 15 - All Pictures courtesy of the Internet Movie Database | Back page (page 16) - Originally composed by Katie Parker with thanks to Free Stuff Me Graphics.
ergei Puskepalis and Grigori Dobrygin star in this drama as two meteorological managers at a station in the Arctic circle. The film is about cabin fever and family issues with a screenplay which has been noted for it’s brilliance in characterization. The films stars, both Best Actor winners at the 2010 Berlin
Did You Know...
Film Festival, have been hailed for their harrowing performances in this movie, directed by Aleksei Popregrebsky. The film has been described as ‘dark’ and ‘outstanding’ by critics, and is a must-see for all independent cinema fans. Out Now
Independent cinema can be traced back to the 1900s when filmmakers rebelled against compliance in cinema, known as the ‘Edison Trust’.
Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign language film. A French film, set in the Middle East, that promises to be ‘outstanding’.
‘The First Grader’
Justin Chadwick directs this true story about an 84-year-old man fighting for his right to receive education for the first time in his life. Critics are calling it a must-see movie.
Owned by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, United Artists was the first Independent Film Company
About 15 percent of ‘The Big Sixes’ films are Independently funded these days.
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And in Hollywood... ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’
irates of the Caribbean makes a return for the fourth instalment, only this time the pirates are On Stranger Tides. Based on the novel by Edward Teach, Ian McShane plays Captain Jack’s nemesis, ‘Blackbeard’ as the film follows Captain Jack’s search for the
‘Fountain of Youth’. Some may be disappointed to hear of Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom’s absence in the film, but Penelope Cruz steps into Knightly’s shoes, and the return of Keith Richards should be more than enough to satisfy Pirate fans. Released: May 18
Also Released (Out Now)
As a fan of the tale, Kenneth
Brannagh directs this epic version of the classic comic book.
Above: Johnny Depp stars as Cap’n Jack
‘X-Men: First Class’
(May 6) ‘13 Assassins’ Japanese turned Hollywood director Takashi Miike promises blood and gore in this Samurai
James McAvoy as A First Charles Class Professor
Jason Statham’s latest packs a punch early this month with the release of this action thriller.
(May 11) ‘Priest’
he X-Men saga continues with this First Class prequel. Matthew Vaughn directs Marvel’s latest about how it all began, with James McAvoy starring as a much younger Professor Charles and Michael Fassbender playing Erik, a.k.a. Magneto. The film promises to revamp the style of the movies, but also pays homage to the original comic books with their much darker take on the story. The 60s setting is something which fans are looking forward to, as well as how this
Did You Know...
In 1910, D. W. Griffith was the first filmmaker to make a film in Hollywood.
new cast is going to compare to the cast we all know and love from previous X-Men movies. James McAvoy said, in a press release for the movie, that neither himself nor the other cast members were taking into account the previous stars’ portrayals in order to avoid duplication and create a fresher approach to the roles. McAvoy added that he had read the comics as a child, and that this was his main focal point for the character. Released: May 30
The Hollywood sign was built by Harry Chandler in 1923, costing $21,000, it was only built to last 18 months.
Scott Stewart sinks his teeth into this action/ vampire flick starring Paul Bettany.
(May 13) ‘Attack the Block’ Joe Cornish steps up to the mark with this ‘Signs’ meets ‘Kidulthood’ comedy.
‘Bonnie and Clyde’ (1967) and ‘The Graduate’ (1967) spawned the NewHollywood era, breaking several taboos, they broke the conventions of ‘Classic Hollywood’.
The UK Film Council Fades Out Cuts see the end of Film Council
uly 2010 heard of the UK governments shocking announcement that funding for the UK Film Council would be stopped. The announcement came due to a budget cut for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport within Britain’s government under former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Since then there have been countless campaigns to save one of the UK’s biggest British film producers but almost a year on, there has, sadly, been no success. April 1st 2011 saw the funding go toward other bodies such as the BFI and the Film London Agency, both of whom will be taking on the former UK Film Council’s responsibilities and roles. Although even with these institutes as a back-up, many think the UK film industry will never be the same again. Founded in the year 2000, the UK Film Council has produced some of the best British films of recent years over a ten year reign on the industry. The Council boasts many Oscar wins, along with hosting some of the best British talent in their films. Their past annual budget has been the sum of £15 million to invest in British talents and this year alone, five of the UK Film Council’s films won twenty-two BAFTAs between them. Chief Executive, John Woodward, made a public statement earlier this year declaring his sorrow about the inevitable closure of the company. Actors such as the late Pete Postlethwaite declared their anger at the decision at the time of the announcement, and Gary Oldman, at the 2011 Empire Awards, also declared his remorse at the decision. In their final report, the UK Film Council released statements about the movie industry, claiming that in their polls, woman felt objectified and pigeon-holed in films. Their Head of Diversity, Mary FitzPatrick stated that the UK Film Council were working to correct this within the film industry, to promote better attitudes towards women and cultural minorities, to overall better the film industry. British film fans have been voicing their opinions over the net to attempt to bring back the Council, and student filmmakers say that this will cause a huge blow to their confidence in achieving within
Did You Know...
‘The King’s Speech’ (2011) is the highest grossing film by the UK Film Council, and is now the highest grossing British film of all time.
Amateur filmmaker, Christopher Lilly.
their chosen career. Full time student and amateur filmmaker, Christopher Lilly, 24, said that the choice to stop funding will dramatically affect the UK film industry. He went on to say: “I definitely think it will affect choices of whether or not to go into the film industry, as a career, it will make it a lot more difficult to get noticed.” The UK Film Council’s main roles were to fund British films and also to discover and promote new talents, but with the BFI and the Film London Agency taking on these roles, no one is yet sure how these changes will affect the British film industry, if at all. The next coming months will certainly shed light on this, as well as how difficult it may have become to get into the industry as these concerns grow for student filmmakers. Katie Parker
In 2010, 16 of the top 20 films were funded by The UK Film Council.
More Than £160 million from the UK’s Lottery was used to fund British films in the reign of the UK Film Council
! Viva! L a Vida
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Above: A still from ‘Arráncame la vida’, just one of the films that played at the Cornerhouse during this years festival.
ith Cornerhouse cinema in Manchester coming to the end of their 17th annual ¡Viva! Festival, a festival in celebration of Spanish and Latin cinema, we look at the history of Latin cinema and the best films to come out of these areas of the world. With the combination of Spain, Italy and Latin American comes one of greatest movie industries in the world. Some would say it was Luis Buñuel who first put Spanish and Latin cinema on the map because of his achievements in both French and Spanish cinema (most notably ‘Un Chien Andalou’ (1929)). Often seen as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, whose work in the industry was ground breaking in the critical, early years of cinema, his work is hard to falter. Since cinemas early years, Brazilian films have always been prominent in the industry, being one of the first countries to utilise the cinematograph machine for the use of movie-making. Their ‘Buster Keaton’ style comedies were widely screened across America since the dawn of cinema and since then they have been producing some of
Did You Know...
the best and most prominent foreign language films. During the Golden Age of cinema, in the 1930s and 1940s, Mexican cinema in particular offered a very competitive output to Hollywood. Emilio Fernández was one of Mexico’s greatest directors, demonstrable in his achievements with ‘Maria Candelaria’ (1944) – a hugely successful film which screened all over Latin America and Europe which, for its time, was a great achievement for ‘World Cinema’. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Cinema Novo movement changed the face of cinema as we know it. The movement was led by Argentine filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino in Latin America and it spawned a worldwide interest in Spanish and Latin cinema.
‘The Machinist’ (2004) and ‘The Others’ (2001) are both Spanish films, being funded primarily by Spain.
The movement changed ideas of filmmaking and inspired filmmakers from these parts of the world, leading on to the creation of some of the greatest ‘World Cinema’ films of all time such as ‘City of God’ (2002) and ‘Life if Beautiful’ (1997). In 1985, Luis Puenzo directed ‘The Official Story’, the first Latin film to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. ‘The Official Story’ shows a couple living in Buenos Aires with their adopted child and, when her adoptive mother discovers who her real parents are, it tears their family apart. With Latin cinema firmly on the map, further promotion of it came from the classic ‘Cinema Paradiso’ (1988). Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, the film is about a young boy’s fascination with
In 1931, only one Spanish film was released due to the popularity of ‘talkies’ and Spain’s inability to keep up with technological demands.
Ridley Scott’s ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (2005) is officially the number one grossing English Language Spanish film.
cinema. With the help of his mentor (who works in the local picture house) he makes his first film at a young age, growing up to be a moviemaker. This film, in particular, was a great achievement for Latin cinema. Spanish and Latin cinema is still going strong today, and with the 17th ¡Viva! Festival coming to a close, it is clear to see that these areas of the world are still producing mustsee movies to a large demographic thanks to their predecessors who helped put them on the map. Films screened at ¡Viva! Festival this year included ‘Octubre’, ‘El Asaltante’, and ‘Circo’, all of which turned out to be great choices and spectacular and enjoyable films in themselves and, as usual, the festival had great success. Katie Parker
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Top five Spanish/Latin Films
3. ‘The Official Story’ (1985) A heartbreaking tale renowned for it’s cinematic achievements. 2. ‘Cinema Paradiso’ (1988) Filled with enough inspiration and awe to sway any movie fan toward Spanish/Latin cinema. 1. ‘City of God’ (2002) One of cinemas greatest achievements overall, and a spectacular display of what Latin American cinema really is.
he Cornerhouse cinema is Manchester’s biggest art-house cinema, and one of the biggest and most successful in the UK. They screen both Hollywood and Independent films for the public, as well as art exhibitions and festivals all year round, hosting great exhibition galleries and a range of unique and enjoyable viewing experiences for their audiences. In 1994, the Cornerhouse cinema in Manchester celebrated the first ¡Viva! Festival, and has enjoyed huge success with it since. Back by popular demand, this years festival hosted a range of Latin cinematic greats, and is due to return for the 18th season next April. If you are interested in learning more about their current exhibitions, or to book for an event or film, you can contact them via their website at www.cornerhouse. org, or call them on 0161 200 1500.
The word ‘Chanchada’ refers to Brazilian slapstick and musical comedies, the most popular genre of early Brazilian cinema as they were incredibly cheap to make.
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) classifies ‘City of God’ (2002) as the number one Latin film as voted by the public.
‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ (2006) was only released in 1,143 cinemas in America, and was released in the UK four months before it was released in Spain.
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Wirral School’s Film Festival Weatherhead media arts school prepare for the annual festival Weatherhead High School and Media Arts College.
ach year Weatherhead High School Media Arts College host the Wirral School Film Festival, funded and promoted by The Learning Lighthouse and Wirral TV. The festival is open to all Wirral based primary schools, secondary schools and colleges who wish to take part in the festival. Not all entries are competitive, but some choose to enter their films in the hope of winning a prize in the festival’s competition strand. The festival boasts some of the best prizes that can be won within a school festival, including cash prizes of up to £500 and filmmaking equipment to further student’s interests in filmmaking. The festival has been overwhelmingly successful in all its seven years of running, and with this year marking its eighth return at the end of June, schools are already beginning to prepare their films. The festival is a red carpet event in which both students and guests dress formally, with a ‘walkabout’ event at the beginning of the evening in which students and guests can freely walk from room to room viewing the entered films. With this festival comes a theme for all films entered. Last year, Liscard Primary won third prize with their film ‘6 down 1 to go’, Sandbrook Primary won second prize with ‘Schneewittchen und die
Did You Know...
One student from Weatherhead Media Arts College, Joseph Olivera, was awarded a grant by Liverpool’s Arts Council to make a short film in 2008.
schools entering this year which is this years VIP guest yet? great. We always try to incorporate all Carney: We we’ve asked Willie Russell, ages and styles of filmmaking so this is who couldn’t come because of previous good news for the festival, you know, engagements, but this year we have it means there will possibly be more two guests who have agreed to do it, schools willing to take part next year although it hasn’t been confirmed when they see the amount of schools yet. At the moment we have the participating. To mention some, director of ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ obviously we have some films from [Gurinda Chadha] and the director of Weatherhead students, Mosslands High the first ‘Bridget Jones’ film [Sharon school for boys and Mount Primary, Maguire], but that won’t be confirmed Wirral Grammar and Sandbrook or announced until a couple of weeks Primary school are entering films before the festival. which is great because some of those Indie Insight: So, what are the prizes to schools didn’t enter last year so it’s be won at this years festival? gaining popularity. Carney: Well at the moment we’re just Indie Insight: How do you think this getting in touch with Apple to see if festival contributes to the popularity of we can give away some Apple Mac Wirral School Film Festival the school in terms of bringing in new computers, which would be great for Organiser, Caroline Carney. students? schools, we also have cash prizes and ead of Media Events at Carney: The festival is one of the we give away a few gadgets and things Weatherhead High School Media biggest events on the Wirral, you know, to the schools of the winners to help Arts College and organiser for the Wirral TV always attend and make them in their filmmaking. Last year we annual Wirral School Film Festival, films of the event about it in the local gave away digital camcorders which Caroline Carney, talks to Indie Insight papers and I do think that it brings in was great. But for everyone who enters about the preparations for this years new students. We just moved to the a film we give them an Oscar style festival, as well as some of the best bits new site in 2003 award and a clapper board from past events. and it is one of the as a souvenir. best schools in the Indie Insight: And what’s Indie Insight: How successful do you area in terms of its the theme for this year think these festivals have been in the facilities and I think then? past? the film festival just Carney: This year the theme Carney: They have been very successful proves how much is ‘The Box’. That could be for students, we always have a lot of this school does have thinking outside the box, or guests coming too who might be family to offer. maybe by using a box as a members of the students or just local Indie Insight: I prop or as part of the plot in film fans, but the presentation hall is The prizes for all some way so that should be understand that you always packed! participants have had some great an interesting one. Indie Insight: And how successful do VIP guests at the festivals in the past, Indie Insight: Finally, what’s the process you think this years festival will be in tell me about them... for entering and judging films? comparison? Carney: Well last year we had a line Carney: Well all students from all Carney: Well we’ve already had producer, Michelle Billington, we’ve schools across the Wirral can enter by more entries than last year and we’re had a lot of screenwriters, some who going on the Weatherhead website or expecting to get a lot more yet. In attended Weatherhead before going by talking to their Headteachers. All the terms of guests I think there will be on to bigger things. We also had Lord films are then edited and reviewed by more simply because of the amount of Puttnam in 2008 who is probably one The Learning Lighthouse and everyone students who will be attending because of the best guests we’ve ever had. He can vote for the films on the Wirral TV they’ve entered their films. did a workshop for the students which website. Our VIP guest hosts also judge Indie Insight: Which schools are was fantastic and so amazing to watch. the finalist films from those chosen on participating this year? I think he really inspired the students the website. The closing date is the 30th Carney: We have all sorts of schools, here and the staff as well. May so there’s still time to enter either there is a record number of primary Indie Insight: And is there any word on competitively or not.
Above: Students at Weatherhead hoping to enter their films into the festival.
7 Zwerge’ and the first prize, a HD digital camcorder worth £250, went to Mersey Park Primary with their film, ‘Seven Scenes of Love’. The VIP guest at last years festival was casting agent and line producer, Michelle Billington. Other past guests have included Katheryn Bigelow, Lord David Puttnam and a range of local talents who have worked on projects such as ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Eastenders’. This year, Weatherhead are expecting 50-70 entries in comparison to last years 44 films from 20 participating schools, including five films from Weatherhead students. In the run up to this years festival, we talk to the organiser of the event, Caroline Carney and one student hoping to win a prize this year about the preparations for the festival...
Last years VIP guest, Michelle Billington, declared Weatherhead the best school she had seen and said they were making a unique and outstanding effort to the film community.
Weatherhead Media Arts School moved to a new site in 2003, grouping their previous three separate sites into one. The new site had better facilities and is now one of the leading media arts schools in the country.
The Wirral School Film Festival was started in 2003 by WirralTV and Weatherhead Media Arts College and is now in its eighth year running.
Weatherhead holds seminars and workshops for budding filmmakers every term.
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Student Filmmaker prepares for festival
ne Student of Weatherhead Media Arts College is hoping to enter his short film into the festival to win first prize. David O’Connor is making the film as part of his final year Film Studies assignment and has revolved the film around the festivals theme in order to enter it into the competitive strand. The storyboard for his film (pictured) tells of a girl who gets sucked into a mysterious box into a new world. O’Connor said: “It is a rough draft at the moment. It’s just in the early stages so I’m still planning its production.” Competing for this years top prize, O’Connor is confident that he can produce a film worthy of first place, although he does have his doubts. “I’ve been to the festival a couple of times, before I was at sixth form here I was at a boys high school down the road. I did see a lot of the films that were being entered and they were very good. It’s amazing how good some of the films are, even from the very young contestants like the Primary Schools. “It’s certainly harder filming without a budget, I would imagine, but as long as you have a camera and something to film it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have special effects or anything like that.” O’Connor is among more than 50 other hopefuls from schools across the Wirral.
ord David Puttnam is one of Britain’s greatest movie producers, having produced some of the biggest and best films to come out of the UK. Even as a film producer, President of the Film Distributors Association (FDA) and a Lord of the labour bench in the House of Lords, Lord Puttnam still finds time to visit schools and colleges, inspiring young filmmakers. Indie Insight magazine talks to Lord Puttnam about his career and what he plans to do next. Indie Insight: Firstly, we have to know, do you have any solid plans to return to producing films? Lord Puttnam: No, unfortunately not. At the moment my work is mostly centred around delivering speeches and talks Lord Puttnam in conversation at various events, I’m still rooted in the film industry being a with Indie Insight. part of the FDA, but it’s very much a secondary role. Indie Insight: Obviously you have a very busy schedule, but the camera are to thank for that. I can only hope that they continue to inspire young filmmakers because they are the how is it you find time to visit student filmmakers? Lord Puttnam: (Laughs) Well I do think it’s a very important future of British cinema. Indie Insight: And how do you think the closure of the UK part of being in the industry, you have to give young filmmakers hope of getting into the industry themselves and Film Council will affect the choices of young filmmakers hoping to get into the industry? as a Lord it is part of my policy I never expected any of my Lord Puttnam: Well I can only hope that to improve education and that it doesn’t affect them at all. Whatever goes for media and filmmaking films go gain as much the circumstance, people should always education too. I love going to popularity as they did. strive for their dreams and I don’t believe these events and giving talks it will affect the industry much at all. In and workshops because you do the last decade, a few films with a clear British origin have often get comments on how inspirational you have been to clocked up a remarkable combined box-office of nearly £1 the students which is an unbelievable feeling that you have helped them on their way to, hopefully, becoming successful billion and with the talents we have in this country and the rise of 3D cinema, attendance is much higher, so it’s not filmmakers. looking so bleak for the future of British cinema. Indie Insight: You have had a great career in the film industry in terms of producing, and have delivered some of Indie Insight: And in your opinion, what makes a film the most successful British films. Did you ever expect any of worthy of producing? Lord Puttnam: I think it is often dependant on the country your films to get this popular and how would you expect a of origin for films, if films give and important message then modern audience to respond to those films? they’re the films that are going to do well, particularly in Lord Puttnam: I never expected any of my films to gain as their own country. Distributing a film world-wide is tough, much popularity as they did, of course I was working with but I often say that all you need to make a film is a camera some great talents and people really do have them to thank and a human face because, at the end of the day, human for the films’ popularity. As far as I am aware the films are still popular to new audiences, especially films like ‘Forever affect is the most universal message one can give, and there have been some spectacular films which stem from this idea. Young’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’, they really are timeless films and as I’ve said, the talents working on screen and behind Katie Parker
Above: Student, David O’Connor, works on his film. Insert: David O’ Connor’s storyboard.
Date: June 30th 2011. Location: Weatherhead High School and Media Arts College, Breck Road, Wallasey. Supported by: The Learning Lighthouse and Wirral TV. For More Information Visit: www.WirralTV.net
This years School Film Festival has so far had a record number of entries
Classrooms are turned into cinemas each year to screen films and are named after inspirational filmmakers such as ‘The Tim Burton Cinema’.
Did You Know...
Lord Puttnam’s son is now a film composer who has worked on ‘Football Factory’ (2004) and ‘The Keeper’ (2004).
Did You Know...
Film Studies and media teacher Nicola Swindell hosts the Film Festival each year along with the VIP guest host.
In conversation with:
Puttnam is the Chancellor for the Open University and was awarded a CBE in 1982.
During the late 1980s, Lord Puttnam was the head of Columbia pictures for a year.
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‘The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec’
‘I Saw the Devil’ nly Korea could get away with this level of violence and gore, and still make a great movie. With more violence than ‘Hostel’, this film never seems to lose its style and class, something which other films have often been accused of, losing sight of the plot in the violence. With spectacular cinematography, this is an amazing example of what Korean cinema can accomplish. ‘Oldboy’ was a classic example of how World Cinema is still alive and keeping up with the new gruesome demands of Hollywood. ‘I Saw The Devil’ has an amazing screenplay with sterling performances, and tells the story of a man who loses his wife to a vicious murderer. When he finds out about her violent slaughtering he goes on a mission to find him and cause him the pain that he has experienced through his turmoil. This is the best thriller movie in years displaying the hypocrisy of revenge in all its bloody glory.
Adele Blanc-Sec begins an extraordinary adventure.
Lee Byung-hun stars in Kim Jee-Woon’s thriller.
his delightful indie comedy stars John C. Reilly as an insurance salesman getting in touch with his more criminal side. The part suits his comedy beautifully, and also starring ‘The Hangover’ star, Ed Helmes, and comedy actress Anne Heche, it’s a brilliantly funny movie with a cast chosen especially to creates laughs. When Ed Helmes’ character arrives in Cedar Rapids, at the annual insurance convention, he meets fellow insurance salespeople who turn his life around. After suspecting the convention to bore him out of his wits, he is pleasantly surprised with the level of debauchery that goes on, and is also shocked by the level of corruption and criminals working within his industry. He quickly learns that being an insurance salesman is not what it seems, and with a lot of fun and games along the way, he makes both friends and enemies. This is an indie film which could have been better, however with four stars, it is difficult to beat and it would come as no surprise if this film gained a few awards along the way. The feel-good factor and the sometimes nervous laughter that the film provokes is classic to John C. Reilly’s films and is bound to be a hit in the cinemas. The film is out now and with the help of its A-list cast it should promote independent films and bring them back into the limelight. Since the release of ‘Cyrus’, John C. Reilly’s most recent movie, his popularity has soared and with this sunny movie, he is bound the remain popular for some time to come. John C. Reilly stars in this indie comedy.
Did You Know...
To open up the film to a vaster audience, the director of ‘I Saw The Devil’ (2010) was forced to cut some scenes which showed ‘unnecessary violence’.
Star of the TV show ‘The Wire’ (2002) also stars in ‘Cedar Rapids’ (2011) and as an in-joke the director decided to keep the preexisting references to the show that were written in the script.
uc Besson returns with another fantastic French film for us to sink our teeth into. With ‘Amelie’ having had its day, Besson presents us with what at first seems like a carbon copy of it with the narration and seemingly pointless introductions to characters, only with a much more lively and outspoken lead, played by the gorgeous Louise Bourgoin (left). However within no time at all this film takes a very odd turn. Clearly a unique film, this is a mix between ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Indianna Jones’, with all the wit and humour that France accomplished in so many other films like ‘Amelie’. It may not win any awards any time soon, but it is the first film of our knowledge to combine Egyptian mummies with dinosaurs. Although this sounds like an odd combination... Well, it is, but watching with an open mind and a clue to what French cinema can often throw at you, it is a thoroughly enjoyable film with a lot of laughs.
Cinema of the Month: FACT (Liverpool)
iverpool’s FACT cinema is the UK’s leading art-house cinema and exhibition centre. Located on Wood Street in Liverpool City Centre, FACT has commissioned more than 250 digital works by leading artists in its history. It is funded by a number of media councils and organisers from around the country and audiences get the choice of sitting on sofas or beanbags when viewing films, with the added benefit of a cafe and bar; drinks and food can also be taken into the cinemas to enjoy while watching the films. The cinema shows independent, art-house and Hollywood cinema, with added screenings of films just to come out of the cinema in case audiences missed them first time round. It screens a wide range of films designed to suit all ages and audiences, and offers a range of exhibitions all year round to suit every taste and interest at very competitive prices. With the extra features it has to offer, as well as films which may be hard to come by at a large cinema chain, it is well worth the experience and the price. FACT is currently showing a Biking Exhibition which is screening a range of films for and about motorcyclists and BMX bikers. For more details on FACT’s current and upcoming exhibitions and cinema times, visit their website at www.fact.co.uk or call them on 0151 707 4464.
In ‘The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec’ there are various references to the SNCF which was not created until 1938, though the film is set in 1911.
FACT Picturehouse holds annual film competitions for young filmmakers in Liverpool.
FACT is an authorised training centre and holds regular workshops, often hosted by celebrities, designed to inspire young filmmakers.
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Indie Insight May 2011 | 15
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
his delightful 1961 romantic comedy, starring the equally delightful Audrey Hepburn, is truly a classic piece of cinema. The ever watchable and sophisticated cinematic genius also stars George Peppard as Holly Golightly’s (Hepburn) love interest, Paul Varjak, in this tale of love and life as Holly tries to find herself. This is truly one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, solidifying conventions for future films and creating a timeless classic of a movie. Holly and Paul’s on/off romance in the film is really the basis of the story, and what makes this movie so particularly enjoyable is that no matter how much they fight, in true Hollywood form, they never part, and never hold a grudge. Many have tried to imitate the story and the conventions which make this film what it is, but none have succeeded. Despite many believing that all romantic comedies are the same, this one stands alone as one of the most unique and somewhat ‘darker’ films of the genre. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song (‘Moon River’) and Best Score, but Hepburn’s nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role was beaten by Sophia Loren’s performance in ‘Two Women’. George Axelord, writer of the screenplay, was also beaten to the mark at the 1962 Academy Awards by Abby Mann for ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’. Even with the classic ‘West Side Story’ as its main contender, the movie did
surprisingly well at the Academy Awards, further enhancing it’s timeless appeal. The story, based on the Truman Capote novel by the same name, sways from the original ‘darker’ text to a much ‘softer’ version of the tale (as Hollywood tends to do). The film tells the story of
Did You Know...
Truly one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time.
prostitute and glamour girl, Holly Golightly and her new neighbour, Paul Varjak. The two become friends through one of the greatest ‘meet-cutes’ in cinema history, and through their constant bickering, love inevitably blossoms. Paul is having an affair with a rich married woman, cautiously introduced to Holly as his ‘decorator’. As a semi-successful writer, who apparently hasn’t written a word in months, his initial love affair pays him for the pleasure of his company to help him with his financial worries. Meanwhile, Holly is laying out her ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme, attempting to marry every millionaire she meets. After a blast-from-the-past and a few hiccups along the way, Paul inevitably falls in love with Holly. Holly, however, seeking the life of a millionaire’s wife ignores her feelings to marry a rich Brazilian. Then, with Holly’s weekly trips to Sing Sing prison to talk to accused gangster, Sally Tomato, word gets out about her meetings and she is arrested. After a rejection from her Brazilian millionaire, Paul insists that she marry him instead. At the climax at the movie comes what you would expect from a romantic comedy, a romantic pouring of the heart in a bid to get the girl from Paul and yet,
The store Tiffany’s opened its doors for the first time since the 19th century on a Sunday so ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ (1961) could be filmed.
Writer of the novella, Truman Capote originally saw Marilyn Monroe in the part of Holly Golightly, but after she was cast, Monroe’s agent thought it was bad for her image to be cast as a call-girl.
no matter how predictable the film may seem these days, at the time the story was ground-breaking and new for Hollywood’s romantic comedies. The late Audrey Hepburn quite rightly became an icon from this movie, and it was this which highlighted her style and grace for which she became famous for. Her quirky sense of humour, and powerful, heartbreaking performances within the film is what makes this film what it is, and without her charm, it wouldn’t be the same. Her somewhat melodramatic performance could have potentially been the downfall for this film, but in the context of this part, she does play it beautifully, and the melodramatic style seems to suit her. George Peppard’s performance as Paul is equally compelling, and his heartbreaking final speech at the end of the film is moving, romantic and passionate, as you would expect it to be. It is a compliment to the film to say it is a crowd pleaser, but in the same way, it does give the audience a unique feel to the genre, as stated, because of its ‘dark’ feel. Axelord’s screenplay is hard to falter, and the delivery of the lines is impeccable. The adaption from the novel is one which suits Hollywood and although it is slightly disappointing not to see the darker side of the story, it is nonetheless one of the greatest movie adaptations.
The film was shot only three months after Hepburn had given birth to her first son.
Director, Blake Edwards did all possible to highlight the talents in the film and overall created a beautifully directed movie with sterling performances. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is a film which deserves the iconic status it has received and a film which should always be noted for aspiring filmmakers. Recent romantic comedies, however good they may seem at first, are never as good as this in comparison, but because of how timeless and classic this film is, it never gets boring to watch, so no matter what Hollywood may throw at us, we will always have ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Katie Parker
Holly Golightly was 19 in the original novella, however Audrey Hepburn was 31 at the time of filming.
The scene in which Hepburn sings ‘Moon River’ was going to be cut until she protested against it. Apparently after shouting “over my dead body” in the meeting, the scene was kept in and it became a popular song and scene all over the world.
“AWESOME! A MUST-SEE MOVIE!” THE DAILY STAR
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