WOLF Independent Film Magazine Issue One
The Editor Welcome to the first issue of Wolf, a magazine dedicated to independent film and independent cinema. The concept of WOLF is to bring as much interactivty that websites provide you with, to print. The video enables you to watch special clips, while the qr codes allow you to access exlusive content that is only available on our website. I also wanted to design mini magazines inside one big magazine, by seperating different sections into parts, and designing each part in a simular way in order to create a sort of continuity throughout the magazine. I hope you enjoy the of what I hope to many issues of WOLF magazine. Matthew Tansley Editor
Contents Part One The introduction
When independent films gain mainstream success See film differently advertorial Part Two Profiling
Director Robert Saitzyk Robert Saitzyk’s The Last Beat Actor Shawn Andrews Shanw Andrews in My Little Hollywood Part Three Disecting cinema
Page Twenty Three
WOLF meets Rob Wray The Public Opinion Editor’s pick: Best of independent cinema Part Four The News
Page Thirty Five
309 Regent Stree cinema re-opens What’s going on?: Film festivals Part Five The Credits 10 films you should’ve seen: Comedy Upcoming films The reviews
Smartphone? Read on the go.
Page Fourty One
Part one The Introduction
This is when we discuss an important issue and give kudos to the advertisement world outside of cinema.
When Independent Films Gain Mainstream success There have always been certain independent films that gain a more mainstream release and get more notice than others. For example, The Artist (2012), went on to win five out of the ten nominations they received at this years Oscars, while Martha Marcy May Marlene (2012), only received a short-lived limited release. So I started to think that perhaps, it was more about timing, strategic marketing and the social issues that are going on at that time, rather than relying on the film just being good. If we take a look at the conventional over-hyped The Kings Speech (2011), which went on to win four out of twelve nominations at that years Oscars. One of the reasons behind the films mainstream success was because of the events that surrounded the film during and after the release. Prior to the release of The Kings Speech, in late 2010, early 2011, the world received the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged, and in April that year did so at Westminster. Also in 2011, people were wondering what the Queen had planned for her Diamond jubilee that was coming up the following year. So before, during and after the release of the film, all everyone could talk about was the Royal family, so releasing a film which was about King George VI at that particular time, I believe is the reason behind the films success. Commenting on the social issues surrounding the film, film blogger Regina has said “, I suppose it definitely would have helped that everywhere anyone looked in the media at that time, the royalty was there, so they have more reminders and it’s almost like a brainwash effect”. She says that the film would of still been successful due to it being “a good film”, but agrees that it might not of experienced the same level of success if it hadn’t came out during that time. An example of strategic marketing, would be the success of Paranormal Activity, where this unknown, low-budgeted film within one year became a worldwide hit and lived up to its tag line “don’t watch it alone”. After a successful run at the film festivals in 2007, Paramount Pictures decided to pick it up and after a new version of the ending was shot, it got a limited released in thirteen towns across America with twelve selling out. Shortly after the director Oren Peli, created a website where people could “demand” where the film showed next and this was the first time a major film studio had used viral marketing. After the counter hit over 1million requests, it soon got a world wide release and managed to make over $190million (around £119million) from a $15,000 (around £9,000) budget.
Other films that have done this, was the less scary Olatunde Osunsanmi’s The Fourth Kind, staring Mila Jovovich, which claimed it was based on “actual case studies”, and claimed the footage shown during the film was “real”, it also failed to credit some actors in the film and make them sign a silence contract (like Charlotte Milchard, whose information during the release of the film was made hard to find) to ensure the realness of the film was truly felt. This ended up working for the film, as even though it only grossed slightly over $30million (around £18million) more than its $10milllion (around £6million) budget, it created an internet frenzy, with people desperately trying to find out if it was real or fake. Speaking to Director and Producer Steve Piper from the award winning British independent film production company Coffee Films, explained that the most obvious example of timing being a key point in a movies success was seasonal movies, because “releasing a film about Christmas in July makes no sense, but equally, releasing a horror film in July also doesn’t make a lot of sense, because people are in a sunny holiday happy mode and a dark grisly horror film doesn’t fit that mood”. So it seems appropriate to market a scary film during the Halloween season because you will get a wider audience. Releasing a film during the Halloween period surely worked for films like Paranormal Activity which have became a must-see, every Halloween. However, the American horror film Cabin In The Woods was released in April and opened to positive reviews and made over $19 million (around £11 million) on its opening weekend, out of its £12 million (around £7 million) budget. Though claimed as a “game changer”, I believe the reason behind the Easter release, was because director Joss Whedon also has his anticipated film Avengers Assemble coming out a few weeks later. Steve Piper, also agrees that social issues can help a films success, saying “especially in a documentary or topical film, you want to get it out there at a relevant time, we have already seen a major Titanic TV Series and a 3D release of the Cameron film”, during the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the ships doomed maiden voyage, which have both been relatively successful. He concluded that “recognising these links and their longevity of interest can tell you a lot about how a film will perform at different times”.
However, sometimes this way of strategic marketing doesn’t always work. It didn’t work for the high-budgeted Katherine Dieckmann directed film Motherhood, which starred Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver. The people behind Motherhood decided to release the movie in one cinema during its UK première, in hope it would create a buzz similar to Paranormal Activity, though on opening night it made £9, with a total of £88 on its opening weekend with only eleven viewers in total and one upon opening night. Overall however, the $10million (around £6million) budgeted movie made just over $700,000 (around £400,000) in total and it was obvious that an advertising catastrophe had happened, because people didn’t bother telling other people about it.
In January 2012, we saw the anticipated film The Iron Lady, staring Meryl Streep released, and of course people had mixed views of this film as it focused more on the dementia aspect of her life, rather than all of her accomplishments. Upon releasing, it was undoubtedly going to create a form of buzz within Parliament, with David Cameron, speaking publicly about the film saying “I wish The Iron Lady hadn’t been made yet and focused more on her leadership skills rather than her health”. So it was apparent that this film already had some controversy behind it, which as we know, will make people want to go see the film for themselves. Also in early 2012, we were starting to resolve issues that caused a recession back in 2009, a clash with the EU, and a strain of mass unemployment, in which back in 1980 Margaret Thatcher had to deal with herself. So along with the film creating a stir within parliament and similar situations that had occurred when Thatcher was in power, it was unsurprising that the film grossed over $107million (around £67million) from its $13million (around £8million) budget.
Another film that used strategic marketing to gain a buzz, is the 1999 Halloween released cult classic The Blair Witch Project, by directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. It used the ever overused tag line “based on true events” and claimed that the film was real found footage of three student filmmakers who went missing in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland. The campaign went one further by producing missing posters with pictures of the students, and made the actors who played themselves in the film sign a contract which ensured they kept quiet to give the film a more real effect.
It would be safe to say, that timing is very important with a films release, but whether or not social issues going on around the time of release help a films success is a matter of opinion than fact. Talking to another independent film enthusiast like myself film advertising marketer Jack, 34 from Norwich said, “I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was vital to the success of a film, but I would definitely go so far as to say that it helps”. He then went on to explain that during the release of Gus Van Sant’s Milk, the issue with Proposition 8 (trying to eliminate rights of same-sex couples to marry) was sur
rounding the media and “perhaps that too, wouldn’t have been as successful it it weren’t tied to something going on in the world at the time that the media was focused on”. Not all films need strategic marketing, or social issues to become a major success, like Justin Kurzel’s 2011 Australian hit Snowtown, even though it is a matter of opinion, it is hard to deny, that a certain film would not of been as successful if it was not for some of the help, it had like timing, strategy or issues. As Piper from Coffee Films has stated “people routinely discount all sorts of things like timings or even the weather which can all have an effect”.
Part two Men in film
This is when we discuss men in film who all interlink someway or another. Volkswagen, may seem to be all about cars, however, like me and you they have a passionate love affair with movies. They have become the main sponsor for some of the biggest and acclaimed independent films and cinemas across the United Kingdom, like The Iron Lady and Jane Eyre. The global car company created seefilmdifferently.com, a community developed based around the idea of see film differently. A place which brings together all sorts of content from the world of cinema. The website has interviews with actors, directors, news on the latest releases and behind the scene stories from some of the best independent films. They also are help independent film lovers, with finding out the locations, for example using the website you are able to view where Stanley Kubrickâ€™s classic A Clockwork Orange was filmed, whilst given the location of the nearest independent cinema. This year Volkswagenâ€™s support of independent cinema is shown through placing 12 famous napkin scribbles across various cinemas, to portray how different a film could have been if a certain iconic prop or location had not been selected. They are encouraging you to search at your favourite independent cinema to start making you to see film differently.
Men in film
Director Robert Saitzyk
Men in film Robert Saitzyk, is an award winning independent director and owner (along with friend and fellow producer Aaron Rice) of Alterity Films. The company, seeks to produce films that challenge, provoke and carry a unique voice while trying to enrich the visual storytelling experience of contemporary cinema, which can be seen through his début film After The Flood (2001) and most recent, Godspeed (2009). At a young age Robert Saitzyk was an inspiring artist ages based on the films he loved. The passion soon that the images could not move, and it was not until Stephen Spielberg, that he realised how powerful this
who had a vast interest in comics, drawing imturned into frustration. Saitzyk was disheartened he watched Raiders of the Lost Ark by director medium could be and decided he wanted to
create movies. Due to having this interest in film at an early age, he studied film at San Francisco State University. Being a place which had more avant-garde roots, Saitzyk didn’t feel that his voice quite fitted in as he was less traditional and less avant-garde. Saitzyk had a Luc Godard’s pression, such see in Western
major interest in French New Wave and American films of the 70’s, like JeanBreathless, and Weekend - more famous for their unprecedented methods of exas long tracking shots - and these had a major impact on him which you can his films, especially After The Flood. films also influenced Saitzyk on his journey
“I am less traditional and less avant-garde”
After The Flood, was Saitzyk’s first independent film, it starred Shawn Andrews (Dazed and Confused, 1993) and Tony O’Brien (The Ultimate Game, 2001). The film, follows Simon (played by Andrews), as a young man in search of a spiritual redemption, while struggling to shun the prison of the modern city. Following the release of the film, it won Saitzyk the 2001 Best Director award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. After the release of After The Flood, Saitzyk enjoyed further success with films White of Winter, hailed by critics such as Wyatt McDill, IFP Central Standard Film Festival, as “a visually poetic American epic”. And most recently with Godspeed, which explores the limits of humanity on the edges of the Last Frontier. It won the festival’s Special Jury Prize for Exceptional Artistic Achievement and was stated as “the film of 2009” by Don R. Lewis from Film Threat. Currently, Saitzyk has begun work on his fourth film-to-date, called The Last Beat, which he hopes will gain the same impact as his previous predecessors. It stars 80s singing icon Cyndi Lauper and Kevin Corrigan (The Next Three Days, 2010). It will look at the last fallen months of fictional rock star Jay Douglas, while living in Paris, France with his two lovers.
Men in film
Robert Saitzyk’s The Last Beat
Award winning director Robert Saitzyk’s latest film, along with a stellar cast, will focus on the life and death of Door’s front man Jim Morrison. It will mainly centre around the last few months of Morrison, while he lived in Paris before his suspected overdose in Saitzyk’s upcoming Bohemia Group produced film The Last Beat. The non-traditional biographical film will take a similar approach as Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, which was inspired by the late Kurt Cobain (Nirvana). It will revolve around a fictional rock star named Jay Douglas, who is played by the magnificent Shawn Andrews, who won the Best Actor Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival for his portrayal of Leo in Tao Ruspoli’s award-winning film Fix, 2008. The film follows the last months of Douglas, who has exiled himself to Paris where he hopes to fall into the artist’s life as a poet and writer, wishing he could erase his former stardom. The storyline will be emotionally attached to an original soundtrack, managed by Saitzyk, and will take inspiration from rock ‘n’ rock and French Pop. Aside from Andrews, the cast also include model and actress Cameron Richardson (Open Water 2, 2006), who plays Douglas’ soul mate Valarie Eason. César nominated French beauty Virginie Ledoyen, (The Beach, 2000), also stars opposite Andrews and Richardson as Jay Douglas’ other lover and French Countess Clemence in a tempestuous love triangle. There is speculation that this could be Ledoyen’s international comeback, as her career never took off after starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprico in Danny Boyle’s The Beach 2000. She couldn’t quite reach the heights that French wonder-woman Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose, 2007) did, even though she has work constantly ever since.
Kevin Corrigan, who has stared in films like The Departed and Pineapple Express, will play Martin, which the character has been described as a blend of Ken Kesey and John the Baptist. Courtney Halverson, who starred in Saitzyk’s directorial début Godspeed, has been cast for Justine, along side Aasha Davies (Pariah, 2011) as Nan. Also joining the cast is Oscar nominated Seymour Cassel (Best Supporting Actor, in John Cassavete’s 1968 classic Faces), who will play Fred Kantor. Finally, 80’s singing icon and Emmy award winner (Mad About You, 1992) Cyndi Lauper will play Bebe Markham. It’s been over 20 years since Director Oliver Stone made his acclaimed cinematic film The Doors, which starred Val Kilmera who played Morrison. The film attracted certain criticism however, due to often straying from actual facts of Morrison’s life but also endured praise in equal measure. However, Tom DiCello’s 1983 documentary When You’re Strange is seen as a much more accurate account, so it is certain that The Last Beat will undoubtedly get some comparison. The film begun production in late 2011, with filming being done in Paris, and was set for a late 2012 release date, however, this has now been pushed back to an unknown date in 2013. It could have been so the film could be released in time for that years independent film festivals and like his previous films make official selection, though there is no reasoning behind the release being held back, so, it looks like eager fans will just have to sit back and wait.
Men in film
Men in film
Actor Shawn Andrews “That was his best performance all year”, were the words that came out of Jackie Cowgil, his teacher from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, after he quit his education by bursting into his class during rehearsals of final scenes, wearing a trench coat, sunglasses and an unlit cigar. He then displayed his middle finger in an offensive manor at his fellow classmates and teacher, then, processed to light the cigar and say “yeah” then walked out. After his stint at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he studied under the late renowned and respected actor Arthur Penn at The Actors Studio in New York. The 41 year old, then went on to receive critical acclaim for his portrayal of Kevin Pickford in his début and cult classic comedy Dazed & Confused, 1993 directed by Richard Linklater. He starred opposite Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, 2002), whom he later married in 1992, though due Jovovich being only 16 at the time, her mother Gina Jovovich filed for annulment one month later. After his role playing a high school student whose parents find out about his keg party, Andrews went on to star in Dustin Siena’s bronze award wining short film Markie Boy, 1993. After taken a 4 year break, Andrews returned in 1997 to star in Derek Dunsay’s film drama, The Small Hours and Domonic Paris’ sixth and last directed film The Sleepless. In 2001, after an array of successful and acclaimed performances, he played Simon, in Robert Saitzyk’s award wining directorial melodic début film After The Flood, 2001. After a successful performance, in Saitzyk’s festival smash hit, he chose to take up the role of Robbie in the multi-award wining director and actor Matt Dillon’s first film directorial crime thriller début, City Of Ghosts, 2002. He became increasingly popular due to his chosen films and characters he chose to portray due to Andrews dedicating his career to provocative character-driven work, in 2008, he won the Chameleon award for Best Male Actor for his role as Leo in the nine festival award winning drama film Fix, 2008 by director Tao Ruspoli. Andrews commenting on his role in Fix has said “I think each experience teaches you different stuff. This particular film combines being an independent film yet also being entertaini After winning best actor, he went on to star in Ben Rodkin’s Big Heart City, 2008, opposite Oscar nominated veteran actor Seymour Cassel, where he played Frank Polowski, a recidivist horse better, who while searching for his missing girlfriend discovered through certain circumstances that possibly indicate that something horrible as happened. Andrews, can be seen in the upcoming thriller, The Last Gas Station, directed by Nick Palumbo, which is due for release late 2012. And again opposite veteran Cassel in Robert Saitzyk’s upcoming drama biographical film The Last Beat, due in early 2013. More recent however, you can find Andrews playing Reverend, a guy who helps a man to fulfil his dreams of film stardom, in Matthew Harrison’s short comedy film My Little Hollywood due out mid 2012.
Men in film
Shawn Andrews in
Men in film
My Little Hollywood
My Little Hollywood is a comedic short film by director Matthew Harrison it sweetly documents the fantasy of everyone who travels to Hollywood in hope to make it big, while giving a comical through-the-looking-glass tour of today’s movie capital.
composer John Horn, who has also done music for 2000’s mainstream smash hit Unbreakable (directed by M. Night Shyamalan) and 1997’s Chicago Cab (directed by Mary Cybulski and John Tintori).
The 66 minute comedy focuses on a wondering boy named Cost (played by Harrison) who steps into the hyper real world of Hollywood, after being under fire from his enraged ex back in New York, to fulfil his dream of stardom and to make a movie, along with the help of his friend and teen idol Reverend, played by Shawn Andrews. Along his journey of seeking success, he begins to audition actresses, but Rev ends up running off with each of them, and while things may seem to be over, Cost, discovers a 17 year old liquor store delivery driver Rose played by beautiful Tiprin Mandalay (For Our Men, 2003) who happens to be immune by Revs charms.
Harrison, originally started work on his original screenplay in 1996, but was lost before the completion. However, providence put the film back into post production and is now completed.
Later, they find broken-hearted actor J.W, played by Jason Oliver (21 Jump Street, 1987), and the four friends set off to make their dream, into reality. While doing so, they inadvertently make a movie which finds itself on the yellow brick road to their own little Hollywood. The film also stars Kimberly Flynn (Striptease, 1996) as Babette, Rich Parker (Die Hard, 1988) as Flash Cashmere, Brooke Langton (Playing Mona Lisa, 2000) as Catherine, Gabrielle Conforti (Betrunner, 2004) as a Divorcee, and Bonnie Dickenson (Frisk, 1996) as Sivan to name a few of an array of accalimed, versitile independent actors. The film is also accompanied by an original soundtrack by
After completing, Harrison’s film company Film Crash (also owned by Karl Nussbaum and Scott Saunders), advertised for donations to help get this lost film out into the world and onto the big screen. The $3,624 that was donated by fans of Harrison’s work, paid for the festival applications, mailing screener DVD’s and the help get the film a worldwide release. This film now has an aspirational and emotional attachment to the 99 people that donated. Some of the donators, including Lance Hardin commented “Go Matt! The world needs another Matt Harrison film. I need another Matt Harrison film”, Ed Vassallo said “Hell Yeah. Anything Harrison made in 1996 is sure to be better than 99% of the films made in 2012.”. While Harrison himself was delighted saying “‘Im in! Thank you, Tiprin, for launching this Kickstarter campaign”. After being lost for 16 years, this year we finally get to see what will ultimately be a joyous, comedic piece of work from Harrison. After My Little Hollywood, Harrison will be releasing his sixth feature The Man In The Hat.
Part three Disecting cinema
This is when we interview to find out about all the wonderful independent cinemas dotted around the United Kingdom.
Page Twenty Three
Rob Wray, Shortwave Cinema Recently, I sat down with Rob Wray, the founder and owner of Shortwave cinema in Bermondsey, London, for an in-depth conversation to find out what Shortwave is all about. Before making an impact on the Independent film circuit, Wray took the production route first withstarting up Shortwave Festival and producing his own short film entitled Race. which was filmed just after labour had taken power and was inspired by the racial issues and stereotyping that was going on in and aroundLondon at that time. Shortwave as we know it today, originally started out as a festival back in 1999, with an idea to create a platform where independent films could be shown. It consisted of around five films and around five bands. The festival received positive reviews, and he won the best business plan award, so Wray decided to think about expanding his venture into a permanent, lucrative way that showcased the art-house scene. Wray, knew that he did not want to set up a place that would occupy hundreds of people, like the mainstream cinemas, instead he wanted to set up one which occupied less in a more sustainable way. In 2009, he did just that, and opened up the Shortwave cinema in Bermondsey Square, which has a capacity of 52, featuring surround sound and HD projection. Commenting on the process of his business venture, Wray said “I’ve always been doing my own thing, so it was very exciting and slightly stressful because it was different”.
Since the opening of the independent bijou, it has played host to some amazing independent film festivals including, the London Short Film Festival and the London Independent Film Festival, which have been a success because Wray feels “the reason they are quite successful, with a good turn out is because it isn’t a big cinema that holds 100 people, where say like 50 people turn out, Shortwave holds 52, so it fills out”. Aside from screening nominated films, Shortwave according to Wray is not just a cinema, later during the year it will be “screening a film we made for a band and a birthday party, evening though it is a cinema we host a varied amount of things so it keeps us busy”. Wray also set up the company Neon and founded the Elefest which is “a big successful Independent Film
Full video interview here
Festival in Elephant and Castle”, he also takes control of the Bermondsey street party with an outside cinema, in which last year was “cabaret” and very “enjoyable”. Shortwave also helps with emerging talent , by “offering the cheapest rate in London to screen their films, I don’t have public funding, I don’t come from a rich family, so I have to do it in a way that makes it sustainable, where I can make the most money, and it gets the film makers in”. The company also offers a workshop for the “socially excluded people”, which according to Wray are “people who can’t achieve fuck all, and can’t do anything with their life, and we’re giving them an opportunity to gain knowledge and transferable skills to help them, whether or not their branch into film making”. The workshop, gives people “something to aspire to, rather than encouraging people to become for example a top footballer”, which can only be good for our modern day society. Being interested in art-house films myself, a particular favourite being 1993’s Naked (staring David Thewlis) or the 237minute long foreign film Love Exposure, I was curious and very interested in what Wray’s favourite independent was. At first, he was withdrawn from revealing it, as previously we had discussed what truly made an independent film and both came to an agreement that for an independent film to be successful today, it needed to have “a little bit of mainstream appeal, like The Kings Speech or Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, though truthfully a film is either an art-house, independent film or they are not, it is a long debate that could go on and on”. After joyously discussing that these films were not what we would consider a true independent film, Wray surprised me with a confession of his love for French art-house and new wave films, a favourite of his being The Hein and The Conversation “which are great films”, this was the moment where I confessed my love for Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960’s Breathless. Wray also let slip that a new Shortwave will be opening late this year, though sadly would not disclose the location, even after some flea-market style haggling.
Copyright 2012 Shortwave
The public opinion Curiosity to why independent cinemas are now more popular than ever, and why people prefer the smaller, boutique styled cinemas to that of the bigger chains like Vue or Odeon often arises when thinking about cinemas. So WOLF decided to take to the streets to find out what the public’s favourite cinema is and why.
Kyle, 19, London Whirled Cinema, Loughborough Junction, South London. Amazing programme of films, really diverse and from all over the world, great special screenings and events. Incredible space; very small and intimate in a railway arch that from the outside you would never know is there. Lovely people who work there, members only also means everyone is quite like minded, really good atmosphere. Paula, 18, East London Gate, Noting Hill I love the Picturehouse chain of cinemas, so having one where I live like Gate Picturehouse, makes it easy for me to see films. The main reason I go is because I love the classic contemporary design of the cinema itself, compared to the kind of down town New York style of the outside.
Jane, 23, Surrey RichMix, Shoreditch I love the culture in Shoreditch, and I am always down Brick Lane, so having a nice cultural place where I can go see exhibitions and go to the cinema makes it easy for me to see films that I enjoy. They mix it up by showing a mixture of independent films and blockbusters, I recently saw Marley and Avengers Assemble there with my friends which I really enjoyed. Carla, 23, Surrey The Ritzy, Brixton There’s the ritzy cinemas which are great because they have a great range of independant and world films with a real old school vibe and theme to the buildings. The one in Brixton was built as a cinema ovver 100 years ago
Louise, 24, Essex Lexi Theatre, London
Pauline, 31, Birmingham The Electric Cinema, Birmingham
This cinema is just really cool, and I love taking my boyfriend out to see movies here because of the intimate setting and a variety of independent and mainstream films, plus it is cheaper than Odeon.
I love the romance this place has, with the sofa seats, and art deco bar, for nibbles during your film, I mostly go see the big films here than the art house, as I just love the intimacy it has over the big mainstream cinemas.
Jack, 21, London The Cornerhouse, Manchester
Peter, 26, Romford Barbican, London
I’ve only been to one independent cinema, which was The Cornerhouse in Manchester with my boyfriend. He is from Manchester and insisted we go, I don’t care much for the independent scene but I did like the idea of a cafe and cinema in the same building and I did end up having a good time their.
The Barbican, isn’t quite as small and arty as others around London, but I love to go the free museums and exhibitions before and after I see a film here. I especially love sitting outside with a beer with my friends in the courtyard. It’s basically like one big arts centre which is cool if you love that stuff like me.
Dave, 21, East London The Tyneside, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Gemma, 21, London Empire Cinema, Sandwich
I love going back to see my family and having a good independent cinema on my doorstep. Even though there are great ones in and around London where I live, you just can’t beat going to a cinema with a good atmosphere in your home town.
It mixes up old and recent films, so gives me a good chance to see films that I might of missed upon released. Plus it is small, old & run by the same couple for years, so makes for an enjoyable viewing.
Dean, 19, Brighton The Duke Of York’s, Brighton
Luke, 20, Essex Shortwave Cinema, Bermondset
I just love it. It’s good to be able to see a film here and then go to beach. It is a friendly, inviting place, so there isn’t a reason not to go.
I like the fact that it is a small, friendly venue, which shows newly and old releases that I didn’t get a chance to see when they originally got release.
Eleven cinemas, you should go to Independent films, have been a favourite of mine for quite some time, so independent cinemas are a delight to me, because it enables me to see newly released films along with classics. London holds some of the best independent cinemas, with some being large like the Curzon or more boutique like Shortwave, so below are my top ten favourite independent cinemas, in hope you go their, enjoy and have the same experience I do when I view films. 1) Rio To kick start the list I want to introduce quite an old cinema called Rio, which is situated on Kingsland High Street in Dalston, London. Originally it opened under the name Kingsland Empire in 1915, and over the years became, Dalston Classic in 1937, Tatler in 1970 and finally Rio in 1986. The one theatre operated cinema, holds 400 people which shows a combination of art house and mainstream films, and is a place which is “responsive to the interests of sections of the community often ignored by mainstream commercial cinema”. Although the cinema dips into both art house and mainstream, the outside has a more indie feel, with the inside being of a more contemporary design, either way it makes for comfortable viewing when seeing films like Moonrise Kingdom or Monsieur Lazhar. 2) Curzon Mayfair Curzon cinemas, could be described as the upper class of independent cinemas, with having four cinemas situated in the most popular and pricey areas of London, Mayfair, Soho, Chelsea and Richmond. It also owns the Renoir cinema in Russell Sqaure. Curzon Mayfair has been, instrumental in the progression of the British and international film industry, as it was one of the first cinemas to import and show foreign language films. The cinema originally seated 542, though now it has two screens seating 320 and an intimate 83. With an update of a bar and lounge this cinema is perfect for a romantic evening with films like Once Upon A Time In Anatolia and Trishna if you don’t mind the Mayfair prices. 3) Prince Charles The Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square, originally opened in 1991, and is a place which doesn’t receive any funding like Arts Council or Lottery. The ticket prices are cheap, as you are able to see a film from £3 and recently have had a refurbishment, adding a second screen in the upper levels. This enables the cinema to show old classics in the downstairs screen and more new films upstairs, “from cult festivals to the latest box office hits, the Prince Charles Cinema is the heart of independent film in London”. 4) The Horse Hospital The Horse Hospital is a unique, place which provides a space for underground and avant-garde media. Piror to openning in 1993, this Victorian building was once in fact a horse hospital, and this is noticeable through the design of the building, by walking up a cobbled stone ramp to the first floor bar, which was once where sick horses were led awaiting a veterinary surgeon. This astounding place also hosts exhibitions along with avant-garde styled films, like Cat Ladies, and tickets can start from £5 if booked in advanced to £6 if you prefer on the door. It is situated along Colonnade, Bloomsbury near the College of London Hospital 5) The Ritzy Cinema The Ritzy in Brixton, is part of the independent cinema chain Picturehouse, which has up to 18 cinemas spread across the UK. The Ritzy however, is the largest independent specialist cinema in the UK and specialises in independent, art house, foreign films and big blockbusters. You can see see any type of film here ranging from the delightful Aki Kaurismaki directed film La Havre to the biggest film of the year Hunger Games. The Ritzy always reminds me of KoKo in Camden and like KoKo, The Ritzy acts as a hub for the community.
6) Deptford Film Club This comfy small venue is situated above the Amersham Arms in New Cross, in a room titled ‘Take Courage’. It launched in 2009 and promises to bring the most interesting, challenging, heart-breaking cinema into where you want to be “a nice friendly room above the pub, at an affordable price”. It surely does live up to that mission statement considering films are at a cheap £3 a pop, though it only shows film every fortnight on a wednesday, with the film starting at 7.30pm. The Deptford Film Club are also part of the New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival, which is runining up until May 6th. If you love independent film and unique ways to experience film, this would be ideal as they take film out of the multiplexes and into the community, projecting films while you can sit back and relax submersed in the outdoor culture. 7) Baker Street Everyman Cinema The Everyman Cinema on Baker Street, has recently been refurbished, with stylish bars, lounge and comfortable seats, to ensure you get the best in enjoying independent film. You can enjoy films like Headhunters or the beautiful Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, in this comfy intimate place at a reasonable £12. However, if you fancy a cosy, romantic setting, try visiting the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, where you can sit back and relax with a beverage in their double seated seats. 8) Clapham Picturehouse Picturehouse in Clapham is a place which mixes up mainstream film and independent films, it shows an array of films from the ever-so-popular Hunger Games to the little gems like The Kid With A Bike. Though, this boutique styled cinema is quite pricey with tickets from £10.60 if you book online, so this place is better for those independent films that you didn’t see during their limited release at cinemas like Vue or Odeon, but if you prefer the more intimate, friendly atmosphere, then your better off going here to see the mainstream films considering the prices are similar to that of the bigger cinemas. 9) Cine Lumiere The Cine Lumiere is located within the Institut francais du Royaume-Uni (French Cultural Insititute in the UK) in Queensberry Place, London and it is the official French government centre of language and culture in the UK. The public cinema holds 240 seats, and is what I would consider the best repertory cinema in screening a mix of French, European and world cinema. Showing a mixture of both classics and new releases, while also holding premiers, themed seasons and retrospectives you can’t really go wrong. If you love the culture of the French or find it hard trying to find that perfect foreign film, this is the place for you. 10) The Electric Cinema The Electric Cinema in Portobello Road, London might not be for everyone considering tickets can range from £12.50 to £30 each, but the comfort is included in the price with the leather chairs, champagne and contemporary décor. Though if this doesn’t take your fancy, their matinees range from £7.50 to £25, so only slightly cheaper. This cinema is really for the independent film lover who loves luxury but is sick of the busy, out-dated multiplexes.
11) Tricycle Cinema The Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn, is part of a theatre and gallery media centre and also with a contemporary bar. The Tricycle has one screen that seats around 200 people, where you can see the best of independent film like Bel Ami or my favourite This Must Be The Place. An evening having a drink at the bar before going into the one screen cinema can guarantee a relaxed atmosphere. 12) The Phoenix Cinema The Phoenix, located in East Finchley, is the last on my list and the UK’s oldest purpose-built cinema still in operation. This place is run by a charitable trust for the community, which reinvests its profit in education work and maintaining this historic building, so visiting this cinema does really help. This cinema showcases new releases, independent, foreign language and specialist films plus retrospectives and with tickets ranging from £6 to £9.50 you can enjoy a really good film all without breaking the bank. These are just a few of my favourite places that are dotted around London, ranging from their uniqueness, architecture and atmosphere, but of course there are plenty of other options. If you don’t like the independent film scene, there are plenty of mainstream cinemas like Cineworld or Odeon that show certain independent films during a limited release period, or you have the more commonly known independent cinemas like the beautifully designed Barbican. But, if you haven’t been to some of the above mentioned, please do, as you won’t regret it.
Part four The News
This is when we give you the latest news in everything independent
Page Thirty Five
360 degrees of restored audtorium
309 Regent Street cinema to re-open
Once called the ‘Birth of British cinema’, the Regent Street cinema opened its doors in 1848 for magic lantern shows, in 1896 it held host to French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière for their series of 10 short films. Now, the University of Westminster which use this historic building for their lectures, have begun to raise half of the £5million needed to reopen the doors to a place which showcases how London has evolved over the past centuries. The university have been backed by Bafta-winning director Asif Kapadia and Title Films to launch a fundraising event to reopen the cinema in 2013. When completed, the what was then called the Polytechnic cinema, will be fully restored to its former glory, embracing its 19th century heritage though adding a 21st century twist by using the latest cinematic technology, which allows it to become accessible to the filmmakers, film industry and audiences of tomorrow. The what-will-be a jaw dropping, state-of-theart cinema and multifaceted auditorium will make it a place for academic excellence, cultural exchange, exhibitions and a landmark venue for the British film industry. The cinema will allow film students to showcase their brilliance and for film lovers to enjoy cinema from all around the world, in a centre which connects art, culture, education and communities. Talking to allinlondon.com Sarah Carthew, Director of Marketing, Communications and Development, who leads the fundraising being done by the university has said “the important project would breathe new life into the only place in the UK that can genuinely lay claim to being where British cinema started.” The state-of-the-art cinema will enable film lovers to see films in a place that is covered in cinematic history, it will provide a place for film students to première their work in London’s West End. It will be very exciting to see a pioneered institution re-open, with the remaining funds being raised throughout the year, ready for November 2013. From now up until the reopening, partnership opportunities will try and be secured to help with the funding, which include Tim Bevan CBE, Co-Chair of Working Title. He believes that British filmmaking has become worldwide because of the investments and commitments made by the educational and training world. Others involved in the funding, include graduates of Westminster like, cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, known for his movie Skin and directing a variety of music videos including U2 and the Rolling Stones.
The News Los Angeles
The buzz around the festivals
Other sections from the official selection include, Out of Competition will see films like Bernardo Bertolucci’s IO E TE (Me and You), which stars Tea Falco and Sonia Bergamasco and Philip Kaufman’s Hemingway and Gellhorn which stars Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen in this Romance Drama. The Midnight screenings, will showcase Wayne Balir’s The Sapphires, starring Chris O’Dowd and Deborah Mailan and Franck Khalfoun’s Manic, which stars Elijah Wood and America Olivo. Finally the Special screenings will screen films Trashed by British Director Candida Brady, Sebastien Lifshitz’s Les Invisibles and Gonzalo Tobal’s Villegas. The Los Angeles film festival, which starts June 14th and runs up until June 24th, will open its night with Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, which stars Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz and Ellen Page. It will be the films North American première, and centres around a number of people in Italy, and their romances and adventures and predicaments they get into. The festival will close with Steven Soderbergh’s
As festivals such as, the London Independent, and Sundance London film and music festival have come to an end, it sparks excitement to the others coming in the forthcoming months, Cannes and LA film festival. The London Independent film festival saw upcoming British talent, such as Brett Harvey’s Weekend Retreat and Socrates Adam-Florou with their mockumentary Wizard’s Way. The first ever Sundance London film and music festival saw UK premières by Lauren Greenfield for The Queen Of Versailles, Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts and Chasing Ice by Jeff Orlowski. The Cannes festival which starts May 16th, will open it’s competition with Wes Anderson’s comedy drama Moonrise Kingdom, which follows two young lovers who flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them. It stars, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward and Bruce Willis.
Closing the ceremony will be Claude Miller’s Therese Desqueyroux, which focuses around an unhappily married woman who struggles to break free from social pressures and her boring suburban setting. The drama stars, Audrey Tautou, Anais Demoustier and Gilles Lellouche. Opening the Un Certain Regard (original and different talent seeking international recognition) section at this years Cannes is Lou Ye’s Mystery, which revolves around an investigation, set against the backdrop of contemporary China, into the mysterious death of a young woman involved with a married businessman. It is Ye’s first film to be shot in China since his five year ban for making Summer Palace, which was about the Tiananmen Square massacre and it’s aftermath. Closing this section will be respected French director Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir, which stars Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret and Thomas Doret. It is a story of the life of French Painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his film maker son Jean Renior.
Magic Mike, which stars world première of Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Nash. The films focus on Mike, played by Tatum in the world of male strippers, who takes a boy under his wing and teaches him about the art of partying, picking up women and making easy money. However, the three movies that are creating a buzz in the WOLF office, are Bestiaire, by Denis Cote, where this poetic movie looks at animals, and their relationship between man and beast. Bunohan: Return to Murder, from director Dain Said, which this equal part Shakespearian drama and Muay Thai crime thriller, puts brother against brother, and friend against friend as they fight for revenge, power and their lives in this contemporary noir starring Wan Hanafi and Bront Palarae. Finally Canicula from director Jose Alvarez, which explores the rituals and crafts of contemporary Indians in remote Veracruz, who teach their boys to fly in this hauntingly beautiful portrait.
Part five The credits
This is when we end the magazine by giving you the reviews and the upcoming greats in film
Page Fourty One
Top 5 films you should’ve seen Each issue, WOLF will be featuring five independent films you should’ve seen/should see. Focusing not necessarily on the best, just five great ones. This issue we will be focusing on Comedy, which is a massive percentage of the cinematic genre, and produced some truly funny films.
The Credits Juno (2007)
Eagle VS Shark (2006)
Directed by Jason Reitman Staring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Jennifer Garner.
Directed by Taika Waitti Staring: Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement.
This film, should be on everyone’s list and if you haven’t seen Juno yet, then you must live in a place that replicates The Lord of The Rings.
Eagle VS Shark, is one of those socially awkward films, which provides an outlook on how everyone secretly wants to live.
When Juno (Ellen Page), is faced with an unplanned pregnancy with friend Paulie (Michael Cera), the offbeat teen girl makes an important decision for her unborn child. Juno is just an exciting, comedic fun-fest, with comedic humour thrown in every direction possible, while also being serious when needed.
It follows the strange ways Lily (Loren Horsley) and Jarrod (Jemaine Clement) find love, through revenge on their school bullies and video games.
Sideways (2004) Directed by Alexander Payne Staring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Sandra Oh Sideways, focuses on two middle aged men, Jack (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) as they embark on an unconventional stag do, consisting of a road trip through California’s wine country.
Tiny Furniture (2010) Directed by Lena Dunham Staring: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons and Grace Dunham.
Not the best film on the list, and not one you’d think of first, however while this low-budget film is no Flight of the Conchords, it still offers witty and quite often, funny comedy, as I find the low-budget ones are sometimes the best ones.
Clerks (1994) Directed by Kevin Smith Staring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson and Mariyln Ghigliotti. Kicking of the list this issue, is a cult classic, the wonderful Kevin Smith comedy Clerks, which centres around two convenience store workers Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), as they annoy customers, discuss movies and play hockey on the store roof. It is the ultimate definition of an indie comedy, with it’s unsubtle humour and real life drama. In the words of Randal, “This job would be great if it weren’t for the fucking customers.”
It is here when they meet Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stepanie (Sandra Oh), with whom they befriend, enjoy wine and begin a sexual relationship. With the film focusing on two of my favourite pastimes; exploration and wine tasting, and featuring two of my i-want-to-stalk actors; Giamatti and Oh, it’s hard not to put this comedy drama on the list.
Tiny Furniture, is Lena Dunham’s directorial début and is a comedy drama which centres around a recent graduate called Aura (Lena Dunham). Once returned home, she tries to figure out what to do with her life. The film is thoroughly entertaining, with the humour slowly releasing throughout the film like a heartburn tablet dissolving in your stomach. It is mainly on the list purely because of Lena’s dull, boredom expression she upholds throughout the film while still being interesting and quirky.
The Credits Jeff Who Lives At Home
Whether independent or big blockbusters, WOLF brings you the best upcoming and reviewed films out these forthcoming months.
Snow White and the huntsman
Director: Jay and Mark Duplass Staring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. This comedy follows slacker Jeff (Segel), who while dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his mother, just might discover his destiny, when he spends the day with his brother Pat (Helms) as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
Director: Rupert Sanders Staring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. This updated with a twist fairytale, sees the huntsman (Hemsworth) who is ordered to take Snow White (Stewart) into the woods to be killed, becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen (Theron).
Released: May 11th 2012
Released: June 1st 2012.
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Top Cat: The Movie 3D
Director: Adrian Grunberg Staring: Mell Gibson, Peter Stormare and Dean Norris. Originally titled Get The Gringo, it focuses on a career criminal nabbed by Mexican authorities and placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a 9 year-old boy. Released: May 11th 2012.
Director: Alberto Mar Staring: Jason Harris, Bill Lobely and Bob Kaliban. The classic 60’s animated series gets brought into the 21st century in this 3D movie adaptation. Top Cat (Harris) and the gang face a newpolice chief, who is not at all happy with the Top Cat’s scams.
Released: June 1st 2012.
Released: May 18th 2012.
Director: Mark Andrews Staring: Emma Thompson, Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltraine. Determined to mark her own path in life, Princess Merida (Macdonald), defies a custom that brings chaos to her Kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse in this Disney/Pixar animated adaptation of a Scottish legend.
Released: August 8th 2012.
Director: Larry Charles Staring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and John C. Reilly. Borat creator Cohen, is back with his latest comedic disguise, that sees him play an evil tyrant with more than just a passing ressemblance to Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Using the same shocking comedy that made Cohen famous, The Dictator (Cohen) risks his life to ensure that democracy, which he lovingly opressses, will never come to the country.
Director: Wes Anderson Staring: Bruce Willis, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Two twelve year old children, who live in a small New England coastal town decide to run away together, which sparks a major manhunt led by the local sheriff (Willis). Their disappearance creates a storm in the tight-knit community that is almost as damaging as the very real one gathering offshore. Anderson’s Drama also stars Tilda Swinton.
Director: Tony Gilroy Staring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. The first film from the franchise to not feature Matt Damon, The Bourne Legacy starts a new story, centred on a new CIA operative in the universe based on the Robert Ludlum’s novels.
Released: May 25th 2012.
Released: August 17th 2012.
Image Still from Cafe De Flore Image Still from Snow White and the Huntsman
Cafe De Flore
Director: Tim Burton Staring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer. Barnabas Collins (Depp), an imprisoned vampire, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection in this fantasy comedy from the director of Alice In Wonderland.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee Staring: Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent and Helene Florent. Cafe De Flore, is a love story between a man and a women. And between a mother and her son. It is a mystical and fantastical odyssey on love from the director of the British bio-pic hit The Young Victoria.
Released: May 11th 2012
Released: May 11th 2012.
The Bourne Legacy
The Credits Tyrannosaur Director: Paddy Considine. Staring: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan. The startling and brilliant directorial début from British actor Paddy Considine, is a film that deserves some perverse respect for introducing the audience to a man who kicks his own dog, and then daring us to understand him. Thematically, the film is rooted in the British kitchen sink dramas of the 1960s, and shares some common ground with Nil By Mouth by director Gary Oldman. In which Oldman and Considine wrote the short film Dog Altogether. together, in which Tyrannosaur is based upon. The movie is frank about the ways damage cascades down to the powerless, and the moving performance Olivia Colman gives as a battered spouse living in a grim corner of Leeds, it is not for the faint hearted or animal lovers. Tyrannosaur is on DVD now. 5/5 Monsieur Lazhar Director: Philippe Flaradeau Staring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Neilisse and Emilien Neron. This film follows an Algerian immigrant who is hired to replace a popular teacher who commited suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed. As an Oscar nominee at this year’s Academy Awards, the film is moving, smart and sensitive, though despite its independent credentials, it does feel like a softened remake of a rawer, more compelling story. A timely examination of violence in our society through the eyes of those who can’t control it. Monsieur Lazhar is in cinemas now. 4/5
Director: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Staring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and Seann William Scott. The fourth slice of pie brings the original cast from the first American Pie movie back together for their high school reunion and bringing the same laugh-out-loud moments as the first three. Though the film shows us the changes that have happened in the characters lives, and being slightly predicable and having yawn moments in the middle, by the end of the film it is as if nothing has changed, even if Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) looks homeless with his untidy beard. All in all, if you enjoyed the other original films, you won’t be disappointed by the fourth and last American Pie. American Reunion is in cinemas now. 3.5 / 5
Silent House Director: Chris Kentis and Laura Lau. Staring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese and Eric Sheffer Stevens. The directors from the hit film Open Water, brings us this Horror thriller, which uses meticulous camera choreography to take the audience on a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot. Like the original Spanish horror REC, this film also got an American make-over, which made it lose whatever claims to individuality it once had, even though it has a powerful enough context behind it, it still disappoints. You can’t help but feel they have wasted Olsen’s talent who has carved out an impressed niche in the psychological thriller genre. Silent House is in cinemas now. 2.5/5
Cabin In The Woods Director: Drew Goddard Staring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison. As five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods, bad things start to happen, this is a mind blowing horror that turns the genre inside out and is definitely a game changer. This a smart, daring homage to horror movies, which is extremely well-crafted, has some humor to go with all the mayhem while the story keeps you guessing. The horror-reality film is clear evidence that writer Joss Whedon obviously has more fun with this genre than most people. Cabin In The Woods is in cinemas now. 4.5/5
I created this magazine about independent film, for my final major project at University.