THURSDAY THIRTEENTH SEPTEMBER issue two
OFFICIAL REVIEW PUBLICATION OF THE CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL After the wait and the anticipation, it‘s finally here - the 32nd Cambridge Film Festival kicks off today. Inside the pages of TAKE ONE and at TakeOneCFF.com, we have advance reviews and interviews to help you decide what you can‘t miss. Well...you shouldn‘t miss any of it, but you still need to choose, unfortunately. Inside we interview Carl Peck about TRIDENTFEST 2012 and the work of Project Trident (pictured). We also interview Jun Woo Lee and Rehana Khan about their films, THE FUNERAL and DAYS OF AWE, screening in the SHORTFUSION strands TO RUST and TO CELEBRATE respectively. We‘ll prepare you for the many revivals at CFF with features on the work of FRANCESCO ROSI, GEORGES MELIES and a review of Hitchcock‘s PSYCHO. Lastly we take a look at documentary BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!, ahead of director Fredrik Gertten hosting an audience Q&A on September 19th. Dig in. There‘s more where this came from online, with more to come in print with Issue 3 on September 18th. Also keep an eye out for TAKE ONE Extra between issues. Jim Ross
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JUN WOO LEE THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR (NO, REALLY)
A mixture of Greenaway and Beckett, but with Seoul style and sensibility, THE FUNERAL is showing as part of the TO RUST section of SHORT FUSION. We spoke to director Jun Woo Lee, a unique artist who we look forward to meeting in person at the festival. Rosy Hunt: THE FUNERAL has a very theatrical, classical feel. Do you have a background in theatre? Jun Woo Lee: Prior to the production of THE FUNERAL, I directed a theatre piece which also was a theatre piece I directed for the first time. I think it affected THE FUNERAL a great deal. RH: The performances are wonderfully expressive and witty. Have you worked with these actors before? JWL: No, I never worked with them before. Chun-Gi Kim and Yong-Nyu Lee appeared in Chan-Wook Park’s SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE. They are very experience and
passionate on set. RH: Does the stylised funeral in this film reflect Korean tradition? JWL: I felt the modern funeral process only focuses on the efficiency and speed of the whole ceremony, not remembering what it is actually about. I wanted to describe the loss of essence in this ritual. RH: Who are your artistic influences? JWL: There are so many. However, the one I can pick for the most part is my late grandfather. He survived Korean War, and [...] in Seoul, Korea there was a movie theatre called ‘Scala’, where he worked on the distribution of films. It is probably his influence that I’m still pursuing filmmaking.
See THE FUNERAL (along with the excellent APSIS and other great short films) in the TO RUST short film collection on Thursday 13th at 10.30pm at the Arts Picturehouse.
READ THE UNABRIDGED INTERVIEW WITH JUN WOO LEE AT TAKEONECFF.COM
Returning to the Cambridge Film Festival this year, in the Microcinema strand, is director Daniel Fawcett. In 2010 his debut feature DIRT premiered in Cambridge. His new feature, co-directed with Clara Pais, will debut at CFF 2012. Fawcett and Pais share creative duties equally behind the camera on SAVAGE WITCHES - “a motion picture exploration, a film of questions rather than answers”. Whatever questions it poses, SAVAGE WITCHES should prove another fine addition to the Microcinema strand. Read a review of Daniel Fawcett‘s last feature, DIRT at http://bit.ly/T1Dirt
SAVAGE WITCHES screens September 21st at 7.30pm
on the road
SCREENING SEPT 15TH AT 7.30PM
GEORGES MÉLIÈS silents s p ea k volu m es
If proof were needed that the early days of cinema saw the medium at its most magical, then look no further than the works of Georges Méliès. As the resurgence of interest in silent cinema continues, fuelled by last year’s double whammy of HUGO and THE ARTIST, it’s the sheer ambition of the Parisian filmmaker that continues to impress. This year’s Cambridge Film Festival celebrates the great man with a screening of the restored version of his most famous work, A TRIP TO THE MOON, followed by THE EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGE, a documentary on the extensive restoration it underwent. Returned to its original colour scheme, this pioneering and iconic picture has never been more beautiful.
...this [...] iconic picture has never been more beautiful.
Méliès, a magician and theatre manager by profession, was one of the first to realise the potential that cinema offered. His output was prolific to say the least: after seeing the first Lumière brothers films in 1895, he quickly bought a camera, built his own studio and set about
making his own movies. He churned out more than 500 from 1896 until 1913, when he went bankrupt and was forced out of the industry.
...turned cinema into the medium of illusionism. Rejecting the documentary-style subject matter of the Lumière films, Méliès turned cinema into the medium of illusionism. He invented many basic tricks of the trade - slow motion, the dissolve, the fade-out, double exposure - in order to dazzle his audience. THE LIVING PLAYING CARDS is a perfect example: the director conjures the Queen of Hearts into reality from his giant deck of cards, before turning himself in to the King of Clubs. Though most closely associated with his early Jules Verne-inspired pictures A TRIP TO THE MOON and THE VOYAGE ACROSS THE IMPOSSIBLE, which are as much elaborate fantasy as they are science fiction, he dipped his toe in to other waters as well. CLEOPATRA was a very early precursor to horror classic THE MUMMY, as the Egyptian queen is resurrected in modern times. DIVERS AT WORK ON THE WRECK OF THE
‘MAINE’ was one of several attempts to present topical issues of the day before the advent of newsreel, such as this incident during the SpanishAmerican War. He even branched out in to Shakespeare, producing one of the very first versions of HAMLET. Méliès was fortunate enough to be recognised within his own lifetime as a true pioneer of cinema. Louis Lumière himself awarded Méliès the Légion d‘honneur in 1931. Though many of his films are now lost forever, enough survive for us to enjoy and celebrate the man who put the spirit of ‘Abracadabra!’ in to the world of movies. Gavin Midgley
Méliès‘ work will screen September 20th at 7.30pm
Learn the facts of life with Melvin in THINGS MY FATHER NEVER TAUGHT ME. Screening as part of TO CRY on Sept 21st at 11pm
Cambridge Film Festival Review Editor/Design Rosy Hunt Deputy Editor Jim Ross Comms Manager Mike Boyd Sub Editor Gavin Midgley Photography Tom Catchesides
The annual extravaganza that is TRIDENTFEST will be more exciting than ever this year. A group of independent makers of low/zero budget film, many of whom work or have worked at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, Project Trident brings much needed comic relief to a surfeit of humourless drama and documentary, as well as excellent music videos and gonzo horror. We spoke to team member Carl Peck about TRIDENTFEST 2012. Rosy Hunt: Is this all brand new stuff? Carl Peck: This year’s TRIDENTFEST is a mixture of brand new material and stuff we’ve worked on really hard over the year. As we get better at filmmaking, the process becomes more elaborate, things take a lot longer and so this is a great chance to showcase all the cool stuff we’ve worked on since our last show. RH: Do you have any new team members? CP: Same old Trident but this year we are fortunate to be showing a documentary by Sammy Patterson. Lately she’s only had bit parts in the films as she’s really busy, so it’s great to be able to show her unique view on the world. She’s like the founder of Project Trident and she came up with that name! The film is called CHESS MAN. It’s very very weird. I love it!
"I think it’s clear to see just how far we’ve come. We never set out to do any of this!" RH: What’s going to be the most unexpected/shocking? CP: That might be ANDY NEEDS HIS MILK. Somebody tweeted last week that they spotted us shooting a love scene and they thought we’d gone soft. They’re in for a nasty surprise!
RH: What was the toughest film to make? CP: Every film is hard to make. There’s never an exception. As broke indie filmmakers we constantly rely on the kindness of others and our own limited resources, so you always have to work around what you have. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, but I think it’s easy for people to dismiss what we do as larking about sometimes! RH: There are even more music videos this year – should local musicians come to you for the MTV treatment? CP: Well that depends sadly on money – for me personally, anyway. You have to dedicate a lot of your time to it so if you’re doing it for kicks it damn well better be someone you’re into. So far happily that’s been the case! Music videos are fun because it’s a different way of working. It’s also a nice short space of time to try something a bit more daring. I think it’s something we’re all keen to have a go at, so it’s probably just a phase. RH: How do you think you have (d)evolved since the first Tridentfest? CP: I think it’s clear to see just how far we’ve come. We never set out to do any of this! It was just about making films for fun, with friends. THE PURPLE FIEND was a real milestone for us because it’s opened us up to the possibility of a feature film. We’ve spent the last year writing scripts and forging ideas. It gets harder every year, we try to up our game but we also have to eat! But you can’t stop us. We’ve made a vow that we will make at least one feature film before we can allow ourselves to hang up our boots. Then who knows?
TRIDENTFEST 2012 takes place on Friday 14th September at 10.30pm.
CATALAN SEASON BEGINS WITH BLACK BREAD++ ++SEPT 14TH AT 5,30PM++
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS! DIR: FREDRIK GERTTEN
The title may sound like something you would rent from the sort of store that has no windows (if you know what I mean) but Fredrik Gertten’s documentary is actually an illuminating film, dealing with issues of free speech and a free press. The film follows the trials of Gertten and his team to get his 2009 film BANANAS!* screened. In that feature, the misconduct of fruit company Dole was outlined - the exposing of Nicaraguan plantation labourers to pesticides which may cause sterility. Following this, the company launched an aggressive cease and desist campaign smearing the film and its claims, intimidating the film makers and effectively forcing the Los Angeles Film Festival to withdraw the film from competition. In light of the increasing examination of libel and slander laws, and the ongoing campaign to ensure a free press isn’t hindered by spurious claims by large companies, BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS! has broad topical appeal. Despite the narrow focus of the film, a sort of meta-documentary, the issues it chooses to deal with have
wide ramifications beyond even the making of documentaries. By taking us through the relentless campaign by Dole to silence the film and the legal hurdles Gertten and his team faced, the film outlines the huge task faced by journalists who wish to take multinationals to task. If the purpose of documentary is to inform and educate, you won’t be left in much doubt of the challenges faced by investigative journalism worldwide after observing Gertten’s struggles. Jim Ross
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS! screens on Wednesday 19th September at 6pm. Director Fredrik Gertten will attend.
DIR: ALFRED HITCHCOCK Few films since Psycho have captured the ugly and frantic spontaneity of murder quite as perfectly as Alfred Hitchcock did in 1960. Whereas a lot of its successors have us fear the murderer, Psycho has us fear the act of murder: not the man wielding the knife but the knife itself. Modern cinematic serial killers take the form of depraved artisans but in Norman Bates we were presented with a killer who acts entirely in the
moment, his methods as clumsy as they are terrifying. Hitchock encourages us to like the shy, handsome Bates, to empathise with him. His inability to say ‘bathroom’ when showing Janet Leigh’s Marion her room, his polite request for her to join him for a modest dinner are all signs of a lonely young man who wants simply to shake off his maternal chains and grow up. This sense of uncontrollable impulsivity is captured in Bernard
Psycho has us fear [...] not the man wielding the knife but the knife itself. Herrman’s frenzied score, a soundtrack that breathes incredible life into the images. Psycho, even by today’s standards, is a very sexy film, sleek and cool with underlying sense of subtle deviance permeating the script. Hitchock always longed for more freedom regarding the sexuality of his films in a time when studios simply wouldn’t permit it. The forbidden nature of the film’s promiscuity, however, makes it all the more exciting. Psycho, clichéd as it may seem, became a blueprint for contemporary horror, and against a backdrop of generally stale modern horror releases you’ll find it fresher, wittier and more unsettling than ever. Patrick Fowler
PSYCHO is screened at 10.30pm on Wednesday 19th Sept. Read an overview of the themes in the work of Alfred Hitchcock at http://bit.ly/T1Hitch
CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL OFFERS SCREENINGS ALL OVER THE CITY! To avoid disappointment, please double check the venue before setting off for a show.
FRANCESCO ROSI: POET OF CIVIC COURAGE place within this historical and political framework. Truth proves elusive, morality becomes malleable. The dividing lines between church, state, law and criminality become hopelessly blurred. The Rosi films screening at the Cambridge Film Festival are already selling fast. SALVATORE GIULIANO explores the Portella della Ginestra massacre through the figure of the legendary bandit of the title. HANDS OVER THE CITY looks at corruption in the rebuilding of Naples, while THE MATTEI AFFAIR examines the suspicious death of the political figure, after he challenged the oligopoly of
Poet of civic courage, conscience of Italian cinema: Francesco Rosi was born into a middle-class household in Naples, in Italy’s ‘other country’: the impoverished and underdeveloped South, beset with power struggles and violent social upheaval. One month earlier, Mussolini and his party had marched on Rome and plunged Italy into two decades of Fascist rule. It is not known if these turbulent times influenced the young Rosi. His early years, however, were immersed in cinema thanks to his cineaste father. Nevertheless, his father persuaded Rosi to study law at university, instead of film, and it is hard to ignore this legal sensibility in Rosi’s thematic and aesthetic cine-inchieste style. He subsequently developed an apprenticeship in film, through working with Italian cinematic greats such as Luchino Visconti, Monicelli and Antonioni. Rosi refers to his movies as ‘documented, not documentary’. He has taken the roots of Italian Neorealism, cinematic Modernism and the American crime
...dividing lines between church, state, law and criminality become hopelessly blurred movies that flooded Italy after the fall of Fascism, to create a ‘civic cinema’ that was able to engage its audiences in the societal forces unleashed in Italy at the time, forces investigated in the five films screening at this year’s CFF. The films cast light on Italy’s post-war development and peculiar edifices of power. They examine the legal and criminal activity of those wielding power, not through the psychology of the central figures, but through their
The Rosi films screening at [CFF] are already selling fast. oil producing nations. ILLUSTRIOUS CORPSES, a more conventional thriller, investigates a judiciary which sees itself above the law and answerable only to god, and LUCKY LUCIANO isn’t just a gangster flick – it provides historical context on the rise of the mafia across the continents. Steve Williams
FRANCESCO ROSI @ CFF SALVATORE GIULIANO 19th, 3pm THE MATTEI AFFAIR 19th, 8pm & 21st, 3pm HANDS OVER THE CITY 20th, 3.30pm ILLUSTRIOUS CORPSES 22nd, 1pm LUCKY LUCIANO 23rd, 1pm
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the film].” In fact, there is a very strong case that the impact of DAYS OF AWE owes much to the short film format itself. “I think short films can have huge impact”, Khan agrees. “At its world premiere in Montreal in early September, several public audience members came up to me after each of its three screenings to say exactly that: how the film had such an impact in such a short space of time. That‘s wonderfully powerful feedback for a
REHANA KHAN SHORTFUSION: DAYS OF AWE
Film festivals, in addition to showcasing a wide variety of feature films, are often a fantastic opportunity to shed more light upon the oft-forgotten art of the short film. One of the highlights of this year’s ShortFusion programme is DAYS OF AWE, directed by Rehana Khan, which will screen as part of the TO CELEBRATE collection. The film focuses on the tragic aftermath of a young Jewish woman coming out to her family. The title is named after the Ten Days of Repentance in Judaism, with the film taking place over that length of time. Khan doesn’t view the film as an explicit comment on the clash between issues of religion and sexuality, however, but simply as an
"...even those who are loved can slip through the net”. observation that "even those who are loved can slip through the net”. “I originally wrote the script in November 2010 after hearing about the increase in young gay suicides due to online bullying in the USA,"
says Khan."Then the London Jewish Film Festival competition for writers to submit short scripts came along. I realised this problem is happening to gay people of all cultures and religious groups across most continents, so I rewrote it with a Jewish character and her family - I didn‘t get the funding! But the script became more layered and felt stronger for it.”
"...this problem is happening to gay people of all cultures.." Viewers of DAYS OF AWE will acknowledge the tremendous impact the film has in its short running time, partially as a result of the decision to try and depict the passing of time in one continuous take. “I wanted to see if we could show that as one continuous take with lighting effects creating a slightly eerie sense”, says Khan, “but also to make the audience sense the emptiness and passing of time. I thought the slow pace of the tracking would also create a paradox against the build of urgency in the phone messages [that play during
“I think short films can have huge impact” shorts filmmaker.” At first, the decision to place a tragic tale in the strand TO CELEBRATE may seem incongruous, but this year’s programmer of ShortFusion, João Serejo, had the kaleidoscope of human viewpoints on his mind. “When conceiving the programme‘s concept I questioned myself about the duality of perspectives. What for some people might be considered as love, for others it might be interpreted as hate", says Serejo. "Just change the religion, the culture, the ideals. On top of that, I wanted to surprise, to make some waves, take for example the strand TO CELEBRATE: with this title one would assume it is some cheerful when, in fact, is about mourning, about grief. The perspective is in the eyes of the beholder." DAYS OF AWE is but one part of a stellar programme of shorts, which will provide an excellent addition to the range of features running. Jim Ross
TO CELEBRATE, including DAYS OF AWE will screen at 11pm on Saturday 15th September
REVIEWS OF THE FULL SELECTION OF SHORTS PLAYING WILL BE AVAILABLE ON TAKEONECFF.COM AFTER THE SCREENING.
Cambridge Film Festival Review