The Long Lens - Issue 01

Page 1




Editorials By Martin Attmore and writers of this magazine


Black Cinema By Arisa Lester


Spike Lee By Emily Timmins


LR Cinema Club By Martin Attmore

Post Pandemic Spectatorship: 15-16 Popcorn, pick 'n' mix & the flicks By Andrea Joyce

Upcoming Cinema Delights


By Andrea Joyce

Studio Ghibli


By Issy Pilling

Film Festival Volunteering


By Martin Attmore

Lockdown Reviews: 'Volver'


By Jack Todd

'We Are One' Film Festival


By Martin Attmore

Cover by Saffron Barnes Back cover by Josh Stratton The Long Lens|


BIOS Martin Attmore My name is Martin - “Editor in Chief” of this magazine - a secondyear student at Long Road. I am studying the Film Studies A-level and double Media Diploma. I have not got used to the fact that I will probably never take my A-level exams and we didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to our friends and classmates -“life goes on”.

Arisa Lester I’m Arisa! I am the Deputy Editor and a writer for the magazine. I’ve just finished my first year of A-level film, media, and English lang-lit at Long Road, meaning now I have all the time in the world to rewatch 'Parasite' as many times as possible instead of actually watching all the movies in my watchlist! A pandemic won’t stop me from having a good time!!

Emily Timmins My name is Emily. I am also a Deputy Editor and a writer for the magazine, and I am a first-year student at Long Road. I am studying the English Literature A-Level, Film Studies A-Level and the 60 credit Media Diploma. I am still yet to grasp onto the idea that my second-year friends have left Long Road without saying a proper goodbye due to a pandemic, but to quote the 1994 Disney classic, 'The Lion King': "Hakuna Matata".

Andrea Joyce I'm Andrea, I am the Course Team Leader for Film Studies at Long Road. My weakness is '80s Coming of Age movies, well mostly just 80s movies actually. I am incredibly proud of the team for putting together issue one of 'The Long Lens' for your enjoyment. I hope this is the beginning of a long life for this publication. I hope it inspires some of you to contribute next time and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it. The Long Lens|


EDITORIAL Welcome to the first Long Road Film Magazine! This is a magazine put together by students and teachers looking at our perspectives on films and film culture. We hope there will be many more issues to come! 2020 has been an insane year so far: ‘Threat of War’, ‘Australia Burning’, ‘Impeachment Trial’, ‘Global Pandemic’, ‘Police Brutality’ (Thousandth part of the Saga) and ‘Racial Protests’. It is like we are living in a film, only it feels like a disaster movie. Though those events have come out in 2020 - not as films just yet - we still have some cinema to celebrate before the world shuts down. We made it far enough into the year to have an awards season while the world was still standing - meaning we were able to see the first foreign language film to win the Best Picture Oscar, Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Parasite’. Hopefully, the world has a future that will give us more to celebrate than we need to protest; maybe film is a way to do that. As the situation gets bleaker, we are beginning to see more truth, and as “art imitates life” the truth will find its way onto our screens - whether those screens are silver or at home. By Martin Attmore

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BLACK CINEMA A RESPONSE TO CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES In honour of the worldwide resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd, I decided it was only appropriate to cover the topic. After a beautiful show of alliance in different cities all around the world, from Los Angeles to Auckland, the BLM movement is blazing the trail to accountability and equality. Now more than ever people have been urging one another to self-educate and share what they’ve learned, whether it be random facts on slavery, systemic racism within the justice system, white

A Starting Point Letterboxd (a social media platform where people share their love of films) news suggests that everyone should finish the ‘first five’ before ‘diving into some deeper cuts’. These five films could potentially be seen as the core of Black representation in film when it comes to the theme of racism. They are also ones that have gained the most popularity in recent weeks with members of the app, as a way of developing their understanding of racism. Here, I will reveal the ‘first five’, along with a short introduction to each film, and after that I will follow up with a list - in no particular order - of other film suggestions that are more broad in its representation of Black people, that meaning it may or may not be centred around the theme of racism.

privilege, the list goes on and on. Amidst the 24-hour news cycle on BLM protests, I've found myself

The 'First Five'

extremely overwhelmed, but I’m also aware that my lack of balance and frustration is privilege. Learning about the struggle secondhand doesn’t even begin to compare to experiencing it. So, in order to perform my duty as a supporter of the BLM movement, I’ve committed myself to learning. And after a few days of researching, I’ve found knowledge and consolation through my favourite medium: movies. With the help of my favourite streaming services, I’ve


gained access to a nimiety of films and documentaries

13th (2016)

produced by Black creators. The notion that Black

Directed by Ava DuVernay

Cinema is predominantly associated with themes of

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

racism, oppression or slavery is utterly absurd. Simply because Hollywood is too lazy to properly represent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), it does not mean that audiences should settle on their research after only observing mainstream cinema. Representation in film is a deep-rooted institutional issue, and BIPOC have, time and time again, failed to see a genuine reflection of themselves in mainstream media, which is why making a conscious effort to consume Black cinema and supporting BIPOC artists is a step towards equality within the film industry.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

(Letterboxd) The Long Lens|


I Am Not Your Negro (2016) Directed by Raoul Peck Working from the text of James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, director Raoul Peck creates a meditation on what it means to be Black in the United States.


Selma (2014) Directed by Ava DuVernay


Do The Right Thing (1989)

“Selma,” as in Alabama, the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Directed by Spike Lee Salvatore “Sal” Fragione is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighbourhood local, Buggin’ Out, becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria’s Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian actors. Buggin’ Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighbourhood should showcase black actors, but Sal disagrees. The wall becomes a symbol of racism and hate to Buggin’ Out and to other people in the neighbourhood, and tensions rise.

Malcolm X (1992)


Directed by Spike Lee

Broaden Your Horizon!

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.

(Photograph by Tatum Mangus / Annapurna Pictures)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Directed by Barry Jenkins After her fiance is falsely imprisoned, a pregnant AfricanAmerican woman sets out to clear his name and prove his innocence.


Waves (2019) Directed by Trey Edward Shultz The Long Lens|


A controlling father’s attempts to ensure that his two children succeed in high school backfire after his son experiences a career-ending sports injury. Their familial bonds are eventually placed under severe strain by an unexpected tragedy.


Jungle Fever (1991) Directed by Spike Lee (Watermarkonline)

Moonlight (2016) Directed by Barry Jenkins

A successful and married black man contemplates having an affair with a white girl from work. He’s quite rightly worried that the racial difference would make an already taboo relationship even worse.

The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.


Black Panthers (1968) Directed by Agnes Varda (Letterboxd)

Black Dynamite (2009) Directed by Scott Sanders This is the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite. The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight The Man all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House…

This riveting documentary transports you to the pivotal Free Huey rally held on February 17th, 1968, at Oakland Auditorium in Alameda, California. Newton, the charismatic young college student who, along with Bobby Seale, created the Black Panther Party, had been jailed for allegedly killing a police officer. His arrest – widely believed at the time to be a setup – galvanised Party support throughout the nation and led to a boom in Party membership, bringing a new level of public attention to the Panthers’ cause.

The Watermelon Woman (1996) Directed by Cheryl Dunye Cheryl, a young black lesbian, works a day job in a video store while trying to make a film about a black actress from the 1930s known for playing the stereotypical “mammy” roles relegated to black actresses during that period. This was the first feature film directed by an “out” black lesbian.


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The Hate You Give (2018)

Girlhood (2014)

Directed by George Tillman, Jr.

Directed by Celine Sciamma

Raised in a poverty-stricken slum, a 16-year-old girl named Starr now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.

Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys' law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.


Boyz N The Hood (1991)


Directed by John Singleton

LA 92 (2017)

Boyz n the Hood is the popular and successful social criticism ' from John Singleton about the conditions in South Central Los Angeles where teenagers are involved in gun fights and drug dealing on a daily basis.

Directed by T.J. Martin, Daniel Lindsey Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, 'LA 92' immerses viewers in that tumultuous period through stunning and rarely seen archival footage.


The Last Black Man In San Francisco (2019) Directed by Joe Talbott Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.


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Tangerine (2015) Directed by Sean Baker It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumour. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity.


Rafiki (2018) Directed by Wanuri Kahiu Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls are forced to choose between happiness and safety.

(Los Angeles Times)

Us (2019) Directed by Jordan Peele Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited. (

Sorry To Bother You (2018) Directed by Boots Riley In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe.


The Last Tree (2019) Directed by Shola Amoo Femi is a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take.


By Arisa Lester

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SPIKE LEE: THE OBSERVATION OF ARGUING AGAINST BLAXPLOITATION Examining filmmaking over the last century, AfricanAmerican filmmakers have been a staple of the cinematic domain since the pioneering work of Oscar Micheaux in the roaring ‘20s, although none have been as culturally/ artistically influential as Spike Lee. Lee transformed the dramatic domain by breaking apart from a culture that has perpetuated the marginalisation and stereotypical representation of black people, as his distinctive and stellar style has established a new showcasing for African-American voices to be heard; Spike is an authentic filmmaker who has a fresh vision and political tendencies for his taxonomy of auteurial decisions which broke out during the mid-80s ‘new black film wave’ with his independent hits: 'She’s gotta have it' (1986) and 'Do the right thing' (1989).

been created predominantly by blaxploitation, an ethnic subgenre that emerged in the '70s yet typecasted ethnic people into stereotyped roles - a genre that Lee has been against. This vision can be explored in 'Do the Right Thing' (1989) where the subject is not simply a race uproar, but a tragic dynamic of racial tension and miscommunication. The film is a virtuous act of creation, a movie at once realistic and symbolic of a lighthearted tragic narrative. Hollywood’s institutional racism means it is particularly difficult to make films as a African-American and about African-Americans. So Lee has grounded most of his signature style in the black, urban world and its tales, dramas and ideology to break past stereotypical associations and lack of representation.

In addition to visualising narratives solely based on representing African-Americans, Lee has made a huge contribution to the ‘New black wave’ by making ‘one film after the other’ and in each film adaption he has advanced in his experimentations with theme, ideology, directional style. He utilises dramatic camera shots to educate the spectator on specific social issues - sometimes even visualising and critiquing cultural politics of America as a whole. One significant example of this is '25th Hour' (2002), a dramatic film which tells a story about a man’s last 24 hours of freedom as he prepares to go to prison for seven years for selling drugs. It handles an increasingly vexing aporia, the problem of meaningfully addressing the impact of 9/11 without reinforcing the notion that the attacks came ‘out of the blue’. By persisting in his vision, Lee is able to apply its multidimensional complexity by exploring a series of direct socio-political critiques showcased through his commitment of challenging cultural assumptions in the media which have

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SPIKE LEE ON SET OF 'DO THE RIGHT THING' (1989) AS THE CHARACTER MOOKIE 'Do The Right Thing' is about racial tension in America, the indie sensibility, which is clearly evident during the first 30 minutes of the film's storyline; 'Do The Right Thing' is more interested in its characters than action and the streets and its inhabitants are introduced in a way that both engages the spectator and avoids confusion.

'DA 5 BLOODS': A NEW JOINT Debuting on Netflix in 2020, Lee’s new film is an emotional reflection on the brutality of the Vietnam war with ideologies that manifest the racial injustices. This speaks urgently on the current moment with the racial injustice and police brutality which is being showcased across the globe, predominantly the US and UK. However, Lee had no clue that this feature would be released as the killings of George Floyd, and countless other unjustified deaths, would inspire people to the streets to protest or use their social media platforms to inform and educate people by using their voice and the power of free speech. The film’s narrative opens with a small montage of influential figures, such as Muhammed Ali, all trying to raise awareness for racism in the US and ends with a Black Lives Matter rally and an emotional speech from Martin Luther King - two very distinctive men in American history who were linked to Black Pride and the Civil Rights movement. Both of these movements placed an emphasis on black racial identity, pride and selfdetermination that heavily impacted mainstream society as it influenced everything from popular culture to education; the movement was able to challenge structural inequalities. Overall, the transformative power of the film’s narrative is embodied in its overarching sense of a never-ending emotional battle and the thought provoking nature of the feature will add to the film’s delicate and timeless aspects.

By Emily Timmins The Long Lens|


FFFF French Female Filmmakers Festival

CINEMA CLUB Cinema Club began in 2018 - the first film screened was ‘Snowpiercer’ (2013, dir. Bong Joon-Ho) - and it has steadily grown since. Due to COVID-19, college closed early for the year meaning we were unable to watch films together. At our last meeting, we decided to try this French Female Filmmakers Festival (FFFF), screening films made by French women. We started with Alice Guy-Blaché, an unknown pioneer of filmmaking and a historic icon who got wiped from the history books by the patriarchy. We went on to watch the films of Claire Denis, Celine Sciamma and Agnes Varda.

Alice Guy Blaché If you have not heard of Alice GuyBlaché, do not be surprised. She was a pioneering filmmaker who was erased from history by the established, male filmmaking society. She worked as a secretary for a camera-developing company and, when she saw the Lumière Brothers display their filmreels for the first time, began her mission to make films herself. She became the first woman to direct a film in 1896 and the first woman to own a production company. She made over a thousand films, but the developing major production companies wiped her from the history books. Her work should be seen, remembered and celebrated.

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‘La Fée aux Choux’ (1896) ‘La Fée aux Choux’ translates to ‘The Cabbage Fairy’; it was the first film directed by a woman. Made in 1896, impressively early on in the history of filmmaking - ‘A Horse in Motion’ came out in 1878 and only a year after the Lumiѐre Brothers premiered. The film is under 1 minute long, limited by the basic technology available. It is a fantasy fiction presenting a woman who pulls babies from cabbages. This is an interesting topic for a film, let alone the first film directed by a woman (men’s first films were simply videos of whatever they could see). Though this may not be a classic film, it is historic as it is the first film directed by a woman.

‘The Consequences of Feminism’ (1906)

‘La Fée aux Choux’ (1896) ‘The Consequences of Feminism’ (1906) ‘Madame a des Envies’ (1907) ‘La Glu’ (1907) ‘Falling Leaves’ (1912)


‘The Consequences of Feminism’ came ten years later, and thanks to updated technology, it lasts over 6 minutes. As the title suggests, the film is a scenario of a world that embraces feminism. On first viewing, I was confused. I did get some of it but I really understood it the second time I watched it knowing that all of the roles were reversed. The men take on the traditional female gender roles (childcare and housework) while the women perform masculine gender roles (being overly forward, forcing kisses, trying to propose and enforcing the patriarchy). Understanding that the roles are reversed, this is the analogy for feminism because women (represented by the men in the film) can work together and overthrow the patriarchy. The performances in the film are very theatrical, as expected from a silent film, as the actions say what the dialogue cannot, which enhances the comedy of the situation. The men’s impressions of women and vice versa are still funny now, even though gender is less rigid; you can tell this is a parody film and this brings out the entertainment as well as the message.


‘Madame a des Envies’ (1907) ‘Madame a Des Envies’ from 1907 is a short film about the post-natal mischief of a woman re-experiencing delights that she missed out on because of pregnancy. First, she steals a young girl’s lollipop, then a stranger’s absinthe then meat from a homeless man. In the last scene, she falls on a cabbage and finds another baby next to her (reference from ‘La Fée aux Choux). All the while, throughout this 4minute film, the lady’s husband is following her with the pram containing her baby. This is a portrait of something rarely shown in cinema, something that only a woman could present. This is a hidden treasure, along with the rest of Guy-Blaché’s films; films like these make the world a more understanding and sensible place by simply expressing and representing the lives of women.

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‘La Glu’ (1907) ‘La Glu’ (The Glue), also from 1907, is a comedy that isn’t about gender. A young boy finds a bucket of glue and causes havoc: he paints the doorsteps of a house and a bench beside it before gluing the seat and handlebars of a gentleman’s bike. When the people get stuck, you can’t help but find it amusing, especially the boy’s reaction. This is a great, physical comedy short that you wouldn’t be surprised to see from Keaton, but it was made by a woman before he was even making films.

‘Falling Leaves’ (1912)

The last of Guy-Blaché's films we watched is ‘Falling Leaves’ from 2012. This is a drama about death and connection, but is rather sweet to watch. We start with a doctor announcing a cure for a disease. Then we see a young lady has fallen ill and “when the last leaf [of Autumn] falls, she will have passed away”. When the news is given to the family that she is dying, there is a long shot in which the parents react and Trixie is in the background. This is a very sombre moment but it is underpinned with the hope that the doctor can save her. Her innocent little sister, Trixie, starts to tie the leaves to the trees so they cannot fall. The doctor sees the young girl and offers to help her sister. This is a much more serious film than any of the others, yet the drama is not harsh enough to damage you because of the connections we see in the family, the doctor and nature.


Alice Guy-Blaché is an inspirational example of what women can achieve in cinema when given equal opportunity. I would highly recommend to both women and men to watch some of her work because it matters; her first film may be 114 years old, but it still reflects the achievements of equality and empowerment. She had a successful career for the most part but was left in the dust by the men who took advantage of the industry. However, she is part of the history and an inspiration for the future of filmmaking which will likely be female.

By Martin Attmore The Long Lens|


POST PANDEMIC SPECTATORSHIP: POPCORN, PICK 'N' MIX & THE FLICKS On a Friday night I love nothing more than getting an

obscene amount of pick 'n' mix and spending 2+ hours in

We often want to disappear into a different world, a

a large, dark, often quite cold room with a bunch of

better world and the truly immersive environment of the

strangers to watch the latest film release. Just this

cinema really helps us to achieve this in a way that

morning, as I contemplated another week working from

can’t be achieved in our living rooms. We are yearning

home with very little ‘change of scenery’ options, I got nostalgic about the last time we went to the cinema. Seeing a film in the cinema is an experience that can’t be replicated at home. I don’t care if you’ve got a projector and a big screen, even a dedicated room, in my opinion it just isn’t the same experience as going to the cinema, especially if you’re watching a sci-fi, or an action film with

for that escapism in these uncertain, and sometimes frightening, times. Now it has been months since any of us went to the cinema and slowly we are hearing rumours of the possibility of cinemas reopening and new ways to watch films being considered. In recent years we have

lots of special effects. I had the release dates for the new

seen an increase in unusual, outdoor cinema

Bond film ‘No Time To Die’, as well as ‘Top Gun: Maverick’,

experiences in Cambridge. You can watch a film with a

in my diary due to an intention to get good seats for the

picnic on Grantchester Meadows, in a deckchair in the

opening nights of these two epic action films.

gardens of Gonville hotel and even in a punt on the river Cam. Already there are clever entrepreneurs who

Then lockdown came quickly, followed by the news of delayed release dates for many of these big budget

are finding ways to bring cinema back to us on a larger scale.

films. Let’s consider why we miss going to the cinema so much. I think there are two primary reasons why we miss it: the first is that films help us to make sense of the world around us. The medium of film has always been the way in which we tell the stories we believe are most important. The act of consuming those stories helps us to feel we understand ourselves that little bit more. To be without new stories for so many weeks compounds the already significant feeling of confusion brought on by the pandemic and associated lockdown. The second reason is, I believe, to do with the escapism presented by watching films. The Long Lens|


Talk of Drive-in cinemas is rife and Enchanted Cinema

However, these innovative ways for people to get back

(the company behind the cinema experiences I just

to the cinema have one big drawback - none of them are

mentioned) are scouting out locations and awaiting their

showing the new releases. The premieres of new films are

license approval for the first Cambridge Drive-in cinema.

still the domain of the big cinema chains. With Cineworld

Their plan is that you will be able to book your ‘seat’ in

confirming they will reopen in some locations from July

advance, order your snacks that will be delivered to your car by bike, and the only ‘contact’ will be when you collect your receiver from the box office on arrival. With 100-foot LED screens in use they hope to be able to offer matinee showings too. William Morrish, the founder of Enchanted Cinema, has said: “The drive-ins will have a colourful feel – food fair meets a classic ‘40s drive-in”.

10th there is a Hollywood-style spotlight shining at the end of our isolation tunnel. However there will be strict measures in place including the requirement to wear a face mask - not sure how long that will last once the lights go down and the bucket of popcorn becomes too tempting. There will also be restrictions on the numbers of

Now this sounds brilliant - but I am lucky enough to own a

people allowed in each screen to enable social distancing.

car so I know I could go safely to the Drive-in. But what

The result of that is that a lot less people will be in each

about those people who don’t have a car? There are

screening and that spells trouble for the smaller,

issues, especially in a bike friendly city like Cambridge,

independent cinemas who may find that it just isn’t

around access to a car which makes this offering

financially viable for them to open to such small numbers.

somewhat restricted to those people who can afford to

Independent art house cinemas need your help to keep

keep a car running. A local Facebook group has run

going during this very difficult time. If you want to see

adverts from small companies advertising ‘movie night

some of the major new releases, check out your local

experiences’ where you can rent a projector, outdoor

indie cinema first. If you shop local then watch local too

screen and order snacks too. These cost upwards of £40 and can bring the ‘big screen’ experience to your home and are perhaps more affordable.

and get yourself along to your arthouse/indie cinema and see what wonderful offerings they have to enrich your mind.

Over the years there have been many threats to the big screen, first it was television, then DVDs, the internet, streaming services, big bad Netflix. But what time has taught us is that there really is no substitute for the social big screen experience. The existence of large multiplexes in every major city in the world are a testament to that. I don’t honestly believe that a global pandemic will wipe out the desire for the big screen experience either but I do think it might look and feel different for a while as a result of the pandemic.

By Andrea Joyce The Long Lens|


CINEMATIC DELIGHTS In case you are wondering what delights you’ve missed, as well as those still to come, here is a list of some of the big releases coming up in the next few weeks and months. It’s up to you if you want to see them badly enough to wear a mask for 2+ hours whilst practising social distancing.

'No Time to Die' (Dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga) - April 10, 2020 - (now likely to be 12 November 2020) 'Wonder Woman 1984' (Dir. Patty Jenkins) - 4 June 2020 (now likely to be 2 Oct 2020) 'Top Gun: Maverick' (Dir. Joseph Kosinski) - 26 June 2020 (Now likely to be 23 Dec 2020) 'Ghostbusters Afterlife' (Dir. Jason Reitman) - 7 August 2020 'Tenet' (Dir. Christopher Nolan) - 12 August 2020 'Coming 2 America' (Dir. Craig Brewer) - 18 December 2020 'The Many Saints of Newark' (Dir. Alan Taylor) - 12 March 2021 'Last Night in Soho' (Dir. Edgar Wright) - 23 April 2021 'Death on the Nile' (Dir. Kenneth Branagh) - 9 October 2020 'The French Dispatch' (Dir. Wes Anderson) - 16 Oct 2020 'Black Widow' (Dir. Cate Shortland) - 28 Oct 2020 'The Eternals' (Dir Chloé Zhao) - 6 November 2020 (now likely to be 12 February 2021) 'Dune' (Dir. Denis Villeneuve) - December 18, 2020

See what IMDB considers to be the most anticipated movies of 2020 based on fan searches playlistId=tt7126948

By Andrea Joyce

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1 3

'Princess Mononoke' (1997)

This beautifully animated fantasy follows the struggles of mystical animal gods who are fighting to protect their forest from humans who wish to mine it for coal. Caught between their conflict is Ashitaka, a prince from an indigenous tribe cursed to die by a raging boar spirit, who is forced to begin a treacherous journey to Irontown in search of a cure. It is on this voyage that he encounters the fearless and ferocious Princess Mononoke. A fast paced and unusually graphic film for Studio Ghibli, the director Miyazaki has ingeniously included themes of feminism, depicted by the character Lady Eboshi, and the present global climate crisis. He has managed to create developed and purposeful characters on each side of the battle, thus bringing our attention to the importance connecting humanity and nature.


'Spirited Away' (2001)

Arguably one of the most iconic Hayao Miyazaki creations, this was the film that made Studio Ghibli’s name to the Western audience. 'Spirited Away' is an enchanting and mystifying story of a young girl who finds herself trapped on an island run by gods, monsters and magic. Chihiro is forced to work in Yubaba’s bathhouse until she can find a way to break the spell cast on her parents and free them all from the spirit world. In a place both serene yet savage, you see the once timid girl morph into a brave and feisty heroine - which is very popular among the younger female viewers. The hand-drawn style is gorgeously presented to us in intricate and remarkable fashions, bringing to life only what one could describe as pure imagination. This story about courage and love is a triumph and will undoubtedly go down in history.

'Howl’s Moving Castle' (2004)

When the youthful Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste, fueled by anger and jealousy, she is transformed into a 90-year-old woman. With her vivacity and will still intact, the elder seeks out help from the mysterious wizard Howl and his mind-boggling castle. Set against the backdrop of a deadly war where 20th-century technology and magic clash, chemistry blooms between the troublesome prince and cursed mortal - but will it be enough to save them both from the impending doom? The mixture of charming characters and elaborate animation screams is classic Ghibli. As a Miyazaki fan, I can clearly see some of his favourite topics embedded during this wonder such as female empowerment, sacrifice and anti-violence; making it one of his most highly detailed works. 'Howl's Moving Castle' is more than just a tale of friendship and romance, it is sure to transport you into a stunning fictional dimension.

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Written by Issy Pilling

Graphic by Martin Attmore

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CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERING The Cambridge Film Festival is one of the biggest outside London and, fortunately for us, it is right on our doorsteps. Centering at the Arts Picturehouse, the festival focuses on arthouse and independent releases and bringing event cinema to the region. The festival is great for finding out about new films and filmmakers. Alongside the various events like Q&As, the festival is worth looking into. The festival also offers you an opportunity to get involved by volunteering, which I did last year and would recommend for people interested in film.

How I Got Involved In my first year at college, we were told about the opportunity of volunteering at the festival but I had missed the application date. I watched out for the information in second year and applied and was accepted. There are several ways you can get involved, so I would recommend finding out what you can do by looking at their website and/or finding a contact.

Attending the Festival

My Duties

Simply, you could just enjoy the films shown. The brochure was made available digitally but also distributed in town. I would suggest looking through the schedule for films that you might like; there are often other strands - there were African, environmental and Spanish centered parts of the schedule - to show the wide appeal of cinema. I had been to the festival the year before I volunteered and I saw ‘The Guilty’, a Danish crime thriller by Gustav Moller, with a friend. It wasn’t a film I would have seen otherwise and came out of the cinema with my jaw on the floor. This is beginning to sound like an advert for the festival - unofficially, it is because if you like film enough to be reading this magazine then the festival will have something for you.

I started my volunteering by doing brochure distribution at the Grand Arcade, prior to the festival. On my first shift, I was on the Delegates Desk at the Arts Picturehouse, handing out press passes, complimentary tickets for patrons and answering questions. It did get quite boring at some points but the other two volunteers were good company. Another time, I was stationed at Emmanuel College, working on the desk and ushering, giving out audience award cards for the short films and UK premieres. One of my shifts I spent at the ushering desk at the Arts, checking tickets, cleaning the screen rooms and setting up the Q+As. It was hard work, especially after a morning shift, but a great time being part of a team doing quite a demanding job. The Long Lens|


Family Film Festival

How to Volunteer

Helping out at the family film festival was an optional duty, but it meant I got to help with a robotics workshop and a stop-motion animation workshop for families. This was both great fun and a marvellous experience, and I would say it was my highlight of the festival. I was working with children on practical stations of robots and making short animations - the animation linked well with my media course asI had specialised in it.

You can get involved by looking on the Cambridge Film Festival website and following them on social media to find out when the festival will be on and how to volunteer. Normally, it’s an application letter. Unfortunately, the future of the festival is uncertain due to COVID-19’s damage and funding issues; it has been announced that we will not get to experience in 2020. Instead, we will be offered other ways to experience films and support the festival.

By Martin Attmore

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'Volver' Review

Because of the Lockdown, college ended early. The second year of the Film Studies A-level were preparing to finish the syllabus and start revising for their exams. With the exams cancelled, students completed the last of their studies. The teachers supplied students with recommended films and tasks to write about them. Being without exams meant being without motivation for most, so it was good to have some films to watch and write about. “I have seen two other of Almodovar’s films before: ‘Julieta’ and ‘Todo Sobre Mi Madre’. I have experienced the peculiarity of his films’ narratives and characters. He tends to focus on blending realism and expression in his characters, maybe as fantasies. But if his characters are what he wants to see, I hope his stories are not: Often quite harrowing, we see the characters deal with death, tragedy, loneliness and repression. I think this is what makes his works connect to people - evident from his successful career. As viewers, we don’t feel as though we are seeing characters, we are seeing people. In this film, Raimunda, her daughter Paula, Sole and Agustina are an independent pride of women that look after each other. These could be the people that Almodovar dreams of, or who he sees in everyone, or who he is telling us to be; but the characters are what makes this film as good as it is. I feel as though I could watch these characters through any narrative a film could offer and still enjoy it. I think this film deals very well with what it wants to say. It uses subtle feminism; you don’t obviously notice the lack of male screentime but it is because men don’t need to help the women, in this film and in real life. The whole plot is led by the female characters, and I like that Almodovar shows this.

It is an interesting debate as to whether men should make films about women but Almodovar shows that it is possible to be deft, though there are still moments of male gaze when looking at Raimunda, played by Penelope Cruz, but these may be more appreciative than harmful - that depends on what he meant by them. There is little to no romance in the film; some flirting between Raimunda and the man convening the restaurant for the crew, of which nothing comes. I imagine this is another feminist aspect for Almodovar and I appreciate his strong representation of women which seems quite selfless. It is quite comedic how little the men are represented because it matches their emasculation in the film. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Even though the story wasn’t particularly upbeat, I felt empowered seeing such independent female characters because it is rare and I’m glad that Almodovar showed me the positive power of male filmmaking for women. As a man seeing this, I am willing for my gender to be represented poorly, if it means that women can enjoy the easier life that people live by just being a straight, white man."

By Jack Todd The Long Lens|


'WE ARE ONE' ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL The ‘We Are One’ film festival was a digital version of a regular festival, but on the digital platform of YouTube to make the films available because cinemas could not deliver due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was a collation of films and events from 21 different international film festivals, including feature films, shorts, animations, experimental and VR films. With over 150 events between 29th May and 7th June, there was enough for every taste. The format worked that the films were scheduled and 'premiered' as live streams that people could watch. This really showed the community and international essence of the festival as you could see in the live chat people saying hello from their respective countries, you could feel the reach and importance of film during the seemingly bleak, pandemic-caused lockdown. I originally did not know what to expect from the festival, but the introduction featured stars like Robert DeNiro, Olivia Wilde and Hugo Weaving (three names rarely put together) along with other famous filmmakers and actors addressing the audience in pre-recorded messages introducing the festival and events.


'ALTERATION' - dir. Jerome Blanquet, French, 20 mins A 360° VR, experimental short starring Bill Skarsgaard ('IT') and Pom Klementieff ('Guardians of the Galaxy'). This was a very weird experience, both because it was VR (I was just using the mouse to turn) and it was also technically and visually unusual. The narrative was non-conformative; it seemed to focus on the worldbuilding and emotional conveyance within the film. I think anything experimental is worth looking at by anyone looking to go into filmmaking.



- dir. Nabwana IGG, Ugandan, 65 mins

A new film from the infamous Wakaliwood Studio of Uganda, known for the action/comedy ‘Who Killed Captain Alex?’, another guerrilla-

budgeted action film. 'Crazy World' is from the same director with the iconic commentary of VJ Emmie and the return of the character of Bruce U, the “Ugandan Bruce Lee”. This film continues the legacy of the martial arts, following the ‘Waka Starz’ group of child martial artists, in this proudly self-referential spectacle. We also see the continued use of low-budget CGI that helped to make the prequel famous in the form of post-production muzzle flashes and over-ambitious inclusion of helicopters. Wakaliwood films are meant to be enjoyed and it is a very welcome break from serious films because you can laugh at the hilarity of how the Ugandan crew have made action their way. Surprisingly, this film has the more serious themes of fatherhood and that the ‘World’ is actually crazy, no more true than in 2020.

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'NEW UK FILMMAKERS SELECTION' ‘Over’ dir. Jorn Threlfall is a drama portrayed in reverse chronological order about an Angolan man who tried to make it to the UK. The film is shot in long, observational takes meaning that the slow pace is dull up until the ‘moment of climax’ which comes at the end of the film. This was a film we watched in Film Studies as coursework preparation, but it was good to rewatch. ‘Masterpiece’ dir. Runyararo Mapfumo is a comedy about a group of black men attending a modern art exhibition made by one of them. The humour centres around the collision of the worlds of young men and the world of modern art. They struggle to find the deeper meaning in the art, not even sure whether it is art at all.

‘Vertical Shapes on a Horizontal Landscape’ dir. Mark Jenkin


is an artistic and poetic film shot on Super-8 film. It follows a narrator who recounts a journey presented with the grainy aesthetic and liberated wide shots of the locations he might have seen. There are definitely types of cinephile that this film appeals to as this film stands out the most.

It is interesting that these are the films that the BFI London Film Festival chose to reflect our country: The films all seem to stem from classic drama, each with their individual variation that makes them “unique” and “creative”.

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'DANTZA' - dir. Telmo Esnal, Spanish, 93 mins This film was not what I expected; it was way different to the musical I imagined, which made it better in some ways. When you see a film is a certain genre, you have expectations based on films that you have seen before; in this case, musicals, you expect some sort of bursting into song. In this film, there is no dialogue; it is an artistic dance film, based on traditional Spanish dances similar to Morris dancing. The film gets more and more interesting as it goes along with only the thematic narrative of the seasons. The costumes are a blend of traditional, futuristic and artistic and the choreography and music show the emotion. The film is brilliantly designed and executed. I think it is definitely a hidden gem sort of film, though it seems quite alien yet appreciable.

'AR CONDICIONADO' - dir. Fradique, Angolan, 73 mins This was, rather unsurprisingly, the first Angolan film I had ever seen. It took me a while to ‘tune in’ to what was going on because the narrative information is given out less obviously. Set in Luanda, there is an increasing rate of air conditioning units falling off buildings and posing a risk to people down below. The two protagonists work as security and cleaning for a tough boss who demands that his unit is fixed so that he can stay cool. This film is full of representation and emotions that we would struggle to understand because we are so privileged. The characters and the music make this an enjoyable journey, even if we don’t get it all. I would recommend this film. just so you can understand what I mean, it needs to be seen to be believed.

By Martin Attmore

The Long Lens|


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