Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's Alright Mate. You Can Tell Me...

Scene of the week this week is from Sexy Beast. Ladies and Gentlemen...Sir. Ben Kingsley!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Good Night In

Film 4 are currently running a season of British Cinema. Last night I was treated to a fine nights entertainment. Kicking off the bill was Dog Altogether, a directorial debut from Paddy Considine. This won a BAFTA in 2008 for best short film. Well deserved I think. It is however a very bleak and harrowing tale of a highly unstable and violent man. Set in a grim and gritty part of the U.K the tone of the film is a true reflection of its setting. Short and not very sweet but a good watch none the less.

The film that followed was Shane Meadows 2004 feature, Dead Man's Shoes. Really glad I finally got to see it. Paddy Considine gives another stunning performance and the film is thoroughly gripping from beginning to end. Check it out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Movies & Graffiti?

I discovered
this stencil amongst the vastness of quality street art in Berlin recently and it cracked me up. It did however start me thinking about the use of movie images in graffiti artistry. Many are ripe for parody but some may also be used to express a statement on our society, culture or whatever. Some would just look great twenty feet high on a dull gray wall. Below Matt's s**t eating grin are two such works by Banksy.

A collection of these images might make quite an interesting photographic project and subsequent exhibition. Finding gems like these on our streets doesn't happen every day, so acquiring enough for any respectable body of work would be tricky indeed. Gonna do a bit of research and see what I can dig up, I'm sure cities like London, Tokyo, Berlin and New York with a vibrant graffiti and movie culture are homes to such treasures!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Me and Mr. Meadows

Had the pleasure of meeting Shane Meadows (This is England, Dead Mans Shoes) at the Berlinale this year. I went along to a screening of his new film Somers Town which he and some of the cast were attending. The film was commissioned by the Eurostar company who wanted a visual document representing the London area surrounding Kings Cross Station known as Somers Town.

It features Thomas Turgoose (This Is England) and unknown Polish actor Piotr Jagiello in the lead roles. It tells the story of a homeless teenager, Tomo (Turgoose)
who befriends a Polish boy, Marek (Jagiello) who lives beside St. Pancreas Station. Marek lives with his father who is working on the stations refurbishment. The boys quickly bond and Tomo invites himself to stay temporarily at Marek's flat. The boys develop a crush on a waitress, Maria in their local cafe and try effortlessly to woo her, which is both comic and sweet. The boys are crushed when they find out Maria has returned suddenly to her home in Paris. They discuss the possibility of visiting Maria and when Marek informs us his father can arrange a ticket for them both a plan is born. The boys venture to the French capital to meet their new love and spend a perfect day together in the Parisian sun.

The film is excellent, with solid performances and a fantastic script from Paul Fraser.The minuscule budget and Eurostars involvement take nothing away from another fine offering from Shane Meadows.

Sound Geezer!

Poster Update

Been thinking some more about iconic movie posters, I think this one qualifies!

Sound And Vision

A carefully chosen piece of music can really transform a scene into something really special. A movie soundtrack is an integral part of a production sometimes accounting for a sizable proportion of the budget. Famously Kevin Smith paid more for the music rights to his debut feature Clerks than it cost to him to make the film. A soundtrack is a useful devise that can enhance the tone of a movie and highten the overall viewing experience. Music has a powerful effect on us humans and a director can use this fact to engage our emotions in a wonderful way. There has been some genius marriages of film and music over the years, heres a few off the top of my head.

Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen – Wayne’s World
In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel – Say Anything
Twist and Shout, The Beatles – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Tiny Dancer, Elton John – Almost Famous
Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen – Shaun of the Dead
Misirlou, Dick Dale – Pulp Fiction
Under Pressure, Queen and David Bowie – Grosse Pointe Blank
Lust for Life, Iggy Pop – Trainspotting
Where Is My Mind, The Pixies – Fight Club
Across 110th Street, Bobby Womack – Jackie Brown
The End, The Doors - Apocalypse Now
Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith – Dazed and Confused
54/46 Was My Number, Toots & The Maytals - This Is England
Head Over Heals, Tears For Fears -Donnie Darko
The Man In Me, Bob Dylan - The Big Lebowski
These Days, Nico - The Royal Tenenbaums
Spybreak, The Propellerheads - The Matrix
Just Like Honey, The Jesus And Mary Chain - Lost in Translation
Dont You Forget About Me, Simple Minds - The Breakfast Club
The Power Of Love, Huey Lewis & The News - Back To The Future

And of course this...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dont Thank The Academy

Ok so the Oscars have been and gone, a few surprises and a few certainties...same as usual. Nice to see the Coens getting a few awards, a sensible decision I think. Couldn't bring myself to watch the ceremony, its interminable. The highlights were more than enough for my attention span. I cant say I really enjoy the Oscars, it has over the years mutated into a bastardized pig child of its former self, highlighting all the nonsense and decadence that is Hollywood. Obsession over red carpet etiquette and glamor has overshadowed what is really supposed to be happening and that is a celebration of film. Its a chance to recognize talent and invention. A win at the Oscars is to some the ultimate achievement within the industry, a career high and a place among the elite. Thankfully to others its just another ceremony and not the only reason in the world to make movies.