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.

The Perfect Image

Watched film 2008 this week which featured an interesting report on the marketing and design behind the movie poster. It explored questions like what makes an iconic image and the impact it must have on a potential audience.

The movie poster is vitally important in marketing a movie successfully, its a first impression that has to resonate with us on some level. We have all at some time seen a poster for a film that
we know nothing about but are drawn instantly to it, wanting to see it solely due to that image. I know I have felt that several times like when I first saw the poster for Trainspotting or Pulp Fiction and Lost In Translation to name but a few.Intoxicating images that spring to live upon viewing, you instantly want to know more. I also believe that some movie posters are just incredible images, often containing ground breaking design and photography. So much so that they are worthy of a space on any gallery wall.

So what are your top ten movie posters of all time? Please feel free to leave your comments on this one!

Here are a few o
f my favorites.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Starting a new feature here, my favorite scene of the week. This weeks is from one of the finest anime's ever made, My Neighbour Totoro. Directed by now legendary Hayao Miyazaki it features breathtaking animation, storytelling and timing. Enjoy.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Some amazing short films and documentaries from this talented bunch, here's a taster..

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm A Cyborg

I'm really looking forward to seeing Park Chan-wook's new film at The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this weekend. Its called I'm A Cyborg, But Thats Ok. I'm a big fan of Mr. Wook's work to date and this new offering looks very interesting!

1000 Journals Project

This month I made the effort to go to the Berlin Film Festival or Berlinale as its more widely know. I was only in Berlin for the first four days of the festival and managed to secure tickets for four films, three of which were excellent and one being a stinker of the highest caliber! One of the finer pieces of work I enjoyed there was a documentary called 1000 Journals. A project conceived by graphic designer Someguy who sent one thousand blank journals into the world in hope of reigniting the dormant creativity within us all. Only one was returned completed to him and so began the arduous task of tracking down the remaining 999 elusive journals.

Below are two excerpts from the documentary which will expl
ain in more detail.

After the screening, director
Andrea Kreuzhage fielded a few questions from the inquisitive audience, which was a welcome insight into the di
fficulty involved in tracking down the missing journals. She also mentioned that a DVD release is to be expected so when it is released go and track it down. Personally I thought the concept was more interesting than the actual movie but an excellent piece of documentary film making none the less.

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