Category Archives: Film

Surviving black and white and subtitled

What a killer smile.

What a killer smile.

I want a film that delivers a punch. Being winded can be… good. But throwing up probably isn’t.

I’ve seen films that made me switch off, walk out, pass out (only to wake with a crowd around me, thankful the floor was sprung and I’d had the sense to bring a nurse. No didn’t go anywhere. Probably seemed too much like work for her) and weep. And then there’s the one to which I always return.

I let (well, ok, kinda tricked) my Top Boy into watching the other evening at home). You might be able to work out the film title from our conversation over the opening titles and scenes.

HIM: “Wait a minute, you never told me it was black and white.”

ME: “It’s still good though.”

a little later…

HIM: “Aw no. You didn’t tell me it was all in French.”

ME: “It’s not all in French.” (No, some of it is in Arabic. – I didn’t say that bit aloud.)

HIM: “Are we going to have to read subtitles in English all the way through?”

ME: “It’s not all English subtitles.” (Some of them are in Italian. Shhh.)

Can you tell what it is yet kids? (As a certain entertainer, whose reputation is currently on a knife edge, might ask.)

Here are two more clues. The cast includes only one professional actor. Got it? And it was recommended viewing in the Pentagon in recent years. Now you’ve got it Continue reading

24 Comments

Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, Film

I’ve struck it rich in the movies…

The Big Steal trillion dollar noteIt’s finally happened. I’ve really made it this time. I’ve invested in three films and one of them has really paid off.

I’ve just received my first huge return. I’ve taken a photo of it in case you’re sceptical.

Yup. There it is. A trillion smackers. $1,000,000,000,000. My good intention has been rewarded.

I’m thinking of buying a few trips on the space shuttle – or maybe 2,000 of them. Nah – something closer to my heart. I think I’ll spend it on Ireland. With Turkey thrown in too, if I can’t get change from a trillion dollar note.

Trillion dollar noteWhatever I do, I can’t let the larcenous crew who got us into this financial mess get their grubby paws on my cash. Who? The bankers of course, according to The Big Steal.

Because my $1tn note is my return from my friends’ movie The Big Steal. They’re Julian Darley and Celine Rich, of Mysterious Movies – just two of the many outraged at the greed of the banks and the cynical way taxpayers’ money has been transferred to dodgy banks and then moved offshore or transformed into bonuses. So what? Lots of us are cross about it – but what can you do? Well, you can turn it into a film. That’s what they’re doing. The film will be called The Big Steal – but unlike most heist movies, this time the thieves are behind the counter, not breaking in. Can anyone stop them? Watch the film and find out.

But before you watch it – they have to make it. And they need help. They’re looking for lots of mini-donations, from a dollar upwards, to crowdsource the film and take it to the Cannes Film Festival this year.

So if you’re looking to bash the banking system and get a bit of retaliation in – here’s a way of doing it. Lots of good perks too. Being part of the film, getting your name in the credits Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Film, friends

Classroom rule number one: Never smile before Christmas

Two excellent short films. The first is clever and imaginative. The second may induce feelings of vertigo or unsettled stomach – IT”S THAT EXCITING!

So – first – The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway’s book and John Sturges’s film starring Spencer Tracy – now an animation drawn by Marcel Schindler.

I saw this film on the excellent Brain Pickings website. My only quibble with the animation is that the role of the boy is omitted – though, to be fair, he doesn’t board the small boat on the trip depicted.

Next – short film number two. Some of the camera shots may make you queasy. Here’s the film called People Are Awesome.

It’s the going over the edge skiiing shot that has me holding on to the table for balance. Though I suspect it’s the sort of thing Lesley “Get” Carter does every morning before breakfast. I presume they used the same crew as this Carling Black Label advert (based on cameraman Graham Henry’s exploits with Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt).

The nearest Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under art, Film, friends, life

On location with Amy, Vijay and Vikram

Sneak preview for Tamil film fans from location shooting of Thaandavam.

On location in London filming Thaandavam – Amy Jackson, director AL Vijay and Vikram.

It may not be as lavish as Cleopatra – but there they are – Manx-born Amy Jackson on a Thames-side bench with Tamil star Vikram. That’s film director AL Vijay in the middle, speaking quietly to them. (He always speaks quietly.)

If you look very very carefully, you might be able to tell that Amy has Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Film

The awesome power of nine-year-olds

Got a nine-year-old? Know any? Then watch out. They’re not to be messed with.

They have reach, power and influence beyond what you’d ever imagine.

Check these two out.

1. Nine-year-old Martha Payne from Argyll in western Scotland. Her school dinners aren’t great. Not very tasty, not very healthy, not very much. So she started taking photos like this…

Appetising? No?

and posting them on her blog www.NeverSeconds.blogspot.com .  Just one totey wee little blog that no one will ever notice.

Oh really? After almost no time at all, the local council (which runs the school catering) and the Scottish government are having to defend themselves to every media organisation. And defend themselves with a rictus grin. Because it doesn’t do to be cross or dismissive with a nine-year-old girl who just wanted to do an interesting writing project. (At least, not in public.)

Somewhere in Argyll there’s a teacher who gave permission for Martha to bring her camera into Lochgilphead primary school who’s either hugging him/herself with glee, or else worried about future employment prospects Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Film, life

It should have been the Jungle Book. (My X-certificate first cinema visit.)

This is the nearest I could get to an image combining both Clint Eastwood and a Jungle local.

At GrannyMar‘s prompting, I submitted this story to See You At The Pictures, a documentary about film-going in Ireland. Er… Sorry Dad.

The first film I saw in a cinema should have been the Jungle Book. My Dad took me to the cinema in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, one bright summer afternoon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it wasn’t car chases, gunfire and a naked lady Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under family history, Film

An intermission – but not for swearing…

I had to tell you this before it was too late – because it’s only available for a short time.

One caveat though. There’s a lot a swearing Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Film

Beautiful and scary – murmuration

Beautiful and scary sometimes go together… Women, rope bridges, women… er, women, oh, and starlings. Watch this short beautiful and slightly scary video.

Thanks to Frances (& Helen) for telling me about that murmuration over a river in Ireland. I think it was filmed by Sophie Windsor Clive, about whom there is more here.

 Meanwhile, while we’re on the subject of birds and water, here are The Laws of Duck Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Film

Let’s make a movie together! (Guess what? It’s a musical. No zombies.)

You, me and Harvey Weinstein. We can be film producers. It’ll be great.

We’ll leave the boring old blockbusters to Harve. You and me – we’ll concentrate on something smaller and perfectly formed like this emerging jewel called God Help The Girl.

It’s the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. (Some of you may remember the children’s TV programme of almost the same name. The band got a kicking from Jack Black in High Fidelity, but then again, he was going mad for Katrina and the Waves.) 

So Stuart has got together with a proper Hollywood producer called Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids, etc) to make a film of a summer of music and love in Glasgow based round an album of songs.  The hero is a girl being treated for annorexia, who discovers a talent for writing songs and teams up with a brother and sister she meets while on the bunk from her treatment centre.

The video gives a look behind the scenes – and the singers. Aaah…

They’ve got songs, locations, a plot, a script and actors (I think). All they need is a wee bit of backing. US$100,000 to be precise.

Which is where we come in. The producers. Also known as – the funders. Or as I like to think of it – executive producers.

The film is being funded through a crowdsourcing website. It works like this: You describe your creative project on the site – in this case, www.kickstarter.com and set a cash target. Thousands of people donate a wee bit of money. If you reach your target, you get the cash to spend on the project. If you don’t make it, the money is returned to the donors.

But why would any sane person donate?

  1. Loveliness.
  2. Taste.
  3. A desire to see the film made.
  4. To maintain the image of an eccentric billionaire.
  5. Incentives. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere… (after  this song)

The beautiful voices belong to Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Film, Music

Fluke or miracle? The strangely moving aftermath of a death.

This is a very very poignant film.

It’s about the unexpected thing that happened – or did not happen – after a cyclist was knocked off his bike and killed.

His name was Michael Caulfield. He was married and had four children.

Not at all gory. It’s more of a slideshow than a film.

It’s short and strangely moving. Beautifully done.

Bad things happen. People die too soon. But have a look at this short clip. I predict you’ll feel a little better after it.

The single rose surviving against the odds. A fluke or a miracle?

I saw it at the blog of Malachi O’Doherty – a journalist in Belfast. He’s a very thoughtful commentator on life.

12 Comments

Filed under Film