Thursday 27 September 2012

Looper Review

Writer/director Rhian Johnson burst onto the indie scene with 2005’s razor-sharp and deeply cool high school noir Brick but his second feature, the adorable conman caper The Brothers Bloom, had an unjustly muted release and has never been given the attention it deserved. Instead of staying in his mannered art-house comfort zone, Johnson has attempted something very different with his latest film that’s been gathering tremendous buzz: a science-fiction action movie starring Bruce Willis.

Barbara Review

German director Christian Petzold tells a very German story of conditions people lived through under Socialist Eastern Germany by stripping away obvious depictions of border controls or barking German Shepherd dogs. Barbara is set in 1980 and centres around the titular Barbara (Nina Hoss) a doctor who having requested a visa to live in West Germany is effectively punished by being transferred out of Berlin to the East German provinces. Constantly tense and on alert, Hoss'Barbara is perpetually looking over her shoulder both physically and metaphorically as she meets her new hospital colleagues including another doctor, André (Ronald Zehrfeld). 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Exclusive Interview With Claudia Gerini, Star Of TULPA

Claudia Gerini

It is an understatement to say that neo-giallo TULPA made a big impact at its word premiere at Frightfest in London at the end of August, polarising the audience and offering us a film so visually inventive and, I have to admit, utterly bonkers in parts, that it found its spot on my top 3 films of the festival. You can read my round up of the day of its screening in Frightfest here.

Whatever you opinion of the film might have been, it is undeniable that its lead actress, the Italian star Claudia Gerini, gave an inspired and committed performance for what was a very challenging part. And she has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions:

Monday 24 September 2012

Man With A Movie Camera: The Honest Review

Last month, British film mag Sight & Sound published its top 100 lists of the best films ever made, as they do every decade, and as voted by over a hundred of the most respected film critics and experts. Within the top 10, there were some mostly obvious titles, except one which I had not even heard of: Man With A Movie Camera by Dzyga Vertov, made in the 20's, and billed as a Russian experimental film. Right down my street I figured, so out of curiosity, and since the BFI had the brilliant idea to screen all of the top 10 films this month, I decided to go and check it out, and report back.

Monday 17 September 2012

Spotlight On The London Spanish Film Festival 2012

The London Spanish Film Festival is having its 8th edition this year, and I have to admit being a little confused as I already went to a Spanish Film Festival earlier in the year in London. But then we can never have too much of a good thing so I am happy with a second one! I have found myself with a growing interest in Latin American/Spanish cinema recently, and this edition has a surprising amount of bonkers and cult looking films which are always welcome. I offer you a small selection which has piqued my interest:

Friday 14 September 2012

The Human Centipede 2 Vomit-Along!

Join me for my live, and now infamous Human Centipede 2 vomit-along! You might remember my first vomit-along while watching the first film, which was nowhere near as gross as I expected, probably because I knew all that was coming. And let's face it, it was not quite as graphic and violent as the hype had us believe. No such danger with the second one, which is said to not so much push but smash the teeth of bundaries and pick up the pieces with rusty tweezers. I recently met director Tom Six and lied to him saying I had seen both films and loved them both... So now there is no escape, no going back, the DVD is on, let's all vomit along!

Monday 10 September 2012

London Film Festival 2012: Top 5 Not To Be Missed

I have been spending the last few days furiously flicking through the pages of the London Film Festival programme trying to decide on my schedule. The increasing number of venues and the distances involved have been adding to the headache of films clashes, to the point where I would need the sort of 3D space hologram map as displayed in Prometheus to be able to make a clear schedule. (Navigation by Fassbenger's magic flute optional).

There is little point me doing an extensive coverage of the line up, other film sites with more time and ressources can do it better than me. I would rather put the spotlight on a handful of films I have uncovered which fits our blog's focus of alternative, cult and Asian cinema. I have taken more and more of an anti-trailer stance recently, and especially with films like those below that I have seen little about, I want to keep them as fresh and intact as I can. Here they are:

Sunday 9 September 2012

Sheldon Larry Exclusive Interview

Sheldon Larry, director of Leave It On The Floor, kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions, for the release of his brilliant film. You can just feel the passion and the enthusiasm for his work, and the years of dedication it has taken him. You can read the review of Leave It On The Floor here.

How familiar were you with the ballroom scene depicted in Leave it
on the floor before making the film? And had you seen the 90's documentary Paris is Burning, which was alsoset in this ballroom scene and if so, was it an influence for your film?

My obsession to make Leave It on the Floor began more than twenty years ago
when I first saw Paris Is Burning, That film took a remarkable look at the New
York ball community of the late 1980’s. In the intervening 20 years, the culture has gone through major change and transformation and yet startlingly, no one since has seriously written on its recent history, or created any kind of resonant or reflective film document (either documentary or narrative drama). Indeed, most people who know the original film believe that the culture has long since disappeared, and that it had been a New York-only event anyway. Not true. Today, communities in more than fifteen major urban settings are flourishing throughout the country.

Friday 7 September 2012

Notes On the London Film Festival 2012

If Frightfest is Christmas for film fans, the London Film Festival is, well, Christmas AND New Year's Eve all wrapped into one. The festival, while obviously not in the same league as Cannes, Venice and Berlin, has grown from strength to strength over the last decade, under the direction of Sandra Hebron. Last year was her last festival however, and new director Clare Stewart has already put her mark, having changed quite a few aspects, which I shall discuss below. And then in my next post, I shall suggest a few films in line with the kind of cinema we champion on my blog, alternative, cult, unusual...

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Leave It On Floor - Divas in South Central, LA working it..

You may remember the film 'Paris is Burning', back in 1990, which was all about the underground drag scene in New York, where 'Voguing' originated, well 'Leave it on the Floor' is the West Coast cousin, ready to wrap you up into the world of Brad (the stunning Ephraim Sykes) as he goes from homeless to trophy winning hunk, looking for Mr Right.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

FrightFest 2012 Day 3: Giallos, Demons And Sushis

And on to day three of FrightFest 2012 with three films which could not have been any more different, as well as a chance encounter with an iconic horror film director I literally bumped into in the foyer of the Empire Leicester Square. It was a day of giallos tributes, mysteries, demonic possessions, loud bangs at night and flying, singing, murderous sushis.

Monday 3 September 2012

FrightFest 2012 Day 2.2: Under The Bed, The Orrchcult and Maniac

And on to the second part of a full day at FrightFest. As per my previous post, the day did not exactly start off well with Outpost 2 and Paura 3D. But it got better, and increasingly weirder. It is also the day when somebody brought a full Chinese takeaway inside the cinema. The horror. It did really feel that our civilisation had reached the point of no return after that.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Curse Competition - Win A DVD Of A Singaporean Horror!

As a big fan of horror films and Asian cinema, I am naturally very excited about the release of Curse, a Singaporean horror, which is a bit of a novelty. While the last decade has seen the release of many films of this genre from the Far East (Thailand, South Korea, Japan etc...) we seldom have the chance to witness any outing from Singapore. And now you have the chance to win 1 out of 3 DVD of Curse in this competition!