Friday, 28 June 2013

This Is The End Review

Childhood friends and long time film collaborators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen share directing and writing duties on This is the End. Straight from the stoner successful writer/director/producer world shared with Judd Apatow, This is theEnd uses a plethora of real life actors and friends of Goldberg and Rogen playing versions of themselves at a party at James Franco's new house right before the Biblical version of the Apocalypse. Not a fan of L. A. Jay (Jay Baruchel) isvisiting Seth (Seth Rogen) as the two attempt to rekindle their friendship since the Californication of Seth and his inclusion into a new set of friends that include the likes of Franco and Jonah Hill to name just a few.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Cannes Diaries Day 7: Tom Hiddleston & Tilda Swinton

You would think writing about an event a month later is tricky. Not when it is the Cannes Film Festival. Each of its editions since 1992 is branded upon my brain, and I remember all 21 films I saw in 1993 for example, the lady I was sat next to when I saw The Piano, when I saw Gary Oldman just outside the jury's lodge and asked for his autograph... To think there was no Twitter, no blog, nothing to relay all this at the time, and few of my friends actually cared about any of it apart from the actual "being in Cannes Film Fest" cool factor. So yes, my last day in Cannes 2013, twenty years later...

As amazing as the festival had been up until this point, I had my eyes on my most anticipated films of all, which was also the last film shown in competition: Only Lovers Left Alive, by Jim Jarmush. I mean, a vampire film by Jim Jarmush! With Tilda Swinton! And Tom Hiddleston! For some bizarre reason, the film had been added to the line-up a few days after the official announcement of the competition, and I wonder what kind of politics took place behind the scene to explain it.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Cannes Diaries Day 6: Mads & Marion

For whatever reason, a lot of people tend to leave the Cannes Film Festival in its last few days, even though some of the most exciting films are usually showing at the end. It is very noticeable, after the crazy first week end, which I have decided to avoid, that the attendance drops little by little every day. On my penultimate day, I had a date with two of my favourite actors, Mads Mikkelsen and Marion Cotillard.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Cannes 2013 Diaries Day 5: Blue Is The Warmest Colour

Good lord, at that rate I will have finished my Cannes 2013 diaries on time for Cannes 2014. I admire those who, on top of watching films at the festival (sometimes 5 or 6 a day!), drinking, socialising etc... also manage to write! So the previous night had ended in drunken debauchery, yet I was determined to wake up on time to see La Vie D'Adele (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) for its morning screening in the Palais. Later on that day, I was to see a restored classic for the first time, instantly becoming one of my favourite films ever, before seeing a screen icon and one of my favourite actresses in the flesh. Cannes truly is worth all the tears and nervous breakdown (when it all goes well).

Monday, 10 June 2013

For Love's Sake: West Side Story Meets Takeshi's Castle

Some films are truly cursed. I had an invitation for For Love's Sake for its midnight screening slot in Cannes last year, but had to give it up as I had no way to go back to Nice on time that night (I should have slept on the beach, a timeless Cannes tradition). Then I booked a ticket to see it at the London Film Festival later in the year, only to fall victim to the seemingly inevitable LFF flu. But finally, while it did not secure a cinema release, For Love's Sake is now available on DVD/Blu Ray, and I have seen it without the world ending, result.

I was about to call this Takashi Miike's latest, but with the prolific director, you can be sure that he already has at least 3 news film finished by now. In fact, I saw his more recent one Shield Of Straw at Cannes this year. I cannot think of anybody who has tackled more different genres and styles than the Japanese director. He is the man who gave us a film about a half-man/half-zebra superhero (Zebraman) after all.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Top 10 Best Actresses

Following our interblog top 10 of best directors last month, we have now lavished our attention on actresses. There is absolutely no way I am going to rank them as I am a gallant person, so I present them to you in alphabetical order. I am not saying there are the best actresses ever, far from it, this is instead a very personal list.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Terracotta Film Festival 2013 - A Presentation

The Berlin File
With the pleasant taste combinations of delightful dumplings from Dumpling's Legend Restaurant in Chinatown, a group of film journalists and bloggers, including myself, was recently given a presentation of 2013's Terracotta Far East Film Festival. As pointed out the 'Far East' are the driving adjectives for the Terracotta Festival as it is the myriad of film talent coming from Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China that is being highlighted and not, for example, India's Bollywood. 

This year 26 handpicked films will be divided up within four categories: In Memory Of: Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, Current Asian Cinema, Terror Cotta Horror All-Nighter and Spotlight On: Indonesia. There will be a return of all the regular features such as Q&As and masterclasses that always offer up the surprise and chance to become educated in Asian film by the actors and film makers masterfully working today. The organisers would not nor could not confirm who their special guests are for the 2013 Masterclasses. However, the not knowing is a satisfying, memorable aspect of previous Terracotta Festivals.

Summer in February - Edwardian love triangle in Cornwall

This stunningly beautiful film swept me off my feet with the Cornish set tale of a love triangle between the artist Alfred Munnings aka AJ, (Dominic Cooper), his best pal Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey) and the gorgeous muse/artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Based on the novel by Jonathan Smith and directed by Christopher Menaul, Summer in February is  a glimpse back in time to the real events 100 years ago among the bohemian artists.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Cannes 2013 Diaries Day 4: Ryan Gosling & Grigris

It was nearly half-way through Cannes and my festival was going seemingly well, with screening invitations galore and plenty of sunshine. Today on my hit list: Only God Forgives by Nicolas Winding Refn, and Grigris by Mahamat Saleh-Haroun.

Drive exploded on the Croisette two years ago, bringing to a wider attention the work of the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. It was cool, it was stylish and Ryan Gosling delivered a memorable and iconic performance. Beyond the critical acclaim, it also generated a sort of fandom that is more usually reserved to comic book adaptations. I had been a big fan of the director's previous film, Valhalla Rising, and while I enjoyed Drive a lot at the time, its impact evaporated fairly quickly after its viewing. Unlike many, while I am all for style over substance, as much as I admired the film, it lacked a certain connection, and it ended up slipping below my top 10 of 2011 when I drew my list.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Cannes 2013 Diaries Day 3: The Dolce Vita, The Candelabra And The Cannibals

Two days, four films, two fails, two great films... The festival was going well so far. And I had a busy schedule on that day, hoping to finally manage to squeeze in three films in a day, when so many people routinely do five.

First off was La Grande Bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino, showing at 11am in the official selection in the Palais. Due to the short turnaround between this and the next film, Behind The Candelabra, I took a gamble as there was little chance I would manage to then secure an invitation for the latter, which was due in UK cinemas the following month anyway. Yet again I was lucky enough to find an invitation pretty much straight away for the Italian film.