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Five films to compete for the VI Sebastiane Latino Award...

San Sebastian Film Festival

The award given by Gehitu will recognise the film that best represents sexual and gender diversity...

The Jury of the Sebastiane Latino Award, composed of members of GEHITU, the Basque association of gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals, has selected as finalists the films Marilyn, Mi mejor amigo, Las Herederas, Las hijas del fuego and Retablo.

The Award goes to the Latin American feature film released during the previous year that best defends the demands and values of lesbians, gays, transsexuals and bisexuals.

 “Many of them show the life of LGBTI people in the rural world and some of them are sexually explicit, demonstrating the capacity of Latino LGBTI films to take cinema to borders we need to cross,” says GEHITU.

In 2017 the Sebastiane Latino went to the Chilean production by Sebastián Lelio, Una mujer fantástica which, starring Daniela Vega, represented a “historic milestone” for Latino cinema and the international trans community, in a year when the LGBTI pride celebrations were seeking to obtain respect and recognition for transsexuality.

This sixth edition of the GEHITU Award continues its backing of Latin American LGBT+ films in the framework of the San Sebastian Festival. In addition to presenting the award to the winner, to be announced in August, the 4th Meeting of Ibero-American LGBT Film Festivals will also take place at the coming edition of the Festival.

Sebastiane 6 2018

MARILYN 
Martín Rodríguez Redondo (Argentina, Chile)
Marcos, a 17 year-old farmhand, discovers his sexuality in a hostile atmosphere. Nicknamed ‘Marilyn’ by the other village teenagers, he becomes an object of desire and discrimination. Marcos feels increasingly more penned in.

MI MEJOR AMIGO 
Martín Deus (Argentina)
Lorenzo is a quiet adolescent who lives with his parents and younger brother in a town in Argentine Patagonia. One day, the son of a family friend called Coaíto moves south, coming to live in Lorenzo’s house. His family is going through difficult times and is unable to take proper care of him. Coaíto is very shy and hardly says a word.

LAS HIJAS DEL FUEGO
Albertina Carri (Argentina)
Three women meet by chance at the end of the world and set out on a polyamorous journey which will change them to the extent of returning them to their native city as different people. Subjects who suffer from the established order, from the irreversible nature of passion and from the Utopian approach of a single love, they are caught up in the search for new kinds of relationships, far from possession and pain as the unavoidable finality of love and obeying none of the rules. That’s how they become The Daughters of Fire: a band dedicated to accompanying other women in the search for their own erotica, for the way each one wants to be in a world ignorant of the voluptuousness of detachment.

LAS HEREDERAS 
Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay, Uruguay, Germany - Brazil - Norway - France)
Tells the story of two women from well-to-do families in Paraguayan society who had inherited sufficient means to live comfortably. But now they have turned 60, the money is running out and their situations have changed.

RETABLO 
Álvaro Delgado Aparicio (Peru, Germany, Norway)
Segundo Paucar, a 14 year-old boy, wants to become a great history teacher, like his father, to continue the family legacy. On his way to a community celebration in the Andes, Segundo accidentally sees his father in a situation which brings his world tumbling down around him. Trapped in a chauvinist environment, Segundo will try to deal in silence with everything that's happening to him.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL | OFFICIAL HD TRAILER...

IN CINEMAS & IMAX 3D DECEMBER

From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

Screenplay by: James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis and Robert Rodriguez

Based on the Graphic Novel ("Manga") Series: "Gunnm" By Yukito Kishiro

Produced by: James Cameron and Jon Landau

Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson

SHAZAM! - Official Teaser Trailer...

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”) as the Wizard.

Firmly set in the DC universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone, the screenplay is by Henry Gayden, story by Gayden and Darren Lemke. Shazam was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia serve as executive producers.

A New Line Cinema production, “Shazam!” is set for release on April 5, 2019. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Aquaman - Official Trailer...

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

The film also stars Amber Heard (“Justice League,” “Magic Mike XXL”) as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon,” “Spider-Man 2”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring” films, “Watchmen”) as Orm/Ocean Master, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables” films) as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) as the vengeful Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Lion”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna; as well as Ludi Lin (“Power Rangers”) as Captain Murk, Atlantean Commando; and Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Green Lantern”) as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.

Wan directs from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (“The Conjuring 2”) and Will Beall (“Gangster Squad,” TV’s “Training Day”), story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters from DC, Aquaman created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. The film is produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.

Wan’s team behind the scenes includes such frequent collaborators as Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“The Conjuring 2,” “Forrest Gump”), his five-time editor Kirk Morri (“The Conjuring” films, “Furious 7,” the “Insidious” films), and production designer Bill Brzeski (“Furious 7”). They are joined by costume designer Kym Barrett (“The Matrix” trilogy, “The Amazing Spider-Man”) and composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (“Wonder Woman”).

Glass - Official Trailer...

In Theaters January 18, 2019

M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s Unbreakable, from Touchstone, and 2016’s Split, from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass.

From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

Joining the all-star cast are Unbreakable’s Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard, who reprise their roles as Dunn’s son and Price’s mother, as well as Golden Globe Award winner Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story series).

This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters is produced by Shyamalan and Blumhouse Production’s Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous two films for Universal. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider and Kevin Frakes, who executive produce. Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum also serve as executive producers.

I Am Vengeance Official Trailer...

When ex-soldier turned mercenary, John Gold, learns of the murder of his best friend, he sets off on a mission to find out what happened. What he discovers is a sinister conspiracy and he sets about taking down those responsible one by one.

Songwriter: Ed Sheeran [OFFICIAL TRAILER]...

'Songwriter' is an intimate and personal look into the writing process of one of the world’s biggest artists – Ed Sheeran. Filmed by Murray Cummings, ‘Songwriter’ details the creation of Sheeran’s third studio album ‘÷’ and gives authentic insight into his life through never-before-seen home videos. Witness his creativity firsthand, from the very first chord to the finishing touch – the sounds become the songs on August 28, exclusively on Apple Music.

I Am Not a Witch Trailer...

Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp in the middle of a desert. At the camp she takes part in an initiation ceremony where she is shown the rules surrounding her new life as a witch. Like the other residents, Shula is tied to a ribbon which is attached to a coil that perches in a large tree. She is told that should she ever cut the ribbon, she'll be cursed and transformed into a goat.

Bohemian Rhapsody | Official Trailer | 20th Century FOX

So much for the straight-washing!!! Could all the mouthy activists - now - hush. Thank you.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.

In Theaters November 2, 2018

Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Myers

BOY ERASED – Official Trailer – In Theaters November

Watch Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe in the new trailer for #BoyErased, featuring the new original song “Revelation” by Troye Sivan & Jónsi. In theaters this November.

“Boy Erased” tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.

Patient Zero Trailer...

In the pandemic thriller, PATIENT ZERO, humanity is battling intelligent, adrenaline-fueled creatures born from a viral super-strain. After being bitten, human survivor Morgan (Matt Smith) realizes he is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leading the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS - Official Trailer...

A friendship that became a rivalry. A rivalry that became a war.

"Mary Queen of Scots" explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.

PATRICK Official Trailer...

Sarah is a young woman whose life is in a bit of a mess. The last thing she needs is someone else to look after. Yet, like it or not, her Grandmother has bequeathed her a very spoiled pug - Patrick. Surely she must have had her reasons?

THE FAVOURITE | Teaser Trailer...

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.

In Theaters November 23, 2018

A Film By Yorgos Lanthimos

Written by: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Produced by: Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult , Joe Alwyn, James Smith, Mark Gatiss

Terry Gilliam...

Terry GilliamFormer Monty Python member and filmmaker Terry Gilliam went off about  the current demands for diversity on screen in an interview at the the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Gilliam was asked about remarks made by the controller of BBC comedy Shane Allen who in May said about Monty Python, that audiences now demand diversity, and that the legendary comedy troupe could not happen today: “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”

Mr Gilliam responded...

“I’m no longer a white man, I’m a black lesbian. But seriously, it’s really crazy. In the BBC, it is true that every little group of people on this planet must be represented in everything they broadcast. It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that; everybody represented… this is bullsh*t…I no longer want to be a white male. I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian… My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition. [His] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.

Faces Trailer...

 

A multi-narrative feature film set across four storylines that follow a group of characters as their lives begin to unravel.

Aisha is in a marriage that has become stale, when her wish to get pregnant finally becomes reality, she receives some very unexpected news. Louie and Gaspard are a gay couple who are happily in love but when Louie’s female financée suddenly shows up in the picture, all that they hold dear begins to fall apart. Adam and Luke are best friends, but an attack on Adam at a party threatens to create a schism between them. Sindiso runs a charity for women to which she has dedicated herself. When the centre begins to have financial troubles with the real risk of closing, Sindiso must question her fundamental motivations. In the middle of the bustling city we watch as their worlds begin spiralling apart.

Directed by Joseph A. Adesunloye

KING OF THIEVES - Teaser Trailer...

From the producers of Legend and Baby Driver, and featuring an all-star cast of homegrown legends led by Sir Michael Caine, King of Thieves is the darkly funny, incredible true story of the Hatton Garden robbery, the most daring heist in British criminal history.

IT: Chapter 2...

It Chapter Two7

French-Canadian actor and director Xavier Dolan and Taylor Frey have been cast in the roles of gay Derry residents Adrian Mellon and Don Haggerty. Both the characters were left out of the 1990 mini-series.

In the book, Don and Adrian are supporting characters who experience homophobia and hate crimes in thier own respectively tragic storylines, which set off the events of the second part of It and this is what brings the Losers Club back to Derry.

Andy Muschietti returns to direct the sequel, which features the adult version of Losers’ Club members who survived the malevolent Pennywise, which Bill Skarsgard will once again portray. James McAvoy plays Bill, Bill Hader is Richie, Jessica Chastain is Beverly, James Ransone is Eddie, Andy Bean is Stanley, Jay Ryan is Ben and Isaiah Mustafa is Mike.

Release date: 6 September 2019

 

 

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018...

EIFF 2018...by Anderson Cutler

Wednesday 20 June 2018...

Marc Turtletaub & Kelly MacdonaldOpening night of EIFF2018Hallelujah...the rain stayed away...

Compared to previous openings, this was a less 'starry' affair.

The opening film "Puzzle" was accompanied by director and star - MarcTurtletaub & Kelly MacDonald.

And...there was a little 'red carpet' surprise, Strictly 2017 winner Joe McFadden made a beaming appearance...

Puzzle 2018


Puzzle
Directed by MarcTurtletaub

A bland, bitter/sweet sort of romcom with more rom than com! Definitely a film for the niche market of downtrodden, middle-aged, suburban women who have a penchant for jigsaw puzzles and a dislike for their husbands!

Puzzle hints at...but, provides no surprises. As for conflict, it's there...but, it doesn't exactly fly off the page/screen. Certainly, there were opportunites missed with this anglicised, mellow re-make...like the son who hated working in his father's garage, craving to be a chef, make the father homophobic, the son gay...and give Kelly MacDonald's mother a bit more meat to chew upon! She needed rage...alas, not to be!

A gentle, subdued film...perhaps, a little too conservative to open a this mighty film festival!


Thursday 21 June 2018...

Eaten By Lions

Jason Wingard, Antonio Aakeel, Jack Carroll & castEaten by Lions
Directed by Jason Wingard

Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!

Described as an oddball comedy...well, the only thing that was 'odd' about this was the writing! In [too] many places, truly cringeworthy. The two young leads did the best they could possibly do with such a dire material. Jack Carroll is funny young man...but, inexperienced. What he needed was solid direction [and a better script]. Sadly, he got neither.

Antonio Aakeel has a face any camera would love to photograph. A handsome young man, oozing charm and talent...better parts will ensure a bright career - he deserves them, choose wisely young man. When these two young men are together the film comes alive. However, it's the rest of the characters who ruin it...most are over-written and all are [hideously] over-acted. Asim Chaudhry's Irfan [and that fortune-teller] should have been scrapped altogether! Ouch!

The most frustrating thing is...there was a great idea behind this...half brothers, different ethnicity. Sometimes, great ideas should be given to more competent hands!

White Chamber

White Chamber
Directed by Paul Raschid

Paul Raschid director of White ChamberLow-budget sci-fi is always difficult to pull off! White Chamber tries...but, kinda falls short! It's just not that gripping.

Okay...the opening few minutes does grab the attention, an imploding make-Britain-great-again montage segues into a white, ultra-tech, prison cell where Shauna Macdonald mysteriously finds herself...with a [vocoded] voice asking her [rather mundanely]: Are you hungry?

There's some gruelling torture...and then, there's the backstory. This is where the film falters...rather than tell how she [and others] got there, in detail..why not show what they are going to do about their rather awkward situation...propel the film forwards and keep that momentum going throughout!

The climax of the film comes way before the end...a heavily purple eye-shadowed inmate bites off her fingers, eats her severed digits...and then, the film simply fizzles and flatlines out! Whatever happened to the big ending?!? Ooops!

Directed by Toby MacDonald

Old Boys
Directed by Toby MacDonald

As bizarre a take on Cyrano de Bergerac as you could [or couldn't] possibly imagine! Think: Harry Potter without all the hocus pocus, nor the weird and wonderful...nor, the very big budget.

A school for [mostly] privileged boys...and, not a whiff of [homosexual] subtext to be found anywhere - no doubt, someone somewhere will sniff it out! And, apart from the missing subtext, this school is atypical of all schools of this ilk...scholarship snobbery, brash & unbridled bullying, the pompous pomposity [of the teachers] and potent, puerile, pimply prattish brats who will inherit their inherited inheritance. Now, if Old Boys had not be played for the 'laughs' - what a different film this would have been - indeed, a heavyweight contender for hierarchical discourse. Instead, this is lightweight fayre...albeit enjoyable and rather charming, the script could have done with a great big dollop of sardonic toxicity...just to keep it real...for the hoi polloi.

That said, the charm of the film is courtesy of Alex Lawther - he who has dug himself into a rather lucrative niche...playing the [quirky] underdog. He and Jonah Hauer-King really do save this film from being an outright fail, unlike oil and water, these two work well together. However, for film as a whole 'could do better' resonates.

The Secret Of Marrowbone

The Secret of Marrowbone premiere @EIFF2018The Secret of Marrowbone
Directed by Sergio G. Sánchez

A beautiful looking film...with a distinct chill...and, a killer line [that should give, anyone with a heart, goosebumps].

George MacKay, star of The Secret of MarrowboneIt definitely has that 'American Gothic' feel...which is a credit to the artistic team, Marrowbone was shot entirely in Spain. To call it - merely - a horror would be a disservice...it's a ghost story, a love story, a family story...with a generous amount of psychiatric supernatural to keep you on your tip-toes. Obviously, all is not what it seems...a family with this amount of baggage and secrets can never be squeaky clean.

There are, perhaps, just a few too many subplots...Señor Sánchez needed to prune it back just a little...to reveal more detail. But...when the great 'reveal' comes along...it will leave you thinking: I've gotta watch that again! Not a bad way for a film to leave you!


 Friday 22 June 2018...

The Devil OutsideThe Devil Outside
Directed by Andrew Hulme

There's nothing quite like a bit of religious fanaticism to get the juices flowing and boiling. Alas, Andrew Hulme's film doesn't quite manage to grab where it ought to have grabbed...by the ****!

The main problem is with the friendship between the boys...one is a creationist-believing, molly-coddled introvert while the other is a rebellious stooge who attends religious classes [Why?!? Some silly reason is given...but, it wouldn't stand a chance in a court of law!].

There were a couple of opportunities where the director could have made the film into something completely different. There's a soupçon of the supernatural lurking here and there...but, it's not exploited as it should have been. Then, there's the subtext...is the lay-preacher just a kiddie-diddling monster? There's a hint...but, nothing concrete. Oooh...if only the supernatural and the subtext had been squeezed to the extreme...then, The Devil Outside would have been a force to be reckoned with...all the components were there, the talent and technical ability...and, the idea!

CCalibre 2018alibre
Directed by Matt Palmer

Let us not beat about the bush...Calibre is brilliant!

Set in the Highlands of Scotland [yes, the scenery is breathtaking]...in the begining, Matt Palmer toys with his audience...yes, of course, this is going to be some sort of Scottish Deliverance...replete with country bumpkins who despise the city-dwelling, cocaine-sniffing, money-choked chiefs of industry. Yes, it is a bit like that...and then, two shots are fired and the whole thing turns and twists and writhes into a tale of lost morals and bad decisions.

The set-up is inspired. The conflict is complex. The dialogue is furious. The conclusion, terrifying. It really is edge-of-the-seat stuff...and so, so believable. There are no weak links...Matt Palmer directs with unbridled swag. Jack Lowden and Martin McCann...well, they just bounce off of each other. Let us not beat about the bush...Calibre is absolutely brilliant!

Loveling

Loveling / Benzinho
Directed by Gustavo Pizzi

They don't come much better than this! The sweetest, most bitter/sweet film you are likely to see in years.

At its core...is a mother, a wonderful mother...played to utter perfection and precise conviction by [the fantastically talented] Karine Teles. She is everything...worth being. The subtlety she shows is mesmerising...the title 'Loveling' is uttered just once - blink, you'll miss it - but, it is a sharp in-take of breath...out of her four sons, her favourite is revealed. It's subtle. It's sublime.

Rarely, does a film exude such warmth and love...watch...the twins (little boys) as they hug their brother, the father as he bends over backwards to succeed and please, the big-hearted gay shop-keeper, the tuba-playing son as he finds his way...and then, there's the mother and her nest-leaving son, together - foetally - on a life-raft. Staggeringly beautiful!

This is a film that - quite simply - has to be seen by everyone. This is humanity at its very best. This is filmmaking at its very best. Gustavo Pizzi has artistry ooozing out of every pore...and, Pedro Faerstein's cinematography is what cinematography is all about...a masterclass. Stunning...really, stunning!

It will make you cry...the happiest tears!

Blood Fest

Blood Fest
Directed by Owen Egerton

If it's blood, guts and gore you're after...then, Blood Fest delivers.

Look...this is not the type of film we usually want to see...but, we had a couple of hours to spare...so, why not?!? Indeed, it is entertaining [if blood floats your boat]...but, the initial idea is squandered by some ridiculous and unnecessary over-thinking...and, the whole thing does come crashing down by the end!

Let's face it...it's not the type of film where you would expect complex character arcs coupled with deep & cyptic subtext. It is what it is...and, it delivers!


Saturday 23 June 2018...

Cest La Vie

C'est La Vie / Le sens de la fête
Directed by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano

Thankfully, nothing is lost in the translation...this is due to some razor-sharp [universally funny] writing and a mighty fine central performance.

This is Jean-Pierre Bacri's film...he carries it from start to finish with his deadpan, sarcasm-soaked repartee. He is utterly hysterical as he floats in and out of a staggering amount of subplots. Managed with a slick precision by the directors...the film glides up to a comedic set-piece that will cause you to howl, tears of laughter will stream down your face...the audience [at this screening] were bent double, holding their sides, wailing with joy...it was a beautiful thing to witness. The power of film...to induce such joy.

All that can be said is: Messieurs Nakacke & Toledano...thank you.

The Heiresses

The Heiresses / Las herederas
Directed by Marcelo Martinessi

This really is an agonising heartbreak...on so many levels.

An elderly lesbian couple are separated by a prison term, crippling debt and a love that may have seen better days. They say opposites attract, Chela and Chiquita are opposites and their contentment has just been turned upside down. Will they ever get back to what/where they were? Do they want to?

Ana Brun's careful portrayal of the pernickety Chela is like watching a fragile flower bloom. She's a snob, she's cold, she's pedantic...but, when faced with a desperate situation, she slowly strips off her protective layers to reveal the warmth and desire that has been dormant for so long...but, there's a hint that it might be too late to seize her day!

Marcelo Matinessi's film is a contemplative, gentle, delicately detailed, tour-de-force of emotion...a low-lit resonance mumbles throughout loaded with wasted opportunities and regrettable regrets. It's a sad, sad, beautiful film...it will leave you with goosebumps and a tear.

Two For Joy Film Fest

Director Tom Beard with Billie Piper, Daniel Mays, Emilia Jones, Bella Ramsey & Badger SkeltonTwo for Joy
Directed by Tom Beard

Well...don't believe the title. This is undiluted misery...familial dysfunction and depression...multiplied by two! Yes...not just one dysfunctional bunch...but, an other...with an entire collection of their own problems.

Everything about this film is bleak...the other family has - quite possibly - the most obnoxious child ever to be committed to paper [think of a tatty, street-urchin-ish Nellie Olesen multiplied by - at least - 100]...she is vile, what a horrible thing to say about a child...but, Bella Ramsay plays Miranda with such delicious savagery - it's nigh on impossible to feel anything - but, contempt - for her...and that really does come as an awkward and uncomfortable surprise, considering what happens! She steals the show, ripping the rugs from under her respective [adult] co-stars...all because, you feel nothing for her! That's just wrong!

It is a tremendously acted piece...but, grim - so, so, very grim. Masochists will love it!

Ideal Home

Ideal Home
Directed by Andrew Fleming

On paper, Ideal Home sounded like a real hoot. Truly...we wanted to love this film...or, at least, just like it. Ooops! It missed the mark by a mile [or two]!

So...what went wrong? Just about everything! It's not a very funny comedy, there is one laugh-out-loud moment...but, that's all it is - a moment! Then, there are Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan - acting [so] gay - as an on-screen couple, they are not only improbable but utterly vile...to watch and to each other! They spit venom continuously...and most of that 'venom' is so cringeworthy that any self-respecting gay man watching will cower in shame and embarrassment...reading 'felching' instead of 'felting' contrived piffle!

Ideal Home is far from being representative of a gay couple...played for laughs-that-don't-come. Sentimentality that will make you gag. And then, there's Steve Coogan's camp...as camp as a tent flattened by a herd of stampeding elephants. On a brighter note...the film's end credits are quite lovely...a photo-montage of real same-sex families...shame Andrew Fleming could not have instilled some of the solid sentiment and true representation that these photographs possess...into his film!

Lucid

Billy Zane, starring in LucidLucid
Directed by Adam Morse

When ambition and idea cost more than the budget...problems arise.

Lucid has two strengths...neither of which were capitalised upon: Billy Zane and the idea. Dreaming, a serendipitous cornucopia of ideas...quite literally, you can go anywhere and everywhere...but, with this budget, the dreams were tethered to - basically - one location. Adam Morse needed to spread his imaginative wings much further...dreams are the playground for absurdists. Be - unashamedly - absurd!
Director, Adam Morse with Billy Zane, Sadie Frost, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Laurie Calvert & cast
Now...Billy Zane...why under-use an actor of Mr Zane's standing and charisma? Here, he is [almost] unrecognisable and has...not enough screen-time...and, to make matters worse, cast - completely - in the wrong role! There's an over-acted [and over-written] brutish thug who has more screen-time than Mr Zane and would have benefited [greatly] from his talents...rather than being [just] an outright, detestable villain, introduce some light and shade to the character thereby making him a more useful and interesting foil to the central character.

Lucid has some well-constructed moments and flashes of inspired imagination. It's a thoroughly watchable film...it could have been gripping...like everything in this world of ours...recognising and playing on the strengths...is, erm, everything!


Sunday 24 June 2018...

Whitney 2018

Kevin Macdonald, director of WhitneyWhitney
Directed by Kevin MacDonald

She didn't stand a chance!

Kevin MacDonald's film will have you spitting at the screen...Bobby Brown, Whitney's contemptible father, Dee Dee Warwick all will make you seethe. Bad, really bad people. Her brothers and her mother come off little lighter...but, watch Nick Broomfield & Rudi Dolezal's 2017 film Whitney: Can I Be Me to get the full story...they ain't squeaky clean either!

As good as this documentary is...there is one glaring omission: Robyn Crawford [Whitney's 'secret' paramour] speaks not on camera! Obviously, compromises have been made, in exchange for personal appearances. Appearances that are so bizarre...you can almost hear their respective lawyers screaming "DO NOT INCRIMINATE YOURSELF" - Bobby Brown flatly refuses to talk about his and Whitney's troubles with drugs...to the point of denial. Cissy says nothing of importance...as for the brothers, not a brain-cell between them! What they will all do without the Bank of Whitney to support them? Well, let's just say: We care as much as they cared for Whitney. Nada!

Jaw-dropping and - truly - tragic.

We The Animals

We the Animals
Directed by Jeremiah Zagar

Take the old worn out cliché: Over-protective mother + distant father = gay kid...turn it on its head, rip it to shreds, smash it up until it becomes unrecognisable, add a distinctive filmmaking talent and one of the most beautiful-looking kids you will ever see...and, you have: We the Animals - a stunningly original feature debut from Jeremiah Zagar.

This film is soaked in artistry...yes, it is arthouse...but, with such an all-embracing narrative, it pulls you in and never lets go. Not only can you can see the turmoil this kid is going through, you can feel it. It's both heartbreaking and joyful. Mr Zagar's direction is as inventive as it is imaginative, he really does get the best out of all of the kids...but, it is his skill at wielding a double-bladed sword, everything/everyone has an ambiguous edge...the father, the basement-dwelling 'friend', the mother...but, the scene that nails it is when the boy sits on his father's knee and snuggles into his protection...I got myself a pretty one...killer line, killer scene, killer film.

Debuts do not come better than this...a veritable work of art.

Papillon 2017

Michael Socha in PapillonPapillon
Directed by Michael Noer

There's the good new: It is nowhere near as bad as expected. And, there's the bad news: It's nowhere near as good as the original.

Charlie Hunnam looks - uncannily - like Steve McQueen and Rami Malek does a rather strange impression of Dustin Hoffman. It really is a case of fresh actors bringing an old story to a new generation. Nothing wrong with that in principle...however, when both writer and director fail to bring something new to the table, comparisons will always be made and the original will always win!

Charlie needed to embrace the part more...yes, he certainly looks good and even after a rather lengthy stint in solitary confinement, he still looks [too] good to be believable. But...if it's eye-candy you're after, look no further. There's a strange dream/hallucination sequence where Rami  ditches his Hoffman and does a Marcel Marceau, replete with mime and white face...a most beguiling decision from the director.

Still...if it brings new audiences to old stories, job done. It just needed to be dirtier, skinnier, grimmier and grimmer...and, a bit more emotion would have helped enormously.


Monday 25 June 2018...

The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches

The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches / La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes
Directed by Simon Lavoie

If the narrative had been as artistic and carefully planned as the cinematography...then, this ridiculously titled film would have been an odds-on favourite for some major awards.

Talk about a missed opportunity...Simon Lavoie has taken quite a few liberties with Gaétan Soucy's novel...that, in itself, is not a bad thing: Filmmakers are visionaries, they interpret the words.

Alas, some directors should not write and most writers should not direct. The book was concerned with alienation, seclusion and isolation. Simon Lavoie managed the alienation bit...by alienating his audience. Scenes that expected too much from the audience without giving anything in return...she's a girl, raised as a boy - because, his penis fell off...c'mon!?! Over-acting is a bit of an issue. But, the straw that broke this camel's back...scenes that just went on for far too long...including that final scene! Talk about driving the audience out of the cinema...for what seemed an eternity, screaming!

Quite a few walked out...those who remained, left with their ears ringing...with disappointment. The vision was there...sadly, the story-telling was not.

The Parting Glass

Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin & Denis O'HareThe Parting Glass
Directed by Stephen Moyer

This is ensemble acting at its very best.

The is the Stephen Moyer's directorial debut...rest assured, Mr Moyer, this may be your first...but, certainly not your last.

The writing, Denis O'Hare's catharsis...autobiographical, flinching yet unflinching, fuelled by emotion...and, as slow-burning and scarring...as grief itself.

Stephen Moyer & Anna PaquinThis a a mature film held together by mature performances...Ed Asner asserts himself - with poise - as the head of the family - as each member reflects back into happier times with their sometimes bubbling 'nut-job' of a sister. Anna Paquin's scenes are as ethereal as her happiness...to his credit, Moyer refuses to give Ms Paquin's face the screen-time it [so] deserves...she's not there, their baby-sister has gone...faces fade, memories fade, each will remember something different...and, Ms Paquin gives to each, something different.

It's so tender [at times], it's so sad [most of the time]...then, there's the anger, there's the denial...the collateral damage that follows suicide...The Parting Glass is the fallout.

No question, this is a difficult film to watch...simply, because...it's so damn truthful. And, sometimes [most of the times], the truth hurts.

Let your tears run freely.

George Michael Freedom Director

George Michael Freedom: The Director's Cut
Directed by David Austin & George Michael

So...what does the director's cut bring to the table? New revelations? No. Just a few extra minutes of personal footage.

The glaring omissions are still there...as well as those unnecessary additions, Liam Gallagher et al.  Needless to say there will be further documentaries about Mr Michael [at least one other is in post-production at the time of writing]...but, for the time being, this is what George wanted the world to see. It's personal, it's vague and it's truthful to a point...made even more poignant by his premature death.

Recent allegations will keep his memory alive for a few years to come. When that interest fades...all that will be left behind is his music...and that is exactly how he should and will be remembered...as a mighty fine musician.

Three Summers

Three Summer PremiereThree Summers
Directed by Ben Elton

Be aware...this is not the Ben Elton of yesteryear...and, neither should it be. For, like us all, Mr Elton has grown and mellowed...but, his razor-sharp edge is still there, lurking in the background rather than the 'in-your-face' as once it was!

There's an underlying message running throughout Three Summers: If you can't laugh at yourself then you're absolutely folked! Yes...stereotypes are in abundance...as they are in life...hey Bruce, hey Sheila, take it with a pinch of salt, it's all just a bit of rib-poking fun. However, some of the pokes have mighty sharp points...indigenous land rights, immigration and, racism to name but a few!

At its core, Three Summers is a romance and - sadly - is the weakest part of the film...but, when it segues to the radio station [hilarious], to the camper-couples, to the butch bouncer looking for a little sapphic love, to the theremin-playing et al. - it really does come alive with laughs and music aplenty.

Then...there are the tear-inducing, emotion wallops. Yes, they may be a little preachy...but, Mr Elton has something to say and he says it...rather well. Who would have thought that Morris dancing could bring a tear to your eye?!?

A 'folking' funny and tearful film. Loved it.


Tuesday 26 June 2018...

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley
Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

The production values are sky-high. The acting is top-notch. It's a quality production...and, it will certainly educate those who know nothing about these young [early 19th century], priviledged, romantic radicals. Anyone can be a radical when money is no object!

Haifaa Al-Mansour, director of Mary Shelley

But...with [unacceptable] inaccuracies and omitted crucial events...Mary Shelley is only a semi-fabricated, fraction of her story. It's not that the time-frame is extensive, Mary met Percy when he was 21, they ranaway together when she was 17 and he died when he was 29...during those years, Mary had 3 children - all died in infancy, her 4th child survived into adulthood, had a miscarriage [maybe more], had Frankenstein [anonymously] published at the age of 21, dealt with quite a few suicides (most notably Percy's pregnant wife), mingled with some of the greatest literary names, suffered depression, fought a custody...and, never stayed in the same place long enough to let the grass grow around her...or, the allow debtors at their door. An eventful, harried and hectic life indeed. This film...not so!

So...where did it all go wrong? The writng and the focus...there was an obvious agenda from the off. Mary Shelley was the daughter of - perhaps - the first [polyamourous, heterosexual] feminist...Mary never knew her mother, she died shortly after giving birth. Mary grew with her mother's idealism instilled in her...the film portrays her as a strong, single-minded woman...when, in reality, she was a one-man-woman who was cajoled by the libidinous Shelley and accepted anonymity...all in the name of compromise...of a tragic life. Not quite the feminist!?!

Bio-pics need to be accurate...this film harks back to the golden days of Hollywood...when writers made up any old twaddle about historical figures. Mary Shelley's truth is infinitely more interesting than this negligent and erroneous, fact-mangling interpretation.

My Friend The Polish Girl

My Friend the Polish Girl
Directed by Ewa Banaszkiewicz & Mateusz Dymek

There comes a time - in every film festival - when you have to sit through the worst film ever committed to a memory card! This is it!

Directors, screenwriters and producers, Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek, should end their collaboration [now] if they want their careers to progress in a positive direction. 87 minutes of sub-standard not-good-enough-to-be-film-school drivel...when you hear a 'supposed' documentary 'supposed' filmmaker say: Act as if I'm not here - that's when you should leave. Sadly, we sat through the whole thing, wishing we had taken our own advice.

Seriously, to say something positive about this film required a thorough 'deep-digging' - nope, not even the 'Black & White' looks good, we dug and dug, uncovered a tissue of subtext, dug a little further...then, bashed our collective brains against a subterranean concrete wall. 

Hey...what would a film festival be without the stinkers?!? It's all part of the fun...the opportunity to berate and moan with a mighty large Gin or two - afterwards, with chums!

In Darkness

Natalie Dormer, star of In DarknessIn Darkness
Directed by Anthony Byrne

Now...here's a film that demands concentration. Pay attention...or, you will get lost. Notwithstanding all the twists and turns - there is a slight problem, if you can see what's coming...it kinda ruins it! So, we'll pretend we didn't see it coming!

Director, Anthony Byrne & Natalie DormerThis is - for sure - Natalie Dormer's film, she co-wrote it with her [directing] husband...and, she is rarely [if ever] off-screen. Thankfully, she is rather commanding as she drives her character through this labyrinth of missteps and murderous revenge. Now, In Darkness starts with a murder heard...but, unseen. Bet that premise rings a few bells?!? Blow Out/Blow Up - but, if ever a film goes off-piste, this is it. Lunging and lurching as it does...until, in walks Jan Bijvoet as Radic - his speech in the back of the car is stuff that [drama students'] auditions are made of...ooh, he'll make your skin crawl.

Taken with a [massive] pinch of salt, In Darkness is a thrilling ride...that really does take you to the darkest side...of humanity.

Terminal 2018

Terminal
Directed by Vaughn Stein

Oooh when a film is this stylish, it better have the substance to match!

The lighting is - quite possibly - the best you are likely to see [this year]. As with all good lighting, the cinematography needs to be right up there too...tick. Yes...it is a stunning looking film. But...does it have that substance!?!

You have to exercise a little patience...it's a little derailed in places, deranged in others...but, when it all starts coming together, it works a treat. Stangely, Terminal has received some rather scathing reviews?!? Did they see the same film??? Okay, the writing may be a little too Alice-in-Wonderland-ish in places...but, this is as slick as a well-oiled pole-dancer's pole...replete with an eye-watering conclusion!

Margot Robbie is delicious throughout. Max Irons does himself justice...and then there's Mike Myers...wow! So, forget the negative reviews - for they know not what they saw - and 'enjoy' - although 'enjoy' is not exactly the appropriate word!

Paris Is Burning

Paris is Burning
Directed by Jennie Livingston

Bill Forsyth, director of Local HeroNot going to say much...it's all been said before. Jennie Livingston was in-attendance...but, refused to be photographed and/or interviewed - that's what her handler - rather gruffly - said.

Anyway...film festivals have a certain knack at throwing a few surprises...standing outside the Filmhouse, look who we bumped into - Bill Forsyth, director of the timeless classic, Local Hero - he was gracious and courteous and even posed for a few photographs...

There's a lesson to be learnt there Ms Livingston!


Wednesday 27 June 2018...

Cateva Conversatii

Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl / Cateva conversatii despre o fata foarte inalta
Directed by Bogdan Theodor Olteanu

Whoever said that this was Romania's answer to Blue is the Warmest Colour [aka La Vie d'Adèle] obviously had never seen Abdellatif Kechiche's 180-minute, intense, erotically-charged pièce de résistance - just because they are both about two young lesbians, there is - simply - no comparison between these two films.

For these 'conversations' are as flat as a purposefully squashed pancake - if watching someone else's Skype call floats your boat...then, this here is the film for you. Otherwise stay [well] clear!

As for the 'climax' - yes, it all builds towards an inferno of sexual arousal with lesbian lips a-smacking here, there and everywhere...erm, what happened? Perhaps, Romania's lesbians don't do erotic...or, which is probably the case, Bogdan Theodor Olteanu had no idea (1) what lesbians do in bed...and, (2) how to direct a sex scene.

Not just a stinker of a film...it's a mercifully short [70-minute] monotonous stinker! Want to see how a lesbian sex-scene should be done...watch Disobedience.

Obey 2018

Director, Jamie Jones with Marcus Rutherford & Sophie Kennedy ClarkObey
Directed by Jamie Jones

This is why we need film festivals...to show, grow and promote this kind of homegrown nascent talent.

Feature debuts from both director and star...and, if this is anything to go by, we'll be seeing alot more of them both. A film with a limited budget and unlimited talent...

The backdrop is the 2011 London riots...with rich kids slumming it in the gutter, poor kids stuck in the gutter...screaming to get out. Leon's screams are silent...but, deafening. Marcus Rutherford embodies the frustration of being stuck in a maze with no way out, glimmers of hopes, flashes of possibilities all come crashing down. His choice is oh too simple: Either go with the flow or swim [for your life] against the current. The odds are stacked against him...a drug-addled drunken mothers concedes her worth...in what can only be described as one of the most beautifully acted, tender and clawing scenes seen in the entire festival.

Obey is raw. It packs a mighty powerful political punch and an even mightier emotion one. This is a film that deserves to be seen. A film that deserves distribution.

Swinging Safari

Swinging Safari / Flammable Children
Directed by Stephan Elliott

As daft as a bunch of pimply teenagers [hellbent on getting off their tits] at their first music festival...in the 70s...with a beached whale...and, some fabulously-dressed swingers!

Oooh the kiddies [aka Snowflakes] ain't gonna be liking this one, for sure!!! Because, in the 70s, political correctness was a thing of...erm, it didn't exit! People said what they felt...with nada repercussions! Like it or lump it - you knew where you stood. Those were the days, my friend...we thought they'd never end...but, alas, they did. Nowadays...it's all walking on eggshells and pussy-footing around lily-livered, over-sensitive snowflakes!

So...to fully appreciate Stephan Elliott's [fantastic] film, you need to be of a certain age, with a viable memory...and, have [most importantly] functional hips. Because, the soundtrack - alone - will make you wanna f*^%ing dance!

All we have to say to all the dissenters is: Grow up...your time will come, when nostalgia will give you a warm fuzzy feeling...and, who could have possibly lived without a K-tel record selector?!?

Thank you, Stephan...fabulous, darling!

Adventures In Public School

Adventures in Public School / Public Schooled
Directed by Kyle Rideout

Adventures in Public School Premiere

Kyle Rideout's second feature and as different from his first [Eadweard, 2015] as can be possible...from a cinematic historical bio-pic to awkward high-school teen-flick...such a gigantic leap in only 2 years. The obvious question is: Where to next?!?

Daniel Doheny, on the otherhand, is doing - practically - the same thing as he did in [the rather delightful] Alex Strangelove, playing a 17 year old. And, it has to be said, he does 'doing a geeky 17-year-old' very well indeed. Unlike in Alex, he's playing it straight...with such geeky charm, that you will just want to pinch his [facial] cheeks from start to finish. He's really that adorable!

It's a lovely, warm-hearted little film...however, aficionados of home-schooling will be a trifle miffed - it's not exactly a glowing recommendation for such a practice...does social awkwardness trump intelligence? You'll have to watch it to find out! Honestly, you won't be disappointed. Charming.


Thursday 28 June 2018...

Wild Nights With Emily Wild Nights with Emily
Directed by Madeleine Olnek

Do not go into this film expecting a re-hash/re-make of Terence Davies' [quite lovely] A Quiet Passion - or, you will be woefully and sorely disappointed. For this is a cheap, irreverent, [obviously] reverential, playfully fictionalised spoof of Emily Dickinson's life and works.

How Madeleine Olnek managed to get permission from Harvard to use Dickinson's poems and letters is - indeed - a feather in her cap! They must be reeling with rage! Or, do the Harvard elite have an unexpected and surprising sense-of-humour? Because...you need one, an acquired one at that, for this rather ragged film.

As we saw with Mary Shelley, filmmakers take liberties with [rather well-documented] literary figures, they re-interpret and abuse the facts until their agenda is fulfilled...to Hell with credibility. Madeleine Olnek's posthumous politicising of Emily Dickinson as being a lesbian feminist hero is - for want of a better word - a nonsense. Cue: a series of heated debates and some obligatory H8-mails!

The less-serious will probably say: C'mon, climb down from your high-horse, it's all just a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun! Touché!

Locating Silver Lake

Locating Silverlake
Directed by Eric Bilitch

It ends many miles away from where it starts!

This prima facie [heartbroken] rom-com soon shifts gear into something quite different. It ought not to have...although the idea behind it is stoic and sturdy: An almost angelic [straight] young man ready to absorb all that life throws at him crosses paths with a rather demonic and libidinous [bisexual] club kid...water and oil...repel or attract?

Both actors do their roles proud. Josh Peck is cheek-tweakingly adorable replete with those baby blues. Finn Wintrock knocks it out of the park, he is deliciously vile and sweet and vile... Of course, these two would never - not in a month of Sundays - ever get on...but writer/director - Eric Bilitch - adopts a nifty little mechaism to keep the credibility afloat...he's a writer-in-the-making with absolutely no life experience...and, has a desert-hike thirst to lap up every interesting character he meets.

This is where the film works best...when he meets different people with their small [and large] surprises that make every life interesting.The warmth that is duly generated - especially with his landlord - is both cosy, touching and charming.

Then...it all goes dark. Unnecessarily so. This 'dark' storyline could have been a film on its own, it would have reaped the benefits with and from more clarity. But, hey...that's just an opinion!

Locating Silver Lake is a lovely film...without that dark-side! With it...well, let's just say, it didn't need it. A little less is - quite often - a lot more.

Indian Horse

Indian Horse
Directed by Stephen S. Campanelli

Welll...the catholics [certainly] get a [well-deserved] bashing as they bash [both] the [mental and physical] living daylights out of everyone they righteously think they have the right to convert! These nuns just ain't nasty, these nuns are evil! Now, let them stand in a court of law and justify their stomach-churning malice...obviously, swearing on the bible as they do so! Let those retrospective convictions continue...until each and every [hypocritical] sinner is behind bars. And, not forgetting...where there's a priest...there's buggery!

This is a mighty subject...worthy of big budgets, big names and - quite possibly - more disposed to being a mini-series than an under-funded feature. Mr Campanelli does his [very] best with with what he had at hand...but, it's the scope of the story that presents problems, it spans decades. A small budget cannot handle such a sprawling time-frame.

By focusing on one section of Saul's life - obviously, the religious residential school [euphemistic for 'abusive pious prison'], the film would have been more manageable and effective. Voice-overs rarely work and, here, the are intrusive. It's a lazy way to tell a story. Still, it's a story that needs to be told and this is a valiant effort.

Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing...they knew exactly what they were doing! Netflix should be sniffing all around this!

Number One Women Up

Number One / Numéro Une [aka Women Up]
Directed by Tonie Marshall

French feminism and big business...a lethal combination? No, not if this film is anything to go by.

Just by reading the blurb...you expect this to be a straight-for-the-jugular-man-hating extravaganza. It's not...and, that's the problem. Indeed, every man in the film is a low-life scum-bag...but, the film - on the whole - leans towards civility rather than embracing the back-stabbing arena it's perceived to be!

There's a subplot involving a drowned woman...it's a little contrived, too distant from the protangonist and, perhaps, simplistically sentimental. Especially when...there is a tragedy on her actual doorstep [of which she contributed to] that really doesn't get the attention it [so] deserved...there's no need for humanity in big business!

Production and performances are all top notch...the only thing it lacked...[more] cold, callous conflict...from and by the women! This is a film that could have/should have left you seething...alas, it didn't.

The Negotiator

The Negotiator / Beirut
Directed by Brad Anderson

Good grief...what's with all the bad reviews?

Admittedly, Tangiers doubling as Beirut is stretching it a bit too far...but, what seems like an avalanche of snowflake sensitivity has befallen this film. For goodness sake, it's only a film! And not a bad one at that!

It's tense and taut with ample twists and turns...and, shifts gear when it really matters. Jon Hamm & Co. all deliver cast-iron performances in this dialogue-driven clash between West-meets-Middle-East - where neither side comes out looking [even slightly] respectable. Terror is not only a dirty business...but, a political pawn...Tony Gilroy's writing makes an attempt in showing the back-stroking/stabbing deceit adopted by all the players.

A decent thriller...with obvious flaws.


Friday 29 June 2018...

Anna And The Apocalypse

Director John McPhail with Ella Hunt, Sarah Swire, Mark Benton, Malcolm Cumming, Christopher Leveaux & Ben WigginsAnna and the Apocalypse
Directed by John McPhail

A musical with teens, zombies...and, a tiny budget!!! Heaven help us!

Do not presume, do not pre-judge...because, hold onto your horses, Anna and the Apocalypse will [and does] give any big-budgeted zombie flick a [serious] run for their money!

This is good...so good - in fact, we may become a trifle hyperbolic! The last time a cheap little British musical [with a silly idea] and some great songs made waves was - way back - in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show - forget the waves, it was more like a tsunami! With the right kind of marketing and distribution, Anna and the Apocalypse could follow in Rocky's footsteps...albethem millennial footsteps! This has 'cult musical' written all over it!

John McPhail has embraced what every filmmaker should embrace: It's not what you don't have...but, what you do have...that [combined] makes a good film! Script, cast and those songs!! Pure and not-so-simple...talent...all helmed by a director who has a [very] bright future indeed!

We laughed, we cried...were amply horrified. Bloody - and, it is bloody - marvellous!

The Gospel According To Andre

The Gospel According to André
Directed by Kate Novack

André Leon Talley is an imposing and polarising character. You either love him or loathe him! It really is that simple.

Well...if ever a film was made that tectonically shifted opinion...this is it! We love you [now], André!

From the opening scene, the mood is set...André, sitting on his porch, moaning at the gardener...hey, you don't get to where André got by not being a perfectionist. But, alas, perfectionists to the hoi polloi are usually regarded as pedantic and pernickety pains-in-the-butt. Sounds like: Not a film for the hoi polloi!

Therein lies the rub...or not, as is the case here. For Kate Novack has been rather clever, understanding André's polarity...get him at his grumpy worst...thereon in, the only way is up.

From the humblest of beginnings, André clawed his way up the Haute Couture ladder, luck played a part, intelligence was a good support, hard graft took the lead...all awhile he accummulated an enviable and incomparable encyclopaedic knowledge of the great fashion houses and offshoots...and, a personality and persona to match.

The film features many a famous face bestowing verbal accolades upon this 'giant' of a man. But, as his story unfolds, [mainly] through his anecdotes, the hoi polloi starts to see the man beneath the extravagance...all that hard work and that [ultimate] sacrifice he made...

"Listen, I have no love life. I've never had a love life. I've never fallen in love, experienced love."

It's too easy to say that André is one-in-a-million. Though true, it's just not accurate enough...André is - truly - unique. There will only ever be one André Leon Talley. A treasure.

Thank you for sharing.

Azougue Nazare

Azougue Nazaré
Directed by Tiago Melo

There's nothing worse than having to sit through a bible-bashing...especially when that said bible-bashing is delivered by an 'actor' who couldn't act even if it were the difference between life and death.

That's the problem with casting a non-professional cast...the weak links will cause the project to coming crashing down all around the good intentions. Tiago Melo did strike lucky with Valmir do Côco...but, despite a worthy [and credible] performance...he, alone, cannot save this film.

Think of Azougue Nazaré as an unfinished tapestry...because, this filmmaker either ran out of money and/or ideas and/or time...there are so many unresolved subplots as well as quite a few subplots that weren't needed in the first place, serving no purpose whatsoever - what was with all the 'spooky' stuff?!? Totally redundant.

Despite the strong beginning and ending, the intervening minutes were a messy string of underdeveloped storylines. Filmmaking is about storytelling, when the storyteller loses focus, the audience loses interest...and - rather quickly - they start to disappear.

Hearts Beat Loud

Hearts Beat Loud
Directed by Brett Haley

How many times can you listen to the same song?

Well, Hearts Beat Loud answers that question by playing the eponymously entitled tune over and over again...way too many times!!! Give it a rest, whydontcha!

So...is this film a musical? No, not enough [original] songs. Is it a drama? Erm...there is a smidgen of conflict but nothing that would challenge a novice-in-training conflict counsellor! Gotta be a comedy then? Ted Danson does inject a bit of humour...but, nothing rib-tickling.

What Hearts Beat Loud is...is a schmaltzy, sentimental, saccharine-soaked liberal-father-and-lesbian-daughter tale in a near-perfect middle-America - where neither Trump nor tensions exist. And, for those with a sweet tooth...it's very, very sweeeeeeet indeed, achingly so!

Nick Offerman's man-child performance is so laidback that it almost seems half-hearted...if you can swallow the premise that said father wants his destined-to-be-a-doctor daughter to give up her medical studies to form/join a band with her dusty dad and tour the country forever more - then, this - really - is the film for you!

The Butterfly Tree

The Butterfly PremiereThe Butterfily Tree
Directed by Priscilla Cameron

How do you make light of grief, suicide and cancer? Well, in truth, you don't...however, Priscilla Cameron has taken the decision to inject these debilitating themes with colour, eccentricity...and, butterflies. This is Ms Cameron's debut feature, limited by budget but not imagination...The Butterfly Tree is a gentle, ephemeral splash of colour...with deep shadows.

To be awe-struck by the first wave of love is something we all experience...and, perhaps, want to forget...to be young, to be in love...are the ingredients for foolishness, Ed Oxenbould manages to instil in his character that fumbling/bumbling naivety that - for sure - we all want to forget. Meanwhile, his father - in grief - is acting - in love - not just foolishly...but, irresponsibly...playing with others' hearts to mend his own. These matters of the heart have thrown a wedge between father and son!

And then...there's Melissa George's Evelyn - a beauty, if ever there was...and, delicate...so, so delicate. There are moments in all our lives, when we have to dig deep to see it through, Evelyn digs and keeps her perfect countenance...but, behind the mask, she aches. Both character and actor, consummate performers.

Limited by budget but not imagination, Priscilla Cameron's debut is a resonant and melancholic joy...let her budgets get bigger to unleash the true extent of her glorious imagination!


Saturday 30 June 2018...

Larger Than Life

Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story
Directed by Tiffany Bartok

Kevyn Aucoin died way back in 2002...it has taken years for his story to get to the big & small screens...and then, just like your long-awaited bus...two come along at the same time!

In the same year, Lori Kaye made Kevyn Aucoin Beauty & the Beast in Me and Tiffany Bartok has made this one: Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story. Just like the two 'Whitney' documentaries, each tell the same story from a slightly different perspective...and, with varying degrees of professionalism. What sets these two films apart is the proximity to the subject...Tiffany Bartok is a make-up artist-cum-filmmaker. Her appreciation for Kevyn's skill is obvious.

So...what sets Tiffany Bartok's film apart? Well, interviews with Cher and Isabella Rossellini help. But, it's Tori Amos who really grabs your attention...she talks a rare truth...it's so monumentally moving that a tear or two may escape from the corner of your eye.

Kevyn Aucoin died too young, he fought his demons too hard. He lived in constant pain, increasingly relying on painkillers...until his light slowly - at first - was extinguished.

This film is both atonement and praise...his artistry is beyond dispute, it's plain to see...on the covers of magazines. His friends...fairweather whatever weather...better late than never.

A fine tribute and an overdue obituary.

Wild Honey Pie

Wild Honey Pie
Directed by Jamie Adams

Considering the amount of producers...and, not one noticed that (1) swallowing this relationship is one almighty ask...and, (2) he's a doormat and she is indescribably vile! Apathy soon sets in.

The production values are low, the likability is even lower...cheap, little independent films need to fight tooth-and-nail to get noticed, they rely - if they are lucky enough to be chosen - on [complimentary] words-from-the-mouths of film festivals attendees. No-one was talking about Wild Honey Pie!

Independent filmmakers - all too often - forget about their [potential] audiences. Directors...give them something to work with...give them something to like, something to admire...an over-acted, actor-ish central performance [accompanied by some slapstick] is not the way to go.

Jamie Adams needed to direct his actors and re-write his characters...then, perhaps, the audience would be talking about his film - in a more positive light - at the bar, somewhat sozzled, afterwards.

Miss Maria

Miss María, Skirting the Mountain / Señorita María, la falda de la montaña
Directed by Rubén Mendoza

A simple life blighted by blind devotion...religion certainly exploits the under-educated, the vulnerable...and, those with learning disabilities. Mis Maria - without doubt - has learning disabilities!

It takes 9 minutes before a word is uttered...yes, we understand the whole 'setting the scene' - but - GAWD - make it interesting to watch!

There really is too much of nothing...elongated scenes of wood-chopping, water-carrying, stove-lighting...will put any self-respecting viewer at battle with rapid onset sleep!

Alas, the occasional burst of cacaphonous music...will ensure the continuation of sleep deprivation...which, surprisingly, turns out to be a good thing!

After, what feels like an eternity...Maria's [seriously] complex story starts to unfold...

Maria is a survivor, neither afraid of hard-work nor hardship...but, her life has dissolved into the indistinct blurriness of both fact and fiction. Not surprising since her untreated epilepsy was regarded as demonic possession...with a priest-on-hand to kick the demon out! There are more revelations...but...

Maria's faith is unshakeable...it gives her sanctuary. And, safety is what she needs...Maria was failed by her family and fought to be herself...here, she stands...a woman with a great big, loving & neglected heart.

An honour to have spent time in your company.


Sunday 1 July 2018...

Swimming With Men

Premiere of Swimming with MenSwimming with Men
Directed by Oliver Parker

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...at your local swimming pool!!! Beware: A mixed bag of badly-synchronized-men-swimming-badly are in-training...

British comedy at its most eccentric and very best...both daft and dark...this is an antidote to middle-aged, marriage-in-crisis, stuck-in-a-rut, near-to-broken, life-threatening-loneliness. And...the stars of this show are Rob Brydon and Oliver Parker...oh, and the editor [some of those transitions are - quite frankly - bloody marvellous].

Director Oliver Parker with Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves, Charlotte Riley, Daniel Mays, Nathaniel Parker, Thomas Turgoose & Jane HorrocksMr Brydon is - surprisingly - rather reserved throughout which is in-line with his mundanely-monotonous accounting character - well-observed, Mr Brydon. However, he does let-rip in the final minutes...with, as bizarre a conclusion that ever was...a heart-warming, crowd-pleasing, tear-inducing spectacle.

Mr Parker makes a [welcome] return to form, not seen in quite a while...this is familiar ground for Mr Parker...but, what sets Swimming with Men apart from his other 'light' comedies is...the artistry. There a few moments that will make you...gasp and think...perhaps, reflect. Men have been getting quite a bashing of late...well, this is a [very welocme] film that celebrates the man-child, his foibles, his humanity and his...vulnerability.

But...Beware, at your local swimming pool...there may be badly-synchronized-swimming-men-swimming-badly...in-training...a great wee film.


As per usual, a massive thank you to Edinburgh International Film Festival, the press office, the volunteers, the celebs, the filmmakers, the photographers...and, to all at DDA PR.


Sadly, the films we wanted to see...but, schedules clashed:

Make Me Up by Rachel Maclean

Unicorn Store by Brie Larson

Edinburgh2018

THE NUN - Official Teaser Trailer...

Filmmaker James Wan, director of the record-setting horror hits “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” explores another dark corner of that universe with “The Nun.” Directed by Corin Hardy (“The Hallow”), the new fright-fest is produced by Wan and by Peter Safran, who has produced all the films in “The Conjuring” franchise.

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

“The Nun” stars Oscar nominated Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”) as Father Burke, Taissa Farmiga (TV’s “American Horror Story”) as Sister Irene, and Jonas Bloquet (“Elle”) as local villager Frenchie.

The cast also includes Charlotte Hope (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as the abbey’s Sister Victoria, Ingrid Bisu (“Toni Erdmann”) as Sister Oana, and Bonnie Aarons, reprising her “Conjuring 2” role as the title character.

Hardy directs “The Nun” from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“It”), story by James Wan & Gary Dauberman. Dauberman, Todd Williams and Michael Clear are the executive producers.

First Man - Official Trailer...

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner (The Fault in Our Stars) executive produces. DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film.

The Little Stranger Trailer...

From the pen of Sarah Waters...

THE LITTLE STRANGER tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants - mother, son and daughter - are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.

From the director of Room...in theaters August 31st.

Tony Awards 2018...

TonyAwardsBest Play

“The Children”

“Farinelli and The King”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

“Junk”

“Latin History for Morons”

 

Best Musical

“The Band’s Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

 

Best Revival of a Play

“Angels in America”

“Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

“Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

“Lobby Hero”

“Travesties”

 

Best Revival of a Musical

“My Fair Lady”

“Once On This Island”

“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

 

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and the King”

Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

 

Best Leading Actress in a Play

Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

 

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

 

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once On This Island”

LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

 

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

David Morse, “The Iceman Cometh”

 

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”

 

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, “Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit” 

 

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, “Carousel”

Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

 

Best Direction of a Play

Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Joe Mantello, “Three Tall Women”

Patrick Marber, “Travesties”

John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

George C. Wolfe, “The Iceman Cometh”

 

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, “Once on This Island”

David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”

Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Bartlett Sher, “My Fair Lady”

 

Best Book of a Musical

“The Band’s Visit,” Itamar Moses

“Frozen,” Jennifer Lee

“Mean Girls,” Tina Fey

“SpongeBob SquarePants,” Kyle Jarrow

 

Best Original Score

“Angels in America”

“The Band’s Visit” 

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

 

Best Choreography

Christopher Gattelli, “My Fair Lady”

Christopher Gattelli, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Steven Hoggett, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Justin Peck, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” 

 

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and the King”

Nicky Gillibrand, “Angels in America”

Katrina Lindsay, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Ann Roth, “Three Tall Women”

Ann Roth, “The Iceman Cometh”

 

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, “Mean Girls”

Clint Ramos, “Once on This Island”

Ann Roth, “Carousel”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Catherine Zuber, “My Fair Lady” 

 

Best Sound Design of a Play

Adam Cork, “Travesties”

Ian Dickinson for Autograph, “Angels in America”

Gareth Fry, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” 

Tom Gibbons, “1984”

Dan Moses Schreier, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

 

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Kai Harada, “The Band’s Visit”

Peter Hylenski, “Once On This Island”

Scott Lehrer, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Brian Ronan, “Mean Girls”

Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

  

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” 

Paule Constable, “Angels in America”

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Paul Russell, “Farinelli and The King”

Ben Stanton, “Junk”

 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “Once On This Island”

Donald Holder, “My Fair Lady”

Brian MacDevitt, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Tyler Micoleau, “The Band’s Visit” 

 

Best Scenic Design of a Play:

Miriam Buether, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and The King”

Christine Jones, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Santo Loquasto, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, “Angels in America”

 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Dane Laffrey, “Once On This Island”

Scott Pask, “The Band’s Visit”

Scott Pask, Finn Ross & Adam Young, “Mean Girls”

Michael Yeargan, “My Fair Lady”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” 

 

Best Orchestrations

John Clancy, “Mean Girls”

Tom Kitt, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Annmarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin, “Once On This Island”

Jamshied Sharifi, “The Band’s Visit” 

Jonathan Tunick, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

 

Halloween - Official Trailer...

Universal Pictures will release Trancas International Films, Blumhouse Productions and Miramax’s Halloween on Friday, October 19, 2018.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Master of horror John Carpenter executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs.

Halloween is also produced by Malek Akkad, whose Trancas International Films has produced the Halloween series since its inception, and Bill Block (Elysium, District 9). In addition to Carpenter and Curtis, Green and McBride will executive produce under their Rough House Pictures banner. Ryan Freimman also serves in that role.

Bad Times at the El Royale | Official Trailer...

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption... before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman and Chris Hemsworth

Written and Directed by Drew Goddard

Billionaire Boys Club Trailer...

It's here...it took a while...but, it's here...with Kevin Spacey playing a gay man!

The Billionaire Boys Club was originally set for release in October 2017. However, sexual assault allegations about Spacey by Anthony Rapp and other men put the project on pause. Spacey was cut from All The Money In The World and fired from House of Cards - brave decision/foolish decision...the box office will soon let us know!

The Billionaire Boys Club arrives in theaters on July 16. Check out the trailer below.

Calibre | Trailer...

During a weekend in the countryside, two old friends make a terrible decision. Now someone – or perhaps both of them – will have to pay.

Tab & Tony...

Zachary QuintoActor Zachary Quinto and director JJ Abrams are to co-produce a movie exploring the love affair between Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins.

Screen legends Hunter and Perkins rose to fame in the 1950s and early 60s. They had to keep their sexuality a secret at a time when being openly gay or bisexual would have proved career suicide.

Tab Hunter

Tab Hunter was one of Hollywood’s biggest pin-ups of the 1950s. Anthony Perkins is still best known for his role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Psycho. The forthcoming movie will be called Tab & Tony.Tab Hunter Anthony Perkins

Hunter, who is now 86, led a secret gay life during the peak years of his film career. Following decades of rumors, he confirmed his sexuality in his autobiography in 2005.

In 2015, the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential re-explored his life on screen. His partner, Allan Glaser, will also have a hand in producing Tab & Tony alongside Quinto and Abrams.

Quinto and Abrams have worked together before on the re-booted Star Trek films, in which Quinto played the role of Spock. Although Abrams’ Bad Robot company is co-producing the movie, it’s not believed he will direct or Quinto will star.

Quinto came out as gay in 2011. He’s currently appearing in a Broadway revival of the late 1960s gay-themed play, The Boys In The Band.

Besides Tab Hunter, Perkins is rumored to have had sexual relations with Rock Hudson, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and composer Stephen Sondheim. He married photographer Berinthia ‘Berry’ Berenson in the early 70s and the couple had two children. He died of AIDS-related illness in 1992.

H/T: Hollywood Reporter

The Girl in the Spider's Web Trailer...

In theaters November 9th.

Lisbeth Salander, the cult figure and title character of the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, will return to the screen in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller. Golden Globe winner Claire Foy, the star of “The Crown,” will play the outcast vigilante defender under the direction of Fede Alvarez, the director of 2016’s breakout thriller Don’t Breathe; the screenplay adaptation is by Steven Knight and Fede Alvarez & Jay Basu.

 

OPERATION FINALE | Official Trailer...

This thrilling true story follows the 1960 covert mission of legendary Mossad agent Peter Malkin as he infiltrates Argentina and captures Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz, Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson, Michael Aronov, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Torben Liebrecht, Mike Hernandez, Greta Scacchi and Pêpê Rapazote

A STAR IS BORN - Official Trailer...

“A Star is Born” stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the drama, marking his directorial debut.

In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer... until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

The cast of “A Star is Born” also includes Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott.

In addition to playing Ally, Gaga, who earned her Oscar nod for the song “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground,” performs original songs in the film, which she wrote with Cooper and a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson. All the music is original and was recorded live.

“A Star is Born” is produced by Bill Gerber, Jon Peters, Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips and Lynette Howell Taylor. Ravi Mehta, Basil Iwanyk, Niija Kuykendall, Sue Kroll, Michael Rapino and Heather Parry serve as executive producers. The screenplay is by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters.

Collaborating with Cooper behind the scenes are Oscar-nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique (“Black Swan”), production designer Karen Murphy, three-time Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy (“American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Into the Wild”), and costume designer Erin Benach.

Dogman (2018) - Trailer...

Marcello, a small and gentle dog groomer, finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of subjugation with Simone, a former violent boxer who terrorizes the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will submit to an unexpected act of vengeance.

Mortal Engines Trailer...

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong). Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay. The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic.

On board as producers are Zane Weiner (The Hobbit trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit trilogy) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps), as well as Walsh and Jackson. Ken Kamins (The Hobbit trilogy) joins Boyens as executive producer. Universal will distribute the film worldwide.

Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang

Directed by: Christian Rivers

Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson

Based on the Book by: Philip Reeve

Produced by: Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Executive Producers: Ken Kamins, Philippa Boyens

Mortal Engines is in UK cinemas from December 14th.

Alan Hollinghurst speaks...and, it's depressing!

Alan HollinghurstThe gay novel has had its day, according to Alan Hollinghurst, this generation’s greatest exponent of it.

The writer, who won the Booker Prize in 2004 with The Line of Beauty, said that liberation and Aids were no longer as relevant. “There was an urgency, a novelty to the whole thing,” he told the Hay Festival. “And in our culture at least those things are no longer the case.”

Hollinghurst, 64, said that there was now less “nutrition” for novelists writing about the gay experience, whereas before homosexuality was decriminalised there had been a “heightened excitement which came through something illegal”.


Gosh...we should just call it day!!!

No more gay novels...where will filmmakers find their material!?!

Mr Hollinghurst seems to have forgotten about evolution...the 'gay novel' will evolve into something quite different...that's how history is made!
 
What a silly thing to say!

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN | New Trailer 2

The Hundred Acre Wood is opening up to our world. Watch the brand-new trailer for Disney’s Christopher Robin. Coming to cinemas this August.

Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh; Chris O’Dowd as Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

Suspiria - Teaser Trailer | Amazon Studios...

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Suspiria arrives in theaters November 2.

From director Luca Guadagnino.

Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper and Chloe Grace Moretz.

THE CHILDREN ACT Official Trailer...

Based on the much-loved novel by Ian McEwan (Atonement) and brought to the big screen by director Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris), THE CHILDREN ACT is a compelling and powerful drama telling the story of Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson), an eminent high court judge presiding over ethically complex cases. As the demands of her job cause her marriage to Jack (Stanley Tucci) to reach tipping point, Fiona is asked to rule on the case of Adam (Fionn Whitehead), a brilliant young boy who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion on religious grounds. With her private life in turmoil, Fiona finds herself drawn into the case, taking the unorthodox step of halting proceedings in order to visit Adam in hospital. As the two form a profound connection and powerful emotions come to light, Fiona’s judgement is put to the test with momentous consequences as she must ultimately decide whether Adam lives or dies.

Starring EMMA THOMPSON, STANLEY TUCCI, FIONN WHITEHEAD
Based on the acclaimed novel by IAN MCEWAN.
Directed by RICHARD EYRE
Written by IAN MCEWAN

In UK & Irish cinemas August 24

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