Sunday, 26 June 2011

My Brothers

My Brothers is in close competition with Tomboy as my second favourite film this week. There was some discussion once with my mum and step-dad as to what our favourite genre of film is, and discovered mine was "road movie". My Brothers is a wonderful road movie, set in Ireland as three brothers travel to the seaside in an old bread van to find a present for their terminally ill father. The film is about family relationships and dealing with grief. It is beautifully shot and the story is so emotional throughout. The film was directed by Paul Fraser who works alot with Shane Meadows, and he did a beautiful job on this, his debut feature. To top the film off, all the soundtrack was original music by Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. Perfect. FIVE STARS. more if i could :) x

Page Eight

Waking up in time to be at the cinema by 9am was difficult, but totally worth it! Page Eight was the most star studded film i have seen, the cast including, Bill Nighy, Rachel Weiz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones and Tom Hughes. Although I have no knowledge in politics at all, the plot wasn't too hard to understand, and even though it was quite a serious film, Nighy, and Gambon both injected comedy into their performances. It isn't the first time I have seen Nighy play a spy and end up kissing the pretty young woman (Easy Target), but thats fine, because he's really, really good in that role! Definately worth watching and i think this films going to do well after the festival. FOUR STARS. :)


Tomboy, thus far was my second favourite of the festival. The idea was genius, and beautifully shot. The colours in this film were gorgeous, and it was extremely aesthetically pleasing. The topic of the film is somewhat controversial and although quite difficult, it was tackled wonderfully. The film had some of the best child acting i have ever seen, the smallest girl especially, she was hilarious and it was totally believable. Zoe Heran, the star of the movie was incredible. I myself wasn't sure if she was male or female for the most part and i know that she is going to grow into an incredibly beautiful and talented actress. From the very beginning I was attached to the family and it was very moved going through the events with them.
Without question, FIVE STARS.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Fast Romance

I have been very lucky, that every film I have seen in this years festival has been really good. Until now...
Fast Romance is the intertwining story of a group of people and their love lives. Its been done before, and been done well, Paris Je T'aime, for example. However this "Sex and The City meets Gregorys Girl" was a bit of a let down. Yes, parts of it were funny and parts of it were sad, but all in all, I found myself not really caring about the characters, and the acting wasn't great.
Saying this, it could have been MUCH worse and still feel I've done well if this is the worst film I've seen so far. The best thing about this film i feel was the soundtrack which featured a lot of up and coming Scottish Artists, such as Little Eye and A Band Called Quinn, who i have been listening to quite a bit since watching the film :)
Sorry, but TWO STARS! x


Albatross is a 'coming of age comedy drama' about two girls, one an aspiring Oxford student (Beth) and the other (Emilia) a rebellious wannabe writer. As soon as Emilia walks into "The Cliff House" Hotel owned by Beth's family, everybody loves her. Beth wants her as a friend, her little sister wants to be her, and her father (sexy professor type, played by Sebastian Coch) see's her as his muse. But is she really the person everyone thinks she is?
I really enjoyed this film, i think, mainly because I am a teenage girl too. There were many middle aged men in this screening who i think would feel very differently. I thought Felicity Jones was lovely and fell in love with new comer Jessica Brown Findlay. From the opening shot i got a "Sugar Rush" vibe from the film, which carried on throughout, and thats good with me! FOUR STARS.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Our Day Will Come

Our Day Will Come is a beautiful french feature film, with the perfect blend of violence and humour. Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), was amazing, his character was so easy to identify with and never failed to evoke emotion from the audience. The script was incredibly well written, funny and full of surprises. Never before have I sat in a cinema and heard everyone laugh of loud together and gasp in horror with one another.
The story tells of a depressed doctor who takes pity on a misunderstood young man, who is running away from home. He takes the boy under his wing as his protege and together, they travel across france, and he teaches him the ways of the world.
Directed by Romain Gavras, best known for the M.I.A music video for Born Free, i knew the film would be controversial. Similarly to the video, the film tackles racism, and uses "red-heads" as the minority. Although racism is a serious issue, using ginger people added to the comedy of the film.
I am going to give this film FOUR STARS. It would have had five but i felt the story lost track a little towards the end :)

Meet Monica Velour

Meeting Monica Velour is an American comedy about a geeky teenage super fan of an 80's adult film star. To me it felt like Napoleon Dynamite meets Sex Drive, or The Girl Next Door, and was a nice light-hearted change at the festival! The film see's seventeen year old Tobe travel across America in order to see his heart throb perform. Here, he meets her and becomes involved in her complicated reality. The film, although a comedy, tackles gritty issues such as divorce, sex, and prostitution. As well as heart warming, it is heart breaking. Lovely film and ill definately be seeing it again :) FOUR STARS.

Col Needham

Those who know me will be aware that the website IMDb is very impportant in my life. IMDb, which stands for Internet Movie Database, contains all the information about every film, every crew member involved, and every actor and actress in the business. Personally, i use IMDb for many reasons; to find out about new releases, to find films by I certain director I like, or starring a certain actor i would like to see in something else, to identify actors whos face I know but who's name i dont, and primarily for my ongoing "film-web" project. In this project I connect the films i watch by the actors who appear in it, and sometimes i need to search for a really obscure role in order for this to work. I have the IMDb application on my phone so i can access it from anywhere, as well as from my computer, and believe i must visit the site around half a dozen times a day. This is why i was so excited to be in the audience for "spotlight in IMDb founder, Col Needham.
To my surprise, there is nothing show-biz about Col Needham. He looks just like your average man, and is, not from America which id previously thought, but from Manchester!
He explained how he never intended for IMDb to get so huge, and how, charmingly, the database began as a list he made, for himself, of all the films he had seen. The first film he ever watched was Snow White and the seven dwarfs (a re-release ;)) and claims it was seeing this, which began his love for film. He told one story, to which i can relate to very much, where at the age of fourteen he rented the film Alien. In fourteen days, he watched the film, fourteen times.
For an hour, Needham told the story of how IMDb grew into the phenomenon that it s today. From the first time he shared his list with other people, to the day the first person volounteered their information, right to the day he signed the deal with Amazon.
It was fascinating, for me, to learn how this business came from one mans obsessive watching of movies. In 1990, Col admits to seeing 1100 films. Some of the people i was with described him as being "sad", but i decribed him as "my hero"!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Ewen Bremner

This morning we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Ewen Bremner. Ewen is a well known face in cinema and has starred in many blockbusters as well as numerous indie films. Ewen is probably best known for his role as Spud in the 1996 Danny Boyle film, "Trainspotting". Since Trainspotting is one of my favourite films, it is safe to say i was totally star struck in our Q&A session.
Bremner was completely different to how i had expected. Foolishly i had thought he would be just like Spud's character during the interview scene in Trainspotting. Hyper-active and with a thick, almost un-recognizable scottish accent. In actual fact, he was an extremely laid back and friendly guy. He answered our questions wisely and seemed as interested in us as we did in him. During the Q&A I learnt a lot about him and was shocked to hear he tried very hard to "get out of" playing the role of Spud, and also tends to not watch the films he has been in. He is missing out.
It was a refreshing change, I thought, to be told about the industry from an actors point of view, especially one so well respected. He gave us a lot of advise, such as what attracts an actor to a script, and how best for a director to direct their cast.
Ewen was such a lovely guy and i really do feel lucky to have had this opportunity to meet and talk to him in a room full of only ten other people. Hopefully ill get the chance to meet him again sometime! Thanks Ewen!


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Perfect Sense

This evening I attended the premier screening of David MacKenzie's "Perfect Sense". Before I talk about the film I want to just say how amazingly exciting it was to attend my first premier and to also see Ewan Mcgregor, one of my favourite actors of all time. I can officially die happy.
Before the movie, McGregor, MacKenzie and producer (and therefore my idol) Gillian Berrie gave a small introduction to the film, and were each blown away by the reception they were receiving.
When I watched the trailer I was given the impression that the film was just your conventional love story. Meet, fall in love, fall out of love, forgive each other. And although the film does indeed follow a similar format, the twist in the story line took me completely by surprise. The ideas behind this film are Genius and nothing like anything I've ever seen before.
Overwhelmed by the story it left me crying like a baby at the end, initially with happiness but then also with grief. I highly reccomend this film to anyone. An apocalyptic romance!



Last night I was lucky enough to get a free ticket to see the documentary film "Calvet" by director Dominic Allen. "Calvet" tells the story of french painter, Jean Marc Calvet and documents his journey as he tries to find his son, whom he abandoned as a child. The film follows Calvet as he confides in Allen about his traumatic childhood and battle with drug addiction. When I was lucky enough to witness the question and answer session with them after the screening, Calvet describes the process as being "therapeutic".
Tormented by the memories of his parents divorce, and years of living in hiding, Calvet turned to painting as a form of escaping. His painting, influenced by Latin American art, illustrates the pain and suffering throughout Calvet's life - and helps him to identify and understand the mistakes he has made.
The film is a beautiful and emotional journey, assisting but never intruding the eye-opening confession of Jean Marc Calvet. After watching the film I felt a great connection to the character and was left with a intense feeling of hope. I feel this film took a lot of courage on behalf of the director and the star when making this film and I respect them alot for this.
On Friday I am blessed with the opportunity to meet the director of this film. With an interest in a career in documentary film making myself, I am hoping to learn a lot from him.