The Establishing Shot News April 16 - 2 Fun Edition - Fear The Walking Dead, The Nomad Cinema Film Festival 2016, James Bond: The Secret History, Sci-Fi News, Super Hero News, Upcoming Films, In Production News, Film Festival News, Film Awards News, Book News, Music News
In this second part of The Establishing Shot News April 16 - 2 Fun Edition we highlight some of the lighter, fun stuff that we are looking forward to as well as many upcoming films that look awesome.
I have tried to be brief but cover some really interesting news across two updates this one focussing on the more fun and crowd pleasing side of things and the other post more focussed on the Aert & Cult. So without out further ado here is a quick look at:
7 Things we are currently obsessed with including; Fear the Walking Dead, The Nomad Cinema Film Festival 2016, John Blake Publishing Release Sean Egan's James Bond: The Secret Files - The Stories Behind Britain's Most Recognised Icon, The John Carpenter Is Playing A Halloween Gig In London, ITV's The Durrells, R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson and Game Of Thrones Is Back.
In Sci-fi News: We Get A First Look At Scarlett Johansson In Ghost In The Shell, The Call Up To Close Scifi London Film Festival 2016, Wolfgang Petersen's Enemy Mine Gets A Blu-ray Release This June and Alien Day 2016 At Hackney Picturehouse
Super Hero News: David Ayer's Suicide Squad Gets A Blitz Trailer, X-men: Apocalypse Gets A New Trailer, Marvel's Doctor Strange Gets A Trailer, Powers: Eddie Izzard Stars In Edgy New Crime Drama, Coming To Spike In May, Netflix & Insa: Daredevil Global Gif. Watch Gif-iti Artist Insa Create The First Ever Global GIF, Finland's First Super Hero Film Rendel Gets An English Teaser Trailer, Netflix Original Series Marvel's The Defenders Assembles Its Creative Team and The Team For The Netflix Original Series Of Marvel's Iron Fist Is Coming Together!
In Looks Awesome News: First Look At The Jason Bourne Trailer, Shane Black's The Nice Guys Gets Brand New Character Posters, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Uk Release Date Change To 13th May 2016, John Le Carré's Our Kind Of Traitor Gets An Intense New Interrogation Clip, Jodie Foster's Money Monster Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts & Jack O’connell Gets A Trailer, The Legend of Tarzan, First Trailer For Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven, First Look At The Adaptation Of Paula Hawkins' The Girl On The Train Starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney & Édgar Ramírez Trailer, Warcraft: The Beginning Trailer, Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Who You Gonna Call? The Ghostbusters Remake Trailer and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Mad, Bad, Totally Rad Mel Gibson News: New Action Packed Mel Gibson Film Blood Father Gets It's First Trailer
In Talking Film With Edith Bowman News: Nick Frost Updates On The Paul Sequel
Dawn O'porter Admits Possibility Of A Future Collaboration With Her Husband, Actor Chris O'dowd
In Production News: Toby Jones, Anne Reid And Sinéad Matthews Lead Impressive Line-up In British Psychological Thriller, “kaleidoscope”, Greg Wise, Alice Sykes Sign Up For “after Louise”greg Wise, Alice Sykes Sign Up For “after Louise”, Hot Property Films Announces Two New Sci-fi Productions – Dogfight And Piper Following The Us Release Of Their Sci-fi Identicals Through Samuel Goldwyn Films And New Uk Distribution Deal With Arrow Films
Film Festival News: Edinburgh International Film Festival Announces The World Premiere Of Whisky Galore! As The 2016 Closing Night Gala, Derby Film Festival 2016 Runs From 29th April To May 8th, Unrestricted View Film Festival 2016 Tickets Now On Sale, The Bechdel Test Fest: Nora Ephron’s Last Supper, Cult Screens Launches Its Best Summer Season Yet and Mods 'n' Robbers - 2016 Southend Film Festival Launches With Two World Premieres
Film Awards News: 2016 Into Film Awards Winners Announced, Chasing Ice, Citizenfour, Food Chains, Miners Shot Down, And Virunga Win The 2016 Doc Impact Award and Whicker’s World Foundation Awards Finalists Announced
Book News: Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion Limited Edition Hardback Book
Music News: Rock In Rio Is Back To Lisbon This May
7 Things we are currently obsessed with
Fear The Waking Dead
I must confess I came to Fear The Walking Dead a little late. I was unsure if there was room in my life for another zombie related show as I am so heavily invested in the original Walking Dead and with its many tempestuous turns.
We binged watched the first season of Fear The Walking Dead before attending the second season premiere and we are smitten - of course these shows are less about zombies and more about the emotional roller coaster you are set on as you begin to become involved with the personalities featured in the show. Hopefully FTWD will fill the gap between Walking Dead seasons. A full write up of the Season 2 Premiere (what a night!) will be up soon including a brief chat with legendary producer Gale Anne Hurd.
|Fear The Walking Dead Poster [VIEW]|
The series from AMC Studios is currently in production on season two in Mexico at Baja Studios, home to some of the greatest ocean-set films in recent years. “Fear the Walking Dead” will air its second season of 15 episodes in two parts, beginning with the first seven episodes starting in April with the remaining eight episodes airing later in 2016. Season one, which achieved record-breaking performance worldwide including the highest-rated first season of any series in U.S. cable history, ended with Madison, Travis and their extended family taking temporary shelter in Strand’s gated estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As civil unrest continues to grow and the dead take over Los Angeles, Strand prepares to escape to “Abigail,” his large yacht moored offshore.
The Establishing Shot News April 16 -1 Art & Cult Edition FDA focus on Easter film releases made in Britain, Secrets Of The Cinema Projection Box Revealed, Save The Curzon Soho, Art House News, Cult News, Help Fund Stephen Graham's Being Keegan, Short Film Competitions News, Richard Attenborough Events News
We are bringing back our news updates - as we have had a few requests and As I have too many incomplete posts that I lost interest in while trying to find the time to round them out. It's less time consuming to put together than some of the more requested features, besides it's fun to highlight the good stuff as well as hope for the best with others.
It's been awhile so there are lots of little news updates. I have tried to be brief but cover some really interesting news across two updates this one focussing on the more artistic and Cult side of things and a second post more focussed on the fun and crowd pleasing side of things. Sadly as it has taken some time to put this together some of the news and events may be dated - but still worth a read.
The Film Distributors’ Association Highlights Recent Feature Films With A Strong Focus On Those Shot In London
Secrets Of The Cinema Projection Box Revealed
The Battle To Save The Curzon Soho
Art House Film News
Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein In Guanajuato Is In Cinemas
Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups will be in UK cinemas 6 May
Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead Gets An Exciting New Clip That Demonstrates Why Don Cheadle Was Born For This Role
Paolo Sorrentino’s Critically Acclaimed, Youth Now Available On Digital Download, Dvd And Blu-ray
Eureka Entertainment To Release Edvard Munch, Peter Watkins’ Astonishing 1974 Masterpiece About The Norwegian Expressionist Painter Of The Scream, On Blu-ray In The Uk On 13 June 2016
Arrow To Release Francesco Rosi's Three Brothers On Blu-ray
Eureka To Release Robert Altman's That Cold Day In The Park
Akira Kurosawa's Masterpiece Ran Returns Fully Restored In 4k
Studio Ghibli Forever Season At The Hackney Picturehouse
Cult Film & TV News: Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight Is Coming To The Small Screen 2 May, Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon Gets A Beguiling Teaser Trailer, Details Of Claire Denis' Sci-fi Film High Life Starring Robert Pattinson & Patricia Arquette Emerge, David Brent: Life On The Road - Teaser Trailer Released!, Steve Oram's Aaaaaaaah! Is Showing At The Bfi With A Cast Q&A, Digitally Restored In Hd The Professionals: Mkiv Is Out On Blu-ray, Arrow Video To Release The - Outlaw Gangster Vip: The Complete Collection, 70s Styled Psychological Drama Mojave Starring Oscar Isaac & Garrett Hedlund On Home Release 16 May, Jeremy Saulnier's Much Talked About Green Room Will Be In Uk Cinemas 13th May 2016, Arrow Release Bride Of Re-animator On Blu-ray & DVD, Nicholas Hoult Talks Kill Your Friends, Cell The Adaptation Of Stephen King Adaptation Novel Starring; John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman & Stacy Keach To Be Released August 26th, Purge Triquel Gets A Title And Trailer, Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Gets Release Date And Trailer, William Friedkin’s The Brink’s Job Out On DVD, UK Trailer For Safelight Starring Juno Temple And Evan Peters, Men & Chicken Releases In UK Cinemas June 2016, Trailer For Blake Lively's Shark Thriller The Shallows
Arrow Video Presents New Rainer Werner Fassbinder Titles, Ip Man 3 Out In The UK This Month
The Trust Releases In UK Cinemas & On Digital HD 27th May
Help Fund This
Stephen Graham & BAFTA/OSCAR Winning Team Searches For Atonement In Unique Crowd-funded Short Film - Being Keegan
Short Film Competitions News
Submit Your Shorts: The Shortest Nights '16 - Deadlines Looming!
Photography Exhibition News
citizenM Hosts Photography Exhibition By GSA Students During Photo London - 18th May - 9th June
Upcoming Richard Attenborough Events News
BAFTA & Chelsea Football Club To Host A Celebration Gala In Aid Of The Richard Attenborough Charitable Trust
So without out further ado here is a quick round-up of trailers, posters and news of /from films that have landed in our inbox and are on our radar.
The Film Distributors’ Association highlights recent feature films with a strong focus on those shot in LONDON
FDA WELCOMES THE DIVERSE LINE-UP OF UK FILMS COMING TO CINEMAS AROUND EASTER
Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) celebrates the diverse line-up of films made wholly or partly in the UK which are opening for cinema audiences around Easter.
In 2015, UK films (including co-productions) achieved a high market share of 44% of cinema box-office receipts. This year to date, Dad’s Army and Grimsby have attracted a combined audience of more than a million UK cinemagoers.
The UK offers world-class film studio facilities and effects houses, a variety of unique locations, and experienced crews and support companies.
The following films took in London:
Bastille Day (opening in UK cinemas on 22 April): An action thriller starring Idris Elba, Richard Madden and Kelly Reilly, Bastille Day was shot in London and Paris. The principal London location was the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, which stood in for the streets of Paris around the Bank of France, the site of a huge riot sequence at the film’s climax.
Couple in a Hole : Written and directed by Tom Geens, this film was shot in the French Pyrenees and at London’s Three Mills Studios. It won the Audience Award and Best Film at the Dinard British Film Festival 2015. Paul Higgins and Kate Dickie star as a British couple who end up living like savages in a vast forest.
Criminal : This international thriller was filmed in London, Croydon and Camber Sands (for a beach scene). Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds and Alice Eve star in the tale of a dangerous criminal, in whose head the memories of a dead CIA agent are implanted. Gal Gadot, about to debut as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also stars.
Desert Dancer : A biographical drama starring Freida Pinto, Tom Cullen and Reece Ritchie as Afshin Ghaffarian, who fulfils a childhood dream by starting an underground dance company in Iran – where dancing in public is forbidden. The film was shot in London and Morocco.
Eddie the Eagle : Dexter Fletcher directs Taron Egerton as Eddie, the British underdog competing at the 1988 Winter Olympics, with Hugh Jackman as his trainer. Shot at Pinewood Studios, the ski-jumping sequences were filmed in Bavaria by ace action director, Vic Armstrong.
Fan : Shah Rukh Khan stars in this thriller about obsession and identity. Its central London locations include King’s Cross and Madame Tussauds, while further location filming took place at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and in Croatia.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War : Chris Hemsworth returns to the big screen as the Huntsman in a fantasy prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain also star. Location filming took place in Windsor Great Park, Waverley Abbey in Surrey and Wells Cathedral, Somerset.
The Man Who Knew Infinity : Dev Patel plays Srinivasa Ramanujan, who comes from a poor background in India to study at Cambridge University, where he pioneers theories in mathematics. Stephen Fry, Toby Jones and Jeremy Irons (as his university professor) also star. The London locations included Charterhouse Square in Smithfield.
The Ones Below : A psychological suspense thriller, written and directed by David Farr, and filmed entirely in London. Two couples, each expecting a baby, who live in neighbouring flats become acquainted – with ultimately terrifying consequences. Clémence Poésy and David Morrissey star.
Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE, FDA President, said:
At its best there is nothing to rival the shared, immersive experience of the movies, and it’s thrilling to see London at the forefront of our big-screen entertainment. London is a cinematic powerhouse, generating more than a quarter of the UK’s entire box-office ticket sales each year.”
Several releases were filmed in other parts of the UK, for example:
Black Mountain Poets : A comedy written and directed by Jamie Adams, starring Alice Lowe. Set in a Welsh camping retreat for poets, the film won rave reviews at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2015. It was shot in Merthyr Tydfil and Porthcawl.
High-Rise : Ben Wheatley directs Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and Luke Evans in this adaptation of a JG Ballard story about life in a tower block running amok. It was shot wholly in Northern Ireland.
Iona : Written and directed by Scott Graham, Iona was shot in Glasgow as well as on the isle of Iona itself. Ruth Negga plays a character named after her birthplace, Iona, who takes her teenage son there to seek atonement for his violent crime.
Some thoughts on Zack Snyder's thrilling EPIC! Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. No secret I loved it and it might just be my favourite DC Comic film so far! – FILM REVIEW
W hat a film! I was absolutely thrilled by and loved Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - it truly is an Epic Super hero film in every sense. I haven't felt this excited about a comic film since Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and I have to say all things considered Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice might just be my favourite DC film!
This is the first of two posts concerning Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman in this one I discuss my thoughts on the film and why I loved it so much. In my second post things get more interesting as I go a bit deeper and look at the set-up scenes; Knightmare, Ding, ding, ding, ding, Communion and Cyborg's birth and discuss what they could mean and their impact on the DC film universe.
Batman v Superman has very quickly settled into my minds eye as part of the mainstream continuity of the world created by the comics. Partly because Zack Snyder and writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer make such a such a great film that is respectful to the spirit of the characters and the source material, adding depth in such ingenious ways whilst taking it in new and surprising directions that I cant wait to see where they take us next.
And partly because this is the world I have wanted to see on screen for a very long time. Earth's mightiest heroes on screen in a credible modern world. 30 years in the making since Frank Miller's 1986 iconic The Dark Knight Returns mini series laid the framework for the clash of Earth's mightiest heroes.
|Batman v Superman Frank Miller The Dark Knight Returns [ZOOM]|
Superman acutely understood his friends loss and why he pushed himself past the point of breaking to fulfil his quest of protecting his city, and always maintained that he was the most courageous man he knew - despite not having any powers he put himself in harms way time after time to protect the innocent.
This friendship resulted in the the world's mightiest heroes teaming up as the World's Finest and eventually the Justice League. But as our world changed and readers needs transformed our heroes as they underwent their own character development. Resulting in idealogical differences. With Batman v Superman we explore what would happen if these two different characters were to meet for the first time in our modern world?
|BEN AFFLECK as Batman and HENRY CAVILL as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.[ZOOM]|
I wasn't bowled over by Man of Steel. There were many elements I really enjoyed and some I really didn't. But it is clear that Man of Steel had to exist to give us the characters that take the story forward in Batman v Superman. Zack Snyder is playing a long game and its paying off.
There are some spoilers below, even more in my second upcoming post – but for this post I've tried not to be explicit about the story.
|Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hacked poster [ZOOM]|
The Establishing Shot check out the Batmobile from Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in London - FILM EXHIBITION
A couple of weeks ago I received a Bat alert in my inbox that the Batmobile from Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had just arrived at the Odeon Leicester Square and could be viewed.
I should mention that for guys my age that grew up having their comic book world broadened by Frank Miller's dark interpretation of the Batman with his The Dark Knight Returns. The tale of an older Bruce Wayne - hard boiled by years of crime fighting and having his world implode in on itself as it slides further into dystopia. That is until The Batman we know uncomfortably shifts from vigilante to revolutionary activist as his chosen path turns him against the world and - makes him the most dangerous man alive as he almost single handedly rages against the machine, the tide and the dying of light. His the end justifies the means and he becomes maybe not the hero the future world wanted but the one it needed.
|Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ben Affleck's Batman Returns fire up the Bat-Signal (ZOOM)|
In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent or Two Face perfectly captures this when he says:
Well, I guess you either die a hero
or you live long enough to see
yourself become the villain.
This has become de rigueur in our culture - but back then it was like nothing before, well certainly in the mainstream comic world. It changed everything - suddenly the the future our heroes have been fighting for in every comic ever written was stolen. Miller proposed that the future we all believed in does not pan out and is rather just a part of a slow slide into further dystopia and our heroes have to evolve or adapt to survive in this new world.
And whilst Zack Snyder' seems to have turned the whole thing on its head with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice promising to be the start or dawn of something great, rather than the swansong of The Dark Knight - it may be the film I have been waiting 30 years for.
|Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batman Poster (ZOOM)|
Triple 9 Director John Hillcoat tells us about a key scene that may have been different, what draws him to dark tales & Kate Winslet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aaron Paul & Anthony Mackie discuss the making of Triple 9 – IN CONVERSATION
A while back I was introduced to John Hillcoat's Triple 9 when we were treated to a preview of the first 9 minutes of the film. It was absolutely riveting - as we were flung head first along with Atticus Ross ' pulsating electro soundtrack into a tense bank heist carried off with military precision that goes awry and ends with a tension and bullet ridden shoot-out on the highways of Atlanta. For the full length of the clip I was completely absorbed and on the edge of my seat. In all fairness any half decent heist film with intelligent action (of which there are far too few) is going to be compelling viewing for me but with the level of intensity being put out by Hillcoat's ensemble cast the film was raised up a level.
I really didn't need to see the first 9 minutes to convince me that I wanted to see Triple 9 - I am always keen to see any film made by the man behind such films as: the dystopian nightmare The Road starring Viggo Mortensen, the Southern Americana crime tale Lawless with Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce & Gary Oldman and the dusty Proposition with Ray Winstone & Guy Pearce to name a few.
If you have seen any of these films there are immediate similarities that may stick out in your memory. They all have an omnipresent sense of impending dread, are filled with a bleak claustrophobic darkness and they all have outstanding casts delivering powerful performances telling extreme stories that are firmly anchored in reality. The same is very true of John Hillcoat's latest film Triple 9.
When an invite to a screening landed on my desk I was whole heartedly in for partaking of what promised to be an intense and gritty Neo-noir crime tale.
|Triple 9 Film Poster (ZOOM)|
Their plan is turned upside down when the attack is unexpectedly foiled, triggering a breakneck, action packed finale fuelled with betrayal, greed and revenge.
For Valentine's let me count the ways I love Deadpool aka 101 Reasons why I really enjoyed Deadpool – Deadpool FILM REVIEW
With Valentine's Day coming up I thought I would put together some thoughts on what is obviously the only romantic tale worth watching with your other half (and that will bring you closer together over some popcorn) - Deadpool.
|Deadpool Valentines True Love Never Dies Poster (ZOOM)|
So what's the film about? Well, you know what's its about - you've seen the multitude of clips and trailers and any other super hero films in the last decade - and right from the jaw dropping establishing shots in the stunning title sequence of the film the film-makers let you know, that they know, that you know and they are going to have a lot fun with it - including references to: "starring God's perfect idiot", "a Moody Teenager", "Comedic side relief", "hot love interest" and "a British Villain" whilst also sneaking references to Green Lantern and the creators of the Deadpool comic character Fabian Nicieza or FZ and Rob Liefeld aka RL.
I chat with Quentin Tarantino about his glorious Hateful Eight & he also tells us about his version of James Bond's Casino Royale - IN CONVERSATION REVIEW
I had hoped to end last year with what I would consider a proverbial bang discussing a my cinematic highlight of 2015, instead I'm kicking off 2016 with that bang of a standard that will hopefully continue throughout the year.
There are many reasons as to why it was my cinematic event of the year if you read The Establishing Shot you'll probably be aware that I am all about the immersive experience and it's unlikely that I'll have as great viewing of a film for a very long time, if ever.
For better or worse I often struggle to appropriately articulate some of what I consider highlight or milestone experiences - words don't fail me rather I feel that these experiences are somewhat diminished when curating them for a broader audience. I have been fortunate to enjoy a number of extremely exceptional experiences that I have kept to/for myself as I have felt that in the end - they mean more to me personally than they would as just another blog post on the web. The irony being that was one of the reasons I started The Establishing Shot in the first place (
add something here about moving over the festive season and losing a laptop with the original draft of this postm).
This is one such experience...
|The Hateful Eight Poster (ZOOM)|
Towards the end of last year I was extraordinarily fortunate along with a handful of others to see Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight as it was meant to be seen in all it's gloriousness. That staggering experience was a highlight of 2015 for me and further turned into a milestone memory when I got to chat with Quentin Tarantino about the making of The Hateful Eight.
I visit George Lucas' Star Wars: Visions Exhibition in Tokyo - THRILLING CITIES: TOKYO - EXHIBITION REPORT
I have been quietly anticipating the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To that end I have been avoiding the marketing and hype as much as I can - until a couple of evenings ago when after seeing a snippet of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega chatting on the news - the switch flipped - there is no containing my excitement - bring on December 4orce, secondarily I thought I would finish this piece on my visit to George Lucas' Star Wars: Visions Exhibition in Tokyo. Incidentally since writing this I believe I have the entire Legacy featurette that the aforementioned Ridley & Boyega interviews were part of, I have embedded it below and it's worth watching just to see their reactions to being on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set.
Earlier this year I was fortunate to fulfil a lifelong dream and visit a land far, far away. And I have to say - Japan, the land of the rising sun, far exceeded my expectations on every level. I hasten to add that Japan might be famed for its rising sun but its sunsets are absolutely spectacular. Whilst I didn't manage to team up with a travelling troupe of Ninjas and defend beleaguered farmers against an out of control warlord's hordes or find a Hattori Hanzō sword (or even an ancient Masamune Katana folded 200 times) I did however manage to wander the land, meet people... get into adventures and stuff.
When planning my Japan itinerary I was stoked to see that an exhibition dedicated to Star Wars called Star Wars: Visions would be on in Tokyo at the same time as I would be there. This was fortuitous as a little while back I had made tentative plans to visit the Star Wars: Identities Exhibition in Paris, my plans fell through and the exhibition moved on to its next international destination. London doesn't seem to be getting any Star Wars Exhibition love of late, in comparison to The London Film Museum's exceptional 2007 Star Wars: The Exhibition at least, so Star Wars: Visions was something I was keen to visit. However, my itinerary was fairly loose to say the least, as I intended to do a lot of travelling around Japan and as much as I intended to “plan the dive then dive the plan. I had no idea where I would end up from one day to the next or how long I might be there. If I may digress? My experience is that when it comes to travel you can plan for your expectations but if you can be flexible - some of the best experiences are the unexpected ones and you never know what new adventure or taste lies around the corner in wait. So there was a good chance I might not see the exhibition but it was on my radar.
|Star Wars: Visions Exhibition Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View|
Star Wars was released in 1977 and firmly placed itself into film history as well as became a cultural phenomenon.
An ingenious mix of a universe with compelling characters, an engaging weave of history and war, a variety of diverse planets, spacecrafts and weapons, the use of state-of-the-art video technology combined with a timeless story has captured the imagination of many, many fans.
Given Japan's contribution to Star Wars, particularly the films of Akira Kurosawa and its ardent Star Wars following it's no surprise that in the run up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens George Lucas decided to bring the Star Wars: Visions Exhibition to cities around Japan before taking up a permanent residence in Chicago at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in 2018. George Lucas even wanted legendary and influential Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune most notably known for his collaboration with Akira Kurosawa and roles in films like; Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo and Red Sun or Soleil Rouge, for the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi, then Darth Vader but Mifune past on both roles. Clearly Obi-Wan's Jedi robe and Lightsaber are nods to Japanese culture and Darth Vader's head gear is a modernised Samurai helmet.
George said, 'OK', suggested adding a samurai helmet, and Darth Vader was born. Simple as that.
Information on the exhibition at the time was sparse and mainly in Japanese so I was a little unsure of what to expect. Below is the translated description from the Star Wars: Visions Exhibition website, please excuse the flyboy translation:
As George Lucas was inspired by other works of popular culture for his vision of Star Wars, he invited artists selected from all over the world to draw upon the entire Star Wars galaxy for inspiration in creating their own original interpretations of Star Wars. The Star Wars Visions Exhibition showcases their art for the first time under one roof.
The Star Wars: Visions Exhibition will premier 60 pieces of original art work on display to the public for the first time and over a 100 artefacts of; concept art, costumes, sculptures and props used in the making of the Star Wars series on loan from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
As it turns out the force of kismet or manifest destiny came into play and after about a week of going full out and making the best use of my JR Pass to cover as much of my ambitious itinerary as possible. I highly recommended a Japan Rail Pass if you would like to get around Japan.
I had no comprehension of how big Tokyo actually is, the distances between landmarks or how wide the cultural differences are - everything took longer and more effort, combined with the heat pretty soon I was exhausted. So I decided to take it easy and hang out in Tokyo. After a late breakfast of scrambled eggs I shot in to one of the most vibrant and thrilling cities on Earth and had a day to kill.
SalonQP 2015 Highlights Part 1 - We chat with Artist-Designer Jaime Hayon, view Marc Newson's Hour Glass & MB&F's Arachnophobia, Objectif Horlogerie & Jean Rousseau - SALONQP 2015 EVENT REPORT
This post was originally intended to be a “Must see things at SalonQP 2015”. You know the type of post I'm referring to - low on content and high on hyperbole - but after spending some time at SalonQP absorbing the atmosphere and chatting with some of the talented and clearly determined watchmakers. I thought I really would be doing them a disservice if I didn't at least try to capture some of the innovative essence and elegance that SalonQP and their watchmakers bring to London - once a year for their annual luxury exhibition dedicated to fine watches.
...the name? It’s from the abbreviation for Quantième Perpétuel, the French term for “perpetual calendar”. QP is all about the long view and the highest standards.”
- excerpt from the SalonQP website
How could I not take some time and try cobble together something a little more substantial? Initially I had thought I may be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of time pieces and objects of desire on display from the 80 exhibiting brands at SalonQP 2015. Also the large number of people that typically attend these kind of events was a factor in my concern that I might not get a chance to see everything I hoped. Last year over 7,000 people visited and as SalonQP is growing from strength to strength - this year even more were expected.
Thankfully this was not the case at all as the exhibition is spaciously laid out over all three floors of giant The Saatchi Gallery. I was able to make my way around the entire exhibition in a couple of hours but more time was needed for visits, demonstrations and browsing pieces as there is more than enough to keep you occupied for days if needed.
After a visit it is easy to see why SalonQP is the UK (if not Europe's) premier fine watch exhibition. I hasten to add that although the focus of SalonQP is time pieces - it is very much a lifestyle exhibition - with high end luxury houses from other areas like; Lotus (because cars & watches), Linn Audio, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Creed Fragrance, Harrods, et al, showcasing their goods to meet the needs of people who enjoy, nay celebrate life. I would be surprised if SalonQP did not grow into a complete luxury lifestyle exhibition in the future.
SalonQP is an extraordinary opportunity to research your next purchase, meet some of the most talented crafts people in the watch business, see early watch samples before public release as well as view limited and rare examples of some of the finest watches ever made, listen and discuss aspects of the art & science of Horology (there are talks and seminars from leading watchmakers), view specially curated exhibitions as well as have a jolly good time which seems core to the SalonQP experience.
But for me, if there is one overriding take away from my visit SalonQP 2015 it is that I may never look at a watch the same way again - for most of us watches arrive as fully formed objects of function and beauty an almost abstracted thing distant from its origins, so understandably it is easy to forget that they are the composite of a long road and meticulous hard work. Nowhere was this more pertinent for me than when I stopped by Objectif Horlogerie to watch one of their craftsmen busy constructing a time piece.
I visit Arkham Asylum for The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain book launch & tick off riding in the Batmobile bucket list item - EVENT REPORT
A couple of weeks ago we had one of the best nights out in ages, in fact it was possibly the best Halloween night I will ever have. We had an absolutely ace evening of immersive fourth wall crossing, Gothic shocks, surprises and dreams coming true. It all started when I received a creepy email inviting me to a Halloween get together at The Crypt Gallery, Kings Cross to view “The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain”.
|The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain|
What was this all about? I wondered. But as I was very keen to visit The Crypt Gallery an underground venue that had piqued my interest over the years – we were in. The invite was accompanied by a rather disturbing and edgy recording purporting to come from the inside of Arkham Asylum and the voice sounded a lot like Mr Long Green, the Laughing Man, The Ace of Knaves, Joe Kerr, Dr. J Reko, the Harlequin of Hate or the Clown Prince of chaos himself The Joker.
Of course this was all pointing to one thing - The Rogues Gallery may be a super villain team synonymous with Central City's Flash but since the 80s The Rogues Gallery has slowly shifted to also mean a super group of foes based around Gotham. Had the Crypt been turned into Arkham Asylum?
On the evening as I looked out across the river it was almost as if a signal was shooting up and lighting the sky alerting me to start our journey north to Kings Cross.
Amazon Prime kicks off their first ever free PREVIEW WEEKEND with the Ridley Scott produced adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle
Sir Ridley Scott may be producing the new Denis Villeneuve Blade Runner project but before it hits cinemas you can see him take on another famous piece of literature from prolific and legendary Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick.
Described as Amazon Prime's most ambitious and critically acclaimed show yet in their Amazon Original Series, Amazon Prime have brought Philip K. Dick alternate future tale of America would look like if it had lost World War 2 - The Man In The High Castle to the small (or big screen depending on your setup) and for this weekend only! Ahead of its November 20 launch.
Based on Philip K. Dick's award-winning novel and adapted by Frank Spotniz, The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States.
Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City). Executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner).
|The Man in the High Castle|
A glimpse into an alternate history of North America. What life after WWII may have been like if the Nazis had won the war.
David Semel & Daniel Percival
Frank Spotnitz, Philip K. Dick
Rufus Sewell, Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank
|The Man in the High Castle Amazon Prime Poster (ZOOM)|
The making of Legend - Director Brian Helgeland tells us about his take on The Krays and Tom Hardy, Emily Browning & Christopher Eccleston discuss the making of Legend – IN CONVERSATION
To be fair it seemed Legend was on the back foot with me from the get go. I am most definitely not a fan of straight up East End gangster films, especially if they are set in the 50/60s. The reality of post war trauma seems to bleed into every aspect of creativity and tales of this time seem mired in the bleak kitchen sink social realism that had become the mainstay sensibility of the day.
Sadly, this still proliferates the British gangster genre. And for me at least, it always seems that in an effort to show “how it really was/is” the entertainment value of the film is smothered, stuffed uncomfortably into a cement laden barrel and then dumped in the Thames. Don't even get me started on the authentically dark camera work and more often than not dank locations.
This is of course a sweeping generalisation and there is something inherently British about this combination that sometimes gives seed to masterful acting, great character studies, immersive style Cinéma vérité or poignant storytelling but more than not it's overshadowed by a noticeable diminishing of the entertainment factor. Some of my favourite noir films have sprung from this very combination like Jules Dassin's unforgettable Night and the City, Joseph Losey's Time Without Pity and more recently Paul McGuigan's Gangster No. 1 and more that I cannot think of off the cuff.
Add to that, that I am by no means a fan or have any interest in The Kray Twins. Ronnie and Reggie sound like wholly unlikeable chaps, again to be fair I have limited knowledge of the subject matter.
All that combined under the film's tagline: “The notorious true story of The Kray Twins” should have spelt cinematic disaster for me.
Legend tells the story of two twins, Reggie and Ronald Kray and how they became two of the most notorious gangsters in history.
Brian Helgeland, John Pearson
Tom Hardy, Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Paul Bettany, Aneurin Barnard, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri
|Legend One Sheet Poster (Enlarge)|
I don’t know what the truth is but I thought to find something in the middle of all of that would be the truest thing I could do and I was interested in humanising them in a way.” - Legend Director, Brian Helgeland
40th Anniversary screening of Monty Python and The Holy Grail For one night only in 500 cinemas! & The Pythons speak - UPCOMING CLASSIC SCREENING
Once in a lifetime, there comes a motion picture which changes the whole history of motion pictures. A picture so stunning in its effect, so vast in its impact that it profoundly affects the lives of all who see it. One such film...
This coming Wednesday 14 October marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of the legendary Monty Python film, Holy Grail.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary, Monty Python and the Holy Grail will be shown in UK cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday 14th October 2015 accompanied by a specially filmed, exclusive introduction from The Pythons.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is definitely up there in the top 10 comedic films of all time just below the Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different and both are on our greatest films ever made.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail has spawned a 1000 belly laughs, quotes, memes and profoundly affected the lives of all who have seen it. It is as hilarious and relevant today as it was 40 years ago. So it's a real treat that we'll get to see this classic on the big screen again in its technicolour and surround sound glory (always very, very important to ensure that coconut sounds are acoustically perfect) even if it's just for one night only.
|Monty Python and the Holy Grail|
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles..
Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Monty Python (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin)
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Connie Booth
|Park Circus Presents Monty Python and the Holy Grail 40th Anniversary Screening Poster (ZOOM)|
Sam Mendes' James Bond follow up to Skyfall - SPECTRE is just over a month away from smashing into UK cinemas on the 26 October 2015. Even though we have been following the production it feels like its imminent release kind of snuck up on us.
Since seeing Skyfall we have been positively hanging to see what Sam Mendes does with Bond 24 or SPECTRE as it is now known. But it has been a bit of a bumpy road - what with Bond screenwriting duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade confirming they would be leaving the franchise just as Skyfall became its biggest success. Thankfully they did a turnaround. Sam Mendes hinted he may not return after Skyfall but again after some persuasion he has, unfortunately master cinematographer Roger Deakins has moved on despite being nominated for an Oscar for his stunning work on Skyfall.
Their efforts on Skyfall resulted in an all time high for the Bond franchise.
Not to mention the critical acclaim.
For the first time ever a Bond film, that is Sam Mendes' Skyfall was nominated and won the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film at the 66th British Academy Film Awards.
It had been 31 years since John Glen's For Your Eyes Only received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in 1981 and 47 years since a Bond film was nominated for anything other than a sound related Oscar with Terence Young's 1965 Thunderball being nominated and winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 38th Academy Awards.
In total Skyfall racked up 5 Oscar nominations; Best Score, Original Song, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Cinematography. That is just slightly less than the 7 Oscar nominations that all the other 22 Bond films combined.
Since Daniel Craig exploded onto screen as James Bond in Martin Campbell's 2006 rebirth of Bond - Casino Royale the Bond franchise has slowly been building upwards in both Bond's character growth as well as success. But how do you top Skyfall?
Well I think Esquire Magazine has for the most part covered this in their exclusive interview with SPECTRE lead and co-Producer Daniel Craig:
He doesn’t want to jinx it but, “I feel like we’ve all done our absolute fucking best and that’s a good feeling. Whether that makes a better movie we’ll see.”
Is the “classic Bond” ethos still in place, I wonder? “Times 10!” Craig almost shouts, momentarily revelling in his role as hype man. He repeats it when I laugh, holding his beer in the air. “It’s Skyfall times 10!”
And that is a point he is keen to make. For all the soul searching, he says, Spectre is “a celebration of all that’s Bond”.
There is a new supercar, the Aston Martin DB10. There are beautiful women, played by the va-va-voom Italian bombshell Monica Bellucci and the kittenish Léa Seydoux. There are signature set pieces: a thrilling opening in Mexico City; a car chase through Rome; action sequences in the Austrian Alps, in Tangier and in London. There’s a thuggish henchman (the first of Craig-era Bond) played by the former wrestler Dave Bautista. And there’s an evil megalomaniac, played by the great Christoph Waltz, devilish star of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.
Reading the synopsis for SPECTRE it looks like the Bond team are again delving into the personal story of the man behind the mythos, how James Bond becomes 007 as well as slowly bringing more of the formulaic elements to the fore. But with some certainty all we can expect is the unexpected as the story rolls out and hopefully puts elements into play that push out into Bond 25 and beyond, bringing the same team together again to make some magic.
As the release is imminent and whilst the memories of the production in London are still fresh I thought I would put together a post that would be the equivalent of an extended cinematic montage training scene of all the SPECTRE production news in the build up to the release of SPECTRE.
We can expect to see Sam Mendes' SPECTRE in UK cinemas from the 26 October 2015. In the meantime I'll be updating this post with all the official news you need to know about SPECTRE.
First Look: Watch Danny Kleinman's Made for Bond SPECTRE advert for the Sony Xperia Z5 Bond phone & RX100 IV camera starring Naomie Harris
We are less than two months away from Sam Mendes' SPECTRE, the 24th cinematic outing of Ian Fleming's James Bond, exploding on to screen in the UK - on 6 November.
In the run up to SPECTRE's release Sony have a little surprise for Bond fans and released a Bond inspired advert for their new Xperia Z5 smartphone and compact RX100 IV Cyber-shot camera. To create the advert they asked Danny Kleinman – the man behind many of the legendary Bond title sequences to direct and Miss Moneypenny herself - Naomie Harris to take the lead in the 60 Second advert highlighting the advanced functionality of both the Sony Xperia Z5 smartphone and compact RX100 IV Cyber-shot. All set to the iconic backdrop of Bond's home - London.
Sony's new campaign film from Sony features brand new technologies that have been ‘made for Bond’
Set against a backdrop of London’s South Bank, Moneypenny uses Sony’s RX100 IV camera to capture super-slow-motion surveillance as a drama unfolds with an intense chase to deliver Bond’s Xperia Z5 smartphone
Directed by Danny Kleinman – the man behind many of the legendary Bond title sequences
John Erick Dowdle's No Escape is a cracking (albeit harrowing) piece of contemporary grindhouse cinema – NO ESCAPE FILM REVIEW
I didn't really have much expectation or knowledge of John Erick Dowdle or his film No Escape going in to see it. In fact I thought the trailer looked to be incendiary given the current state of affairs. Don't get me wrong it is a very well made trailer that definitely had me interested in the film but forced me into a crisis of conscience given the content - that is a seemingly wholly evil nation of bloodthirsty savages baying for the blood of wholly innocent Americans.
The shine of what is otherwise a very slick trailer was immediately replaced by the hope that No Escape was not an early indication that the mood in the air is manifesting itself in a return to the propagandist and exploitive, cynical style of 80s Hollywood cinema that had a regressive American foreign policy at his core, a policy that ultimately reasons that only the return of Rambo can save us from the great evil again.
Thankfully, even if it is - I didn't really care as pretty quickly I was swept away in the gripping tale of a family's harrowing flight through a danger fraught city. Just to return to the trailer quickly - it is one of those scenarios where the film is pretty much exactly what is promised by the trailer – a schlocky, albeit very slick schlock (did I just invent a new genre? slick-schlock pronounced like Hip Hop), grindhouse style film for the double bill - midnight crowd. Possibly an indication of whether you will enjoy No Escape (which I did) is watching the trailer first - if it's effective to you, you'll probably like the film. But it's a bit of a Catch 22 - as the trailer gives away vital plot elements which are better left discovered during the viewing.
|No Escape UK Quad Poster in cinemas 4 September 2015 (ZOOM)|
Legend of The East End Exhibition Brings Kray Legend to Life & Iconic photography to the Heart of the East End - UPCOMING FILM EXHIBITION - VISIT LONDON
T o celebrate the upcoming release of the new Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy starrer Legend into UK cinemas on 9 September. StudioCanal are bringing an exciting and iconic LEGEND OF THE EAST END Exhibition to the heart of the East End 28th August - 11th September 2015.
We have been quietly anticipating director Brian Helgeland's tale of the notorious 60s London crime lords - The Kray twins for awhile now. Helgeland has been building up a varied and impressive portfolio of work including being involved in the writing or adaptation of; Paul Greengrass' Green Zone, Tony Scott's Man on Fire, Richard Donner's Conspiracy Theory, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River & Curtis Hanson's superbe 50s crime thriller L.A. Confidential. as well as directing corkers like; A Knight's Tale and the Mel Gibson remake of John Boorman's phenomenal Point Blank - Payback.
To be fair I'm not a particular fan of straight up 50/60s British crime thrillers they always seem to unsuccessfully offset downbeat kitchen sink realism with tinsel glamour. There are of course notable exceptions, one of them being Paul McGuigan's much underrated Gangster No. 1. Yet despite being a peak in modern art, music, fashion and culture with Britain bouncing back after World War II the swinging sixties struggles to be framed as an attractive period in film. But Helgeland's work on Payback and L.A. Confidential are more than enough to have me very interested in seeing what he does with 60s London.
|Ronnie Kray and Reggie Kray Drink Tea Image: © Hulton Archive Getty Images(ZOOM)|
They were the best years of our lives. They called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world, and me and my brother ruled London.” - Ronnie Kray, in his autobiographical book, My StoryIt looks like Brian Helgeland is already bringing his A game as he has managed to assemble an incredibly talented, and very strong, craft oriented cast for Legend. Which includes; Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, Taron Egerton, Chazz Palminteri, Christopher Eccleston and the legend that is Mr. David Thewlis - which will no doubt be a key strength of the film, particularly with performers having to bounce off Tom Hardy in what may be a career re-defining performance for him, in the dual roles of Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
In a quirk Legend pulls former Gangster No. 1 co-stars David Thewlis and Paul Bettany back into the 60s London underworld.
* Aneurin Barnard will be playing a young David Bailey before he became the master photographer and Legend we now know. Which brings me to - Legend will be in UK cinemas from the 9th September in the meantime StudioCanal's The LEGEND OF THE EAST END Exhibition will brings the Kray Legend back to life with a rare look into the lives of the notorious East End gangsters - Ronald "Ronnie" Kray and Reginald "Reggie" Kray aka The Kray Twins, a look behind the scenes of the making of the new Legend film, an amazing opportunity to view - iconic East End photography from Steven Berkoff, Duffy & Don McCullin as well as a FIRST LOOK at Jocelyn Bain Hogg's The Firm- a photographic retrospective documenting the British organized crime world.
Legend tells the story of two twins, Reggie and Ronald Kray and how they became two of the most notorious gangsters in history.
Brian Helgeland, John Pearson
Tom Hardy, Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Paul Bettany, Aneurin Barnard, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri
|Legend Film Poster(ZOOM)|