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xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere at the O2 Arena - EVENT REPORT

xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere EVENT REPORTEarlier this week the lady & I had a special date as we kicked off 2017 by heading to the O2 Arena for the European Premiere of the third film in the XXX series, which sees Vin Diesel's return to the franchise - xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

     After a delay, apparently caused by Vin Diesel's helicopter arriving late, yes, you read that correctly Vin Diesel arrived by helicopter and the rest of the cast arrived by taking a luxury speedboat out along the Thames.

     Video: xXx: Return of Xander Cage | European Premiere in London | Paramount Pictures UK    

BAFTA Nominations Announced for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2017 - UPCOMING EVENT

EE BAFTAS 2017 NominationsEarlier this week The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2017.

    The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 12 February at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

     VIDEO: EE British Academy Film Awards 2017 nominations announced by Sophie Turner + Dominic Cooper 

     The still not released in the UK  La La Land is leading the nominations with a combined 11 nominations.

= 11 Nominations =
La La Land is nominated for Best Film, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and Sound.  Damien Chazelle is nominated for both Director and Original Screenplay and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for Leading Actor and Leading Actress.

     VIDEO: La La Land (2016 Movie) Official Trailer – 'Dreamers'  

La La Land is in UK cinemas from Friday 13 January, 2017

Writer Director Richard Kelly discusses making Donnie Darko, the new restored 4K version, talks about taking creative risks, teases his next film, ends the speculation about which was the bigger influence Harvey or Watership Down as well as how Frank came about - IN CONVERSATION

Richard Kelly talks making Donnie DarkoThis week has been a bumper week for us as continuing our lucky streak of easing into the festive season on a high note – last year I ended on a high note chatting with Quentin Tarantino and this year round, we end with chatting with Writer Director Richard Kelly about his modern cult classic masterpiece Donnie Darko.

     I must admit watching Donnie Darko for the first time there were elements that hit me right where they should but there were many that didn't - it felt a like a very sophisticated but overly engineered cult film. As much as I appreciated Jake Gyllenhaal's nuanced performance balanced between troubled teen and outright headcase I couldn't quite engage with his damaged character or familial darkness at the time.

     However through a friend who loved Donnie Darko I re-watched it and we had many discussions about the film, through those sessions I grew to love the film and began to fully appreciate the intricate layering of it complect. There are so many cultural, literary, film, musical and tonal references tied into the weave of the tale that it is truly astonishing - it is like a painting with each brushstroke perfectly placed and made from a material that mixes and combines with other rich constituent parts to reveal a portrait of humanity in the throes of existential crises and offers an alternative picture to the 80s suburbia offered up by Hollywood - but it reaches past that, tapping into a much larger sadness and darkness.

     I say modern cult classic as, well, not to labour the point, but there are precious few good cult films that can be found for our viewing pleasure (in proportion to the number of films released a year) and even fewer that have been made in the last 15 years and still even fewer hailing from the United States that have anything near Donnie Darko's cult factor.
     Perhaps unsurprising as increasingly film producers/studios test film concept to the nth degree before committing to finance to a potentially risky proposition - it is afterall Showbusiness and film marketeers have become more savvy and quick to label a film as "cult" when it doesn't have a wider demographic appeal.

     So Donnie Darko is something of an enduring anomaly and possibly the last great American cult film, in the truest sense of the definition.

     A 26 year old Kelly describing Donnie Darko as "Maybe Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick," may seem a little arrogant but it is a most apt sentiment.

     I would love to write more about the film, the brilliant performances from an outstanding cast (which merits it's own discussion), the importance of ambient tone and how Kelly creates an unsettling tone of dread or trepidation and explore its meaning but I don't have the time required to do it justice and more importantly the meaning and symbolism of Donnie Darko doesn't need to be analysed and dissected, it always felt like a personal experience to me and I appreciate it thus.

     The whole week I had been buzzing about chatting with Richard Kelly as there is so much I wanted to converse with him about, ultimately I didn't get to chat about everything I would have like to, or in as much depth. But happy for the time he could give to chat with us. And I'm already looking forward to re-watching the restored Donnie Darko as well as eagerly anticipating Richard Kelly's upcoming fourth feature film.

    Donnie Darko New Quad Poster [Enlarge]    

Donnie Darko (2001)

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly

Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Seth Rogen, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Fifteen years before Stranger Things combined science-fiction, Spielberg-ian touches and 80s nostalgia to much acclaim, Writer/Director Richard Kelly set the template and the high-water mark with his debut feature, Donnie Darko. Initially beset with distribution problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as arguably the first cult classic of the new millennium.

Donnie is a troubled high school student: in therapy, prone to sleepwalking and in possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days 06 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time he will navigate teenage life, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank s maladjusted instructions and try to maintain the space-time continuum.

Described by its director as The Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick, Donnie Darko combines an eye-catching, eclectic cast pre-stardom Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, heartthrob Patrick Swayze, former child star Drew Barrymore, Oscar nominees Mary McDonnell and Katharine Ross, and television favourite Noah Wyle and an evocative soundtrack of 80s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. This brand-new 4K restoration, carried out exclusively for this release by Arrow Films, allows a modern classic to finally receive the treatment it deserves.


Wake up Donnie! Modern Cult Film Classic Donnie Darko to be re-released & 4K Restored in UK cinemas from 17 December at BFI and 23 December Nationwide! The Ultimate Alternative Xmas!

Donnie Darko 4K Re-releaseWish I could have gone back in time and got this post up sooner - as this week sees the 15th anniversary re-release of director Richard Kelly's modern cult classic Donnie Darko. 

     I say modern cult classic as, well, not to labour the point, but there are precious few good cult films that can be found for our viewing pleasure (in proportion to the number of films released a year) and even fewer that have been made in the last 15 years and still even fewer hailing from the United States that have anything near Donnie Darko's cult factor.

     Perhaps unsurprising as increasingly film producers/studios test film concept to the nth degree before committing to finance to a potentially risky proposition - it is afterall Showbusiness and film marketeers have become more savvy and quick to label a film as "cult" when it doesn't have a wider demographic appeal.

     So Donnie Darko is something of an enduring anomaly and a cult film, possibly the last American cult film, in the truest sense of the definition. I hasten to add I have as not yet seen Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Dance of Reality or completed Álex de la Iglesia's The Last Circus - both of which may well fit the bill, albe they not American.

    Donnie Darko New Quad Poster [Enlarge]    
     So I for one am super stoked that Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko is getting the attention it deserves on it's 15 anniversary - it's being restored, getting a super high definition 4K home re-release, a limited BFI theatre run which kicks off with the 4K Restoration Premiere and Q&A with writer-director Richard Kelly this Saturday 17th December, a special BFI Donnie Darko (Director’s Cut) and extended intro with Richard Kelly on Sunday 18th December ahead of it's general cinema release kick off next week from Friday 23 December.

Donnie Darko 28:06:42:12
    Donnie Darko 28:06:42:12 [Enlarge]    
     Donnie Darko seems to have aged well as watching the new trailer below, it seems to thrill and chill even more than it did on initial release.

Warriors! Come out to play! The Warriors cast comes to the UK for the first time & come out to play at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham on 1st & 2nd April 2017 - Upcoming Event

The Establishing Shot says The Warriors are coming to BirminghamWhat a time to be alive! This is absolutely phenomenal news. This year saw John Carpenter touring the UK for the first time and next year The Warriors are coming over to the UK to play. Needless to say Walter Hill's The Warriors is one of the greatest films ever made and I am a huge fan.

     There is no doubt that Producer/Writer/Director Walter Hill's work is as intense as it is versatile. He is responsible for some of the grittiest and adult action films ever released films like: Charles Bronson, James Coburn & Jill Ireland in Hard Times, Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern & Isabelle Adjani in The Driver, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin & Elizabeth McGovern in Johnny Handsome.

     He also directed engaging modern westerns like: David Carradine, Stacy Keach, Dennis Quaid in The Long Riders and Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe & Michael Ironside in Extreme Prejudice.

     Two of the best buddy pictures ever made: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy & Annette O'Toole in 48 Hrs. and Arnold Schwarzenegger & Jim Belushi in Red Heat.

     A slapstick comedy: Richard Pryor, John Candy & Lonette McKee in Brewster's Millions.

     As well as two great music based films: Ralph Macchio, Joe Seneca, Jami Gertz in Crossroads and Michael Paré, Diane Lane & Willem Dafoe in another of one of my favourite films of all time the spectacular - Streets of Fire.

     But few of those films come close to the tightly wound grit, vigour, swagger, sheer edge of the seat compulsion and hard hitting energy of his third feature film released in 1979 - The Warriors, all set to composer Barry De Vorzon's pulsating electro score, the most synthesized music used in a film to that point. And next year The Warriors coming to the UK to play.

The Warriors are coming Promotional Poster
The Warriors are coming Promotional Poster [OG]    
Battle of Cunaxa 401 BC. Over two millenniums ago, an army of Greek Soldiers found themselves isolated in the middle of The Persian Empire. One thousand miles from safety. One thousand miles from the sea.

One thousand miles with enemies on all sides. Theirs was a story of a desperate forced march. Theirs was a story of courage. This too is a story of courage - Prologue from the Director's Cut of The Warriors

     Loosely based on the greek tale of Anabasis, which has come to be known as The March of the Ten Thousand or The March Up Country, written circa. 370 BC. by Xenophon a professional soldier and writer who told the story over seven books.

Xenophon accompanied the Ten Thousand, a large army of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger, who intended to seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Though Cyrus' mixed army fought to a tactical victory at Cunaxa in Babylon (401 BC), Cyrus was killed, rendering the actions of the Greeks irrelevant and the expedition a failure.

Stranded deep in Persia, the Spartan general Clearchus and the other Greek senior officers were then killed or captured by treachery on the part of the Persian satrap Tissaphernes.

Xenophon, one of three remaining leaders elected by the soldiers, played an instrumental role in encouraging the 10,000 to march north across foodless deserts and snow-filled mountain passes, towards the Black Sea and the comparative security of its Greek shoreline cities.

Now abandoned in northern Mesopotamia, without supplies other than what they could obtain by force or diplomacy, the 10,000 had to fight their way northwards through Corduene and Armenia, making ad hoc decisions about their leadership, tactics, provender and destiny, while the King's army and hostile natives barred their way and attacked their flanks....
     - Wiki

     The Warriors are: Dorsey Wright (Cleon), Michael Beck (Swan), Terry Michos (Vermin), Brian Tyler (Snow), Marcelino Sánchez (Rembrandt), Thomas G Waites (Fox), Tom McKitterick (Cowboy),  David Harris (Cochise) and James Remar (Ajax).

The Warriors are coming... to Birmingham
The Warriors are coming... to Birmingham [OG]    

     If you are a fan of The Warriors you will recognise the plot as that of the gang, that has to make their way home after been framed, with dangers on all sides. The name Cyrus and possibly the relevance of the name Ajax will also be familiar. Neither of these names are featured in Sol Yurick's 1965 novel The Warriors which is the basis for the film.

     VIDEO: The Warriors - Trailer  

A battle of gigantic proportions is looming in the neon underground of New York City. The armies of the night number 100,000, they outnumber the police 5 to 1, and tonight they're after the Warriors - a street gang blamed unfairly for a rival gang leader's death. This contemporary action-adventure story takes place at night, underground, in the sub-culture of gang warfare that rages from Coney Island to Manhattan to the Bronx. Members of the Warriors fight for their lives, seek to survive in the urban jungle and learn the meaning of loyalty. This intense and stylized film is a dazzling achievement for cinematographer Andrew Laszlo.

     Yurick was a Social Investigator for New York City's Welfare Department and became familiar with New York's underprivileged and street gangs. He researched gang culture, hierarchical structures, motivations, behaviours and communication. All of which fed into his novel The Warriors. In the course of his research he discovered gang culture went back centuries, eventually drawing parallels to the young soldiers of the Ten Thousand of Anabasis.

     But the spark behind The Warriors was the gulf between the reality of growing gang culture and the friendlier perception portrayed in the media with films like West Side Story (1961).

     Yurick was not pleased by the film and the changes made to his story. His novel is more realistic as it the world they move through and The Warriors are by no means the heroes of Walter Hill's film.

     The film opened amidst controversy, how could it not? given the subject matter and the violence but has became an enduring cult favourite over the years.

     VIDEO: The Warriors: Last Subway Ride Home  

     Last year The Warriors took their last subway ride home with Rolling Stone Magazine and it looks like The Warriors are coming to play in the UK next year.

   UK Conclave Presents The Warriors UK Celebration

UK Conclave brings the cast of cult film The Warriors to the UK for the first time

Can you dig it? The cast of classic movie The Warriors will be making their way to the UK for a special Warriors 2017 celebration event at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham. Taking place on April 1st and 2nd, the UK Conclave will be the first Warriors conclave event in the UK. The lovingly crafted event will feature exhibits, panels, cosplay, stalls and a variety of other fun elements and surprises...

     Video: The Warriors - UK Conclave  

Attendees so far: Michael Beck (Swan), David Harris (Cochise), Terry Michos (Vermin), Brian Tyler (Snow), Deborah van Valkenburgh (Mercy), Thomas Waites (Fox), Dorsey Wright (Cleon) and more to come.

The Warriors Armies of The Night Poster
The Warriors Armies of The Night Poster [OG]    

Event details:
The Warriors come out to play at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham on 1st & 2nd April 2017

9am - 6pm, Saturday 1 April, 2017
9am - 6pm, Sunday 2 April, 2017

Edgbaston Stadium,
B5 7QU

For more information & tickets head over to:


Craig Grobler says The Warriors cast comes to the UK for the first time & come out to play at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham on 1st & 2nd April 2017 - Upcoming Event
Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.

When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, tries to connect to nature whilst mentally storyboarding the greatest film ever made. He also  & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime. 

A list of his 133 favourite films can be found hereIf you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: 
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Alex Zane presents the FDA guide to all the Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 film releases & Tom Conti Interview - EVENT REPORT

FDA Autumn Winter Preview Tom Conti InterviewA couple of weeks back I was fortunate to crack an invite to the FDA's Autumn/Winter Preview Event, this is where the Film Distributors Association give us a taste of upcoming releases and what we can expect from the Autumn/Winter period.

     To be honest I have missed the last couple of FDA events but was determined to make it this time around as the countdown master and presenter, not just another pretender, the real contender for film schedule mender and part time centaur sporting a new chevelure while he renders a verdict on upcoming films and that guy off the telly - Alex Zane (who you may know from such films as: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo & Ibiza Undead amongst his many, many other endeavours ) was hosting. And he is always incredibly entertaining. I thought a post would make nice catch up of releases coming up for the rest of the year and early next year.

     The evening was as surprising as it was fun, we were greeted with refreshments and exhibition of film art from the Autumn/Winter release schedule as well as a nostalgic display of vintage cinema paraphernalia including usher's uniforms, chairs and signs on loan from The Cinema Museum.


     We headed into the conference area where FDA Chief Executive Mark Batey gave us a quick update on the status of film in the UK - and the outlook was buoyant. With September being a very good month indeed, partially due to the release if Bridget Jones's Baby. If I remember correctly he mentioned that the past September had the most UK cinema goers for 20 years, since October 1997 which saw the releases of The Full Monty and the original Austin Powers film and looking forward things looked promising.


    Then Alex Zane stepped up and gave us a comedy gold countdown of his 20 most anticipated upcoming releases for the Autumn/Winter period. I have listed these films below - bear in mind that these are only a selection from the Autumn/Winter release schedule and there are many, many more that may float your boat.

     Zane was in top form as he delivered his countdown but that was not all as he interspersed the countdown with goody bag spot prizes. I managed to score a rather spiffing reverse gag Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon T-Shirt as well as an ace copy of Delivering Dreams: A Century of British Film Distribution by Geoffrey MacNab. Thanks FDA & Alex Zane.

     Just when we thought the evening had peaked, Zane invited special guest and Scottish acting legend Mr. Tom Conti onto the stage for a chat about his 50+ year career on stage and screen.


First look at Jonas Åkerlund's music video for Metallica ManUNkind from Hardwired … To Self Destruct & his upcoming Lords Of Chaos feature film - WATCH THIS!

Watch Metallica ManUnkind Jonas Akerlund VideoT oday Jonas Akerlund's music video for Metallica's ManUNkind single made it's debut. It is the seventh music video from Metallica's upcoming double disc album Hardwired … To Self Destruct to be released this week.

     Hardwired is Metallica's 10th studio album, their most recent solo album since 2008's Death Magnetic, not including Lulu their collaboration with Lou Reed.

     Akerlund's video features the first look at the fictional MAYHEM band (featuring Rory Culkin, Jack Kilmer, and Sky Ferreira) from Jonas Åkerlund’s upcoming true-crime film Lords of Chaos.

     It would appear that the sound of Hardwired … To Self Destruct seems to hark back to St. Anger but with a darker more Black Metal edge. Which ties right in to the subject matter of      Akerlund's Lords of Chaos

Lords of Chaos 
A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s results in a very violent outcome.

Lords Of Chaos Teaser Poster Jonas Akerlund
Lords Of Chaos Teaser Poster Jonas Akerlund [Large]     

The making of The Light Between Oceans - Director Derek Cianfrance and stars Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander chat about making The Light Between Oceans - IN CONVERSATION

Legend European Press ConferenceI have as yet unfortunately not had the chance to see Derek Cianfrance's The Light Between Oceans. But jumped at the chance to sit in on a discussion about the making of the film with the Director behind the moving and visionary, or should that be, “retro-visionary”? films like Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines - as, well to steal a sentiment from leading man Michael Fassbender - they don't make them like they used to.

     Derek Cianfrance's films are beautifully shot and the humanity portrayed brings gravitas to his tales. They take a long weighty view, looking past the immediate and instant to the longer repercussions and consequences of events and decisions.

The Light Between Oceans (2016)

A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.

Derek Cianfrance

Derek Cianfrance, M.L. Stedman

Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
    I was keen to possibly gain some insight into Derek Cianfrance's vision, his thought processes and decision making when it comes to choosing material and bringing his stories to life, and how those decisions differ from more conventional directors. Especially pertinent as The Light Between Oceans is the first novel that Cianfrance has adapted. I was also hoping to explore common elements from across his work.

     Besides who would not want to hear first hand from engaging top tier talent like Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander who is exceeding her Rising Star promise bringing challenging, intense and complex personalities to life on screen - about their experiences and approach to bringing M L Stedman's best selling novel and Derek Cianfrance's vision to life.

     I have to say it was quite an experience sitting in the discussion, particularly listening to Michael Fassbender who seems to be able to communicate complex emotions and scenarios very clearly with an easy charm. It is very clear that this guy could excel at anything he chooses and that the performing arts are a better place with his contribution.

The Light Between Oceans Poster Quad
The Light Between Oceans Poster Quad [Enlarge]    
     Just as surprising was how fresh and a budding talent Alicia Vikander is, given her numerous roles I thought she maybe a far more jaded personality but not even close – despite her accomplishments so far, Vikander's journey is just starting. She also blew my mind about 3/4s of the way through the chat when she mentioned that English was not her first language – of course it makes complete sense in hindsight but not something that had occurred to me off the bat - it is easy to understand why her talent is so sought after.

     Derek Cianfrance is still a mystery to me, like all the best directors, how they do what they do is not easily explored, and whilst making a film is not only a creative endeavour, it can be as gruelling as any mechanical production business with budgets, timelines and deadlines, but it would seem that Cianfrance seems to be very much in tune with the human side of things drawing both outstanding performances from his cast and placing them in a sweeping epic tale – like they don't make any more.

A shell-shocked survivor of the First World War trenches, Tom Sherbourne, devotes himself to his new job as lighthouse keeper on the otherwise uninhabited Janus Rock, surrounded by nothing but the vast sea, seeking solace in the solitude. He intends to remain alone, but unexpectedly meets Isabel Graysmark, a vivacious young woman from the town of Partageuse across the harbor, herself grieving two brothers lost in the war.

Despite the obstacles, their love flourishes in the stark isolation and they are soon married. Passionate for each other and hoping to be part of creating a new life together, they try to start a family, but fate intercedes. Then, one night, a mysterious rowboat holding a dead man and an infant girl washes ashore, setting off a chain of decisions—some impetuous, others wrenching— that unravel with shattering consequences.


He's back! Clive Owen is The Driver for Hire See Neill Blomkamp's short film The Escape for BMW also starring Jon Bernthal, Dakota Fanning & Vera Farmiga - WATCH THIS!

Watch Clive Owen in BMW The Escape15 years ago, mid 2001 BMW Films released the first of its Hire short films Executive Produced by David Fincher and starring Clive Owen as The Driver -  Ambush, a 6 minute short film directed by the legendary John Frankenheimer, known for his action drama as much as he is for high velocity car chases, perhaps the most apt choice to kick off a series of films based around high performance vehicles.

BMW THe Hire Clive Owen
BMW THe Hire Clive Owen    
     Soon after 4 more short films followed; Ang Lee's Chosen, Kar-Wai Wong's The Follow, Guy Ritchie's Star and Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Powder Keg.

     For the second season Tony and Ridley Scott picked up the reigns to produce: John Woo's Hostage, Tony Scott's unforgettable (and perhaps the pinnacle of the Hire Series) Beat the Devil based on an original David Fincher concept and starring James Brown and Gary Oldman alongside Clive Owen.

Holy Mackerel! Baumbach & Paltrow's De Palma documentary is outstanding! A ★★★★★ revelation and one of the most engaging & insightful making of film documentaries I have ever seen as it offers a voyeuristic look into the head of Brian De Palma, the modern Master of the psychological drama - FILM REVIEW

De Palma Documentary Review Blow OutI absolutely loved Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow's De Palma. A documentary that is ostensibly about a man sitting in front of a camera and talking, telling you his story - the story of his life and the story of his passion – making films. 

I say ostensibly as much like the visual tricks De Palma employs for sleight of hand or to heighten effect and suspense – mine is a deceptively simple deconstruction as - at the heart of making film - is story telling. And Brian De Palma can tell a story.

     Look! This isn't so much a review of Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow's De Palma - it's brilliant please go see it. This is more about my surprise at rediscovering Brian De Palma's works, style and one of my favourite films of all time - Brian De Palma's Blow Out.

     There is very little that is conventional about Brian De Palma, so his films are unlikely to ever fit in an easily categorised box. He has raised as much controversy as he has accolades over his 31 feature film, 60 year career. He has made crime films, comedy, political intrigue, satire, high action, science fiction all with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and carved a distinct path for himself with psycho sexual dramas. He has the unique ability to play with film technique and deliver an engaging tale that will keep you guessing and surprised throughout. He also made one of my favourite films of all time. Yet he has remained a fairly enigmatic and private person. I do not believe he has actually even contributed to a Director's commentary on any of his DVD/Blu Rays.

     So when the opportunity came to see a documentary made by two friends of his, based on a series of ongoing conversations they have being having with him about his career, which became a feature length documentary I jumped at the chance. And was rewarded with one of the best cinematic experiences of the year and fell in love with Brian De Palma's films all over again. This is a documentary for anyone who likes Brian De Palma's films, anyone with an interest in filmmaking and anyone who loves film.

One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, and Mission: Impossible.

In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his more recent years as a respected veteran of the field.

In the end, what emerges is a funny, honest, and incisive portrait of a truly one-of-a-kind artist, and an exhilarating behind-the-scenes look at the last 50 years of the film industry through the eyes of someone who has truly seen it all.ne of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, and Mission: Impossible.

De Palma Quad poster
De Palma Quad poster [enlarge]    

For Sale 1 Unique motorcycle-ATV hybrid aka BatPod **Like New** Absolutely Stunning (Chicks dig this bike), Metallic Grey Custom Wayne Tech. 750cc. Very Good Condition. One Careful Owner. 12 Months Gotham City MOT

Real Bat-Pod for sale at the Prop Store Auction Preview ExhibitionThis is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a unique and stunning looking (chicks really dig it!) bike. Ready to ride. Starts first time every time on electric start or kick. Power and robustness is what this bike is all about with a custom-made Gotham steel chassis, carbon-fiber and kevlar body. Single seat, Brand new 31" front and rear Hoosier racing tyres,

     High performance liquid cooled single-cylinder engine. Registered as a 750cc ;;). With a top speed of 120 Mph / 193 Kmh ;;), 5 Speed chain driven.

     Excellent condition, some slight wear to the body, with very little cosmetic work could be made into an absolute beauty. Night time inspired. Metallic Grey as dark as Ra's al Ghul soul. But this is not just a stylized piece - every element has a practical function.


Fight the Man and #win an exclusive Captain Fantastic Goody Pack to celebrate the film's release Friday Sept 9th - COMPETITION

Win exclusive Captain Fantastic Goody PacksTomorrow, Friday Sept 9th, Captain Fantastic is coming to UK cinemas. To celebrate the film’s release, the marketeers have created some lovely themed merchandise and been kind enough to let us champion this film and giveaway 3 Captain Fantastic Goody Packs.

     Sadly I didn't get a chance to see Captain Fantastic but any film that stars Viggo Mortensen is going to be a quality effort, more so, when the material is as fiercely original as Captain Fantastic promises, and leans so much towards themes of humanity, a strength running through all Mortensen's role choices.

     At its Cannes Festival debut Captain Fantastic got a 10 minute standing ovation and everyone I know that has seen it loves it.. So I thinks it's fair to assume that Captain Fantastic is going to be a worthwhile viewing experience.

     As well as Viggo Mortensen, no doubt George MacKay will be putting in another fine performance to add to his growing resume alongside the legendary Frank Langella.

In the woodlands of the Pacific Northwest, Ben Cash, the fiercely independent patriarch of Captain Fantastic, is raising his family as far as he can from the influence of modern consumerist culture.

Filling the days of his six children with rigorous education, demanding physical training and intense instruction for surviving in the wild, Ben raises a tribe of "philosopher kings" with the cardiovascular and muscular endurance of elite athletes and a grasp of classic texts far beyond their years.

Release the Bats! It's Halloween! Everyone's entitled to one good scare. Legendary Director Composer John Carpenter is playing a Halloween Gig at The Troxy London - UPCOMING GIG

John Carpenter Live in London TroxyI have posted about this before, but as I said then - this is possibly the most exciting event I have heard of this year! Legendary Director (and Composer) John Carpenter the man behind films like: Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China and They Live amongst others. And yea, he pretty much created all the iconic sounds for his films  - is playing a two gigs at The Troxy in London this Halloween! And will be performing his film soundtracks and new compositions.

In conversation with horror maestro Claudio Simonetti In conversation with horror maestro Claudio Simonetti
    Carpenter embarked on his first ever live performance tour earlier this year and has been playing to sold out audiences to rave reviews. This October he arrives in the UK and will be playing live performances throughout the UK and Ireland: Brighton 20 October, Edinburgh 22 October, Bristol 23 October, Dublin 25 October, Liverpool 28 October, Manchester 29 October and as John Carpenter's Release the Bats London gig on 31st October is sold out an extra date has been added so he will be playing at The Troxy on Tuesday 1st November 2016 as well.

John Carpenter Release The Bats Live Gig in London
John Carpenter Release The Bats Live at The Troxy, London    

5 Surprising real life celebrity spies that led double lives & the one you already know Mr. Ian Fleming and my Bond 25 dream team - GUEST FEATURE

5 Surprising real life celebrity spies that led double lives and the one you already know Mr. Ian Fleming and my Bond 25 dream team - GUEST FEATUREIf you are a regular reader you will know that I am a fan of John le Carré literature, something my father passed on to me. So of course the latest adaptation of his 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor, his 22nd novel, is of interest to me, and who isn't intrigued when a public figure is revealed to have had a secret of double life? 

     But Our Kind of Traitor is of further interest to me as it involves half of my current Bond 25 dream team:

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

A couple finds themselves lured into a Russian oligarch's plans to defect, and are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust.

Susanna White

John le Carré & Hossein Amini

Stellan Skarsgård, Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Damian Lewis, Mark Gatiss

Anton Corbijn introduces A Most Wanted ManAnton Corbijn introduces A Most Wanted Man
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Premiere InterviewsTinker Tailor Soldier Spy Premiere Interviews
TTSS Premiere Pics & ReviewTinker Tailor Soldier Spy Premiere Photos & Review
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ReviewTinker Tailor Soldier Spy Review
Decoding Tinker Tailor with the TTSS teamTitle of Tinker Tailor sequel confirmed and decoding Tinker Tailor with the film’s makers
Tinker Tailor Circus LocationTinker Tailor Soldier Spy The Circus Blythe House Film Location
    Writer Hossein Amini who has a rich varied body of work (The Four Feathers, The Wings of the Dove, Jude, 47 Ronin, Snow White and the HuntsmanShanghaiKillshot) and intrinsically brings relationships to the fore in all his works as well as has intelligently dealt with matters of secrecy, subterfuge and intrigue in his works like Peter Kosminsky's 1992 The Dying of the Light and Diarmuid Lawrence's 1996 Deep Secrets.

     He has just adapted Norwegian bestselling Author Harry Hole's The Snowman starring Michael Fassbender, Chloë Sevigny & Rebecca Ferguson for Tomas Alfredson who previously directed John le Carré's Gary Oldman starrer Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

     Amini is probably most well known for adapting Drive for Nicolas Winding Refn, again showing his versatility but should be more feted for his rather brilliant adaption and direction of  Patricia Highsmith's The Two Faces of January starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst & Oscar Isaac. I would love to see what Hossein Amini does with a Bond story arc.

     I think Our Kind of Traitor Director Susanna White would bring all the right things to a Bond story. Not only a measured, nuanced approach to complex international intrigue but she also has an eye for action as demonstrated with her episodes, of one of the best War TV shows in recent history 2008's Generation Kill. My second choice would be the return of Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale) who constantly surprises, refreshes and updates with the demands of every film he takes on.

     A Bond story written by Hossein Amini, directed by Susanna White, shot by Roger Deakins (Skyfall & everything he does is beautiful), Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Spectre, Interstellar, Dunkirk), Wally PfisterPhil Meheux, Roberto Schaefer or new to the list - Anthony Dod Mantle whose long list of beautifully shot films, which includes: In the Heart of the Sea, Rush, Trance, Dredd, The Eagle, 127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, can add Our Kind of Traitor as the cherry on top. Would be a superb combination!

      If Daniel Craig was not to return, Susanna White could bring along my current favourite choice for Bond - Damian Lewis who stars in Our Kind of Traitor and she has also worked with on the fast paced TV show Billions. Lewis sparkles with intelligence and can certainly pull off the physical side of the role with aplomb. Besides he has a fair resemblance to Ian Fleming.

     Enough daydreaming already here is a list of 5 surprising real life celebrity spies that led double lives and the one you already know Mr. Ian Fleming.

Over the years, the film industry has produced a plethora of films that capitalise on the theme of espionage and the life of a spy. Due to the illusive nature of those who work with top-secret government intelligence, a whole host of different characters have been concocted in a bid to represent the life of a person with one of the most mysterious occupations on the planet. We’ve been shown debonair men, who drive around in extravagant cars and adorn expensive suits, like the infamous James Bond, to the more unassuming and calculating spy characters such as George Smiley.

The new film Our Kind of Traitor reimagines the spy once again, this time through the eyes of an unsuspecting couple who are thrust between the Russian Mafia and British Intelligence, neither of whom are as clear-cut good and bad as one would assume.

Spotlight on 4 anticipated films shot in Malta Assassin's Creed, The Lake, The Mercy & The Promise - VISIT MALTA

Visit Malta Film LocationsRecently I received an email about the gorgeous and stately island nation of Malta being the location of choice for many major upcoming releases - now usually I would have skipped over this email but a couple of things piqued my interest enough to post about it.

    Malta has been on our visit list for awhile, particularly as we constantly get updates about how great the diving on the Maltese Archipelago is. It's place in history merits a visit for anyone interested in European culture and it looks absolutely gorgeous with azure blue seas, natural beauty, old world charm and architecture as well as all the modern comforts. All of which would compliment any holiday rather well.

     So much so that earlier this year we had planned to visit Malta, as we were swept away by the elegant quaintness of the hotel and locations beautifully shot, by Cinematographer Christian Berger for Angelina Jolie's By The Sea.

     In the film Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt couple, Vanessa and Roland are seeking sanctuary in the South of France during the 70s.

By The Sea Malta Film Locations
By The Sea Malta Film Locations [enlarge]    

Klaxon! The countdown to Empire Live (2016's Ultimate Film & Entertainment Weekend) has begun! With less than a month to go and updates! - "THE" UPCOMING EVENT

The countdown to Empire LiveWe are less than a month away from what has become one of the greatest film conventions for film fans ever.  I am of course referring to Empire Magazine's Empire Live to be held at The O2, September 23 - 25 2016.  If you are looking for details about what is going on at Empire Live  just head to the middle of this page and skip my reminiscing.

Empire Live 2016
Empire Live 2016   

It's about time! The scoop on all the 40th Anniversary celebrations for the restored re release of Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth in London (walking tours, special screenings, books & music releases) - UPCOMING EVENTS

The Man Who Fell To Earth 40th Anniversary Events When it comes to sublime storytelling there are few that can match master auteur and eternal outsider Nicolas Roeg for vision, originality or technical knowledge. 

     I am a huge fan of his work, always original, always more about art surreally reflecting; nuances of story, broader life, social context, creating mood and mind states, than a linear story arc, always surprising and always drawing out incredible performances from his cast for his films. 

     It would appear that the 40th Anniversary of Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth is going to be a big year with The Man Who Fell to Earth released into cinemas from September 9th, Special screenings with introductions from Mr Danny Boyle and The Man Who Fell To Earth Costume Designer May Routh, walks, books and of course the 40th Anniversary 4K restored home re-release will be be available from October 24th in varying formats. Upcoming events include the below list which is expanded upon further below:

27 August - The official, definitive making of The Man Who Fell To Earth book is available for preorder!
9 September: Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth will be launched into UK cinemas!
9 September: Hackney Picturehouse Special Event - The Man Who Fell To Earth with introduction from Danny Boyle and after party!
9 September: Curzon Soho David Bowie Day - Walking tour and The Man Who Fell To Earth Screening with introduction from Costume Designer May Routh  #savecurzonsoho
9 September & 28th October: The Original Soundtrack for The Man Who Fell To Earth will be available on CD & vinyl for the first time!
24 October: The Man Who Fell To Earth Home Release is launched!
25 October: David Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth play - Lazarus starring Michael C. Hall lands in London!

The Man Who Fell To Earth 40th Anniversary re-release The Man Who Fell To Earth Original Soundtrack The Man Who Fell To Earth Book
40th Anniversary re-release The Man Who Fell To Earth Original Soundtrack The Man Who Fell To Earth Book [enlarge]

WIN! Feel like The Boss when you win some exclusive DAVID BRENT: LIFE ON THE ROAD merchandise to celebrate the film release into cinemas this Friday 19 August - COMPETITION

WIN! DAVID BRENT: LIFE ON THE ROAD merchandiseThe Boss is back! Or at least David Brent is back! And it would appear that a good idea, may indeed be a good idea forever. It has been twelve years since the BBC's award winning, at times cringe worthy, hilarious, sad, all too real, surreal and touching sit com mockumentary The Office ended its two and half season run.

     Incredibly it's UK run of only 14 episodes belies the cultural significance and impact that the show has had, (the US version of the The Office ran for nine seasons!!) as co directors and writers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant turned their magnifying glass on the microcosm of office life - personalities and relationships, at times possibly cutting a little too close to the bone.

     I can't deny I have been curious about what has happened to the personalities of The Office over the last decade. Did Dawn become a world renowned children's book illustrator? Did Tim and Dawn finally got their happy (or mildly content) ever after. Did Gareth slog it out or quit to start his own private investigation business, join the TA or campaign to become the President of the Unites States? Did he ever find a boy that could swim faster than a shark? And what of David Brent our relentlessly hopeless, inappropriate and awkward every man? He may be refreshingly laid back for a man with such responsibility but did he finally follow the success of Richard Branson or Tony Robbins? Or a different path?

     Well unless you have been living under a rock (and roll branded pillow) for the last couple of months you already know that we will indeed, at least be getting to know a little of what has happened since, as it looks like David Brent has been in the business for another 12 years and spared a moment to tell us what has been happening - when Ricky Gervais releases the big screen debut of David Brent star of The Office (and Slough's finest) in David Brent: Life on the Road into UK cinemas this Friday 19 August.

     To celebrate the occasion and support one of the UK finest exports we have partnered with Entertainment One to offer three of our lucky readers exclusive David Brent: Life on the Road goody packs consisting of some sweet merchandise that includes: a must have for any budding musician Elvis/Brent Rockstar Glasses, the finest David Brent guitar pick money can buy, an always ready to handle business David Brent stapler, a reach the peak of sartorial rock elegance David Brent T-shirt and possibly best of all an acoustically serious David Brent guitar amp-style speaker (great for playing music, even better to impress guests as you pretend you can play a guitar like the best of them)

      For details on how to get one of these great David Brent: Life on the Road goody packs see further below.

David Brent: Life on the Road Quad Poster
David Brent: Life on the Road Quad Poster [enlarge]    

The Establishing Shot HOT LIST

The 2017 EE BAFTA Nominations announced

Donnie Darko 15th Anniversary Re-Release

The Warriors Cast are coming to the UK

In Cinemas this week


xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere EVENT REPORT
Richard Kelly talks the Making of Donnie Darko
Alex Zane Presents the FDA Autumn/Winter Film Preview & chats with Tom Conti
The Light Between The Oceans Press Conference
De Palma Review
Prop Store Auction Preview Exhibition
Idris Elba suprises us at Star Trek Beyond
The Nice Guys Surprise Us
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
10 Criminally underrated British Crime Films you probably haven't seen yet
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile
In discussion the making of Triple 9
Deadpool Film Review
Quentin Tarantino talks The Hateful Eight
Star Wars Visions Exhibition Tokyo
SalonQP 2015 Preview
The Rogues Gallery Creation of a Super Villian Book Launch
Legend Press Conference
SPECTRE all the news
No Escape Review
Ant-Man Euoropean Press Conference
Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London
Ant-Man Willard Wigan Micro Exhibition
Unheard James Bond Themes
Peyton Reed & Paul Rudd introduce Marvel's Ant-Man
Knight of Cups Trailer Breakdown

Breaking Film News

Latest reviews:

Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
Triple 9 Review
Deadpool Film Review
The Hateful Eight Review
Legend Review
No Escape Review
Mr. Holmes Review
The Grandmaster Review
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes Review
The Drop Film Review
300: Rise of an Empire
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

The Establishing Shot: 2015 Top 10

Gaspar Noe's LOVE 3D

Mr. Holmes Review


@TheEstShot Just Seen


Legend of the East End Exhibition

135 Bethnal Green Rd,E2,
28 Aug - 11 Sep 2015
the alibi film club

The Alibi Cult Film Club

The Alibi ,Dalston, E8 2PB
Every Mon
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Tour

WB Studios, Leavesden
April 2014+
Bond in Motion at London Film Museum

Bond in Motion London

London Film Museum
21 March 2014+

@TheEstShot Listening To:

Craig's Awesome Mix

Disqus for The Establishing Shot