•   Event Reports - Thurs 9 Jul, 2015

      PEYTON REED & PAUL RUDD INTRODUCE MARVEL'S ANT-MAN

    Earlier this week we were fortunate to crack invites an early screening to one of this Summer's big blockbusters... read more

  •   In Conversation - Thurs 19 Feb, 2015

      CLAUDIO SIMONETTI TALKS HYPNOTIC HORROR SOUNDTRACKS

    This weekend to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of Dario Argento's cult classic film ... read more

  •   James Bond - Thurs 4 Dec, 2014

      BOND 24 SPECTRE ANNOUNCED!

    Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment will in about 25 minutes ... read more

  •   In Conversation - Thurs 16 Oct, 2014

      ANDY SERKIS TALKS DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

    Continuing on from Part One of an evening with Andy Serkis, in which I gush about the wonderfulness of Dawn of the Planet ... read more

  •   Event Report - Thurs 11 Sep, 2014

      ANTON CORBIJN INTRODUCES A MOST WANTED MAN

    Earlier this week I was fortunate to go along with several Establishing Shot readers to a gala screening of... read more

  •   In Conversation - Weds 13 Aug, 2014

      MICHÔD, PEARCE & PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER

    The first thing that struck me when watching David Michôd's The Rover is the chilling bleak, edge of your seat ... read more

  •   EVENT REPORT - Thurs 17 April, 2014

      BOND LEGENDS LAUNCH BOND IN MOTION

    My 3 part report on the Bond in Motion launch event and walk through of the London Film museum Bond in Motion exhibition ... read more

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First Look: Full cast announced & first look at Jamie Dornan & Cillian Murphy in Sean Ellis’ World War II thriller Anthropoid - Film Updates

First Look Jamie Dornan & Cillian Murphy in Sean Ellis AnthropoidThis is very good news indeed! After hearing various murmurs and snippets over the last six months we have received some confirmed information of Sean Ellis' latest feature film Anthropoid.

And it seems to be nothing like I thought it would be. After hearing about Ellis gearing up for a film called Anthropoid I must confess I thought he would be returning to the horror genre, which he delved into with his 2008 feature The Broken starring Lena Headey.

anthropoid
1. resembling a human being in form.
relating to the group of higher primates, which includes monkeys, apes, and humans.

But it seems that Sean Ellis has put another feather in his cap as he adds a completely new genre to his growing resume - as Anthropoid is actually a military thriller based on real events occurring around Operation Anthropoid a joint British and Czechoslovakian World War II initiative.

If the photo further below is anything to go by it also looks like Ellis, a renowned photographer, has found a style of working that he is happy with, as the photo shows him very hands on in a foreign country as with his mesmerising and tense 2013 Philippines based crime thriller Metro Manila.

It has been a long road to getting Anthropoid into production (14 years) which hopefully means we can expect the film to benefit from all the hallmarks we have come to know of Sean Ellis' style - a very measured, beautifully composed and meticulously planned film, enhanced with Ellis' up close and personal handheld shots.

Along with the official synopsis and release we also get our first look at Jamie Dornan as Jan Kubis and Cillian Murphy as Josef Gabcik, the two soldiers at the centre of the Anthropoid mission.

Jamie Dornan (Jan Kubis) & Cillian Murphy (Josef Gabcik) in Anthropoid
Jamie Dornan (Jan Kubis) & Cillian Murphy (Josef Gabcik) in Anthropoid (Credit: James Lisle / Courtesy of LD Entertainment) (ZOOM)

I pay a short visit to Marvel UK's tiny Ant-Man Micro Art Exhibition & have a small chat with artist Willard Wigan aka What is this? An exhibition for Ants? Oh! - EXHIBITION VISIT

Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London Earlier this week I headed back to Old Street to see the launch of the marvellous Marvel UK The Antsibition or Willard Wigan's micro art Ant-Man Exhibition.

A little while back I received a little invitation to a pop up gallery in Old Street Tube Station, where to celebrate the release of Marvel’s Ant-Man into UK cinemas on the 17th July 2015 Marvel presents The Antsibition in partnership with IMAX 3D.

Marvel UK have teamed up with IMAX and renowned micro-artist Willard Wigan to host a small exhibition or Antsibition of Willard Wigan's micro-sculptures and unveil a specially made Ant-Man sculpture.

The “Ant” sized gallery will be open to the public from 14th to 17th 20th July 2015 at Old Street Station in London, and will give visitors a unique chance to experience the tiny world of Ant-Man up close as miniature magic is bought to the gallery which measures just 4.5m by 3.2m.

I had actually heard of Willard Wigan's sculptures but did not connect the dots till I was actually at the exhibition and realised Willard Wigan was the same micro-artist who has created a buzz with his tiny sculptures, is the same Willard Wigan of the nine camels through an eye of the needle fame and actually holds the Guinness Records title of the worlds smallest sculptures.

All photos from my visit can be viewed on our Flickr Channel.

The Establishing Shot: MARVEL UK PRESENTS ‘THE ANTSIBITION’ WILLARD WIGAN MICRO ART ANT-MAN EXHIBITION - MAGNIFIED CLOSE UP VIEW OF MICRO ANT-MAN SCULPTURE IN THE EYE OF A NEEDLE  @ OLD STREET TUBE STATION POP UP GALLERY, LONDON
The Establishing Shot: MARVEL UK PRESENTS ‘THE ANTSIBITION’ WILLARD WIGAN MICRO ART ANT-MAN EXHIBITION - MAGNIFIED CLOSE UP VIEW OF MICRO ANT-MAN SCULPTURE IN THE EYE OF A NEEDLE  @ OLD STREET TUBE STATION POP UP GALLERY, LONDON
LONDON
LONDON

Cinesthesia presents Nicolas Roeg's WALKABOUT and Live Soundtrack by Orchestra Elastique - UPCOMING CLASSIC SCREENING

Cinesthesia presents Nicolas Roeg's WALKABOUT Live Orchestra Elastique I am a huge fan of Nicolas Roeg. His talent as an auteur is immeasurable, to this day his oeuvre of films are just as impactful, engaging and influential as they were on release. I have a particular obsession with his debut feature film (as co-director) Performance starring James Fox, Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg. I doubt there will ever be a similar type of film that could possibly outdo Performance, as with his stranded alien on Earth tale - The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie and his grief filled horror Don't Look Now starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.

These films were part of a movement that defined not only progressive British cinema of the time but Britain in the 70s. I say Performance was his debut feature film (as co-director) as Roeg was a in demand Cinematographer man before shifting to directing. Coincidentally the original Far from the Madding Crowd has just been restored and re-released by StudioCanal - which Roeg worked on as cinematographer & cameraman and features a scene with Roeg's hallmark camera and editing style which he became known for with his own features.

The re-release of Far from the Madding Crowd is brilliant restoration starring some of Britain's finest talent making their mark including; Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates and of course Terence Stamp but sadly lacks in decent extras, apart from a rather insightful chat with Terence Stamp who recollects the making of Far from the Madding Crowd.

Nicolas Roeg's second feature as director, Walkabout is a beautifully shot tale of a young brother and sister played by Jenny Agutter & Roeg's own son, Luc Roeg and their local companion played by ubiquitous Australian performer David Gulpilil - has gone on to become the quintessential lost, coming of age, existential "road" man and nature film.

Is it a parable about noble savages and the crushed spirits of city dwellers? That's what the film's surface suggests, but I think it's about something deeper and more elusive: the mystery of communication.
- Quote from Roger Ebert from The Criterion Collection release of Walkabout by Nicolas Roeg by, 17 February 2008

Which is why I'm stoked that Cinesthesia are bringing Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout back to the big screen for a special screening at the end of July with a Live Soundtrack from Orchestra Elastique. Listening to Orchestra Elastique's live version of John Barry's Walkabout score is worth the price of admission alone.

Walkabout

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.


Director:
Nicolas Roeg


Writer:
Edward Bond & James Vance Marshall


Stars:
Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg
Cinesthesia presents Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout
Cinesthesia presents Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (ZOOM)

Ant-Man's Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd surprise us at a London screening of Marvel's Ant-Man - EVENT REPORT

Ant-Man's Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd surprise us at a London screening of Marvel's Ant-ManEarlier this week we were fortunate to crack invites an early screening to one of this Summer's big blockbusters - Marvel's Ant-Man. And boy did we have a lot of fun! But this isn't about my thoughts on Ant-Man rather the very special surprise we got before the film started as Marvel brought along two very special guests.


After Stu Oakley from Disney hopped on stage to welcome us and tell us to put away our phones and cameras he surprised us by inviting Ant-Man Director Peyton Reed onto the stage to introduce Ant-Man to us.

Now if you are a comic fan I know what you are thinking – no you are not the only comic reader who thinks Peyton Reed sounds like he should be part of Reed Richards' Fantastic Four family.

The Establishing Shot: PEYTON REED & PAUL RUDD HUG AT A SCREENING OF MARVEL'S ANT-MAN IN LONDON

Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition Review - EXHIBITION VISIT

Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London Last Sunday I headed to East London, more specifically to the creative hub of Shoreditch, which constantly surprises me with its wealth of inventiveness. But I wasn't just there to enjoy freshly baked pastries and artisan coffee whilst perusing body modifications and 3D printed Objet d'art (and sometimes a mix of the two).

Rather I found myself under the Gotham'eske train bridges outside the Old Street entrance to Kachette, a contemporary event space which was hosting a Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition. A similar envy inducing event that was held for San Diego Comic Con 2014. Sadly I only heard about the exhibition the Friday before and after a week long run it ended on Sunday, so I didn't get a chance to fire up the bat signal But I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit and was really stoked that I did. All photos from my visit can be viewed on our Flickr Channel.

The Establishing Shot: BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT CAPE & COWL EXHIBITION - GOTHAM CITY HOLDING CELLS & HAYDEN CAVE BY HAYDEN KAYS -   KACHETTE, LONDON
The Establishing Shot: BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT CAPE & COWL EXHIBITION - GOTHAM CITY HOLDING CELLS & HAYDEN CAVE BY HAYDEN KAYS -   KACHETTE, LONDON
To celebrate the console game release of Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Knight Warner Bros Games UK and Moniker Projects commissioned 20 artists and celebrities to turn a Batman Cape & Cowl as a blank canvas and create their own unique work of art, which was then exhibited for the public in a dark and moody Arkham Asylum like gallery.

Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl London Exhibition
Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl London Exhibition

WIN! Celebrate Summer & JAWS' 40th Birthday by winning the definitive making of JAWS book Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws Log (Expanded Edition) - COMPETITION

Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws LogThis week sees the 40th Birthday of Steven Spielberg's enduring cinematic masterpiece Jaws and to celebrate Bruce's Birthday we have, courtesy of publishers HarperCollins, three paperback copies of Carl Gottlieb's definitive making of Jaws book - the Jaws Log Expanded Edition to give away.

What can I possibly say about Steven Spielberg's modern masterpiece Jaws that you have not read countless times before? (Further below I actually do write some stuff you may have not read before) 40 Years on and despite changing audience trends it still holds up as a tension fraught classic. One I have seen in various forms over the years, most recently a screening of the gorgeously restored Blu-ray version, which took me right back to the extreme horror and humour experienced when I first saw it.

There are many great books taking you behind the scenes on making of films but off the top of my head there are three definitive - making of film books that every film fan requires on their bookshelf, in no particular order:

1. Jerome Agel's The Making of Kubrick's 2001 - since its 1970 publication Taschen have brought out a number of beautiful and insightful Kubrick books worth investing in.

2. Don Shay's Blade Runner: The Inside Story Transmetropolitan also known as Cinefex issue 9, - David Scroggy's The Blade Runner Sketchbook is also a must see/read but good luck trying to find a copy for a reasonable price.

and

3.Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws Log. 

Win The Jaws Log
Win The Jaws Log (ZOOM
Award winning writer Carl Gottlieb's Jaws Log is exactly that - a log or diary of entries he kept whilst working with original Author Peter Benchley to turn Benchley's novel into the film we now know as Jaws. It's a brilliant and a very easy to digest read, full of fascinating bitesize insight into the making of Jaws. That has been hailed by not just fans but other filmmakers as a definitive class on the background of how a film actually gets to screen.
THE JAWS LOG is like a little movie-director bible.

- Bryan Singer, director of The Usual Suspects and X-Men
   
The ‘making-of’ story is nearly as good as the film itself…[Gottlieb’s]
behind-the-scenes account of the production is riveting.
- Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Winner of three Oscars and the highest-grossing film of its time, Jaws was a phenomenon, and this is the only book on how twenty-six-year-old Steven Spielberg transformed Peter Benchley's number-one bestselling novel into the classic film it became.

Hired by Spielberg as a screenwriter to work with him on the set while the movie was being made, Carl Gottlieb, an actor and writer, was there throughout the production that starred Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss.

After filming was over, with Spielberg's cooperation, Gottlieb chronicled the extraordinary yearlong adventure in The Jaws Log, which was first published in 1975 and has sold more than two million copies. This expanded edition includes a photo section, an introduction by Benchley, and an afterword by Gottlieb that gives updates about the people and events involved in the film, ultimately providing a singular portrait of a famous movie and inspired moviemaking.
- Excerpt from the The Jaws Log back cover


Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws Log was first published in 1975 and gone on to sell over 2 million copies in 17 printings. But wait that's not all as the new Expanded Edition has some additional material:

The Expanded Edition with brand new cover art – features original artwork used by Universal Extras, includes introductions by Jaws author Peter Benchley and Gottlieb, a 22-page behind-the-scenes photo section, and a 25-page “Endnotes” section of updates and additional details on the filmmakers since the release of Jaws.

We actually received these prize copies of The Jaws Log to giveaway timed with the release of Jaws onto Blu-ray but they fell down the back of a couch and after rediscovering them - this week, the week of Jaws' 40 Birthday and the start of Summer seems as good a time to give them away as any. See details further below on how to get your hands on a paperback copy of Carl Gottlieb's must have Jaws Log.

Sherlock Holmes the world's greatest detective returns to face his worst enemy yet! I absolutely loved Ian McKellen & Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes - FILM REVIEW

Mr. Holmes ReviewI loved Mr. Holmes so much that it is in my top 2 films of 2015. In fact the only disappointing thing about the film is that I have not had sufficient time to write a review worthy of it's ingenuity.

On that note if an intelligent, charming alternative Sherlock Holmes mystery interests you - don't read any further Mr. Holmes is is a subtle film that works really well knowing less and some bits I mention were a joy to discover watching Mr. Holmes. Not only do I recommend Mr. Holmes as my film choice for this week but it is my film choice for a long time to come. Bruce Wayne got the reinvention he deserved, James Bond got the reinvention he deserved and now the World's greatest detective Sherlock Holmes gets the reinvention he deserves. It is not only the Sherlock Holmes story fans deserve but the reinvention they need, especially as Sherlock Holmes has been seen on screen in so many variations previously. Mr. Holmes is easily the best Sherlock Holmes film from the last two decades possibly even longer.


A couple of weeks ago I had the distinct of seeing Mr. Holmes. Like many, many others I have a particular fondness for the world's greatest fictional detective - Sherlock Holmes (even more so after seeing Mr. Holmes) but had little expectation (or knowledge) of Mr. Holmes as whilst Sir Ian McKellen always brings a high quality performance I am not overly familiar with the work of Director Bill Condon which veers from the high brow Kinsey, Gods and Monsters to the fun of the Twilight series via Candyman.

Sir Ian McKellan as Sherlock Holmes in the Mr. Holmes Quad Poster
Sir Ian McKellan as Sherlock Holmes in the Mr. Holmes Quad Poster (ZOOM)

17 James Bond themes you probably haven't heard including the remarkable original version of Monty Norman's iconic James Bond Theme - LISTEN

LIsten to unknown James Bond ThemesSo a little while back a friend and myself were discussing the music of James Bond over a Jameson at the The Ham Yard Hotel. The week prior in anticipation of Bond 24's SPECTRE expected confirmed production kick off I had dragged him along to see the West End Musical Made in Dagenham with music by David Arnold and starring amongst others Ms. Gemma Arterton. With the involvement of Bond Alumni the conversation naturally veered towards the music of Bond.

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Regarding Made in Dagenham I liked the bold brassy Britishness of it, the clever set design, my associate liked Mark Hadfield's incredibly hilarious and surreal turn as Harold Wilson and we both loved the the dips into Monty Pythonesque political satire, the surprising powerfulness of Gemma Arterton's voice.

We are both from the Roger Moore Bond era and agree on most of the themes and music, but whilst my associate leans towards the Roger Moore female vocal era like; Carly Simon (Nobody Does It Better), Shirley Bassey (Moonraker), Sheena Easton (For Your Eyes Only), Rita Coolidge (All Time High) - whilst I have a strong leaning to the classic Bond sound where it felt they were forging the legend, Shirley Bassey, as well as the incidental music of James Bond.

That is the music in the less exposed moments of the films where the musicians can explore, experiment and bring their personal visions of the film to life - particularly David Arnold's work and Eric Serra's work on GoldenEye. Whilst researching this post I have to say I fell in love with the Roger Moore female vocal era all over again.

The conversation strayed into the grey area of the what ifs? An area populated by the likes of Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, a returning Adele, Noel Gallagher, MobyKaren O, MuseBjork, Natacha Atlas, etc. as well as pretty much everyone on Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project in collaboration with @DavidGArnold. And this got me thinking about unused James Bond Themes.


Not to stray too far but David Arnold and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be bringing A Night at the Movies: David Arnold Live in Concert to London, specifically the Barbican tonight Thursday 18 June 2015. And will be playing a selection from his scores including music from; James Bond: Casino Royale, The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace, Sherlock, Made in Dagenham, Independence Day, Godzilla, Stargate, Last of the Dogmen, Paul, Music from the London 2012 Olympics and more. For more info on David Arnold's tour dates follow David Arnold on Twitter: @DavidGArnold

The Establishing Shot: OBERHAUSER'S HELICOPTER FROM SPECTRE TAKING OFF WITH BOND'S SPECTRE BOATS IN THE BACKGROUND G-LCPL AEROSPATIALE SA365N2 DAUPHIN 2 - LONDON
The Establishing Shot: OBERHAUSER'S HELICOPTER FROM SPECTRE TAKING OFF WITH BOND'S SPECTRE BOATS IN THE BACKGROUND G-LCPL AEROSPATIALE SA365N2 DAUPHIN 2 - LONDON
With the SPECTRE theme announcement imminent and sadly the Bond SPECTRE boats finally leaving their mooring at the Imperial Wharf Marina this week, presumably signalling the end of the Bond Westminster part of filming. I thought I would highlight some of the lesser known alternative, demo or rejected James Bond theme songs that quite possibly many may have never heard of - but are occasionally discussed amongst Bond aficionados.

Ben Wheatley & Martin Scorsese's FREE FIRE has started shooting and full cast finally announced! - Film Updates #freefire

Win! An exclusive Insidious 3 goody bagFile this under AWESOME! It's no secret we are huge fans of the very talented @mr_wheatley and are always keeping an eye out on his activities as we suspect that the man is soon to be revered as a very serious British talent and force to be reckoned with in the creative arts world.

Earlier this year we reached out to director Ben Wheatley for an update on his eagerly anticipated upcoming adaptation of J. G. Ballard's High-Rise. And were surprised when he gave us an exclusive High-Rise update (well exclusive if you aren't on Twitter that is) and let us know that:

Well today we got a proper update on his latest feature film - Free Fire AND MARTIN SCORSESE HAS COME ON BOARD TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCE! We have been very, very excited about Free Fire for a long time as it has a really dark gritty feel about it. Not gritty as we have come to know in this modern PC age but the kind of gritty you could expect from a hardboiled, film noir, hard hitting crime thriller straight out of the 70's. A genre of film that I love. And Wheatley has done nothing to dissuade that feeling if you follow his Twitter stream.

Andy Starke and Ben Wheatley’s Rook Films is producing the film set in Boston in the late seventies. Brie Larson plays a woman who has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley) and a gang (led by Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart-stopping game of survival ensues. The film is written by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump.

Below is the very early sales art poster for Free Fire that Wheatley released onto Twitter a while back.

Free Fire 3 Crates of semi automatic assault Rifles. 2 Large bags of money. 1 Bullet away from freedom.
Insidious Chapter 3 Upside Down Quad Poster
Free Fire Concept Art Poster (ZOOM)

WIN! Some ghostbusting INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 gear to celebrate the release of INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 into cinemas this Friday June 5 - COMPETITION

Win! An exclusive Insidious 3 goody bagNot soon enough we are getting another dark gift from the team redefining the horror genre for modern audiences with films like Sinister, Paranormal Activity & The Conjuring. This time the other half of the Wan/Whannell (the guys behind Saw and Insidious) creative duo Leigh Whannell is stepping into the director's shoes (as well as writing and acting) to tell this "origin" part of the Lambert's hauntings - alluded to previously in the Insidious series.

It looks like we are going to finally see how psychic Lin Shaye (Elise Rainier) met a young Josh Lambert for the first time in Insidious: Chapter 3. Surely it should be called Insidious: Chapter 0?

This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Leigh Whannell's Insidious: Chapter 3 will be scaring its way into UK cinemas this Friday 5 June 205. To mark the occasion Entertainment One are giving away 5 ghost hunting goody packs, consisting of some cool gear that every fashion (and ghost conscious) trend setter will be keen to get their hands on.

The pack includes an awesome ‘Spectral Sightings’ (the psychic agency featured in Insidious) T-shirt. For details on how to get one of these great Insidious: Chapter 3 goody packs see further below.

Insidious Chapter 3 Upside Down Quad Poster
Insidious: Chapter 3 Upside Down Quad Poster

Photo London 2015 unveils its public programme & some surprises: UPCOMING PHOTO EXHIBITION

Photo London 2015 ProgrammeLondon has always been an Arts and Culture capital, if not the Arts & Culture capital. With the influx of blockbuster film productions into the UK over the last couple of years London is enjoying an unprecedented film boom and now it seems that photography is going to get a similar boost with Photo London heralding the call as it opens London's first annual Photo Week.

If you are not as yet aware of Photo London as yet it is a four day event supported by the Luma Foundation, running over 21 - 24 May 2015 with an exciting line-up of commissioned exhibitions, live events and public installations featuring leading artists taking place at Somerset House and around the city, effectively spearheading the capital’s first ‘Photo Week

As London’s first international photography fair, it aims to harness the passionate, growing audience for photography in the city and nurture a new generation of collectors. Hopefully collectors will be able to pick up some hard to find pieces at Somerset House during Photo London.

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Last week I celebrated the end of my winter hibernation by making my way out into the chilly misty morning and heading to a breakfast unveiling of the Public Programme for the inaugural launch of Photo London in May this year.

We got to hear first-hand some eagerly awaited and surprising information about the Photo London 2015 programme - also the presentation took place at The Radio Rooftop Bar at the gorgeous London ME Hotel, presumably chosen as the ME London Hotel is absolutely stunning, is one of the Photo London partner hotels and is also perched high above London offering incredible views over London as well as a birds eye view of what is surely one of the most underrated and iconic architectural wonders of London - Somerset House - hidden in plain site.

The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - VIEW ABOVE SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL
The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - VIEW ABOVE SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL
This also brings a poetic symmetry to the announcement that Photo London will also be going below the ground!

The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - ATRIUM RECEPTION, LONDON ME HOTEL
The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - ATRIUM RECEPTION, LONDON ME HOTEL

Art of the Trailer: The first 5 frames from Terrence Malick's spellbinding trailer for Knight of Cups that have me waiting for the film - WATCH THIS!

Knight of Cups Trailer breakdownIt has to be said that I have sadly seen too few trailers of late that differentiate themselves, elevate the game or mean anything. That doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't many good films on the way just that - I haven't seen many exciting trailers. But late last year I was bowled over by the trailer for Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups in fact the first five shots from the trailer had me absolutely stunned as his use of sound and visuals enthralled me.

First a little context as to how we got here may be in order Knight of Cups is the third in Malick's epical (in the true sense of the word) allegorical exploration - of modern man in the throes of existential angst as he comes to terms to modern life and moves down a path further from nature or Supernature and himself.

We have had Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in The Tree of Life (2011) symbolically bridging the generational gap (from The Thin Red Line 1998) and heralding Malick's move into the modern era. Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in To the Wonder (2012), Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale in Knight of Cups set for release this year followed up by his currently untitled project Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman Texas Music film.

Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups Film Poster
Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups Film Poster

SYNOPSIS
Knight of Cups

A screenwriter living in LA tries to make sense of the strange events occurring around him.

Director:
Terrence Malick


Writers:

Terrence Malick

Stars:
Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Imogen Poots 


The former farmer turned M.I.T. philosophy professor, started in film as a writer for hire working on films like Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (rumour has it Malick's ideas became the plot for the sequel Magnum Force) and Jack Nicholson's Drive, He Said before writing the screenplays for the Paul Newman, Lee Marvin starrer Pocket Money and the Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland - Lady Ice around this point Malick decided that he would only work on projects he felt he could bring something to.

Which led to Malick independently making his seminal feature Badlands in 1973 starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen.

I am acutely aware that Malick has worked on 4 films in the last 5 years (not including his upcoming IMAX documentary - Voyage of Time), for a man that averaged a film every 5 years with a 20 year gap between his second film Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, whilst Malick was seemingly went missing, more likely wandering, living and writing.

  There were even reports that he might be dead, depressed, or just holed up in some back corner of the world.

- Excerpt from Malick: The Prodigal Returns by David Thomson for The Independent in 1999.

The point here being I suspect that this prolific run may end at any time and Malick may disappear to ponder his next film, so sooner rather than later would be an appropriate time for me to explore the poetic genius of Terrence Malick or least try take a look at the the first five attention grabbing shots from the trailer of Knight of Cups and let my stream of consciousness freestyle as it scrapes the surface of Malicks works. Terrence Malick's films always have my curiosity, but after the first five shots, Knight of Cups has my attention.

To accompany your reading of this post I have embedded a playlist of tracks inspired by Terrence Malick's the Knight of Cups soundtrack. It is comprised of some of the tracks from the Extended Soundtrack of Knight of Cups, available alternate versions of some of the tracks as well as periphery music. More information on the Knight of Cups extended soundtrack can be found in the playlists description n YouTube.

The Establishing Shot in conversation with horror maestro (& Prog Rocker) Claudio Simonetti

Claudio Simonetti InterviewThis weekend to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of Dario Argento's art horror surrealist cult classic film Profondo Rosso’s or Deep Red as it is known in English speaking parts of the world the Barbican will be playing host to what is sure to be one of the most memorable horror or more accurately Giallo related events to play out in London in recent times - when horror maestro Claudio Simonetti brings his band Goblin to play the score of Profondo Rosso live.

Not only am I incredibly excited about this musical event itself as Claudio Simonetti's Goblin perform one of the most iconic horror soundtracks LIVE as the film is screened in the acoustically renowned Hall B of the Barbican (the home of the London Symphony Orchestra) but I was extremely privileged to chat with Mr. Simonetti about his work and creating the sound of many of the foremost cult classic horror films of the last four decades with the band Goblin.

As well as being effortlessly cool in the way Italians can be, he was surprisingly candid and gracious with his time so we were able to have a decent conversation about a range of subjects, that when pulled together paint a high level picture of the passionate career of a man doing what he loves for the last 40 years whilst letting his music reach into our souls and play with our emotions like they are, well a synthesizer.

Claudio Simonetti GOBLIN 21st Feb 2015 Barbican London
Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN 21st Feb 2015 Barbican London

Profondo rosso (Deep Red)

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.

Director:
Dario Argento


Writers:

Dario Argento, Bernardino Zapponi

Stars:
David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia


Claudio Simonetti's Goblin performing Profondo Rosso Live at The Barbican:
Saturday 21 February 2015

After posting my interview with Claudio Simonetti a friend, a big John Carpenter fan asked me about Claudio Simonetti and it occurred to me that possibly not everyone is as big fan of Simonetti as me and has listened to his and Goblin's music. So I thought I would add a short bio to introduce the man and his music.

"Claudio Simonetti … is a Brazil-born Italian composer who has specialized in the scores for Italian and American horror films since the 1970s." - From Wiki 

Following in his father's footsteps a successful and popular composer and TV personality Claudio studied composition and piano at the Conservatore Saint Cecilia in Rome, eventually it was experimental rock that captured his ear as he chased his dream and he went on to form various bands including Oliver which went on to become Goblin.

Fame came to the band when they did the soundtrack for arguably Italy's greatest/notorious horror director (he did after all invent the Giallo genre) Dario Argento for his film Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). It was at this time the band officially became known as Goblin.

Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) went on become a huge commercial success internationally and won critical acclaim. For many Profondo Rosso would define Dario Argento's style for them.

But the real surprise was Goblin's soundtrack which - recorded in ten days went on to sell over a million copies in the first ten months and stayed in the Italian charts for 52 weeks it attained No.1 on the charts in both the LP and singles categories making Profondo Rosso one of the highest selling horror film soundtracks ever made. It has subsequently gone on to sell over four million copies as well as influence cinematic sound across multiple genres.

The sound of Profondo Rosso is a fusion of Giorgio Gaslini's jazz, blues funk and Goblin's own intriguing surreal symphonic rock Baroque hybrid created with Claudio Simonetti's Minimoog synthesizer, bass, drums, guitars, harpsichords, a church organ and creepy vocal lullabies. This seminal sound would later be expanded and solidified with Goblin's defining and quintessential soundtrack for Dario Argento's Suspira (my personal favourite).


... by the time we recorded Suspiria I think our sound is unique and that was the sound that made Goblin famous started coming through because we invented something.”
                                                                                                       - Claudio Simonetti


This description of Goblin's sound from the now sadly defunct Cherry Red Records can not be improved upon:


Goblin's genius lies in skilfully combining elements of progressive psychedelia with jazz-rock, Eastern European folk music and the Baroque. Their music often displays an eerie fairy tale quality that underscores tensions within a film to great effect.”


History has proclaimed that Profondo Rosso is the absolutely essential sound of Dario Argento, Goblin and Italian horror film.

Goblin and Claudio Simonetti went on to define the sound for many of Dario Argento's films before parting ways and separately continuing their careers. Claudio went on to work with other acclaimed cult directors like; George A. Romero, Bruno Corbucci, Lucio Fulci, Ruggero Deodato, Lamberto Bava, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, Menahem Golan and Enzo G. Castellari on the true apocalyptic cult classic Warriors of Wasteland or The New Warriors (another personal favourite of mine) continued to create progressive rock, dabble in Disco during its heyday as well form the heavy metal band Daemonia.

Goblin and Simonetti reunited briefly to score the soundtrack for Dario Argento's Sleepless. Goblin continued touring in various forms and Daemonia later became Claudio Simonetti's Goblin.

In my chat with Mr. Claudio Simonetti goes into a little more detail about Goblin's history.

Other topics we managed to touch on at a high level included;

- The enduring appeal of Goblin's sound
- Goblin's history before working in film
- The true genesis of Goblin as a band
- Fail at an attempt to define the music of Goblin
- Simonetti and Goblin's working process
- Creating the iconic Goblin sound for Suspiria & the legendary lost Suspiria recordings
- His ongoing collaboration with Dario Argento
- Addresses the similarities between the sound of Deep Red, Tubular Bells & Halloween
- On meeting John Carpenter
- Working with George Romero 
- On being "soundcast" for horror
- His body of work & still being inspired by film
- His thoughts on new horror soundtracks
- Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake & the recent work of Guillermo del Toro

Simonetti also let us know what we can expect from the live performance and screening of Deep Red at the Barbican. For a bonus point I managed to discover Claudio Simonetti's favourite horror films.

Claudio Simonetti's Goblin play The Barbican london
Claudio Simonetti's Goblin (ZOOM)

You know when we started in the 70s we didn't have a title for the music, now we have Gothic, Heavy Metal and many different titles for the music, even Prog didn't exist in the 70s. Prog was invented later. We just played Rock.”
                                                                                                       - Claudio Simonetti


I say our chat but Claudio did most of the talking so it is unsurprising that he was flagging a bit  towards the end of our chat, as was I, despite that he was happy to give me a fair amount of time - even so - sadly I didn't manage to chat about the actual content of any of the films he has scored and the part that play in the psychology behind his music or indeed where he goes and how he creates the hypnotising and transcendental music that stares into our souls, scares, lulls and moves us or to my shame the rumoured 3D remake of Suspiria.

As with many of Dario Argento's film, in Profondo Rosso the lead protagonist is the proverbial fish out of water as David Hemmings plays Marcus Daly an English pianist and music teacher who whilst working in Turin stumbles onto a murder and goes down a dark and increasingly terrifying path as this every man sets about to uncover the killer - a mysterious figure wearing black leather gloves, played by director Dario Argento himself. Whilst Goblin's soundtrack gently lulls us down the same disturbing path.

Deep Red starring David Hemmings as Marcus Daly
Deep Red starring David Hemmings as Marcus Daly

Horror aficionados may each may have a favourite Dario Argento film but many agree Profondo Rosso is the prime example of Argento's twisted genius and "showcases the technical bravado and ... shock tactics that made Argento famous".

A surreal masterpiece from Dario Argento with a pounding score from cult prog rockers Goblin, Deep Red will leave you battered and breathless!

Gorgeously shot with an incredible soundtrack merging to create different ambient tones that juxtapose against each other adding unique personality to the characters, places and times they live in. I'm not going to bang on about the performances but it was a real joy to see." - From Arrow Films

FIRST LOOK at Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre and Spectre on Location: Sölden Vlog

First Look at Daniel Craig as James Bond in SPECTREYesterday not only did we get a long overdue official James Bond Spectre clapperboard update from the set of Spectre shooting at Blenheim Palace - back here in the UK. We were also promised the first official behind the scenes footage of Spectre today at 7am.

Yes! Op delivered! And along with the first behind the scenes 007 vlog footage from the Spectre location at Sölden, Austria we also got to see our first look at Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre.

On a side note: if Bond was looking to revitalise its British roots you don't get more British than the Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

007 Clapperboard from Spectre location Blenheim Palace




...

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