Alex Zane,

The Establishing Shot: FDA UK Autumn 2011 Film Preview

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

FDA Autumn PreviewI have just got back from the Film Distributors Association (FDA) Autumn Films Preview event, held at the very chichi (and white) Vanilla Club in central London. Described by host Alex Zane as Great Tichfield’s answer to heaven.

We were treated to OJ, hot drinks and croissants before FDA chief executive Mark Batey took to the stage,to introduce the event and a keynote talk on the rather flush state of the UK film box office over the last year before rolling out host Alex Zane.

Thankfully, on top of ensuring we had the FDA Autumn Sizzle reel on a flash drive as well notes, the FDA had made sure that when I got back to my PC I also had the key points from the day in an email, so I could get this up as quickly as I have.

From Mark Batey’s talk:
Over the 4 month Summer Season (May-August) 177 films were released into UK cinemas, that is an average of 10 a week. 65 million People visited cinemas. That is more than the entire population of the UK and increase of 4 million visits on last year.

Box Office exceeded £400 Million with top earners being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The King’s Speech and The Inbetweeners.

Contributing factors to the current boom were assigned to:
  1. The wide choice of films as well as the raised profile of features.
  2. There was very little in the way of sports in the build up to the Olympics, as well as the weather played a part too.
  3. And finally cinemas are offering a better more immersive experience than ever before as well as offering some escape from the current economic downturn.
FDA President, Lord Puttnam CBE, said: “With box-office receipts so far in 2011 running 4% ahead of last year, I’m thrilled that the British public continues to flock to the movies for the immersive, uninterrupted storytelling experience that only the cinema delivers. Given UK film distributors’ deliciously eclectic line-up of releases for the fourth quarter, I’m optimistic that 2011 will prove to be an incredibly buoyant year for cinema going.”

Then host Alex Zane took centre stage and using a John Keats’ To Autumn motif he wokethe sleepy audience up before introducing us to what we can expect from cinemas this Autumn Season. Injecting wit to keep the audience on their toes and laughing throughout.

The fourth-quarter season, taking in a half-term break, Halloween and the Christmas holiday, is overflowing with new British films and leading performances by British actors in international movies. It is also the time when contenders (BAFTA, Oscars) for the prestigious annual film awards begin to emerge. He also mentioned the London Film Festival which will have a staggering 204 films shown over 16 days!
As the holiday season approaches, big-screen family entertainment includes the return of two popular casts.

In Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the Chipmunks and Chipettes are marooned on a tropical island in their third movie adventure.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked - Release Date: 16 December, 2011
Playing around while aboard a cruise ship, the Chipmunks and Chipettes accidentally go overboard and end up marooned in a tropical paradise. They discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems.

Director: Mike Mitchell
Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Stars: Anna Faris, Christina Applegate and David Cross

George Miller’s Happy Feet Two plunges audiences back into the Emperor Penguin world, with the voices of Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Pink, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

Happy Feet Two - 2 December 2011
Mumble's son, Erik, is struggling to realize his talents in the Emperor Penguin world. Meanwhile, Mumble and his family and friends discover a new threat their home -- one that will take everyone working together to save them.

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Warren Coleman (co-writer)
Stars: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Pink

Legions of Twilight fans are awaiting Part 1 of Breaking Dawn, fourth in the smash-hit film series, with Part 2 due in 2012. Michael Sheen and Jamie Campbell Bower feature among the ultra-cool vampires, as danger looms for expecting parents Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart).

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 - 18 November 2011
The Quileute and the Volturi close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses different threats to the wolf pack and vampire coven.

Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay), Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

Co-written and directed by George Clooney, The Ides of March is a political thriller in which Clooney stars as a US governor on the Presidential campaign trail. Hot from Drive and Crazy Stupid Love, Ryan Gosling co-stars.

The Ides of March - 28 October 2011
An idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. Based on the play by Beau Willimon. On a related note on my way back from the FDA Autumn preview this morning I passed Evan Rachel Wood in the street who also stars in The Ides of March. And she is much more gorgeous in person.

Director: George Clooney
Writers: George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (screenplay)
Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney and Philip Seymour Hoffman

British actors in international movies
Daniel Craig stars: as Mikael Blomqvist in David Fincher’s highly anticipated version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, alongside Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard and Joely Richardson, and in the mystery-thriller, Dream House. Craig also appears as never before, in digitally animated form, in Steven Spielberg’s ground-breaking The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which also has motion capture performances by Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 26 December 2011
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander (Mara), a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher
Writers: Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (novel)
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Stellan Skarsgård

Dream House - 30 September 2011
Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: David Loucka (screenplay)
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn - 26 October 2011
Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock's ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Steven Moffat (screenplay), Edgar Wright (screenplay)
Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig

Simon Pegg and Tom Wilkinson are cast with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, fourth in the smart, high-octane blockbuster series, in which special agent Ethan Hunt and his team go rogue to clear their name.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol -  26 December 2011
The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.

Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton

Swash-buckling action is to the fore in a fresh 3D version of The Three Musketeers starring Matthew MacFadyen and Orlando Bloom.

I'm not a Paul W.S. Anderson fan by any means. In fact bar Event Horizon I don't think I have enjoyed any of his films.But The Three Musketeers took me by surprise. It was a lot of ingenious fun and although it relies too heavily on CG it has some great performances and hilarious moments. I would be surprised if every 10 year old in the world doesn't love it and it becomes the new Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise. I have to say the young Logan Lerman really brought it together.

The Three Musketeers - 12 October 2011
The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writers: Alex Litvak (screenplay), Andrew Davies (screenplay)
Stars: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen and Ray Stevenson

Hugo is a spectacular family adventure directed by Martin Scorsese. Based on the novel, The Adventures of Hugo Cabret, filming took place in London and Paris with a cast including Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Sir Christopher Lee, Sir Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Moretz and Johnny Depp. Asa Butterfield takes the title role.

Hugo - 2 December 2011
Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: John Logan (screenplay), Brian Selznick (book)
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee

 Meanwhile, Anonymous, a thriller probing the origin of Shakespeare’s plays against a backdrop of political intrigue in Elizabethan London, has Rafe Spall as Shakespeare and Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford, who may or may not have had a hand in writing some well-known works. Vanessa Redgrave portrays Queen Elizabeth I.

Anonymous - 28 October 2011
A political thriller advancing the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare's plays; set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Stars: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and David Thewlis

The autumn’s British films include these ten diverse releases offering humour, suspense and action:
1. My Week with Marilyn – a delicious drama starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier, recounting their tense relationship during the making of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). The superb cast features Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones and Dame Judi Dench.

My Week with Marilyn - 18 November 2011
Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.

Director: Simon Curtis
Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh

2. Perfect Sense – a dark romantic adventure with a sci-fi twist directed by David Mackenzie, pairing Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in the lead roles.

Another rather good film I saw recently was Perfect Sense starring Eva Green and Ewan McGregor. In all honesty I was told some unflattering things about Perfect Sense from its debut at the Edinburgh Film Festival, the upside to this was that it did stick in my mind so when the opportunity came up I thought I was taking a bit of a chance and was rewarded with an original, intelligent and special experience.

I’m unsure if Perfect Sense is modern romance set to the apocalypse or the apocalypse happening around a romance either way it works on both levels. Eva Green’s performance is a pleasure to watch and I have to say that not being a Ewan McGregor fan I was surprised by his engaging and touching performance as well the very obvious chemistry between the two.

I was swept away by their romance and couldn’t help but hope that it all panned out well for them. Of course the added complication to their romance is that the world is beset by a fresh take on the apocalypse as the populaces are beset with a mysterious virus that destroys their senses one at a time with some chilling side effects.

Perfect Sense - 7 October 2011
A chef and a scientist fall in love as an epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions.

Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson (screenplay)
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green and Connie Nielsen

3.Arthur Christmas – from the multi award-winning Aardman Animation comes the amazing story of how Santa manages to deliver all those presents in just one night, with a voice cast featuring the cream of British acting talent.

Arthur Christmas - 11 November 2011
On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission.

Director: Sarah Smith
Writers: Peter Baynham (screenplay), Sarah Smith (screenplay)
Stars: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy

4. The British Guide to Showing Off – a stylish documentary portraying the work of outrageous British artist, Andrew Logan, with a host of well-known designers and filmmakers as themselves.

The British Guide to Showing Off - 11 November 2011
British artist and living legend Andrew Logan, loved the world over by celebrities and misfits alike, takes us under his glittering wing and inside his outrageous, anarchic and spectacular costume pageant: the Alternative Miss World Show. As the Shows master of ceremonies and ringmaster, Logan is the high priest of an esteemed congregation. He describes the Show as his most important artwork; a fabulous living sculpture that spans forty years of arts and culture. Using live observational camera, archive and exuberant animation, this documentary charts the mounting of the 2009 Show, interwoven with its history, the rise, fall and rediscovery, of both the event and the artist at its center.

Director: Jes Benstock
Stars: Brian Eno, Andrew Logan and Richard O'Brien

5. Wuthering Heights Andrea Arnold’s fresh take on Emily Bronte’s classic romance, filmed in Yorkshire.

Wuthering Heights - 11 November 2011
A poor young English boy named Heathcliff is taken in by the wealthy Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Writers: Emily Brontë (novel), Olivia Hetreed (screenplay)
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson and Nichola Burley

6. Tyrannosaur – the feature film directorial debut of Paddy Considine, recounting the violent relationship between Joseph (Peter Mullan) and charity shop worker Hannah (Olivia Colman).

Tyrannosaur - 13 October 2011
A woman looks for a way out of her abusive relationship.

Director: Paddy Considine
Writer: Paddy Considine (screenplay)
Stars: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan

7. Sket – a gritty thriller about gang violence and retribution starring Ashley Walters, this is another feature directorial debut, by Nirpal Bhogal.

Sket - 28 October 2011
When a young woman is cruelly and indiscriminately attacked by a notorious gang led by the violent Trey, her little 16 year old sister Kayla wants revenge and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means joining a rival girl gang led by the volatile and damaged man-hating Danielle.

Director: Nirpal Bhogal
Writer: Nirpal Bhogal
Stars: Ashley Walters, Lily Loveless and Riann Steele

8. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsGuy Ritchie directs Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson on a second spectacular case, as they try to outwit Professor Moriarty.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 16 December 2011
Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris

9. We Need to Talk About KevinLynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel contains a devastating performance by Tilda Swinton as a highly distressed mother.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - 21 October 2011
The mother of a teenage boy who went on a high-school killing spree tries to deal with her grief -- and feelings of responsibility for her child's actions -- by writing to her estranged husband.

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay (screenplay), Rory Kinnear (screenplay)
Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller

10. Johnny English RebornRowan Atkinson returns as the best of British Intelligence in a cocktail of thrills and spills, alongside Rosamund Pike and Dominic West, released for the October half-term.

Johnny English Reborn - 7 October 2011
Johnny English goes up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier.

Director: Oliver Parker
Writers: William Davies, Hamish McColl (screenplay)
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West

Then we got to watch the FDA Autumn Preview Sizzle Reel twice, the second time to identify what looks to be the only super hero film this Autumn RA.One, filmed in and around London. Before Zane raffled off some Movie preview T-Shirts to the eager audience. Which brought the session to a close.

RA. One - 26 October 2011
A father trying hard to 'fit-in' in his Son's badass world- A son … trying hard to 'dude-up' his dad from 'aiiiyyyo' to 'YO!' And a mother lost in translation between her husband's 'ingeva' and her son's 'Inn'it!'. the family comes together...KABOOM!!!… all hell breaks loose when - the game that was meant to be played with… starts playing them!

Director: Anubhav Sinha
Writers: David Benullo, Shah Rukh Khan (screenplay)
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt

We then invited to enjoy another warm drink, snack and to chat about what we had just seen and what we were looking forward this autumn. Unfortunately I was out the door (and I'm sure to Alex Zane's relief) as the rest of my day is jam packed, but I’ll see you at next seasons preview event.

Slideshow of the FDA UK Autumn Film Previews Event

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The Establishing Shot: FDA UK Autumn 2011 Film Preview