Awards season is upon us! It’s been difficult to drag ourselves away from all the film news and nomination speculation this week, we’re filmmakers at heart after all, but we’ve had plenty of projects to keep us busy. Find out what’s been distracting us all week below (and read about 700 film reviews from Mikaela who seems to have not gone outside or spoken to a fellow human all week in favour of only watching films).
What’s kept us Busy?
Chris has had a monumentally busy week down in the Bethnal Green office, it started with the Young Poets Laureate Anthology. Chris has been working on the design for the book which is now ready for print (after a proof-read, thankfully that’s not our job!)
In between that and completing some more batches of our regular Football Manager film subtitling, Chris has been finalising details for a couple of days shooting with GlaxoSmithKline and Simons in Hertfordshire next week. Chris has also got a busy few days filming a new series of training films for them before a rather manic edit schedule to ensure they all get finished before their big launch. I eat deadlines for breakfast!
Up in Lincoln we’ve been pouring through funding bids to get our Blueprint: Film Foundation projects funded for the year. We’ve got some great projects in the pipeline working alongside some amazing charitable and community groups. At the moment we’re focussing on Flix In The Stix – our rural mobile cinema project, bringing movies to rural Lincolnshire, and the Young Film Company. The YFC is a new large-scale project where we can improve access to arts and film education across Hackney. We’ll be providing free filmmaking courses to young people in the district and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers!
We can also proudly reveal this week that we’ve secured a three-year contract with Kent County Council as an approved Video production supplier. We can’t wait to see what projects lie in wait and start building a great new partnership with them!
This week we also started researching WWI history in Dover for new Heritage Lottery project idea we have. Lots of stories to try and dig out that we can explore through film hopefully later in the year!
What We’ve Watched:
I watched A LOT of films this week, let me just warn you. Awards season gets me excited for good films, and one good film will inspire me to pour 5 more good films into my eyes. Faults was where it started, sort of like if Marcy Martha May Marlene was a dark comedy with more intriguing characters. Loved it.
This was my favourite of the bunch, and quite possibly one of my favourite films ever. In terms of cinematic achievement this film absolutely blew my mind. It’s a one-shot film and not in a crafty Birdman way, in a one camera, one shot, one take way. It’s also not a short film, It’s well over the 2 hour mark, and not one of those minutes dragged for me. The film opens by developing warm, hopeful inter-character relationships (which will be horribly destroyed), and then leads those characters on a whirlwind of an evening spanning multiple locations (phenomenal choreography and coordination) and spiralling into a rather dark territory. Somehow, this film is incredibly tense (I felt as tense and subsequently emotionally ravaged as I did after Requiem For A Dream), whilst maintaining a relatively naturalistic and honest script. Loved it.
This was an intriguing take on the revenge-thriller, in fact it was much more of a revenge-drama. The film has a surprisingly slow pace for it’s subject matter but this doesn’t alleviate the tension at all, as the film thoughtfully, broodingly plods on. Elegantly and meticulously directed, well acted and genuinely unpredictable throughout. Fab.
A compelling piece of British crime drama, but this was exceptionally grim. The lead character is absolutely dismal (well acted and written, just a truly terribly human person) and makes clawing through the film nothing short of nightmarish.
The Martian (Mikaela)
This was really great, a surprisingly light-hearted view of one man being abandoned on Mars. Fantastically scripted this managed to not only make science super understandable, but also super fun! Didn’t water it down with a wet romance plot either, top notch.
Digging For Fire (Mikaela)
This was a bit of a let down. I usually enjoy this sort of meandering, thoughtful, naturalistic indie drama but this just didn’t cut it. It went nowhere and never really made enough of a point about anything. You can only meander for so long before the film starts to be totally pointless.
Making A Murderer (Mikaela)
Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Everyone has watched this and Chris reviewed it last week, so I feel like that that one word review will be enough for most readers.
The Revenant (Chris)
Stunning visually and a truly epic opening sequence. I sort of buckled in for a thrill ride at that point but slowly just got bored and irritated by it. The visuals can only take you so far and a film this long with so little dialogue can become a bit of a struggle. 90 mins in I just wanted it to be over. There is only so much pain you can see someone endure. Also, Why eat a raw fish when you’re sat next to a fire?!? When you start questioning things like that, something isn’t working…
The Big Short (Dave)
It’s very enjoyable and does a good job of making you angry about big bankers and how much they screwed the world over (and look to be doing the same thing again). However, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that the ‘down with the kids’ gimmicks got in the way of a good story. Plus, although the film manages to make economics fun and approachable to a wider audience, in cranking up the pace and throwing lots of 4th wall breaking explanations at us, there was a little too much going on, making it harder to follow at times than it should have been. This sense of being overstuffed wasn’t helped by the huge cast. Christian Bale’s character for instance gets relatively forgotten after the first third other than a few cut backs to him looking stressed out. However, the film was fun and did manage to make someone like me, who has no knowledge of economics, actually vaguely understand and get angry about what happened to cause the big crash in 2008.
Over at Blueprint: Review:
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Dave finally got around to watching this French classic from Alain Resnais and greatly appreciated it, even if it wasn’t to his tastes.
The Ninja Trilogy
Much more to Dave’s tastes was this box set of cheesy 80’s ninja movies!