Shine A Light

Films, Photos, Music, Fashion, Aesthetic, Narrative, Style, Image, Dialogue....

Monday, 19 December 2011



1: DRIVE (Nicholas Winding Refn)

In terms of style, acting, soundtrack, vibe, vision and execution DRIVE was unbeaten for me. Perpetuating the classic themes of the anti-hero and the void within contemporary urban living, DRIVE nailed it, whilst still feeling fresh and thoroughly modern. The Gosling/Winding Refn duo will hopefully continue for many years to still humming....and a real hero/real human being.............

2: ANIMAL KINGDOM (David Michod)

Released at the start of the year, no other film has lingered with me so long. The final scene shattered my bones and mind in the hungover state in which watched. Remarkable performances combined with incredibly tense and concise direction. A near perfect crime movie.

3: SENNA (Asif Kapadia)

The only movie this year to make a real life tear fall out of my face. An riveting and emotional portrayal of one incredible individual. Fused with incredible storytelling technique from the filmmakers.

4: SUPER 8 (J.J. Abrams)

Nostalgia never tasted so good. JJ Abrams' version of a Spielberg classic is way more than nod to his mentor. It succeeds perhaps by purely being a great retelling of the themes and style of early Spielberg, but Abrams executed this with such sincerity and class I cannot fault it. Someone else, said that instead of blogging about his influences, Abrams' went and did it himself...respect to that! The train crash sequence was probably one of the most exhilarating scenes on film this year. Also outstanding performances from the young cast...Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler.


It's weird when a movie shows you something real, yet it's still like a movie. The concept of the 'awakening of the human soul' is a mind blowing idea which Herzog explores this a unique way through showing these incredible 32 000 year old cave paintings. HIs original style of narration will always elevate his films to a different plain of documentary film making and this film pushed that even further. Unlike anything else you are likely to see.

6: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Woody Allen)

Watching this movie with someone I really like and drinking a really good bottle of red, was a particular highlight of the year. This felt like some kind of guilty pleasure as its kind of fairy tale for middle class pretentious folk, but Woody Allen's script and Owen Wilson's delivery were impeccable, sharp, witty and hillarious. A great highlight was Corey Stoll's portrayal of Hemmingway...was nice to be reminded of a great quote, delivered in a wonderfully dry tone...."No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and it affirms courage and grace under pressure".

Also Allen's consistency to cast beautiful woman in his movies clearly knows no bounds!


Whilst Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins was an intelligent kick ass tale of righteousness and contradictions of the Samurai code, Hara Kiri is a much more subtle affiair that is more melodrama than martial arts showcase (however, the final showdown with the shogun's bodyguards is killer!). A powerful family narrative with remarkable visual effects, mise-en-scene and colour pallette's, including a masterfully subtle but powerful use of 3D. So much so that I feel is may weaken its punch if viewed at home. Still though, it was thoroughly rewarding cinematic experience.

8: HUGO (Martin Scorsese)

Being a massive admirer and fan of Scorsese, I was dreading this. The trailer and poster were lame as, and the idea of fluffy kids movie was not appealing....but I still had confidence that there might be something good in it!.....Turns out, Scorsese didn't let me down...far from it! A wonderful movie that remains a fluffy family flick, but there is so much more going on here, and anyone who has ever been emtional drawn into any movie, will take something away from this...its a gentle and happy reminder about why movies matter!....still though, time..."go home and get ya fucking shine box!"

9: RED STATE (Kevin Smith)

It's so fucking great when you watch a movie nowadays (especially an American movie) and you literally dont know what is gonna happen next and where it is going. Smith delivered this is in way that was an intriguing as it was entertaining. Although the subject is clearly a mockery of the state of certain insititutions in the US and couldn't help but think that Smith was really showing up the American movie industry. This movie also had one of my crossver sequences, that showed Kevin Smith as a genuinly talented film maker and not just a hero of witty dialogue. The final scene where we find out that the whole disturbing film was a wonderful satire was one of the best payoffs I've had in a movie for a long time.

10: THE GREAT WHITE SILENCE (Herbert G. Ponting)

This is what cinema is here for! A true story like no other. To sum up and depict this story and the men who traveled and shot this remarkable film would be futile here. If it ever plays in a cinema again, you owe it your yourself to see it!

Choosing 10 movies wasn't here's some more movies that made me feel good, weird, sexy, awkward, warm, cold, intelligent, etc....

KABOOM (Greg Araki) /// MELANCHOLIA (Lars Von Trier) /// MARGARET (Kenneth Lonnergan) /// THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Pedro Almodovar) /// BLACK SWAN (Darren Aaronofsky) /// THE FIGHTER (David O. Russel) /// 13 ASSASSINS (Takashi Miike)

So long's been emotional! x

Monday, 14 November 2011

a gun and girl - KASIA KASANOVA - car park kids

Here's the first short film from Car Park Kids, a union of myself at this blog and Sam Hiscox Photography. A group of guys who like the same kinda things and want to make the movies that they want to see.

KASIA KASANOVA is based around Jean-Luc Godard's famous quote "all you need for a movie is a gun and girl". With that in mind, we hit out local multistory car park at around 1am one night the other week and let the story unfold. With the help of a few friends and a great tune by The Black Keys we came up with this....

KASIA KASANOVA had its world premier at The Duke's After Dark at The Duke of York's Picturehouse in Brighton on Saturday 12th November before a SOLD OUT late night screening of PULP FICTION.

Expect to see more stuff from Car Park Kids real soon.....

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Harmony Korine, Val Kilmer and the Fourth Dimension

Three directors, Harmony Korine (USA) Alexei Fedorchenko (Russia) and Jan Kwiecinski (Poland) have teamed up on a new film project which explores the concept on the Fourth Dimension.

The project has been set up by Vice and Grolsch Film Works. It is planned as a 3 short half hour films exploring the same concept that will be showcased together as one feature film. Korine's part features Val Kilmer playing himself as a motivational speaker...Sounds pretty fucking great to me....

"The mandate of the project is to create cinematic experiences with filmmakers that have truly unique approaches to character and story-telling. Inspired by filmmaker (and friend) Harmony Korine, I created a weird (but wonderful) brief that tasks each director to create riveting characters that inhabit supra-normal worlds," says Eddy.

The Fourth Dimension will be out some time next year, find out more about it here...

Saturday, 15 October 2011


My favourite episode so far of this ode to the road of rock & roll. Jessie "Boots Electric' Hughes chats to some of the women who make rock & roll possible...not the groupies and the drug chic wannabes, but some real ladies that make the real good shit of rock&roll possible!

Like most things...woman make it better, including ROCK!

See more of this great series from Marshal Headphones and Vice, HERE

Saturday, 17 September 2011

DAISEY LOWE selling phones!

This is an extremely over elaborate way to sell a camera phone, but Daisy Lowe makes it OK!

More of this here:


Vice and Marshall Headphones have made a documentary about roadies featuring the guy from Eagles of Death Metal!

There will be nothing to dislike about this...


Check out more here:

and WIN tickets to a screening and a boozy talk with Jesse 'Boots Electric' Hughes here:

Sunday, 11 September 2011

DRAGONSLAYER - protect yourself, your friends and your family

I really like the look of this....

"An ugly, brutal, punk rock documentary. I'm not sure why but it needs to exist."

Winner best doc at SXSW this that's a good sign. No idea as to a UK release yet...but will look out for should too!

Thursday, 8 September 2011


A while back I was asked to contribute to a book published by Intellect about movies set in London. I did.

Finally the book is ready and will be on sale from Monday 12th Sept 2011.

WORLD FILM LOCATIONS: LONDON focuses on specific scenes from around films set in London and focus on the location and how they represent London through the unique perspective of that film. There are also longer essays on various aspects of London on film. The book is fully illustrated with images from the films and maps of locations.

I personally focused on scenes from:

Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock, 1929)

The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchock, 1956)

Bullet Boy (Saul Dibb, 2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (Paul Greengrass, 2007)

There will be loads of great stuff in this book, if you're interested in movies, cities, travel then check it out.

On sale from 12th Sept 2011 at Waterstones, WHSmiths, Amazon, Intellect Books and MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York City yo!) There is a whole series of these books being released about cities all over the world, they're going to make for a great collection.

(apologies for that awful man on the front cover...out of my hands!) Give me Bob Hoskins or Ray Winstone any day!


Me and and some friends shot this to screen before the screening of JAWS at The Duke's After Dark last month. It would have been better if I'd have know what I wanted before I shot and edited it, but its kinda funny anyway!

Tune by The Surf Trio!

Hang Ten!!!