Shine A Light

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

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Human Centipede @ The Duke of York's

I'm lucky enough to work in the oldest and longest running cinema in the UK, Brighton's Duke of York's Picture House.

As front of house staff, me and my colleagues don't have too much say about what we show at the Duke's (luckily the programming department for Picture House do a swell job....(honestly I'm not just saying that))...however, earlier this year we had to show some awful excuse for entertainment called Sex and the City 2. During this dull (but remarkably busy) period, I thought about other potentially awful films that this fine cinema could show to a desiring public. My friend and co-Duke's compadre Alasdair had bought a film called The Human Centipede to my attention, at the time I thought it was gross and hideous and not my thing at all, but it sure looked sick and fucked up and therefore appealing to most people in some twisted way. I suggested to my manager Jon that if we can get away with showing Sex and the City 2 for two weeks then we could get away with showing something like The Human Centipede (I could see similar levels of atrociousness festering in both filmic concepts). Originally a tad skeptical Jon let me start a facebook group to see how much interest was out there...and with the aid of some influential friends (cheers Sam and Will!) over 600 people joined the group and the head honchos at Picture House noticed (thanks Jon) and programmed in The Human Centipede. Initially it was just going to be shown at the Duke's but it has now been booked into many Picture House cinemas including Brixton, Notting Hill, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Southampton....

So on friday the 3rd September come to the Brighton's Duke of York's for a special late nite screening of The Human Centipede

read more at Don't Panic....!

and I recommend you look at these things too....

Splendour Cinema -

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Afghanistan in the UK

VBS.TV have launched a new series about a mock Afghanistan training village that the British army built in the midlands somewhere. Part 1 is up now and you can see it right here NOW...

A bizarre, yet I suppose tragically necessary, idea for the many British youths to train on before they embark on bizarre and tragic (but maybe not necessary) tour of Afghanistan.

This is only part 1 of 5 so keep watching.

Monday, 23 August 2010

If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don't Rise - Spike Lee and the aftermath of the aftermath

When The Levee's Broke: A Requiem in four parts was director Spike Lee's interpretation of the tragic events in and around New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. The resulting documentary was an emotional journey through the lives torn apart, not just by the storm but by the monumental fuck up that was the US governments response to the Hurricane and the immediate years post Katrina. An incredibly emotive piece of documentary filmmaking, portraying the anger, grief and despair of the people affected the most by the disaster and as a result showing the shoddy infer structure of the institutions that are supposed to help the people and the ignorance and stupidity of those individuals who head them.

Although the events of Katrina were tragic and horric, When The Levee's Broke still managed to highlight the positive aspects of New Orleans, it's culture and it's people. Spike Lee's documentary proved to be an incredibly well rounded piece of documentary filmmaking.

Now five years later, Spike Lee and crew have returned to New Orleans with a follow up If God's Willing And Da Creek Don't Rise. The recent BP Gulf oil spill was a truly tragic's an interview with Spike talking about the project...


If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don't Rise is starting HBO real doubt it will make it way to other outlets in the near future....

A while back I posted something about New Orleans featuring When The Levee's Broke, Hot 8 Brass Band and Black Lips...HAVE A LOOK

Friday, 20 August 2010

Black Swan - Aronofsky does 'The Red Shoes' ?!

Check out this trailer for Black Swan

This should be amazing...Darren Aronofsky is one of best directors of his generation, full of original ideas and an acute understanding of film...The Wrestler was probably my favourite film of whatever year it came out and Requiem for a Dream I found so harrowing I haven't been able to watch again since the first time I watched it drunk at 1 am about six years ago...I even liked The Fountain but most people didn't.

Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassell are always worth a look, and Mila Kunis may surprise people in one of her first credible roles...(she was the probably the best thing about Forgetting Sarah Marshall), just have to try and get past the voice of 'Meg Griffin'!

However, this film looks like it maybe a re imagining of Powell and Pressburger's true masterpiece, The Red Shoes.

Really...if you haven't seen this yet you must....much has been written on this film so I wont go into it too much, but its hard to find a film that conveys the power of art, dance, film, love, paranoia and obsession any better.

Just from looking at the Black Swan trailer there are some clear similarities, not just the ballet theme, but the ideas of obsession and competitiveness...there were also some shots in the trailer directly lifted from The Red Shoes.

However, is this a good idea, is the Black Swan going to come across as a mere contemporary nod and salute to The Red Shoes or has Aronofsky got something truly great up his sleeve? Hopefully it will be the later as Aronfosky has shown that he is a very credible and unique filmmaker, and Black Swan will further demonstrate this and not be a simple case of Aronofsky standing on the shoulders Powell and Pressburger's giants.

I'm Still Here - (trailer)

The other week I posted about I'm Still Here - the 'documentary' following a bearded Joaquin Phoenix as he endeavors in a new career in rap!

well, here's the trailer...


still doesn't reveal too much but looks kinda interesting?!?!....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Joon-Ho Bong: 'Mother'

"A combination of awkwardness and uncomfortable distortion of reality...I like the impact of it when it is framed on films and delivered to the screen."

Joon-Ho Bong is a film director from South Korea. His film's Barking Dogs Don't Bite, Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother are remarkable films. All very different but are intrinsically linked through director Bong's understanding of character, place, emotion, and darkly comic sense of humor, and perhaps most significantly a thorough understanding of film and storytelling. He portrays a personal vision in his films that is perhaps not a literal outpouring of his personal ideas and beliefs but more a personal display of a perceived subconscious whole, of either his native Korea or humanity as a whole. He is able to display this through an understanding of film and cinema and how the craft and art of which can reveal the strange, disturbing and unsettling truth of humanity, yet portray this within a beautiful and enticing aesthetic.

You can read my review of Mother at Don't Panic.....

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Why Bruce Springsteen is awesome...(part 4)

I'm just diggin' this track RIGHT NOW!....

Radio Nowhere

This isn't the best video of this track and 'Miami Steve' can't really sing for shit...but he's pretty awesome anyway!....but I was in Gothenburg, Sweden once and it was a beautiful time....this tune had nothing to do with that time, but both are good, apart and at one! BING!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Rum Diary - is coming soon!

"At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going."

Hunter S. Thompson - The Rum Diary

Hunter S. Thompson originally wrote The Rum Diary in the late 1960s but it didn't get published till the late 90s after being revised by the author.

It's about a freelance journalist (Paul Kemp - one of Thomspon's alter egos) who goes to work for a paper in Puerto Rico in the 1950's. Soon enough, the immersive heat, copious amounts of rum and the lust for one blonde with an almost unpronounceable name ('Chenault' - like the car?) reach a cataclysmic climax.

The book is more straight up than Thomspson's other works. The narrative is fixed and there is a clearer sense of structure as opposed his more freewheelin' works of gonzo. His writing conjures up the setting and environment perfectly without explicitly going into detail or history, yet through his elegant and punchy prose, the town of San Juan rises from the page into the readers mind as do the characters and all there quirks and idiosyncrasies.

The film adaption has been made, but not yet released. It is directed by Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I) and stars Johnny Depp...obviously!

It also stars Amber Heard


The reason for the delay is that Depp is currently filming another pirate movie and the distributor don't want to release The Rum Diary until Depp is available to promote it. So unfortunately it's gonna have to wait untill next year for a release.

However on the plus side this gives you time to read the book if you haven't already, or just read it again!...grab a bottle of rum and a bag of ice and just keep going!

Monday, 9 August 2010

GRINDHOUSE at the Duke's

A few years ago when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez decided to make a homage to a style of cinema known as 'Grindhouse', the people involved with the marketing basically pussied out on the idea. The thought of showing two films back-to-back with trailers for 'fake' films (but now real...see Machete!) was clearly too bizarre and complex for them (and therefore a mainstream audience) to understand. Which is pretty dumb considering that both Tarantino and Ridriguez are two of the most influential, interesting, talented, smartest and successful filmmakers to come out of America since the early 1990's and both continue to prove themselves in their respective fields.

As a result Tarantino's Death Proof and Rodriguez's Planet Terror were released separately, and both films were largely shunned by critics and audiences, even though both are awesome movies in their own rights and even more so as the originally intended double feature.

Death Proof is an essential accompaniment to the works of Quentin Tarantino. The film is about a psychopathic stuntman going on several killing sprees in his 'death proof' car, specifically targeting attractive young women. The film perfectly displays Tarantino's sense of aesthetic style and production design, with dialogue and conversational sequences that flow in such a way that are unique to Tarantino. There is also a remarkable high speed chase sequence that is more invigorating and stimulating than anything from a Jerry Bruckheimer movie!

Planet Terror is Rodriguez's answer to all the gross out zombie movies of the 70s and 80s. A sexy, slimy, steamy action movie on the premise of a failed military experiment involving a nerve gas that turns most of Texas (and then the world) into flesh-eating-puss-filled zombies! And only a small band of survivors can stop the outbreak and save mankind!....including a chick with a machine gun as a leg! Full of in-jokes and references to films and the style that inspired it, Planet Terror is a perfectly executed salute to a form of film making that was largely misunderstood...with its tongue firmly in its cheek.

The term 'Grindhouse' is used to describe a type of cinema in inner cities in the 1970s that were mostly seedy dives that showed low budget, ultra violent and explicitly sexual indie movies.

Needless to say it's hard to find such places nowadays outside of the various red light districts of the world cities, but Brighton's Duke of York's is going back to it's seedier days (for one night only!)

You can see Rodriguez's and Tarantino's 'Grindhouse' how it was originally intended on Friday 27th August at NITE!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Le Fabuleux Marcel de Bruxelles

Say Hello to Marcel!

This Belgian clothing brand are trying to sell me a Marcel...that is a tank top, but they call them Marcel's!.....the reason for the name Marcel is not known, but they offer some interesting ideas....

I'm not sure if I'm going to buy one, but I will be constantly looking at their website, because the short film they have made as the backdrop to the site is so cool!...u can't beat a Cine-Film with hot European chicks wearing tank tops (Marcel's) and little pants!....perfect!


For more cool stuff and gorgeous photographs check this out....

(thanks for the tip Flora!)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

'You Bleeeeeeeeeeew it!' - Cop Land

Cop Land is an awesome movie. It came out in 1997 and was directed by James Mangold who would later make the Johnny Cash movie Walk The Line.

The film is genius for many reasons, firstly because it's essentially a western set in contemporary New York, about a group of corrupt NYC police who built a town for themselves across the river in New Jersey (out of the jurisdiction of internal affairs). So it's up to Stallone (the lone Sheriff in a town full of police) to put things right. Perfect right there!

But this film also has one of best casts....Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro.....again thats Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta and ROBERT DE NIRO!

Not to mention a supporting cast of Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Edie Falco, Frank Vincent, Cathy Moriarty, Janeane Garofalo, John Spencer....I could go on but that would be futile!

But no, its not just that it's about New York City Cops (but really cowboys) and it has an awesome cast ...well actually that is it.....but what more do you need?....Cop Land delivers!

There is also one more urban fable set in a small town New Jersey can only mean one thing...YES...Bruce Springsteen is on the soundtrack...BOOM! two tracks from 'The River', 'Stolen Cars' and 'Drive All Night'!....

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Romain Gavras (The Creators Project)

I already posted on Romain Gravras, the prolific french music video director and short film troubadour. See some of his videos for the likes of M.I.A, Justice, DJ Mehdi and The Last Shadow Puppets, and the trailer for his debut feature Notre Jour Viendra HERE

The Creators project have just posted a new video interview with Gavras as he is editing Notre Jour Viendra he talks about founding the film and art collective Kourtrajme Productions, and his affection for digital technology and the 'democratizing of film'.

If you dig this then check out the work of Ladj Ly, another founder of Kourtrajme....

I'm Still Here - by Casey Affleck with Joaquin Pheonix

Here's the poster for the eagerly awaited documentary (or 'mockumentary') by Casey Affleck about what happened to Joaquin Phoenix when he turned his back on acting and went down the bearded hobo-esque rap route (an urge we all have felt!)

So basically this movie is coming out and it is real...however the whole thing could be a set up. Suggestion is that Phoenix decided to 'act' being a bearded rapper so Affleck could film it for a pre-conceived project, or Phoenix actually thought rap really was for him!....But either way it may not matter....both possibilities sound interesting and both Affleck and Phoenix generally have made pretty good decisions throughout their careers. I'm Still Here looks like it's going to be an interesting, bizarre and unique experience.