Shine A Light



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

Monday, 19 December 2011

SHINE A LIGHT - BEST OF 2011


LIST TIME:

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 come.......im 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.

5: CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (Werner Herzog)


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!

7: HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI (Takashi Miike)


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, Marty...next 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 easy....so 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 2011...it'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

WOMEN ON THE ROAD

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: www.vice.com/xperiaunseen

ON THE ROAD - VICE

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...

ON THE ROAD





Check out more here: www.vice.com/ontheroad

and WIN tickets to a screening and a boozy talk with Jesse 'Boots Electric' Hughes here: www.vice.com/en_uk/read/roadies-marshall-on-the-road-jesse-hughes

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 year...so that's a good sign. No idea as to a UK release yet...but will look out for it...you should too!




Thursday, 8 September 2011

WORLD FILM LOCATIONS: LONDON

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!





UNTITLED BEACH VIDEO - (SKATERDATER)

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!!!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

YOU KNOW I'M NO GOOD

Since this blog was put on hiatus, a sad day occurred in the world of music. Amy Winehouse tragically passed. Her music was pretty fucking great and it will be with us for a long time.

Earlier this year the queen of rock'n'roll Wanda Jackson release her album 'The Party Ain't Over' produced by Jack White (he plays guitar here too). It consisted of covers of old and contemporary tunes.

This take on Winehouse's 'You Know I'm No Good' is rousing reminder of the timelessness of good music and good songs. Old or new, young or old, it doesn't matter....it;s just great music!



eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest

JAWS was screened at The Duke's After Dark last week...a superb and aweinspiring film that delivers so much in many ways. Genuine terror and fear, adrenline pumped action and raw family and personal emotion that is hard to replicate on screen.

Unfortunately due to technical reasons we missed a significant 5 min chunk of the movie where Quint delivers his iconic, emotive and emotional speech about the USS Indianapolis. We sincerely apologies for this and it was out of our control. Hopefully a brand new re-masterd digital print of JAWS will be released sometime next year and we can screen film in its crystal clear entirety then.

This doesn't make up for the real thing...but here it is...hope you enjoy it. It's a testiment to the power of acting, film making and storytelling.


Apparently Robert Shaw was ridiculously drunk when they we're filming this and he kept screwing up his lines. After several takes, Spielberg decided to call it quits, but Shaw, feeling awful about his shabby performance pleaded to Spielberg to let him have another go...he did and he gave this performance in ONE TAKE! Fuckin' A!

..."show me the way to go home..."

DUKE'S AFTER DARK!

It's been awhile, but SHINE A LIGHT IS BACK Y'ALL!!!!

Rebooted....I'm starting with the new film night at The Duke of York's...DUKE'S AFTER DARK!
Over the past year there has been rumblings and churnings in the world of late night cinema and as result the screenings of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, JURASSIC PARK, THE LOST BOYS and JAWS have been huge successes drawing large, lively and enthusiastic crowds to the Duke's for some late night cinematic goodness. Now all these nights are tarnished with same brush...DUKE'S AFTER DARK. This is going to be a bi-monthly night, screening classic and cult cinema, also showing random short movies, music vids and other cinema experiments!

Watching a film is a very personal experience, it's between you and the sensual outpour that breaches the screen. It can make you feel weird, scared, enthralled, confused and engaged. Hopefully it will leave you feeling encouraged, motivated, a bit disturbed and plain satisfied. Whilst this is a personal response, these things are always enhanced by the shared communal experience, whether that be with your friends, your lover or some weird dude sitting next to you. When we're watching a good film together, we can go on a personal experience and simultaneously a shared one. When a good audience watches a great film....awesome vibes are created and it's something worth cherishing.

This is something we want to bring forward and celebrate with DUKE'S AFTER DARK!

We going to bring you those classic film's you've always wanted to see in the big dark room, and those classics you've just never got round to seeing.

Stay with us because ALIENS will be next in late September...


BILL PAXTON'S A HERO!


And keep checking the Duke of York's website for consistent quality cinema: www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Duke_Of_Yorks/

Thursday, 19 May 2011

DJ SHADOW, GOODFELLAS & DAS RACIST

Last weekend was fun, despite my left foot spazzing out and having to work each day, but I saw two awesome shows that reminded me that Rap and Electronic music are still worth listening too, and I saw my favourite film of all time on the BIG screen!

First off was the almighty DJ Shadow bringing his Shadowsphere tour for the first time to the UK as part of The Great Escape.

The show was a blinder, truly, and you can read more about it at Don't Panic NOW!

But here's some pics I took on my trusty Blackberry




These pics don't do the show justice, but it was incredible, big beats and visual feast!

On the saturday I did my own great escape outta Brighton to the quieter streets of central London to the Prince Charles Cinema just of Leicester Sq, to watch my all time favourite movie, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.



This was my first time watching this in a cinema and it blew my mind. The print may have been grainy and projected off kilter slightly, but the shots, scenes, editing, music (all that make this film stupendous) shone through greater than I could have perceived. The prison dinner sequence was particular highlight...Paulie finely slicing the garlic on a massive screen is quite a moment. The climactic scene of Henry's last day fusing his paranoia and drug addiction with a mad rush to smuggle drugs, look after his brother and cook a family dinner (all at once) is one of the finest examples of editing and use of music ever put on film...thrilling and exhausting to watch...pure cinematic storytelling!..I would go on....but....

Then it was Sunday, and an afternoon show from Brooklyn's finest new Hip-Hop act was beckoning!

Das Racist make music like this....


I got to admit I lost interest in Hip-Hop/Rap music a while ago...but this reminded how good it can be, proper party music, unpretentious, clever, stupid, and full of good vibes!...also they're some real cool dudes...found myself having a chat Heems in a corridor after the show...nice guy!

Once again the Blackberry was there...



(looking forward to seeing what Sam's real photo of them looks like...no doubt you'll find it HERE sometime soon)

So that was last week end...there was more...I ended up drinking wine and buying beef jerky with Doug at 3am...unfortunately I didn't take any photos!

(All photos on this post by Toby King)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Shine A Light presents: Riki Fliks - Movies at Riki Tik's

Alright, so I'm taking this blog into the real world!

If you live in or around Brighton and are into your movies, then you wanna hear this!

I've teamed up with Riki Tik's to bring you Shine A Lights presents: Riki Fliks! Every Sunday evening we will be screening some classic films of all styles and genres. Screening in the back room of everyone's favourite late night hang out Riki Tik's on Bond Street. We have a great projector, a big old wall, booths and comfy seats and of course a fully stocked bar!...we're also bringing in the popcorn! This will be the perfect way to cap that perfect weekend!


But we want more than to hang with you watch movies and get slightly merry....we want YOUR films! If you have made the BEST SHORT FILM THAT NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN then we want to see it!

Drop in a copy your short/video on DVD to Riki Tik's or get in touch via the facebook page:


To kick start Riki Fliks we're going for the big guns with a screening of everyone's favourite crazy man Charlie Sheen in HOT SHOTS! On Sunday 22nd May at 8pm


THE MOTHER OF ALL MOVIES!

More info to come! Hope to see you there....and get involved!

X

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

||| THIRD MAN RECORDS ||| Jack White does crackin' vinyl, Wanda Jackson and a whole lot more...

Been meaning to make some noise about Third Man Records for a while. But here's the low down if you didn't already know...



Third Man Records was originally founded by Jack White in Detroit in 2001. In March of 2009, a physical location was established in Nashville, TN. Third Man Records in it’s current state serves as record store, record label, live venue, and one stop production house with a rehearsal and photo studio, darkroom, and production office and distribution center. All of our records are produced by Jack White in his own Third Man Studio, then printed and pressed right here in Nashville. With our unique set-up we can have an artist recorded and photographed in one day and have records for sale in our store within weeks. In this way we are bringing a spontaneous and immediate aesthetic back into the record business.

This is how music should be, this is a big Fuck You to how awful the music industry has become. Bringing back the immediacy and realness of music, making it raw and untampered with by all the blandness that is around said industry today.

This is neat little product they've released, The Triple Decker Record:


Jack White and The Third Man band has recently bought back 50s Rock'n'Roll legend Wanda Jackson, with an album of covers called The Party Ain't Over and it's one of the best Albums you're gonna hear in a while.

and they sound like this...


"oooo my goodness"

There's a lot more going on at Third Man Records, including new vinyl creations, more great bands, music videos, photography and even Jack White interviewing a livestock auctioneer!

Check it all out here....www.thirdmanrecords.com



Thursday, 21 April 2011

Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy -

Werner Herzog is one of the greatest and most prolific filmmakers of the last 30 years. Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Fata Morgana, Fitzcarraldo, The Emigma of Kapspar Hauser, The White Diamond, Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of The World, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Cave of Forgotten Dreams (to name a few!) Cormac McCarthy is one of the greatest novelists and play writes of the last 30 years All The Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of The Plain, Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men, The Road.

Both men in their work have developed methods of creating hugely engaging storytelling that also dwells on and are intertwined with a deeper meaning and a longing for understanding of the world that their characters and ourselves are in.


This is a great conversation between this two heavyweights of contemporary storytelling, (and two scientist guys) where they discuss the duality of Art and Science (often perceived as conflicting areas of thought) and how the duality of both things affect their work and the deeper meanings that they allude to.

They also both have AMAZING voices!


Werner Herzog reading Cormac McCarthy (about 38:50 mins in)...doesn't get much better.



Tuesday, 12 April 2011

FIRST ORBIT - fifty years in space

50 years ago Yuri Gagarin was the first man in go into space and orbit the earth. Now filmmaker Christopher Riley has made a feature film that recreates that historical voyage. Combining new footage of the earth from the International Space Station and using original footage of Yuri Gargarin himself.

Here's a little preview....


off into the abyss....

(for some reason though, my favourite parts of this footage is seeing all the dents, smears and smudges of the space crafts windows)

Check out more info on this project and an interview with the filmmaker at Nowness.com GO ON!

And here's Nick Cave lamenting about his father fleeing to the moon or something....


Keep exploring the cosmos Nick! Awesome!

Friday, 25 March 2011

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 3D



CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 3D

Dir: Werner Herzog, 2011

An essential 3D documentary, which reveals the REAL benefits of 3D filmmaking and a powerful emotional link to an unknown collective past.



“This is my dictum: you can shoot a porno in 3D, but you cannot shoot a romantic comedy in 3D.” This is Werner Herzog’s perfectly astute theory on the use of 3D in cinema. In his latest film CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS he has made neither a romantic comedy nor a porno, but his profound and unprecedented use of this new technology is not only innovative but also essential in the progression of cinema.

The Chauvet cave in southern France was discovered in 1994, when three cavers clambered through a tiny hole in a rock face, and were astonished at what they found. A massive cave full of hundreds of pristine preserved cave paintings of Horses, Bears, Bison, Leopards, Hippos (and many now long extinct verities of mammals). This is the subject of CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS. Some of these paintings have been carbon dated as 32,000 years old, the oldest known man made paintings. An avalanche around 20,000 years ago sealed this cave from the outside world, holding this astounding paintings inside, perfectly preserved in their original condition, locked away for the ensuing rise of modern humanity.




Werner Herzog is the first (and probably the only) filmmaker allowed into the cave (due to very sensitive climate conditions in the cave access is extremely limited). He agreed to work at an employee of the French Ministry of Culture, charging a fee of 1 Euro for the privilege of filming inside the cave. (With a skeleton crew of three and only one week, a few hours at a time to shoot inside the cave). The images revealed from the cave are truly spectacular. The elegance of the charcoal made drawings and paintings is remarkable, these are not crude or rudimentary images, but full of anatomical accuracies, character, grace and movement (a painting of a Bison has eight legs, suggesting movement, as Herzog describes, ‘almost a kind of proto-cinema’.)

Bringing these images to the viewer in 3D is in this case essential and indeed brings a whole other aspect to this documentary. The content of the cave itself (and Herzog’s meandering, profound, esoteric and often humorous narration) is enough to fill this film with awe, but the 3D cameras have captured the cave and the art in a way that is essential in understanding the works themselves, and in turn bring the cinematic medium to a genuine new artistic level. The walls that these images are painted on are not flat, they are full of curvature, concaving and convexing throughout. The Palaeolithic artists used the topography of the cave wall to create shape and dynamic movements of the animals they were depicting. These images are 3D paintings in their own right, and this use of 3D filmic technology is the first time that is has been used in film for a genuine artistic effect, which is (finally) propelling the medium into a potentially glorious new era. (Herzog does allow a few humorous nods to 3D usage recent movies, in an interview with an archaeologist demonstrating a Palaeolithic hunting spear, the tool is lunged through the screen towards the audience (just as effective as anything in Avatar!))

There is a wonderful sense of irony and (perhaps artistic symmetry/duality) that it takes the oldest known man made images (some claim these paintings reveal the awakening of the human soul) to propel a new artistic visual medium. These concepts are not wasted on Herzog. His musings fill CAVE OF FOROGOTTEN DREAMS with moments of lyrical genius, constantly pushing the viewer to consider wider possibilities and meaning to what we are seeing. On the revelation (from carbon dating) that one of the cave paintings was completed by another artist 5000 years after it was started, leads Herzog to conclude, “We are locked in history, they were not.”

We will never understand the reasons for these paintings, or what the artists were hoping to achieve, but they can perhaps resonate with us through a collective subconscious. We can look at the positive hand prints of the artist with the crooked finger, or wonder if the foot prints of an 8 year old boy side by side with that of a wolf reveal a story of friendship, or a mere coincidence. We can look at these and the intensity of the cave paintings and understand what they are, but never understand fully what they truly mean. It is perhaps this underlying factor that holds the real appeal to their story. Herzog lets this mysterious ‘other’ element linger throughout the film. Something that we know is there, but is for us intangible. This is what makes the films subject so powerful and compelling.

All this and I still haven’t mentioned the mutant albino crocodiles that star in the epilogue of the film! Go see this film for these wonderful creatures and a visual 3D awakening, and then be moved by the powerful human stories that the cave reveals to us.





CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is released TODAY 25/03/2011

Showing in cinemas nationwide. Check the website for details...

Monday, 21 March 2011

UMSHINI WAM - bring me my machine gun

UMSHINI WAM is a new short film from art house/indie guru Harmony Korine (KIDS, GUMMO, JULIEN DONKEY-BOY, MISTER LONLEY, TRASH HUMPERS...)

Set in a grim post-apocalyptic world (one that closley resembles any contemporary suburban out skirt), the film follows Ninja anf Yo Landi (from Die Antwoord fame) as gun toting Bonnie and Clyde-esque protagonists as they roam the landscape in their onesies and wheel chairs, smoking comically large joints, and ripping off rude wheel chair salesmen.


This is one of those films that you can take or leave, but I personally think there are too many clever, interesting and down right bizarre touches to turn away from this little ditty.
Korine's cheap, quick, no holes barred, Dogme style of film making is always refreshing intriguing and somehow challenging to watch and this outing is no exception .





"you got hologram MAGS?"

This has even made me intrigued by Die Antwoord (?) All I really know about them is that they are some kind of South African Hip-Hop act, who had a successful hit (video) with a weird looking small person. I thought the whole act was either a joke or it was a group taking themselves (and the concepts of Gansta Rap) way too seriously. But maybe I was wrong and just didn't get it either way.

This film does nothing to solve this problem for me, but I like it none-the-less.

Friday, 18 March 2011

NT LIVE: FRANKENSTEIN

Last night The National Theatre broadcast live their sell-out production of FRANKENSTEIN to Picturehouse Cinemas across the country. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (alternating nightly the lead roles of Victor Frankenstein and The Creature).


This was a remarkable production. Technically and thematically.

A striking and complex set consisting of a circular oscillating and rising stage was sparsely dressed, but helped create a stark mood and aesthetic. The lighting rig compressed of thousands of individual light bulbs, that not only created the illusion of the electricity that brings The Creature to life, but also work's as spectacle in its own right.

The chilling and menacing industrial score and sound effects (courtesy of Underworld) also create a specific mood, which propels this classic novel into a more contemporary arena.

But where this production ultimately succeeds is with the acting and script. Written by Nick Dear, the script is rich and (like the Mary Shelley's novel) is full of suggestions and thoughts on big time issues such as morality, technology, sexuality, parenthood, and ultimately what it is to be alive and the responsibilities that this entails.

These ideas are brought forward by remarkable performances from Benendict Cumberbatch (in this performance as The Creature) who not only performed the role with incredible physicality (the opening 10mins is without dialogue as the creature comes to life and learns how to use his 'body' stumbling and struggling as he learns to move with cohesion). But late, the heavy amount of dialogue that this Creature has is unprecedented. Cumberbatch delivers the lines on a technical level stammering and stuttering (if Colin Firth can win awards for mere mild stammer, then this performance is worthy of so much more acclaim) all the way through whilst keeping a genuine 'human' emotional tone to his passionate character. The Creature, is capable of incredible good, kindness, compassion reason and profound logic. However, as he becomes more aware, evil seeps in (the darker moments of this production are really dark, blackmail, perversion, murder and rape are prevalent.)

Jonny Lee Miller portrays the work obsessed Victor Frankenstein who's character (in comparison) is somewhat soulless and two diminutional, yet full of passion for his own obsessions (one of the key points to the original story), yet Miller performs this with just as much (restrained) intensity as his opposing lead.

By the end of the play however, the characters ultimately merge into one. Both Victor Frankenstein and The Creature are inextricably bound to each other, and by the last scene the audience can see how both actors can play either role.

This concept of alternating leads for this production is inspired. Bringing a different approach and very natural and logical progression to the well known and considered ideas and themes that the original text implies.


"I-CAN-FEEL-THE-BILE-RISE-IN-MY-THROAT. AND-IT-IS-SATAN'S-BILE!"

There will be an encore performance screened at Picturehouse Cinema this Thursday 24th March. Hopefully more screenings will become available, as demand to see this incredible production is ridiculously high.

YOU REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS!


Thursday, 10 March 2011

SUBMARINE



SUBMARINE is the new British coming-of-age comedy by Richard Ayoade (the guy from 'The IT Crowd, 'The Mighty Boosh' etc. The film follows slightly neurotic teenage Oliver Tate, as he goes about his day to day life trying to get the girl of his dreams, Jordana, whilst simultaneously trying to save his parents shaky marriage. Needles to say, this combo of dilemmas is a tricky one for Oliver to master and his attempts to solve both create a great parallel narrative drive.


But where SUBMARINE really succeeds is in it's stylisation, set pieces and casting. The fIlm is a visual treat, full of wonderfully playful and inventive set pieces and gags that deliver more than immediate aesthetic gratification, and end up resonating as genuine feeling for the (somewhat over stylised) awkward and quirky characters.

There's also a great soundtrack including some new original songs from Alex Turner (supplying some heavyweight crooners) that fit the overall ethos and style of the film perfectly.

A great film for anyone with a big imagination and who has ever been bewildered by what being in love is all about!

SUBMARINE was shown last night (for free) across the country at E4 and Picturehouses Slackers Club and gets a nation wide release on March 18th.