Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Films, Festivals and Fun

Hi guys

It's been a pretty busy month. Which means I have neglected you kind people. Apologies, I hope absence has merely made the heart grow fonder.

The oscars were just plain "fine" in the end, barely worthy of comment on the fashion or eventfulness scale. Even Ryan seacrest's ash bath and Angelina's leg have faded.

March is always a busy month for me. In Birmingham there's the flatpack festival and in Manchester the Viva Spanish and Latin American film festival.
I managed a pretty great weekend of festivities which took in Blank City - a documentary celebrating outrageous and innovative cinema, Quadrophenia - disillusioned youth and a great cast of character actors.
then on to Manchester for a cross section of Spanish Langauge films - sublimely surreal black tragicomedy The Last Circus, La Mirada Invisible the tale of a repressed teacher with hidden passions and Primos a sweet comedy about love and family.

Viva! closed with the start of this exhibition of Spanish filmmakers at the Instituto Cervantes on Deansgate, which is well worth a look before 30th April.

I've also got my act in gear and caught up on some films I've missed so I finally saw the amazing The Interrupters, the above average Rise of The Planet of Apes and mildly depressing but revelatory Dreams of a Life.

They win for me respectively the awards for Most ridiculously overlooked documentary, most egregious failure to recognise Andy Serkis if not with the best supporting actor oscar (and Christopher Plummer's speech was one of my highlights of oscars night) but surely with his own category! And finally film most likely to make you call that person you should speak to more often.

Of the more mainstream fayre, Tom Hardy has impressed me with his humour in This Means War - funnier than I thought it would be , I went for the eye candy but left having enjoyed the humour. I also FINALLY caught Warrior, which given it's a film about fighting was way darker than I expected. God Nick Nolte, you were a fine deadbeat ex vet drunk. I also secretly love it when there is accent revenge in a film. For every yank pretending to be a brit, there is Warrior containing a brit and an ozzie pretending to be yanks.

Also Zombieland came around on my rental list and I saw The Hunger Games which proved that Woody Harleson has range with his rocking drunk, cranky, crazy characters. Each one uniquely bitter and brave!

To say I saw The Woman In Black is to totally undermine the meaning of the word "saw". on a statistical percentage, I glanced The Woman In Black with audio. Way too scary for a wimp like me, but some people like that kind of thing. (Thanks little sis for the nightmares). Oddly I am still going to watch The Cabin In The Woods. Any association with Joss Whedon can dispel my fears!

Very few links and tweople today. However there are a few things on my cultural radar I want to big up...

Did you see Son of Rambow? No? Rent it now!!! It was a lovely british film about friendship, which I wish had done better and featured pre gossip girl Ed Westwick as brother to a supremely talented Will Poulter.

Need more convincing? Luckily you can head down to the cinema right now and see him in Wild Bill the debut directorial effort by my 2nd favourite member of the Junior Gazette (Lynda Day was my role model through my entire adolescence) and featuring another Press Gang alum - and potnetial serious BAFTA contender Charlie Creed-Miles.

Is it also a coincidence that Dexter Fletcher was also my original favourite stealth Brit? I was delighted to discover that the american ("an american. there are more than one of us you know") was actually relatively local!

But I digress. I am crazily enthusiastic about this film. I love having reasons to support British filmmaking as it makes it better for the arts as a whole when there are British creative sucesses and I people are buzzing about it, but I want more people to go!

Also something you may consider for your Easter weekend - West Bromwich! No I'm not joking. the pink palace also known as The Public is hosting an indie music festival called Now We Are Weekender.

Finally I haven't plugged a book in a while, so in addition to buying Leeanne Stoddart's superb poetry book for family and friends - there are another 2 books I want to plug.

If you like vampires and the supernatural, is suspect you will love Sire: The Vampires of St Troy by Thomas Galvin a very entertaining blogger.

And if you want to go the extra Geek/Nerd mile then check out Lab Coats in Hollywood by David Kirby. I once had the great pleasure of attending a course he led on Science on Screen and he has some amazing insights into the relationships between "real science" and "film science". Here's a great wordpress review of the book.

So find some festivals and some films and show them some love!

Happy Easter from a Happy Esther!

and Me!!! check out my more concise ramblings/observations and bizarre humour here....https://twitter.com/#!/shegeekmcr

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