It must be a difficult task to create an original and fresh take on the zombie film. We have seen various different attempts on the genre that have worked, Simon Pegg’s Shaun Of The Dead (2004), or even the low budget Colin (2008) spring to mind, but more often than not they all tread the same stale water, great for Zombie fans, but film buffs can easily find them tiresome. But there’s currently a Kiwi produced ‘horredy’ hurtling through the festival circuits that has easily managed to maintain its own original take while still remaining true to the specifics of the zombie genre, and on behalf of the Devon and Cornwall Film site, I was fortunate enough to be offered an exclusive preview screening.
A look back in time here for the Halloween season, with a revisiting of this little gem of a horror film which has become something of a cult classic since its release, and like many successful foreign films, has spawned a shiny yet mediocre American Hollywood remake, I guess for those who struggle to read subtitles.
CUB (Govaerts, 2014) is about a Belgian Cub Scout pack that goes on a camping trip just over the French border, unsurprisingly, things don’t go to well for the Cub Scouts in this horror, but how does the film fare?
It has been seven years since the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film, the underrated CGI affair from Kevin Munroe, TMNT (Munroe, 2007). And, it’s 21 years since the last live-action Turtle film – the disastrous and rightfully maligned, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (Gillard, 1993), often incorrectly referred to as Turtles in Time.
Jason Schwartzman should be quite used to playing writers by now, but none are as terrifyingly narcissistic as Philip, in Schwartzman’s newest film, Listen Up Philip (Perry, 2014).
Spring (Benson & Moorhead, 2014) is an interesting proposition, it’s a film that attempts and succeeds to defy expectations. Like the directors previous film, Resolution (Benson & Moorhead, 2012), it provides a unique take on the horror genre but also encompasses tropes we associate with others.
Next To Her focuses on two sisters, Chelli – pronounced Helli – and Gabby. The younger sister, Gabby, is intellectually disabled and Chelli has been caring for her for most of her life.
As the 54th BFI London Film Festival kicks-off the weather might be predictably dreary, but Clare Stewart, festival director, has lined-up an eclectic mix of films that make visiting the cinema – if you’re in London – a necessity.
The festival’s opening film is the UK/USA production, Imitation Game (Tyldum, 2014) and Stewart and her team of film programmers have picked a corker to open this year’s festival.
Imitation Game is a biopic about the life of Alan Turing; the British mathematician and cryptanalyst whose innovative machine (Christopher) broke the German Enigma code and helped to save millions of lives. The film focuses upon three specific points in Turing’s life: a founding friendship at school with a boy named Christopher; WW2 itself i.e. how Turing came to be involved in the top-secret, government project to decrypt the ‘unbreakable’ code; and finally, Turing’s arrest for indecency in the ‘50s – Turing’s only crime being gay and performing an ‘indecent’ act in public. Continue reading
After The Night/Até ver a luz tells the tale of Sombra, an outcast living a nocturnal life in the Creole-speaking Cap Verdean community of Reboleira. His only friends and family are his brother, auntie, a small girl and his pet iguana, Dragon. Mixed up with a local gang and indebted to the boss, Sombra is forced to participate in an armed robbery, but when that goes awry, he flees, desperately trying to make it through the night alive.
What with Michael Keaton’s current resurgence, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at his largely overlooked, directorial debut, The Merry Gentleman (Keaton, 2008).
My Stuff, the debut feature from Finnish director, Petri Luukkainen, is a quasi-documentary and we join Petri – director and subject – as he embarks upon his experiment to forgo his possessions for one year.
The Nightman of Nevermoor was directed by Devon’s own, Chris Thomas and it was made on a shoestring budget of just £3,000, which was raised via crowdsourcing. The 50-minute short is a staggering achievement for the production crew, showcasing their filmmaking talents, while also illustrating their ability to work to a limited budget and time schedule.
If you’ve haven’t read part one and two of my Top 10 Films of 2013 I’ll provide you with a brief recap…
#10 Keanu Reeves
#9 Side by Side (Kenneally, 2012)
#8 Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor (Hurran, 2013)
#7 You’re Next (Wingard, 2011)
#6 Frances Ha (Baumbach, 2012)
#5 The Great Beauty/La grande bellezza (Sorrentino, 2013)
#4 Spring Breakers (Korine, 2012)
Just as Matt Smith’s time as the eleventh Doctor has ended, so to must my countdown conclude – Geronimo!
2013 has been a fantastic year for cinema, with great films likes Gravity (Cuarón, 2013), 12 Years a Slave (McQueen, 2013), Upstream Colour (Carruth, 2013) and the Herzog produced documentary, The Act of Killing (Annonymous, Cynn & Oppenheimer, 2012) all debuting – whether on national release or at film festivals. However, none of the aforementioned made my cut, despite their obvious brilliance.
Right, let’s get started…