Outdoor cinema returns to the Dartington estate (20 to 22 July) while the nights are warm – with modern and classic films worth getting a folding chair out for.
Transition Town Totnes Film Festival got in touch with details of their third film festival, which rather fittingly will take place in three venues throughout the town. There are more than 30 films on offer – shorts and features – all of which show positive contributions to the community. There are also workshops, plus live performances that have that ‘not-to-be-missed’ air about them.
Dartmoor Killing Ltd in association with Barn Cinema Dartington, picked up the prize for Premiere of the Year 99 sites and under at the Screen Awards, held at The Brewery, London.
A rare opportunity is being extended to the people of Devon to ask questions of the filmmaker of the highly-acclaimed Robert Mugabe…What happened? in the Barn Cinema’s Afrika Eye film series this November, showing during Bristol’s Afrika Eye Festival.
Dartmoor Killing is the theatrical debut from Devon’s own, Peter Nicholson – best known for his work at the BBC and Channel 4. Nicholson’s film eschews the usual conventions of British cinema i.e. period settings, Northern working class strife or cockney geezers. Instead, it delivers a contemporary thriller with a twist of suspenseful horror.
Becky (Gemma-Leah Devereux) and Susan (Rebecca Night) are both in their late twenties and prior to Becky’s imminent wedding, Susan treats Becky to a holiday on the moors. However, Susan’s motives for visiting Dartmoor are far from selfless and it turns out she’s motivated by something other than rugged landscapes.
Arriving on Dartmoor the two ramblers make their way to their idyllic B&B, however, they cross paths with the mysterious, Chris (Callum Blue). When Chris injures his ankle, Becky and Susan offer to help him back to his picturesque but isolated moorland home. At first, this meeting appears to have been by chance but it’s here that the planned city break takes an unexpected and sinister turn, exposing deception and even suppressed memories from a terrifying past – hinted at through ghost-like visions.
Above all else, Dartmoor Killing is indebted to its local setting and fortunately the film’s Director of Photography (DoP), Nick Dance, has done a beautiful job of capturing Dartmoor’s natural beauty. It doesn’t quite match the dream like quality of Spielberg’s Dartmoor in War Horse (Spielberg, 2011) but much of that film was a romanticised vision – perfect for its ‘against all odd’ story.
At one point Chris opines that the moor is a dangerous place but this is never demonstrated through the mise en scène e.g. Dartmoor doesn’t have the harshness of the moorland depicted in Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights (Arnold, 2011) or even the dreariness of the depressing, Blair Witch-wannabe, A Night in the Woods (Parry, 2011). There is danger lurking on the moors, but here it’s mankind, not nature that poses any substantial threat. Dartmoor Killing is more obviously linked to American psychological thrillers of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, films like Dead Calm (Noyce, 1989), Pacific Heights (Schlesinger, 1990) or Cape Fear (Scorsese, 1991).
Nicholson’s debut is an assured one, with good performances from the central cast and it beautifully captures the wonder of Dartmoor, whilst also managing to tell a story that defies the usual slew of British clichés. There are a few minor issues with the script but in spite of this Dartmoor Killing is a gripping thriller, and like the moors themselves, worth experiencing first-hand.
There could be no better venue to launch a psychological thriller set on Dartmoor than Dartmoor itself, and that’s exactly where Dartmoor Killing is having its premiere.
‘Over the past two years’, says a Dartington Barn Cinema leaflet which has been flopping through the letter-boxes around South Devon recently, ‘we’ve systematically been improving the facilities we offer – from state-of-the art 3D projection through to new seating being installed at the end of March.’ And now those cine-holics are offering a Barn Cinema Loyalty Card.
The Barn Cinema at Dartington has new even comfier seats, and to celebrate its offer people the chance to win an Annual Cinema pass – that’s four free adult standard tickets per month for 12 months!
A modern cinema with an old fashioned ethic, that’s how the Guardian describe The Barn cinema at Dartington.
The screening wasn’t packed, but once again Dartington’s Barn proves itself to be the South West’s premiere art-house cinema, with a limited run of Orson Welles’, F for Fake.
Dartington’s Barn Cinema is hosting an outdoor, big screen cine extravaganza this August in Dartington Hall’s extraordinary Grade II gardens.
With the new film from multi-award-winning filmmaker David Salas – Landscape – in production, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a gander at his 2009 film, Uncomfortable.
It takes a while for Thomas Lawes’ documentary The Last Projectionist to tap the melancholy undertones inherent in the title. For the most part, it’s an ambling, amiable and fascinating examination of Birmingham’s Electric Cinema, the oldest working cinema in the UK (it first opened in 1909). As the documentary proceeds, the history of The Electric effectively acts as a microcosm for the birth of cinema in the UK.
Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) is a refugee seeking asylum in Montreal, Canada, after his wife and children were murdered by terrorists in Algeria. The former restaurateur decides to pass himself off as a teacher – a profession he observed his wife in for many years – and when Martine, a teacher at a local school hangs herself, the perfect opportunity presents itself.
The independent film Four Horsemen will be screened followed by Q&A and discussion with the makers of the film Ross Ashcroft and Mark Braund, they will be joined on the panel by Satish Kumar and Jonathan Dawson of Schumacher College.
Gareth Huw Evans’ The Raid isn’t just an action film. It is the action film. In fact, it’s difficult to remember a film with so many bone-crunching sequences, and so, equipped with my emergency germolene and bandages, I was ready to face the assault, as I headed down to Dartington’s, Barn Cinema.
Mia Hansen-Løve’s third film does at least one very important thing, it reaffirms her as one of her generation’s most competent directors, proving without doubt that the magnificent Father of My Children was no fluke. With my most pretentious shoes on, I strutted down to Dartington Hall’s, Barn Cinema to check out the French director’s newest film.
Tim Burton and his silver-screen partner Johnny Depp shuffle before us once again with their newest collaboration, Dark Shadows – to entertain us with their niche in ‘quirky’ cinema. However, Burton’s ‘glory days’ during the late-1980s and 1990s are long-gone. The director’s recent films demonstrate a once formidable, artistic-vision, a vision which has become a pale reflection of his most creative period.
Two members of the Depp household are making an appearance at the Dartington Barn cinema this week, what with Monsieur Depp staring in Dark Shadows. While Madame Paradis is making an appearance in the touching Cafe De Flore.
I should love this film. I want to love this film.
Amanda Bluglass aims to tell moving and diverse stories through powerful visual images, and her film, Ray: A Life Underwater does just that. It’s an affectionate portrait of one man’s deep sea diving career, told through his extraordinary collection of marine artefacts.
Upon entering the Barn in Dartington, I had a sense of trepidation about what I was letting myself in for with Hugo, a family film from the director of Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. But I needn’t have been concerned, despite a cumbersome first half, Martin Scorsese delivers, if not quite a family film, then a film which is steeped in awe of the cinema and its majesty.
My Week With Marilyn is based upon Colin Clarke’s alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, during the filming of Laurence Olivier’s, The Prince and the Showgirl, a film of questionable quality, but fortunately both Michelle Williams (Monroe) and Kenneth Branagh (Olivier) dazzle in this charming romantic jaunt.
Andrea Arnold’s third film is her stripped-back adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights. The director has had great success with her variation of Cinéma vérité, first with 2006’s Red Road and again with Fish Tank in 2009. However, a period drama adapted from a much-loved source material is the polar opposite of the director’s very British, realist cinema. The most important question is whether Arnold has managed to stamp her authorial signature, on this iconic classic?
As far as directorial debuts go, Paddy Considine could have done far worse. In fact he delivers quite the punch with Tyrannosaur.