Archive for April, 2016

With the cinema year well and truly underway, and Cannes just around the corner, here’s a month-by-month rundown of the films we’re (already) looking forward to seeing on British cinema screens in 2016. Featuring art-house darlings, bold remakes of movie classics, timely re-releases, as well as an abundance of strong docs and enticing oddities, there is plenty to keep your Cineworld Unlimited Card busy (for those of you who don’t have one, it entitles you to see as many movies as you want for £16.90 a month) and your mind thoroughly occupied throughout the year:

April:
Eisenstein In Guanajuato (Dir. Peter Greenaway)
Louder Than Bombs (Dir. Joachim Trier)
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Dir. Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey)
Son of Saul (Dir. Son of Saul)

May:
Johnny Guitar (Dir. Nicholas Ray, re-release)
Knight of Cups (Dir. Terrence Malick)
Green Room (Dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
Mustang (Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

June:
Where to Invade Next (Dir. Michael Moore)
No Home Movie (Dir. Chantal Akerman)
Blood Orange (Dir. Toby Tobias) [Pictured above: featuring Iggy Pop]
Embrace Of The Serpent (Dir. Ciro Guerra)

July:
Notes on Blindness (Dir. Peter Middleton, James Spinney)
The Neon Demon (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)
Weiner (Dir. Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman)
Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Dir. Jeff Feuerzeig)

August:
David Brent: Life On The Road (Dir. Ricky Gervais)
Ben-Hur (Dir. William Wyler, re-release)
Julieta (Dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

September:
The Magnificent Seven (Dir. Antoine Fuqua)
The Man Who Fell To Earth (Dir. Nicolas Roeg, re-release)

October:
Lo And Behold, Reveries Of The Connected World (Dir. Werner Herzog)
Kate Plays Christine (Dir. Robert Greene)

November:
Bad Santa 2 (Dir. Mark Waters)
Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny (Dir. Louis Black, Karen Bernstein)

December:
Life, Animated (Dir. Roger Ross Williams)
Star Wars: Rogue One (Dir. Gareth Edwards)

This is a sponsored post for Cineworld.

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Berlin, February, 2016: French film editor Patricia Rommel sat down to talk craft and career with Berlin based fashion designer Paula Immich.

Patricia Rommel has editied the films of established, as well as of independent directors and her work has taken her to Mexico, India and Los Angeles. Among the many films Patricia has edited are two Oscar winners: Nirgendwo in Afrika by Caroline Link and Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Currently she is editing a new film directed by Angelina Jolie.

Speaking in the terms of film language, I would describe Patricia Rommel as a jumpcut: she is full of energy, in a constant change of movement it seems like a new thought or impulse comes to her mind every minute.

Her mercurialness is in sharp contrast to the moment she enters her world of editing: this is the instant where she blends out everything around her. She focuses like a sniper; concentration, patience, silence, flow.

Patricia, what exactly do you do when you start editing a film?
Editing is quite similar to writing. A writer has his thoughts and his words. As an editor I work with the shots, the sound, the music and my thoughts. I string takes together, play around with the space of time or deplace the intended order of the shots and the meaning will be completetly different. There are endless possibilities of how a story can be told.

When things become challenging my ambition is fueled because, all the more so, I have to use my creativity and think out of the box.

What do you love about your job?
For me the most beautiful part in the process of filmmaking is the editing. The atmosphere in the cutting room is communicative and calm at the same time and I can follow my own schedule. I love working at night when the city goes to sleep, when everything around me –  the constant mails, the phone calls, the assistants – calms down.

What are the down sides?
The pressure of time. There are always tight deadlines within which I have to be creative. I would love to have the freedom to experiment even more.

How do you deal with this pressure?
After so many years I am still passionate about editing and the process itself is still rewarding to me, which compensates for the pressure.

Are men and women judged by the same measure and do they have equal opportunities in your profession?
Opposed to the women’s poor representation in the film industry in general, editing used to be a women’s domain because film was shot on celluloid, which physically had to be cut and then taped back together in the editing room, which was a very meticulous affair. A labour which was to be found more apropriate to women. Since film editing has become digital more and more men are working in this job. For myself I feel lucky to be working with women directors, such as Caroline Link or Angelina Jolie, who again themselves enjoy working with women. It is not uncommon to find women assigned as heads of department on Caroline Link’s team

Patricia, you are currently editing Angelina Jolie’s new movie. There is so much larger than life glamour associated with her, were you nervous the fist time you met her; did you find her intimidating?
Because of her celebrity I was a little hesitant during the first handshake, but I soon realized how sincere and how down to earth she is.

Is it important for your career how you dress?
No,  not really. In general I like to alternate between a casual style and simple elegance. But when I have meeings for first interviews I deliberately try to dress neutral, since I don’t want peolple to put a label on me right from the start.

Patricia, you’ve had a fantastic career so far, any advice to other women about how to get ahead?
Always be honest with yourself, be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Be patient and open minded. Be respectful. Learn to listen, and …smile.

Patricia , thank you for sharing.

Text & image copyright of Paula Immich. For more on Paula’s work visit www.paulaimmich.de

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victoria-11
When you see a great foreign-language film, you can often sense the Hollywood executive leering over it. It can be both a welcoming and alienating thought upon viewing, and it would be the case for Victoria were it not for its insanely striking aesthetic. Many films use the long-take to wondrous effect, and you can see hundreds of film articles that explore the abilities of Haneke, Thomas Anderson, Scorsese and Iñárritu. Victoria pushes the boundaries completely; a 134 minute take that has surely captured the attention of Hollywood, and should for every film fan.

We follow the eponymous Victoria, a kind-hearted Spaniard living in Berlin. At the start she is letting her hair down, bouncing around to dubstep in an underground club. Moving outside she starts chatting to a group of men, who invite her out for an after-party, which eventually descends into a criminal partnership. If the synopsis sounds as though events unravel quickly and unrealistically, you’d be wrong. You could argue that Victoria is happily submissive to the charms of the guys, but 21st century people live their lives, attracted to the rush of uncertainty. At least that’s how we are supposed to take to the narrative. Based on the interactions you may or may not have had over yours years out, Victoria either seems like a very familiar personality, or is someone you’ve never met or heard of. This is the issue that may prevent Victoria from being a universal cult favourite.

For those supporting the film’s efforts, it is every bit as enthralling as people have said. Perhaps the best thing about the film is not what is technically achieved, but how realistic the characters appear. Laia Costa is a revelation, a beautifully assured actress who takes us on a journey we become so engaged with. As she begins to fall for the chatty Sonne (a wonderful Frederick Lau) we see the most subtle shifts in smiles or discourse, continually changing right up until the end. It is a film of movement and momentum, and seeing Victoria evolve over the two hours is a fascinating piece of entertainment. A lot of the film is improvised in terms of dialogue (Lord knows they couldn’t wing it for some of the technical aspects), and the flow of conversation is as natural as the direction.

Sebastian Schipper directs this film masterfully; to control so much for an extensive period of time is superbly skilful. Most directors will have chance to cut, regroup themselves and the crew, and attempt the shot a couple of times over. Schipper’s effort, in regard to this, along with his DP, Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (who deservedly gets first billing once the credits roll), should be highly praised. This film took three attempts to shoot, and to imagine the frustration when something went awry, and to see the final outcome that is unforgettable, makes you appreciate this dedication to the cinematic form.

As the action amps up, the camera snakes through the bustle and many will become disorientated. For those okay with the speed, it’ll be a nail-biting series of sequences. You can often see snippets of detail that would otherwise go unnoticed with other DPs, but Grøvlen is a clearly an expert. He knows how to control that camera as if it were an extension of himself. There is nothing more exhilarating for a film fanatic than seeing this craft remarkably in operation.

Not everyone will find a relatable element in the film, as its a youthful, anarchic thriller. However, it is also a romantic and innocent look at joie de vivre. The narrative’s development from Before Sunrise-esque romance, to a vérité-infused heist thriller is so unique, it’s bound to have its admirers and critics. One thing, above all else, is that the film should not be missed.

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Filmmaking is a challenging business at the best of times. Read on to discover some of the greatest insurance risks in cinema history, from the threat of filming with real lions for the 1981 cult movie Roar  (directed by Noel Marshall and starring Tippi Hedren), to the enormous logistical challenges of shooting David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and the threat of damaging a fragile ecosystem filming the ongoing fantasy epic Game of Thrones:

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