With the UK Film Council disbanded, and partially reformed over at the BFI, you might think the British film scene had lost enough funding for now. Sadly not. With the Arts Council England’s budget cut by £100 million back in October, more casualties were revealed yesterday as the various grants were announced. Plenty of bad news for arts groups.
Some fared well, the Young Vic had gained 15.8% in it’s funding, so it’s not all grim news, but for every extra penny one group received, another is losing that penny from it’s funding. One of the hardest hit is the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, losing between 37% and 43%, depending on which news source you believe. The ICA covers all sorts of art but most importantly is our source of bizarre Portuguese films, and is where I once saw Hot Fuzz before release with Wright, Frost and Pegg in attendance.
I realise that every sector is feeling the pinch and plenty of people I know and love are losing their jobs but this is a blog about the arts, or 3D films with gore and nudity, so it’s our job to highlight our loss when such severe cuts are made by the government.
Some might say tax money shouldn’t be spent on the arts, but that’s just silly.
Not to harp on about innocent smoothies, as the last time I had one was to get the free tiny woolly hat, but this is all about being creative, winning money and getting free stuff.
If you do fancy entering the innocent smoothies movie making competition then we can send you a film kit. From the photo we were sent these include a few little props, maybe a plastic ice cream cone, a horse, pig and innocent smoothie bottle with a cape.
This is not the Friday you’ve been waiting for, this is the Friday when a few mediocre films slide into cinemas with no fuss or muss. Submarine is expanding to almost twice the number of screens though, no excuses now people.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Picturehouse Cinemas have diversified and entered the distribution game. Their first film as distributor follows Werner Herzog filming for the first time inside caves in Southern France where the world’s oldest paintings reside.
Because Gwyneth Paltrow just won’t stop singing, and Taylor Swift made country cool (in a 15 year old girl way), we have a film in which Paltrow sings country. There’s probably a plot too but I’d hate to spoil it for you.
Channing Tatum (Roman lad) goes to Scotland to find the Eagle emblem his dad lost when he disappeared and marred the family name. Jamie Bell (the prancing fella) plays his English slave and companion. Can’t wait to hear Tatum’s Latin accent.
An ex-con goes out to avenge his brothers death, clearly risking becoming a con again and losing his ex-con edge. He is pursued by a veteran cop (just one day from retirement!) and a hit man. Could do with more country singing.
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure
A turtle (Sammy) swims around for fifty years teaching us a lesson about global warming. Could do with an Al Gore cameo.
Wake Wood (limited release)
A couple grieving over the loss of their daughter are offered three more days with her thanks to a pagan ritual. I bet it doesn’t all go to plan! A British horror starring Timothy Spall makes this the best thing out this week.
Are any of you budding film makers? Or just interested in £5,000? Either way innocent smoothies have a competition looking for people to make a 30 second follow up to their new ad. The winner gets the £5,000, their video on the telly box and two tickets to the best London-based film festival presented by the BFI.
The video below explains in a much more crafty fashion:
Go on then, get filming and don’t forget who told you about the competition when you win.
Peeking ahead at this Friday’s releases, the week may well peak today. And today’s film is hardly a show stopper either. Still time to see Submarine!
A writer takes a clear pill that makes him super-human and potential filling. All goes swimmingly until the pills run out and he’s told he will die without them. Expect lots of running, jumping and driving around in fast cars.
There’s a reason we stopped posting “news” about castings and films in development so much, and this past week has been a reassurance that we’re doing the right thing. Way back when, Gordon-Levitt was rumoured to be in The Dark Knight Rises as possibly The Riddler. Then it was announced that he wasn’t.
Not long ago he was back in the running for the film and then recently was “officially” confirmed to be playing Alberto Falcon and my Google Alert went wild. Now a source has claimed that he isn’t actually playing Falcon… which trumps the previous fictitious official announcement.
Oh internet, how you run with a rumour until it is reported as news on the biggest film sites. We’re just going to sit back and wait until there’s some kind of proof. If you do need wild speculation reported as facts and instant notification when a new poster is released, there’s always Empire.
One good film out today, though you are obliged to stay in watching Comic Relief or go down to your local community centre and do something funny for money. Submarine can wait for Saturday, don’t worry.
A comedy about “wannabe bad boys” that actually looks quite funny from the trailer. You still won’t catch me watching it though.
The Lincoln Lawyer
Supposedly tense thriller about a lawyer fighting a case while working out of his car. How tense can a film starring Matthew McConaughey be?
The best thing out in a while. As beautiful as it is funny, and filled with more amazing debuts than… erm… hard to think of a comparison. Oliver is a 15 year old boy trying to save his parents’ marriage and if possible enjoy a wonderful evening of love-making with the dimmer set to halfway. Just see it. You’ll love it.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
A film following two married couples as they deliver dialogue that should be performed by Woody Allen, the very man who wrote and directed the mess. He used to be so good.
Ballast (limited release)
Gritty drama looking to the fallout after a man’s suicide.
Benda Bilili! (limited release)
A heart warming documentary about a band from Kinshasa. There is some debate in the two near identical synopses on IMDb as to whether it is “five paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager” or “four paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager”. Can’t wait to find out which!
Between the Canals (limited release)
Irish crime film set on St. Patrick’s Day. Something tells me this should have had a Thursday release.
Route Irish (limited release)
Ken Loach directs “the story of a private security contractor in Iraq who rejected the official explanation of his friend’s death and sets out to discover the truth.”
Not long ago Mild Concern favourite Zooey Deschanel became the face of Rimmel London and they’ve been ruining her face ever since. The most recent advert (above) is the worst yet. It looks more like a poor computer rendering of Ms Deschanel than a real face.
If you’re going to hire someone for their look, try not to airbrush that very look away, ok?
On Monday of this week there was a film first… of the dubious kind. Venus & the Sun became the first film iPhone app, with apple users able to download an app from apple which has a few games and the opportunity to pay to download the short film. The film was also released on DVD the same day and you can even buy it on memory stick from the film’s website.
The short film itself is pretty mediocre, though nowhere near as bad as I had expected. Keeley Hazell, “glamour” model, plays a version of herself who loves Latin and hates it when she is recognised for her modelling, until the moment she isn’t. Hazell does an OK job at her role, though was more convincing when talking in Latin than in English. The film isn’t going to be winning any awards and they couldn’t even get the prop newspaper’s Page 3 to be on the third page.
SO the short itself is pretty unremarkable but more interesting is the fact that it is so easy to see. Normally short films are the preserve of the film festival and tracking down a copy of a short you’ve read about is near impossible. The internet should be opening up distribution and perhaps, in spite of its lack of flair, Venus & the Sun is taking a step in the right direction for the distribution of short films.