Thursday, April 6, 2023

LIFF turns 20

 Independent filmmakers are preparing for a huge 10 days as London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) returns to London’s favourite independent cinema, Genesis Cinema in Mile End, from 14–23 April 2023, for the Festival’s 20th anniversary edition.

With more feature films than ever before, showcasing eight incredible independent features, LIFF will also include a dynamic line-up of short films and a programme of knowledge-sharing events chaired by industry leaders to help indie talent connect with peers and develop new expertise.

The LIFF awards ceremony on Sunday 23 April will recognise and reward fresh talent in a highly competitive field of the next generation in film.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Is Blockbuster coming back from the dead?

 

Blockbuster Video has sprung back to life online with a sole page website featuring the brand’s iconic logo and the text, “We are working on rewinding your movie,” giving hope to many fans.

The chain of video stores had 9,000 locations worldwide at its peak but filed for bankruptcy in 2010. It has seen a resurgence in pop culture relevance in recent years after Netflix produced and released one season of a sitcom based on its last remaining location in Oregon a year after it streamed the popular documentary. The Last Blockbuster. The last store also released a Super Bowl commercial last month.

Blockbuster’s owner, Dish Network, has not commented on the sudden revival of Blockbuster.com. It has previously said it was not franchising new locations but would continue pursuing merchandising opportunities related to clothing, board games, and the like.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

It's fun up North!

The BFI has announced the complete programme for Northern Voices, a season dedicated to exploring the northern talent and creativity that has driven distinctive storytelling across both film and television, as well as the major contribution the North has made to our national culture. Working closely with partners HOME in Manchester and Film Hub North (part of the BFI Film Audience Network), this BFI season will be presented in London at BFI Southbank, at HOME Manchester and in Leeds. Further screenings are expected to follow in the spring at cinemas across the North.

The season will interrogate the myths about northern culture and look towards current representations of its many distinct districts. Above all, Northern Voices will celebrate the richness and quality of the work, past and present, from Colin Welland, Keith Waterhouse and Andrea Dunbar to Elaine Constantine, Jimmy McGovern, Terence Davies and many more.

Few writers have mined northern culture and specific northern speech patterns as successfully as Alan Bennett, who will appear onstage during Northern Voices at BFI Southbank on 17 April. Growing up in Leeds, he listened in on the chatter of his relatives, absorbing the patter of domestic conversation, which would emerge across a glittering and much-loved range of plays, particularly those written for television.

Following Alan Bennett In Conversation, where audiences will have a rare chance to hear from the celebrated writer, there will be screenings of Bennett’s first television monologue A Woman Of No Importance (BBC, 1982) starring Yorkshire native Patricia Routledge, who powerfully conveys the quiet desperation behind a life of loneliness; and Waiting For The Telegram (BBC, 1998), Bennett’s sixth and final collaboration with Thora Hird, whose BAFTA-winning performance as a resident of a nursing home who reminisces over lost loves and a largely unhappy life, reportedly reduced the film crew to tears.

You can find details of all the screenings and events at https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=northernvoices

90th birthday tribute to Sir Michael Caine

In a tribute to Michael Caine on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Path√© has released a new image from his forthcoming film The Great Escaper.

The film reunites two-time Oscar winner and six-time nominee Caine (The Quiet American, The Cider House Rules, Hannah and Her Sisters, Educating Rita, Sleuth and Alfie) and two-time Oscar winner and four-time nominee, Glenda Jackson (Hedda, A Touch of Class, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Women in Love). It will open in UK cinemas later this year.

Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of octogenarian Bernard Jordan’s escape from his care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in France:

In the summer of 2014 Bernard Jordan (Michael Caine) made global headlines. He had staged a “great escape” from his care home to join fellow war veterans on a beach in Normandy, commemorating their fallen comrades.

It was a story that captured the imagination of the world - Bernie seemed to embody the defiant, “can-do” spirit of a generation that was fast disappearing.  But of course, it wasn’t the whole story.  It was the story we all tell ourselves to make war and old age bearable. The bitter-sweet script explores the reality with wit and a very big heart.

Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Glenda Jackson) - the story celebrates their love without sentimentality and with an eye to the lessons we might all learn from the Greatest Generation.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Stars shine in Glasgow

 

A host of star names will grace the Glasgow Film Festival red carpet as the festival returns for its 19th edition from 1 - 12 March.

Famous faces include:

 ·         Trainspotting and Line of Duty star Kelly Macdonald, joining BAFTA-winner Monica Dolan and director Carol Morley for a special International Women’s Day Gala premiere of Typist Artist Pirate King (8 March)

·         Two-time Oscar-nominee Emily Watson at the UK premiere of new drama God’s Creatures (2 March)

·         Game of Thrones and Braveheart actor James Cosmo at the UK premiere of his new romance My Sailor, My Love (3 March)

·         Star impressionist Alistair McGowan at the UK premiere of Mark Cousins new documentary My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock, featuring a pitch-perfect Hitchcock voiceover from McGowan (4 March)

·         Joe ThomasThe Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat star and alumni of the Isle of Skye-based Young Film Foundation will help launch the fourth edition of the unique talent scheme that aims to identify and support a new generation of screenwriting talent (9 March, part of GFF Industry Focus)

 

GFF23 will also welcome acclaimed and up-and-coming behind-the-camera talent including:

·         Glasgow writer-director Adura Onashile at the UK premiere of her feature debut, the Glasgow-filmed Girl (1 March). This is the first time a Scottish film has opened GFF and the festival is thrilled to welcome Adura to the red carpet alongside young star Le’Shantey Bonsu and local talent featured in the film.

·         Canadian actor and director Matt Johnson attending the UK premiere of his hotly anticipated tale of the rise and fall of a tech giant, Blackberry (3 March)

·         Fife director Andrew Cumming at the Scottish premiere of his highly anticipated Highlands-shot Stone Age horror The Origin (5 March)

·         US director Daniel Goldhaber at the UK premiere of his politically charged new eco-thriller How To Blow Up a Pipeline (2 March)

·         US director Muta’Ali Muhammad and Scottish broadcaster and writer Stuart Cosgrove at the World premiere of their new documentary Cassius X: Becoming Ali (8 March)

·         Director Chlo√© Raunet and protagonist Andrew John ‘W.I.Z’ Whiston at the World premiere of I Am Weekender, exploring the enigma that was the controversial and banned Acid House film Weekender (11 March)

·         The creators and cast at the UK premiere of one of the most viral movies of 2023, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (10 March)

Friday, February 17, 2023

RAI Festival back in Bristol

RAI Film Festival, which showcases groundbreaking documentary filmmaking from around the world, is back in Bristol after four years as it makes a welcome return with an exciting live programme of films, high-profile filmmaker events, workshops and exhibitions.

 

Live in Bristol takes place at the Watershed cinema and Arnolfini arts centre from 22 – 25 March, complementing RAI Film Festival 2023’s four-week online festival throughout March.

 

The in-person festival welcomes visitors from all over the world, as well as the local community in Bristol. Full festival pass holders access an online festival programme of over 80 films, and gain entry to all screenings and events in Bristol. Single tickets to live film screenings go on sale from 28 February.

 

The festival gathers storytellers from every corner of the world, whose films shine a light on the people, places and stories that are too often lost in the spotlight of global media.

 

Festival co-director, Caterina Sartori, said, “The return of a face-to-face festival is such a boost, allowing plenty of opportunities to socialise, network, and of course return to our beloved cinema and arts spaces in Bristol.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Golden oldies - Genesis top the high earners list

 

Forbes Magazine's list of the 10 highest-paid entertainers over the last year includes filmmakers, musicians, TV creators and more – collectively earning about $1.35 billion – and it looks like longevity pays off big time in showbusiness.

Topping the list is the rock band Genesis ... coining $230 million after selling their back catalogue to Concord Music in September for a reported $300 million. Forbes says the $70 million difference represents fees to managers, agents and lawyers.  

At No 2 is Sting, earning $210 million. Last year, he also sold his and The Police’s music catalog for around the $300 million.

TV and film mogul Tyler Perry came in at number 3, pocketing an estimated $175 million from all his projects and his huge studio in Atlanta.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone came in at number 4 ahead of The Simpsons creators James L. Brooks and Matt Groening.

Brad Pitt was number 6 with $100 million, followed by the Rolling Stones, who at their advanced ages still earned $98 million last year from a European tour.

James Cameron -- now one of the highest-grossing directors of all times -- earned at least $95 million from Avatar: The Way of the Water to come in at No 8, followed by Taylor Swift with $92 million and Bad Bunny collecting around $88 million from his massive tour.

LIFF turns 20

 Independent filmmakers are preparing for a huge 10 days as London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) returns to London’s favourite independen...