So, the Oscars are over for another year. What did everyone think? How about that film Slumdog Millionaire eh? Eight wins out of nine nominations. Absolutely fantastic and what a result for Britain and India eh? In one of the first Anglo-Indian collaborations (well, the first since Bend It Like Beckham), they really knocked it out of the park, and all of the hype was deserved too, as yes, it is a really good little movie. When I say little, compared to the $100 million plus budget of the other favourite The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it’s miniscule. And to this that the movie almost went direct-to-DVD following original distributor Warner Brothers closing their indie label Warner Independent. What an achievement, and well done to Danny Boyle, best director. I was a fan back when you were directing for the BBC man. Superb. Continue reading ‘Paul’s view of the Oscars 2009′
I knew it was some festival in Berlin. For a guy growing up in Chennai, making shorts on miniDV, and still stuck in the second year of his film school, that was good enough. ‘Some festival in Berlin, dad,” I told my father, “I am going to be nominated as India’s delegate. They call it the Berlinaal or something like that.” I was excited.
Of course the next day when I knew it was not some film festival in Berlin, but the film festival in Berlin, in fact the world, my joy knew no bound.
It was only because the director of the Goethe Institute was a very visionary lady that she had the courage to nominate a 24 year old short filmmaker, in competition with 30-something heavyweights – movie critics, journalist, the elite!
After three decades of bringing us the best in home entertainment, the VHS tape has finally been retired. The format was, up until recently, still being bought and shipped by just one US company, but now even they have layed the, let’s face it, pretty crappy, tape to rest. Continue reading ‘RIP:VHS’
Reelshow International Announces:
The Italian Student Filmmakers Festival Shortlist: Click here to see the finalists.
The Voting Room is now open and will remain open until 10th January 2009.
Ten amazing films have been selected to go through to the final.
As well as our panel of judges,all members have the chance to vote for their favourite film.The shortlist consists of ten films by young and emerging Italian filmmakers and spans fiction, animation and documentary genres.
Click here for the Voting Room. You have to be a reelshow member to vote. Registration is free.
There is just over a week until the big man makes his way from the North Pole and down our chimneys, so being in a slightly seasonal and festive kinda mood, I decided to take a look at my top five Chrismas flicks. Now, this isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, and you will not find It’s A Wonderful Life or Miracle on 54th Street on this list. The alternative Reel Show guide to Christmas films.
Let’s kick it off.
No.5: NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)
My favourite Lampoon series features the talents of the legendary Chevy Chase as Clark Grisworld, head of the Griswold family. This is the third movie in the series and possiblt my fave (apart from European Vacation – “Big Ben. Parliament.” Beverly D’Angelo stars as Mrs Grisworld and a very young Juliette Lewis plays daughter Audrey. The film was actually written by 1980’s comedy genius John Hughes who wrote that other Christmas movie, Home Alone, as well as Pretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – so it has good pedigree. This is one of the films that I roll out every Christmas, and this year will not be any different.
BEST BIT: Anything with Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie.
No.4: SCROOGED (1988)
Bill Murray as Scrooge. The classic Dickens story is updated for the eighties generation and here Murray stars as a troubled TV executive who is visited ‘one holiday season’ by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Richard Donner, who has directed every Lethal Weapon movie, helms this classic.
BEST BIT: The “Put a little love in your heart” singing medley at the end.
No. 3: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1998)
A more recent film, and a wonderful film from the mind of Tim Burton. This stop-motion animation piece has it all, a great story, great characters and superb ‘traditional’ animation. It all revolves around Jack Skellington who leaves doomy, gloomy Halloweentown and discovers the joys of Christmas Town, where he decides that he wants Santa’s job.
BEST BIT: All of it. I love this movie!
No. 2: DIE HARD (1988)
The ultimate blokes Christmas movie and I really cannot believe that this hasn’t made the number one position. Bruce Willis is the New York cop, caught in a Los Angeles skyscraper on Christmas Eve. Alan Rickman and his European bad guys hold everyone hostage and blow Mr yakamoto’s bonce off. Not very festive like eh? I love everything about this movie, from Argyle, Sgt. Al Powell, and even Ellis. The creep.
BEST BIT: Yippe-Kay-Yay!
No.1: GREMLINS (1984)
The number one film on my ultimate alternative Christmas movies is another from the 1980’s. It’s the Joe Dante classic that is Gremlins. This is Crimbo magic. From the opening scene where Mr. Peltzer first discovers Gizmo, all the way through to the arrival of the Gremlins themselves. George Lucas, cartoon legend Chuck Jones and executive producer Steven Spielberg all pop in cameos.
BEST BIT: The magical opening scene where Mr. Peltzer discovers Gizmo.
The story follows a couple who moves to a secluded cabin in the woods to cope with a terminal illness of the wife. As the wife’s condition drags her deeper into dementia and darkness, the husband’s friendship with a local teenage girl takes a dangerous and obsessive turn. The film is said to be similar to Roman Polanski’s Repulsion or the works of David Lynch and Michael Haneke, with the feeling of the 1969 French classic ”The Swimming Pool/La Piscine” which starred Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.
The Reelshow Italian film festival is open for entries, top prize is US$1,000 and you can upload and enter online now.
A top panel of international judges will be passing their expert eyes on entries this year, more details on the Reelshow: Reelshow Italian Film Festival
The precarious economy is unnerving many in the film and entertainment business with even Bond star Daniel Craig expressing concern that MGM may not be able to raise the cash to produce another 007movie any time soon. In an interview in a UK paper, Craig said. “As far as the next film’s concerned, there is nothing scheduled. … Economically the world is in quite a lot of trouble so who knows if we can afford to do another Bond movie anytime soon”. Not everybody is in agreement with Craig but it is evident that Studio’s shares are down and they are not taking the risk on making many films other than surefire blockbusters. The real concern here is the effect the current economic climate will have on independent films. It is widely thought that extremely low-budget and student made films will mostly be unaffected and it’s the mid-range movie that will have to be fought to be protected.
Unfortunately, I think we will see fewer of the quality indie/European films with enthralling stories, and Hollywood will stick to the safe Blockbusters. On the plus side as the saying goes ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and sometimes a tightening of resources within the film community is met with an abundance of creativity. Let’s hope the movie industry focuses on quality and weeds out a lot of the chaff, and we’ll still see some real independent gems.
by permission Reelshow International
A film’s success all rides on having a good title. Or so they tell me. I recently came across an article over at Entertainment Weekly which looks at recently released films that could have had more success in terms of box-office and worldwide exposure if the title had been different, or if said title related more to the movie’s content.
One of the best examples of this is Frank Darabont’s superb film THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, a film which features on top ten lists almost every time one is compiled. Just this past month it made the top five of Empire magazine’s definitive list of the 500 greatest films of all time. The film is excellent, there is no doubting that, but the title does very little to inspire or draw the audience in. The film has enjoyed relative success, but all as a result of good word-of-mouth over the years since its release back in the mid-nineties. It’s success slowly built up over the years. This film was obviously based on a short story by Stephen King of the same name, but imagine if Darabont has chosen (heaven forbid) to change it to something like ESCAPE FROM SHAWSHANK or even PRISON BREAK or something equally commercial. The punters would have rolled in and the film could have, they say, taken a lot more in green at the box-office. After all, film-goers are stupid, some studios may say.
Another example is the upcoming THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. The film stars Brad Pitt in a David Fincher film that tells the story of a human being who ages backwards (ie, he is born and old man, and dies a baby). Great concept, and again, based on a 1920’s story, but what about that title? Hardly appealing is it. Look at the most successful films of the year. For the guys (and some of the girls), THE DARK KNIGHT. Great title, and we all know that it is referring to the character of Batman. For the girls (and maybe some of the guys) SEX AND THE CITY, a film based on a successful television series, but also a film that’s title says it all. The best examples of films with great titles are in the horror genre. Examples. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, SCREAM, GHOST TOWN – okay, so maybe not that last one (another midleading titled referring to a sub-average Ricky Gervais comedy). Then there’s the action genre, and in particular the films of Steven Seagel (MARKED FOR DEATH, HARD TO KILL) or Jean Claude Van Damme (BLOODSPORT, KICKBOXER).
I suppose what I am really trying to say with this post is think about what you call your projects. It could make or break your film’s success.
Or maybe you don’t agree with me?
Has anyone any other examples of films that have titles that mislead its audience?
taken by persmission Reelshow International
You’ve got to catch the Museek festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, if that’s your kind of thing, what they say:
There are quite a number of music video festivals around the world, but none in Russia…
So, Tour de Film and Loud Media decided to change such a sad statistics and organize The 1st International Music Video Festival MUSEEK which will be held between November 14th and 23rd, 2008 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
They’ve put a cool video on their site to help inspire entries (Nov 1st deadline, so get cracking!)
More details on their site: museekfestival.ru
They claim to be the biggest student film festival in America and they’ve been going 10 years, again well worth checking out if you’re over that side of the pond.Oh, and there’s some pretty decent cash prizes up for grabs.
This is a funny clip with some top tips for your first film from the organizers, who must have seen everything by now. The mind boggles.
If you’re serious about making films (and you’re in the area) head down to the Slamdance festival in January 2009 – it is bound to have a very good lineup. What they say:
Be part of a filmmaking production team and film your own program from inside the Slamdance and Sundance Film Festival with other students from around the world. The Real Ideas Student Broadcast program is a collaborative, mentored experience at one of the most influential indie international filmmaking events in the world. Work in diverse teams with insider access to the most up and coming film world directors and industry professionals. Receive training and support from industry and academic professionals and gain exposure and recognition for your work. Real Ideas Studio is looking for students in Film, Motion Graphics, Journalism, Broadcast and Communications. APPLY NOW for the Real Ideas Studio Student Filmmaking and Broadcast program at the Slamdance and Sundance film festivals.
Don’t just take my word for it, have a gander at their site: realideasstudio.org
Ah, the film trailer. The only, and indeed the best reason for heading down to you local multiplex to catch the latest blockbuster. For me, it was the highlight of my day out at the movies, or the ‘pictures’ as we used to call it back in the day. I’d always arrive with a fresh bag of hot popcorn in plenty of time. I used to sit there in that dimly lit room listening to the soundtrack for the film that was about to play, munching away as ads played for Walls Cornetto ice creams and Westlers hot dogs – ‘available in the foyer now’. In fact, I remember being done with both my medium sweet and 7-Up before those commercials had even ended. Then came the aforementioned best bit – those glorius trailers, or coming attractions as they were known. What would we get to see today?
Now, I’m a child of the 1980s. The days way before the Internet or any of that. Cinema was the ultimate day out for a nerdy teenage school kid that was just getting interested in girls and kissing in the back row – not that I can ever remember doing anything in the dark, dingy area of my local ABC in glamourous Gloucester. There was always something better happening up there on the big-screen than down the blouse of any girl that had the honour of accompanying me to see a film. You see, back then it wasn’t cool to go down and see a film on your own. All of my mates were into football or indeed rugby, my town’s preferred sport, anything but sit in a dark cinema in the middle of summer. My love was always the pictures, and I would go with anyone. Even if that was a girl. Of which there were many throwing themselves at me at the age of twelve (I wish)
Original article by permission Reelshow International
Great looking festival in Bristol, UK. What they say:
Created in 2004 as a platform to showcase student filmmaking talent from around the UK the festival recently enjoyed its fourth year with the 2008 event taking place over the weekend of the 29th February – 2nd March at the University of Bristol Union, Bristol.
What we say; this years festival is over but it’s looking like next years’ one should be in February.
Check out more details on their site: screentestfest.org.uk
The Exposure festival on 23 – 27 November in Manchester this year is well worth checking out if you’re in the sunny north of England. What they say:
This year will be our 15th festival. In the spirit of adolescent discovery we’ve thrown open our doors to any moving image work on any platform, with only two simple rules – under 30 minutes, made whilst a student at a UK educational institution.
exposures is a truly unique festival: its administrative home is at Cornerhouse; its creative heart at Cornerhouse and Urbis; and its body is a collaboration across creative, cultural, commercial and academic organs. Long standing supporters include Corona Extra, University of Salford, BBC, Northwest Vision & Media, Mackinnon & Saunders, and Manchester City Council.
Still the only regular UK-wide competitive festival for student film and moving image, exposures is a crucial showcase for new talent and a vital celebration of UK talent development.
Although the call for entries is now closed I thought it’s well worth giving it a shout, more details to be found on their site: exposuresfilmfestival.co.uk
Voting Room Now Open for June Film Contest-Login and Vote.
Thank You MySpace Russia for your support of our Russian Student Film Festival. Real shame you guys are closing down….