Utilising time is an essential trick to creating a short film; with only so many minutes at hand, it’s important to keep track of what’s going on, making sure that nothing feels incomplete, yet also note taking it too far or moving it faster than it should be allowed to. It’s a difficult task, but Here Lies Joe handles this better than maybe any other short film I’ve seen.
Joe, a suicidal man, attends a support group where he meets Z, a disarming and troubled young woman who leads him on a series of adventures that change his outlook on life.
The film almost falls into manic pixie dream girl territory with the character of Z, but it very quickly establishes her as something far more grounded; vulnerable and not willing to show it, Andi Morrow brings so much energy and charisma to the role, that she uplifts us almost as she uplifts Joe. Speaking of Joe, serious credit to Dean Temple for successfully embodying a broken and lost man with absolutely no reliance on exposition or backstory. He just sinks into the role, to a point where you almost want to pull him back out because it feels too much.
Carrying on from that, the film’s lack of exposition is simply perfect; it offers you no rhyme or reason for why Joe and Z are the way they are, it just presents to you a bleak and sometimes darkly comic tale which doesn’t rely on anything artificial. The cinematography is stunning, with certain shots providing eerie and uneasy imagery that’s hard to shake. It takes it’s time, doesn’t rush anything yet doesn’t take anything too slow, just lets the story move at the pace that it needs to move and it’s simply beautiful.
I can’t give enough credit to this film; it captures so many dark emotions in a way that’s not contrived or unnatural, through stellar performance, haunting direction and perfect pacing. This is most definitely a film that you need to see.
Find out more about Here Lies Joe!
The Watergate Scandal is quite possibly the archetypal political scandal (well, once you get past all the sex scandals that have arisen in more recent years that is.)
It’s a perfect story for a thriller; there’s corruption, mystery and plenty of secret meetings in underground car parks, which is probably why it’s been covered in so many different ways, from All the President’s Men to Nixon, and now with Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.
Starring Liam Neeson as the titular Felt, a senior agent of the FBI who is requested to stop looking into what happened at The Watergate Hotel in 1972 after he begins to unravel a tangled web of deceit that would eventually bring down the President himself.
Whilst everyone knows the outcome of the story, the incredible combination of Neeson, Diane Lane, Michael C. Hall and Bruce Greenwood (alongside many more) makes this a delectable little morsel to feast upon when it gets released.
Mark Felt: The Guy Who Brought Down the White House is out in cinemas later this year!
Jason Raftopoulos’ film West of Sunshine looks like it will be a touching and beautiful piece of cinema.
The entire film revolves around a day in the life of a father who is spending the day with his son whilst also trying to pay off his debt to a loan shark. The premise itself screams comedy, but this is not the case. The film takes a very loving look at a parent who will do anything to protect their child from the mess they have created whilst at the same time attempting to have a fun day out.
It looks so incredibly moving that there really shouldn’t be any need to say more than that, other than to watch the trailer below and see for yourself.
West of Sunshine is out later this year.
Lore looks like it is a cross between The Descent and The Blair Witch Project, with a small hint of aliens thrown in (though I may be making that but up. I’m not sure.)
There is little information to be gleaned from the trailer except that a teenager has gone missing and his mother is searching for him using her “special bond” and the help of a Native American and a man who is either the father, the boyfriend or the brother.
Every single shot screams cliche from the get go, and you’ll find yourself slowly giving up and playing the inevitable game of “Who will die next?”
My money’s on the Native American, the guy knows the area and is representative of an ethnic minority. There’s no way it couldn’t be him!
Lore is out in cinemas at some point this year… probably?
It doesn’t say when in my press release!
It feels like racial tension is everywhere at the moment, not least in the United States. With the regular clashes between both the left and the right wing constantly entering the news with every broadcast, it was never going to be long before Hollywood started jumping on the bandwagon and creating films about white supremacists and the people they associate with.
Such is the case with Brawl in Cell Block 99. Whilst Vince Vaughn’s skinhead character is never outright stated, nor shown to be outright racist, there is still an incredibly heavy overtone within the shots that screams that it is so.
Whilst this may be a heavy hitting drama, there is still something that can’t stop me seeing Vaughn as the chubby comic relief in several films. I hope it doesn’t negatively impact the viewing experience.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is out in cinemas October 2017!