Father Figures – Brand New Trailer!

The buddy comedy is the simplest of all films. Take two people whose personalities are polar opposites, then shove them into a scenario where they can’t easily escape from each other and eventually have them both learn something about the other’s way of life that makes it seem not so bad. Shove in a few celebrity cameos and you’ve got a sure-fire audience pleaser on your hands!

Except that doesn’t appear to be the case with Father Figures, starring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as brothers who discover that they don’t know their birth father.

Expect plenty of jokes about having sex with one’s mother, and other comical misunderstandings that you’ve heard several thousand times before in any other film of this ilk.

Father Figures is out in cinemas December 22nd.

Ritzy Shorts: Charlie Edwards-Moss & ‘Duke’s Pursuit’ Interview!

by Robert Makin.

To celebrate the success of our special shorts night with International Review, and Ritzy Cinema, we’re talking  Duke’s Pursuit, a movie  about arevenge-obsessed industrialist hunts a former colleague and forms a partnership with an unlikely ally in this Icelandic set dark comedy thriller.W e spoke with  Charlie Edwards-Moss about his award-winning film. 

What was the original inspiration for the film and for the character of Duke? 

 Watching Sexy Beast, Cape Fear and No Country for Old Men were really helpful for the character of Duke and did inform how a lot of the film would play out. This evil, funny, caricature of a horrible villain who had almost cartoon like powers like Jim Carrey in The Mask fascinated us, when you throw this kind of character into a semi-realistic world and watch how people react.

Was there any films/filmmakers you had in mind whilst working on the script? 

– The Coen brothers were a huge influence, especially Fargo, but there were loads of films we took inspiration from;  For the overall feel of the film we were hugely inspired by ‘Catch me Daddy’ by Daniel Wolfe he creates such a  sense of impending doom and dread that we wanted to emulate. You should watch it if you haven’t seen it, its amazing!

Do you have any plans on making it into a feature? 

We would love to if someone wants to help finance it? There’s loads of ideas floating about, we are in the process of writing a feature which is similar to Duke’s Pursuit but set in Scotland instead of Iceland.

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What circumstances lead to you using Iceland as a location? 

 We worked with the producer and production designer, Boas, on an earlier short film, ‘Sweet Meats.’ He’s from Iceland and we started talking about making a true English/Icelandic collaboration, something that felt authentic to each country. We came up with loads of ideas, from a fisherman on his boat to two brothers in the army and eventually ended up with the revenge thriller Duke’s Pursuit.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest benefits of filming abroad? 

 The crew out there were absolutely second to none, these guys are hard as nails, working in freezing temperatures in bitter winds, the coolest and kindest lads and ladies I’ve ever met. It was a real challenge trying to direct the Icelandic scenes, not knowing the language at all makes it hard to see how the performance was so we had a lot of help from producer Boas in those scenes.

Was it hard to get the film financed?
It took a while to raise the funds. We made a crowdfunding video and with a lot of extremely kind peoples help, we got our budget.

Duke’s Pursuit is a revenge thriller. Do your creative aspirations lean more towards Crime/Thriller or do you plan branch out into other genres for future projects? 

Absolutely want to branch out! I think Joe and I always lean towards making strong genre films because they are the films we most enjoy going to see. Proper escapism, you know? At the moment we are trying to raise money to make a horror short..

Does your work have any other influences beyond film? 

  I guess all the classics that you would expect such as music and books, but also paintings and comics can help a lot with lighting and the staging of shots. At the moment we have been looking at loads of religious renaissance paintings to try and get a design together for ‘THE DEVIL’ in our new film.

How have audiences reacted to the open ending? Will the Duke return?
 I think some people are really intrigued by the open ending whilst others are just pissed off, like, ‘Why did you end it there, I was just getting into it!’, but it is really nice when someone comes up after watching it and asks loads of questions about what happens next. He could do, I would love to see what he’s doing 20 years later. If he wasn’t dead or in prison he’d probably have gotten well into fracking and completely ruined the Icelandic Eco system.

Do you think short films are a valid medium for storytelling? Do they have any significance on their own, as appose to being calling cards for possible features? 
 Yeah they are great! They have a lot of significance, for me some of the best short films aren’t those that aren’t entirely rounded off at the end, but more slices of a feature that throw you into the story and allude to some much bigger narrative and universe that the characters are in.

What’s the best and worst reaction you’ve had towards the film?
 Worst reaction was probably from an audience scored festival in Manchester where people would write on cards what they thought of the film, some of the audience got the name of the film wrong, had some Duke’s Journey and Duke’s Revenges. Best reaction was probably from Edinburgh Short Film festival where we won the ‘Rising Star Award’! Oh, and our Mums gave some pretty good reviews.

Is it easy getting films screened in London? 

There is such a great community here for people who genuinely love films and film-making, so there’s always someone who’s putting on a little film festival or having a screening in a pub.

Do you feel new and young directors are supported by the establishment?
Yeah definitely. The amount of grants available to film-makers our age is unbelievable.  
Are you working on any future projects? 
We are! It’s called Original Villain and it’s a short folk horror film, we got really inspired by recent horrors such as The VVitch and Under the Skin and really wanted to make something creepy and atmospheric. It follows an exorcists assistant called Sylvester who, whilst aiding in the treatment of an unknown patient, begins to experience horrible nightmares. What begin as hallucinations start to become more and more tangible and a thick heavy paranoia descends on him. Keep your eyes peeled for it, it’s going to be a barrel of laughs!

Want to be featured at our Ritzy Shorts night? 
Submit your shorts to sarah.c@picturehouses.co.uk

Ferrari: Race to Immortality – Brand New Trailer!

For most people, the Ferrari is a car to be desired, all the while acknowledging that the fantasy will never become a reality. For the rest, it’s a car to look smug in as you travel within the speed limit of the country you are driving in.

Ferrari: Race to Immortality, tells the story of the people who would race in the Formula One Grand Prix during the 1950s, a decade that has now come to be known as one of the deadliest decades in racing history.

Combining archive footage with voiceovers by experts and family members of former drivers, it tells a story of hi-octane thrills and terrible accidents.

Ferrari: Race to Immortality is out in cinemas November 3rd and on Blu-Ray November 6th!

5 Films That Could Be Stage Musicals

The screen and stage share source material like best friends who steal DVDs and never give them back. One could be more successful and better known than the other whilst some may sit comfortably together. Sometimes, it doesn’t work and the art form is scorned forever. But there is often a wish or two for one to leap into another, particularly a film transforming into a stage musical. There are cult classics, epic blockbusters and indie hits who are aching  for a musical number and epic amounts of spirit fingers as they wow the theatre, eventually making it back to screen with a brand new adaptation (cough, Hairspray, cough.)

Warm Bodies (2013) 

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Zombies and love? What two words hanker for a musical number or two more than those? The story about R, our protagonist who narrates his “undead” life with sarcasm and yearning is the perfect setting for the stage. As he falls in love with a human, both of them learn that the heart is much more vital than braaaiinnns. The ballads are there for the taking. Let’s not forget the special skeletal effects on the enemy Boneys (not boners) that would look spectaclerly excellent given a theatrical twist. Whilst a lot of zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead could work with a song or two, Warm Bodies has a great romantic tale at the centre of it.

The Craft (1996)

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All teens, particularly females, who have grown up in the nineties would be overcome with jealousy at the Wiccan powers our quartet summon up. Without a beat, we gathered at our sleepovers and tried the glamour spell and “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board,” to no avail. Yet imagine how captured our imaginations would be if we saw it all on stage, set to a grungy nineties beat that enhances the sickening turn of Nancy and the girls? The perfectly set alternative number of the becoming antagonist as she deals with her thirst for power and Manon, her reprise as she kills Chris with her manic “He’s Sorry” and Sarah’s climatic overcoming are all begging for music.

With a remake in the works, they’ll miss a trick or two if they don’t make it a musical! They’ve already tackled Carrie, Heathers, and Mean Girls! This would be it’s literal spiritual counterpart!

The Great Escape (1963)

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War time stories have always made great stage adaptations; Flare Path, Blithe Spirit, War Horse, and Bird Song have illuminated our theatres with tales of battles and soldiers. The Great Escape is one of those classic films that could appease families of all ages as it does on the screen around Christmas time. The story of allied POWs as they burrow beneath the ground and barracks to escape their camp is tantalising. Yet the motif of the Main Title, that whistle we all know and love, could immortalise the stage adaptation in greatness and haunt, too, when it comes to the more sorrow-filled scenes of death and dismay.

Love, Actually (2003)

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Any one of Richard Curtis’ romantic epics would translate well into the theatre. Love, family and heartache all bristle with possible tuneful epics. Love, Actually, though seasonal and full of many interweaving stories actually offers the most possibilities. The vignettes of love, upon a backdrop of Christmas, elections and crude Rock Singers are, actually, promising. There’s already, actually, many songs interlocked in here already. But imagine this; Karen, after finding out her husband has been platonically cheating on her (he doesn’t actually fuck anyone, but fancies someone enough to buy them a gold necklace), escorts herself outside of family festivities and sings; “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell through unbridled tears. Ooh! I have the goosebumps already. Actually.

Monsters Inc (2001) 

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“They’re rehearsing for a play!” This is kind of cheating because Pixar and Monsters Inc. have already sown the seeds for an excellent musical as the world of Monsters and Children collide when the rascal Boo sneaks in to an unknown realm. With massive costumes and set pieces, including an epic scene with doors that would look so bloody brilliant in a show, Monsters Inc. could make an incredible musical with the fluffy Sully and one eyed Mike rushing around to save their world from supposed destruction. And who the hell doesn’t want to hear a grander version of “Put That Thing Back Where It Came from or So Help Me?”

What do you think? 

Ritzy Shorts: Joe Ollman & ‘Meat on Bones’ Review

by Robert Makin.

Ahead of our special shorts night with International Review, and Ritzy Cinema, we’re featuring the directors and their short films.

Today we’re talking about Meat on Bones; a movie revolving around two politically and socially different people, uniting on a weird journey.  To celebrate the screening, we spoke with director and writer Joseph Ollman

What was the initial inspiration for the story?

Actually, the film first came to me as a single image of this wild man living on the edge of a cliff in a caravan. I developed the character and decided I wanted to make a story about this guy. But as the script developed and I went through various drafts it became a two hander between him and this other character, Gwyn. It became something about them both and about the human condition as a whole.

How did you cast the film?
I wrote the part of Gwyn for Matthew Aubrey (the actor who’s in the film) after having seen him in several plays and thought he was incredible. Then for the part of Dai, I was looking around for a while – auditioning multiple actors. Then I saw Jâms Thomas, a local Welsh actor in a play in Cardiff. Saw him for the part and it just fit.
The landscape feels like a very important part of the story. How did you source the location? Or was it somewhere you’d always wanted to shoot?

After making several films out of Wales, I really wanted to make something closer to home. I’m from near that area and have always thought it was incredible and a great place to shoot something. So I wrote the story around the places that I knew could work. But then there’s the issue of gaining permission, which is even harder on a tiny budget. So we were unable to gain permission for quite a few locations that I originally had in mind, so you have to compromise and find other alternatives. I always think it works out for the best though.

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For a low budget short film, it’s incredibly cinematic in scope, as far as how the location captured on film. Did you have a particular look in mind for the film?

In pre-production I had countless meetings with my DOP, discussing certain cinematic references, many of which were films based in and around nature. But the locations themselves are incredibly cinematic, so that helps. We also wanted to combine a certain raw/natural quality along with it being cinematic, so we used a lot of handheld camera work.

Are the characters in the film inspired by any one you know, or any incident you’ve witnessed?

I spent a lot of time in caravan parks before the initial writing of the script and there were plenty people like Dai knocking about, but I think there’s parts of everyone in each of the characters which makes them very relatable. They’re also very Welsh characters in general – people that I would certainly see around town growing up.

What narrative themes were trying to capture within the story?

I guess it’s up to the audience to take from it what they wish. Personally, I wanted to tell a story about isolation, prejudice, and being stuck in a purposeless life. But mainly it’s about what brings us together rather than what divides us. In the end we’re all just meat on bones.

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What were the main challenges of filming entirely on location?
Most of the film is set in some pretty harsh conditions, and although it looks sunny in the film, the wind was strong and cold. So it was all pretty tough. Lugging heavy equipment over rocks and mud is always exhausting, especially when you have to then film for 8 hours. We also shot in a cave on the coast that would fill up with water every six hours, so we had to get everything in before the tides came in. There is one particular scene that features the characters running into the freezing February sea, which we were only able to get on the first take – due to risk of hyperthermia. So, that was especially tough.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just written a 30-minute short film that I’m looking to fund at the moment. My plan is to then develop that story into a feature film and get it made!

Check out Meat on Bones at Ritzy Shorts tonight! 

Annihilation – Brand New Trailer!

Alex Garland has brought us some of the best films. From 28 Days Later to the phenomenal Ex Machina, Garland has proven how spectacular he is. Now he returns for Annihilation.

Starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaacs, Annihilation revolves around a biologist who searches for her missing husband while looking for a dangerous creature lurking in the wilderness.

This film looks enticing and brilliant, with alraedy rave reviews, and Garland has never done a bad movie so we’re excited! What do you think?

Annihilation is on Netflix 12th March