East End Film Festival: Waiting for You – Review

Charles Garrad’s Waiting for You seems to tick all boxes. A good dose of Indie cinema; Merlin no less as the front man with a mysterious French twist and a dash of summer romance promised. Albeit, after viewing, Waiting for You, it seems that we are still waiting for the narrative to truly take off.

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Part of this year’s highly esteemed London East End Film Festival, this tale starts with the death of Paul’s (Colin Morgan) father, as he reveals a confusing, yet intriguing clue to his former life in Army that his son and indeed his wife never knew about. Becoming obsessed with his father’s last utterance, much to his mother’s dislike with her late father’s past; Paul goes full Sherlock (Cumberbatch still takes Gold) after finding an old photo and follows other prompts that lead him to a rather stunning house in the middle of nowhere in the sunny French countryside. Using his own past to unlock his fathers, Paul poses as an architecture student, sweet talking the gardener into approaching the Lady of the manor to ask if he could see the house that is so deeply rooted in the story of his newly found secrets.

After some more sweet talking he finally gets to see the house, being careful not to get in the way of the very private and shadowy owner, pianist Madeleine (Fancy Ardant). When it’s revealed as to who she is and how she is connected to Paul’s exploration the slight mystery lingering in the air to this ticks over nicely. As we follow Paul on his journey, Morgan portrays a man with a mission as well as one who needs a dose of romance whilst escaping the rigmarole of life at home. Lead actor Morgan holds his own without magic and a dragon, but in no way does this push him. His big eyes and awkward mannerisms gel with his rather unsure of everything Paul, and there is sure to be an ‘awww’ sound throughout the theatre when you see him desperately try and chat to the confident and pretty Sylvia (Audrey Bastien) where he is staying.

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With this being a short and sweet 92 minutes, our writers get us straight down to business although it takes a good hour before anything actual comes of Paul’s snooping around. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a slow burner, yet Waiting for You presents itself in a rather unnecessary convoluted way. A tad more urgency would have done wonders here, and would have perhaps diluted the fact that you can’t stop thinking about a nice, crisp glass of wine in the French sun rather than the story at hand.

Above all else, Waiting for You offers an enticing story, which has something missing at its core. Expect to left wanting this one to reach a juicy conclusion

Waiting for You screens at East End Film Festival on Saturday 21st April

4/20: 5 Movies About Weed

This blog neither endorses or criticises the use of weed.

For those who have absolutely no idea what 4/20 stands for, it is a (possible) national holiday for cannabis. Yes, that controversial drug that a lot of people do and is still hot topic across the globe is celebrated on the 20th of April. The terminology 420 comes from a code for consuming the drug and, because Americans lay out their dates all funky, internet culture has sent it soaring into the mainstream.

Not to be one to miss out on a hashtag, or capitalise on national(?) holiday, we’re having a look at a few movies that focus on weed. Because, good or bad, there are a lot of characters who are hooked on the green stuff. 

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

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Weed is very prominent in a lot of Kevin Smith films. He himself has admitted that he smokes weed everyday. It’s natural, then, for his special brand of slacker comedy to feature weed, raps about blunts, and precarious drug use. And whilst we could pick anything from his View Askewniverse selection, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is such a guilty pleasure (and focuses more on the titular stoners.) The film sees Jay and Silent Bob fight back against copyright infringement, animal activist groups, and a state trooper. Divisive as it is, the film has garnered a collection of steady fans and continues to grow in its cult following.

Reefer Madness (1936)

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Speaking of cult films, Reefer Madness is one of the best classic PSA films you’ll ever watch. Perhaps the intentions were good: Fully funded by a church group and intended to be show to parents, the success spiralled out of control and has become legendary within cinematic cultures. The film is so absurd: It revolves around a group of teens being lured into trying weed then experiencing some crazy effects of the drug. These effects include attempted rape, hallucinations, murder, fights, and a total lack of morals which are so anti-indicative of weed itself. It’s one of the first films to find prominence within the midnight movie culture. If you can get a hold of the colourised version, then I’d advise you do. The green smoke effect makes it even more glorious.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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One of the Coen Brothers’ classic films certainly must feature in this list. After all, the memorable Dude, played by Jeff Bridges here, is so acclaimed with audiences that he has even sparked a cult movement where people try to live by his chilled lifestyle. The notorious stoner is the vocal point of a larger conspiracy when he is confused for another of the same name. Soon he comes embroiled in the madness and has to find a way out when more colourful characters come to his life. Perhaps the most well known role of Bridges’ career, the film has been a staple diet for film fans ever since…alongside a White Russian and a spliff.

Pineapple Express (2008)

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Seth Rogen is definitely the face of recent stoner comedies. His films always, without a doubt, feature a variation of weed somewhere. From Knocked Up to Observe & Report, the green stuff is bound to feature. Pineapple Express is solely about weed though.The title comes from a strong variation of cannabis that two loser drug users use to escape gang leaders after witnessing a terrible murder. Whilst perhaps not as mainstream as Rogen’s other work, teaming up with James Franco in order to create a rambunctious, hilarious, and memorable film.

Easy Rider (1969)

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Dennis Hopper directs and stars in a film about two motorcyclists who go across country after scoring big with cocaine. Starring Peter Fonda, the film features a whole heap of drugs. Like a lot of them – a lot drugs. It’s pretty much infamous for the actors being hopped up on pills too, creating a mesh of images and a undercurrent of emotions.  The film is well known for breaking through young actor Jack Nicholson and establishing his craft. In a popular scene, his “square” character George tries marijuana for the first time and it harness’ all the talent of Nicholson and propels him to popularity.

What do you think? 

Rising Star: Angourie Rice

With a name that’s hard to forget and leading roles in These Final Hours and The Nice Guys, as well as her heart-warming role in the upcoming romantic drama, Every Day, Angourie Rice is certainly someone to look out for… To celebrate the release of Every Day, in cinemas April 20th, we’re taking a look at her recent rise to fame and what is next for the upcoming Australian star!

These Final Hours (2013)

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After appearing in a string of shorts, including the Australian film, Transmission, she was plucked from Melbourne and dropped into Zak Hilditch’s feature film, These Final Hours. Working her magic as Rose in this end-of-the-world drama, she provided a stellar performance which earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Australian Film Critics Association Awards. A strong start for the Aussie starlet…

Walking with Dinosaurs (2013)

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From superheroes to dinosaurs… Rice expanded her repertoire in 2013 when she starred as part of the voice cast of Walking with Dinosaurs. In this pre-historic pic, see and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth in a story where an underdog dinosaur triumphs to become a hero for the ages!

The Nice Guys (2016)

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Three years later, Rice starred in the action-comedy that helped to propel her into the spotlight, starring as the daughter of Ryan Gosling’s character and alongside Russell Crowe. Her warm performance alongside the stars made her stand out in this crime-comedy set in 1970s Los Angeles, where a mismatched pair of private investigators look into the case of a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

The Beguiled (2017)

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Within a year, Rice was auditioning for Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled. She made her mark amongst big Hollywood names including Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Firth in this remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film. Based upon the Thomas Cullinan novel, The Beguiled sees the arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girl’s school in Virginia during the American Civil War, leading to jealousy and betrayal…

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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An entry into the world of superheroes only accelerated her stardom when she joined the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. With the success of the Marvel cinematic universe this was a greater leap into mainstream movies, and her role as a teenage Betty Brant gave her a chance to put her own spin on this character.

Every Day (2018)

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In the upcoming romantic drama from the director of The Vow, Michael Sucsy, and based on David Levithan’s acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Rice stars as Rhiannon, a 16-year old girl who falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A” who inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and A work each day to find each other, not knowing what or who the next day will bring. The more the two fall in love, the more the reality of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours takes a toll. This heart-warming tale of love and acceptance with Rice at the centre is sure to steal your heart!