Hearts Beat Loud – Trailer!

We definitely need more feel good movies in our lives. Films of love, compassion, excitement, and creativity. We need all of that and more. Which is why we’re excitedfor Hearts Beat Loud. 

Starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons, Hearts Beat Loud revolves around a father and daughter who, after the fall of their vinyl shop, decide to start a band together.

With support from Toni Collette and Ted Danson, and an amazing enegery already coming from the trailer, this film looks incredible. What do you think?

Hearts Beat Loud is out 3rd August. 

Postcards from the 48% –Edinburgh Film Festival Review

On 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the British vote to leave the European Union, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London to demand a second referendum to decide whether the public should accept the final deal. 400 miles away, the Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted the world premiere of David Wilkinson’s ‘talking heads’ documentary Postcards from the 48% in which the director tours the country to canvas the opinion of ‘remainers’, some of the 16,141,241 who voted for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union.

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Wilkinson re-runs the debate that many voters are tired of, preaching to the converted. The interviewees include such divisive figures as Sir Vince Cable and Nick Clegg, both of whom opposed university tuition fees in the 2010 Liberal Democrat election manifesto but allowed the coalition government to triple them as members of the Coalition Government, and Alastair Campbell, the spin doctor behind former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ that influenced the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein in 2003. As the expression goes, with friends like these …

He visits Miriam Margoyles, whose house is the closest in the UK to France. He takes us to The Convention, a two day conference on ‘broken politics’ held in London prior to the June 2017 snap election in which speakers included the novelist Ian McEwan and economist Will Hutton. You’d think from the film that the Convention was about Brexit rather than a failure to grow political engagement.

When Wilkinson interviews historian A C Grayling and ‘New European’ editor Matt Kelly, the arguments are erudite and succinct. Yes, the referendum was advisory and the decision to trigger Article 50 unnecessary. Yes, the impact on UK business will be severe. However, Wilkinson’s range of interviewees doesn’t reflect his audience. Too many people on screen are white, middle-aged or older and middle class. By not showing the other side, he is effectively refusing to engage with working families and socially marginalised, the very groups who need to be persuaded that the decision to leave the European Union is not in the UK’s best long-term interests.

Wilkinson’s tour includes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. He visits Lush Cosmetics, which sells products made in the UK by European Union workers to Europe.

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Political documentaries need human stories to persuade audiences that the status quo – remaining subject to the European Court of Justice and enjoying the freedom of movement, goods and capital – is preferable to the alternative. However, Wilkinson uses the tired technique of interviewing celebrities and experts, who lack the authenticity to influence the opinion of his audience.

Running at almost two hours, Postcards from the 48% is a cry from the heart of sorts, but aligns the Remain argument with politically toxic figures and outright eccentricity. I almost applauded when Wilkinson interviewed some young people, two members of OFOC – ‘Our Future Our Choice’ – though the pressure group speaks mainly to the student group and has, to date, only 6,700 Facebook likes compared with the anti-EU UK Independence Party’s 580,824.

Wilkinson reminds us that the UK has strong ties with other European countries, taking us to the Polish War Memorial and reflecting on the part Polish pilots paid in the Battle of Britain in World War Two. This is the closest he gets to an emotional appeal, arguing that the UK is at its best when it works within a wide coalition of the righteous.

Can a documentary make a difference, allowing the UK electorate to accept that its decision to leave the European Union is wrong? Maybe not this documentary, but there are other stories to be told.

Postcards from the 48% received its Edinburgh premiere on 23 June 2018 and will be screened across the UK on 6 July

Mandy – Brand New Trailer!

Every so often, there is a film that comes into your life that you have to watch. It entices you, making you yearn for more, making you salivate over the feature, making you yearn for every single piece of marketing….

…Never would I thought I’d be saying that about a Nicolas Cage film but here we are.

Mandy revolves around a couple living an idyllc lifestyle until a bike gang destroys it all. Now Red fights back in a phantasmagoric journey of blood -filled vengence and fire.

There is something so brutally beautiful about this thriller. We’re excited to see Cage and Andrea Riseborough in action. What do you think?

Mandy is coming soon.

Unpopped Kernels: Beach Rats (2017)

British actor Harris Dickinson is a star in the making. He has nabbed the lead role in director Danny Boyle’s new ten-part television series, Trust, in which he plays John Paul Getty III in the other screen version (after Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World) of the infamous 1973 kidnapping. You’ll see him in September opposite Amandla Stenberg in director Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s film version of Alexandra Bracken’s young adult novel, The Darkest Minds, about young kids with superpowers placed in internment camps – fortunately beating the similarly themed, The New Mutants, to the screen. Before then and emphatically not suitable for viewers under the age of seventeen, you can catch him in the small screen release, Beach Rats, for which the London Critics Circle named him ‘Young British/Irish Performer of the Year’. OK, I would have given the award to Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) but we’ll let that pass.

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The follow-up by Brooklyn-born writer-director Eliza Hittman to her 2013 feature debut, It Felt Like Love, this tells the story of a deeply troubled young man. Frankie (Dickinson) has moved down to the basement of his home to visit a gay chat room website in private. He’s attracted to men, but in his words, ‘doesn’t know what he likes’. He is addicted to his father’s medication, which he grinds into powder and snorts. His father meanwhile is in a catatonic state, dying from cancer. Frankie hangs out with three other men on Brooklyn Beach near the fairground, picking people’s pockets and sharing weed. Frankie does not discuss his sexuality with them; in fact, there is very little conversation between them, full stop. They are a criminal gang on the watch, looking for victims and talking small. Frankie catches the eye of a young woman, Simone (Madeline Weinstein in her film debut) who beelines for him at the dodgems. She provides the perfect cover in front of the guys but, of course, he’s not attracted to her. Naturally, their relationship does not go smoothly. In the mean time, he meets up with men for casual sex, knowing at some point he’ll have to be open about his sexuality, once he is confident about it himself.

The result is knife-edge viewing. You watch Frankie as if he is in a state of constant danger. Yes, he’s young and works out – we see him photograph his own torso with an i-phone, one interestingly he doesn’t sell when he needs money. But he is vulnerable, emotionally and physically, certainly capable of causing emotional harm to others – notably Simone – and physical harm to himself.

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Beach Rats is not a gay ‘coming out’ film. Rather, it is about how inward you can turn yourself when you are with others. Frankie isn’t a talker, but a doer. He lives through physical action, whether playing hand tennis, inhaling in a vape bar or having sex. The story is entirely told from his point of view. We see how his young sister reacts to their father’s illness by exploring her own sexuality, asking for a belly button ring and wearing a bikini top to the beach and how, in his unspoken way, Frankie doesn’t want her to share his own sexual turmoil. We watch his mother (Kate Hodge) trying to get through to him, to get him to share, and his stubborn resistance to reveal himself through words.

Hittman’s film has been promoted for gay audiences, with images of the four men with their shirts off on the poster. It is a film that speaks to anybody who has had an identity crisis in the face of losing a parent. Utterly gripping and poignant, it is also uncompromising. It is not the kind of film to watch on your home computer – you feel almost like Frankie browsing through men who display themselves for future gratification, but it is certainly an emotionally honest drama that captures the turmoil of late adolescence.

Beach Rats is available on Netflix!