karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
On Monday, I went to the Arts Theatre for The Woman in Black which is currently touring the UK. While not really terrifying as the blurb makes it out to be, it was very well done, atmospheric and a very good adaptation of the source material with the proper ending (not the stupid one from the film). The stage design was very simplistic and the same set of chairs and wicker trunk served as various locations. The curtain in the back was solid when lit from the front and translucent when lit from the back which was used to create different rooms (staircase, nursery). I wasn't frightened but thoroughly entertained and slightly annoyed at the woman in front of me jumping and screaming all the time.

Last night I finally saw Django Unchained, the new Tarantino film starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as well as a host of other great actors incl. Samuel L. Jackson playing a slave owner's faithful old servant. Watch out for the original Django (Franco Nero) turning up in one scene (he comes to the bar after the wrestling match). Tom Wopat (Luke Duke), Tom Savini (Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn) and Southern villain staple Walton Goggins (Boyd in Justified) are all part of the cast, too. As often with Tarantino, the music is excellent. It's a very long film (2:45) and it's currently shown at inhumane times (8:30 in the evening at both Vue and Cineworld) but it's worth it. It's also really funny in places. Oh, and for once, the German is correct. :o)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Saturday started with The Toxic Avenger, the Troma classic. Unfortunately, this was a museum archive print so the then UK theatrical release meaning it was cut to shreds but still enjoyable in that hammy, schlock horror way, even if some bits were a bit iffy by today's standards. Overall fun, though.
Next up, Captain Clegg, a classic Hammer feature with Peter Cushing playing a vicar but not a real horror film (despite having phantoms) but a tale of smuggling and defiance in the late 18th century. Good production values for the time, excellent acting, good story and a secret that wasn't too obvious. Deserved applause afterwards.
Then back to the Eighties with Vamp in which a group of college students get in the way of Grace Jones playing a stripping vampire (or a vampire stripper?). Very cheesy, sometimes a bit slow at times but ultimately passable.
After a look at a few pieces of the museum's Hammer collection, the next treat was Barbarella which needs no introduction but has an appalling rating of 5.8 on imdb. I think this was the first time I saw it in one piece, a great piece of cinematic history.
After a quick hop to Subway for sustenance, Grindhouse was the theme of the next film, I Drink Your Blood with a band of satanist and later rabid hippies terrorising a small town. The hydrophobia symptom of rabies was used to great comedic effect and despite the print suffering from a strong magenta cast and a breakage in between, it was rather excellent. More a proper horror film than full on exploitation.
The final bit for me today was first an interview with Harley Cokeliss, a rather prolific director, writer and producer in the genre, incl. second unit director of Empire Strikes Back. This was very interesting indeed, especially (at leaset for me) when he talked about his work on Empire which gave a fascinating insight into the making of of the film, for example in how the scenes in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon were shot (shots facing into the cockpit with no windows visible were directed by Kershner, while shots facing outwards, i.e. requiring blue screen and post processing were shot by Cokeliss). I only realised when it was over that the interview lasted almost an hour. He obviuosly also talked about Battletruck the film that was shown afterwards, anecdotes about the making of and defending some critics' opinion that it was ripping off Mad Max when both films were actually conceived independently at the same time.
Battletruck (also called Warlords of the 21st Century) is a post-war film set in a near future. The titular Battletruck is the villain's vehicle which the heroes of the film fight against. The film featured mayhem, murder, betrayal and action, the vehicles were brilliant and it was a good Saturday night romp, deserving more than the 4.5 it has on imdb. The film was scheduled against The Rocky Horror Picture Show and while that is good fun, I wanted to see a film I otherwise might not be able to and I'm glad I did because the interview was superb.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
First, I caught the first half our of Flesh and Blood, a documentary about the history of Hammer. This would have been rather interesting, especially with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing narrating and it being a proper cut (not what shown on TV) but I really wanted to see Big Trouble in Little China in 70mm, one of my teenage favourites so it was good to see it on the big screen again and a cut that continued a few bits I couldn't remember having seen.
Next up was The Monster Squad, a teen horror comedy that was completely unknown to me and it was right up my street. Of course it was cheesy and played off all the stereotypes but it was good fun. Considering there is no German Wikipedia entry for the film and according to imdb it's only been released on DVD in 2011 in Germany, that might be the reason I didn't know it.
The short films are usually a mixed bag but except for Buddy Yeah! which was one of the most disturbing stop-motion animation pieces I've seen. Chomp! was a brilliant very short film about a zombie couple, Decapoda Shock was a quirky mixed media space exploration/lobster mutant film (and has a well deserved 8.5 rating on imdb), Perished was quite run-off-the mill zombie flick, Once it Started it Could Not End Otherwise was another quirky bit constructed from photos with subtitles, The Hunting Ground was a Finnish film about two men's fate in the countryside, The Little Mermaid was another rather bizarre story without dialogue and finally Bear was an Australian short about a surprise going horribly wrong. All good entertainment.
Shockingly, I forewent the original Fright Night for the screentalk with Renée Glynne (one of Hammer's continuity ladies) and the restored print of The Quatermass Xperiment. The interview was interesting and fun and the film was excellent for its age, just marred when halfway through audio and picture went out of sync more and more until the delay was over two seconds by the end. ETA: I later found out this being due to an NTSC picture with a PAL audio track.
The last film of the day was The Casebook of Eddie Brewer, a new Brtish documentary style POV film following the work of a paranormal investigator. As it wasn't in the programme, I didn't know what to expect and when it started, I thought "Oh no, not another shaky cam film" but it turned out to be excellent, so much better than any of the recent big productions like Paranormal Activity etc. and the rest of the audience shared my opinion. The director and producers were there as well and talked a little about the film. It was only the second showing in the UK (first the Flatpack Festival in Birmingham) and after this they're touring the US. Not sure if it will get a UK wide release at the cinema but there will be a DVD.

So yes, an enjoyable first day at FFW. Bring on tomorrow with lots of Troma and Hammer films and Barbarella. :o)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
I've been looking forward to seeing this new Hammer film since it was first announced and the wait was well worth it. It is very atmospheric and creepy and made even me jump a couple of times (although it was more the guy next to me who jumped all the time and made me jump because he was physically close...). Dan Radcliffe is rather good as the lead (a young lawyer sent to a remote house to tie up the effects of the deceased owners) who meets a superstitious group of villagers who all try to get rid of him or at least prevent him from going to the house. He of course gets his way (not least with the help to a local rich guy (he has the only car in the area) and soon starts uncovering the sinister history of the house and area.
Production values are also top notch and both the interiors and all the props are lovingly done.
Of course it's full of the usual tropes and scares and isn't really an original idea, either, but that's not what counts. What counts is that I'm kept at the edge of my seat and feel for the characters. The effects are simple but effective and well shot (moving shadows, faces appearing at windows, scary dolls etc.).
Well done, Hammer, here's hoping for more of this kind of film to come from them.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
I'd heard/seen various people praising this film and as I was in town anyway and it was on at the Picturehouse at the time, I thought I'd see it.
It really is a lovely film, even for someone like me who usually can't stand soppy films. However, the style and cinematography is fantastic and the acting is excellent, too (especially John Goodman and the dog). Lighting, scenery, props and costume are spot on as a wonderful homage to the films of the mid 1920s to 1930s, even the Hollywood sign still reads "Hollywoodland".
Despite it being a silent film, this should be well up in the foreign film category of this year's Oscars. See it while you can.
Bizarrely, the two best films I've seen recently were both retro-homages (this one and Whisperer in the Dark).
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
As I now have Tuesdays free, I can finally use the Cheap Day offer at VUE properly and with a voucher from the previous week, a film in the evening only costs 2.95.

If you're looking for an entertaining, scary film to watch, I can only recommend Don't be Afraid of the Dark. It was produced and written by Guillermo del Toro and it shows. The style is beautiful and it's proper scary, too, not overly brutal and never graphic. The plot isn't exactly original (little girl moves with her dad and his girlfriend into an old spooky house and tries to make friends with the evil little critters locked in the basement but they want blood - and teeth - so things obviously turn nasty soon) but very well done indeed, especially considering it was a directorial debut. It's the kind of film where you start breathing again when the sun comes up on screen (until things happen during the day, too). The actress who plays the little girl is brilliant but I just wanted to punch Guy Pearce repeatedly but that could just have been the character.
I really really liked it and left the cinema with a big smile on my face so I don't quite understand the relatively low rating on imdb and Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, it covers pretty much all the clichés and tropes but because of the excellent visual style, the tight script and the generally excellent performances, I don't care and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Del Toro fanboy.
There was one continuity error that really annoyed me, though but I guess it's just one of those tropes like the guns that never run out of ammo.

From the trailers, only the The Thing prequel and The Awakening appealed, Dream House with Daniel Craig looked rubbish and so did The Darkest Hour, an alien invasion film with some sort of invisible aliens that feed on light/energy.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
So yes, even after sleeping on it, the new Conan film is pretty damn good. If I had two criticisms I'd say the dialogue was too modern and not corny enough and a few sequences were only there for 3D effects.
This film has the same problem with critics as Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, they review it out of context. Yes, Sky Captain was shallow and corny and the plot was like a sieve but it was a perfect homage to the pulp genre.
When I go and see Conan, I want Robert E. Howard's stories brought to life (which, I admit, this wasn't based on any full story but at least it felt right), not an arthouse film. The production values, if you disregard the CGI tentacle monster, were good (sets, costumes, the styling of the various tribes, the sand warriors were quite impressive).
There was plenty of (CGI) blood and gratuitious nudity (not as excessive as in the Spartacus TV series, though) and silly wand/willy/sword waving but I've seen worse fight scenes in high budget A-listed Hollywood flicks so really, it's not all bad.

As the genre goes, it's rather decent Sword&Sorcery fodder.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
After getting treated at Alimentum yesterday evening (more on that and why when I've got the photos processed properly), I took the opportunity of being near Cineworld and went to see the new X-Men.
(Note: This opinion is formed entirely by someone who isn't really familiar with the comics and has only seen the films.)

I really enjoyed it, there was some fine action, a nicely flowing and tight script (I was surprised after it had finished and it had been over two hours), some pretty decent acting from most of the cast and reasonable effects (although some of the CGI was a bit ropey). I also liked it as an introduction into how the X-Men came together (within the context of the film) and how the characters were developed. The only character who I felt was a bit bland was Emma Frost.

Another positive thing: They made an effort and got the German right. Saying that, it was obvious that most of the actors didn't speak German (except the pig farmer and the tailor in the Argentinian bar whose actors are German) so it didn't sound pretty but it was all correct and proper (unlike, say, in Die Hard). I was a bit surprised that Fassbender's (who's half German) German was rubbish, too, although not as bad as Bacon's but I guess that happens when you spend most of your time not being able to practice it.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
The Fantastic Films Weekend is an annual, three-day festival of horror, fantasy and SciFi films at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
I'd arrived already arrived on Thursday evening, had a good night's sleep and was ready for the onslaught of films I was going to watch.
Friday
The first film was Bloodbath at the House of Death. Only knowing that Vincent Price was in it and having cultural reference fail regarding Kenny Everett, I had no idea what to expect, not an early slasher horror, but a horror comedy, a farce even (the fact that John Fortune was in it should have been a giveaway). As soon as I had realised what was going on and switched my mindset, it was incredibly good fun. Extremely cheesy and bad but in a good way. I can only recommend trying to find this on DVD.

Then, the seminal Horror Express. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and later in a surprise role as a Kosak captain, Telly Savalas fight an ancient evil unleashed on the Transibirian Express. This film is shown at the fest each year so most attendees know it inside out and anticipate and play along with certain lines and scenes. On your own with the DVD on your TV this might be a bad film but among a group of likeminded people on the big screen, this is glorious.

Afterwards, a Horizon special in TV Heaven (the section of the museum devoted to television) on SciFi which had interviews with the likes of Arthur C Clarke and Asimov talking about their visions. Now, 60 years on, very fascinating indeed in terms of their predictions and what has and hasn't become reality. This documentary also contains the only surviving clips of Peter Sasdy's adaption of the Asimov story The Caves of Steel. Sasdy was at the screening and it was the first time he'd actually seen any of it as he hadn't received a copy of the finished product and the BBC wiped the material (along with many other early productions).

My first film in the evening was Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, the extremely cheesy Hammer/Kung Fu crossover with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing for the last time. This bizarre crossover of Hammer horror and Kung Fu action worked for some reason (Dracula travels to China to revive the titular Chinese vampires) or possibly because the combination was so weird. There was spontaneous applause from the audience after the first mass fight scene, for example. If I had to state one negative it would be that the final confrontation was rather rushed and anti-climactic.

Then, a quick jog to the Cubby (the other screen at the museum) for the screentalk with Peter Sasdy, veteran director of both classic TV and Hammer films. I enjoyed this immensely, not just because of the insight he gave into his work and the amusing anecdotes but also his genuine honesty and modesty. What a wonderful person. He answered questions from the audience willingly and extensively and afterwards very happily signed autgraphs and chatted to the attendees.


Then, the midnight screamer, the director's cut of The Exorcist in a beautiful print. The Pictureville screen was very well filled indeed and not just by festival attendees (all screenings are open to the public with the festival passes granting a free ticket to any film) but others who came for the chance to see this classic on the big screen. This cut isn't my favourite as it's a bit too long in places but it was still excellent and so much better on the big screen than on TV.

Saturday
First up, the original Clash of the Titans, with wonderful stop motion creatures by Ray Harryhausen. I'd seen it quite a few times on telly but never on the big screen so that was a treat I didn't want to miss.

Next, the TV version of Hound of the Baskervilles with Peter Cushing as Holmes. It was alirght, had a few good moments but was stretched too long (originally aired as two 50 minute episodes).

The first set of shorts with the subtitle Suffer The Little Children was next on my list. These were hit and miss, the first one, The Happy Children, an almost Lovecraftian account of a seaside town (filmed in Whitby) which wasn't bad at all, Darkness Within was pointless torture porn, Endless was a weird slow-motion thing with some interesting SFX, Intercambio was pseudo-artsy rubbish about cannibalism in war times but then, CLICK with a group of kids exploring an abandoned warehouse and playing with a lightswitch. This was superb, very simply made but very effective and the young actors were excellent. The last one, The Elemental about something horrible occupying the staircase of an old apartment building was also good, with some tense moments and a good, moody atmosphere. Two photos, Mark Goodall, director of The Happy Children, and William Prince, director of CLICK:
Mark Goodall William Prince


The evening began with Twins of Evil, classic Hammer fare (the third in the von Karnstein trilogy of four and in my opinion the best) with Peter Cushing (oh look, there he was again) as a Puritan witch hunter, an evil vampire lord in a castle and the two titular twins who were mostly clad in flimsy nightgowns. Very entertaining and especially the candle fondling had everyone in stitches.

To conclude the evening, I shunned Rutger Hauer's Hobo with a Shotgun in favour of the Vincent Price double bill. First, a TV interview (by David Del Valle) called The Sinister Image which was both insightful and entertaining and then An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, four of Poe's stories, recited by Price, sitting in a set. Very good indeed.
Sunday
First film was Let's Scare Jessica to Death, a bit of a slow burner with a mostly hysterical main character but it had some OK passages. The magenta print probably didn't help.

Next up was C.H.U.D., a fun radioactive monster film with an underhanded political message but mostly fun, well paced and really enjoyable. Cheesy fun, perfect for an early Sunday afternoon, one of the highlights of the day for me.

Then, the "British Horror Revival" collection of shorts. These were divided among two filmmakers, Ashley Thorpe (who randomly happens to sit at our table right now) and Rob Nevitt.
The former showed three films (or, 2 and a half, as the second died during the screening), Hammer influenced mixed media animations. Really interesting stuff.
Nevitt's work was more conventional film work, with one being shot on one Super 8 cartridge without any post editing of a brutal picnic and the last one, Mortified being a kid's party gone horribly wrong.
Ashley Thorpe Rob Nevitt


The final Hammer film today was Countess Dracula in which the seminal (and luscious) Ingrid Pitt played Elizabeth Bathory. It was the first time I'd seen it and I really liked it. It wasn't as cheesy as the others but genuinely moving in places and well done, too.

After a quick dinner I headed into the Cubby for the last time for Herbert West: Re-Animator which turned out to be the most complete and uncut version I've seen (a print sourced from a private collection in the US). It made for a highly entertaining and thrilling conclusion to another awesome Fantastic Films Weekend, prompting spontaneous applause both during and after the film.

Before he introduced the film, the festival director Tony Earnshaw stated that due to current economic climate the future of the festival might be in danger. However, this year's was the most successful and well attended so this gives hope for the future and with increased coverage by the media, blogs and social media, we will hopefully see another one. If you would like to spread the word, contact details are on the website. Here's Tony:
Tony Earnshaw

FFW day 3

13 Jun 2011 12:22 am
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
First film was Let's Scare Jessica to Death, a bit of a slow burner with a mostly hysterical main character but it had some OK passages. The magenta print probably didn't help.

Next up was C.H.U.D., a fun radioactive monster film with an underhanded political message but mostly fun, well paced and really enjoyable. Cheesy fun, perfect for an early Sunday afternoon, one of the highlights of today for me.

Then, the "British Horror Revival" collection of shorts. These were divided among two filmmakers, Ashley Thorpe (who randomly happens to sit at our table right now) and Rob Nevitt.
The former showed three films (or, 2 and a half, as the second died during the screening), Hammer influenced mixed media animations. Really interesting stuff.
Nevitt's work was more conventional film work, with one being shot on one Super 8 cartridge without any post editing of a brutal picnic and the last one, Mortified being a kid's party gone horribly wrong.

The final Hammer film today was Countess Dracula in which the seminal (and luscious) Ingrid Pitt played Elizabeth Bathory. It was the first time I'd seen it and I really liked it. It wasn't as cheesy as the others but genuinely moving in places and well done, too.

Having no time to go out for dinner (and it was still raining heavily), I just had some meatballs at the bar before heading into the screen for the last time for Herbert West: Re-Animator which turned out to be the most complete and uncut version I've seen (a print sourced from the US). It made for a highly entertaining and thrilling conclusion to another awesome Fantastic Films Weekend.

Really sad that it's all over again but it was good to hang out with people I only get to see once a year. Let's hope they'll find a way to keep it alive because it's quite unique.

FFW day 1

10 Jun 2011 11:45 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
An excellent start to the day.

First I had a look at the Great Photographers in History exhibition at the museum which was good and interesting.
Then it was time to meet up with friends for the first film: Bloodbath at the House of Death. Only knowing that Vincent Price was in it and having cultural reference fail regarding Kenny Everett, I had no idea what to expect, not an early slasher horror, but a horror comedy, a farce even. As soon as I had realised what was going on and switched my mindset, it was incredibly good fun. Extremely cheesy and bad but in a good way.

Then, the seminal Horror Express. 'Nuff said.

Afterwards, a Horizon special in TV Heaven on SciFi which had interviews with the likes of Arthur C Clarke and Asimov talking about their visions. Now, 60 years on, very fascinating indeed in terms of their predictions and what has and hasn't become reality.

After a brief dinner at a Chinese buffet I met up with @Crawther and later @Avalard for chats in the pictureville bar before heading into the cinema for Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, the extremely cheesy Hammer/Kung Fu crossover with Peter Cushing doing Van Helsing for the last time. There was spontaneous applause from the audience after the first mass fight scene. :D

Then, a quick jog to the Cubby for the screentalk with Peter Sasdy, veteran director of both classic TV and Hammer films. I enjoyed this immensely, not just because of the insight he gave into his work and the amusing anecdotes but also his genuine honesty and modesty. What a wonderful person.

I'm writing this in a brief winddown break in my hotel room while listening to Santana improvising away on BBC4. Now I'm off to see the "Midnight Screamer", the director's cut of The Exorcist on the big screen, yeah!
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
Yay and w00+, the website is live early this year! Still a bit barren without full schedule and hotel info (I guess it'll be the new Jurys Inn rather than the Midland).
It's the 10th anniversary this year and it looks like it's going to be a classics extravaganza.
Can't wait to see the gang ([livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, [livejournal.com profile] matgb, [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie and El and the rest of them) again (and I have a dinner date with @Crawther :D)

Apart from the regulars, anyone else interested?
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
As part of my day off yesterday I went to the cinema to see Rango. I didn't really know what to expect but I'd heard good things about it and it was one of the two films I was interested in that were actually showing at that time in the afternoon (the other being The Eagle).
I did not regret it. It's a really fun film but also moving and a little sad, quite human, in fact, despite the main characters all being animals. The animation is technically perfect and the textures are excellent. It's PG rated but there are so many levels to this film that it's perfect entertainment for adults, too, especially because of the many references to other films (from classic spaghetti westerns to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).
There are some surprising actors turning up on the voices list, like Bill Nighy playing Rattlesnake Jake (one of the villains) and Timothy Olyphant as the Spirit of the West, too.
Highly recommended if you're looking for almost two hours of diversion.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
was a lot of fun. Explosions, gun fights, witty one-liners, no lengths, well choreographed fights and all those other things a good action caper needs.
Go and watch it.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Rupert - COC)
It looks like Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness will be happening after all. With James Cameron producing. Let's just hope he keeps his fingers out.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
If you weren't at the FFW (or Manchester same weekend) you missed Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the best worst film ever.
It's back in the UK for two showings:

At the Prince Charles Theatre on 9th of July

and just for [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie and El in Edinburgh on the 21st of August
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Sunday started with Psycho. A new digital print combined on the big screen was perfect for appreciating the superb cinematography properly. Absolutely wonderful.

After that, I watched too bits in TV Heaven (Children of the Stones - sadly only two eps - and Dark Season - which was very 80s cheese by RTD).

Patrick was next, excellent thriller with a psychokinetic coma patient.
Is it just me or did the doctor have a rather striking resemblance to the Albino from Mark of the Devil? I checked on imdb, it's not the same actor.

Then another Screentalk with Stanley A. Long about his career, his films, difficulties with (and bribing of) censors and anecdotes of Roman Polanski and other people he's worked with. Another very enjoyable talk with a great character.

His Screamtime, a collection of three shorts was next and indeed excellent. I will never look at garden gnomes the same way again.

That ran straight into The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue which was hilariously cheesy and a fitting end to the festival.

All in all, an excellent festival with excellent films, good friends old and new (@Crawther, yay!). Really sad it's over.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Yesterday was great.
First up was the excellent Three Cases of Murder. All three segments were good but the first one fitted the bill best (painting coming to life). Highly recommended and reasonably easy to catch as it's now out on DVD.

Then there was Shadow, a easonably new film, somewhere between Jacob's Ladder, 70's slasher and Hostel. Rather violent and gory so if torture porn isn't your thing, it's not for you. I didn't have many problems with it, just the luscious, deep deciduous forest that was supposed to be in Iraq(!).

Next up, the seminal and by now traditional Horror Express with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and randomly, Telly Savalas as a Kosak captain (not a Hammer production but an Italian one). Good, cheesy fun and hearing [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat's reactions to the pseudo science was hilarious.

Staying with low-budget cheese, we watched The Giant Spider Invasion next and that was hilarious, too. Again, mucho pseudo science about black holes and gamma radiation. The giant spider monster was one of the best props ever and the acting was on par, too. Big kudos to them for using real spiders (tarantulas etc.) for the smaller ones, though. Very good fun and everybody loved it.

After that, I had a bit of a break and a drink and nice long chat with @Crawther, which was nice.
We sat in Centenniary Square chatting away and almost forgot the time but managed to get back for the screentalk with Michael Armstrong, director of Mark of the Devil, House of the long Shadows etc. It was really interesting and entertaining, Armstrong is a very charming and funny character. He talked about The Image, his first short film (also at the FFW), obv. a lot about Mark of the Devil as that was shown afterwards and other projects as well as one (prompted by an audience member) about a planned documentary with the Sex Pistols.

The above mentioned Mark of the Devil was next and rather disappointing. Obv. a low budget affair and far from being as shocking or visceral as he wanted us to believe during his talk. A bit rubbish really but not too bad (I think I had a higher opinion of it than [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b).
I just had to giggle when during the opening credits Herbert Fux was mentioned who I and many Germans my age and older will associate with really bad (sex) comedies during the late 70s/early 80s so to see him in a rather serious role was odd. He's done serious stuff since but I think his main image is that of being in bad comedy flicks.

We had a gap before the midnight screamer so [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, [livejournal.com profile] matgb, someone I only know vaguely from last year and I went for a couple of drinks.

Back in time for midnight, we briefly met James Nguyen, director of Birdemic, who signed coathangers for us (this will become important later on).
Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a remarkable, hard to describe film. It's equally the worst and best film ever made. With a budget of $10,000, rubbish actors, guerilla camera action and the worst CGI in movie history, it's a specatcle that has to be seen to pass any judgment on. It already has a cult following in the US and is somewhat of a phenomenon.
The director stayed for a chat with Tony Earnshaw which was just as unbelievable as the film. A really nice and charming guy, though, and I am looking forward to the sequel.

two photos of James Nguyen )

And now I'm off to see Psycho on the big screen for the first time.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
Got up, had OK breakfast (staff cleared my table twice while I was getting stuff from the buffet, have written note for tomorrow), wandered to the NMM to find the doors locked and not being opened before 10. I also had left my book at the hotel so I wandered around and took some photos instead.
When the doors finally opened, the system was still being set up. Receiving a surprising and warm hug from @Crawther was an excellent start to the day. :D
The first event was the Fantasma symposium with talks from various experts on a variety of subjects from Italian horror films via the image of the vampire in films/popular culture and its history to musings about the fantastic in films in general. In between I had lunch at the IndiaAn veggie buffet which was nommy as usual. All you can eat for under six pounds...

My first film was in fact a selection of short films of which Arbeit für alle was the highlight. A really good and funny German film.

Next, the Fulci classic Lizard in a Woman's Skin which was clearly the product of various acid trips but still enjoyable. [livejournal.com profile] madwitch would have loved the hats. ;o)

Final bit was Zone of the Dead, a pretty run off the mill zombie film but with good production values and reasonable acting. Nothing special but enjoyable.

The BHF lot was going for food rather than drinks so we parted ways and I went back to the hotel to relax.

Lots of stuff on tomorrow, good night!
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
with Jeff Bridges in the oscar-winning lead role of Bad Blake and Maggie Gyllenhaal (yum) is a quiet, enjoyable, moving and in one bit, sad film. Jeff Bridges is indeed excellent (but possibly not oscar-worthy, supporting the thought the award was more an achievement award), not least because he plays and sings himself (like Phoenix in Walk the Line). Colin Farrell is rather surprisingly good as the young(er), hip Country star who owes his career to Blake but is out on top while Blake is down and out, constantly drunk and broke.
It's a mix of road movie, (fake) music biopic but mostly a character study. The original music (written by Stephen Bruton and T Bone Burnett) is excellent and there are some classics from Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt (among others) on the soundtrack (which I will have to buy), too.

April 2016

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