From deep in the heart of London’s Soho, thoughts from the manager. Plex has worked in the industry for a decade and if you can stand the occasional rant, you might find an occasional interesting angle. And get involved, he’ll answer back.
A real sign that someone has a deeper love for film than is possibly healthy is when someone has a film, or indeed several films, that define them as a person and act as markers of major events throughout life. There are a few examples of films like this for me, each of which evokes different memories, times and places, or emotional states that I can relate to the most.
You wait 70 years for a British female director with a singular vision, crafting subtle yet devastatingly affecting stories utilising star-lite casts, often with first time actors, which use a first rate visual sense to elevate kitchen sink realism, and two come along at once! OK so maybe it was seven years in between Lynne Ramsay’s beguiling debut Ratcatcher and Andrea Arnold’s, the tense, disturbing but beautiful Red Road. But the point is that both directors have new films coming out so the comparison is perfectly valid. And no, before you go crowing about the nasty sexist man trying to prove he isn’t sexist by writing an article about how great it is that two girls have been able to find the time between doing their nails and fluffing their bosoms to make some luvvely wuvvely films hence proving he is even more of a great big patronising sexist, it’s not like that. It doesn’t matter a fig that they’re women; what matters is that both made startling original films and now are both bringing out adaptations. Ramsey is bringing us We Need to Talk About Kevin and Arnold has made yet another bloody version of Wuthering Heights. How many Pride and Prejudices, Jane Eyres and Wuthering Heightses do we actually need?
What this is is a very modern form of selling out.
I don’t know about you but when I watch a film my enjoyment of it is wholly dependant on that film being made according to a rigid set of rules; preferably written by Danes. I go to the cinema, manifesto and Danish-to-English dictionary in hand, putting a black mark down and audibly tutting whenever said film violates those sacred laws. With that in mind, and in the spirit of Dogme ’95, I hereby lay down my manifesto for Lost in the Arthouse. I invite you to print this off, keep it by your side and mark off each time I violate it over the coming weeks; emailing me in detail after each flouting of my own laws (please don’t do this).
Helen Cox edits New Empress Magazine and she’s got something to say...
Anyone else remember a time when Orange adverts were actually funny? Back in 2003 some pretty ingenious marketing bod had the idea of partnering with cinemas to create a 2 for 1 evening even though mobile phones have nothing to do with cinema and have, in fact, made the cinematic experience decidedly worse. For an idea like that to succeed you need a way of making it look like something more than just a transparent promotional ploy: enter Brennan Brown (Mr Dresden) and Steve Furst (Dresden’s balding sidekick Elliot) - the fictional dimbo-dumbo Orange executives who lord over the Orange Film Board and have sworn an oath to promote the phone, the whole phone and nothing but the phone.
I've been a film geek as long as I can remember. I'm 33 now, and thinking back into the mists of my past, all I can see is me being obsessed with the moving image. My love for movies of a genre-based nature eventually directed me towards working in a comic shop/movie memorabilia outlet for almost a decade once my twenties were underway, and it fed my addiction even more. The thing is, now I've arrived at a point where the formats of my childhood and teenage years are fading into oblivion and I am setting about a mission to preserve them.
In this day and age of the major Hollywood blockbuster, it is a truth universally acknowledged that some of the biggest studio money-spinners are the inevitable sequels to that blockbuster-that-did-well-a-couple-of-years-ago. It has even got to the point where actors reveal that they’ve already been contracted to further films and where studios are greenlighting sequels before the first film has even been released, as is the case with The Amazing Spider-man. But just how necessary are these blockbuster second installments? A quick glance over the schedule for Summer 2011 reveals that this is a season packed with sequels and prequels with Harry Potter's final installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Final Destination 5 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Hangover 2 to name but a few. With all the biggest blockbusters of the summer being either a sequel or a prequel to further films (one could argue that both Thor and Captain America slot into this category as both films will be fed into the upcoming Avengers movie), it would seem to any non-Earth resident that moviegoers are obsessed with watching the seemingly endless affairs of robots in disguise, drunken pirates or boy wizards.
Picture the scene – a young, idealistic hero lies prostrate on the floor, while the evil duo stand over him, preparing to strike the killer blow. A few lines of wonderfully sinister dialogue from the sneering Ian McDiarmid later and our hero is on the brink of doom, several thousand volts (not sure if it’s the galactic unit of measurement) of force lightning pinning him to the floor. What could possibly save young Skywalker now?
We all know the rest. Just as we are all becoming aware that, despite making a variety of changes and SFX enhancements to his Star Wars films over the years, George Walton Lucas Jr is at it again.
I know it’s fashionable to hate on Twilight. That’s not why I hate it. I hate it because it’s awful. My other half is obsessed with it. For that reason, I have had to part with much hard earned cash (against my better judgement) to buy him the books, the blu-rays, and even the board games. I suppose that shows just how good a boyfriend I am.