Mockingjay: Part 1

Turns a political struggle into something thrillingly personal.

The Beat Beneath My Feet

A toe-tapping indie that is, quite simply lovely.


An extraordinary true tale made disappointingly ordinary.

The Battle of the Five Armies

"Why does it hurt so much?" Because the rest of it felt so real.

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Top 23 films to see at the 23rd Raindance Film Festival (2015) Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 06:26

Today sees the start of one of the most exciting events in the UK film calendar: the Raindance Film Festival. Now in its 23rd year, the festival - which has premiered the likes of Pulp Fiction, Memento, The Blair Witch Project - is one of the largest festivals dedicated to indie film in Europe.

Together with its courses, which introduced Guy Ritchie to Matthew Vaughn many moons ago, and its Web Fest - the only festival in the UK devoted to independent digital and streaming series - Raindance is a wonderful force for supporting indie film-makers. And, equally exciting, is the kind of place where you'll see films that you simply wouldn't find anywhere else.

Teaming up with, which is supporting both straight to VOD Raindance titles and the Web Fest, I'll be covering the 2015 Raindance festival in as much detail as is humanly possible over the coming weeks. With 90 features, 200 odd shorts and a whole heap of events, that's a lot of festival. To start with, here are the top 23 films to see at the 23rd Raindance Film Festival. Add a comment

That awkward moment when Terminator isn't the best looking Arnie film of the summer Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 22 June 2015 13:39

Say the name Arnold Schwarzenegger and "summer movie" to someone and they'll most likely assume you're talking about Terminator Genisys. But a new UK poster for Arnie's next film has arrived that blows the promise of killer robots out of the water.

Maggie, which stars Abigail Breslin, is out on 24th July. Just take a look at this bit from its quad:

You wouldn't even think it was a film starring the man who once punched a camel in Conan the Barbarian, would you?

Now bask in the beauty of the whole thing:

Sorry Genisys. Your whole advertising campaign just got terminated.

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The Oscar Nomnomnom Challenge 2015: The Great British Predict Off Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 20 February 2015 07:07

Right. There are just over 48 hours until the 2015 Oscars, so you know by now who's going to win, right? Right?

In which case, you have no excuse not to enter this year's Oscar Nomnomnom Challenge. The aim of the competition? Guess who will win what at this year's Academy Awards. The prize for getting the most predictions right? Cupcakes. Oscar Nomnomnoms for Oscar Nomnomnoms. Simple.

The rules are barely non-existent: all you have to do is write down your guesses for all Oscar categories and send them to me by 11:59 on Sunday 22nd February. Entries can be tweeted (a photo of your list) using the hashtag #OscarNomnomnom, or you can just send an email to nomnomnom[at]

Apologies for the short notice, folks. I know it's not very long to come up with a list of expected winners, but I've been somewhat distracted from my Oscar Nomnomnom duties by doing stuff over at But I can guarantee that there will be cupcakes made between now and the ceremony on Sunday. I can also guarantee that they will bear some resemblance to this year's Oscar nominees. I cannot guarantee, however, that they will be edible. For that, you'll have to ask Joe Cunningham, who has won the competition for the past three years in a row.

For a taster of what you can win, here are last year's Oscar Nomnomnom cakes, from Gravity to The Hobbit.

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SpongeBob SquarePants officially wins the Internet this week. Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 08:00

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Top 14 films of 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 17:37

It says a lot about the quality of a year when you have a top 10 that you think is set in stone by June. Even more telling is that, after several re-writes and re-drafts, another movie can come along in December and push its way straight in - albeit in a polite, overtly British manner, while carrying a marmalade sandwich. From family-friendly comedies and music-driven masterpieces to pulse-pounding thrillers and disturbingly perplexing sci-fi, these are the best films I've seen in UK cinemas in the past 12 months.

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Come to see The Beat Beneath My Feet with me at Clapham Picturehouse on Sunday Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 21 November 2014 17:37

This Sunday at 3pm, I will be hosting a Q&A at the Clapham Picturehouse following a screening of The Beat Beneath My Feet. The BIFA-nominated film, which stars 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry as a rock legend, is a delightful, lovely indie flick with a superb soundtrack.

That's a happy, award-nominated film. On a Sunday afternoon. With a heartthrob in attendance (me, not Luke Perry). And a Q&A with the film's director, John Williams (not that one), writer (Michael Mueller) and young lead Nicholas Galitzine. And there are still tickets left. This, frankly, is unacceptable.

See you there at 3pm?

Read why the film is brilliant here.

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'71 leads 2014 BIFA Award nominations Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 03 November 2014 13:43

The 2014 BIFA award nominations have been announced and '71 is leading the pack with a whopping nine nominations.

Yann Demange's fantastic thriller, which sees a young British soldier stranded in the streets of 1971 Belfast following a riot, has not only got a nod for Best Director and Best Script but also Best Supporting Actor (Sean Harris) and, of course, Best Actor for Jack O'Connell, who blew everyone away with Starred Up last year.

But '71 is far from the clear winner: the number of great films snapping at its heels is testament to what has been a fantastic year for indie Brit flicks, with Pride on seven nominations and Frank, Mr. Turner and Catch Me Daddy all receiving five apiece.

Pride picked up nods for Best Supporting Actor (both Andrew Scott and Ben Schnetzer), where they will compete with Michael Fassbender (and his giant papier mache head) in Frank.

The Imitation Game's Benedict Cumberbatch, meanwhile, who would normally dominate headlines and award races, is almost swamped by the volume of talent around him, with Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner leading a field that includes Brendan Gleeson for the wonderful Calvary and rising star Asa Butterfield for X+Y.

Keira Knightley suffers the same fate as her Imitation Game co-star, with challenges coming from Testament of Youth's Alicia Vikander and Lilting's Cheng Peie Pei, not to mention Belle's Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Supporting Actress is equally impossible to call, with the gong going to either Dorothy Atkinson for Mr. Turner, Imedla Staunton for Pride, Maggie Gyllehaal for Frank, Sienna Guillory for The Goob or Sally Hawkins for X+Y.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the line-up of directors up for the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut flick: Daniel Wolfe and Matthew Wolfe for Catch Me Daddy, Hong Khaou for Lilting, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard for 20,000 Dayson Earth, Morgan Matthews for X+Y and Yann Demange for ’71.

And a special shout-out to The Beat Beneath My Feet for getting a nod for this year's Raindance Award, which was one of the most impressive films at this year's festival. (More on that later...)

The jury for the 2014 British Independent Film Awards will be chaired by Tom Hooper and include Sean Ellis, Tracy O'Riordan, Stanley Tucci and Luke Treadaway. The winners will be announced on Sunday 7th December at the Old Billingsgate in London.

Read on for the full list of BIFA nominees.

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The BFI 28th 2014 London Film Festival Print E-mail

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