Sundance London is back this weekend, after kicking off last night with opening film Tallulah - and, while I'll be reviewing some films for VODzilla.co over here, you'll be able to read some thoughts on the movies screening at the festival here too.
In the meantime, just LOOK at this sexy, giant, neon logo in the foyer of the Picturehouse Central - proof that London's most stylish cinema is a perfect home for the indie festival, especially when compared to The O2, where it used to take place (no offence, The O2). Neon logos, snazzy bars, and a superb performance by Ellen Page in Netflix's Tallulah (showing again on Sunday)? Sundance London has never looked better.
The full line-up of films is here.]]>
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 VODzilla.co, 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.]]>
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.]]>
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]i-flicks.net.
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 VODzilla.co. 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.
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.
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.
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.]]>
Here's the tr4l3r.