The importance of seeing Ernest and Celestine - and 5 GIFs to prove it
Written by Ivan Radford
Friday, 03 May 2013 09:08
All Stars. Chimpanzee. Iron Man 3. There are loads of posters telling you what to see this weekend, but there's one film that you should definitely take your kids to: Ernest et Célestine. Alternatively, just leave the kids at home and go yourself. Directed by Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubie, it's an adorable little animation about Ernest (a bear) and Celestine (a mouse), who become friends - much to the shock of wider society because, as we all know, bears and mice must never be friends.
A hand-drawn tale of friendship and rebellion, it's beautiful, funny and charmed the socks off me at the London Film Festival last year. It's one of those magical animations that impresses with craft as much as character. So why has it slipped quietly into London's Ciné Lumière this week with barely a squeak? I can't say. What I can say is that it's showing there until Wednesday 15th May (mostly at 11am), that it's a PG, that (like A Town Called Panic) little children will enjoy it even without understanding French - and that it's downright adorable.
To give you a taste of just how cute it is, here are five Ernest and Celestine GIFs that are made of pure loveliness...
11 things I learned from a Cineworld questionnaire
Written by Ivan Radford
Thursday, 02 May 2013 16:18
If you didn't go on Twitter during your lunch break today, firstly well done. You're a credit to your workforce. Secondly, you missed one hell of cinema survey - the kind of PR exercise that it would take a very careless company/employee to screw up really badly.
Enter Cineworld. One of the UK's more affordable multiplex chains, they have a good loyalty scheme and an impressive dedication to showing arthouse films. Even in Enfield, where that kind of shizzle can get you knifed. I quite like them - even if their hotdogs do bounce. (Hotdogs shouldn't do that.)
But now I like them even more. Because thanks to their survey, which was apparently sent out to random folk today (and Craig Skinner, who saved the whole thing as a PDF), I've realised that my views about crazy things like equality and grammar - LOL - are completely out of step with the modern world. If only someone had told me all this stuff sooner.
Here are 11 things I learned from Cineworld's questionnaire (unless it was sent out by some other cinema chain, in which case disregard all mentions of Cineworld and please don't sue me):
French woman goes to work for sleazy lawyer. Knocks over everything in the office. But types like a an elephant on a steamroller. The solution? National typing competitions, of course. It's sounds like a strange plot, but as the new Populaire UK trailer shows: Regis Roinsard's romantic comedy is just plain adorable.
It's out in the UK on Friday 31st May - and trust me, it's absolutely flipping gorgeous. Here's the full video:
As the old saying goes, never trust a man who works in a paper mill. Especially if they're played by Donnie Yen. It's definitely true in the case of Liu Jin-xi, a mild-mannered husband who finds his workplace under attack from a group of bandits – and unwittingly kills them all with his own clumsy two hands.
Enter detective Xu Bai-ju (Kaneshiro), who believes there’s more to Liu than meets the A4 size chart. All acupuncture and glasses, he digs around the crime scene like a hipster psychic, prompting wild flashbacks, reverse slo-mo and all kinds of visual trickery. It’s like watching A History of Violence reimagined as an episode of CSI: Hong Kong.
Director: Pedro Almodóvar Cast: Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth Certificate: 15 Trailer
“Then she contacted the beyond through Alex and Benito’s crotches.” If you don’t hear those words in a cinema, it might as well not be a Pedro Almodóvar movie. On that basis, I’m So Excited definitely fits the bill. After years of progressively more mature masterpieces, this airbound comedy sees Pedro revert right back to his juvenile years – a heyday of raunchy chaos and unabashed silliness. Oh yes, it’s un film de Almodóvar all right. The bad news? It’s not a very good one.
Giant monsters, giant robots and Charlie Day, oh my! Pacific Rim WonderCon footage online
Written by Ivan Radford
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:01
Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim has released its WonderCon footage online - and it's full of giant monsters, giant robots and giant monsters punching giant robots. But while Del Toro's influence is finally evident in the design of the Kaiju (it's hard not immediately start playing spot the suspiciously-familiar Gojira-era creatures), the thing I'm most excited about? Charlie Day.
I never thought I'd say that about any film, but after watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I've become a fan. And, judging by his bespectacled appearances in the latest Pacific Rim trailer, he isn't too screechy.
If you haven't heard the kerfuffle surrounding Zach Braff's new film, Wish I Was Here, allow me to sum it up in a sentence: the former star of Scrubs and writer/director/star of the lovely Garden State has pulled a Veronica Mars and turned to Kickstarter to fund his project. Why? Because he didn't want to give up creative control to producers.
It's a much better reason than Veronica's give-us-your-money-so-Warner-Bros-don't-have-to logic - although exactly how much creative control Mr. Braff would actually lose to a studio is perhaps debatable. So why the kerfuffle? Because while there's the satisfaction of helping out a creative artist to achieve their goal there's also the slightly niggling knowledge that you helped to raise $2 million for someone who earned over four times that amount for a single season of Scrubs.
To go back to our previous rant about Veronica Mars, there are indie filmmakers out there who put everything on the line to get their film made. I love Zach Braff - and I really want him to direct another movie - but if he really wanted to get his film made the way he wanted, I suspect he could do the same. Is that a reason to get angry at him? Not at all. You can decide what to Kickstart or what not to Kickstart - he's not waking you up at 5am demanding your life savings or first born children.
But it's a moot point anyway. Because this exists:
"I am going to build a roughly thirteen foot tall tyrannosaurus with Christopher Walken's head," promises Ethan Cyr on his Indiegogo page for Christopher Walken Rex.
There aren’t many men that I unashamedly, flat-out love. Clive Owen. Benedict Cumberbatch. Pete Sampras. That’s about it. What do you mean, why Pete Sampras? Have you seen him play tennis? He has really good ground strokes.
But one man who recently joined my exclusive group of man-crushes is Ricardo Darin. Ever since The Secret in Their Eyes, I’ve been a huge fan of Ricardo's work. Carancho; Chinese Takeaway; and now the very good White Elephant, out in cinemas this weekend. He’s just consistently, reliably, wonderfully awesome.
Why? Because he sometimes looks like Alan Rickman? Because he manages to be grumpy and twinkly-eyed at the same time? Because his grizzled charisma is the perfect front for director Pablo Trapero’s raw, gritty social dramas?
It’s all of those, but it’s more than that - and somehow less than that as well. I’ve decided that Ricardo Darin’s power actually boils down to one thing: his beard.
Whether it’s grey, black, stubbly or long, Ricardo Darin’s facial hair can make him look happy, sad, angry, sexy, old, young or kind-of-in-the-middle. It’s a furry conduit for every human emotion ever conceived. It probably even improves his ground strokes.
And the best thing about Ricardo Darin's beardl? It comes attached to Ricardo Darin’s face.
“Nonsense!” you cry. “A beard can't do these things, no matter how great, big and/or bushy it is!”
But allow me to prove just how powerful Ricardo’s chin-fuzz is – by removing it completely.
What would Ricardo Darin look like without a beard? Read on to find out...