Classic Cinema: Singin’ in the Rain, review

When it comes to musicals, there are fewer greater or more popular than Singin’ in the Rain. It’s regularly in people’s top 10 films of all time and considered the greatest musical ever. The movie portrays so much fun and energy among its ensemble cast whilst telling the story of how a studio struggled to transition from the silent movie era to the talkies. As a classic film from a time which doesn’t seem to exist any more, this is a timeless classic which should be on all movie lovers to watch list.

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Gene Kelly plays Hollywood heartthrob Don Lockwood who we first see giving his life story to a showbiz reporter for all of his doting fans to hear all of whom are waiting just outside of the premier for his latest film. During his career things start to change with the death of silent cinema after the introduction of sound. At the same time, he meets the feisty and charming Kathy Selden, wonderfully portrayed by Debbie Reynolds in a role which saw the actress permanently elevated to legendary status. Her sassy comebacks, refusal of his flirtatious ways and unwillingness to give up on her dreams makes her the perfect role model. The addition of Cosmo Brown, played effortlessly (even the dancing looks easy but you know it’s not!) by Donald O’Connor, these are the three true stars of the film.

Between the three of them, they concoct a plan to save their movie which, due to poor dialogue and sound issues, received some pretty harsh initial reactions during previews. However their movie also comes under threat from the lead female actress Lina Lamont, played by Jean Hagen, who requires acting and elocution lessons just to make it through her first non-silent movie. She consistently steals each scene that shes in, particularly during a lesson of hers. All I will say is “And I can’t stand him!”. Comedy perfection.

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Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, the film is a beautiful cocktail of music, singing, dancing, comedy and love. The timing of each joke is fine tuned to perfection, the musical numbers sound and look stunning and the love shared between the characters feels genuine and heartfelt. Singin’ in the Rain has a spark like no other, a truly magical experience on the big screen as well as the small. It’ll have you singing inside and out, whether it’s raining or not.

5 out of 5.

Keep. It. Reel.

Dunkirk teaser trailer released

It feels like Christopher Nolan has been away from the directors chair for quite some time now. It’s been around two years since the mind-blowing visually-stunning Interstellar hit cinemas around the world and since completing his own Dark Knight trilogy and now, he’s been a producer on DC’s Extended Universe. Well, he’s back and he’s back with a (almost) bang.

Dunkirk

Last night a teaser trailer for the upcoming World War II drama, Dunkirk was released to eager Nolan fans, all very excited to see his latest piece of work. As expected we don’t really see much but from what is shown, it looks as if it will be an epic. What else would you expect from a director whose last film in the chair was almost 3 hours long? What we do see is an army who, one by one, look up at the sky. As they all turn and see what’s above them, it’s clear they may be under attack via air strike. What happens next remains to be seen.

Take a look at the trailer below and see what you think. With a high-end cast which includes Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, this is going to be one to watch. There is one person missing from Nolan’s crew however, Wally Pfister, who has been his Cinematographer up until The Dark Knight Rises. I hope they collaborate again soon. The film is due for release July 21, 2017.

Keep. It. Reel.

Interview with director, Pablo Larraín

During the London Film Festival 2015, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview director Pablo Larraín about his new film The Club, a story about a house in which priests and a nun live, all of whom are suspected of crimes ranging from child abuse to baby snatching. Following an incident at the house, a crisis counsellor is sent to assess what has happened and find out more about those who live there.

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Neel’s Reel Deel: Where did you come up with the idea for the film?

Pablo Larraín: A couple of years ago, I saw a picture in the newspaper of a house in Germany, just like this (The house in the film) There was this Chilean priest living there. I couldn’t believe there was a guy who was accused of sexual abuse and it started from there really. It’s about how they created something so dangerous.

NRD: Was it difficult to film or hard to watch after considering the content?

PL: No, not really

NRD: As this was co-written with yourself an others, how did you find the writing process?

PL: It was very strange because we wrote for the movie and also wrote whilst we were shooting, so we kept writing it all the way. It was very interesting because I collaborated with Guillermo Calderón and Daniel Villalobos and we are all Chileans but we were raised in different places so we had a different relationship with the characters. So I guess that really helped, it brought different perspectives to the issue.

NRD: That sounds really good, lots of ideas being brought to the table.

PL: Yeah it really was

NRD: How long did it take to shoot? You’ve had short shoots in the past, was this similar?

PL: Very short shooting time, two and a half weeks

NRD: Wow, very quick! How about the actors you brought on to play these roles?

PL: Well the actors are people I have been working with for many years and they are so articulate, people that I really trust and they trust me. So I never gave them a script at all, they didn’t know about their characters or the others, I would just give them a scene before we shot it so it was very interesting, we would end up doing some kind of process where the actors didn’t know what was going on and this was also kept the actors present for their acting. It gives an intriguing and mysterious performance.

NRD: To work with the same people must be an interesting experience, how long have you been working with these same people for?

PL: For five or six movies, it’s not always the exact same people but it’s people that I know, they are friends. So when I said to them “let’s make a movie”, I don’t going to tell them what it’s about! We’d go to the set, they have their make-up done and get in front of the camera, then I tell them what we’re doing so it creates an interesting moment, when you see someone who isn’t in control with what’s going on and helps.

NRD: They must have a lot of faith and trust in you.

PL: Yeah but also it creates an interesting affect and illusion, in the result in the film. You see a performance that looks controlled but it’s not.

NRD: When it comes to the religious aspects of the film, what’s your view on that? Are you a religious man yourself?

PL: No. not now. I think it’s always interesting to deal with religious aspects when you’re thinking about things like compassion, guilt, forgiveness.

NRD: It is a hard subject to approach, how did you approach it exactly? You say you’re not religious, so did you do quite a bit of research?

PL:  I did research but I went to Catholic school so I knew things from there. So what I had been studying and the tone in the school, they are things that I understand and know, I digested them and I wanted to bring this to the screen.

NRD: When it comes to the reality of abuse claims within the Catholic church, what do you think of that?

PL: Well, what’s going on today is that we’re facing a new kind of victim, someone who is not scared to talk about it. Back in the day, you wouldn’t do it, you wouldn’t be respected, people would look at you weird after you admit you had been abused, today you respect those people, we want them to have their space, we appreciate that someone is able to accuse somebody of this so they never do it again. Today is a better environment to do that. What’s also interesting is the relationship that the church has with the media.

NRD: Is there anyone else you’d like to work with? As you always work with the same actors. who else would you want on your set?

PL: It always depends on the movie and if you can find the right people then I would want to work with them.

NRD: The right person for the right role

PL: Yeah I think so

NRD: Did you discover anything new about yourself with regards of directing when you made this film?

PL: Oh, I don’t know, that’s a good question! Probably, but it’s hard to understand

NRD: Well you might become a religious man, you never know!

PL: Who knows, man! Anything is possible.

The Club directed by Pablo Larraín is out in UK cinemas now and is also available to stream on BFI Player.

Keep. It. Reel.

Coming soon to Secret Cinema: 28 Days Later

For the first time ever, Secret Cinema is stepping into the world of horror with their project of Danny Boyle’s 2002 epic, 28 Day Later. The post-apocalyptic movie, which has been often attributed with the reinvigoration of the zombie horror movie sub-genre, will be shown at a secret in London as well as one other city.

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The film shows us what life in London would be like if the zombie apocalypse took place and it’s a pretty quiet place! We meet Jim, who is a survivor of the events that have changed London forever. Waking up by himself in a hospital, he finds a group of other survivors and they have to battle against several elements in order to stay alive.

Andrew Macdonald, producer of 28 days later said: “Secret Cinema never fails to amaze with their experiences, and its exciting to see them tackle their first ever horror. London prepare.”

Ciliain Murphy

The move into the horror genre is a brand new step for Secret Cinema and could open up doors to other horror films, genres and franchises in the coming years. I’m a huge fan of this film and for it to get the Secret Cinema treatment, it’s going to be spectacular. If you have ever been to any of their previous events including the most recent Back to the Future and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, you’ll know the amount of effort they put into bringing these iconic movies to life.

Fabien Riggall, Founder and Creative Director of Secret Cinema said:

“Secret Cinema is excited to step into the world of horror with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, a true British horror classic – we look forward to creating a suitably frightening and exhilarating experience. Secret Cinema’s expansion over the last nine years has been remarkable, we’ve now created experiences in New York and Berlin, as well as the many in London. But this will be a turning point for us as we embark upon our very first UK nationwide production.”

Secret Cinema will return from 14th April 2016 to 29th May 2016 and tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them via the Secret Cinema website: www.secretcinema.org/tickets.

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Keep. It. Reel.

Backwards trailer (2012)

To get into the Olympics spirit, especially after a superb Super Saturday and great week overall for Team GB, take a look at this new trailer for Backwards from relatively unknown director Ben Hickernell.

The story is simple, it focuses on Abi Brooks (Sarah Megan Thomas) who fails to make it into the USA rowing team for the upcoming Olympics and it forced to find employment elsewhere. When a job comes up to coach at a school, he struggles to adjust to life outside of the water.

Starring James Van Der Beek, Glenn Morshower and Margaret Colin, this is bound to be a hit before it’s even released with Olympic fever sweeping this country and the world. Watch, enjoy and Keep It Reel.

Alternative posters by Olly Moss

Empire Magazine have a regular feature with the artist Olly Moss, have a look at his brilliant artwork of alternative film posters. Superb work! Click here for more work on his site. Hope you love it!

Craigslist Joe trailer

A Zach Galifianakis produced film has come to my attention after seeing this trailer recently. It’s called Craigslist Joe and it’s a story about a man who tries his best to communicate with those on the outside world rather than being confined to his laptop and social media. He uses Craigslist instead which, if you are unfamiliar with this site, it’s similar to Gum Tree where you have free adverts for all sorts of things such as cars, jobs, free things to give away, places  to stay, flats to rent, volunteer work, services, gigs and so on. So you can only imagine what he had to do to survive and meet the people that he meets on the way. Check out the trailer and see what you think.

The FrightFest line-up is here.

The line-up for the FrightFest has been announced and it’s a rather gruesome and gory list of all that is scary! This year at Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, the legendary master of gore Dario Argento will be joining Total Film on stage during the festival, so it sounds like it will be one hell of a long weekend. FrightFest is on from August 24th to 27th and will feature several new horror films including 15 world premiers. See below for the terrifying image and full line-up!

FRIDAY 24 AUGUST

Main Screen

The Seasoning House
Cockneys vs Zombies
Grabbers
Nightbreed: The Cabal Cult
Hidden In The Woods
V/H/S
[REC] Genesis
Stitches

Discovery Screen

Guinea Pigs
The Victim
Elevator
A Night Of Nightmares
Sawney: Flesh Of Man
Errors Of The Human Body

SATURDAY 25 AUGUST

Main Screen

Eurocrime! The Italian Cop And Gangster Film That Ruled The ’70s
Outpost 2: Black Sun
Paura 3D
Under The Bed
Tulpa
Maniac

Re-Discovery Screen

Inbred
The Arrival Of Wang
Crawl
Sawney: Flesh Of Man

Discovery Screen

May I Kill U?
Kill Zombie!
Nightmare Factory
Before Dawn
Remnants
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

SUNDAY 26 AUGUST

Main Screen

The Thompsons
International Short Film Showcase
Sleep Tight
Berberian Sound Studio
Sinister
Dead Sushi

Re-Discovery Screen

The Mummy’s Shroud
Rasputin, The Mad Monk
The Devil Rides Out
The Bride Of Frankenstein

Discovery Screen

We Are The Night
The Inside
Community
Guinea Pigs
The Victim

MONDAY 27 AUGUST

Main Screen

American Mary
After
Chained
The Possession
Tower Block

Re-Discovery Screen

We Are The Night
Errors Of The Human Body
May I Kill U?
The Inside

Discovery Screen

Remnants
Before Dawn
A Night Of Nightmares
Elevator

 

Paddington: a teaser poster has arrived…

I recently heard that the very talented and cool Stephen Mangan will be playing Postman Pat in a new feature film with the world’s most famous postman and his black and white cat. Now another one of my favourite boyhood characters is also coming to the big screen: Paddington Bear. If you have no idea who he is you are too young or just not very well educated in the history of brilliant animation. I’ve had several conversations about what I enjoyed to watch when I was younger and the fact still remains, no one ever had it as good as we did! This poster of Paddington Bear looks like the film will tell a deep and meaningful story, which is something I am hoping for plus the usual comedy I came to expect involving him, a police officer and a sandwich. If I have lost you, you REALLY need to catch up, buy the DVDs, find some youtube clips, watch it any way you can. There is no doubt I am excited by this film, which from the IMDB description sounds like Ted by Seth MacFarlane but the nicer version of course! Let me know what you think of this poster, personally, I love it.

 

The Dark Knight Rises video collection.

The Dark Knight Rises tickets for the Imax are on sale already, more than a month before the film is released. If you were like me, you would have stayed up to get them as soon as you could, to get the best seats and to enjoy the experience as soon as possible! If you aren’t like me, chances are you won’t want to watch all of these videos of The Dark Knight Rises including the trailers and several TV spots. And excuse the extreme Dark Knight Rises post, it won’t be a regular thing for those who aren’t a fan of Christian Bale’s gravel-esque voice!