Tag Archives: cinema

Under the Shadow

Running time: 84 mins
Release Date: 30th September 2016
Certificate: 15
Director & Writer: Babak Anvari
Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Hamidreza Djavdan and Soussan Farrokhnia
Distributor: Vertigo


Synopsis:
Tehran, 1988: the Iran-Iraq war rumbles into its eighth year. The bombing campaigns focused on the city, coupled with the country’s bloody revolution, slowly tear a mother and daughter apart. As they struggle to stay together in the midst of these modern terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment, threatening their grip on reality.


Under the Shadow is mainly set in a block of flats in Tehran during the Iran–Iraq War. The background is one of never-ending war, with Iraq having begun its ‘strategic bombing’ campaign of Iranian cities. It effectively depicts a beleaguered and tired civilian population, largely through a strained family relationship.

undertheshadow2

The film is subtle and restrained for its first hour. Its focus is on the character of Shideh, a woman forced to abandon her medical studies after the Cultural Revolution and now finding it impossible to take them up again in a country that has become deeply socially conservative. Constrained, frustrated and virtually confined to her flat at the start of the film, her physical isolation increases as the film progresses. She is nevertheless a determined, capable character.

Her daughter Dorsa is a strong-minded character too, and is ably portrayed in her childish single-mindedness. As the nexus of strange events start to coalesce around Dorsa, an atmosphere of strangeness and malevolence, nightmare and fever, starts to build. The scares are carefully rationed and instead Under the Shadow depends on mood. The film’s ‘monster’, built up by hints and allusions, is startling and original when it finally does appear.

By: TN.  Score: 9/10

The Hard Stop

Opening Friday 15th July 2016

Director George Amponsah
Producer Dionne Walker
Screenwriters George Amponsah, Dionne Walker
UK 2015
90 mins
Production company Ga Films Ltd

The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop


“The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history. For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thought-provoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.”
BFI LFF 2015


Family and friends talk about their relationship with mark Duggan and how things unfolded after his death during a ‘Hard Stop’ – ‘a nationally approved police tactic’.

The film is thought-provoking, funny, sad and totally compelling watching. I’ve watched this film twice, and both times I have walked away with more questions than answers. Well worth seeing.

 

Also, read this piece in The Guardian:
Marcus Knox-HookeThe man accused of starting the 2011 riots – and what he did next.
“Marcus Knox-Hooke was at the heart of the 2011 riots sparked by the death of his friend Mark Duggan in a police shooting. A new documentary examines what happened and follows him as he struggles to rebuild his life.”

fiveFilms4freedom: Wednesday 25th March 2015

Today (Wednesday 25 March), fiveFilms4freedom becomes a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a film together.


Showing support for freedom and equality everywhere.


The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is asking people everywhere to watch a film together over the course of one single day as part of a 24 hour campaign #FiveFilms4Freedom.

fiveFilms4freedom is showing five short films from BFI Flare, the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Film Festival, available to audiences around the world for the first time through BFI player, from 19–29 March 2015.

It is a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema; to find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity

The five films represent a cross section of contemporary LGBT short film. The films are made by lesbians, gay men and transgender filmmakers, and range from sweet short stories about first love to documenting activism. They are polished, rough, funny, sad and inspiring and each has a different voice. The films are:

  • afternoon
    Click image to watch film

    An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag) Director Søren Green’s new short film is a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

  • chance
    Click image to watch film

    Chance Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare. It focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

  • Code Academy Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. When searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan of The Code Academy are their own worst enemy.
  • Morning Is Broken Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.
  • true-wheel
    Click image to watch film

    True Wheel Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for Detroits’ women, queer and transgender communities.


Watch a film today to show your support for fiveFilms4freedom.


 

London film Festival 2014 | Afrocentric films

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival is now available. I had a pow-wow with film critic EC Forde, and between us, we’ve come up with a list of the Afrocentric films you can see at this years London film Festival.


8-19 October 2014.
248 films. 17 venues. 12 days. One festival.


The festival opens on October 8th with The Imitation Game, a film on the life of British mathematician and cryptanalyst, Alan Turing. It closes on Sunday, 19th with Fury, about a World War Two American tank crew who find themselves behind enemy lines.

Of the films listed below EC’s personal highlights would be, in no particular order:

We’ve almost certainly missed a few titles so definitely explore the festival site for yourself: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.


Afrocentric Films (click link for full details of films)



Other Films of Interest (click link for full details of films)


We’ve almost certainly missed a few titles so definitely explore the festival site for yourself: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.

Check out our Schedule of when the films are, and download the PDF Schedule.JampotMedia Timetable of Afrocentric films

Tickets go on sale from Thursday 18 September.
(Priority booking opens at 10am for Cinema Members on 11 September and for Champion Members on 10 September.)

Check out the full list of films in the BFI’s Digital Brochure.


 

 

 

 

 

LFF 2014: OUR LIST – Afrocentric & other films

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival is now available. I had a pow-wow with film critic EC Forde, and between us, we’ve come up with this list of the Afrocentric films you can see at this years London film Festival.

8-19 October 2014. 248 films. 17 venues. 12 days. One festival.

Download our Schedule of these films over the festival.


 Afrocentric Films


African Metropolis
African Metropolis

African Metropolis
An exciting journey across six African countries in six short films, highlighting the issues facing peoples seemingly worlds apart, yet with so much in common.

  • Oct 18, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 6:15 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

August Winds
August Winds

August Winds
A sensual teen romance unfurls in a remote Brazilian village threatened by global warming in this haunting feature debut.

  • Oct 11, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Beti and Amare
Beti and Amare

Beti and Amare
In 1930s Ethiopia, a young woman escapes Mussolini’s army and is almost attacked by bandits, were it not for the arrival of an otherworldly presence whom she befriends.

  • Oct 18, 2014 3:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Dear White People
Dear White People

Dear White People
Channeling the early work of Spike Lee, this smart college campus comedy explores contemporary race issues in post-Obama America.

  • Oct 9, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 10, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Difret
Difret

Difret
A young Ethiopian woman faces the death penalty for killing the man who raped her until a brave lawyer decides to take on her case.

  • Oct 18, 2014 2:45 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 19, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Fishing Without Nets
Fishing Without Nets

Fishing Without Nets
Tense, muscular filmmaking that tells the gripping story of a young Somali fisherman reluctantly caught up in piracy.

  • Oct 14, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema
  • Oct 19, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Girlhood
Girlhood

Girlhood
Céline Sciamma’s triumphant third film is a beautifully observed examination of a young girl’s search for identity in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.

  • Oct 16, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 17, 2014 2:45 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 18, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema

Hard To Get
Hard To Get

Hard to Get
A compact, highly enjoyable and kinetic action thriller unfurls at breakneck speed in downtown Johannesburg.

  • Oct 15, 2014 6:15 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 17, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Honeytrap
Honeytrap

Honeytrap
A Brixton-set drama about 15-year-old girl whose desperate need for acceptance leads her to take part in a tragic act of violence.

  • Oct 17, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 18, 2014 3:15 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams
Filmed over five years, Steve James’s classic documentary epic charts the fortunes of two boys hoping to make it as basketball stars.

  • Oct 17, 2014 8:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Horse Money
Horse Money

Horse Money
Pedro Costa follows his Colossal Youth with a further showcase for Cape Verdean worker hero, Ventura – a haunting, poetic exploration of the night and Portuguese history.

  • Oct 16, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 18, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema

I, Afrikaner
I, Afrikaner

I, Afrikaner
A fascinating account of the life of a family of Afrikaaners who are attempting to cope with the dramatic changes that have taken place in their country over the last 20 years.

  • Oct 12, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 14, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Keep On Keepin' On
Keep On Keepin’ On

Keep On Keepin’ On
Music bridges the generation gap in this poignant documentary about the friendship between two jazz musicians.

  • Oct 8, 2014 8:45 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT1
  • Oct 9, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 10, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

My Friend Victoria
My Friend Victoria

My Friend Victoria
Adapted from Doris Lessing, Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s haunting drama explores race, class and identity in the story of two young, black Parisian women and their different destinies.

  • Oct 10, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema
  • Oct 12, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 1:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Nas: Time Is Illmatic
Nas: Time Is Illmatic

Nas: Time is Illmatic
An absorbing and stylish documentary of one of hip hops’ defining albums.

  • Oct 9, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1

National Diploma
National Diploma

National Diploma
An account of life for young students in the Democratic Republic of Congo who face challenges beyond the curriculum.

  • Oct 11, 2014 8:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 15, 2014 1:00 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Second Coming
Second Coming

Second Coming
A family is shaken by an unexplained pregnancy in Debbie Tucker Green’s bold debut.

  • Oct 17, 2014 9:15 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 1
  • Oct 18, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 3:30 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Song From The Forest
Song From The Forest

Song From the Forest
An American musicologist’s life among the Bayaka pygmies is portrayed in this haunting documentary.

  • Oct 12, 2014 6:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT3
  • Oct 17, 2014 3:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Sunday Ball
Sunday Ball

Sunday Ball
Campo de jogo
The land of football, Brazil, and the love of this national sport is the subject of this passionate documentary, looking at the role it plays in the lives of ordinary Brazilians.

  • Oct 11, 2014 6:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 12, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Timbuktu
Timbuktu

Timbuktu
In Abderrahmane Sissako’s stunning new film, residents of a Mali town struggle to cope with the imposition of Sharia Law by radical Islamist invaders.

  • Oct 10, 2014 9:15 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

We Come As Friends
We Come As Friends

We Come as Friends
South Sudan is the focus of acclaimed filmmaker Hubert Sauper, as he uncovers the avarice in the fight over the country’s rich natural resources

  • Oct 16, 2014 8:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 18, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

 


 Other Films of Interest


Charlie’s Country

Charlie's Country
Charlie’s Country

Veteran actor David Gulpili both co-wrote and stars in this powerful indictment of Australia’s treatment of Aborigines that is also a heartfelt character study.

  • Oct 9, 2014 9:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT1
  • Oct 11, 2014 3:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 1

The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands
The Dead Lands

The old world, myths and legends of ancient Māori tribes are explored in this exciting and exotic, action-packed coming-of-age adventure.

  • Oct 9, 2014 8:30 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1
  • Oct 11, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Flow

Flow
Flow

A portrait of raw creativity and the bruising challenges of success on the fringes of the Danish rap scene, starring Danish rapper Gilli.

  • Oct 18, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

The Keeping Room

The Keeping Room
The Keeping Room

On the American frontier a young woman is forced to go to any means to defend her kin from the ravages of the barbaric outside world.

  • Oct 12, 2014 8:30 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 14, 2014 3:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 15, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Night Bus

Night Bus
Night Bus

A series of funny, touching and surprising encounters take place one night among the diverse passengers of a London night bus.

  • Oct 12, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 18, 2014 8:45 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Ping Pong Summer

Ping Pong Summer
Ping Pong Summer

Like a time capsule straight outta 1985, Hip Hop has arrived and 13-year old Rad Miracle is about to have the summer holiday that will change everything!

  • Oct 15, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
  • Oct 17, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1

Tokyo Tribe

Tokyo Tribe
Tokyo Tribe

Sion Sono is here to blow your mind again, this time with an ingenious hybrid of Yakuza gang action and hip-hop musical!

  • Oct 9, 2014 9:00 PM ~  Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

War Book

War book
War book

A tense British political drama about a secret nuclear protocol from the 50s that’s put through its paces in the back rooms of Parliament to test real-world scenarios.

  • Oct 13, 2014 6:00 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 18, 2014 12:15 PM ~ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1

Tickets go on sale from Thursday 18 September.
(Priority booking opens at 10am for Cinema Members on 11 September and for Champion Members on 10 September.)

LFF 2014 Digital Brochure.

FILM THIS WEEK: Friday 30th May 2014

Ratings: ★ ✩ ✮ ✯ ✰ ☆

Friday 30th May 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (3D) (12A)


‘Edge of Tomorrow’ unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.
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Scene after scene is repeated, but don’t think too hard, and enjoy as Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt) unravel the clues in attempt, after attempt, after attempt to beat their enemy. It has: alien fighting, a hint of romance, Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham, scenes in London and France, and a wicked touch of humour running through it.

Lt. Col. Bill Cage
Lt. Col. Bill Cage


LIVE. DIE. REPEAT.


The film is based on, ‘All You Need Is Kill’, a novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Cage changes from smooth PR man to fearful, naïve rookie soldier, to hardened fighting man. I queried why a few things didn’t add up, and had the word ‘paradox’ thrown at me. I’ve taken this to mean, “It’s good enough to get away with it”, and it is! As I said, don’t think too hard, just enjoy and watch as Cage dies over and over again. I left, smiling and slightly revved! 😉  Rated: 4½ –  ✩ ✯ ✰☆½

Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Lara Pulver, Jeremy Piven, Charlotte Riley

 

A Million Ways To Die In The West (15)


After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love.  But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.


Million ways 1If you like a spoof-ish, slapstick, kinda movie, then this is the one for you.  I don’t! The jokes were cheap, and silly. Some were worthy of a laugh, and I did laugh, but most of the time, in between my yawns, I was thinking, ‘Really?’ One particular scenes sticks in my mind, a man gets rammed and carried off on the horns of a bull – I looked to my left, I looked to my right, and then I laughed, a laugh of, ‘What the hell is this?’

Still, I’m sure it’s just my particular proclivities to dislike easy jokes and cheap shots – most of the rest of the audience were laughing, laughing at every joke!

I admit to being a bit slow sometimes, and it didn’t click until the next day that the lead actor (also Director, Producer, and co-writer) was the very same Seth MacFarlane who presented the 2013 Oscars… and the jokes haven’t got much better! I’ve knocked off half a point for the slave joke! Rated: 1½ –  ✮½

Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris

 

Other films this week:  Friday 30 May 2014

•    For No Good Reason (showing in London only) Johnny Depp explores, through interviews, the stories and images, the art and life, of British artist, Ralph Steadman. Director: Charlie Paul. Starring: Ralph Steadman, Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Ralph Steadman
Johnny Depp and Ralph Steadman

for no good reason2

•    Downhill (15) – Four old friends, 192 miles, what could possibly go wrong? Director: James Rouse. Starring: Richard Lumsden, Karl Theobald, Ned Dennehy, Jeremy Swift
•    Jimmy’s Hall (12A) – Period-drama set in 1921 telling the true story of political activist Jimmy Gralton who was deported from Ireland after building a dance hall on a rural crossroad, where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream… but above all to dance and have fun. Director: Ken Loach. Starring: Barry Ward, Simone Kirby, Andrew Scott

Jimmy's Hall
Jimmy’s Hall

•    Mariachi Gringo – A stifled, small-town man stuck in a dead end life, runs away to Mexico to be a mariachi singer. Director: Tom Gustafson. Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Martha Higareda, Lila Downs
•    Mr. Jones – Mr. Jones is ‘Cabin in the Woods’ meets ‘Jacobs Ladder’; a terrifying nightmare that’s so real, even daylight brings no relief. Director: Karl Meuller. Starring: Jon Foster, Sarah Jones
•    Omar (15) – A sensitive young baker who is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets when he daily crosses the separation wall to visit Nadia, his secret love. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. To prove himself to Nadia’s family, Omar becomes a freedom fighter and must soon face painful choices about life and manhood. Director: Hany Abu-Assad. Starring: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Iyad Hoorani, Samer Bisharat

Jammie x