Friday, 28 September 2012

She's Electric! [Tears Of Steel]

The latest short film from the Blender Foundation, Tears Of Steel. It's not as emotionally affecting as last year's movie Sintel but (sob) what is? (sob) I like the plot: I like eccentricity and unnecessary-but-cool, you can never have too many evil roboticists or armies of killer robots, and the Amsterdam setting is a nice touch too.

Technically I was blown away: this live-action/CG is a world away from Sintel and shows that Blender has evolved from an animation tool into a filmmaking tool. And there's more: I understand this film was produced from start to finish using only open source software.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Six Of The Best [Music Videos]

A selection of music videos from the indie film scene, mostly seen at short film nights: great opportunities to meet other filmmakers or artists and share war stories. I've mentioned one or two of these films before but I thought it would be good to bring them all together. So make yourself some popcorn and enjoy your own music video festival...

A fantasy antidote to a busy life: "Lazy" Juliet Russell, directed by Ayala Sharot (spotted at Rotoreliefs)

An intergalactic love story: "Cold Caller Love" Me & The Neck, directed by James Spinney (spotted at Kino London)

"Ivan" Leika Mochán, directed by Carlotta Cardana & Marcos Villaseñor (spotted at Kino London and everywhere)

"Young People Love Noise" Lazarus directed by Angelo Calarco (spotted at Kino London)

"Lover" Bandish Projekt Feat. Shaa'ir directed by Geoffrey Gilson

And finally a heart-broken robot tries to escape the clutches of his moonshine-making hillbilly captor: "Purity Of Heart" Pearson directed by James Scott (spotted at Moviebar)

Monday, 17 September 2012

When Danny Met Jenny?

I previously posted about Jenny Ringo And The Monkey's Paw, a short film by Chris Regan competing for Shooting People Film Of The Month. The competition is hotting up and there are only two days left in the first round. If you haven't already done so please check it out and sing along to the musical number... then, if you're a Shooting Person, and you agree with me that Jenny Ringo deserves a date with final round judge Danny Boyle, please give them your stars and let's get them into the top five. what is this, not just folklore... it's a magic monkey's wishing paw... so wish your wishes well... with the primate's paw from hell...

...sorry, carried away there. Anyway, if you're not a Shooting Person but you love the film please watch it and comment, this may also help as there are wildcard places in the next round too.

Monday, 10 September 2012

I Have Had It With These Motherf****** Dinosaurs On This Motherf****** Spaceship! [Review: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship]

Thpoiler Alert.

This week the Doctor rounds up a posse made up of Queen Nefertiti, Amy and Rory, Rory's Dad and an Edwardian game hunter, brings them aboard a spaceship populated by dinosaurs and heading straight for Earth, hoping to divert it before the Indian Space Agency blows it sky high and makes dinosaurs extinct.

Riann Steele as Queen Nefertiti

This episode is light and frothy: I'd go further and say the comedy seems to be the main point, since the plot is so simple. There's Matt Smith's clowning, Rory's Dad who turns out to be a little eccentric, plus some very funny moments with the two throwaway historical figures (surely spin-off material?) a tame stegosaurus, Robert Webb and David Mitchell in fine form as two bickering robots, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Iron Sky. It's all very entertaining - perhaps a bit too entertaining, almost like watching Red Dwarf or a sketch show rather than a drama. There's not much substance, and I feel I'm still waiting for the Moffatt scriptwriting genius of yore to kick in.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

When The Tripods Came [London 2012]

The Paralympic Closing Ceremony tonight brings to an end a summer of inspiring sport and spectacle. I expected to enjoy the Olympics and Paralympics but I've been amazed by how much I've been drawn into the drama of it all, whether watching live athletics at the Olympic Park or following on TV or Internet.
The Olympic Stadium with its vast walls and pyramid structures reminded me of the Tripods' City.
That City was built over a river, providing a source of water for the Masters within, but also an escape route, and later an attack route for the rebels.
The Orbit could be a Tripod patrolling the countryside.
The last thing you might see before being Capped.
At sporting festivals throughout the occupied Earth, the best athletes would be carried away by the Tripods to serve the Masters either in person, or in the mines and factories of the City, their strength needed to cope with the City's artificially high gravity.
The City's power source and it's only vulnerability, the mysterious Pool of Fire.

[Pictures: Sci-Fi Gene]

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

“We Can Get You Some Really Cheap Gear” Screening: A Voyage Through Animation

On September 16th “We Can Get You Some Really Cheap Gear” joins a diverse line-up of animated films at Whirlygig’s A Voyage Through Animation, at the Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick. This night is part of the Scala Beyond programme of film events around the country, and looks to be an exciting screening with many of the films re-scored to live music.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Doctor Is In [Review: Asylum Of The Daleks]

It turns out the Daleks have socialised medicine and a surprisingly progressive attitude towards mental health issues. Who knew? However "Asylum Of The Daleks" the Doctor Who series opener never makes it quite clear whether their secret Asylum is a state-run NHS or a Medicaid-style insurance programme. Perhaps there's hope for them yet.

Thpoilerth follow.

The Doctor, Rory and Amy are captured and delivered to a Dalek spaceship where the Dalek "Prime Minister" sends them on a mission to an entire planet of captive, insane Daleks. Insanity is best viewed as a relative term in Doctor Who.

This episode promised to bring together all the Dalek designs from all the different Doctor Who eras. However the show is a victim of it's own super-high production values. Thanks to the brilliant atmospheric lighting, and the equally brilliant set and model work, the decaying and malfunctioning Daleks in the Asylum are as menacing as ever but you never get a clear view. Also these daleks did not appear at all.

I did spot a Special Weapons Dalek at 24m 58s though, which is some small consolation.

More interesting was the nanofield - a new way for Daleks to control or enslave humans, which also creates a crisis for the trio when their protection against the field is lost. There's a twist in the tale which I won't thpoil for you but I guessed fairly quickly as it reminded me of a situation in a Duncan Jones movie.

This episode is good but not earth-shatteringly brilliant. It doesn't need to be. It's the series opener written by Steven Moffatt and no doubt it's real purpose is to set up plot arcs, surprises and themes for the episodes to come. I would be very surprised if the nanofield doesn't re-emerge at some point, it's a fantastic plot device. The episode introduced some interesting characters, including the Dalek Prime Minister O_o and a character played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, who will be joining the series to play the Doctor's travelling companion in a few months.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

When You Wish Upon A Paw

Jenny Ringo And The Monkey's Paw

Written and directed by Chris Regan, one of the nice people from Brighton Moviebar, this short film about a young witch, an unwise flatmate and a magic monkey's paw is 25 minutes of pure Jeff Awesome-ness. Jenny Ringo is a contestant for Shooting People's Film Of The Month and needs your vote - if you like it please give it your stars.

Jenny Ringo is also the first in a planned series - if you like, you can find out more on the film's website and sign up for the mailing list. What more could you (very carefully) wish for?