Friday 29 September 2017

Let's talk Annihilation

I don't usually post about trailer releases BUT this particular one had my attention. Annihilation is the latest science fiction tinted film with Natalie Portman starring. Alex Garland, writer and director of Ex-Machina (a film I disliked because of the disappointing ending) is once again writing and director this adaptation of the novel by Jeff VanderMeer.

Annihilation is the first part of The Southern Reach trilogy, a science fiction story edged in conspiracy. The story is about an expedition into the strange Area X, an area of land that has mysteriously been cut off from the mainland/area. The group that makes its way across the border to investigate is not the first. All previous expeditions have ended in various unfortunate and unexplained sometimes violent ways. Annihilation is narrated by a member of the 12th expedition, known as the Biologist whose husband was on the previous expedition and returned changed.

I won't go any further into detail as the book is brilliant and needs to be read, especially as the film (as always) seems to taking some liberties.

The film sees the Biologist, who is given a name, even though, one of the great things about the book is that all the characters aren't named but are called by their profession. There is also 4 people on the expedition but there seems to be 5 people treking through Area X... I'm already thinking something isn't right. The scenes where Natalie Portman, playing the Biologist, is in a room being talked to by people in hasmat suits is actually from the second book in the trilogy and again, this seems a shame to merge bits together, but I could be here all day.

The positives to take away from the trailer is that it look incredible, the barrier is amazing into Area X and the cast look great. I'm really excited to see Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriquez, Tessa Thompson and especially Tuva Novotny (she's from Crimes of Passion) on screen. And I always happy to see Oscar Issac. All excellent casting choices.

I am skeptical as this book was something so brilliantly intricate that I couldn't see it as a film and more importantly it didn't need to be a film, but at the same time I'd like to see what Garland does as I like his previous writing just not his first film.

If you haven't seen the trailer - take a look HERE.


Thursday 28 September 2017

TMP Television Edition: Family

Tried to find some great decent shows about family but just ended up with tons of shitty sitcoms like 'My Family' which was just awful. So, turned to violent, mad and strange families, plus the Bluths.

Arrested Development
The Bluths have had a interesting time on screen, having been the ultimate dysfunctional wealthy family gone poor-ish and each character has their quirks but doesn't feel forced. AD was a cult hit, praised by critics and the faithful followers as well as award winning but became 'popular' too late as the show was cancelled after quite few hilarious cliffhangers. The show was then saved by Netflix to bring a newly structured show that was funny but not quite like the good old days. The show was know for its quotes, chicken dances, bizarre family spirit and jokes that paid off sometimes a few episodes later, but most of all its the original styled comedy. With AD we wouldn't have shows like Modern Family for instance. AD is waaaay better.

Back in 2000, my family used to watch VHS tapes and record onto them when we didn't want to miss a programme. We loved all the period dramas, sci-fi films, adaptations and weird children's shows. When Gormenghast, a four part mini series, adapting the first two books of the same named trilogy by Mervyn Peake were to be on TV, my mum and aunty (long time fans of the author and books) were super excited. I too became obsessed with the story and characters. Gormenghast is the name of a large castle, think the size of a small city, where everyone functions within it. The Groan family are like royalty and everyone else is a servant of some sort. When Titus Groan is born, is destined to be the 77th Earl of Groan, but as he grows older he seeks more than what is inside the vast castle. As the same time a kitchen boy runaway, Steerpike, climbs the social ladder through any means necessary, whether its arson, seduction, lies or murder. The story is like nothing else.

The Borgias
 Named 'the original crime family' they certainly have a reputation. I stuck with thie bloody Italian Vatican political slash historical drama with a mixed bag cast of stablished British actors, Jeremy Irons taking the centre role, with new British talent (not well known-ish), Canadians and Europeans. When Rodrigo Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI, his family, become infamous characters in history for their crimes, violence and extravgance. I watched the first two seasons and thought it was cancelled, had no idea there was a third season as well as fan petition to bring it back!

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Sunday 24 September 2017

Check the Gate: Boogie Nights

“When I close my eyes, I see this thing, a sign, I see this name in bright blue neon lights with a purple outline. And this name is so bright and so sharp that the sign - it just blows up because the name is so powerful... It says, "Dirk Diggler."Eddie Adams, Boogie Nights, 1997

This weekend was all about love for 35mm with a series of films being shown on film at the Prince Charles Cinema in association with Park Circus. I was lucky enough to intro the film for the screening and safe to say I was very nervous throughout the short films that featured HAIM called 'Valentine' that Paul Thomas Anderson shot last year. I spoke for a few minutes then darted back to my seat to enjoy the movie on the big screen, a first time for me.

Known as the movie about the Golden Age of Porn, 1970s to 1980s, and about the infamous ‘Dirk Diggler’ who had a very special member, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Night celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Anderson’s second feature film stared out as a short mockumentary film, ‘The Dirk Digger Story’ about the rise and fall of a well-endowed porn star. The character was based on real porn star John Holmes. Anderson then expanded his story about his ‘hero’ into Boogie Nights, which follows the same story with Mark Wahlberg as the star, and follows other characters in the porn industry as well and seeing how they cope with the arrival of VHS tape, lower quality pictures, personal tragedies, joys and relationships with each other.

There may be cast of colourful characters but there is only one Dirk Diggler. Played by Mark Wahlberg, with just a few roles under his belt, excluding his Marky Mark days of fame, Wahlberg made Eddie Adams AKA Diggler his own creation. Diggler seems more than happy to take on any challenge and, like most big decisions made by anyone in the film, is unembellished in his delivery. Enthusiastic about his new lifestyle, keen to share his ideas, he’s always ready to show his hidden talent at the drop of a hat and he makes friends easily, but then again, so does everyone else in his new ‘porn family’. Diggler was meant to be a porn star.

Focusing on an industry that is known more for its negative aspects, the film plays upon the location and era in which it is set. Critics have praised the film for showing an accurate representation of the 70s and early 80s, with its attention to details in music, clothing and behaviour, presenting the world that the characters live in, creating its sunny Californian disposition with a side of seediness. Playing upon the lighter side of events, the pool parties, days on the set, nights out disco dancing in the Reseda night club, makes everything these characters do oh so glamourous, but the darkness closes in scene by scene. A partygoer over doses on cocaine and is dealt with in matter of fact way that feels uncomfortable as it is painfully obvious that this happens all the time. Julianne Moore’s Amber Waves making tearful phone calls to her son who she never gets to see. Burt Reynold’s Jack Horner’s disillusion with the way his industry is heading and the yearning he has to make a ‘real’ film. Characters start spiraling out of control until they can’t take this situation anymore isn’t only reflected in the main cast. Supporting characters illustrate the change of the times and non more poignant that literal trigger point to the everyone’s downfalls, personal and professional is the murder suicide of William H Macy’s Little Bill and his openly cheating wife. The happier moments when the whole gang is on set making a movie, isn’t juxtaposed with darker moments, the rise and fall isn’t just Dirk’s journey but everyone he works with. Not quite book ending the film, the scenes of filmmaking in production, the action porn film development and the end scene at Horner’s house gives hope and a sense of a community repairing itself again. 

From the moment ‘just a face in the crowd’ dishwasher Eddie not yet Dirk’s eye meets director Jack Horner’s across the smoky sweaty room, everything slows down. This isn’t really love at first sight, its most certainly lust, but the two go hand in hand throughout the film. That spark between actor and director is what sets everything in motion and its there that the audience is taken for a ride they won’t forget. No pun intended. 

Friday 22 September 2017

Time to Check the Gate

Last year I was lucky enough to get to the very popular screening of Thelma and Louise which was presented by The Bechdel Test Fest and was unfortunately in the audience during the ordeal at the end. Despite the drama the screening was hugely enjoyable. I also went to a screening of Single White Female which I had never seen before. It was presented by The Final Girls, my first intro to the world of feminism and horror together. Also, a fantastic screening complete with mask and zine to keep as a take away. Both screenings were part of Check the Gate, a screening season from Prince Charles Cinema and Park Circus, celebrating films presented on 35mm prints. I'm happy to say that I am lucky enough to part of the season this year, with contributions to The Killing and Boogie Nights screenings in small ways. The programme this year is intriguing with a different variety of films with no set link.

If you're in London this weekend, I'd suggest to check it out, if not just to sit in the PCC and saok up that film feeling. Check the Gate dates and times HERE.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Get Thee To A Film Festival!

Last year I wrote a couple of posts for My First Job In Film as they were launching their new blog/website. As well as a review of my favourite film of last year 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople', I also wrote a piece on why it is important to go to flm festivals as the audiences at fetsivals, I've noticed, aren't the new eager filmmakers of tomorrow but the veterans and the film enthusiasts. The post was meant to encourage those faltering film students into making the extra effort to go. As students get the best discount when it comes to BFI LFF I cannot recommend it more! of course if you are not a student but love films, I would still say 'get thee to a film festival!'

You can read the whole post HERE as well enjoy a few other related posts from others.

Friday 15 September 2017

Janeane Garofalo Is My Idol

Do you ever look back at an era and think 'ah man, I wish I was there now'? If not, this may be a tad too nostalgic for your tastes but if you are a Janeane Garofalo fan, you may still enjoy it yet.

As I get older, I not only start to realise my age even more, but I'm starting miss things and remember, not necessarily the good old days, but the days of only four channels on the TV, computers being the size of a small car, having a stereo was damn cool and flat screens, let alone mobile phones, weren't a thing and gameboys were still around. I used to read, quite alot and make things with plasticine. TV and movies were a big thing and when you wanted to watch something you had to rewind the VHS tape back to the start so you watch it all over again. The 90s were a fascinating time, but there is a part of me that wishes I could have been a teenager or in my 20s during 90s so I could have appreciated things more. There are things that make me think that the late 90s and 2000s were 'my time' but my teens were mainly in the 2000s which feels too close. I find myself being nostaligic for an era I didn't quite experience.

In the last year, the 90s have been making a bit of a comeback, especially in fashion. Films made in the 90s are getting the 'remake' or 'rehash' treatment. Cashing in on those who loved the previous films and hoping a new audience will understand it. But before I go off on a rant (and I will), I'll get to the point of my post. When I think of the 90s, I think of action movies that seemed amazing back when first released and now seen in the cold light of the present seem brilliantly terrible, maybe even in the realm of 'so bad its good', these are movies I still think are good on a case by case basis and of course they made me think of when I first saw them. Certain actors and directors also spring to mind as well as Jane Austin adaptations, John Cusack, Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Geena Davis, Kevin Costner, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder and of course Janeane Garofalo. Rooted in comedy, in particular stand up, Garofalo, not only has a pretty cool name, and is a writer, she's also a funny lady. 

For me, she is the 90s, even if the film is not set in the then present day. From off the wall cult hits (Wet Hot American Summer) to thrillers (Wonderland - I know was 2003 but still) to small but important parts (200 Cigarettes) to animated heros (Titan AE), she's been there, lending her wit and attitude. 

I read about Reality Bites (1994) in Femme Fatles film zine (an excellent zine from Australia) and saw a photo of
Garofalo looking like how I was dressed that day - uncanny and she also seemed to dress in a similar way to me too. I had heard about the film but I had steered clear as it was Ben Stiller's film, not a fan of his. Garofalo plays Vicky who sleeps with lots of guys and is the manager of a GAP. She is the voice of reason and excellent lines and dressed like the 90s embodied and I loved this. But this was not my intro to the world of Garofalo.

Now and Then was a favourite of mine when I was a pre teen, which is just like the four friends in the video although I think they are teenagers... anyway, Garofalo is the local psychic and waitress as the local diner, she helps the girls find out how someone died using tarot cards. Insert emoji with hearts as eyes as I was obsessed with tarot cards when I was at school. The bizarre haircut that she pulled off coupled with her reputation as a tarot card reader was so cool, plus she always called people 'boys', whats not to love?

Heading into rom-com territory, The Truth about Cats and Dogs (1996) seems like any other of its genre. Abbey is a vet and radio host of an animal help show, she speaks to Brian, a photographer who needs help with a dog on his shoot and he eventually asks her out. She panics tells him he looks like her model neighbour Noelle, and bails on their date. But Brian is keen. In the end Abbey enlists Noelle hep to pretend to be here but it all goes a bit wrong when Noelle starts to like Brian too. So far so rom-com, but the story is really about these two women becoming friends and turning their lives around. Noelle to have more confidence is being without a boyfriend and taking on new challenges, Abbey to take a risk and go after Brian. Ok, that all still sounds rom-com.

In 1997 one of the greatest movies ever was released and it celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion was and will always be amazing. Its the film so good that my friend and I watched it back to back one evening. We love it that much. As well as the dynamic post-it inventing duo is Heather Mooney, a creation so frickin hilarious, verbally violent and with such impeccable taste, its unreal. She is one of the greatest secondary characters and I admire her and her chain smoking habits so much I wrote a post about it HERE. When you think of Garofalo, you think Mooney saying 'I like your hat Clarence, pick up the pace!'. I once tried to dress up as her for a party once, I didn't quite pull it off but the spirit was there.

Garofalo also dabbled in comic book adaptations when she was The Bowler in the terrible Mystery Men. I really did not like that film but she was still awesome with her tacky green hair strands.

I have recently realised that I haven't seen Clay Pigeons (1998) which is a huge over sight for me as the film not only stars Garofalo as a detective trying to solve a series of murder, but it has Joaquin Phoenix as the guy set up to take the fall. Never fear, I have located a copy to watch.

In comclusion Janeane Garofalo is my one of my idols and don't seem to be the only who thinks she's great. Check out this article HERE.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Financial World

The Other Guys
Funnier than I thought it was going to be mostly because of Mark Wahlberg who needs to do more comedy (not more Daddy's Home crap though). Hot head detective Hoitz is paired with mild mannered Detective Gamble (a below average performance from Will Ferrell) are odd pair who end up taking on a case that leads to a conspiracy after checking up on a lapsed permit.

Working Girl
I love this film. I didn't know how much I loved this until I saw it on the big screen on International Women's Day this year. This film fits into the theme as Tess works as a stockbroker's secretary then for a financial executive. She also knows what she's talking about when it comes to finances and gets to do her triumphant elevator pitch to a client. 

Money Monster
George Clooney is financial expert/TV personality who advises people what to do with their money. But when some advice leads to many people losing money, one of these guys hijacks the live show, making Clooney's character wear an explosive jacket as the intruder demands answers. A conspiracy thriller about what big companies do to screw over 'the little guy'. It was ok but the massive twists and turns this film took was a bit far fetched.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Film Festival Watch List

Usually I would I have been bouncing off the walls with excitement with the ticket release for BFI London Film Festival but as the release day was on my birthday I was a little preoccupied after the stressful half hour of trying to log back into the webiste and paying for the precious tickets.

As soon as the programme was released, lists starting appearing so I won't say what the picks of the festival are, instead I will talk about what I went for.


From Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam, a thriller about racing driver Bibi and 'jailbird' Gigi who fall in love but Gigi's secrets about where and how he makes his money may bring the relationship crashing down. Very excited to see Matthias Schoenaerts back on the screen!


Adapted from Neil Gaiman's short story of the same name, this sci-fi com-rom about a teen punk and his friends who accidentally crash a party full of super cool aliens, looks to be exactly that, super cool, with a cast to match. 


Set on the island of Jersey, 'damaged souls' Moll and Pascal meet at a party and fall in love, while a series of murders haunts the island, ensuing a witch hunt for the killer. A slow burner from the UK caught my eye as I'd heard its name mentioned at work, plus the story is intriguing. 


An unstable woman, Ingrid, played by Aubrey Plaza, decides to go to California after becoming obsessed with an 'Instagram personality'. Described as a stalker comedy or as BFI said 'Social Media White Female', which from the trailer seems spot on! I have been waiting for ages to see this film.


This is a film I knew little about except that it is the latest film from Francois Ozon. Set up as a psychological thriller with names such as Hitchcock and De Palma mentioned, it looks to be (from the trailer) another twisted tale. 


Another film I knew little about but the short synopsis for this Norwegian story about a family loss and an impromptu road trip with an alternative flare caught my attention. 


After the death of their father, Alice comes home to the family farm after 15 years away, while her brother Joe had been caring for their father and working on the farm. There is tension and anger between the siblings, especially when she claims tenancy.

A six year old girl is accused of being a witch and is outcast from her village, she is then forced to stay with a travelling 'witch camp' or she will be turned into a goat. The title caught my eye as well as the premise exploring attitudes towards women.


Lynne Ramsey directing a noir like thriller with Joaquin Phoenix starring? Of course I am shaping my entire festival around me seeing this film.

#LFF #BFI #FilmFestival

Thursday 7 September 2017

Thursday Movie Pick: Animated Films Geared Towards Adults

Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of her autobiographical graphic novels was something I had never seen before back in 2007. Studying Film Studies at college, I tried to watch as many different genres of film as possible. I saw this film at the Chichester Film Festival which was screened in a little old church hall turned screening room. It was a drafty uncomfortable place but the film make everything sink away. The film's animation is as if the pages of the books were projected on screen. A fantastic story and brilliantly made in black anh white, the film is a rare sad joy.

Waltz with Bashir
 Still trying to understand Ari Folman's The Congress, his animated documentary was also something I had never seen before. An original creative and no less devastating way of showing a harrowing story on the big screen, especially the hard hitting end sequence as animation blends into real footage from the Lebanon War.
The Triplets of Belleville 
 I think I've used this film before and I wrote about it for my Blind Spot last year. The animation is both repulsive and intricately brilliant at the same time. With no dialogue or words spoken (apart from a song) everything is through expression, sound and movement. A story about a woman who travels from France to New York to rescue her cyclist grandson is, yes, I'm saying it again, a rare bizarre beauty. 

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

Intelligent Trash

#SoBadItsGood #GuiltyPleasures #TrashyMovies #IntelligentTrash

Saturday 2 September 2017

Edinburgh Film Festival: Final Portrait

With the release of Stanley Tucci's directorial debut feature film, Final Portrait, (last month) this seemed a perfect time to share my thoughts on the last film I saw at Edinburgh Film Festival back in June.

The setting for the screening was the perfect send off for me, sitting in the grand looking Festival Theatre audortorium on a very uncomfortable chair, eating a theatre ice cream and wondering where to put my coffee. A film about an artist's final portrait seemed fitting somehow.

Tucci himself introduced the film with affection and gusto to an audience who sounded as if they had just come from his masterclass special, cheering and clapping for a good 2 minutes. I wasn't sure what to expect, apart seeing Armie Hammer on screen again. Free Fire felt like a lifetime ago.

The art critic James Lord was Paris and had met the artist, Alberto Giacometti, and had been asked to be the subject of his next portrait. Lord had to repeatedly cancel and push back his return flight to US, while putting up with Giacometti's behaviour and his intrusive relationship with a prostitute, while he waited for the artist to finish his work. The film ends rather abruptly, with the portrait completed (although looked unfinished to me), Lord returning to the US and Giacometti dies not long after the completion.

The story was a simple one, about a painting, that should have taken an afternoon but in fact took weeks to complete. It's an interesting look into how an artist works and how these two men's relationship functioned. Alberto it seems would always want to meet up with Lord, for drinks, or dinner or a drive, he seemed like he wanted a friend to distract him. Alberto, like any artist, had an incredible studio, full of sculptures, finished, unfinished, with only a few bits and pieces of evidance that he was painting. As well as fascinating, it was also frustrating to watch a montage of the artist constantly repainting over the nose and face. The frustration from Lord leaks out of the screen. But the desire to see other parts of the artist's life is teased and the audience is given more of an insight into Lord'd daily routine in Paris.

An interesting story of the art world and an artist in the 60s, maybe not something for the big screen but a story to seen in a smaller, personal space.

Friday 1 September 2017

TMP Television Edition: High School

Still trying to catch up! Getting there! This week, going all British but I won't be including Grange Hill.

Some Girls

Starting with the more recent, a show about four 16 year old friends in secondary school in South London wouldn't seem like a winner but it's very amusing, especially as knew these characters while at school. It's all about their lives, loves, parties, boys and thinking about the future. Funnier than I thought it would be. There are three series but I only caught the first. So much TV!


I was obsessed with this show back in school which is odd seeing as its about a school. Mainly about the useless, terrible teachers that didn't do much except try to get out of teaching and get drunk at the pub but at the same time was very entertaining. I also had a weird crush on Brian the dim but sweet PE teacher which is odd seeing as I loathes PE. I also appreciated the Kurt and Brian duo who acted like an old married couple. The show also had inventive ways of showing what day it was, with 'Tuesday' appearing on someone's top, or 'Thursday' made out of drool. Loved series 2 & 3, but 4 lacked the great cast and went a little too off the wall. 

Bad Education

This was another surprisingly funny show with Jack Whitehall as the hapless History teacher (I think) with a class of amazing stereotypes that were also diverse as hell! Matthew Horne was the fantastically over the top headmaster, one to rival the dean in Community. Great series but why oh why did a film need to follow? 

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at