Archive for June, 2009

UK New Film Releases Week 23: 5 June – 11 June 2009

June 13, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 35 [18% of total film releases]
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 196
  • The UK  film release schedule for the week commencing 5 June 2009 is:

    • Accident (UK) Reissue
    • Anything For Her (FR)
    • The Hide (Marek Losey, 2008, UK) #32 British release 2009
    • Last Chance Harvey (Joel Hopkins, 2008, UK/USA) #33 British release 2009
    • Max Manus: Man Of War (NOR/GER/DEN)
    • Shadows In The Sun (David Rocksavage, 2008, UK) #34 British release 2009
    • Sugar (USA)
    • This Sporting Life (UK) Reissue
    • Summer Scars (Julian Richards, 2007, UK) 6 June #35 Britsih release 2009
    • Spartacus (USA) Reissue 9 June

    Suddenly we can live the 1960s given the flood of reissues this week. The pick of the trio for me would be This Sporting Life because of its locale resonance. The novelist and screenwriter is David Storey who was born in Wakefield, my home patch, and the film’s depiction of West Yorkshire rugby league is part of my cultural DNA. Four new British releases this week, but only one on in Leicester – the official American co-production, Last Chance Harvey. Its transatlanticism may well appeal more to the US than the UK, but who is the audience for a romcom starring Dustin Hoffman (aged 71) and Emma Thompson (aged 50)?

    last_chance_harvey

    The Hide and Summer Scars are featuring in the ‘New British Cinema’ season at the ICA in London. The selling point is to promote little seen British films from talented newcomers, but most British films have limited access, and lack of exposure is no guarantee that there is hidden talent, but let’s hope so. I remember catching a little bit of The Hide when it was shown on Film4 last year, and it looked very promising and I wished I had managed to see it from the beginning. With wonderful serendipity, it is a debut film by Marek Losey, who is the grandson of Joseph Losey whose film Accident is reissued this week. It is an atmospheric two-hander set in a Suffolk bird hide.

    hide

    Summer Scars also looks worth seeing for its dramatization of an incident from the director’s childhood when playing war games in the woods. In our local park, one of our childhood favourites was to recreate the Zulu wars where we would take it in turns to sit in a ditch with wooden ‘rifle’ sticks or charge like crazy across the field with long plant stem ‘spears’ before dying acrobatically when prentending to be shot. Happy days?

    summer scars

    The other piece of serendipity arises with the release of Shadows In The Sun which stars Jean Simmons who also appeared in Sparticus (reissued this week), also set, like The Hide, in East Anglia, but it looks dull, dull, dull.

    Across the expanse of Britain, then, from the wild west Welsh woods, to the flatlands of the eastern marshes, with a diversion to London romcom land.

    shadows in the sun

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    UK New Film Releases Week 22: 29 May – 4 June 2009

    June 7, 2009
  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 31 [17% of total film releases]
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 186
  • The UK  film release schedule for the week commencing 29 May 2009 is:

    • Fermat’s Room (SP)
    • Fireflies In The Garden (USA)
    • Fugitive Pieces (CAN/GRE)
    • Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (USA)
    • Obsessed (USA)
    • Sleep Furiously (UK) Documentary
    • Terminator: Salvation (USA) 3 June
    A low-key week. Yes, the latest Hollywood blockbuster of the Terminator series, but not much else to get excited about, unless you like mathematics, Beyonce Knowles or the Jonas Brothers. I’m afraid I will not be seeing the fifth 3D UK release of 2009 as part of my side project to watch all the 3D films released this year. I don’t love the Jonas Brothers enough. In fact, I think my curiosity about how they might use the 3D technology is killed entirely.
    jonas_bros

    UK New Film Releases Week 21: 22 May – 28 May 2009

    June 7, 2009

    awaydays

  • New British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 31 [17% of total film releases]
  • Total Film Releases in the UK in 2009 – 179
  • The UK  film release schedule for the week commencing 22 May 2009 is:

    • Alice Neel (USA)
    • Awaydays (Pat Holden, 2008, UK) #30  British release 2009
    • Blind Loves (SLO)
    • Everlasting Moments (DEN/FIN/NOR/SWE/GER)
    • The Girl Cut In Two (FR)
    • Louise Bourgeois (USA)
    • Mark Of An Angel (FRA)
    • Objectified (USA)
    • Painters Painting (USA)
    • Pierrot Le Fou (FR) Reissue
    • Tormented (Jon Wright, 2008, UK) #31 British release 2009
    • 12 Rounds (USA) 27 May
    • Drag Me To Hell (USA) 27 May
    A very mixed bag of releases this week. A new Chabrol and Raimi, Godard reissue, arty films about painters and design, and two new British films – both on show in Leicester. Two very different takes on youth culture. Tormented attempts to bring the American high school slasher format to a British secondary school setting with hopes of attracting the Skins television audience into the cinema. More interestingly, Pat Holden’s Awaydays is set in 1979 and focuses on relationships within the football casuals subculture. Two potentially contrasting experiences, then at the fluffy generic and more socially autobiographical ends of the British cinema spectrum.
    tormented

    Cinema Shows Week 16: Monsters Vs Aliens 3D, 23rd April 2009, Odeon Freemans Park, Leicester

    June 6, 2009

    monsters_ticket

    • Number of 3D films watched in the cinema in 2009 – 3
    • Ticket Outlay on 3D films – £22.40

    A strange atmosphere at the Odeon – not many people around, tills roped off and had to get the ticket from the snacks counter. There was only one other person in the cinema to see Monsters vs Aliens, the third 3D release of the year. Perhaps we should have sat together. These big empty cinemas can make you feel lonely. Starting to build a nice collection of RealD 3D glasses. Maybe I should start recycling and bring an old pair rather than using a new one. That would be greener, but less good value for money. I don’t think Monsters vs Aliens is as funny as Bolt and it feels tipped more towards adults. It references 50s monster movies and simulates those SFX-laden superhero films that are so prominent at the moment. In terms of 3D, it has plenty of things flying out of the screen, but the best bits are when you get more static use of the space in front of the screen, such as when General Monger is hovering in his jet pack.

    gen_monger