European Union Film Festival 2015 returns to Thailand!
Join the crowd and watch European films from 10 July-9 August in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen.
This year there will be 18 films shown (16 featured films and two short films) from 14 EU Member States! All films are screened in their original languages with Thai and English subtitles.
Admission to all screenings is 120THB/seat in Bangkok, 80THB/seat in Chiang Mai and free of charge in Khon Kaen.
10-19 July @ SF World Cinema, CentralWorld
24 July-2 August @ SFX Cinema, MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center
7-9 August @ SF Cinema City, Central Plaza Khon Kaen
How to buy/get tickets
Tickets can be purchased at the cinemas’ Box Offices or on-line at www.sfcinemacity.com from 29 June 2015 onwards for the festival in Bangkok (120THB/seat) and from 13 July onwards for the festival in Chiang Mai (80THB/seat). For Khon Kaen, free tickets will be available from 30 minutes before screening at the Festival booth in front of the cinema (first come first serve, maximum two tickets per person per screening).
For the list of films, synopses, trailers, screening programmes in three provinces, please see: http://on.fb.me/1MYT2Sz
Best Film – Teacher’s Diary (Nithiwat Tharatorn)
OK, the writing or acting in this GTH rom-com won’t blow any minds, but we think it’s just about the best Thai film we watched last year. The premise of a guy falling in love with a girl by reading her diary could easily become bloated and bogged down by melodrama, which makes it even more impressive that director Nithiwat Tharathorn (of Seasons Change, the film that cemented GTH’s position as the best Thai film company for many) was able to craft such a well-rounded story. The film has comedy and warm, fuzzy drama in just the right balance, making it a joy—and a breeze—to watch. The beautiful cinematography, which takes full advantage of one of Thailand’s best-preserved natural environments, also deserves praise.
Best Leading Actress -Toei Jarinporn (Timeline)
The female lead in the sequel to 2004’s hit romance film The Letter, Toei is a veteran of Thailand’s film and TV industry, and she brings all that experience to the fore in portraying the lively and optimistic Mut. While Timeline’s script is average at best, Toei instills her character with life and vigor, stealing every scene she’s in. In fact, Toei’s performance is the best thing about the film, hands down.
Best Leading Actor – Ananda Everingham (Concrete Clouds)
Ananda had a quiet 2013, possibly due to the backlash he received from the supremely disappointing 2012 film Shambala. His acting chops, however, have never been in doubt, and he was back to kick ass in 2014’s Concrete Clouds. He fits the role of a foreign exchange student reluctantly called home perfectly, and his body language and mannerisms are as excellent as ever. Expect to see Ananda in every single TV commercial and music video again.
Best Supporting Actress -Marsha Wattanapanich (Love on the Rocks)
Marsha and her entourage of drinking friends are probably the only good thing about this illogical and poorly-thought out film. Her natural charisma and confident mannerisms make her character a joy to watch, even when everything else in the film makes not a lick of sense (let’s not even get started on the irrationality of the two lead characters). It’s a shame that her character only got such limited screen-time, and the second half of the film is infinitely less interesting without her.
Best Supporting Actor(s) – The kids in Teacher’s Diary (Nithiwat Tharatorn)
It would be remiss not to mention all the kids who truly elevated this film from a run-of-the-mill love story into something more meaningful. The children also serve as another bridge between the two main characters, who supposedly never meet, giving them an important role in the overall story. The talent on display is also pretty impressive, with the kids pulling off comedic and dramatic scenes perfectly.
Best Documentary – The Master (Nawapol Thamronrattanarit)
This year, the edgy director of indie gems like 36 and Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy graced us with The Master, a documentary telling the story of Van Video, a humble little store that sold bootleg foreign art-house films back in the 90s and early 00s. The whole movie is basically just a bunch of people talking, answering interview questions with the occasional piece of inserted footage, yet it impressively elicited both laughter and tears from us throughout its run time.
Best Director Mez Tharatorn (I Fine…Thank You… Love You)
It was hardly a bumper year for Thai film, but the one production team you could rely on to deliver the laughs was GTH. As far as box office hits go, I Fine… Thank You… Love You had the second highest opening day for a Thai film ever—no laughing matter. As with his previous film, 2012’s low-budget smash ATM: Er Rak Error, Mez showed a knack for telling a relatable story coated in over-the-top slapstick comedy, this time centering on English lessons and the often-unintended hilarity that ensues. The story isn’t rocket science, but then we’re not all rocket scientists, are we?
see more at the BK website
So what would be your list of best Thai movies ever?
This is what we have come up with. This would be our subjective list of best Thai movies. Not in any particular order. Just a list 😉 Enjoy!
(2001), IMDB rating 6.3/10
Jan Dara is a highly erotic-period-drama that will take your imagination to dangerous places. The film is co-directed and written by Nonzee Nimibutr. The movie is co-starred by the beautiful Hong-Kong Actress Christy Chung. The movie debuted in 2001 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is based on a novel by Utsana Phloengtham. Jan Dara won Thailand National Film Association Award as well as a variety of local and international festivals.
(2010), IMDB rating 7.6/10
Just like thousands of Thai couples, during the 9 days holiday of Songkran festival, a guy and a girl choose to visit Korea for their own specific reasons. They did not start the trip to go together, but end up returning back home together.
Friends Never Die
(2012), IMDB rating 7.7/10
“Song” is a freshman at a college meets “Gun” – the founder and leader of “Sperm Gang” by a chance. Song later steps into a gangster life. Through violence, brawls and temper of teenagers, each members of the gang learn what “Friendship” truly means.
(2011), IMDB rating 7.9/10
What are you doing at his age? Age 16, TOP gained 400,000 Baht monthly from playing online games. Age 17, He was willing to fail school and instead earned money from selling chestnuts for 2,000 baht. Age 18, His family went bankrupt and remained 40 million Baht in debt. Age 19, He released Tao Kae Noi seaweed to more than 3,000 branches at 7-Eleven. At this present, Top is a 26-year-old businessman, the owner of the bestselling seaweed in Thailand. He owns 85 percent of the market share which is equivalent to 800 million Baht a year, and has 2,000 employees in his company. The Billionaire will let you get to know Top Ittipat in details about how he turned himself from an online game addict whom always got disparaged by teachers, to a famous young billionaire. How did he raise himself up to this position? Surely, everyone desires to get rich, yet not everyone dares to succeed like him. Find the answers that have made Top become a billionaire, while you still can.
Bangkok Traffic Love Story
(2009), IMDB rating 7.3/10
An urban love story set in the center of Bangkok where thirty-year-old Mei Li struggling to find true love. When Mei Li accidentally meets a handsome BTS engineer whom she considers as the right man, she plans to make her first move. Though too many obstacles keep popping up, Mei Li will never give up.
(2008), IMDB rating 7/10
An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.
IMDB rating 7.1/10(2005)
A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.
(2003), IMDB rating 7.2/10
When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it.
Last Life in the Universe
(2003), IMDB rating 7.7/10
The comedy, Drama and Action movie was released in the year 2003 and it has made it to the international theaters because of its interesting story line. The film is about suicidal, Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) Japanese who is pushed by life to lie low in Thailand together with a pot-smoking woman who is struggling with the loss of a sister she cannot live without. The movie has received several local and international awards and nominations catapulting it to the international arena.
(2000), IMDB rating 6.7/10
Bangkok Dangerous is an action, thriller and crime movie released in 2000. It is about a deaf and mute hitman with his able partner who are operating in the city of Bangkok. He develops friendship with his partner’s girlfriend who happens to be a strip dancer in a local club. He meets a nice and innocent girl who works in a pharmacy as he goes about his assassination business. As the story develops, he realizes that his actions hurt innocent people and he makes about turn to exert his revenge on former boss.
รับบัตรชมภาพยนตร์ฟรีก่อนภาพยนตร์เรื่องนั้นๆเข้าฉาย 30 นาที ได้ที่โต๊ะกิจกรรมบริเวณหน้าโรงภาพยนตร์ที่จัดฉาย ถึงก่อนมีสิทธิ์ก่อน จำกัด 1 สิทธิ์ต่อ 2 ที่นั่ง ดูข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมได้ที่ https://www.facebook.com/notes/european-union-in-thailand/european-union-film-festival-2014/657175997670818 หรือโทร SF Call Center 02-268-8888
Free tickets will be available from 30 minutes before screening at European Union Film Festival 2014 booth in front of cinemasat the three screening venues. First come first serve, maximum two tickets per person per screening. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/notes/european-union-in-thailand/european-union-film-festival-2014/657175997670818
Selected from over 800 globally submitted titles, you can expect the 60 films shown at the festival this year to be the cream of the crop. Screenings are spread over 10 days at SF World Cinema from Nov 15-24. The selected films are categorized into five categories: Asian Contemporary, Cine Latino, Cinema Beat, Doc Feast, Short Wave and a retrospective of Thai veteran actress Jarunee Suksawas.
The festival is also a good chance to catch any films you missed out on like Karaoke Girl, Tang Wong and the controversial documentary Boundary. As for the inter flicks, we’re looking forward to The Cleaner (Peru), The Last Shepherd (Italy) and Instant Mommy (The Philippines). You can also see The Itshmus (Thailand) which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival and is now finally making its Bangkok premieres
The objective of the World Film Festival of Bangkok is to introduce quality, non-mainstream films from all over the world. It aims to become a showcase for independent films and new work from rising talents to cinema masters to show the continuity from generation to generation as a vital component in the development of the film industry.
More than 80 international films are screened at the festival each year, featuring works from the European Union Film Festival, Latin America, Asia and Southeast Asia and included short films, experimental films, documentaries and animation productions – which are considered a new focus of the industry.
Apart from film screenings, there are film-related talks such as Master Class Workshop and other special events. The festival, in co-operation with the Festival of Three Continents and Produire Au Sud from France, also runs a workshop to guide film producers seeking funds for their new projects. At the end of the workshop, the most interesting film projects in Southeast Asia will be selected to receive funds and the makers will be invited to the final selection in France.
With over seven years experience, the World Film Festival of Bangkok has now become a significant film festival in Southeast Asia attracting more film industry and media from all over the world and is also attended by directors, film stars.
The organizers will continue to carry forward the spirit and intent of the festival’s establishment. – that is to make the World film Festival of Bangkok a centre of international films in Bangkok, already famous as one of the world’s capital city’s of culture and entertainment.
Offical webiste: http://www.worldfilmbkk.com/
From Sept 10-15, Elle Thailand will host the Elle Fashion Film Festival, marking the first movie-fest in Thailand on the theme of fashion.
Post International Media managing director Sirimon Na Nagara said with Elle magazine advancing into its third decade soon, and after the ‘‘Burst out Your Style’’ campaign earlier this year, she found that the brand is associated with various aspects of life through fashion. ‘‘Elle magazine is more than just a fashion magazine. It is a part of life and culture. Weaim to be a fashion authority, and for us, fashion is all around. Film and fashion are inseparable — film influences fashion, and vice versa.’’
While it is not easy to define a ‘‘fashion film’’, after hard work and months of preparation, nine films have been selected for the inaugural event, hand-picked by a five-person selection committee, namely Elle Thailand editor-in-chief Panu Sombatyanuchit, SF Corporation’s Suwannee Chinchiawsharn, fashion stylist Araya Indra, Greyhound designer Jitsing Somboon and Bangkok Post film writer Kong Rithdee. None of the chosen films have been officially shown on the big screen in Thailand before.
Panu said that the nine films reflect fashion in different ways. ‘‘Blancanieves, for example, is a Spanish black-and-white silent film based on the fairy tale Snow White. Being black-and-white, we can see the silhouette without the depth that comes with colour, and we can see the mesmerising movement of clothes. A Single Man, the first film directed by Tom Ford, is full of fashion references in great detail. If you like fashion, you will tremendously enjoy these films.’’
Ultimately, the event is aimed at showing how fashion is accessible through lifestyle, according to Panu. ‘‘Fashion is not just on the runways. There are so many ways to look at it, and film is one of them.’’
Sirimon hopes the event, which will take place annually from now on, will inspire Thai people to try and make films that reflect fashion elements as well. ‘‘This year, we feature movies from France, Spain, Canada, the US and China. I wish to see Thai films in the list in the future, and I hope that this event serves as an inspiration for Thai people to embrace fashion and enjoy it through their own interpretation.’’
Fashion film festivals have taken place all around the world, from Croatia to South Korea and from the US to Japan, and the idea has been embraced by fashion and film crowds alike – and audiences who enjoy a thematic approach to movie-going.
ELLE Fashion Film Festival 2013 runs from Sept 10-15 at SFX Cinema, Emporium. Tickets cost 150 baht per seat, with 184 seats available per movie. An art installation will be displayed as a part of the festival at Fashion Avenue, 1st floor, Emporium.
ELLE Fashion Film Festival 2013 schedule:
8:00 PM – Single Man
8:00 PM – Blancanieves
8:00 PM – I Am Love
8:00 PM – L’Amour Fou
2.00 PM – Face
5.00 PM – Color Me love
7.30 PM – Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky
3.00 PM – Heartbeats
8:00 PM – Farewell My Queen
I am Love
“As a young, working class Russian, Emma (Tilda Swinton) is whisked away to marriage and life in the aristocracy of Milan. She dutifully raises her kids and organizes huge dinners and parties at their mansion as the Rechhi’s entertain business clients and their own family. It is during these parties that we realize Emma is technically part of the family, but really is still an outsider. She escapes to her own space once the events are running smoothly.
Being an avid cook herself, she easily clicks with a brilliant young chef introduced to the family by her own son. Very little doubt where it’s headed at this point as Emma unleashes the pent up energy she has been forced to hide. While we are very aware that the upper crust has learned to look the other way with infidelity, that’s not the case with the Rechhi’s and their Russian wife/mother.
The brilliance in the film is that it shows how the younger generation doesn’t really fit any better than Emma. The difference is that they are part of the fabric and will be allowed more rope than an outsider. Still it is painful to watch Emma and her son, who can’t quite adapt to the family business. Better yet, to watch her with her daughter, who confesses her preference for other women. Emma sees herself in these two, but doesn’t have the same freedom. Her best ally is the caretaker who seems to understand the multiple levels on which this family functions.
Fascinating interactions and complex writing make this a film for film lovers. There is so little dialogue, but so much is said with a glance or head nod.” (by imdb.com)
“The curtain rises on a despondent George (Firth) having lost his longtime partner. Sapped of energy and will, he struggles to wake each day and function as the brilliant college professor he’s expected to be. Few notice the change in him, but one student sees George as a magnet pulling him forward to a place even he doesn’t understand. Kenny (Hoult) seems to glow like an angel in George’s dark world and, yet, is a puzzle and presents a challenge which he doesn’t necessarily want to confront at this stage in his life. As is his custom, he turns to Charlotte (Moore) for a warm shoulder but the temperature drops amidst the chill surrounding George’s bleak existence.
Everything about this film — the look, colors, pacing, shots, composition, cinematography, costumes, soundtrack — says that an extraordinary amount of love and care went into it. Special mention to director of photography Eduard Grau and editor Joan Sobel for their keen abilities to work lockstep with Ford in projecting his vision onto the screen. Abel Korzeniowski’s score is haunting and moving. Despite his design genius, Ford was generous enough to entrust costume designer Arianne Phillips with the freedom to work unencumbered. Production designer Dan Bishop, with art direction by Ian Phillips and set decorator Amy Wells, created two worlds — a cold, stark one in which George sees only hopelessness, and another warm, colorful one in which he has hope.
What stays with the viewer, though, is the enigmatic friendship between George and Kenny. Nicholas Hoult is absolutely mesmerizing in this. The way Ford shot him made people gasp. He’s lit, framed, and shot like an Adonis. Of course, that’s the idea here. This will definitely be a break out role for the 19-year-old. The camera loves him, and it’s a pretty daring performance.
Most of all, this is a tour de force for Firth and a stunning achievement which is destined to be a highlight of his distinguished career. The range of emotions and the extent to which his character must convey them through his eyes and facial expressions, with the copious use of long takes without dialogue, left me wide-eyed with wonder.” (imdb.com)
Moviemov Italian Film Festival, a showcase for the most representative Italian movies of the current year, brings to Asia only films unreleased in the host countries. Seven movies of the season 2012|2013 will be screened every day complemented with specific promotional activities, including the participation of famous Italian directors and actors to Q&A sessions with the press and the audience and meetings with the students. The program will include a retrospective dedicated to one of the most famous cinema Master and a Thai showcase.
All screenings are free entrance with Thai/Eng subtitles
See the whole schedule here
BK Magazine has asked Bangkokians “What is it that you love so very dearly about your beautiful city?”
This is what they said:
x-Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld has moved from magazines into advertising it would seem after working with Mercedes Benz on a new concept commercial for their S-Class model that is tres chic and oh so fashion dahling. Featuring model Sui He wearing an incredible fitted dress and flowing black cape combo designed by Roitfeld herself, the effect is certainly dramatic.
Also collaborating on the project was V Magazine founder Stephen Gan, as well as photographers Max von Gumppenberg and Patrick Bienert, who all contribute to this super stylish if not substance free short, that at least looks the part if nothing else. Whether or not the fashionable people the luxury car manufacturer are targeting will fall for this glossy offering will remain to be seen but the one thing that undoubtedly shines through is Roitfeld’s impeccable taste, which perfectly translates on screen.
This may be no Tony Scott meets Saab but if it’s the impetus Roitfeld needs to give us the fashion line we so desire then we’re definitely all in favor.
Karl Lagerfeld’s period film Once Upon a Time, which stars Keira Knightley as Coco Chanel, is finally here.
The designer-cum-director reportedly gave the actors (including Knightley, Clotilde Hesme, Lindsey Wixson, Stella Tennant, Tallulah Harlech) their lines just moments before shooting–which makes a lot of sense when you watch the film.
The dialogue is sometimes stilted and awkward. There’s one moment when Knightley, describing a hat to Amanda Harlech’s “lady of society” character, seems at a loss for words. But then, since Lagerfeld was supposedly going for a “natural effect” with the dialogue, that may have been the point. Or, maybe it has to do with the inexperience of some of the cast. Let’s just say we hope Wixson, who plays Miss Wonderbilt (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), doesn’t try to make the transition from model to model/actress any time soon. Either way, it seems that long pauses and sort of awkward dialogue may be becoming a Chanel signature of sorts.
That being said, there’s still a lot to enjoy about the film, which is set at the first Chanel store in Deauville, circa 1913. We see Chanel interact with the city’s fashionable ladies and come up with the inspiration behind some of her most iconic designs. When Tennant’s character Lady de Grey tells Chanel she’s wearing her husband’s jacket, the designer remarks, “Tweed jackets are very chic on a woman.”
And of course it’s worth watching for the star cameos alone. Along with Tennant, the Harlechs, Wixson, Knightley, and Hesme, Ashleigh Good, Caroline de Maigret, Saskia de Brauw, Brad Kroenig, Hudson Kroenig, Jamie Bochert, Baptiste Giabiconi, Sebastien Jondeau, Jake Davies, and more also make appearances in amazing period costumes.
Watch the film below:
Take a look at some of fashion campaigns that were banned in the UK and elsewhere.
Tom Ford: Shot by Terry Richardson in 2007, this provocative Tom Ford campaign was criticized for its pornographic approach and was subsequently banned in several countries.
Levis: Banned in the UK, this advert from Levis went viral online. Featuring a supposedly blind man watching a woman strip in a public toilet, it has had over 26 millions views to date.
Part of Diesels ”Kick Ass” campaign. With the tagline ”Diesel Sneakers. Not made for Running. (Great for Kicking Asses)”, it was never released on TV but went viral online.
More at: Hunger TV
A few pictures from the newest music video production in Bash Night Club in Bangkok, Soi 11 Sukhumvit
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a photojournalist for the military? As a photographer for the United States Air Force, Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane does just that, documenting life in the combat zone during recent deployments to Afghanistan.
A revealing new documentary by Hannah Hill, titled “Snap Snap Snap” (below), about Crane’s life and work is up on YouTube and it’s definitely worth checking out. (Running time is just under 15 minutes.) Crane, a Nikon shooter, also answered some questions about what it’s like to be a photographer in a combat zone in an informal Q&A on Reddit (read it here), where the documentary was first shared.
Read full article here
by rosielarose. imdb.com
A film that took 5 years to make and co-ordinate. Shot in Panarama 70mm, across 26 countries, needing major government and regulatory clearances, having to wait for certain seasons or lunar phases to get the light to hit the way director Fricke wanted…carefully strung together with a massive 7.1 surround sound design and music score from Michael Stearns, Marcello de Francisci, and Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance).
The 70mm negative has been digitally scanned and oversampled at 8k resolution (much like the ‘Baraka’ Blu-ray); the TIFF Lightbox theatre installed a brand new Christie 4k projector (Christie Projection Systems rushed the projector before its release to the market specifically for this event) making it the first true 4k screening of it’s kind.
From sweeping landscapes to time-lapse sequences of the night sky and from exclusive looks into the processing of food to the consumption and effects it has on the human body, Samsara is nothing short of astounding. Modern technology, production lines, and human robotics are juxtaposed against a backdrop of deserts, garbage mounds as far as the eye can see, and traffic congestion in modern centres. The time-lapse footage is simply transcendent. In fact, I caught myself questioning the reality of some of the landscape vistas and night skyline montages…they looked so hyper-real that I thought they must have come from a CG lab somewhere. Simply astonishing. The richness, depth and clarity of colour and image achieved within the processes utilized gives birth to the most beautiful visual meditation that I have ever witnessed.
As one film journalist noted, “That Samsara is instantly one of the most visually-stunning films in the history of cinema is reason enough to cherish it, but Fricke and co-editor Mark Magidson achieve truly profound juxtapositions, brimming with meaning and emotion. It sounds preposterous, but it’s true: In 99 minutes, Samsara achieves something approaching a comprehensive portrait of the totality of human experience. If you’re even remotely fond of being alive, Samsara is not to be missed.”
It is a well-known fact that our society is structured like a pyramid. The very few people at the top create conditions for the majority below. Who are these people? Can we blame them for the problems our society faces today? Guided by the saying “A fish rots from the head” we set out to follow that fishy odor. What we found out is that people at the top are more likely to be psychopaths than the rest of us.
Who, or what, is a psychopath? Unlike Hollywood’s stereotypical image, they are not always blood-thirsty monsters from slasher movies. Actually, that nice lady who chatted you up on the subway this morning could be one. So could your elementary school teacher, your grinning boss, or even your loving boyfriend.
The medical definition is simple: A psychopath is a person who lacks empathy and conscience, the quality which guides us when we choose between good and evil, moral or not. Most of us are conditioned to do good things. Psychopaths are not. Their impact on society is staggering, yet altogether psychopaths barely make up one percent of the population.
Through interviews with renowned psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo, leading expert on psychopathy Professor Robert Hare, former President of Czech Republic and playwright Vaclav Havel, authors Gary Greenberg and Christopher Lane, professor Nicholas Christakis, among numerous other thinkers, we have delved into the world of psychopaths and heroes and revealed shocking implications for us and our society.
Watch the full documentary:
Directed by: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
“Cloud Atlas is unlike its contemporaries at the multiplex. It tells a big story in an engaging, difficult fashion. It has big names and a big budget. But it also is thematically dense… it wants to tell you something through plot, characters, dialogue and symbols. Cloud Atlas is also thankfully a very enjoyable film, much longer and denser than much of what is available today. “Ambition” defines this film.
In just under 3 hours, six radically different stories are told, and they appeal to a broad audience: a 19th century tale of unlikely brotherhood, the letters of a gay composer to his partner in the 1930’s, a San Francisco- set conspiracy in the 70’s, A hilarious account of an old publisher’s woes. A Blade Runner-esque clone’s struggle for freedom, and the survival of a tribe after ‘The Fall’. Genre conventions are toppled, as these stories with different tones are juggled in short intervals, leading from comedic highs to shocking drama in minutes.
But as with the characters, these plots are connected thematically, and clever wordplay and visual imagery links the stories, such as the end of a monologue referencing “the gates of Hell” and cutting to a shot of the gates of a building that, for Cavendish at least, is the gates of Hell. Each of the stories has strengths, a few have faults, but together the medley is incredible.
I found that while the earliest two stories began slowly and plainly, they developed very well and provided fantastic drama, especially the 1849 story. The Nuclear thriller was strong, Halle Berry is great and there are some real twists, and I also loved the ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘China Syndrome’ vibes, but comedy bled into it from the 2012 story which diminished the climax. The 2012 story is hilarious, and its first scene is a standout; Tom Hanks is incredible as Dermot Hoggins. Although while the story is interesting, it doesn’t fit quite so well thematically- it’s almost too light. Listening to the ‘Cloud Atlas Sextet’ fits with all the stories, but can’t resonate with Cavendish’s. The future Korea is visually stunning and communicates its themes well, certainly the darkest plot, but the action can get over the top (Yes, I know who directed this) and there are some horrible clichés. But that scene of horrendous dialogue, the weakest in the film, can’t derail a great piece. Lastly is the bleak, Hawaii- set post-apocalyptic story. It was my favourite, possibly because I’m a sucker for anything involving apocalypse. But Hanks and Berry are fantastic again, the barbarians are menacing and scary, and the story is cool. It also concludes the film perfectly.
I’ve only talked about the plot! The actors really steal the show. In the credits, each actor’s name is placed with a clip of every one of their characters… everyone in the theatre stopped and stayed. People play characters you had no idea they played. A few highlights: Sturgess’ lawyer and the slave Autua, Frobisher, Hugh Grant’s sexist nuclear boss, Cavendish and Hanks’ Hoggins. Doona Bae as Somni and Hugo Weaving’s “Old Georgie” round it out- the latter is truly a demon. Much credit has to go to the makeup, literally making actors disappear into their roles. There is a huge number of transsexual and even race-bridging roles- it’s worthy of note that Lana Wachowski was at one point Larry Wachowski. Also deserving of praise, and possibly Oscars is the large scale visual effects that cover hundreds of years and look so believable. Sound quality is top-notch as well, listening to Old Georgie is chilling, as is the vision of Korean diners, and well… the whole future.
But all this plot serves a purpose, and Cloud Atlas intends to tell you things. Freedom is possibly the biggest theme, as well as the idea that our actions affect others greatly throughout time: we’re part of a large human network. Really though there’s so much to talk about you should just see the film. There are small stumbles every so often, but the structure hides them very well. No one story takes more time than others, no one character takes more time than others, and the structure and pacing drives the film forward briskly. It’s a shame this film hasn’t been better received commercially, because it’s a phenomenal achievement, interesting sci-fi and drama, and as of now, the best film I’ve seen in 2012. ”
Review by by Connor (Toronto, Canada), imdb.com
Fashion film has evolved beyond videos of catwalks – and the big labels are starting to take notice
A blonde woman in a red fetish-style bikini moves to the slow beat of Love To Love You and an undercurrent of soft, ecstatic moans. She talks quietly in voiceover about her muscle-bound body: ‘I feel different to most women – stronger, leaner.’ She performs bicep curls with sculpted gold weights, the moans become louder.
Directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock, I Want Muscle won Grand Prize at last year’s ASVOFF Fashion Film Festival. Female bodybuilder Kizzy Vaines wore clothes by David Koma, Husam al Odeh, Lyall Hakaraia and Maria Francesca Pepe. The aim of the three-minute short, says Smith-Leverock, was to ‘play with taboos and gender stereotypes and to explore a different kind of female beauty’.
This weekend, the fifth ASVOFF film festival takes place at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Over three days, visitors will be treated to filmwork as equally provocative and polished as Smith-Leverock’s.
Launched in 2008, ASVOFF has almost single-handedly encouraged an industry to reconsider the way it presents itself in film.
‘Fashion film is a vibrant, relatively new applied art form with huge potential,’ says founder Diane Pernet. ‘We’re still exploring exactly what the parameters are but I suppose the easiest way to define it is this: film where fashion is the protagonist, rather than a prop.’ (….)
Read more here (….)