Category Archives: FIlm

K’S FIRST DEBUT LEAD ROLE DISABLED ACTRESS WINS L.A. MOVIE AWARDS AND JOINS OSCARS DIVERSITY DEBATE.

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With the lack of black actors causing boycotts at this year’s Oscars; criticism of leading men like Eddie Redmayne ‘cribbing up’ to play disabled characters (The Theory of Everything) and now Joseph Fines in the firing line for playing a bleached up Michael Jackson in a one-off Sky 1 comedy, a new British indie film promises to put diversity in the front row by casting a disabled actress in the lead role to reflect her real condition on screen.

Little Devil is a multiple award-winning British indie film that picked up gongs including ‘Best Lead Actress’ for its disabled star at the 2014 Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival. And now, taking advantage of the growing ‘on-the-go’ viewing habits of audiences, the movie gets its global release exclusively on-line via Distrify this February 2016.

Little Devil is saucy, character-driven feature film about a mischievous, sexually frustrated disabled girl who forms an unorthodox relationship with a troubled, gay male escort. But rather than being a victim of her condition, she uses her disability, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones), as a cunning advantage in achieving her hidden agenda.

The film stars newcomer, Sam Renke, from Leyland in Lancashire, who has Brittle Bones, and – to our knowledge – will be the first disabled actress to take on a debut lead role in a British independent movie – and win awards! Sam worked closely with the film’s writer, Abraham Papacosta, and its director, Max Barber, to base some of the plot on her real-life experiences of dating and sexual exploration from the perspective of someone with an abnormal condition, but with very normal sexual desires.

She comments: “I’m not a ‘sit at home’ type of girl, I’m very pro-active in raising awareness in what to me, is still a blinkered world at times. The shameful lack of diversity at the Oscars, again, means that all of us in a perceived ‘minority’ must make a noise and demand change. The world’s population is amazingly varied – something not reflected by The Academy and its white, wealthy, ageing heterosexual male members.”

Playing alongside her in the supporting role is black, British actor, DeObia Oparei who is currently making it big in Hollywood. Better known for his action movies: Doom, Thunderbirds & Dredd; more recently he appeared as Areo Hotach in Game of Thrones and he also features in this summer’s blockbuster sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.

Rust & Bone, The Sessions, Marnie’s Story, The Finishers are just a few of the notable movies putting disability in the forefront of cinema in the last few years. Little Devil is leading the way in raising awareness of Brittle Bones in a frank and entertaining way. It portrays the condition as anything but a disability – and it doesn’t need an able-bodied actress pretending to use a wheelchair to do it. Little Devil revolves around the theme of unconventional families and sets out to turn the notion of what constitutes sex and body-diversity on its head. The film is designed to be a poignant, but ultimately, uplifting tale and deliberately sets out to court controversy and debate with its frank scenes and radical casting.

The movie is directed and co-written by London based, first-time feature director, Max Barber, originally from Grays in Essex, who has a string of award-winning short films to his name released through Peccadillo Pictures in the UK and TLA Releasing in the USA. He’s best known for some of the TV shows he’s directed which include Geordie Shore, A Girls Guide to 21st Century Sex & Don’t Tell the Bride, so expect a fair sprinkle of outrageous behaviour and drunken shenanigans! However, Max promises the movie will certainly be a step away from his roots in television and will not skirt around the more weighty issues the film raises, choosing instead to bend convention, lay his characters bare, and apply his bold and colourful film-making style.

He comments: “Understandably big star names attract film finance and audiences, but unless you start giving bigger parts to actors who don’t fit the convention, then you won’t get new and diverse talent into the system. I deliberately cast a disabled, up-and-coming actress, Sam, in the lead role, to get people talking, and gave her a powerful and positive character, rather than the stereotype, freak, villain or victim.”

The trailer and film is available to be seen and for rental or download on Distrify.
https://distrify.com/videos/cx5W3j-little-devil

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How Darth Vader – May Have Sounded!

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Star Wars the Force awakes is due out in cinemas in under a week.  As well as their own promotion team going in to overdrive- there are all sorts of starwars-ized pictures, parodies and pop songs.

 

How Darth Vader MAY have sounded….thank the deathstar for James Earl Jones!

 

Now you can really feel the Force! by creating your own Star Wars name – including Jedi names and Sith names.

You can generate random names, or choose Star Wars names based on your own name.

http://starwars.namegeneratorfun.com/

Star Wars Parodies

 

 

chris morris four lions – worth another look?

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When Chris Morris’s film ‘Four Lions’ was first released in 2010 I remember reading the reviews which included adjectives such as was “fantastic” and “hilarious” – advertising that you see accompanying most films – mutual advertising for both parties.  The hype pointed in one direction – this was a funny film which was worth watching.

I remember going to a muslim friends house and watching the film.  I hadn’t known him all that long – but I liked the fact that although he was muslim – his religion hadn’t all-encompassed him and was, a part of who he was – an important part none the less, bit he didn’t let his religion manipulate him and he hadn’t allowed it to overtake or limit his personality. There was religion.  There was life.  Each had its place.

So I put on the film in eager anticipation that we would both, especially my friend, share in the fun and hilarity of the film – as described in so many of the advertising adjectives.   My friend didn’t find it funny.  I was disappointed.  In fact, I felt a little embarrassed because I then thought – maybe he thinks he that I’d presumed he’d find it funny as it was poking fun at a misfit bunch of muslims who turn out to be just as hopeless at terrorism as they were with managing their daily life routine.

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We both watched the film in kind of silence.  That’s what I remember.  And kinda agreed that it was ok – after it had finished.  Although I think we were both disappointed.

Then 5 years later – in fact, just the other day – I decided to watch the film again.  This time I had set no expectations.   This time I hadn’t set myself up for a laugh-a-minute bomb-com film that would have me crying with laughter.  I just watched it. I watched it detached from the previous me. And, found that I actually quite like this film.

We have seen so many horror films lately that have been created by terrorists and circulated by our media – on their behalf – that this film seems tame and undramatic.  I felt myself warming to the characters in a way I hadn’t before.  I found the inner conflict in liking these guys individually – whilst wanting them to see – what I was seeing – the futility of their cause and how they could direct their passion for the cause in more constructive and less destructive ways.  I saw the characters in a whole new light.  This time – I found it smart – engaging and I enjoyed the dark humour.

Four Lions is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it – or another go if like me you were disappointed all those years ago.

To get you started – here is an interview with one of the writers Chris Morris – who looks a little bit like the late Colonel Gaddafi! But maybe it is just me.

And here is the film Four Lions:

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A whip-smart, slapstick comedy, Chris Morris’ FOUR LIONS takes aim at Jihadi suicide bombers and illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Follow five inept aspiring terrorists on their quest to strike a blow, and how they demonstrate that terrorism may be about ideology, but it can also be about idiots.

Sir Nigel Hawthorne Remembered

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Nigel Hawthorne is an actor whom I always adored as the sharp minded, yet petulant & slippery Permanent Secretary  Sir Humphrey Appleby in the Yes Minister/Prime Minister series.

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Very sadly, he died on Boxing Day 2001 at the age of 72. He had just completed his exceptional autobiography about a life which had by no means taken a straight path. His ambitions to be an actor when a young man in South Africa were strongly discouraged by his father. He came to England alone and struggled for many years to make his name – eventually joining the Royal Court, starring in the West End, and finally having his great TV break in Yes, Minister.

He also struggled with his sexuality and it was not until meeting production manager Trevor Bentham in l977 that he finally found his life partner. A naturally private man, his media ‘outing’ in the run-up to the Oscar Ceremony for The Madness of King George was the source of much pain, although ultimately it became a liberation.

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At the peak of his career he was struck by cancer and his battle with illness forms a moving final section of the book. Speaking of his death, his partner Trevor Bentham, still in the raw grip of mourning for the actor said ”The cancer that had plagued his pancreas for 18 months had recently moved to his lungs and finished the job quickly and with the greatest dignity,” Bentham recalls. ”No trace of pain, a quiet end in a shaft of winter sunlight.” At 9.30 on that Boxing Day morning Hawthorne had collapsed in a chair and ”simply ceased to live”.

“Party Games” is the twenty-second and final episode of the BBC comedy series Yes Minister. A one-hour Christmas special that was first broadcast 17 December 1984, its events lead into the sequel, Yes, Prime Minister. The episode was shown again at Christmas 1990, shortly after the fall of Margaret Thatcher. Hacker’s denials of interest in the party leadership were similar to those made by Michael Heseltine some six years later.

The Sound of Music at 50

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The Sound of Music has a special place in the hearts of so many people.  As a child it was the first film I fell in love with and have vague memories of running round to my old neighbours house to ask for her copy of the film.  I can’t say how often I would go to Netty’s and ask her – but I can still remember the smoke filled house, the pinny she used to wear and the yellow teeth.  I seem to remember thick thighs (my age and size meant I was knee high) but that maybe more to do with Les Dawnson’s characterisation than that of reality.

To mark 50 years – ABC’s Diane Sawyer recorded a special programme that went behind the scenes and is interesting in that it takes Dame Julie Andrews back to Salzburg.  The stories – you’ve probably heard before, but it is a nice programme all the same.

And in another programme Dame Julie Andrews sits down with entertainment editor David Onda to discuss the most difficult scenes to film for her 1965 musical classic.

may the fourth: be with you

The Force Awakens
Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, is the upcoming seventh live-action theatrical Star Wars film and the first film of the sequel trilogy.

Despite initially claiming that the Star Wars story ended in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and spending years refuting speculation that there would be another film, George Lucas began work on the story of Episode VII in 2011 in order to increase the value of Lucasfilm Ltd. before he sold it to The Walt Disney Company, although Disney would later elect not to use Lucas’s story. The acquisition was finalised on October 30, 2012, and Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced Episode VII the same day.

The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens

The film is directed by J.J. Abrams, written by Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Lawrence Kasdan, and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Bad Robot Productions.  The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker reprising their original roles. The original actors are joined by a host of new actors including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver, amongst many others.

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens