Monday, 1 September 2014

North by Northwest to be screened in east London nature reserve

North by Northwest
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 spy thriller North By Northwest will be shown in a nature reserve in East London on 5 September. The outdoor screening at the WaterWorks Nature Reserve is part of Create and the Barbican’s year-long presentations of Hitchcock’s films in evocative East End locations.

The season has seen Vertigo shown at St Margaret’s Church in Leytonstone, Rebecca at Leytonstone School, The Birds & The Lady Vanishes at Vestry House Museum and the silent version of Blackmail at Walthamstow Assembly Hall.

The WaterWorks is where pioneering aero-designer Alliott Verdon Roe made the first all-British powered flight in 1909.

In North by Northwest Cary Grant plays an immaculate Madison Avenue advertising executive who becomes embroiled in a foreign espionage plot, finds himself swept up in a terrifying chase across America climaxing in being pursued across open land by a crop-duster biplane.

Written by Ernest Lehman the film combines the characteristic ingredients of Hitchcock’s previous work – glamour, wit, excitement, movement and big scenes, including Grant being pursued through fields by a plane, a chaotic auction, romantic train journey and a climatic chase across the faces of presidents on Mount Rushmore. The cross-country chase is driven by a compelling score by composer Bernard Herrmann.

Hitchcock’s East End is presented by Create and Barbican Film and commissioned by Hill Residential Ltd, working in partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest and ISHA (Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association).

The project forms part of a programme of events leading towards the opening of the new Empire Cinema in late 2014, which sees the return of a cinema to the borough after a ten year absence as part of a major regeneration project, The Scene at Cleveland Place, a new leisure destination for Waltham Forest.

BFI London Film Festival to host Foxcatcher UK premiere

The UK premiere of US drama Foxcatcher will be the American Express Gala screening at the 58th BFI London Film Festival. The film’s director Bennett Miller, who helmed Capote and Moneyball, and its stars Steve Carell and Sienna Miller will attend the event on Thursday 16 October.

Foxcatcher is based on true events. It tells the story of the ultimately tragic relationship between millionaire John DuPont (Carrel) and Olympic gold medal wrestlers Mark Schultz (Tatum Channing) and his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo).

Miller, who won the best director award at Cannes for the movie, said: “I’m thrilled that Foxcatcher will be playing the LFF and I’m thrilled to be attending. I suspect Britons will have a special relationship with this film.”

Clare Stewart, BFI London Film festival director, said: “We are delighted to be announcing that Foxcatcher will be our 2014 American Express gala presentation, marking the fifth year of our dynamic LFF partnership with one of the year's most powerful and important films. Featuring enthralling performances from its entire cast and directed with unswerving rigour, Foxcatcher not only confirms Bennett Miller as one of the world's most significant contemporary filmmakers, it powerfully demonstrates the clarity of his vision: get to the truth by creating fiction out of fact.”

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Berwick Film Festival will be a series of border crossings

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has revealed the programme of its 10th anniversary, which runs between 17-21 September, will have the theme ‘Border Crossing’. The festival coincides with the referendum for an independent Scotland on 18 September and, with Berwick-upon-Tweed occupying a position as the border town between England and Scotland, the festival has chosen to explore border identities and the crossing of boundaries all over the world.

Festival director Melanie Iredale said: “With 19 UK premieres and six world premieres, over 75 features, short films and artists’ video representing the work of filmmakers and artists from over 35 countries, the festival will screen across thirteen unique locations around and within the town’s Elizabethan town walls, transforming everything from the ice houses to prison cells into pop-up screening venues.

With this line-up and topical theme the festival extends beyond Berwick, beyond the Scottish independence referendum, encapsulating global perspectives – bringing an international flavour to the heart of Berwick-upon-Tweed.”

The festival opens on Wednesday 17 September is the UK premiere of Mamarosh (dir. Momcilo Mrdakovic), the tale of a film projectionist from Serbia who flees to New York only to find that 35mm is dead and resolves to revive it.

Following this is a preview of a new installation by 16mm US artist Ben RussellThe Twilight State, one of four new commissions for the festival.

Another of the new commissions by Berwick Visual Arts’ artist in residence Katie Davies is previewed on 18 September. The Lawes of the Marchesis an exploration of ancient traditions designed to preserve boundaries. The same day the UK Premiere of Inbetween Worlds (dir. Feo Aladag), about a friendship between a German soldier and his Afghan interpreter, takes place in The Maltings. Meanwhile a shorts programme themed around borders will be screened in The Barrels Ale House, the place where the idea for the first Festival originated 10 years ago.

The programme features a number of German works. From drama, West (dir. Christian Schwochow), to the UK premiere of Lines of Resistance (dir. Rose Butler), an installation which marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin wall.

The Uprising
Documentaries receiving UK premieres The Uprising, which recounts the pan-Arab Spring, and whose Northumberland born, Belgium-based director Peter Snowdon will be in attendance. The Mulberry House (dir. Sarah Ishaq), which screens on Friday 19 September, explores similar themes from a more personal perspective. Its Oscar-nominated Yemeni-Scottish, Cairo-based director will come to Berwick to present her film.

A highlight for the Friday night is Orchestra of Samples, which sees international audio-visual artists Addictive TV joined on stage by folk musicians from Northumbria and the Borders, including young fiddle player Shona Mooney and concertina player Alistair Anderson

Philip Selway of Radiohead will perform his new single accompanied by a Northern Film & Media and Northumberland County Council commissioned music video.

The panel of judges for the annual Short Film Awards include Catherine Shoard, head of film at the Guardian, festival co-founder Marcus Coates, and model and broadcaster Eunice Olumide.

Approved for Adoption
Saturday 20 September will see a preview of Approved for Adoption (dir. Jung & Laurent Boileau), a tale of a South Korean boy adopted in to a Belgian household – Jung, who plays the boy, will be attending the screening. The film was selected by local students and forms part of the Wee Films for Wee Ones youth programme, which involves films made by and for children and young people, ranging from animations for those aged three and up. Other ‘wee films’ include Giraffada (dir. Rani Massalha), a family film from Palestine.

Berwick Film Society has invited animator Em Cooper to the town for a screening of Kiss the Water (dir. Eric Steel), the poetic portrait of Scottish fly-tier Megan Boyd.

The promenade of installations continues include artists John Wallace & Professor Pete Smith exploring the region’s relationship to two rivers as a border in Tweed-Sark Cinema (2014), Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean’s A Whole New World (2014) imagining a fallen British Empire. while Uzbekistan-born artist Kristina Cranfeld’s Manufactured Britishness (2013) explores citizenship. Cranfield will give an artist talk in Berwick alongside Ben Russell and John Wallace.

From Scotland with Love (dir. Virginia Heath) sees the festival itself crossing into Scotland for the first time.  This medley of archive footage is being presented in the gallery at Paxton House in Berwick, north of the Tweed on Sunday 21 September.

The festival closes with a preview of the Polish drama Ida (2013), the latest drama from BAFTA-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski.