Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More filmy news

The first full day of Glimmer has been fab - two very different but equally interesting films at Sabrinis's at lunchtime (Sabrini's is a great Mediterranean restaurant/cafe on Princes Ave, I'm looking forward to trying the chilli chocolate fudge cake next time I go). "The Solitary Life of Cranes" was lovely, a meditation on solitude and a very different view of London directed by Eva Weber; this was followed by "It's Nick's Birthday", a funny, quirky film, quite charming and unusual, directed by Graeme Cole. Unfortunately I had work to do this afternoon so couldn't go to Country in Focus or Figuring Landscapes, but I did get to "Freedom on the Fence" at Red Gallery, a fascinating documentary about the history of Polish film posters and their significance to the social, political and cultural life of Poland. Along with the film, there's an exhibition that showcases some of the best examples of Polish poster art. Well worth going to - and the posters are for sale, many of them collectors items already.

Tomorrow at Glimmer, there's another Sabrini's lunchtime screening; there's more Figuring Landscapes, an International Competition set of screenings, and the BAFTA shorts are also being shown - a top class day!

Meanwhile for us, tomorrow we've got the second day of filming for Lines of Flight - fingers crossed the weather stays as good as it's been so far this week.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Glimmer, the 7th Hull International Short Film Festival starts tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to the launch party and taster screening tomorrow evening, not least because I'm now vice-chair of the Board of Directors, but also because the programme looks really exciting with lots of good films, and a great party to round it all off next Sunday.

Here's the link to the website where you can find out more, and here's what Artistic Director Laurence Boyce has to say about the Festival:

"This year we’re particularly proud to host the inaugural Anthony Minghella Award for Best International and UK Short, with prize money generously sponsored by the University of Hull. Minghella, who sadly passed away in 2008, was one of the British film industry’s most talented directors and respected champions with films such as The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain and The English Patient (which netted him an Academy Award for Directing). An alumni of the University of Hull, his love for the industry also saw him serve as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at the British Film Institute between 2003 and 2007 and, in naming two of our major awards in his memory, GLIMMER hopes that we will able to continue his work in being an advocate of the moving image and a tireless supporter of emerging filmmakers. As always, GLIMMER will also bestow awards upon filmmakers from Yorkshire and Hull with all the awards presided over by a jury of industry professionals.

We’re also delighted the John Smith will present not only a retrospective of his work but a carte blanche programme of films that have inspired him and his career. The playful yet inventive nature of films such as The Girl Chewing Gum have quite rightly made him one of the most respected practitioners in artists film and video and both his events should prove an informative experience for all cinema lovers. Local animator David Firth will also open your eyes, though perhaps more out of shock. His disturbing animations such as Salad Fingers have been massive hits on the internet and we bring you the chance to see a selection of his work. Though if you’re easily offended, you might want to bring something to hide behind.

GLIMMER will also offer events for those already in the film industry and those who want to find out more with a number of panel discussions and events designed to explore numerous important issues affecting the business. Included is Anatomy Of A Film II, which follows on for the huge success of last year’s event and Pay To Play? which examines the attitude of the film business to unpaid workers, festival entry fees and the current economic climate. We’ll also be looking to the future of the industry with the CASCADE Film Fair.

Other programmes include Figuring Landscapes, a series of programmes that have grown from the background of the political and cultural history that links the UK and Australia, our Country In Focus which will examine Israel, Coming Soon… an intriguing examination of the art of trailers and opening credit sequences, a series of medium length film screening at Sabrini’s Cafe and Freedom On The Fence, a screening and exhibition in association with the RED Gallery, Polish Cultural Institute and Dydo Poster Collection and Poster Gallery in Krakow."

So, loads of good stuff to see and do. I'll be there for as much of it as I can manage, so come and say hello.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Day 1, film 2

I'm really tired, here's just a quick look at what we did today.

First we went to Arkwright's Mill (above) and did some of this:

Then we went here:

and Richard did some of this:
while Martin did some of this:

and I carried gear, ran about, stood about, and had ideas.
And now I'm going to bed because all that thinking has totally worn me out. Brilliant day. Roll on the next one.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

At last

... there's something to blog about.

It's been a bit stressful, this year, so far, but not in a way that's exciting or worth blogging about. One of the comforting places to go, mentally, has been "our film" - mine and M's project, which we've been talking about, thinking about, planning, working out ... circling the actual doing of it with lots of hatching of ideas. And at long last, after all this thinking, tomorrow we get to do some doing.

This is where we'll be - Black Rocks, near Cromford

Hopefully we'll get some good climbing footage, as well as some of the other material that we want. It's a bit of an experimental day, as we don't really know how our ideas will shape up, but we're viewing tomorrow as a preliminary run, a test bed to see if the rest of our plans will work.

I hope they do - I think we have a great idea, in fact lots of ideas to explore, and having had a chat with one of the Profs at work this week I think we have another couple of projects to think about after this one. But let's get this one done first, eh?

And here's something else that's been a result of "our film" that I'm both enjoying experiencing, and observing with detached curiosity. I've started climbing again. Did a Severe 2 weeks ago, shot up a V Diff this week, and fell off 2 VS's in the last 2 weeks, and have loved it, in all its gut wrenching, muscle straining, finger knackering fabulousness. Am currently reading the stories that make up "The Boardman Tasker Omnibus" and remembering Pete Boardman's talk at school, and buying my first pair of PAs and the sleeping bag I still use from Joe Tasker's shop, am looking at booking a trekking trip to Nepal, and I kind of feel 17 again. Or as if I have refound my 17 year old self. The one who wanted to go exploring. It's funny - last September I went to a conference and met up with my PhD supervisor for the first time in a few years. Her son is a couple of years older than A, and shortly after he had gone off to University, she had gone riding for the first time in nearly 30 years. A week before our conversation, I'd gone out with M to do our first recce for the film, and the next day had scrambled about in Gordale and had the bruises to prove it, and a week later I took A to University. It's as if once our children left, we turned back into the people we were before we had them. This is not a complaint, an "if only"; far from it - having A is the best thing I ever did in my life - it's just a comment on the direction life takes, and it seemed funny and interesting that both Rose and I had gone back to things we had once loved and from which we had diverted our energies.

What do you think?