Saturday, 24 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Last Thursday I went to the premier of The Men Who Stare At Goats, starring George Clooney, Euan McGregor & Kevin Spacey, directed by Grant Heslov. The film is based on a book of the same name by Jon Ronson, who has made documentaries about 'The New World Order' as well as the US military. I thought the film was great: funny & informative.
It reveals the extreme lengths the American military will go to in order to maintain world domination. The film also looks at the crazy and bizarre ideas and experiments that go on behind doors closed doors within the military industrial complex, such as remote viewing and psychic warfare. Highly reccomnended.
On Sunday I saw the French film MICSMACS directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who also directed Amelie & Delicatessen. The film is about weapons manufacturers and a man who's been shot in the head but survives. MICSMACS is incredibly funny, well written, beautifully shot, intricately detailed and effective.
The film acts as a vehicle of protest against the arms industry and looks at the morality of an industry which makes a living off death, it also looks at the the way arms companies often make illegal deals with dangerous regimes. The film also mentions the fact that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy is friends with weapons manufacturers. Certainly one of the best films I've seen a long time.
Last night I saw The Limits Of Control written & directed by John Jarmusch who has also made Ghost Dog Way of The Samurai and Coffee & Cigerettes. The film explores the life of an assasin, excellently played by Isaach De Bankolé about to perform a hit, who remains silent and focused on the impending task even whilst beautiful girls hurl themselves at him The film was shot on location in Spain and features actors such as Bill Murray, Gael Garcia Bernal & Tilda Swandon whom the protagonist meets and has strange, philosophical meetings which seem to echo each other, which lead him ultimately to his target who is Bill Murray playing an American Neo-Con. The film is beautifully shot by Christopher Doyle, it relies more on shots and framing, than dialogue or action. Jim Jarmusch explained before the movie started that framing and angle can often affect perception, especially one's perception of a person, whether in real life or movies.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Last night I went to see Fantastic Mr. Fox at the opening gala of the London Film Festival. For those unfamiliar with Fantastic Mr. Fox it is a children's novel written by Roald Dahl, about a courageous Fox who likes to steal chickens from farms. Wes Anderson, the director of Rushmore and Darjeeling Limited has reinterpreted the kids book as a quirky animated feature. George Clooney voices Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep is Mrs. Fox and Bill Murray is Badger.
It was a bit weird walking up the red carpet and have paparazzi snap me like I'm someone, the elite of the film industry and many of the corporate sponsors of the festival turned out en masse suited and booted to see the film and schmooze about at the afterparty.
I thought the film was charming, funny and incredibly well made and thought out. It must have taken ages to do because stop frame animation is a laborious technique to say the least. Many Roald Dahl books have been brought to life on the screen including Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and James & The Giant Peach, the mix between Wes Anderson, an accomplished screen writer in his own right and Roald Dahl's fantasy world make for entertaining viewing.
After the film there were coaches waiting to take the audience to the afterparty at the Saatchi gallery on the Kings Rd. Sometimes big industry parties can be an awkward, lonely affair if you don't know many people but I was lucky to bump into an old school friend Jessie and her mate. We took full advantage of the free bar, champagne was flowing like water even though apparently were in a recession, we were quick to pursue and slightly harass any waiter seen carrying a tray of canapes. At one point they were carrying around big pieces of steak on sticks, that's what type of party it was.
I met the menswear designer Oswald Boateng, he was pretty cool, and anyone who calls me 'sir' is okay in my book! Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to Bill Murray, he was coming in just as I was going out for a cigerette, but his facial expressions are as funny in real life as in the movies. He did not look best pleased when a gaggle of fans tried to snap him on their camera phones.
I also saw Jamie Callum, the singer who goes out with Sophie Dahl. I'd seen pictures of the couple in the paper where she looks much taller than him. Its not because she's a tall model. Its because the guy is a midget. He could be under five foot, he could shop at baby gap, that short!
A good opening night to the festival. Tonight I'm seeing 'The Men Who Stare At Goat's', come back tomorrow for the latest.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Chimamanda Adichie is an accomplished novelist and essayist from Nigeria. Her most famous work is Half of a Yellow Sun which is an incredibly well written novel, involving an intricate narrative of the Biafran War in Nigeria in 1967.
In the clip above Chimamanda Adichie speaks about the danger of a single story, which means the need for multiple strands of narrative, or stories when attempting to describe something. She explains that stereotypes can be cruel and misleading because they only tell a single story. This can apply to race or any stereotype or preconception.
The media can portray black men for example, in a negative fashion, but of course not all black men indulge in negative practices. Chimamanda is asking us to not to speak in terms of black and white but be able to articulate the grey, to explain the duplicity or multipicity of stories or descriptions. She is telling us to up our storytelling game so peolple don't have to read in between the lines.
Mixed Up is a film which explores the correlations between mixed race heritage and style influences. It was made by Cassie Clarke for her BA Fashion Promotion final project. The film was conceived, filmed and edited by Cassie.
I really liked this film firstly because it explores mixed race style. There have been many studies of black or white people, but there aren't too many focusing on mixed race people. Cassie interviews what looks like a bunch of mixed race students from London, and explores how their heritage has affected their style. I found I could identify with most people in the film, seeing as I am mixed race and from London, many of the narratives seemed very familiar to my own story.
I was also impressed by how concise and effective the film was, seeing as it was made very simply by a first time film maker. I found it very inspiring as I am an aspiring film maker myself. if your at all interested in mixed race people and how their heritage impacts what they wear, I suggest you check it out.
Cassie also has a blog that coincides with the film which explores mixed race style @ Mixed Up.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
This documentary was made in 1987,a year before I was born! It features Tim Westwood & Trevor Nelson looking young and the all the original UK Hip Hop pioneers such as Cookie Crew and Bionic from London Posse. What is interesting is that all early UK emcees rapped in American accents. Although Bionic form London Posse did not, he rapped in his real cockney accent, which is very fly, go 23.00 minutes into the doc to see Bionic spitting hot fire! The doc also features a bit of early UK graf.