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October Film Feast

Hola ma chicas, if you’re a wee bit interested, here’s a list of films I’m going to make a date with this month. It’s not all of them, I know, but they’re chunkiest most juiciest ones I wanna see.

Judy 02/10
Staring Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley & Finn Wittrock
Directed by Rupert Goold

Film: It’s 1969 and Judy Garland arrives in London for a five week sell out tour while battling depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.
Judy looks on the star and her final performances just a few months before her tragic death at 47.

Fact: some of the performances from that very tour in ’69 can be found YouTube.

From me: Judy’s life was a rollercoaster from being Two years old because of a hellbent and obsessed mother. Between the ’30s right through to the ’50’s, The Hollywood Studio System churned out films like toys off a conveyor belt until the US Government ended their monopoly; Judy was just one of the many cogs that churned that belt and it’s no secret how badly she was treated. Judy was starved, forced fed drugs and abused as a result of her young life in the system. This film is from her final year so I can only imagine it’s going to pack a punch.

Joker 04/10 
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy
Directed by Todd Phillips

Film: An origin story of the DC Character, Joker.
Set in 1981 and failed as a comedian Arthur Fleck, slowly descends into madness, chaos and crime.

Fact: The Joker’s character is inspired from the film “The Man Who Laughs” made in 1928. It’s   based on a novel of the same name. A King sentences the main character, Gwynplaine, to have his face carved into a grin for crimes his father commited.

From me: I reckon any new depiction of the Joker is going to bring you back to all the Joker’s you’ve seen before – it does me. Cesar Romero 1966, Jack Nicholson 1989, Heath Ledger 2008 or Jared Leto 2016 – are all going to be compared to the next. The beauty being, with every new Joker – we get to see another deranged and depraved depiction of one of the most popular villains in cinema. One thing always remains the same, Joker is Batmans polar opposite but we have never seen such a detailed ascent to anarchy. I can’t wait to see how Joker got started being the most fun murderer on Tele.

Gemini Man 10/10
Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen
Directed by Ang Lee

Film: A retiring assassin, Henry Brogan, finds himself pursued by a mysterious killer that can predict his every move. Discovering that he’s being hunted by a younger clone of himself, Henry needs find out why he’s being targeted and who the creator is.

Fact: The film was first conceived in 1997 and has been tied to several writers, actors and directors since. Production didn’t actually begin until February 2018 though, meaning this film has been in the making for over 20 years.

From Me: “If I knew then, what I know now”, comes to mind when I heard what this film was about. Yes, yes, there’ll be fighting and action and we will all get to see a CGI version of the Fresh Prince, but I do hope the film has a bit more to it considering it’s seen so many writers over 20 years. Perhaps there’ll be some sort of poignant life lesson amongst all the fighting.

Maleficent 18/10
Directed by Joachim Rønning
Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley and Michelle Pfeiffer

Film: It’s been a peaceful Five years for Maleficent and Aurora until Philip decides to propose. Suddenly, Aurora and Maleficent find themselves on opposite sides of a war between fairies and humans when Philip’s mother, Queen Ingrith manipulates the family apart.

Fact: the film wasn’t meant to be released for another Eight months.

From me: I expect this film will be fantasy version of Jeremy Kyle mixed with a hint of Romeo and Juliet. There’s nothing like the complexities that come with a family, especially two from opposing fantasy worlds. I am sure there’s going to be a few families that relate to the manipulative mother in law, Queen Ingrith.

Zombieland : double tap 18/10
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Bill Murray

Film: Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock are back with a handful new survivors to join the Zombieland orphans. The Zombies are badder than bad after evolving into super Zombies, so we have to hope that the family and their new members have evolved into something stronger too!

Fact: The film is going to be released 10 years after the original as a special kind of anniversary.

From Me: Of all the Zombie films I have ever watched, Zombieland was my favourite (closely followed by Dawn of the Dead and World War Z). I loved the fact that it was a funny horror film with moments of real heartfelt drama, (oh, and “Bill Fucking Murray” was in it too). I aren’t sure how they are going to match the Original, but man, am I excited to see the gang again.

Terminator: dark fate 23/10
Directed by Tim Miller
Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong

Film: Nearly 30 years after T:2, Sarah Connor and the T-800 must come to aid of Dani Ramos, a human-cyborg hybrid, when a liquid metal terminator is sent from the future.

Fact: James Cameron, the original creator of the franchise, only came aboard as a Producer when it was suggested Dark Fate would be a direct sequel to Terminator 2 and all the films since the 1991 blockbuster, would be discarded from the timeline. He had one condition, Schwarzenegger was involved.

From me: I’ve seen all the Terminator Movies, but I’ve only seen Terminator 1 & 2 more than once (I could probably recite T:2 backwards… maybe not). The films that came after Terminator 2 were never going to live up to the originals because they just didn’t have the same message, they weren’t trying to convey the same idea that Cameron’s films are rooted with. Cameron doesn’t make action films, he makes films about people,  about humanity and the two sides of it’s face; Then he decorates them with action and drama (Do I sound like a Cameron fan-girl?). There may be a few that disagree but I genuinely hope that there’s a Cameron stamp on this film, that’s the only way it will Terminate at the Box office – ha.

The beach bum 25/10
Directed by Harmony Korine
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Jimmy Buffett, Martin Lawrence and Jonah Hill

Film: Moondog’s a writer that loves Pot, Beer and Good Times. He’s never out of his comfort zone until his daughters wedding, where a bumpy journey of losing control and self discovery begins.

Fact: While he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, McConaughey told how Snoop Dogg swapped out fake prop marijuana.

From me: McConaughey is one of my all time favourite actors and like every other film he’s in I am sure it’s going to be great. It’s on of the only reasons it made it on this list because it sounds a bit silly. But, I have only briefly scanned the internet to get bits of info about it so I don’t spoil it. It could be amazing. I already feel like ‘the making of this film’ would probably be as good as the film though and that’s after only a few minutes of scrolling posts about it.

Monos 25/10
Directed by Alejandro Landes
Starring Julianne Nicholson and Moisés Arias

Film: on a remote mountain in Latin America a young group of rebel soldiers watching over a hostage are driven apart when they’re ambushed and driven into the jungle.

Fact: The film is set on site, in some of the most remote places of Latin America, that have never been filmed before

From me: This film has been circulating for less than 6 months and it’s already accumulated awards and nominations of all kinds. I had to be careful finding things out about this film because I really did not want to spoil it. As it turns out, it was not difficult to see that there’s children, alcohol, drugs, sex, the great outdoors, violence and an overbearing presence known as the Organization; the drama that will unfold, I can only imagine, will be dark and brutal.

Doctor Sleep 31/10
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and Kyliegh Curran

Traumatised by the events of his childhood Dan Torrence, struggles with alcoholism and finding peace in his life. Sought out by Abra, a teenager with the gift of the ‘shine’ she begs for his help against a cruel cult, the True Knot.

Fact: The Doctor Sleep Novel by Stephen King came out in 2013 and Warner Bros started developing the adaptation by 2014.

From Me: It must be really something to write a bunch of stories and create a movie franchise like Stephen Kings has. Imagine writing the most nightmarish things you can think of and one of the largest entertainment companies on the planet just churning them out; making them real on the big screen -Must be mental. I don’t have much to say on this film because I refuse to read about it until after I watch it.

That’s my Film Feast this month anyway. I hope you enjoy being at the pictures as much as me.

film review. brightburn

MOVIE: Brightburn

YEAR: 2019

DIRECTOR: David Yarovesky

WRITER: Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn

MAIN CAST: Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Elizabeth BAnks

RUNNING TIME: 1hr 30min

There are spoilers below…

I try and avoid movie trailers out of fear that they will spoil a film or take something away from it. Most of the time I feel like they show way too much information and as though they somehow force me to develop an opinion about a film before I have even seen it.

Brandon Breyer

Brightburn was one of those times I ended up seeing the trailer and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I developed an opinion about the film I did start thinking up questions about it and I was coming back to Superman every-time.

ooooo, I thought, interesting – my initial reaction to the first few seconds of the trailer. Then as it went on I began to cringe a little, ah I don’t know. I mean, a bad Superman? Is that where they’re going with this? We’ve seen Superman turn bad. Then again, we’ve never seen him start out bad. Ok – they’re either gona do this good or it’s gona be real bad.

I kept seeing odd buzz words around the film though: Horror, Gory, Bad seed, Evil Superhero. I was wondering, how dark is this gona be?

When I thought about a bad Superman, I couldn’t help going back to the 1983 Superman III starring Christopher Reeve. It’s the one where Superman splits into an evil version of himself after being exposed to synthetic kryptonite. He becomes a bit of a horny, juvenile alcoholic. Sure some of the stuff he does is a bit bad, but considering the power he wields he doesn’t go that mental. This got me hoping Brightburn wasn’t just about a moody Mama’s boy going through puberty.

Superman and Clark Kent

To be fair, the trailer made it quite clear the little dude in this film was one step ahead of getting wasted, blowing out the Olympic Torch and straightening out the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Superman III). He is definitely a bit of a psycho, but how far was he really going to go? Was he just going to maim people? Or was this angelic looking kid going to just go to full on Killing sprees? I think there’s a few occasions in the DC comics where Superman goes a bit nuts and even starts killing members of the Justice League, so maybe he will go that far?

The Gunn brothers, Mark and Brian, that wrote the screenplay are adamant the film is not based on a ‘bad Superman’, but an already evil alien raised on earth. I don’t read about films until I’ve seen them so most of this I didn’t really pick up until afterward.

However, perhaps I should have observed that statement a little harder while I watched it. I got caught up on this whole Evil Superman parallel, that it was easy to only see the Superman element.

Yes! There’s bunch of references paying homage to Superman from the red cape to the laser beam eyes. Yes! Like the Superman back-story, a baby crash lands on a farm and Mr & Farmer decide to raise the baby as their own, but you can read more about all those on another site.

Forget for a minute that Brightburn had anything to do with Superman at all.

What got my skin crawling is what’s implied about Brandon’s backstory and what he’s going through. After much consideration, I think Brandon is less like Superman – and more like some killer Wasp-Bee alien, and here’s why.

To give that a little more context, I’m going to start from the scene in the school where Brandon talks about bees and wasps.

By the complex answer he gives his teacher when they’re learning about the Bees and the Wasps Brandon appears to be smarter than the average kid. The other children tease Brandon; he is clearly different to them and maybe they all sense that.

I don’t think this scene just makes a point about how smart Brandon is, or how the other kids in the class are bullying him. I think this scene is a big clue about why he landed on Earth and what makes this film stand away from Superman.

I’ll expand on what Brandon talks about to show where I’m coming from. Brandon says about the aggressive nature of wasps and how they don’t have the ability to create hives so they take them over by brute force. True Brood Wasps are insects that infiltrate host nests as larvae (like Brandon as a baby) and are raised by the adult hosts (like Tori and Kyle). Cuckoo Bumblebees do the same, but also release pheromones in order to slip past bee security and kill or subdue the queen of entire colonies and take them over, forcing the host worker-hive to feed their offspring.

I think showing him being bullied is by the other kids at school could also be seen as they are poking the wasp nest – so to speak but I won’t get carried away.

When Brandon wakes up in the middle of the night after a seizure, the hidden space-vessel he came in seems to have sent out psychic messages awakening his powers of strength, flight and speed (not to mention the laser eyes). Later in the film Brandon cracks the psychic code and realises its telling him to TAKE THE WORLD – which he seems to take to like a Cuckcoo Bee takes a colony.

Yeah, from here on in, Brandon starts displaying a whole load of manipulative and twisted behaviour that involves bloodshed and threats – but there’s a fair few indicators that what he’s been going through doesn’t just start after the seizure in bed.

Knowing that despite his innocent appearance, Brandon is not a real human child, Kyle points out the things he’s noticed as they have raised him.

Kyle and Tori discover some magazine clippings which aren’t just teenage boy spank-bank material. Beneath a few pictures of bikini models, there’s pictures and drawings of the anatomy of people. The notebook that he is always writing in is quite tatted and used up and when we see it later in the film, there’s a lot of disturbing content (even the logo he stamps everywhere is like a rudimentary bee or wasp stamp). It all suggests these are things that have been playing on his mind for a while. It’s not quite as simple as a Space-ship talking to him awakening some sudden urge to kill, it seems Brandon has been wondering what people look like from the inside-out, for a lot longer.

Does he want to know our anatomy so he can kill us easily? Does he want to lay eggs in our abdomen? Is he going to eat us when he is done? I mean, when he stuck his finger in the blood on his dying uncles face, I half expected him to lick it off!!

Ok I aren’t clutching at straws here – I can give this Bee-Wasp Alien theory a bit more traction.

Another part of the film that seems to back up the idea of Brandon infiltrating Earth to potentially colonise it like the Cuckoo Bee, is his interest in Caitlyn. Despite the fact that he crushes her hand, in some sort of controlling and manipulative effort he still wants to pursue her sexually. The reason I specifically say sexually, is because the first thing he does after Kyle ‘gives him the talk (about the birds and the bees‘) is stalk her in her bedroom. It’s also more carnal than it is romantic especially because he actually stalks her. Even after he breaks her hand he is still imposing. Has he intended her as his mate?

Ok so enough about that – one of thee main and most definitive reasons I think Brandon is a Wasp Monster… The insect-like hooded-mask he wears. I mean, come on, could you get more symbolic than that? He hovers like a wasp, he moves at speed like a wasp, he’s aggressive and parasitic and imposing – he even wears a wasp mask!!

So if I forget for a minute that the word Superman is even remotely related to this little monster, I become extremely creeped out. I reckon Brandon is more likely from a liege of Super Wasp Aliens that can morph into their hosts, permeate an entire planet and destroy it with no conscience.

If you think I’m totally off the mark then message me or comment. I’d love to hear it.

…anything but Superman related comparisons!

zero-nine-eight.0

Zero-nine-eight yanked down on the stiff metal handle of the giant metal door; it didn’t budge.

She pulled down on it with all her weight, then she jumped up and pushed down on it. Nothing.

Almost out of energy, she tugged hard and pulled down again, her skinny arms stretched upward as she hung from it and her bum grazed the floor. It wasn’t giving even slightly.

She looked about with a mix of fear and anger on her face. She had been running around in a labyrinth of corridors for what felt like hours and her bare feet were so cold they hurt.

There was a keypad too high up to reach next to the door but she didn’t know what she could do about that anyway, they always used a different number on the one in her room.

Brick walls lined the long corridors of concrete floors. There were three different kinds of lights; Long fluorescent strips in the middle of the ceiling which were off at the moment, small tinted red round ones on the wall about two meters apart, which were also off – finally, small white rectangle ones evenly spaced between the red ones, which were on. Most of them didn’t work and there wasn’t a great deal of light, but Zero-nine-eight could see there were no vents, no holes, no spaces to hide in or crawl through.

As she was about to head back the way she came, the hall lit up with the red lights which seemed to be swirling, followed by a shrill siren which sounded three times and stopped.

They were back.

Zero-nine-eight fell down, startled. She scrambled herself backwards into the corner next to the metal door. There was a light beeping noise followed by heavy metal grinding noise from behind the it and she saw the handle move downward. Frozen in the corner, the door swung open, trapping her in the space behind it as it opened slowly until wall stopped it. For the moment she was shielded from the those coming through the it.

“Lieutenants, round up Zero-nine-zero through to Zero-nine-nine”, boomed a voice.

“Yessir, Commander”, came two more voices in unison.

“Take them to the ship, but be discreet. There are a lot of people about this time of day. Use the Trojan.”

“On it Sir”, and that was it; the bright white fluorescent strip lights came on in the ceiling and the red swirling lights stopped. She heard footsteps heading away before hearing the beeping noises again and the door began to move closed.

It swung slowly and she crept around following it. She peered around but it was completely black. As the gap became smaller she gulped and taking a big breath back, she went through.

film review. rim of the world

MOVIE: Rim of the World

YEAR: 2019

DIRECTOR: McG

WRITER: Zack Stentz

MAIN CHARACTERS: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr., Alessio Scalzotto

RUNNING TIME: 1hr 38min

There are spoilers below…

What a treat of a film this turned out to be.

Rim of the World: Dariush, Zhenzhen, Alex, Gabriel

Rim of the World is about four totally different kids that meet at a summer camp. Abandoned by the adults, it’s up to Alex, Dariush, Zhenzhen and Gabriel to save the world when Aliens invade.

If you watch it close enough you will see that is only one part of what this movie has to offer; there are layers, upon layers, upon layers to this film.

It is stuffed to the ‘rim’ of movie references from the last thirty-odd years making it a relatable, fun flick for adults and kids alike. It’s a mix of Sci-Fi, Horror, Adventure and Comedy genres, and it has absolutely no qualms with throwing every stereotype in the book into the mix.

Most recently audiences have been going mad for the likes of Stranger Things and IT for their nostalgic throwback to the Western World’s most favoured Adventure blockbusters of the last few decades. Movies like ET, Goonies and Breakfast Club were the backbone of Generation X. Unlike Stranger things and IT, Rim of the World is set in the present, but with the same sort of adventure format. Generation Z benefits from references of movies like Gladiator and Rush Hour and then more recently the Millennials will be more familiar with Wolverine and John Wick.

Using the countless politically incorrect inferences we have all grown up on to pack a funny punch; filmmakers have cleverly highlighted contentious issues, instead of hiding them beneath the surface as a cheap gag trick. The main clue that this film is openly commenting on politically charged stereotypes or agendas is when Carl & Logan, the Camp Leaders (who are also “the black men on Campus”) are sitting about the campfire talking about Toy Story 3. It’s not to say that Carl & Logan’s interpretation of Toy Story 3 is true (“the ruling class justification for the inferior conditions of the working class”), but it is how the filmmakers say to the audience, “yes, films are meant to talked about; yes, they have hidden meanings and agendas – including this film; and yes, we know what we are doing – that’s the point”.

I won’t list all of the film references in the movie, I am sure there are a tonne of websites that’ve already made it their mission to; besides, spotting them yourself is part of the fun because for many of them it’s just one line of dialogue or a prop or special effect that’s the reference instead of the actual name of the film.

What I think is so important to take away from the film is its coming of age theme and messages.

The guy that wrote the film, Zack, has mentioned in a few interviews about the emotional importance of the films he grew up on in the 80’s and the lessons they taught him and millions of others. They relied a lot on how kids in the audience identified with what the characters are going through. Childhood traumas like bullying, poverty, grief, peer-pressure or some sort of in-house/domestic abuse are usually used as part of the background info in most of the main character arcs. In Rim of the World, it’s all about abandonment. Alex’s Father died traumatically in front of him, Dariush’s Father is going to Jail, Gabriel’s Father leaves when he’s Ten and Zhenzhen is an orphan – Not to mention they’re all left alone by the ‘adult camp leaders’ when the whole movie kicks off.

Generally the plot of the all these Generation X movies features a Headmaster or Evil Grown-up, a Monster, or in this case Alien, which acts as the metaphor for the main characters’ trauma and how they overcome it is always based on how they pull together and ‘Stand By’ each other; it’s the lessons they learn through their friendship that gives them strength, not just in the immediate battle, but also the one they are fighting at home or school.

Rim of the World packs a LOT into an hour and half. I could mention that I thought the special effects were kind of wooden and I could say the introduction of the characters and even some of the interaction and dialogue sometimes felt awkward and unnatural and I don’t think many would disagree. However, the fact that it’s full of hints and clichés from the last forty years makes me thinks all of this part of its purposeful charm.

Overall it does well to be its own unique take on western pop-culture. It brings together the last three generations of audiences in a hilarious, albeit crude and obvious, complement of one-liners, shoddy CGI explosions and an evil looking monster while also facing the crushing trauma of family torment with your best mates at your side.

Nice one Zack.

tails from my cat-fam: Patch

It is no secret how much I love my cat-fam. Hugo, Patch, Jessie & Batcat.

The Cat-Fam

I’m so boring when it comes to my cats and I can almost feel everyone’s eyes roll into the backs of their heads when I start to tell yet another story about them. If I work with you, if you’re my friend, neighbour or family, or a stranger in the street, you will hear me talk about at least one of my four cats during an encounter.

This one is about Patch.

I used to have a beautiful black cat called Scarlet but she took it upon herself to leave me and I never saw her again 😦

She just never came home.

Since then, I have been dreading the day that I notice I’m a cat down.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my cute but scraggly Batcat, had her momentous achievement of getting into the house through the cat-flap (it had been months of trying to coax, cajole and con her to use it). Since then, not only does she come in, but she goes out too; she’s a fully fledged cat-flapper-cat.

Alas, a few days after the cat-flap breakthrough, Patch decided that the day had come to put me through the same trauma as Scarlet.

Although Patch is one of my more aloof Kitties and only comes to have the odd bit of attention when no other cat is about,  I  can always rely on her come meet me in the street when I home from a night-shift..

On the fateful morning of April 12th I didn’t get my usual fussy Hello.

A little worried, but also aware of my tendency to over-react, I went to bed knowing I would be up in an hour or two for my new KCom Lightstream upgrade, (that’s fibre broadband to you non-Hull natives) and she would probably be home by then.

Less than two hours later I was awakened by my horrifcally loud door-bell and two very polite, smiling (& strapping) KCom engineers.

“In there fella’s,” I directed them to the living room at the back of the house, “help yourselves”. I stuck my head out of the front garden gate and gave a short whistle for Patch. Nope, still no sign (“don’t over-react, don’t over-react, don’t over-react”).

After a few trips in and out of the back garden, the odd whirring of drilling and stapling of wires, they were done “Bye, Love” they say, and they were off.

Still, in the hours to come, there was no sign of my fur-baby Patch. Thoughts of all the horror stories I had ever heard were beginning to race through my mind and by tea-time I had resided myself to the fact that she wasn’t coming home or she was cold, injured and hiding – alone and frightened somewhere.

I went out several times into the night looking for her. Every moment that passed only convinced me more that she was gone for good.

By the next day I had over 50 shares on a Facebook post, had driven about Hull with my sister following up on any dead cat sightings people posted about and replied to several comments and messages from well wishers and cat lovers alike providing me with comforting advice (which surprisingly enough, actually was comforting).

"She may have been spooked and is hiding until it's safe to come back"
"She may have just gone exploring, Cats do this from time to time"
cat post
"Mine was missing a whole two weeks before she came back, I  know what you're going through, try not to get too upset at this point"

Other comments included advice about when was best to go and look for her and different ways to lure her back.

It was a horrible day at work, I was worrying the whole time. It was so nice to hear from people and what their experiences had been. I was trying to convince myself that this was a normal thing that could happen and maybe I shouldn’t bee too worried at this point; it had only been a day (this was not me over-reacting by the way).

By the end of the day, one of my posts had racked up nearly 80 shares. That may not seem a big deal to some people but to me I was so grateful that there was a whole 80 people that wanted to help me out.

It was a late finish from work and it wasn’t until 11:30pm that I rocked up at home with a frog in my throat when I realised for a second day that she wasn’t home. All the comments and well wishing that had kept me calm through the day didn’t seem to mean much when I didn’t see her trot up to me in the street.

It was a little after midnight when I went back out shaking my treats, with no real expectation of seeing Patch… but who comes trotting around the corner like nothing had happened?

None other than Mohammed Ali… haha – kidding, it was my little fluff-ball, Patch.

2019-05-22 (5)

Of course I spent the next 20 minutes sobbing uncontrollable tears of joy and Patch did nothing but try and wriggle free wondering why I was being so clingy.

She hasn’t done it since. In fact, in the last few weeks since she has even taken to sleeping upstairs with the rest of the cat-fam. I aren’t complaining.

reading films: a breakdown

Films are multi-medial. They are a visual and auditory platform.

Because our imagination is stimulated by both sounds and pictures at the same time Films take command of more of our senses than most other Art to create special atmospheres, feelings or to bring out emotions.

The Visual and Auditory techniques used to tell the story are things like sounds, music, lighting, camera angles, and editing. Then films can be interpreted by the literary elements such as plot, setting, characterisation, structure, and theme and the text in the screenplay.

What is important is how all the elements are used together in making a good film and how effortlessly they blend together. 

Below are a few of the main things you to look out for when you’re reading a film.

Plot and structure

Plot is the pattern of events arranged to emphasise links between events

Setting

Setting is where and when the story takes place.

Conflict

Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the film and is related to the main characters.

Characterization

Characterisation is how the characters are described.

Narrator and point of view

The narrator is the person telling the story. Point of view means through whose eyes the story is being told.

Genre

Genre’s are a series of socially agreed conventions within the story (or in this case, the film) developed over time.

Imagery

In films imagery are the elements used to create pictures in our minds. They may include:

Theme’s

Theme’s are the universal ideas that shine through in the film (in other words, what is it about, in general)?

Soundtrack

The soundtrack is not only dialogue and music, it is all the other sounds in a film too.

Use of the camera

A camera shot is based on the camera’s distance from the object. A camera angle is how the camera is tilted while filming.

Lighting

Lighting focuses the audience’s attention on the main character or object in a film & it sets the mood or atmosphere.

Editing

Editing is the way in which a film editor together with the director cuts and assembles the scenes. The way the scenes are joined together creates the rhythm of the motion picture. Scenes can be long and drawn out or short and choppy.

Keep an eye out for my next post about reading films….

my cinema: summer 2019

I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner but I guess it has been a while since I have made regular trips to Cinema.

My local Odeon Cinema, in Hull, recently had a refurbish, so I have been going almost once a or twice a week since my first time back there after it became all new and shiny. I’ve decided that I love going there so much more than any other Cinema (EVER), that I am going to make a point of going as much as I possibly can this Summer, hence the massive list.

I am even debating signing up for their Limitless Card, but I have a few commitment issues and as soon as I sign up for something, I stop wanting to do it… if that doesn’t make sense to you, then too bad; the things I do rarely make sense to me either.

There are are tonnes of films I’ve been adding to my list for a few months (here are twenty of them) and all I can do is hope they’re all going to be shown at Hull’s new Odeon.

So here is my light and fluffy (with occasional blood-soaked violence) list of films that I definitely want to see this Summer, and unless there are any secret productions that are going to drop onto my lap, I don’t see this list changing.

What’s left of May;

Aladdin 24/05/2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters 29/05/2019

June;

X-Men: Dark Phoenix 05/06/2019

Men in Black: International 14/06/2019

Brightburn 21/06/2019

Child’s Play 21/06/2019

Annabelle Comes Home 28/06/2019

July;

Spider-Man: Far from Home 02/07/2019

The Dead Don’t Die 12/07/2019

The Art of Self-Defense 12/07/2019

The Lion King 19/07/2019

August;

Artemis Fowl 09/08/2019

Once upon a time in Hollywood 14/08/2019

Dora and the Lost City of Gold 16/08/2019

Where’d you go, Bernadette? 16/08/2019

Angel has Fallen 23/08/2019

The Informer 30/08/2019

September;

It Chapter Two 06/09/2019

The Kitchen 20/09/2019

Rambo V: Last Blood 20/09/2019

a brief history of the origin of plays

There’s a clear link between the origin of the play and what’s known as western philosophy. A few philosophers and playwrights developed the principle the techniques and devices in storytelling (including films, books and plays alike) that we use today.


Melpomene (Tragedy) and Thalia (Comedy )

Philosophy on its own, just means the solving of problems – Big problems, with broad subjects like; existence, knowledge, language and reason. It can be applied to all sorts of things.

Why are plays so important?

Being able to read or write was not something just anyone could do a few thousand years ago. Even if people were telling stories, unless they could shout very loudly or write them down, not many people would hear them except through word of mouth which means there was a lot lost in translation.

Luckily for us, some storytellers did end up finding ways to write their stories down. But, it was hard enough finding anyone that could write, so imagine trying to find anyone that could read!

Someone eventually saw a niche in the market though, and figured that those who could read, could read stories out loud to a group of people… and so it began. Plays.

Have a guess where it all started… Did you guess Ancient Greece? Gold star for you!

The first Plays were performed in Athens in the Theatre of Dionysus around 500 BC and they consisted of one actor called the Protagonist who told a story with the help of a Chorus (a group of people). A man called Thespis was apparently the first ever man who went on stage and acted as a character. He even went on Tour after winning one of the first documented theatre competitions. Ha! Imagine that, Thespis on Tour! People loved him and he was a complete celebrity – like Thespis Depp or Brad Thespis.

Theatre of Dionysus

As time went on, the Tyrants and Politicians (same difference really) would buy their people’s favour by building theatres or sponsoring plays and employing playwrights to write for them.

Plays were so popular that within years there were Theatres popping up all over the place. But it didn’t stop at reading out loud, these were exciting times and once the ideas started rolling, they just snowballed.

A Playwright called Aeschylus (aka The Father of Tragedy), decided to change the game. He added a Second Guy to help tell the story. So there were 2 men telling the story and less chorus! The second person became known as the Antagonist. Aeschylus literally introduced the Conflict amongst his Characters. This is where storytelling evolved into something really complex.

We had our first Goodie and Baddie on stage.

So, Aeschylus had a student called Sophocles. You will never guess what he did… OK, you might. Well, he introduced a THIRD GUY!

Sophocles did other great things too but the competition was tough by now and he was overtaken by Euripides.

More of Euripides’ work survived because it was more popular than Aeschylus & Sophocles’. He was all about the representation of traditional mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. That’s because us lot in the audience loved to be able to imagine our plain-Jane selves as heroes.

Anyway, then there was Socrates who happened to be a this great mind-blowing philosopher who, in 407, met Plato. Plato abandons his first ambitions of being a playwright and becomes Socrates student and personal biographer.

Then! After ALL that comes along Aristotle. Aristotle begins studies at Plato’s Academy and becomes his student and with that, the first ever Play-Writing Manual was written.

“Tragedy is a form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear. Its action should be single and complete, presenting a reversal of fortune, involving persons renowned and of superior attainments, and it should be written in poetry embellished with every kind of artistic expression.” – Poetics, Aristotle 

It was written by Aristotle called and was called Poetics . It was like the beginning of Literary Theory. It talks about the elements found in storytelling and shows where they appear in Plays.

It documents the start of literary theory as we understand it today. It supports the close connection between philosophical thinking applied in plays, stories and films.

The western thinkers

The link between plays and western thinking is clear when you see how closely these men all worked together. The stories that were told and the impact they had were an insight into our psyche at the time and much of it is still relevant today. The Greeks explored the world they lived in and what it meant to be human through the Plays they watched and the reason the rest of us in the western world did the same is because we could identify with each other through them.

Stories go hand in hand with philosophy because they’re our way of thinking about those big subjects – existence, knowledge, language and reason.

There were only really three types of Play at first. Comedy, Tragedy and Satyr. Poetics outlines them all in the introduction however the main subject of the book is Tragedy (there may have been a second book which covered Comedy but it’s thought to have been lost).

The Comedies mainly made fun out of the men in power (and their vanity). The Tragedies were about Love and Loss, pride and abuse of Power. Typically the Protagonist would do something really bad and be arrogant or foolish. But, as he realises what he has done, his world falls apart around him. 

Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides are thought of as the Three Great Playwrights of Tragedy. 

The Satyr plays were short skits which played between the acts of Tragedies and they mocked the misfortune of the Tragedies characters. The origins of the play and what you can find from the public interaction with them is how important they were to the culture in Greece and subsequently the rest of the world. 

We may think we have evolved and grown but even now when it comes to most of what happened in all those Plays written in the few hundred years after 600 BC we still find the stories are relatable. Why? Because they are stories about the human condition and they were written by philosophers that shaped our history, way of thinking and perspective.

Thousands of years on we can identify with the stories they left us – so what does that say about the films and stories we see and hear today? How relatable will they be to the future generations?

In order,

Thespis, c. 6th century BCE (exact dates unknown)

Aeschylus, c. 525 BCE – 455 BCE

Sophocles, c. 497 – 406 BCE

Euripides, c. 480 – 406 BCE

Socrates, c. 469 – 399 BCE

Plato, c. 427- 348 BCE

Aristotle 384 – 322 BCE

ten best things Tuesday

Tuesday was my best day, I had thee best time from start to finish.
  1. My morning started with a nightmare… and yes, you may be thinking ‘how on Earth can a great day start with a nightmare?’
It’s because I actually love nightmares. With the same logic of why people go on roller-coasters, go bungee jumping or watch horror films; they do it for a rush. To me a nightmare is like a surprise horror screening in the cinema of your brain… which is kind of apt because I ended up having a whole movie day. Well this nightmare was so bad that it made me bolt upright in bed gasping for air for the first time in a few years. So you can imagine how racy my heart was. The worst thing about this was that there was no way I was getting back to sleep straight away.
  1. The 2nd best thing that happened was to my sweet, scrawny, tiny and very dopey Batcat.
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Scrawny Batcat
For Christmas, I got a cat flap and all the cats, except Batcat, loved it from the first Day. It was like a letterbox for cats. When they figured it out, it was like I could almost hear them saying ‘Mam – this is amazing, it’s our OWN DOOR!’ and they were in and out of it all day and have been since. Batcat on the other-hand was having absolutely none of it. She would cry and cry and cry until I opened the door. Despite my weeks of trying to coax and help her through, she didn’t seem to grasp the whole concept of the flap.
The squad
Keeping Guard – Jessie, Patch, Hugo
So back to my Tuesday morning where I needed a walk around the house with a glass of water to shake off this dream of being chased and eaten by a giant bacteria-worm down my Dad’s street. Not surprisingly, there was Batcat, sitting at the back door whining for me to let her out. So I did, but not before warning her I was going back to bed so she was staying outside. Off she went and off I went, back to bed. So there I was, dozing off and about to re-enter dream hell, when I heard that familiar letterbox noise, not once, not twice, not three times, but over and over and Over and OVer and OVEr and OVER. I threw back my covers, in a rage! What was going on down there?! I stampeded down the stairs ready to find out which of my little furry demons were trying to wind me up. But there, from down the hallway, I could see the tiny paw of my freaky Batcat. I couldn’t believe it, she’d gotten her paw through the flap. Her whole Paw! Suddenly realising this could be the moment I had been waiting for – I stopped. ‘Come on girl, come on – you can do it!’ I coaxed in my softest voice while I crept toward the door, ‘Tsk Tsk Tsk, come on.’ Well, what can I say when I saw that little head come all the way inside I knew she had finally done it. It was like seeing a child walk for the first time, except better cause it was my baby Batcat! She chirped as she came through the cat flap and I scooped her up, giving her the most cuddly cuddle and strokes. It was amazing and easily makes its way into the best thing that’s happened in months… Judge all you like.
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Batcat the ball of fur
So obviously after all this excitement there was no way I was getting back to sleep.
  1. Me and Batcat went back to bed but we decided on a morning movie; The Spy who dumped me.
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The Spy Who Dumped Me
That was my 3rd best thing and I just need to say that every time I watch Mila Kunis in a film, I fall in love with her more and more. She is a great actress and absolutely drop dead gorgeous but she plays it off with such humility. With every film her characters get better and better. Next to her was Kate Mckinnon as her best friend and What. A. Pair… It made me want to call all my best friends and go to Prague…  again.
  1. The 4th was seeing my Family and finding out more about the latest project my Dad was into.
  2. Then taking my little Sister and my baby nephew for food.
  3. I went to see Pet Sematary at Cinema– completely alone.
That’s right, there was nobody else in the screening with me.  I was so excited.
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Pet Sematary
There was a bit of an issue though. I had geared myself up for a heart attack level of scare so bad that I would be white with terror and need an ambulance before the end. I must have ‘bigged it up’ too much though. It was nowhere as terrifying as I thought it would be. I liked the soundtrack a lot, bodies dragging themselves around on wooden floors and bones crunching underfoot in the woods. A few scenes did make me shiver but I could have just been cold.
  1. Then for the 7th event of the day, Costa! I went with a friend and I AM SO GLAD I DID. Obviously after seeing Pet Sematary, Stephen King came up. Then naturally IT came up and my friend casually mentions a metaphor I didn’t notice when I had read the IT book before. I could not let this pass me by (more on this when I read the book). I hadn’t read IT since I was 15, so within minutes, I was furiously tapping away on Ebay.
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    IT
    I’m now impatiently waiting for a copy of IT to make its way to me in the post.
  2. The 8th best thing was A Clockwork Orange at Odeon
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    A Clockwork Orange
  3. Popcorn and Pick ‘N’ Mix.
  4. The 10th best thing of the day though… Recliners.
That’s right, Odeon have done their cinema out in Hull and Oh My Days! There is no other way to watch a film at cinema AGAIN. They have actual, super comfy, recliners in in some of their screens. Oh Man, Oh Mannnnn!! The comfort level was through the roof. I even saw a few people go with blankets – which I am definitely doing next time I go. I don’t think I can leave it very long either. I want to take one of those recliners home with me. It was such a premier experience. Especially seeing A Clockwork Orange on the big screen which, by the way, gets better every time I see it.