Film Previews: Moana, Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Disney Princess franchise welcomes a new member this Friday with animated feature film Moana opening in theatres across the UK.

The movie features the voice talents of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and newcomer Auli’I Cravhalo. It follows the story of a Polynesian Chief’s daughter who is chosen by the ocean to embark on an epic adventure in order to save her people from an evil curse.

Moana is Disney’s 56th animated feature film and has already received positive reviews in the US following its release on November 23rd.

Check out the trailer below:

[Read more…]

Film review: Allied

 

Picture credit: IMDb

Picture credit: IMDb

The stars of Allied, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, are preposterously beautiful people. It’s not fair, to be honest.

Place these two actors in any scene, and their presence can be somewhat show-stealing.

Not so in director Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, a film that from the start has a decidedly old-fashioned feel – in the best possible way. Both Pitt and Cotillard are classic movie stars, of a kind that is too rare these days. The movie itself has a somewhat timeless aura to it, often feeling as though Allied could have been filmed at any time over the past 60 years, apart from the odd modern flourish that Zemeckis brings to the screen. [Read more…]

23rd Edition of the Italian Film Festival

by Giulia Maccagli and Koldo Sandoval

edinburgh_filmhouse_home_of_the_edinburgh_international_film_festival_620_414_80_s

The 23rd edition of the Italian Film Festival comes at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh, this year.

The Festival, running from the 4th until the 17th of March, has venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Inverness.

At the Festival, there is the best of the “cinema italiano”, currently on a high with the global and awarded success of Paolo Sorrentino, “Youth”.

Alongside established directors’ names, such as Sergio Castellitto, Cristina Comencini, and Gabriele Salvatores, there are also new film directors, as Edoardo Falcone and Laura Bispuri.

The Festival will see on its screen renown Italian  actors, as Valeria Golino, Elio Germano, and Jasmine Trinca.

This year the Festival has a special focus on Luchino Visconti, an Italian theater, opera, cinema director, and screen-writer, in the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his death.

The 23rd edition of the Italian Film Festival is also welcomed by the Italian Government’s new support to the film industry with an investment of £300 million a year.

 

Edinburgh Gets Ready for the Release of ‘The Hobbit’

The Hobbit hits theatres

The Hobbit hits theatres

Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ will hit cinemas worldwide this weekend.

It has been highly awaited and people in Edinburgh have also jumped in on the excitement, with local showings sold out. The film will serve as a prequel to the highly successful ‘Lord of The Rings’ Trilogy and will feature a lot of familiar faces from them including: Sir Ian McKellen,  Andy Serkins, Cate Blanchet, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.

The Scottish presence is apparent in the world of middle earth. Edinburgh born actor Ken Stott starts in the film as a Dwarf Balin, one of Bilbo Baggins closest friend. Comedian Billy Connolly has been cast at Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and will appear in the second and third instalments. ‘Lord of the Rings’ veteran, Glasgow bred,  Billy Boyd attended the London premiere last night – he appeared as Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Local Edinburgh cinema The Cameo hosted a ‘Lord of the Rings’ film marathon on the 9th of December 2012 to celebrate the release of ‘The Hobbit’. The audience was encouraged to dress up and the event was deemed a great success by management. ‘The Hobbit’ will be the first 3D film to be shown at The Cameo. Kenny Gold, duty manager of The Cameo, “There has been a lot of build up. We couldn’t have picked a better film than ‘The Hobbit’ for our first 3D showing.”

‘The Hobbit’ is set in the all too familiar Middle-Earth and it follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, and 13 dwarves on their quest to take back the Lonely Mountain from the reign of the dragon, Smaug – who will be voiced by Freeman’s ‘Sherlock’ co-star Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Guardian comments that the movies ‘offers an enormous amount of fun, energy and a bold sense of purpose’. Peter Jackson is once again trying to give movie goers a unique and innovative experience. ‘The Hobbit’ is shot in High Frame Rate (HFR): 48 frames a second instead of the usual 24. This gives the movie a higher definition and with the help of 3D makes the 169 minutes of spookiness more realistic.

Fan interviewed by Shiv Das about ‘The Hobbit:’

The Hobbit premiered last night in London, gathering a remarkable group of celebrities, including the Duke of Cambridge.  Sanaa Siddiqui, who was at the front of the crowd at last night, comments on the atmosphere of the event: “The whole of Leicester Square was packed to the brim with fans. The area was stunningly decorated to look like the Shire. I met all of my favourite actors, it was such an amazing day.”

Audio Interview: final hobbit vopxox shiv das

Seen but not heard

by Jane Bretin

Scotland is inaugurating its first silent film festival in Falkirk today. The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema is set to last three days, from Friday to Sunday and will feature a number of all time

Credit miss mass

classics as well as less famous movies.

The festival includes the screening of a dozen films to suit all ages and tastes as well as an ongoing exhibition in the Bo’ness library. The exhibition retraces the evolution of cinema in the Falkirk area and highlights the importance of the 7th art to this day. [Read more…]

A facelift for an old favourite

By Emily Glass

The dilapidated old Odeon cinema on Clerk Street, Edinburgh is set for renovation to restore it to its former art deco glory. The New Victoria Project has revealed its detailed plans today for the site if its planned purchase is successful.

The decrepit old Odeon site

The New Victoria Project is made up of Edinburgh University Architecture Graduates to whom this extensive restoration project is a welcome job opportunity after spending the months since completing their degrees working in bar management positions.  The project are looking for investors to aid them  to buy the property from current owners Duddingston House Properties.

Their scheme aims restore and update the Grade-B listed building to produce a modern events venue with cinema, theatre, exhibition and private party capabilities.  With a first-floor bar opening-up onto the balcony, a large open area in the roof for bigger events and three smaller venues downstairs there are many exciting  possibilities for The New Victoria. The designers are also planning to return the main auditorium to its original 1930s decor. Many of the original features have been repeatedly repainted and covered-up over the years in the main auditorium so it looks set to be a length job. Operations Director Sarah Colquhoun explained: “A lot of them have been very heavily painted over so they need a lot of TLC. The French windows on the balcony are original so we’re looking at getting them restored and the skylight, which is an original feature, has been covered over as well.”

The original Victoria theatre. Credit The Guardian

The original auditorium

Lead designer Vicki Simpson was behind the renovation of The Ale House pub which stands over the road from the old Odeon earlier this year. After breathing new life into the Southside pub and attracting new, younger punters to the traditional ‘old man’s’ local the New Victoria looks set to be a success under her design. The heavy restoration that is planned is exciting for any Architect to get stuck into as Vicki said: “The highlight for us is restoring the main auditorium back to the original proscenium arch and exposing the statue recesses that are still there, and enhancing that with some new features.” Pulling the decor back to the original prosenium arch will mean that a large stage area will be placed in front of the cinema screen allowing for theatre productions as well as big screen productions to be shown.

The closing date for the sale of the site is 5th January 2011 so The New Victoria Project hope to secure financial backing over the next month to ensure the restoration can go ahead.

Twi-Hards finally get to see New Moon

By Luci Wallace and Frances Allan

New Moon opens today

Fan’s of Twilight can now get their next Robert Pattinson fix as the next film in the saga is released today.

New Moon hit screens nationwide with many cinemas having showings at midnight for self-declared ‘Twi-Hards’.

The film has made over a million pounds in pre-release sales, and it is set to be the biggest film at the box office this weekend.

The first film in the series was the number one film in this week last year and has spawned a worldwide phenomenon of fans obsessed with all things Twilight.

The film is the second in the saga and closely follows the worldwide bestselling novels by Stephanie Meyer, in which vampire Edward Cullen is  in love with human Bella Swan.

Most cinemas are showing the film all day today and are fully booked for weekend showings.

Robert Pattinson who plays Edward Cullen and has stolen the hearts of girls across the globe said of his character:

Edinburgh Napier News spoke to the manager of Cineworld at Fountain Park:

ENN also went to find out why people are so keen on seeing the film:

Grotesque Torture Porn Banned by BBFC

by Elliot Adams

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has refused certification to Koji Shiraishi’s Gurotesuku, which was due to be released in the UK under the title of Grotesque. This puts the film in the company of an extremely select group to have earned the dubious honour of outright bans in the UK, being only one of three films to have been banned by the Board in the last four years, the others being Murder-Set-Pieces in 2008 and NF713 in 2009 – all three having been banned for their scenes of eroticised torture.

Courtesy of BBFC

Japanese cinema has a long history of depicting this type of sadomasochism, from Masumura Yasuzo’s story of abduction Blind Beast (1969) through to Takashi Miike’s psychodrama Audition (1999). But Grotesque is more likely to now be associated with the controversial genre of ‘torture porn’ which originated in Hostel and Saw. BBFC Director, David Cooke claims these ‘18’ rated ‘torture porn’ films are surpassed by Grotesque’s “unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism” where the chief pleasure on offer is the “spectacle of sadism.”

This latest act of censorship marks the point at which ‘torture porn’ becomes unacceptable to the BBFC. But the uncrossable line is far from distinct to the outside observer. For example, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist was recently released by the BBFC without cuts. It depicts a similar, although highly aestheticisized, scenario to Grotesque. Both films have similar scenes of mutilation and torture and similar victims, so what exactly is the difference between the two?

For David Cooke however, the difference is clear. Grotesque‘s scenes of torture are clearly eroticised, whereas Antichrist uses torture and scenes of real sex to illustrate psychological turmoil and so is “not a ‘sex work’ whose primary purpose is sexual arousal.  For these purposes Antichrist is very clearly not a ‘sex work’.”

Cooke’s remarks on Grotesque, which unlike American ‘torture porn’, emphasizes the sexual element implied by that label, will be seen by some as a valid rationale for its banning, and by others as a reason for viewing it.

It is hard to take this hype seriously in either case, especially when the film contains a particularly memorable scene in which a decapitated head bites the antagonist on the neck to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory. Whether the BBFC is protecting us from “moral harm” or indulging in nanny-statism will only become clear when the film emerges from the BBFC’s own darkened cellars and audiences are allowed to decide in the light of day.

3D cinema is here to stay

by Andrew Moir

3D Glasses

3D Glasses

Dreamworks animated movie Monsters Vs Aliens topped the UK box office this week taking just over £4million. The success of the film both in the UK and internationally may be down to the influence of new 3D technology.

For an extra charge, cinemagoers can immerse themselves in a fictional world with the aid of special glasses. In the 1950s 3D films were made by studios afraid of losing audiences to television. They wanted to provide spectacle only the big screen could provide. Films such as House of Wax(1953) and Dial M for Murder(1954) proved to be a great success. The appeal was fleeting and despite occasional comebacks two dimensions remained enough for film lovers. Dreamworks Studio head of animation Jeffrey Katzenberg told Empire magazine that 3D revolution is akin to the introduction of Technicolor.

“People thought it was a gimmick, a distraction, but five years later all movies were made in colour.” According to the mogul cinema is just the beginning and 3D will be a part of everyday life. “It’ll be on your cellphone, on your laptop and on your television set.”

While this future may be distant Hollywood continuing to embrace the potential with many upcoming projects. These include the next Pixar film, Up; Steven Spielberg is producing a Tin Tin trilogy and James Cameron’s Avatar will be his first film since Titanic.

While the idea is to make 3D the norm customers are being charged far above that. One major cinema chain charges £2.25 extra for 3D screenings. As the revolution gathers pace it is film lovers who pay the price.

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