Hi Filmspotters -
I hope you’re all having as enjoyable a summer as we are here at Filmspot HQ. We’ve just completed our the first leg of our summer screenings, and we’re now looking forward to a quick regroup before our August events kick off!
We ran our first Deaf Community Cinema Night, in support of the Brighton Deaf Diaspora on 21 June. We screened the short film, ‘Retreat’ by deaf filmmaker, Ted Evans, followed by a screening of ‘Gravity’ – both films featured subtitles for the hard of hearing. We feel it was a great success, with some great feedback from attendees, including:
Nice valance with deaf film andHollywood – next time I way to watch a long deaf film!”
“I enjoyed very much and [am] looking for more!”
“An excellent idea to create a community event”
Both films were very popular, but judging from the positive response we got regarding Ted Evans riveting film, I think we will be on the look out for more works by deaf filmmakers in the future.
Last Saturday evening, we tagged our latest CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club event, with a screening of Ealing’s wonderfully dark Kind Hearts and Coronets. Again, the feedback from the event was great, including many people who admitted to never having seen the film before!
In honour of last weekend’s new Ealing comedy fans, we thought we would give you Filmspot’s top 5 Ealing Comedies, to get your collection started! Here goes…
5. Whisky Galore! 
Alexander Mackendrick’s wonderfully subversive comedy based on the true story of the SS Politician which was wrecked in near the Hebrides. Boats from the nearby islands soon set upon the wreck, rescuing some 7,000 cases of Scotch from a watery end! This was filmed in the same year as Kind Hearts and includes the same rather dark, biting humour.
4. Hue and Cry 
The first of the post-war Ealing Comedies, Hue and Cry takes its inspiration from the children’s story, Emil and the Detectives. The story follows a group of East End children who foil a gang of robbers, and director Charles Crichton uses the chaos of the bombed streets of London after the Blitz for fascinating backdrops.
3. The Ladykillers 
Perhaps the best known of the Ealing comedies (unfortunately in part to the completely unnecessary and baffling 2004 remake), The Ladykillers boasts a brilliant cast, led by the ever-charismatic Alec Guinness, and a splendidly twisted sense of humour.
2. The Man in The White Suit 
Mackendrick’s deliciously cynical The Man in The White Suit appears simple on the surface, but the film gives real pause for thought. Alec Guinness is at his understated best as an idealistic young inventor who creates an indestructible, dirt-repelling fabric the threatens to overturn the entire textiles industry. Mackendrick said of the film, “Each character in the story was intended as a caricature of a separate political attitude, covering the entire range from Communist, through official Trades Unionism, Romantic Individualism, Liberalism, Enlightened and Unenlightened Capitalism to Strong-arm Reaction. Even the central character was intended as a comic picture of Disinterested Science.”
1. Kind Hearts and Coronets
Of course, Kind Hearts had to feature – this black comedy started a run of what we now see as the ‘classic’ Ealing Comedies. Remembered for Alec Guinness’s incredible performance as all eight doomed members of the D’Ascoyne family, it is Dennis Price, who plays Louis Mazzini – the murderous, yet extremely elegant lead character, who holds the film together.
If we haven’t convinced you yet, here is the wonderful John Landis, singing its praises as only he can!
….We’ll be back in a week to give you full details of our August screenings!
Welcome to the weekend, Filmspotters. We are looking forward to our inaugural screening in support of the Deaf Diaspora tomorrow, details about the screening follow towards the end of this blog post.
Thank you to all of you who came out to enjoy the celebrations of 150 years of the Seaford to Brighton branch line. We were in Bishopstone station, working with the Seaford Community Cinema to show a selection of films made by pupils from the Harbour Primary School, Newhaven, along with some archive films of local, national and international significance, all based on the theme of the railway. We were kept busy with a range of visitors, of all ages, who all found something of interest in the film reel.
Our thanks and congratulations to the Sussex Community Rail Partnership who worked so hard and made the day a great success. Also, we would like to thank our new friends at Seaford Community Cinema. It was great to work with them, and we can’t wait to go to some of their screenings next season!
Our Inaugural Deaf Community Cinema Screening
We are very excited about our screening tomorrow: Saturday 21 June, 7.30pm (doors 7pm) at Claremont Hall (WI), Brooklyn Road, Seaford
We will be screening a short film entitled Retreat by deaf film director, Ted Evans, followed by Alfonso Cuaron’s exhilarating sic-fi survival story, Gravity, shown with audio descriptive subtitles for the hard of hearing.
Here’s the teaser for the very atmospheric Retreat:
There are still tickets available: Tickets cost £6 adults, £4 children (12+); £18 family ticket (2 adults, 2 children aged 12+.
Advance booking essential, from Nadia Nadarajah: firstname.lastname@example.org
….Kind Hearts and Coronets at the CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club
And finally, a reminder about our upcoming screening of the deliciously dark Ealing Comedy, Kind Hearts and Coronets, which we are looking forward to presenting on Saturday 28 June, 7.30pm (doors 7pm).
Tickets cost £5 in advance (£6 on the door), and an be booked by contacting email@example.com or 01273 328683.
Look out next week for some of Filmspot’s favourite Ealing moments!
We have been a little bit quiet the past couple of months, because we have been working on a new website, and booking in some great events for our upcoming season!
Firstly, let’s have a quick look back at 2014 so far…
Launch of the Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club
During March, we launched our pop-up cinema club with the CMPCA in Brighton, with a sell-out screening of Billy Wilder’s fantastic Sunset Boulevard in St Michael’s Church Hall, Brighton.
The film received a great reception from the audience, and the CMPCA did a fantastic job catering for everybody who came along to the screening, with delicious pizzas and salads! There was a very festive atmosphere, and we are now looking forward to our next event with this friendly, lively community group, in June (details follow below).
Museums at Night: Newhaven Fort
We took part in a fun evening at Newhaven Fort earlier in May, to promote our upcoming WWI Commemorative Weekend. In August we shall be screening Wings and All Quiet on the Western Front at the Fort. Details will follow in a future blog post. For the Museums at Night event, we screened trailers for the two films in the entrance to the Fort, and were on hand to talk to visitors about the events we have run at the Fort over the past five years.
Elderflower Fields Festival
Over the bank holiday weekend, Filmspot had a great time at Elderflower Field Festival, in Ashdown Forest. We screened two films at this family festival: The Croods and Project Wild Thing. The screenings were very popular – with over 100 people settling down in the cinema tent!
We have three exciting events coming up in June.
On Saturday 7 June we are working in association with Sussex Community Rail Partnership and Seaford Cinema to take part in the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Seaford to Brighton train line. We will be at Bishopstone Station 10am – 4pm.
Filmspot will be presenting local and well-known travel-related film in the atmospheric Art Deco Grade II Listed station building. Films will include charming advertisements created by children from Newhaven Harbour Primary School. As part of the celebrations, there will be events running at various locations along the Seaford to Brighton line. See the Sussex Community Rail Partnership website for details.
On Saturday 21 June, we are delighted to be working with the Sussex Deaf Community for this inaugural Deaf Community Cinema Night in Seaford. It will start at 7.30pm at Claremont Hall, Brooklyn Road, Seaford.
For this event, we are presenting ‘Retreat’, the riveting short film by deaf filmmaker, Ted Evans, followed by a screening of award-winning sci-fi blockbuster, ‘Gravity’. Both films will be presented for the deaf and hard of hearing, with subtitles – however the event is open to all.
Tickets cost £6 adults; £4 children (12+); £18 family tickets (2 adults, 2 children aged 12+).
To book, please contact Nadia Nadarajah at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday 28 June, we are continuing our series of screenings for the Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club, with a screening of one of the most acclaimed, and darkest, of the iconic Ealing Comedies, ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’. The event is at St Michael’s Hall, Brighton, Doors open at 7 for 7.30pm start.
Set in 1900, Louis Mazzini (Denis Price) is a descendant of the aristocratic D’Ascoyne family. His mother was disowned by the family for marrying an Italian singer. After his mother’s death, Louis hatches a plan to murder all the D’Ascoynes standing between him and the cherished family dukedom. The film features an astonishing turn by Alec Guinness, who portrays eight different members of the D’Ascoyne family.
Tickets cost £5 in advance, by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 01273 328683.
We will be posting up features about all three events throughout the month, so be sure to check back on the blog soon!
Hello again Filmspotters!
A quick post today, to let you all know that due to circumstances out of our control, we have had to change the date of our upcoming ‘Sunset Boulevard’ screening. It will now take place on Saturday 29 March – the same time (7 for 7.30pm), same place (St Michael’s Community Hall, Brighton). The menu has also changed – we shall now be offering delicious pizzas to pre-order (including a vegetarian option).
As mentioned in our previous post, advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets are £5 advance from firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 328683, or £6 on the door. The homemade pizzas are available to be booked in advance only, priced £3.50 – please indicate if you would like to purchase this when booking tickets.
Hopefully, as it is now on Saturday, more of you will be able to come along!
As a reward for your patience, here’s the full trailer for the film:
The rest of our programme is coming together, and plans include a new initiative for a deaf group where we shall be showing last year’s blockbuster ‘Gravity’, with audio described subtitles at a Seaford venue; a day of community films to celebrate 150 years of the Seaford – Brighton train line; a weekend of World War I films for Newhaven Fort in August; and our second visit to Salisbury Museum where we shall screen films inspired by their Cecil Beaton exhibition.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at one of our events soon!
Happy New Year, Filmspotters – we’re back in the saddle after a winter break.
We’re still confirming much of our programme for 2014, but we are very pleased to be able to announced our first screening of the year – ‘Sunset Boulevard’ at St Michael’s Church Community Hall, Brighton, 21 March, 7.30pm (for 7pm). This screening will launch the Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club. It is planned that we will present four films a year, giving audiences the opportunity to see classics not often shown on the big screen, as well as rare or undiscovered gems.
Billy Wilder’s classic noir, Sunset Boulevard, is a scathing satire of the movie industry. William Holden portrays an unsuccessful screenwriter who is sucked into a web of sleaze and insanity by a deluded, faded silent movie star, played by tour-de-force, Gloria Swanson. With caustic, bitter wit this story exposes the corruptive, devastating decline of the old Hollywood legends, after the coming of sound. Highly regarded on its release, with eleven Academy Award nominations and winning three Oscars, it is now seen a one of the greatest films of American cinema.
Here’s a clip of the inimitable Gloria Swanson, to give you are taster:
Space at this event is strictly limited, so advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets are £5 advance from email@example.com or 01273 328683, or £6 on the door. Special snack boxes of quiche and salad, including a vegetarian option, are available to be booked in advance only, priced £3.50 – please indicate if you would like to purchase this when booking tickets.
As well as our new Pop-Up Cinema Club with the CMPCA, we are looking forward to to other exciting new partnerships for 2014. We will be publishing details of these shortly – as well as our upcoming plans for screenings at Newhaven Fort and Salisbury Museums.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all soon, as wish you a (belated) happy New Year!
We had a fantastic time in Alfriston just over a week ago, with the inaugural ‘Deckchair Cinema’ screening at The Coach House Gallery. For full report and pictures, see later in this post – but first of all, in celebration of Hallowe’en, here are the details of this Saturday’s spooky screening of ‘Ghostbusters‘ at Newhaven Fort!
Saturday 2 November, 2pm: Newhaven Fort GHOSTBUSTERS (1984, PG)
A special screening of classic supernatural comedy for Halloween. Featuring hapless heroes (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) setting up their ghost-removal service in New York, ‘Ghostbusters’ was the highest grossing comedy film of the 1980s. A brilliantly sharp script, spooky special effects and a heavy dose of nostalgia, this promises to be a great fun event!
Advance tickets will available from Newhaven Fort, priced at £6.00 adults and £4.00 for children. Call 01273 517622 to book. Please note: This screening will be great fun for older children, but does contain some spooky ghosts, which might scare younger visitors!
Here’s, the trailer:
We hope to see you there!
…here’s the report on Deckchair Cinema at The Coach House Gallery
On Sunday 20 October, we, with The Coach House, presented a special screening of German film ‘Goodbye Lenin’…
This week we’ve been thinking about German cinema, in advance of our first ‘deckchair cinema’ screening of Goodbye Lenin! next Sunday (20th October) at the Coach House Gallery, Alfriston. Full details of the event follow at the end of this post. We are anticipating a busy evening, so be sure to purchase your ticket soon!
We’ve been batting around our favourite German films here at Filmspot HQ, and have come up with a few suggestions for those of you who fancy having a warm-up for our German-themed evening. Here’s five of our favourites:
1. Nosferatu (1922)
Germany was pivotal in the early development of cinema – and many of the silent ‘classics’ are from here – The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Dr Mabuse – The Gambler, Pandora’s Box – just to name a few. We could have picked any of those, as they are all wonderful early films, however, F.W. Murnau‘s version of Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ story (with names altered for copyright reasons) is so iconic and bizarre that we had to include it. Max Schrek’s otherworldly depiction of the ghastly Count Orlok is particularly remarkable and haunting, as are the eerie early special effects, using stop motion animation. Werner Herzog‘s 1979 remake is also worthy of mention (a rare thing for a re-make) however, he is highlighted below for another of his wonderful films. Both the 1922 and 1979 films are included in the BFI Southbank’s current ‘Gothic’ season – screening later this month – so this Halloween is a fantastic time to revisit this masterpiece of gothic cinema.
2. Metropolis (1927)
Another German Expressionist masterpiece very well worth revisiting. Re-released by the BFI in 2010 in the closet cut to that which was presented at the 1927 premiere, Metropolis is regarded as the first feature-length sci-fi film. Set in a dystopian future, director Fritz Lang uses the film to explore class in modern society. Visually, the film is stunning and used pioneering special effects. Lang himself said that ‘The film was born from my first view of skyscrapers in New York in October 1924′.
3. Wings of Desire (1987)
Set in West Germany, Wim Wender’s film is about German trench-coated, invisable angels, who listen to the thoughts of Berlin’s human inhabitants and try to comfort those in need. One angel, Daniel, wishes to become human after falling in love with Marion, a beautiful trapeze artist. Ravishingly shot in black and white, this heartbreakingly romantic fantasy is totally captivating.
4. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Werner Herzog is certainly one of the most intriguing and colourful figures in contemporary cinema – and his hugely prolific output is a testament to both his genius and eccentricity. Based on the life of real-life Peruvian rubber baron, Carlos Fitzcarrald, the production famously involved moving a 320ton steamship over a hill, without the use of special effects. Klaus Kinski, who took the title role, also caused enormous tension on set, meaning that the existence of this film at all is an achievement in itself!
5. Run Lola Run (1988)
Tom Tykwer’s film about a woman (Lola) who has 20 minutes to get 100,000 marks to her boyfriend, a small-time crook, before he is boss, Ronnie, will arrive and kill him. The film plays out three different scenarios, each effecting the characters Lola encounters on each of her runs in different ways. Very much influenced by Polish Director, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Tykwer directed Kieślowski’s planned film Heaven (another Filmspot favourite) after his death. Exhilarating and gutsy, this is unpretentious, passionate filmmaking at its best.
Now, back to news of our Goodbye Lenin! screening next Sunday 20 October! Here are the details: