Looking back at a busy Autumn – and a busy December!

Greetings Filmspotters!

Sorry for the silence. We’ve had a busy few months since the last post (all the way back in Autumn!). We’ve been busy with screenings and workshops across Sussex!

In September, we were delighted to revisit the ICE Field in Isfield, where we ran a fun stop motion workshop at their Arts & Crafts market, creating a short film called ‘Fish’, with the help of some young animators. We screened the rough cut of the film at our marquee screening of Spielberg’s classic, ‘Jaws’ that evening. The final edit of the film is being tweaked at the moment, but will be live on our YouTube channel by the end of the year. Keep your eyes on our blog for updates.

Preparations for our 'Fish' workshop in Isfield - the film will be available soon on our YouTube channel!

Preparations for our ‘Fish’ workshop in Isfield – the film will be available soon on our YouTube channel!

This year we took part in Scalarama during September, with a presentation of ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ at Fabrica, with a stunning live semi-improved score by Partial Facsimile. The screening was a total sell-out, and there was a fantastic atmosphere!

We had a short break until the mid-October, when we ran an exciting ‘Big Draw’ workshop at Arts@TheCrypt in Seaford. We used cut out animation to recreate, with the help of local children and families, Halas & Batchelor’s short animation, ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’. The final film is in the editing studio at the moment, but expect to see it on our YouTube channel by the end of December. We are also planning a screening of ‘Animal Farm’, with introduction by Vivien Halas, in the gallery in 2016. Once the date is confirmed, details will be posted here and on the Filmspot website.

Participants creating their 'cut out puppets' for our Big Draw 'Owl and the Pussycat' workshop at Arts@TheCrypt in Seaford

Participants creating their ‘cut out puppets’ for our Big Draw ‘Owl and the Pussycat’ workshop at Arts@TheCrypt in Seaford

Participants learning about Stop Motion animation at Arts@TheCrypt in Seaford, part of our 'Big Draw' event.

Participants learning about Stop Motion animation at Arts@TheCrypt in Seaford, part of our ‘Big Draw’ event.

We are continuing with our series of screenings at Isfield Village Hall, our most recent event in October, with a screening of ‘Animal Farm’ introduced by Vivien Halas, who gave a fascinating insight into her parents’ work.

This December, we have two events to round-off a very successful 2015:

Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club present

An American in Paris

Friday 4 December, doors 6.45pm
Tickets £7, advance booking essential
Email info@lja.uk.com or telephone 01273 328683 for tickets
Tickets include a glass of mulled wine

Vincente Minnelli’s An American in Paris is one of the most elegant, colourful and fun of the MGM musicals from the 1950s, it features Gene Kelly as a cheerful ex-GI, called Jerry Mulligan, struggling as a penniless  artist in Paris. His world is turned upside down when he meets the enchanting Lise Bouvier, played by a young Leslie Caron in her screen debut, and at the same time attracts the attention of a rich American heiress, who is interested in more than just his paintings!

Featuring classic songs by George and Ira Gershwin, and some of the most decadent choreography routines on film, this promises to be a fun evening: served up with the usual Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club festive cheer!
Here’s the trailer:

Isfield Village Hall and Filmspot present

Paddington and White Christmas

Saturday 12 December at Isfield Village Hall
Paddington 2.45pm; White Christmas 6.45pm
Tickets £6 per film (£12 for family of four
– 1 child free with each paying adult
Email info@isfieldvillagehall.org.uk to book
We are delighted to be presenting a family matinee screening of favourite bear, Paddington, in this recent motion picture adaptation of Michael Bond’s beloved books. Featuring an all-star cast, and state of the art animation, this delightful film will appeal to all ages.
In the evening, join us for a real festive classic – White Christmas. Featuring Irving Berlin’s unforgettable music, as well as splendid musical routines from the four stars – Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, nothing could be better for getting you in the mood for Christmas!
Here are the trailers for both films!:

We hope to see you at one of our events in December – and also wish you a very merry Christmas!

Happy New Year, Filmspotters!

…yes, sorry it’s been a long time coming, but the Filmspot team has been busy getting various projects together for this year. 2012 promises to be our busiest year yet!

First off, I must thank all of you who came along to our Christmas events in Eastbourne and helped to make them very special. We were really pleased to see everybody enjoying themselves, the films, and getting into the Christmas spirit. We’d like to give our special thanks to our Father Christmas (David Girt), and Abi, Aruna and Ellie – our lovely usherettes.

Usherettes at Filmspot screenings in Eastbourne

Abi and Aruna, two of our lovely usherettes

It’s difficult to say who enjoyed ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ the most – the children in attendance or their parents! There was a special appearance from Kermit and two muppet-like friends.

Watching a B-Movie before 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'

Father Christmas and guests enjoying the B-Movie before 'A Muppet Christmas Carol'

‘White Christmas’ went down a storm, including our wonderful ‘in cinema’ choir – everybody enjoyed singing along with ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’, even if it was perhaps more hilarious than musical!

Filmspot projections on Eastbourne International Lawn Tennis Centre

Projections on the front of Eastbourne International Lawn Tennis Centre

'White Christmas' at the International Lawn Tennis Centre

The audience enjoying 'White Christmas' at the Eastbourne International Lawn Tennis Centre

We have some excellent screenings planned for 2012, and information will follow very soon (we’re just ironing out the fine details!), but we are very pleased to say that we shall definitely be coming back to Newhaven Fort for two big family events this year, and we will be working with the CMPCA Festival for the third year. We are also in conversation with a couple of new venues, so keep your eyes peeled for film screenings in your area.

We thought we’d kick off the 2012 blog with just a few of our recommended films from 2011…

Attack the Block (Dir: Joe Cornish)
Joe Cornish, well known here in the UK for being the Joe in the Adam and Joe Show, strutted his directorial stuff in this very British twist on the sci-fi genre. As regular readers will be aware, the Filmspot team are very much of a geekish outlook (I think it comes with the territory), so it was inevitable this one would make our list! I know many have seen the aliens as being somewhat of a ‘cop out’, but I thought that they were very effective, and the young non-actors gave the film a refreshing lift.

The Adventures of Tintin (Dir: Steven Spielberg)

Spielberg had to tread very carefully indeed to pull off a big screen adaptation of Tintin, and surprisingly he did pull it off, with gusto. Precious Tintin-nerds aside, the film really nailed the sense of fun from Herge’s original Bande Dessinees. The motion captured CGI worked well – and knowing of Herge’s reputation of perfectionism, I’m sure he would have approved of the realistic movements and textures of the visuals.

Super 8 (Dir: J J Abrams) 

Said by many to be Steven Spielberg’s protege, J.J.Abrams’s summer blockbuster took us back to the blockbusters of our childhoods, which I suppose tells you something about the age of the Filmspot team. Abrams clearly enjoyed putting across a flavour of the late 70s, and yes, it does have its explosions and CGI aliens, but the film also has a STORY – something sadly lacking in an awful lot of recent popcorn-fodder.

Pina (Dir: Wim Wenders)

We’re not always convinced by 3D films (although two make it onto our list here!), but Pina saw an interesting use of the medium. This is Wim Wenders’s tribute to the great choreographer Pina Bausch. Although much of the film is (very interesting and enjoyable) archive footage and interviews, certainly the stand-out sections are the performances of dances, taken off the soundstage and out into outdoor settings.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Dir: Tomas Alfredson)

Swedish director Tomas Alfredson brings Le Carré’s spy thriller  to the big screen, and gives it a very Scandinavian flavour. Slow-moving and filled with paranoia and intrigue, the film paints a vivid picture of the cold war era. The cinematography and editing give a very meditative, still feel – especially when seen in the context of the zippy editing and bright colours of many of the more ‘blockbuster’ popcorn titles from last year.

…of course, there are plenty of films from 2011 that we are looking forward to seeing, including Johnny Depp’s second turn as Hunter S. Thompson in Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diaries, Terence Malik’s highly regarded The Tree of Life, Studio Ghibli’s offering of Arrietty and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights. 

As well giving us a chance to reflect on 2011, the New Year is also full of promise with some wonderful films due for release over the next twelve months, and we’ll be posting some of our most anticipated titles in our next blog post!

Christmas events in Eastbourne: tickets now on sale!

Hi there Filmspotters!

The big news is that we’ve got a couple of great Christmas events in the pipeline for this December, both on 17 December 2011 at the International Lawn Tennis Centre, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.

Filmspot are teaming up with Eastbourne Borough Council to present two special film events this Christmas. With performers, festive music, vintage trailers and B-movies, and themed catering to set the atmosphere, this will be a perfect start to the Christmas season!

Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), 2.30pm

Fans of the Muppets will probably be aware that 2011 would have been the 75th birthday of puppeteer and muppet creator, Jim Henson. In celebration of this puppet-pioneer, we will present a special screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol, with a few festive touches!

Gonzo the Great takes the place of Charles Dickens to narrate this fun, musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol. It stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, and an entire cast of creatures from Henson’s workshop, including many familiar faces, such as Kermit the frog and Miss Piggy as Bob and Emily Cratchett.

White Christmas (1954), 7.00pm


Featuring a treasury of the evocative songs of Irving Berlin, and a cast of real icons of the golden age of cinema, White Christmas oozes Hollywood glamour – just the thing to start the festive season!

Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Paris (Danny Kaye) meet while serving in the second World War. After being de-mobbed, they team up to become a highly successful song and dance double act. After a five year run, they take a well earned break in a skiing resort in Vermont, accompanied by two sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Vera (Vera-Ellen). They find the resort, owned by their old army boss, on the verge of bankruptcy, due to lack of snow. They swiftly step in to organise a benefit concert – but can they save the resort?

This Christmas classic features the songs Sisters, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, Snow and, of course, the titular White Christmas, amongst many others.

Tickets
Tickets for either film cost £6.50 (£5 concessions and children) each
Please contact the Events Office at Eastbourne Borough Council
tel 01323 415442 or purchase on line at <http://www.visiteastbourne.com/eshop/default.aspx?dms=71&shop=11&sct=323

The International Lawn Tennis Centre, Devonshire Park is situated in the heart of Eastbourne, surrounded by trees and gardens. The courts play host to 6 tournaments in the summer including the pre – Wimbledon Aegon International which attracts international players. The courts have also been a venue for Team GB Davis Cup ties and are often referred to as the best grass courts in the world.

…and in other news…
They Clapped and She Bowed Once More on 4th December was a great success. The Filmspot team were assisting artist Amy Cunningham with her performance of On Standby, a composition which involved live singing, recorded sound and video, at St James’s Church Piccadilly.

Photograph: Samuel Herbert