Films to make you DANCE!

Hi there Filmspotters!

We’ve been warding off the miserable February weather by getting set for our first screening of the year – our dancing cinema screening at Alive Fitness and Natural Health in Brighton. We’re screening Jacob Krupnick’s Girl Walk // All Day on Friday 4 March – full details follow at the end of this post.

To help you all get your fancy footwork together in preparation, we thought we’d compile a few of our favourite dance scenes on film – we usually have just five picks, but we couldn’t limit ourselves this time, so we’ll go a bit lighter on the waffling and let the dancers do the talking. Ready?… 5, 6, 7, 8…..!

Singin’ in the Rain

Of course, Singin’ in the Rain is one of our favourites here at Filmspot HQ, but particularly Donald O’Connor’s fantastic comedy skit ‘Make Em Laugh’

 

Rumba

Again, another Filmspot favourite – but a more recent, and rather less well known one…

 

Funny Face

Ah, Hollywood loved riffing off Beatnik culture, particularly interpretative dance (see also ‘White Christmas’ and the charmingly OTT ‘Choreography’!).

Hellzapoppin’

Wow. Just…. wow.

Fisher King

A charmingly whimsical moment from Terry Gilliam’s sentimental ‘Fisher King’ – bear in mind, this was made before all those YouTube Flash Mob videos…

 

Coming to America

The sheer speed, scale… and costumes are somewhat mind bending. Choreographed by Paula Abdul – and of course, the film was directed by John Landis (who also directed the video for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’), so you’re in good hands.

Xanadu

….OK, this one is a bit of a wildcard. It is certainly not Gene Kelly in his prime, but for sheer weirdness, Xanadu beats all the films on this list put together. And this scene includes ELO, so it gets extra guilty pleasure points for that too!

 

So, now you’re all limbered up, here’s what you need to know about our dancing cinema – please note, it is in a dance studio, with no seating – so there will be plenty of opportunities to DANCE! 

Girl Walk // All Day at Alive Fitness and Natural Health, 25-27 Castle Street, Brighton, BN1 2HD

Friday 4 March, doors 7pm

Girl Walk // All Day, the debut-feature from Brooklyn-based director, Jacob Krupnick, is a music video of epic proportions! The film, made with the support of 577 Kickstarter backers, won a ‘Best Music Video’ award from SPIN Magazine and was an official selection at the 2012 SXSW Festival.

Dialogue-free, the film is set to All Day, the 2011 album by the mash-up DJ Girl Talk, and follows three improvisational dancers, Anne Marsen, Daisuke Omiya and John Doyle, on an urban adventure shot entirely on location in the streets and public spaces of New York City.

Tickets cost £5.50, available from Billetto or in person at Alive Fitness.

All profits from this event will be donated to the Hummingbird Project

Hope to see you all there!

Screwball comedies

We’re getting prepared for our screening of Frank Capra’s lighthearted and endearing It Happened One Night, this Saturday. It’s part of our ongoing series for the CMPCA in Brighton, at St Michael’s Church Hall. There are a few tickets left, so for full details, please see our main website.

In the meantime, we’ve picked out five of our favourite screwball comedies (aside from It Happened One Night), to get you all in the mood:

 

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Frank Capra, the director of It Happened One Night hit gold with this dark, but delightfully silly screwball comedy featuring Cary Grant. Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, who discovers a corpse hidden in window box at the house of his two sweet, harmless aunts…

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

This classic is bring rereleased in cinemas by the BFI at the moment, so do look out for screenings of it locally. George Cukor’s sparkling film is regarded as one of the best examples of the popular ‘comedy of remarriage’ – a common theme from the ‘production code era, when depictions of extramarital affairs were prohibited – a couple divorce, flirt with outsiders and then remarry.

Top Hat (1935)

Probably the best known work to come from the dance partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, this musical has some some rather fun and dazzling set pieces. Irving Berlin wrote the music, with many of the songs now regarded as classics (such as ‘Cheek to Cheek’).

Design for Living (1933)

Ernst Lubitsch is the director most closely linked to the Screwball genre, and this quirky film is possibly his finest. Loosely based on a play of the same name by Noel Coward (who famously said “I’m told that there are three of my original lines left in the film—such original ones as ‘Pass the mustard'”), the film is surprising to today’s audience: it is much more racy than you would expect! It was made pre-code, and features a woman (Miriam Hopkins) leaving her husband for two  men (Frederic March and Gary Cooper).

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Although not a hit on release (it did moderately well, but nothing to write home about), Howard Hawks’s Bringing up Baby is now widely regarded as a classic, and features on the AFI’s ‘100 Greatest American Films of All Time’ list. Katherine Hepburn is delightfully aggravating as a dotty heiress who turns the life of Cary Grant’s palaeontologist upside down.

 

A successful start to our 2014 season – and June screenings

Hi Filmspotters,

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. 

he audience settling in for 'Sunset Boulevard' at St Michael's Church Hall

The audience settling in for ‘Sunset Boulevard’ at St Michael’s Church Hall

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.

Steve from Newhaven Fort, at our trailer screening for Museums at Night.

Steve from Newhaven Fort, at our trailer screening for Museums at Night.

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!

Audience in the cinema tent at Elderflower Fields

Audience in the cinema tent at Elderflower Fields

Upcoming screenings…

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 deafdiaspora@gmail.com

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 info@lja.uk.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!

Filmspot 2014: We’re back!

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 Boulevardis 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 info@lja.uk.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!

A great weekend in Salisbury – and launching a new community cinema in Alfriston

Phew – We’re just back from a fantastic time in Salisbury, where we ran a screening of ‘The Great White Silence‘ at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum on Saturday. More on that below, but first of all, we want to let you all know about our next event. We are very excited to be working with The Coach House Gallery in Alfriston to launch Deckchair Cinema – a new venture bringing art house and world cinema to Alfriston.

Our inaugural Deckchair Cinema event will be on Saturday 20 October, 6pm (for a 6.30pm start). We are presenting GOODBYE LENIN [2003], in association with and supporting the Seaford Twinning Association and the German Conversation Group. We will be showing the film in original German, with English subtitles.

This heart-warming tragicomedy, set in 1989, tells the story of a son who lovingly dupes his socialist mother, recently awoken from a coma, into believing that  Lenin really did win after all!
 
 Location: The Coach House, High St. Alfriston BN26 5TD. Parking: Willows Car Park: Free from 6pm
Here’s a clip, to whet your appetite!
TICKETS: £7 each, levied against licensing and including, a seat, a drink and German canapes – non language speakers also welcomed. Advance booking is recommended – please email deckchaircinema@rocketmail.com with your name and number or call 01323 871402
Back to Salisbury!

We had a great time in this picturesque city, and received some great feedback from the audience, including:
‘Very moving, thank you’
‘Excellent – loved the soundtrack’
‘Superb. My eight year old son and 76 year old father were equally entranced’

Thank you to all of you who came along – and also to those of you who noted down some suggestions for future screenings.

Here are some photos:

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The audience arriving

The audience arriving

Here's Mr Filmspot's projectionist's eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

Here’s Mr Filmspot’s projectionist’s eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

We are looking forward to being back in Wiltshire again soon!

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