A wealth of offbeat and surprising films from New Zealand

We are so looking forward to our annual visit to Isfield Community Enterprise Field this coming Saturday. It’s our first of two screenings as part of Scalarama Festival, and we have a sort of mini-festival within a festival planned for the marquee this year! We start with three fantastic short films by British filmmakers, ‘Infinite’ by Lowkey Films, ‘Next’ by animator Barry Purves and ‘The Cutter’ by Carl Prechezer. We will then cosy down to watch Taika Waititi’s ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’. The evening costs just £5, payable at the door – it is a marquee screening, so do bring blankets and cushions – whatever you need to feel extra cosy and comfortable!

In preparation for this fabulous film, we have been thinking about some other great films from New Zealand. Here are just a few picks:

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

The first of two Peter Jackson films on this list. After gaining a cult following a couple of intensely graphic splatter-fests, Peter Jackson took critics and audiences alike by surprise with this stylish and fascinating thriller, with a fascinating study of the obsessive nature of teenage female friendships (here, taken to the extreme) at its centre.

The Whale Rider (2002)

An inspiring story of a young Maori girl, who’s ambition is to become take up the traditionally male role of chief of her tribe. On release, the 13 year old star, Keisha Castle-Hughes became the youngest person to be nominated for the best actress academy award – well deserved, because her outstanding performance really carries the film!

An Angel At My Table (1990)

Jane Campion is possibly better known for ‘The Piano’, which should of course feature on this list, but I’ve opted for her adaptation of author Janet Frame’s autobiography. Beautifully shot, with a lightness of touch, the film takes its paint a portrait of Frame’s complex character.

Forgotten Silver (1995)

I don’t usually include two films by the same director, but I couldn’t resist – this is quite possibly my favourite Peter Jackson film, a fascinating mockumentary about ‘forgotten’ New Zealand film pioneer, Colin McKenzie. The beautifully shot ‘early’ film footage and colourful details of McKenzie’s life were all created by Peter Jackson, and betray a deep and obsessive love of cinema.

Boy (2010)

Finally, a film by Taika Waititi, Director of ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’. Similar in some ways to our headliner next week, ‘Boy’ is a charmingly offbeat comedy/ drama set in 1984. A coming-of-age tale seen through the eyes of a Michael Jackson-obsessed child named Boy.

…so that’s it for a warm up. We hope to see you in the Marquee in the ICE Field (behind the Laughing Fish Pub) next Saturday night!

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!

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!

Isfield Community Cinema – open day this Saturday!

We are delighted to be working with Isfield Village Hall to bring regular community cinema nights to Isfield Village Hall. For those of you in the area, we shall be at the Village Hall this weekend, as part of their Open Day, from 11am – 4pm.

Our first film screening is going to be on Saturday 18 April, doors at 7pm (for 7.30pm start), and we are asking visitors to the open day this Saturday to vote for which film they would like us to run at our first film night. So that you can begin your deliberations, here are the trailers for the five possible films:

Singin’ in the Rain (1954)

 

Belleville Rendezvous (2003)

Life of Pi (2012)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

The Ladykillers (1955)

…we hope to see you on Saturday when you come to cast your vote!

The Open Day will be a great opportunity to find out about the many different activities that you can get involved in at Isfield Village Hall!

CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club: Update

Following on from our successful screening of ‘It Happened One Night’ at St Michael’s Hall in Brighton in February, we are now looking forward to our upcoming live-scored screening of the atmospheric ‘Cottage on Dartmoor’ on Saturday 25 April, . We will be screening the film at St Nicholas Church, and we are very pleased to be joined by Joss Peach, who will perform his own score to accompany the film on piano.

Tickets cost £7 in advance, or £8 on the door

To book, email info@lja.uk.com or call 01273 328683.

 

2015: Filmspot’s planning a fun year!

Happy New Year, Filmspotters! We’ve been putting our programming hats on recently, and lots of exciting plans for 2015, so keep an eye on our website and blog for details. We’ve got some great cinema screenings, events and more workshops planned, so check back soon!

We are delighted to announce our first Filmspot of 2015:

Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Present ‘It Happened One Night’
21 February, doors 7pm for 7.30pm film

 We continue the popular series of film screenings with Frank Capra’s delightful It Happened One Night. Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert this screwball romantic comedy was the first film to win ‘the big five’ Academy Awards (best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay).

Here’s the ever-reliable Criteron Collection’s ‘Three Reasons’ to watch It Happened One Night:

A spoilt socialite, Ellie Andrews (Colbert) has married an opportunistic aviator against the wishes of her father, who keeps her prisoner on a yacht. Ellie escapes, swimming to shore, and plans to reunite with her husband. She manages to get onto a Greyhound bus destined for New York, where she meets Peter Warne (Gable), a newspaper reporter who was recently fired for drinking on the job. He strikes a deal with Ellie, agreeing to help reunite her with her husband, provided she gives him an exclusive story. As they travel towards New York, they get involved in a series of misadventures, and they begin to fall for each other.

This film set the pace for the ‘screwball’ comedy – and was one of the first ‘odd couple’ films, featuring the eventual romance between two people with very different personalities from different social stations. The film is as breezy, light and fun as it was on initial release, and represents a director and two actors all at their peaks!

Tickets £5 in advance (£6 on the door, subject to availability). Advance booking recommended, by emailing info@lja.uk.com or telephoning 01273 328683.

2014 round up

Last year was a great 5th year for Filmspot, featuring a programme of WWI films for Newhaven Fort, screenings of silent and cult films as part of the Scalarama Festival, outdoor screenings in Isfield, a screening for the hard of hearing in Seaford  and a continuing programme for the CMPCA in Brighton. We finished the year with a bang, though, with our first Filmspot Animation Workshop, at the Crypt Gallery, Seaford, as part of The Big Draw. We invited people to help us create a fantasy version of our local landscape, which we then brought to life by animating flick book animations also created by the participants. We are so pleased with the resulting film, which can be seen here:

Special thanks to everybody at the Crypt Gallery for being so supportive – we hope to bring some film and animation events to Seaford again very soon! Finally, thank you again to the wonderful Penguin Cafe for giving us permission to use their very uplifting track ‘Pale Peach Jukebox’ on the film.

‘Sunset Boulevard’: change of date

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 info@lja.uk.com 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!

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!