What we’re looking forward to!

Well, it’s exciting times for Filmspot at the moment. We’re putting the finishing touches to our 2012 events programme and will be announcing lots of upcoming events in our next blog, so watch this space.

In the meantime, though – we promised our most anticipated films for 2012, so…

The Muppets

After our Muppet-fest in Eastbourne in December, you’d think we would have had our fill of Muppets, but of course the fact is: you can never have your fill of Muppets! The new film has already taken America by a storm – and I’m sure the wait will be worth it when the film is finally released over here next week. It’s time to start the music…

Moonrise Kingdom

We’re big Wes Anderson fans here at Filmspot, so a new Anderson film is always good news – and from the trailer this looks like no exception. how could it possibly go wrong, from the Francois Hardy music, most of Anderson’s usual collaborators (although there is the notable absence of any members from the Wilson family), Ed Norton as a scout leader (an excellent piece of casting!) and bird costumes! Fabulous stuff.

The Woman in Black

The 1989 TV adaptation of Susan Hill’s classic ghost story is one of our Hallowe’en favourites, and I would be tempted to suggest that a remake isn’t really necessary, but this looks like it has been rather intelligently done. It’s the latest title to be released by the re-vamped Hammer Productions, and this has the potential to be a match made in heaven (if you’ll excuse the turn of phrase..). There are certainly a couple of spine tingling moments in the trailer alone. It’s always a pleasure to have a good old fashioned ghost story back in the cinema – a nice antidote to The Human Centipede and other such ghastly creations….

La Fee (The Fairy)

Last year, one of the Filmspot team’s most charming discoveries was Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s ‘Rumba’ – a delightful mixture of dance, (near) silent comedy and whimsy. This looks set to continue in a similar vein – with Tati-esque slapstick and endearing set pieces. It has had a couple of festival screenings over here – and we’re hoping it’ll get a more general release date for the UK soon!

The Pirates: In an Adventure with Scientists

Hot on the heals of ‘Arthur Christmas’, Aardman are back in familiar stop-motion territory with The Pirates. Looking at the trailer, it seems they haven’t skimped on detail (we are particularly impressed by the Blue Peter badge making an appearance on one of the pirate’s hats!).

I’m sure there are plenty of others to look out for – what are your most anticipated films of 2012?

Check back on this blog soon for some important announcements for our upcoming season of events.

Puppetry in the cinema

We’ve been thinking about puppets recently. As you know, we’ve got a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol coming up on 17th December at the International Lawn Tennis Centre in Eastbourne (full details in our previous blog post, and booking details below), and 2011 would have been the 75th birthday of the puppet pioneer, and one of Filmspot‘s cinema heros, Jim Henson. So, we thought we’d present some of our favourite cinema puppetry!

We’ve has to impose a few rules on ourselves here, though – the world of puppetry is so vast, we’re talking live action puppetry this time (we’ll save stop motion for another day!)

5. Gremlins 

Here’s a particularly rousing clip from Gremlins 2

Gremlins used a range of puppetry to bring the innocent little mogwai, Gizmo, and it’s sinister offspring to life, including animatronics and marionettes. Directed by Joe Dante, Gremlins was the first and best of a batch of comedy-horror films about nasty little beasties that surfaced in the 80s. Dishonourable mentions include Critters, Ghoulies, Hobgoblins and Munchies.

4. Where the Wild Things Are

Spike Jonze’s rendering of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ breathed life into Maurice Sendak‘s beautiful book illustrations through the very effective combination of animatronic, costumes and CGI.

3 . Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Although only in the film for short clips, the grotesque animatronic puppet version of Gainsbourg is what sets this wonderful biopic apart from most. Wonderfully acted and stylishly shot, the puppetry element represents Gainsbourg’s personal demons – yes, it’s an obvious trick, but it does add a great dose of quirkiness into something that could otherwise be fairly straight forward. After all, I think Gainsbourg’s philandering and rock and roll life style has been fairly well documented before!

2. Kooky (Kuky se vrací)

This is a recent discovery, about a teddy bear who ends out in landfill when his asthmatic owner is forced to throw him away. Directed by the award-winning Jan Svěrák, this film certain takes much inspiration from the marionette puppetry of the Czech Republic, where it was made. The film features a cast of beautifully detailed characters, designed by games designer Jakub Dvorský, including the antagonist Nightshade, who looks slightly reminiscent of Little Otik, the titlular ‘character’ tree stump baby from the film by Jan Švankmajer…

1. Of course, the anything that the Henson Company goes near

Yes, well – we could have made a list of ‘the best Henson related films’, but there are too many to list. Here’s a clip from Labyrinth, featuring a very helpful worm…

Jim Henson, and his creature workshop, have had a profound influence on film over the past few decades, by making the impossibly feel tangible and bringing fantastic and fun characters to life. Not only did Henson bring us The Muppets, but also fantasy films such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth – and they worked on creatures and effects for countless others including the Dennis Potter version of Alice in Wonderland, called Dreamchild.

You can, of course, see Kermit, Jim Henson’s most famous creation, strutting his stuff in our next Filmspot event on 17 December, ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’. Doors will be at 2pm, for a 2.30pm start.

Tickets
Tickets for The Muppet Christmas Carol (or White Christmas, which we are also presenting on 17 December at 7pm) 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

Here’s Kermit, duetting with Tiny Tim, just to get you all in the mood!