Benedict Andrews on Rooney Mara’s powerful drama ‘Una’

“In retrospect, I understand what a motherfucker of a thing it is to get made.” We’re speaking to Adelaide-born, Reykjavik-based Benedict Andrews, who’s currently in London directing Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on the West End stage. The aforementioned “motherfucker” we’re here to discuss, though, is his filmmaking debut, Una, an adaptation of Scottish playwright David Harrower’s Blackbird, starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn…

Full interview for The Skinny

Advertisements

Five great British road movies

More than most genres, the road movie would seem to offer an easy route (sorry) for budding screenwriters. Though the individual style of a given film will differ, the basic narrative structure largely tends to stay the same. As such, it’s a little strange that the pool of notable British road movies is relatively small, especially when compared to the output of North America and mainland Europe – hell, Wim Wenders has made several entries on both continents.

Maybe it’s because the UK’s dual carriageways and motorways lack a certain cinematic appeal evidently in abundance in those other territories. Maybe it’s because few British road trips last more than a couple of hours, if you don’t mess them up. Maybe the M1 just isn’t sexy enough.

Whatever the reason, new Scottish road movie Moon Dogs, concerning a young trio journeying from Shetland to Glasgow, subsequently stands out a bit in the Brit-film marketplace. To mark its release, we decided to highlight five other British road movies, excluding documentaries, that offer either a unique spin on the genre or at least an endearing set of travelling companions…

Full feature for The Skinny

Still/Born (Brandon Christensen, 2017)

The subgenre of maternal horror gets a solid new entry from Canada in the form of Still/Born, the confident feature debut of director Brandon Christensen. There’s not a lot of innovation on display in its story (a dash of Rosemary’s Baby here, a pinch of The Babadook there), but there’s enough merit in the filmmaking itself to warrant a look…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Moon Dogs (Philip John, 2016)

Moon Dogs sees a young Scotsman, Welshman and Irishwoman venture on a road trip from Shetland to Glasgow. Michael (Parry-Jones) wants to reunite with his increasingly distant girlfriend who’s in the city for university; his stepbrother Thor (O’Donnell) wants to meet his estranged mother; Caitlin (Lee), meanwhile, is set to play at Celtic Connections. On the way, they’re involved in all kinds of silly and sexy mishaps…

Full review for The Skinny

Why you need to see ‘Your Name’ in IMAX and the potential for more IMAX animation

By now, most sci-fi fans with even a cursory interest in animation will be aware of Your Name, director Makoto Shinkai’s body swap/time travel dramedy – think Freaky Friday meets Back to the Future – that became a global hit last year. At the time of writing, its worldwide gross is at over 355 million in US dollars, over $235 million of which came from its native Japan alone.

Its UK run was also impressive, considering anime that doesn’t involve Pokémon or the input of Studio Ghibli has rarely had the greatest success at the British box office. Distributor Anime Limited put the film out in partnership with National Amusements last November, initially in a one-day engagement across the UK that gave way to longer runs in cities where audiences were lapping up the film. London’s Prince Charles Cinema, to name one location, seemed to have at least one screening of Your Name a week for much of the start of 2017.

As such, it’s not surprising that Your Name has been granted an official one day re-release in cinemas around Britain, ahead of its long-awaited home format release this autumn. To sweeten the deal, the distributors have also thrown in an IMAX version of the film for select participating cinemas – the first anime feature to receive an IMAX release in the UK…

Full feature for SciFiNow

Napping Princess (Kenji Kamiyama, 2017)

The filmography of writer-director Kenji Kamiyama is rife with updates of beloved anime or manga properties, most notably a TV expansion of Ghost in the Shell. What characterises most of his visions is a penchant for political commentary, which is a tad less prominent in his latest project, Napping Princess, a more straightforward fantasy adventure with some sci-fi dressing…

Full review for SciFiNow

David Lowery on ‘A Ghost Story’, life after death and loving ‘Under the Skin’

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is quite unlike most spectre-based tales you’ll have seen onscreen. For one thing, while there’s definitely haunting going on, it’s no horror film. Told in a series of slow-going sustained takes, it starts off as a tender romance before taking on paranormal qualities, eventually veering into sci-fi territory best left unspoiled.

Casey Affleck plays a white-sheeted ghost (no, really), who declines entry to an apparent afterlife and returns to his Texas home to see his bereft wife (Rooney Mara), whom he cannot communicate with. As his love moves on, this spectral figure finds himself unstuck in time, trapped on the land of his former home, forced to witness years of changes in inhabitants and surroundings…

Full interview for SciFiNow