Showing posts with label film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film. Show all posts

Monday, 30 August 2021

Ali Smith’s film 'Art in a Time of Lies' at Edinburgh International book festival 2021

 

Seeing Things - short film with wonderful images by film maker Wood Edinburgh International book festival 2021

 

The highly-respected Scottish novelist has teamed up with artist Sarah Wood to create a new short film made uniquely for Edinburgh. Seeing Things: Art in a Time of Lies, directed and edited by Wood; written and narrated by Smith (one time showing and will not be on-demand). , At the start with wonderful old black and white clips of gangsters.

 

THIS CULTURE OF LIES is like seeping rain, an aesthetic.. 

“I RANT AT THE TELEVISION AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR IT? CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. I FEEL SHAME.

INTO OURSELVES AND BEYOND OURSELVES, INSIDE OURSELVES. DARK AND LIGHT. IMAGINATIONS WAKENED – WITH A CHINK OF LIGHT IN THE DARK.

THEY ARE CUTTING THE ARTS BY 50%.”

 

These cycles come round and round – destroying. World changing too – left EU, end Trump, 

 

“Art is a lie that reveals the truth. What a slippery fish truth is. Little lies become a story. 

A lie distracts from the truth and take us down a garden path,  politics make lies sound respectable, (do they believe we believe them? Its always about power, lies are sanctioned. We become a slngle self, and persuaded to be tribal. A surface world shunts fast info, and we discard so much of it. “

 

Questions? Is art simply a displacement activity, a diversion from the ‘real things’ happening in the world? Or could it be that Ali Smith’s achievement is to reveal – with her trademark nimbleness – just how important art can be in helping make sense of a stupid, shameful, schismatic world? 

After the screening, Smith talked about her writing and some of the artists who have inspired her with Festival director Nick Barley

 

Questions: Is fake news new? “Shakespeare’s fake news is ancient: fake news today is faster – radio or t and now in our pockets.“  Split, diverted politics enrage, people under pressure, exclusion lines – becomes fascism. When we must work together.

Stories give us space, of our history, politics, and our dreams. 

 

Pull something light out of the mess,  Looking and seeing.

Art is difficult and shocking.

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL 2021, Ali Smith - https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/ali-smith-art-in-a-time-of-lies

 

In each novel of Ali Smith’s Seasonal quartet, the narrative closely follows real world events. Brexit, the internment of migrants and the Coronavirus pandemic: each is woven into the fabric of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, lending them a keen sense of relevance. But look again at this group of genuinely novel novels, and there are countless references – from other times and other places – to artists and thinkers. 

Visual artists Barbara Hepworth and Tacita Dean; filmmaker Lorenza Mazzetti; writers Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare – why do they have such a profound influence on Smith’s characters? 

 

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Robert the Bruce released June 28th


Shocking. A huge movie project for Angus MacFadyen. Huge support - so why is Cineworld refusing to show this Robert the Bruce film? Blocked? (Cameron also stopped 'Outlander' being shown until AFTER the 2014 vote oddly. Why can't we acknowledge and understand our differences - they are what make us stronger, not weaker.) Other questions, why did Creative Scotland back 'Outlaw King' with American lead Chris Pine - but not 'Robert the Bruce.' And why exactly is King Robert an outlaw anyway? Strange goings on if you ask me....`i hope to go see the film at an Odeon cinema soon, films need support in the cinemas.
I was wondering, why the powers-that-be down south, enjoy Scots stories that include massacre or Scottish downfall - such as Mary Queen of Scots, Culloden, or other defeats. Rather than any Scottish success stories - Enlightenment, innovations, great songs, art and more. Odd really? Especially when they claim to support the UK Union so much? What other country mocks or puts down a part of itself or a partner

We have known Scotland clutched in the grip of a mighty hand… now we'll set her free!" Signature Ent. in the UK has unveiled a trailer for the action drama Robert the Bruce, made by Australian director Richard Gray (of Mine GamesBlinderThe LookalikeBroken Ghost). Robert the Bruce is a hard-hitting historical epic covering the turbulent time after William Wallace's victories depicted in Braveheart. The epic story of one of Scotland's greatest heroes will be premiering at the 73rd Edinburgh Film Festival this month. Angus Macfadyen stars (playing the same role he played in Braveheart) with Jared HarrisZach McGowanDaniel PortmanEmma KenneyMelora WaltersAnna HutchisonTalitha Eliana BatemanPatrick FugitGabriel Bateman, and Kevin McNally. This also features original music from Scottish national treasure Lulu. Looks a bit dry and talky, but perhaps still an invigorating film about a great legend.
Scotland 1306, Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen) crowns himself King and takes the ambition of Scotland’s freedom as his own. But he cannot overcome England’s power: defeated again and again, his army is scattered and Scotland’s nobility abandons him. Hunted, with a price on his head, he finds himself alone and wounded. The cause of freedom seems lost once more. Hidden secretly in a secluded croft of a clan pledged to England, and close to death Robert is nursed back to life by a young widow and her orphaned children. His determination to do what is right, regardless of the cost, reinvigorates his passion to rise again. But it’s not revenge he desires. It’s freedom. Now. Robert the Bruce is directed by Australian filmmaker Richard Gray, director of the films Summer CodaMine GamesBlinderThe LookalikeSugar Mountain, and Broken Ghost previously. The screenplay is by Eric Belgau and Angus Macfadyen. Signature will release Robert the Bruce in UK theaters starting June 28th. No US release is set yet. First impression?

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Outlaw King


New Netflix film ‘Outlaw King’, on the life of Robert the Bruce premiered in Edinburgh – the first major movie shot exclusively in Scotland. 
The movie was shot in several Scottish locations, Edinburgh, Lothian, Aviemore, Glencoe, Linlithgow palace, Dumbarton castle and Mugdock country park’s Kyper Pass, where they enacted the battle of Loudoun Hill. 
The film brings an estimated to have been worth £17.5m to the economy.

The film, from Scottish director David Mackenzie, stars Chris Pine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in an all-action tale about the 14th century rebel and his fight to win back control of his homeland and with Florence Pugh, who plays Elizabeth de Burgh.

Film and TV location tourism in Scotland is benefiting from increased spending on productions. Last month Creative Scotland revealed that film and TV production had been worth £95m to the Scottish economy in 2017 compared to just £45m in 2014, and £23m in 2007.
Scotland looks amazing in this film, along with strong performances form Pine and Pugh. 


‘‘Dumbarton castle is also in the area so there is a lot for visitors coming here. For us as a wee village more interest in Robert the Bruce could mean a lot of visitors.

**Also the Outlander series, has been a major worldwide success and  has built a big studio in Kilmarnock. It has brought in an increased tourism also. There are hopefully plans for a Scottish studio - its way past time for this! 
 Stuart Oldham of Variety.com said the film was “Netflix’s best big budget movie to date. Epic, brutal, surprisingly hilarious and tender..."   Netflix worldwide on November 9. https://www.netflix.com/title/outlawking

Friday, 14 July 2017

Casting Robert the Bruce! Our Branch Economy


Today they are casting in Glasgow for a big Netflix movie on Robert the Bruce. An English casting director is coming up here to Glasgow, who will get 20%, and who has never worked in Scotland.

Scottish casting agents have been told they cannot participate – a new software was introduced and they were not informed of it – these are agents who have done the casting for big productions such as Trainspotting and Outlander.

The Scottish agents have worked with the Scottish actors for many years and know their strengths and weaknesses. When Brat Pitt filmed here in Glasgow for his movie World War Z a few years ago, it is not always successful to bring in outsiders who don’t know the place, culture, stories or the people.


In both Ireland and Wales they have separate Tv and film agencies and they protect using local crew for TV and film productions – but not here in Scotland. 

The problem in Scotland is that Creative Scotland is too big an umbrella organizing that covers all the creative arts – art, books, music and film and tv. When TV and film are money-making industries that bring in a lot of money and they are not poetry! 


Scotland is treated as a branch economy, where decisions that are often best made in Scotland are being made in London. Being London-centred is not always in everyone’s best interests. Also a branch economy, is always the first to suffer in any downturn.

After the Lyceum theatre lost its photographer a few years back they thought they needed to go to London to get a good photographer. Award-winning photographer Douglas McBride contacted them and said, ‘I am here in Scotland and can do good images for you! ‘

These casting Scottish agents claim this is the first time in 30 years they have not even been allowed to compete. Scottish government money may be involved in the funding for this Netflix production – growth funding.
Yet Scotland will loose out financially. Changes need to be urgently made here for a separate Scottish TV and film agency. There will be a new film studio built south of Edinburgh. 


We in Scotland now have to choose, do we want to continue being a branch economy or run our own businesses?

(PS Casting for men with beards!)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Craig Armstrong's Music


The stage was set out wide over the first few rows to accommodate the full orchestra of the Scottish Opera on the concert hall stage - and I knew we were in for a treat! The concert was one of the sell out shows of Celtic Connections.

Armstrong is an award-winning Scottish film composer who has written music for films such as Romeo and Juliet (1996), The Great Gatsby (2013), Moulin Rouge and many more.

The songs from Armstrong’s latest album, It’s Nearly Tomorrow, were performed by some top class singers - Jerry Burns, James Grant, Clio Gould, Katie O'Halloran, Alison Lawrance, Ryan Joseph Burns, Alastair Ogilvy and Lucia Fontaine.

The Songs included -
Weather Storm, This Love (The Space Between)
O Verona, Balcony Scene (Romeo and Juliet)
One Day I'll Fly Away, Nature Boy (Moulin Rouge)
Infinite hope, Louisville, Lets' Go To Town (The Great Gatsby)
The Love Theme (Far From the Maddening Crowd)
Main Theme (The Quiet American)
Let It Be Love (As If To Nothing) 
Dust, Crash, Powder, Strange Kind of Love, Lontano, Sing, (It's Nearly Tomorrow)

The grand piano for Armstrong to play was however on the other side of the stage on the left of the stage and I wished he might have stood on occasions to introduce his music so those of us on the other side of the concert hall might be able to see him better. Otherwise my seat was great and near the front of the stage and the full rich sound of the Scottish opera orchestra wafted over us, to add to the full on drama.  

Behind the orchestra scenes from the movies he has scored were shown, while movie-like coloured spotlights hovered over the orchestra.

I particularly enjoyed Jerry Burns subtle performance of Dust, with her ethereal, haunting voice and The Love Theme from Far From the Maddening Crowd, and the very poignant and gripping finale of the Balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. 

Every year at Celtic I am astonished by the musical talent today in Scotland and beyond. Armstrong who graduated from the London school of music and is from Glasgow, is a wonderful example. He then served his musical apprenticeship at Glasgow's Tron theatre. The concert proved exhilarating, poignant and joyful.  

Armstrong sees no difference in credibility between popular and classical forms of music and he has collaborated with pop bands such as Massive Attack and as well as writing compositions for the SNO (Scottish National Orchestra). Film music has brought the full orchestra back into the mainstream and into peoples lives.