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By midlandsmovies, Aug 6 2017 06:50PM



Bantock House Outdoor Cinema: La La Land


Open air cinemas are all the rage right now. Aside from those with the “pick a carpark and pack it out” approach, they provide the opportunity to ditch the multiplexes and experience something unique. La La Land at Wolverhampton’s Bantock House perfectly epitomised such an experience.


July the 29th saw over 200 film fans fill the Rose Garden, making for an intimate setting which even the rain couldn’t, ahem, dampen the spirits of. Those eager to see the musical were first serenaded all the way back to Hollywood’s golden era by the retro harmony stylings of The Miss Fortunes, it goes without saying that already, this was infinitely more immersive than 30 minutes of Audi and Apple adverts.


Black Country Touring and Films in a Flash made sure the logistics and technical aspects ran without a hitch (be sure to check out their page for what they’ve got lined up next). Regardless of the inclement weather and early evening lighting difficulties that the British Summertime offers, the film looked and sounded every bit like an Oscar winner.


The good news is that this is just the beginning for Bantock House’s Outdoor Cinema. Event organisers Jeremy Brown and Andrew Atkinson had this to say about how it went and what the West Midlands can expect next:


Midlands Movies: “So, how did you feel the inaugural event went?”

Andrew Atkinson: “I personally feel it was a great success, if you take out the weather factor. But we held an exit poll as people left, and it proved that everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Jeremy Brown: “We had a very, very good turnout…if you put the right product in front of people, they will come out, despite it being an experiment (the first time) and despite of the weather. I think we had a good mix in the audience: it was nice to some families, some diversity. The other thing was, the venue does work very well for these types of events: it’s got a friendly sort of intimacy and it does feels a bit special, especially for a film like La La Land. To be able to stage it in a landscaped garden space in a country house adds value to the whole event experience.”


MM: “There’s some exclusivity there isn’t there. Like you’re part of a club. Who else was involved in the staging?”

“Black Country Touring were very helpful and identified Films in a Flash as potential providers who were relatively local and felt a good match. They did a great job with the ancillary lighting and the PA system for the band. They seemed keen to add value and work in partnership rather than treat it as a commercial event.”


MM: “Speaking of the band, Miss Fortunes was really a nice warm-up act.”

JB: “We felt if people were going to come out, bring a picnic and make an evening of it, it would be fun to have something extra which would feel sympathetic to the film. A bit of harmony singing and period music felt right and added to the celebratory feel.”


MM: “Where do you think the enthusiasm for open air cinema as an alternative to the multiplexes comes from?”

Andrew Atkinson: “Well, you were there. It started to rain as soon as the titles came up and stopped as soon as the end came up and it hasn’t rained since! (Laughs). But had it been a good evening I think people would have been dancing in the aisles.”

JB: “The multiplex issue is a tricky one and we’re fortunate to have the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton. It’s interesting to see the clientele that regularly attend and they’re the kind of people we’re trying to attract. Multiplexes haven’t done themselves any favours. The prices have increased…the levels of hygiene, cleanliness, noise. Just the cinema going experience can be a bit chequered. To have an alternative to that is a really positive one. Thinking about the kind of films that would work in the future, we’d be exploring that slightly more upmarket experience. There are some very commercial organisations that are doing Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and Grease singalongs. I think a lot of that is about how many people you can cram into a space and how many beers you can sell. We’d rather have a more exclusive feel but still have people come along and enjoy them.”


MM: “With going more upmarket then, what ideas have you got for future screenings?”

AA: “To be quite honest, the dust hasn’t settled from the first one and we’re still in the post-mortem stages. All we can say with confidence is yes, there will be another one, perhaps in the late summer. Perhaps two dates pencilled in for 2018, if not more.”

JB: “In terms of the films and grown up cinema, perhaps more feel good than Dunkirk, perhaps (with La La Land) it would have been appropriate after the awards ceremony if we put Moonlight on by accident (laughs). That would be the right sort of film again. I think a film like Baby Driver could attract a real interest, again, it’s got a fantastic score and a real sense of fun…maybe a film like Pride, which has got a feel good resonance and would work in that context. We’re keeping an eye out for some of those really high quality, thought provoking films…rather than the shoot ‘em up, popcorn material. One of the nice things about working with the community…is that we can run a straw poll: put a list together, pick the ones you’d like to see and get buy in as well”.

AA: “It’s always been my mantra that if we’re going to do anything, then we’re going to do it well. We’re providing a quality product…and we’ll bring the arts to the area and to a wider Wolverhampton audience.”



MM: “You mentioned introducing people to silent cinema too.”

JB: “We’re trying that with Funny Things, a pilot comedy festival in Wolverhampton in October. We’re toying with the idea of a live piano accompaniment to a Harold Lloyd movie which we could stage in the tractor shed which holds 70 people and could be an intimate and fun experience. We certainly enjoyed Buster Keaton’s The General when Flatpack put that on at the Brownhills Community Centre last summer.”


MM: “So finally, how can people get involved and support you?”

JB: “Finchfield and Castlecroft Community Association has its own website (Link - http://www.finchfieldandcastlecroft.com/ ) and we’re lucky to work with the council’s events team at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery so we’re keen to hear from people through those networks. Our funding comes from Creative Black Country; they’re very keen to work with any voluntary sector organisation who may wish to engage in quality art activity.”


MM: “Thanks for your time, both.”


You can keep up with the Bantock House Outdoor Cinema events through the sites above and of course, through Midlands Movies.


Robb Sheppard

https://twitter.com/RedBezzle



By midlandsmovies, Jan 9 2017 04:00PM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2017):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 23rd – 26th 2017


• NOTTINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL - Hothouse Theatre’s Nottingham Film Festival. October 6th – 8th 2017 For details visit http://www.nottinghamfilmfestival.com


• ANON FILM FEST - No 2017 dates yet. Screened at Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth, Derbys. https://filmfreeway.com/festival/anonfilmfestival


• INDIE-LINCS - March 16th – 18th 2017 Based at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and run in partnership with The School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln http://www.indie-lincs.com


• BRINDLEY PLACE OUTDOOR FEST - 2017 dates TBC. http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2


• WORCESTERSHIRE FILM FESTIVAL 2017 dates TBC www.worcestershirefilmfestival.co.uk Contact Lawrence Donello‏ on Twitter @Razorpost https://twitter.com/worcesterfilm


• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST http://www.citizenseye.org Contact John Coster 2017 dates TBC


• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY TO SUNDAY 12 MARCH 2017


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 18th – 26th 2017 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) http://www.vtelevision.co.uk/biff/event.html


• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL http://www.shockandgore.co.uk The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, July. Contact david@theelectric.co.uk or https://twitter.com/shockgore July 2017


• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk 12th – 14th May 2017.


• LEICESTER ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 16th - 19th March www.leicesterasianfilmfestival.com


• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates soon for 2017


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 28th APRIL - 7th MAY 2017


• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy and Horror Fest at Quad in Derby


• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 12th - 15th October 2017


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 4th - 9th April 2017


• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com 2017 Dates Coming Soon


• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL http://www.beestonfilm.com 9th - 12th March 2017


• CAN DO FEST – Nottingham http://www.can-do-fest.com Biennial Fest currently fundraising to run a new Can- Do Film festival in 2017


• ZZUB - http://www.zzubfest.co.uk Wolverhampton - 2017 Festival TBC


• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 6th - 8th October 2017


• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - 2017 date TBC www.grindhouseplanet.com


Other useful Film Festival information can be find at these links:

http://www.festivalfocus.org/festival

http://film.britishcouncil.org/festivals-directory/festivals-map

http://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Jun 12 2016 02:30PM

Midlands Movies Spotlight - Cult Screens


Midlands Movies Mike finds out about a new open air cinema experience hitting the region this Summer. They will screen a host of retro classics and modern blockbusters for film fans from June to September in the West Midlands and please read below for more about these exciting events.


Cult Screens is a new pop-up cinema organisation and claim to be have one of the country’s most luxurious and comfortable open air cinema experiences in the UK with a range of unusual locations and unique film experiences for audiences.


They plan to screen movies from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s through to the best new releases and cinema of recent years in fully seated locations in the UK. For the Midlands, Cult Screens have secured the use of the ruins of the Cathedral in Coventry which not only provides a special one-off setting but the HD projection and giant screen will ensure the best technical set up for crowds.


Cult Screens' events have everything film fans will need including fully seated locations with a wide choice of comfy options including deckchairs, directors chairs, cushions or even bean bags to cuddle up on!


However, Cult Screens is not just about the film, there are also food and drink options available each night from pitcher cocktails and craft beers to fresh popcorn and street food stalls at each venue.


For the Coventry event head to Priory St in the city centre (CV1 5FB) but be aware it’s strongly recommend tickets are purchased in advance as most of their events sell out early. Any remaining tickets will be available on the door if still available on the night itself.


A range of ticket prices and concessions apply at all venues (from £9.50 to £16.50 depending on options) and audiences should note that each screening is fully licensed so no outside food or drink is permitted.


The list of films at Coventry Cathedral Ruins are below along with a link to the official Cult Screens page for Coventry to purchase tickets and check further FAQs:


Labyrinth 21 July 2016

Jaws 22 July 2016

The Goonies 18 August 2016

The Revenant 19 August 2016

Grease 20 August 2016

Back to the Future 15 September 2016

The Force Awakens 16 September 2016

ROMEO + JULIET 17 September 2016


Contact by email: info@cultscreens.co.uk

What’s On & Tickets: http://cultscreens.co.uk/whats-on-coventry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cultscreens


By midlandsmovies, May 16 2016 11:37AM

After a brilliant trip to the Italian cities of Pisa, Venice and Florence in 2013 (click link) I was itching to get back to the land of perfect pizza with a trip to their capital city of Rome.


For a full album of photos to accompany this blog please click here


Leaving on my birthday May 3rd, the city itself has a rich history of cinema – both as a location, a studio system and a place to film a wide variety of movies throughout history. With my walking boots on (a mere 15km was tracked on a running app on just my first day) I was looking forward to exploring the beautiful city streets without too much planning but also not missing the major sights.


It is with these tourist sites that I will begin with. A city of immense faith and religion, the focal point is the Vatican (technically its own separate state) and has appeared in numerous films over the years. It is destroyed in the cataclysmic 2012 and that CGI model was “borrowed” by Ron Howard and the makers of Angels and Demons. Adapted from the Dan Brown novel – it’s a literary prequel but they made it a sequel for the film – Angels and Demons follows symbologist Robert Langdon (a strangely coiffed Tom Hanks) investigating the secret Illuminati sect. Whilst speaking of St. Peter’s Basilica, it shows up in Mission: Impossible III – another “chase” film where the team successfully infiltrates Vatican City to capture a villain.


A pulp piece of nonsense, the novel has its word-play charms for a holiday read but the film wisely ditches The Da Vinci Code’s literal adaptation and puts Hanks in an on-the-run adventure more akin to the National Treasure movies. Criss-crossing Rome, the death of the Pope sees a number of cardinals kidnapped and tortured throughout the city with Hanks and company using codes to track down their mysterious disappearance as a dark-matter bomb ticks down. Yes, that serious. I therefore tried to find at least some of the monuments for the "Path of Illumination," which are marked by statues of angels in locations relevant to the four elements.


The first cardinal (“Earth”) is held at the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo which was part of a lovely piazza in the north east of the city whilst the second location of Saint Peter's Square was truly one of the great views of Europe to behold. This cardinal represented “air” and I found one of the markers on the floor near one of the city’s many obelisks. For “fire”, Langdon ends up at Santa Maria della Vittoria where I found the statue of ‘The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa’which depicts an angel with a burning spear before the final cardinal is saved at Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. The fountain also appears in The Talented Mr. Ripley.


Each church was an amazing building with ancient architecture, art and history and are enjoyable even for the atheist holidaymaker like myself. The Illuminati's lair turns out to Castel Sant'Angelo (a towerin cylindrical building commissioned by Emperor Hadrian and later used by popes as a fortress) and the movie ends in and around the Vatican as the real villain is uncovered.


Rome is a city of wonderful old buildings, streets and many (many) staircases. There’s also lots of fountains of which a tour guide said were all drinkable (I didn’t try) and none is more famous than The Trevi Fountain – seen in Fellini’s iconic La Dolce Vita. There cannot be a film fan alive who doesn’t know Anita Ekberg’s frolics in the fountain and after a recent restoration the huge structure looked great during the day and even better at night.


With only 4 full days, I attempted to get to as many places as I could but I wanted to savour one of the things I’ve been wanting to experience for years. Since I can remember I’ve dreamed of seeing Rome’s Colosseum in the afternoon sun. Maybe a cliché but the ancient building (seen reconstructed in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator) has been of interest since my school days and when I finally saw it I was not disappointed. Its looming presence over Rome’s historic area (the Forum is close by) was a joy both outside and inside. The building’s current state, where the floor has been excavated to show underground cells below, is seen in the 2008 film Jumper. A guilty pleasure of mine, Jumper sees Hayden Christensen (remember him?) using superpowers to teleport around the world and a particular action scene has him fighting alongside Jamie Bell in the ancient ruins.


Also filmed at the Colosseum was Bruce Lee’s The Way of the Dragon, the 1972 Hong Kong martial arts action film where the climax is held at the location in a fight against b-movie legend Chuck Norris.


Parts of Rome are also seen in the truly awful (watched once, never again) Ocean's Twelve and returning to The Talented Mr. Ripley, The ‘Vesuvio’ nightclub, supposedly in Naples is actually the Caffè Latino in Rome. Confusingly, the ‘Rome’ opera house, where Ripley poses as Dickie, is the Teatro San Carlo in Naples!


When Ripley returns after Dickie’s murder he surveys the ruins of the Forum from Capitoline Hill. From here you can view the monumental sculptures of the Capitoline Museum and Piazza del Campidoglio. Ripley then stays in an apartment which was filmed in the 14th century Palazzo Taverna on Via di Monte and the terrace café he meets friends is Cafe Dinelli at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Unfortunately for me the Spanish Steps were closed for refurbishment but this was the only restoration work at the main attractions and gave me a good excuse, if I even needed it, to return again in the future.


Also of note, the most unlikely of films can use Rome for its historic look as well. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure uses the Greek-inspired architecture to create the ‘Athens’ of 410BC which is mostly the white marble Victor Emmanuel II Monument (Il Vittoriano), on Piazza Venetia.


More recently, James Bond visits the city in Spectre (2015) where he is chased by henchman, Mr. Hinx. Their car chase around the narrow alleys of Rome was of particular relevance when I had to constantly move out of the way of vehicles driving down cobbled walkways. What I thought were tiny protected pedestrianized alleys, only just wide enough for a small group of walking tourists, were actually busy thoroughfares. I didn’t just have to I step out of the way for scooters and Smart cars, but large lorries and vans actually made their way through smaller and smaller roads, giving you a beep if you failed to spot them. Bond’s car chase continues down the Tiber River – a beautiful city waterway (“waterway to have a good time”) that snakes through the centre.


Obviously no trip to Rome could not mention the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Gregory Peck plays a reporter and Audrey Hepburn a royal princess out to see Rome by herself. Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as did the screenplay (written by a then-blacklisted Dalton Trumbo). Shot at the Cinecittà studios and on location around Rome it features the Spanish Steps, the 19th century Palazzo Brancaccio and that infamous ending was filmed in the Sala Grande Galleria in the Palazzo Colonna. One of the film’s most unforgettable locations must be the Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verita) which can be found in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Piazza Bocca della Verita.


1966 Spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was a truly international effort with co-production split between companies in Italy, Spain, West Germany, and the United States. The filming began at the Cinecittà studio in Rome including the opening scene between Eastwood and Wallach but the production soon moved on to Spain which doubled for the south-western United States,.


Other films from the city? Strangely, Super Fly T.N.T. (1973), a blaxploitation flick directed, starring, and co-written by Ron O'Neal was shot in Rome whilst “Conan” spin-off Red Sonja (1985) was shot on location in Celano, the Abruzzo region and in the Stabilimenti Cinematografici Pontini studios nearby to Rome. In order to create the mid 19th Century sets that Scorsese envisioned for Gangs of New York, that production was filmed at the large Cinecittà Studio and designer Dante Ferretti recreated over a mile of historic New York buildings.


In Guy Ritchie’s 2015 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. various locations throughout Italy were used including Kuryakin and Teller's first outing as a couple which was shot below the Spanish Steps as well as at the Grand Hotel Plaza, in Via del Corso and in the gardens of ancient Theater of Marcellus.


Finally Chevy Chase’s Griswald family also take a trip to Rome in 80s comedy National Lampoon's European Vacation. Watch their Italian clothes shopping trip here which ends with Rusty Griswald (a euphemism to look up on Urban Dictionary if there ever was one) exiting the store looking like a cross between Shakespeare’s Benvolio and a renaissance version of Rufus from Bill and Ted.


An absolute marvel of a city, there have been hundreds more films, both from Hollywood and Italian productions filmed in the city and nearby locations. From the horror of Argento to the obvious Roman epics the city has an attraction like no other. Despite its romantic inspirations, Rome has lent itself to Westerns, blaxploitation, martial arts, comedy, action and much more in a history steeped in passion and pizzazz. Oh, and pizza.


Midlands Movies

By midlandsmovies, Mar 7 2016 08:36PM

The Red Carpet Cinema in Staffordshire has been providng a unique cinema, dining and event experience in the region since 2012 and now have even more great news for the area's filmgoers.


March 2016 will see two brand new Christie CP2208 IMB projector systems to replace their older models and the owners are filled with joy in order to stay up to date with the latest technology.


Back in 2008 when the opening was just a pipe dream, the cinema was fully prepared to be shipping in 35mm prints on 2,000 foot reels to show on projectors that had been designed for cinemas from the 1980s. However by the time it opened in 2012, 35mm was pretty obsolete, replaced by digital projection.


Despite 2012 being a disastrous time for getting hold of any cold hard cash from the banks, the cinema toyed with the idea of using the old 35mm projectors which were cheap but ultimately not suitable. In order to achieve a varied range of films that are up to date you need digital equipment which can be very expensive.


Like most cinemas co-owener Kate Silverwood finds that the trouble with digital projection is that nobody except for the audience is watching the film.


"Therefore it isn’t until someone kindly pops their head out of the auditorium to announce they’ve been looking at a blank screen for 20 minutes that we know anything about it. Why don’t you have someone to watch I hear you cry! Well, because 99% of the time it all goes perfectly to plan so losing a member of staff at a critical moment in the café bar 10 times a day is incredibly costly and not very practical".


Kate adds, "I’ll stop making excuses and let’s rewind for a second to the moment that a kindly customer informs us that the projector isn’t working. Behind the scenes everything goes into action overdrive. One person reboots the servers the way you would with any wayward computer. Meanwhile another person calls our service provider who can see our technical issues remotely from London via the cloud".


At this stage, Kate explains that the audience is can get restless and a bit hacked off. "The tension rises and we are quite sweaty behind the scenes but we know there’s still a person free to run in and out of the cinema to let our waiting customers know that we are working on it and all ends up well".


Despite some technical hiccups, it isn’t until they start calling people on the phone to cancel a show that they realise how many special life events are scheduled around The Red Carpet. "I don’t think we’ve ever cancelled a show and not disappointed a few people", says a sorrowful Kate.


"We damage secret birthday treats, plans with guests over from Australia, distraction before major operations, even a wedding proposal! Cancelling a show is sickening and up until now, we’ve never had to cancel a fully booked auditorium….yet, but it’ll happen if we keep the old projectors".


Although now 50k lighter in the pocket - the projectors have actually come down dramatically in price - Kate and her partner are very happy to be sharing this news today with the customers. "These bits of kit are light years ahead of the ones we are scrapping.


So….does Kate breathe a little more easily now? She asks if anyone ever really breathes easily when they run their own business? Ah well…oxygen can be highly overrated!


The Red Carpet are currently advertising for a full time cook/ chef so please apply via the contact details below to become part of The Red Carpet family.


The Red Carpet Cinema

Barton Marina

Barton under Needwood

Staffordshire

DE13 8AS


General Enquiries: 01283 716257

Box Office & Restaurant: 01283 716257


Email: contact@redcarpetcinema.co.uk

http://www.redcarpetcinema.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Nov 11 2015 11:16AM

CHRISTMAS AT QUAD IN DERBY



The QUAD in Derby has a selection of seven Christmas films in December alongside live theatre and a themed event in November. Films include It’s A Wonderful Life, The Shop Around The Corner, White Christmas, Frozen (sing-a-long), Elf, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard.


QUAD traditional Christmas film It’s A Wonderful Life returns with screenings in December. Set on Christmas Eve Clarence, a guardian angel, is assigned to convince the desperate George Bailey (James Stewart) not to take his own life. When George decides he is worth more dead than alive, it’s up to Clarence to help him realise how many lives his good deeds have touched. It’s A Wonderful Life (U) screens at QUAD from Friday 18th to Thursday 24th December.


There will also be a special It's A Wonderful Life Dementia Friendly Screening in QUAD on Tuesday 1st December from 1:00pm. The screening is specially programmed for those with Dementia and their carers, please contact charlottec@derbyquad.co.uk 01332 285427 for further information.


Part of QUAD’s ‘LOVE’ season, The Shop Around The Corner is set in a lovingly evoked Budapest in the run-up to Christmas. The delicately observed comedy focuses on the various obstacles blocking the path of potential lovers James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, fellow workers in a gossip-ridden emporium unaware they’re in fact courting one another by mail in an anonymous correspondence. An exquisitely romantic depiction of the old central Europe and perfect seasonal fare. The Shop Around The Corner (U) screens at QUAD from Friday 4th until Sunday 6th December.


White Christmas stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as a song and dance act charged alongside a sisters’ double act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) with saving a failing Vermont. Laughs, romance and musical numbers abound in this classic festive musical from the director of Casablanca. White Christmas (U) screens at QUAD from Friday 11th until Monday 14th December.


For all the family a Frozen sing-a-long is also back by popular demand. In the popular film Anna teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and sets off on a journey to find her missing sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal Winter. With mountainous conditions, mystic trolls and a snowman named Olaf, the two race to save their kingdom. Frozen Sing-a-long (PG) screens in QUAD from Saturday 19th until Thursday 24th December. This Cine Kids screenings has special ticket price of 3.50 for Cine Kids club members.


Family comedy Elf stars Will Ferrell as one of Santa's elves, who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father - spreading Christmas cheer as he goes. Elf (PG) screens in QUAD from Saturday 19th until Thursday 24th December


There is an alternative to the traditional films with a Lethal Weapon / Die Hard Christmas Double Bill – LA style! Riggs And Murtaugh take on ex-military drug dealers in the classic cop buddy movie, Lethal Weapon. Followed by John McClane having a very bad day in Nakatomi Plaza courtesy of Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber. Lethal Weapon / Die Hard Double Bill: is an (18) certificate and screens at QUAD on Saturday 19th December from 7:30pm. Tickets are: £12 and £10 Concessions.


QUAD Christmas opening times are: Christmas Eve, Boxing Day & New Year’s Eve from 11:00am until 8:00pm. QUAD will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.



Cinema tickets are £7.80 or £6.50 concessions, for more information or to book tickets please call QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606 or visit http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/whats-on-listing/film

By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2015 10:27AM

Top 10 exciting things to check out for West Midlands film fans


After our Top 10 covering the best of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham film-making talent we shift our focus to the West Midlands to see the best 10 things a film fan can check out in the region…


Tom Lee Rutter – Stranger

Director/writer Tom Lee Rutter bounced into the West Midlands film scene with his upcoming acid-western-horror Stranger. As an independent film-maker he has shot and completed dozens of films both short and feature length along with countless music videos. Born in Wordsley, raised in Rowley Regis and Colley Gate he eventually moved to Kidderminster about 8 years ago and worked with his brother when growing up. The two of them finished their first feature film; a shot on hi-8 “abomination” (his words) called Full Moon Massacre. Tom thinks horror is always the best place for a film-maker to begin as it can feature every other genre and gives the film-maker chance to explore all technical aspects of film in horror (SFX, lighting, camera trickery, etc). Read our full interview with Tom about his latest film here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Interview-with-Tom-Lee-Rutter/9385416


The Hot Tub Cinema

The award winning Hot Tub Cinema events landed in the Midlands this year with their unique brand of soothing bubbles, frothy suds and film screenings. The “Tub Tropicana Tour” came to Birmingham and this unique cinematic experience has helped make Hot Tub Cinema explode into the social cinema arena by screening films in a variety of exciting spaces across the country. With tubs of up to 6 people provided, relaxation is the focus whilst waiter service provides a brilliant way to get drinks delivered direct to your tub. With a choice of films from the 80s classics of Pretty Woman and Top Gun, the music-based Grease & Rocky Horror Picture Show to the comedic Anchorman and The Hangover movie, this cinema experience is more akin to a club with bar, neon lighting and DJs spinning tunes into the night. Our review of one of their nights in Digbeth here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/The-life-aquatic---The-Hot-Tub-Cinema-comes-to-the-Midlands/9642824


Boz Dimond

Since heading to art college back in 1996, Boz Dimond always had an eye for detail and a passion for film. But unlike most conventional filmmakers, Boz never attended university or film school but had always felt an affinity to the industry and at the tender age of 17, penned his first screenplay. After putting his pen to one side to focus on his passion for music, Boz spent the best part of 10 years creating tunes and developing his technical and musical skills but never lost interest in film. Boz, forever a passionate film enthusiast, then found a natural move into filmmaking and his short film Jinxed became an official selection at the Beeston Film Festival whilst his other short, Our Hands Are Tied, is currently in post-production. Boz has also written his first feature called The Target which is currently in development with TestaRossa Productions. This spy thriller genre flick is set to be made in 2015-16 and Boz has many more ideas bubbling at his production company Diamond Flicks. More info on Boz and his future film projects here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Boz-Dimond/9276869


The Electric Cinema

Established in 1909 The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is actually the oldest working cinema in the UK. It has been through many name changes and was mostly rebuilt in the 1930s. This unique cinema also runs an education programme for students of all ages covering the history of cinema, the current film industry and general film education. It was also Birmingham’s first cinema and predated the introduction of the 1909 Cinematograph Act and back then, the word 'electric' conjured up images of Van der Graaf generators and Tesla Coils. To the vast majority of the population, who were still without electricity in their homes, the mysterious invisible power source was verging on black magic. Much like the word digital is ubiquitous today, 'electric' became a common name for film theatres with Electric Cinemas and Electric Picture Palaces springing up. Back then, the cinema showed silent films with piano backing but now has a state of the art facility set within historical architecture that shows the latest independent and blockbuster films in a glorious and classy location. You can find the cinema at 47–49 Station Street, Birmingham,B5 4DY and more info is on their site here: https://www.theelectric.co.uk


Flatpack Festival

Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every March and draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises, and has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent). Uniquely, it’s not confined to one time or place as the annual event was spawned from the 7 Inch Cinema and was originally a mixed-media film night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations and ten years on they continue to produce projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival and the Independent Cinema Office. Director Ian Francis has clocked up fifteen years putting on film events in Birmingham and beyond and co-founded Flatpack with partner Pip McKnight in 2006. He also writes for publications including Sight and Sound and Little White Lies. Visit their website for updates here: http://flatpackfestival.org.uk


Checking In

“Checking In” is an award-winning feature from the West Midlands set in a hotel that follows the highs and lows from a number of guests' viewpoints. Filmed over 2 years the film was shot entirely at Baron's Court Hotel in Walsall, just outside of Birmingham and delves into the lives of numerous guests around the establishment over the course of a 24 hour period on a random “average” working day. Told through the eyes of maid Radka (Nici Preston) & Alec the Manager (Roger David Francis), a range of guests will make you laugh and gasp but always making you think. Bringing together a host of amazing actors and crew, the team finally got to see the movie at the Lighthouse Cinema on May 12th with feedback being overwhelmingly positive. Read our review here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Feature-Review---Checking-In/8603396


Hayley Davis

Hayley Davis is an up and coming actress from Birmingham who has a wide range of talents on her CV including a portfolio career where performance and writing make up the bulk of what she does having created work for the stage and the small screen. As a member of Equity, Hayley started her journey by gaining a degree in Performance at the University of Bedfordshire before moving to London where she continued to train in her field. Developing her trade she spent time undertaking courses at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the Actors Centre, before completing a year at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Hayley has starred in a recent short film called ‘Get out Clause’ with the production being edited by Fabrice Millet and also starred Laurence Saunders last seen in Eastenders. For more info on Hayley and links to her website please click here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Actress-Hayley-Davis/9134779


Jason Brown – Dark Vale

West Midlands filmmaker Jason Brown’s last film A Date With Ghosts was released in the US and he has already started on his next exciting endeavour called Dark Vale. Influenced by the Blair Witch Project Jason cites his successes to date as being prepared to see the benefits of hiring great actors. When Carlton TV ran a competition, he won an award for his film The Monk which gave the filmmaker greater exposure and led to him to an encounter with Shane Meadows. Later, James Cullen Bressack, who is based in Los Angeles helped Jason get distribution for “A Date With Ghosts” in US stores like Best Buy and Target. Jason wanted to be an actor originally and has a diploma in drama but now mainly works behind the camera. Raising over £5000 through investors he’s been lucky to have a mentor who has given him help called Brad Rushing who is an LA-based cinematographer. Influenced by Robert Rodriguez, Jason takes control of many aspects of his films including writing, directing, scoring and editing and hopes to take his latest movie to festivals once he has completed post-production. Read an interview with Jason here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---A-Date-with-Jason-M-J-Brown/10085681


Brindley Place Outdoor Film Festival

With another successful event running in 2015 the Brindleyplace Film Festival is situated in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Brindleyplace is a leisure and business complex built upon once derelict land and is an architectural landmark which created around three attractive public squares – Brunswick, Central and Oozells. Alongside this estate you can find The Water’s Edge, The Crescent Theatre, the National SEA LIFE Centre and the open square at the centre of all this hosts a free summer festival showcasing a variety of blockbuster films for all ages. In Summer Frozen, The Great Gatsby and Independence Day were all shown and the schedule was decided following hundreds of votes from the general public. This saw 90’s classic Clueless, staring Alicia Silverstone, achieve more than double the number of votes than any other film. Supported by Heart FM, deckchairs and beanbags were provided to the public whilst delicious free tasters were offered by a number of the restaurants based at Brindleyplace. A great success in 2015, the next one in 2016 hopes to be an even greater achievement.

http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2/


Film Birmingham

Want to make a film in Birmingham? Well, this is the place to start your search for a whole host of locations in the region. Film Birmingham is Birmingham City Council’s Film Office and as part of its Film Charter, Birmingham City Council is committed to making filming as easy and efficient as possible and provides free services for the industry. This includes being a one-stop shop for filming requests as they liaise with the relevant departments at Birmingham City Council and provide permits to film in the city. In addition, they manage an online database of filming locations throughout Birmingham with a dedicated team providing information and advice about the diverse range of filming locations, production offices and unit bases available. Finally, with a wealth of highly skilled film and television talent and state-of-the art facilities in the region, Film Birmingham can put filmmakers in touch with what’s available via their online crews and facilities database. Check their official website out here: http://www.filmbirmingham.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Aug 1 2015 08:38AM

Horror blog Runs in Rivers made plans to make everybody scream in space at Leicester’s National Space Centre with a summer screening of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Midlands Movies Mike (and Marek) headed down to this exclusive showing making sure our priority one was to bring back some great memories. All other priorities rescinded...


On a lovely Summer evening in July, me and my fellow film friends Matt, Tim and Kath headed to the National Space Centre in Leicester for an evening of movie amusement. Picking me up from my base in the city centre – I decided to bring along my recently purchased plush facehugger (a kind of horrific teddy bear of movie memorabilia) – we drove to one of Leicester’s premier tourist attractions to watch the 1979 horror sci-fi Alien.


None of us had seen a film screened in this one-of-a-kind location before but we were very excited owing to Runs in Rivers plans to show it within the planetarium of the venue.


Runs in Rivers themselves are a local horror blog reviewing indie, underground and extreme horror and this special screening was a chance for many local sci-fi fans to catch Ridley Scott's classic on the big screen – some, including myself, for the very first time.


With the unique venue ensuring a suitably cosmic setting, the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium is just one part of the National Space Centre. Opening in 2001 (!) the centre’s odyssey begins with six main galleries of exhibits and visitor activities covering flight, astronomy and cosmology. We however would be enjoying Weaver, Skerritt and co inside the Digistar 3 dome cinema.


We pulled up around seven in the evening at the centre’s main car park and after a quick “vape” we waited by the first attraction that is situated nearby called the “space catapult”.


This launch cradle is designed to hold a satellite inside the cargo bay of a US Space Shuttle eventually “flipping” it out into space spinning like a top to keep it stable in orbit. However, given its name we discussed its use by Wile E. Coyote or Bart Simpson and the unfortunate fact that it simply looked like a bit of space junk! However, this merely begins a brilliant journey inside where visitors can see more exciting fare like the gigantic Blue Streak and PGM-17 Thor space-craft, both housed in their Rocket Tower.


Walking under one of the few Soyuz capsules in Europe, the automatic “cargo” doors of the centre already had us excited for our exploration and Runs In Rivers choice of venue could not have been better.


As we grabbed a couple of space beers (actually just Heinekens) to warm up, the friendly staff and organisers made everyone feel comfortable with their welcoming chats and warm hospitality. In addition, they had provided a full on Alien (see pic) for the evening whose working jaws were a great touch. The Alien often crept up on unsuspecting visitors who were queuing, resulting in big laughs from us all. Nevertheless, I got caught out later by the same thing as I leapt in the air after the Xenomorph lunged over my shoulder. It was at this point I met up with our writer Marek. Unbelievably, since launching Midlands Movies, Marek has contributed an amazing amount of articles, reviews and features for us and bar a brief moment one morning (where neither of us was quite sure of who we were) this was the first time we had met. In three years!!


Along with Marek was fellow film fan Paul Crowson, the self-styled Dr. Action of the awesome movie blog Dr. Action and The Kick Ass Kid Commentaries. Check them out here http://dractionkickass.blogspot.co.uk


After a great chat, it was soon time to enter the auditorium and with a vista of stars covering the planetarium’s dome, the excited whispers turned into enormous approval of the location for this exceptional showing.


We sat down on the cinema’s chairs – which go back to an almost horizontal angle so be careful not to fall asleep – but with the film close to start, the thrilled crowd were unlikely to nap during the scares and jumps aboard the Nostromo.


And what of the film itself? Well, there’s very little to add to what has been said many times before. You know the story. The H. R. Giger-designed extraterrestrial creature stalks a space crew after being picked up via a contaminated John Hurt (a Midlands local from Derby no less). Outer space never looked so vast on the planetarium’s projection though, whose slightly curved screen meant that the view was a true representation of your eyesight, making you turn your head across the wide shots such was the size of the screen.


The Oscar winning effects looked as great as ever and the most startling aspect of a film that was 36 years old was that I commented that it looked like it “had barely aged one bit”. Bar a few dodgy 70s-style shaggy haircuts, the brilliant set design, perfect blend of SFX with the actors and Scott’s foreboding direction gives the film such a timeless quality it could have been made in the last few years.


An iconic movie, it has since been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and appeared in our Top 50 Movies of All Time voted by our readers alongside it’s equally lauded sequel Aliens by director James Cameron.


We said during the vote: “Perfectly directed, the film influenced a slew of imitators and launched a franchise behemoth that he would return to in 2012’s Prometheus. Featuring Alien-rape, the film is a superb blend of scares, screams and spooks in space with excellent special effects and a new heroine in Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley”.


As the credits rolled we discussed what a great night it had been. Scott’s “starbeast“ continues to amaze and astonish even after all this time and a perfect evening was had in a perfect setting and all credit must go to Runs In Rivers for putting on an impressive cosmic celebration.


This is Mike, last survivor of the Space Centre, signing off.


For more info on Runs in Rivers and to book future events please see their website here:


https://www.facebook.com/runsinrivers

Email runsinriversblog@gmail.com


To visit the National Space Centre in Leicester check them out at this link:

http://www.spacecentre.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike

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