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By midlandsmovies, Apr 13 2018 07:58AM

Flatpack Film Festival 2018


The 2018 Flatpack Film Festival kicks off on Friday 13th April so get ready to experience over 100 events and screenings across venues across Birmingham.


Running until 22nd April, there are plenty of options for all kinds of cinema fans and we take an overview look at some of the best the festival has to offer over the full 2 weeks of fun.




Colour Box

This is a fabulous film lucky dip with a focus on “doing” as much as on “viewing”. This year’s creative playground includes smartphone projectors, Moomin puppets, VR adventures and a massive zoetrope, while in the screening programme you can find the best new family shorts and features from around the world. Colour Box is suitable for all ages, although even more fun if you’re 11 and under!




Birmingham 68

A landmark year internationally, 1968 was also a turbulent time for Birmingham. This eye-opening, city-straddling programme will take you from Digbeth bikers to Erdington psychedelia, from black masses in Solihull to the lost streets of Balsall Heath. On 13-15 April a host of special guests will join us for a weekend of walks, talks and screenings tapping into a range of subjects that still resonate today. Flatpack welcome a range of guests including writer Dilip Hiro and Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges and there's a very rare chance to see a psychedelic Cilla Black satire set in Ladywood.




Optical Sound

Optical Sound explores the love affair between sound and image through a packed weekend of live events and screenings. Expect AV artistry, music documentaries and ingenious gadgets.




Unpacked

A chance to poke around under the bonnet and explore the creative processes behind some of the work on show at Flatpack. At the heart of Unpacked is a day of talks and demonstrations with a fantastic line up of artists, inventors and filmmakers, while at Film Camp the focus shifts from making to showing. Film Camp is designed to gather together film exhibitors from across the Midlands to share their wealth of experience, and to explore fresh approaches to programming and audience development. The event is open to everyone from multi-screen venues and festivals to community cinema organisers and student film groups.




Special Events

Check out Flatpack’s full complement of theatre, performance, live soundtracks, daft parties and a quiz. Highlights include live animation troupe Paper Cinema and a night at the circus to remember.




Features, Shorts and Documentaries

based at the Electric and the Mockingbird, this year's survey of the best new films from around the world is a fantastic trip. For those who don’t know, Flatpack started life as a film night in a pub and the short films are an end in themselves, overflowing with great ideas and indelible images. In 2018 the competition expands to six programmes and will include a bumper crop of UK premieres. Flatpack’s international documentary selection is by turns playful, provocative and strange.


Short Film Competition Pass

The short film competition is the shining jewel in our crown each year and audiences can pick up a pass wo view Is This Some Kind Of Joke, Little Wonders, Signal To Noise, Artefacts, Memory Lane and Breaking Point for just £32.



To buy tickets and to check out the full programme go to the festival's official website - http://flatpackfestival.org.uk


By midlandsmovies, Mar 16 2018 11:00AM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2018 edition):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 20 – 25, 2018


• NOTTINGHAM MICRO FILM FESTIVAL Twitter @FilmNottingham http://www.nimfestival.com/ 8-10 March 2018


• INDIE-LINCS - March 15-18 2018 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 - http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-film-festival-2018/ July 16 -22 2018


• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST https://twitter.com/docfilmfestival Contact John Coster November 2018


• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - 23rd February - 11th March 2018


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 22 – 25 2018 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) https://www.biffestival.co.uk 2018 dates TBC


• 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 20 – 26 2018


• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May 2019


• THE UK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL LEICESTER - http://tonguesonfire.com/ 15 March - 31 March 2018


• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates TBC for 2018


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 4th - 13th MAY 2018


• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy/Horror Fest at Quad in Derby (part of Derby Film Fest)


• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 11 October - 14 October 2018


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 13 - 22 April 2018


• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com May 2018


• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL - https://twitter.com/BeestonFilm 8th - 11th March 2018


• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 5th - 7th October 2018


• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - www.grindhouseplanet.com November 2018 TBC


* BOTTLESMOKE FILM FESTIVAL - https://www.facebook.com/BottleSmokeStoke Stoke on Trent, 8th - 9th September 2018


* POCKET FILM FESTIVAL (Unseen cinema) http://www.unseencinema.co.uk/pocket-film-festival-2018/ Stafford 12-17 March 2018


* BIRMINGHAM HORROR GROUP - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birmingham-horror-group-mini-movie-marathon-25-march-2018-tickets-41683231668 Mini-Movie Marathon Mini-Movie 25 March 2018


* SHROPSHIRE'S FIRST WORLD WAR FILM FESTIVAL https://twitter.com/wilfredowen100 Oct/Nov TBC 2018


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, May 23 2017 09:43PM



Cult Screens heads to the Midlands region for Summer 2017 extravaganza


Cult Screens is a luxurious open air cinema experience heading to carefully selected unusual, spectacular locations throughout the country, which launches Thursday 25th May with the Oscar-winning ‘Moonlight' at Oxford Castle.


But it won’t be long until the Cult Screen experience hits the Midlands with a line-up of great movies for film fans to enjoy in the coming months.


Running until late September, the highly anticipated summer schedule includes films ranging from cool cult classics like Fight Club and Pretty Woman to modern masterpieces like La La Land and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


As well as these there is a whole host of fan favourites like Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. Cult Screens hope to bring all the comforts of the ultimate cinematic experience to the great outdoors with deckchairs and beanbags scattered for the taking.


They also recommend bottles of chilled Prosecco and can offer a superb selection of crafted beers and classic cinema comforts like fresh popcorn to gourmet street food.


For the Midlands explicitly, locations confirmed for this year include Coventry Cathedral Ruins and The Arena, Lower Trinity Street in Birmingham. The full line-ups are below.


Perfect for a girls’ night out with a difference, a chilled Sunday or Saturday date night, tickets are priced from £13.95 - £45 with various seating options available from BYO blanket to deckchair and single or double beanbags.


For more information and tickets please visit www.cultscreens.co.uk


BIRMINGHAM




COVENTRY





By midlandsmovies, Mar 2 2017 11:02AM



The Love Witch (2017) Dir. Anna Biller


“Do you like to ride, Elaine?”


With a camp retro-ness and grindhouse quality that only an early Tim Burton or Tarantino could dream of comes a genre-loving film of obsession and sexual politics. The Love Witch stars a brilliant Samantha Robinson as the title character Elaine, who is a lovelorn witch that dabbles in mysticism, potions and tarot cards in an attempt to find herself the man of her affections. Or is it of her obsessions? Well, the film uses Hammer horror and John Walters-style kitsch to actually deliver much more complex and deeper themes of femininity and patriarchy.


The gorgeous sets and costume design help tell the story of Elaine as she arrives in a new town, escaping her ambiguous past life, and meeting a lecturer called Wayne. She suggests he whisks her off to his isolated cabin for a clandestine rendezvous, before convincing him to take a swig from her mysterious hip-flask. From here, it seems as though Elaine has concocted a brew that appears to show the true character of those who drink it.


In this instance the steak-eating hunk of masculinity transforms into a crying man-child and what began as erotic worship ends with Elaine burying his body in the garden. Adorning his makeshift grave is a “gift” of nature that consists of a used tampon and a jar of urine. The little-seen hygiene product seemed to echo Psycho’s first ever-toilet flush in a further directorial nod to the schlock and boundary-pushing of 60s horror.


Similarly a spot-on score partly parallels Bernard Herman’s iconic strings and is complemented by a psychedelia soundtrack of harps and horror Hammond organs. This mix of influences from different eras also shows Biller having fun with thematic and aesthetic anachronisms. The 60s are invoked with Cadillac and hot rod cars as well as kinky boots and hair styles from the time, but the illusion is amusingly broken as she throws in 2016 BMWs and smart phones.


These knowing winks keep the Love Witch from becoming stale as lashings of comedy – from the actors’ monotone delivery of lines to the hilarious weeping males Elaine leaves in her wake – keep the tone bouncing between light and shade. Slightly off-kilter framing and hard cuts create a quirky and self-referential b-movie humour, somewhat akin to Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace series.


As Elaine continues her endeavours with bubbling dry-ice tonics, a local policeman (played with virility by a square jawed Gian Keys) attempts to crack the case of the missing man. Here we notice that plot is quite minimal with information sometimes delivered in streams of indelicate monologue. It’s deliberately slow-paced and edited – perhaps to a fault at times – BUT Biller has a voice that cuts through any of these tiny and ultimately inconsequential flaws.


Her stylish design sits comfortably with her comments on nature, identifying witches as outcasts and using sexuality as a positive. And Biller’s serious questions work well in a uniquely theatrical film of heightened reality. One man states that burlesque performance is “reclaiming womanhood” yet Biller keeps some of her voice ambiguous, as at times male clichés are espoused by female characters and vice versa. An “equality of difference” and other such thorny issues may seem heavy material but are entrapped in a Kaleidoscope of cut-scenes and drug fuelled images that reflect the bravura of the accomplished director who can handle the frequent shift in tones.


From “sex magic” to crimson bed sheets, the horror is never too far away as well. Literal (and metaphorical) bondage again reflects the clever but balanced topics Biller wishes to convey whilst a Renaissance Fayre has thespian-style staging and alludes to the natural medieval past of witches.


Enchanting and engaging, The Love Witch sees Biller creating a multifaceted masterpiece that, whilst on the surface tells the story of a technicolour temptress, is a far more magical experience mixing low-budget tropes with high-brow awareness.


9/10


Midlands Movies Mike


By midlandsmovies, May 15 2016 12:00PM

Midlands Movies are pleased to have given away lots of movie goodies over the last 18 months and will continue to do so therefore please follow us at https://twitter.com/MidlandsMovies to hear about our latest prizes and competitions


Previous winners include:


2016 competitions to date include:

Aliens BluRay boxset, Big Trouble in Little China PopFunko prize, Bronson BluRay, The History of Marvel Comic book & Summer Night Film Festival tickets.


The Force Awakens competition

In Autumn 2015 we gave away a brand new Storm Trooper action figure from the upcoming new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. The winner was @JackShelbourn


Pulp Fiction framed pic film Competition

Donated by Sali Jones of Ms Moo Makeup: www.msmoomakeup.com Pulp Fiction celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and came in at number 1 in our 2013 Readers’ Poll of Midlands Movies readers favourite films of all time. The winner was @AmeliaK1987


"The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex" by Mark Kermode + Midlands Movies t-shirt Competition

We pulled one winner at random from the over 300+ entrants and that winner was Twitter user @ChrisBevan89


Chaplin Blu Ray Competition

Jim Peakman @Jimatay won a copy of Oscar nominated film Chaplin by Sir RIchard Attenborough


Pan's Labyrinth Competition

In September 2014 we joined forces with R B Illustrations to give away a beautifully designed Pan's Labyrinth poster drawn by Leicester's very own Ryan Button with the winner being Twitter user @Alex_Doddy


Shadowlands Competition

Partly filmed in the Midlands (at The Great Central Railway in Loughborough) and directed by Leicester legend Sir Richard Attenborough we have pulled one lucky reader out at random who was @JoshuaWilliam35


Transformers Competition

@IainKirtley won an Optimus Prime design courtesy of Leicester artist The Retrodraughtsman when we gave away a framed picture in July


LEGO Competition

To coincide with The Lego Movie's release on DVD we gave away one of the toy sets from the movie in June 2014 which was won by Shaun Jacques @ShaunJacquesUK


Anchorman 2 Competition

Our Anchorman competition ran in April 2014 and we drew out one lucky Midlands Movies reader who won a selection of prizes including a Ron Burgundy book, an Anchorman poster and a big red candle! The winner was Twitter user @boblikethebird


Once Upon A Time in the Midlands

We gave away Shane Meadows' FIlm 4 classic on DVD in February 2014 and the winner was Zoe Heslop @Zoe_Music


Retro Film Posters

We had a set of 8 glossy retro film posters to giveaway as a Christmas thank you to all our followers over a second successful year at Midlands Movies. A winner has been drawn at random on the weekend of the 7th/8th December 2013. Thanks to all who entered and the winner was Twitter user Emily Jasper https://twitter.com/EmilyJas


SuperMan Competition

We had a maxi-poster from Snyder's movie courtesy of Pyramid International (not run by Adrian Veidt!) as well as other assorted Kryptonian goodies. We had tons of entries who retweeted us at @MIdlandsMovies on Twitter and used hashtag #MMcompetition. Once we passed 1000 followers we drew one winner at random who was Rob Jones @Hulksmash1985


The Dark Knight Rises Competition

Midlands Movies Mike dressed as Bane at the recent showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Wollaton Hall where Wayne Manor was set for the movie! We gave you a chance to win 2 tickets courtesy of Derby Quad & the winner was @TommyDraper who was chosen at random for the event on Sept 7th.


800 Followers Competition

WINNER 1 - @deanne2622 (Singing in the Rain & Breakfast at Tiffany’s posters)

WINNER 2 - @Alex_H92 (The Birds & Gone With the Wind posters)

WINNER 3 - @JayIsANerd (The Wizard of Oz & Some Like It Hot posters)

WINNER 4 - @MrMilktray (Casablanca & Goldfinger posters)


500 & 600 Follower Competition

We gave away copies of the Alien Quadrilogy and Welcome to the Punch at our 500 and 600 Twitter followers mark.

By midlandsmovies, Jan 23 2016 12:03PM

Midlands Spotlight – Casuals


Casuals was the first production from legendary writer and former football hooligan Cass Pennant and was released independently in 2010. Distributed on DVD during its first release it has subsequently found a new life this year with the documentary being picked up by Metrodome who distribute film and digital content worldwide.


Pennant brings forth this extraordinary and insightful film that attempts to strip away the myths and tell the truth about a little known football subculture. But what is a “casual” I hear you ask? Well, the casual phenomenon was originally a football subgroup that had its own fashion, style and customs and one that helped revive the men’s fashion industry leaving a lasting legacy still felt to this day.


The documentary explores the trends from the people who were involved from its early days where brands & retailers such as 80s Casual Classics all formed part of the casuals’ uniform. This all happened during a time of change and upheaval but also when football and fashion mattered more than the corporate hospitality and sanitized stadiums seen nowadays.


This phenomenon has seen teenagers in cities as diverse as Barcelona, Berlin, Milan and Moscow copying fashions and a culture that developed on the streets and terraces of British cities. The documentary asks how did this specific football casual subculture come about and what did it stand for?


Using archived footage and interviews with those that were there, the doc describes how mod fashions mixed with sportswear and brands like Fila, Fred Perry, Adidas and Stone Island to show how clothing became a statement for those involved.


The film also has strong links to the Midlands region with interviews with Leicester “casuals” including Bev Thompson, who inspired Pennant’s most recently produced film ‘Beverley’. As well as being influential to the making of that film – which was shot, made and set in Leicester city – she was very much engaged with the casual lifestyle in the early 80s too. She also tells of how this gave her a sense of identity as a second-generation black woman.


Another Leicester-local is Riaz Khan who was the son of traditional Pakistani parents and who found his own identity when he adopted the 'casual' culture. He and fellow young Asians were the heralds of a hybrid youth culture as he took on board the soul-boy look of the 80s. Confounding old stereotypes and fighting racism, the melting pot of cultures saw new football-focused groups emerge from the terraces.


Directed by Mick Kelly the amazing story shows how youths set the style first with high streets catching up much later and way before the brands became vogue with famous celebrities. With over 50 interviews, the personal stories reminisce over the styles, the differences and the similarities of the elusive labels that became must-have clothing.


It also demonstrates how these British obsessions with the foreign menswear of the time have subsequently switched around with the rest of the garment-wearing globe now looking to the UK as a fashion trendsetter. To its own benefit, “Casuals” focuses on folk rather than football making the documentary a great success that chronicles the communities that made up a unique time in UK’s underground history.


7.5/10


Cass is also hoping the film can find a brand new audience as the rerelease includes exclusive new platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Google, Sony, X-Box and is due to be a Netflix movie in Spring 2016 as well.


Available to own Dec 21st 2015 and on VOD from Dec 28th 2015.


See the film’s trailer here:




By midlandsmovies, Jul 6 2015 07:48PM

Killer Saurus (2015) Dir. Steve Lawson


“Why don’t you run through its legs...?”


This new Leicester creature feature from Creativ Studios is a fun b-movie inspired flick that uses a cloned dinosaur as its central theme in a story of secrets, horror and drama.


In a near future, we begin in a lab where Professor Peterson (Steve Dolton) works with his scientist colleagues to use innovative new bio-print laser technology to genetically recreate an ancient monster. We find out there have already been failed attempts by his favourite worker Kayleigh Ma (Helen Crevel) but sad news comes in the form of a telephone call in which the Professor is informed of the death of a loved one.


The film starts slowly but tension is soon ratcheted up as the project descends into chaos and heads begin to roll (literally). After an accident involving the death of a worker, we pick up 3 months later with Kayleigh and her journalist boyfriend Jed Bailey (Kenton Hall) who encourages her to return to her job in order to get some closure. However, he desperately wants to pick up an exclusive scoop to reinvigorate his career which is littered with a history of vilified conspiracy stories.


Back in the lab, they return to meet with Peterson who explains that the bio-print technology was originally developed to replace his amputated fingers before spiralling out of control. As he regales them with the previous failed attempts, we see he is working for a shady corporation who care even less about the lives they have ruined.


With laughs and silliness played off against melodramatic scenes, the film creates a great atmosphere that mocks and plays loving homage to its low budget influences. Good cinematography drenches the screen in futuristic Minority Report cool blues and blood-drenched reds whilst an intense booming soundtrack creates apprehension and worry at every turn.


Scenes increase their pace which help push the story along quickly and although the props and settings were quite sparse, they were well created and utilised. The interesting lighting choices through smoky camera shots helped overcome many gaps in the budget and the monster f/x were effective in their scope.


With more personal secrets uncovered, the film is a shaky mix of the sombre and the amusing with humorous lines vying for space with sinister scenes but the balance just about holds together and there were half a dozen or so true belly laughs as well delivered dead pan which made them even funnier.


Some lines of dialogue were cribbed from the most memorable monster movies (I spotted Jaws, King Kong and Jurassic Park) yet there’s action too. I find it easy to say that it’s genuinely great to see films come from your hometown and the talent from the Midlands still surprises me as innovative directors release films with ambition that far surpass expectations. KillerSaurus also has an impressive vibe straight from the grindhouse Planet Terror which both combine levels of daftness with disgusting make up to superb effect.


In summary, if Friday night beastly features are your thing then I can highly recommend you catching this noble and enjoyable film which hits colossal horror heights from a tiny budget.


8/10 Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jun 6 2015 10:10AM


Kung Fury (2015) Dir: David Sandberg


This crowdfunded short film comes across as a mash up of bad (read good) martial arts action films and 80s side scrolling beat em-up arcade games topped off with perhaps the most insane over the top action that you will ever see. Logic and quite frankly the rules of nature are cast aside in this mad action packed fun-filled rollercoaster of a film.


Set in 1985 the plot sees city cop Kung Fury travel back in time to kill the most deadliest criminal of all time - Kung Fuerher Hitler, but to do so he needs to call on his friends; the nerd Hackerman, his police partner Triceracop the Triceratop and of course the Norse god Thor. Makes sense right?


Writer/director/star David Sandberg proves that you don't need a massive budget to make an explosive and entertaining film just a green screen, bad one liners and plenty of humour. Kung Fury is one film that will entertain anyone with a penchant for action and the open ending hopefully hints at a full feature sequel. You can watch the film on YouTube above


8.5/10


Midlands Movies Marek


(Editor Mike: Couldn't agree more on this one. A great idea will always overcome any budget constraints and the hilarity of the 80s iconography, OTT jokes and ingenious effects and nods to low budget films make this an entertaining one to catch. Also, its online to watch for free too!)


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