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By midlandsmovies, May 27 2018 09:44AM



Midlands Spotlight - Summer Nights Film 2018


Summer Nights festival as it is now in its eighth year and returns to its Midlands origins (as well as many more new venues throughout the country) with another spectacular line-up of outdoor cinema events in luxurious and fun locations in the region.

Highlights include a screening of IT (2017) at Calke Abbey on August 4th and Wollaton Hall on August 24th as well as Wayne’s World at Wollaton Hall on August 23rd. Party on!

Tickets can be purchased at the early bird price of £12.50 until the 1st June when they will increase to £15.50.


For the full line-up please see dates, films and venues below:


East Midlands


Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire – Fri 20th DUNKIRK & Sat 21st July MOULIN ROUGE


Bradgate Park, Leicester – new venue! Fri 20th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 21st July DIRTY DANCING


Calke Abbey, Derbyshire – Thu 2nd PRETTY WOMAN & Fri 3rd THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 4th IT Sun 5th August THE GREATEST SHOWMAN


Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – Fri 17th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 18th August DIRTY DANCING


Wollaton Hall, Nottingham – Thu 23rd WAYNES WORLD Fri 24th IT Sat 25th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Sun 26th THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Mon 27th August BEAUTY & THE BEAST


Belton House, Lincolnshire – Fri 7th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 8th September GHOSTBUSTERS



West Midlands:


Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire – Thu 26th BEAUTY & THE BEAST Fri 27th TOP GUN & Sat 28th July FOOTLOOSE


Attingham Park, Shropshire – Fri 31st August DIRTY DANCING & Sat 1st September DUNKIRK


There are further dates and venues throughout England includng Surrey, Yorkshire and Cheshire


More information about these screenings and the festival can be found online here: www.summernightsfilm.co.uk





By midlandsmovies, May 25 2018 08:03AM



Derby Film Festival 2018


Midlands Movies writer Guy Russell takes a look at one of the premiere film festivals in the region as he checks out the best of the fest!


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Now in its 5th year, Derby Film Festival is showing no signs of slowing down. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the festival again hosted by QUAD, this year it kicked off on the 4th May followed by ten days of screenings, talks, short films and competitions.


Similar to last year’s sub-festival Fantastiq, the first four days of the festival were dedicated to Paracinema, a celebration of films and genres outside the mainstream including new releases and cult classics. Here are a few of new and cult classics screened during the festival:


Attack of the Adult Babies



Amongst the various films shown during the Paracinema arm of the festival was Attack of the Adult Babies, the latest offering from filmmaker Dominic Brunt. Brunt has built up quite the resume in recent years, his great work within the horror genre alone has gained him the reputation as a director you should definitely look out for when any of his projects hit the shelves.


An ordinary family are forced to break into a country manor to steal top secret information, what they find however are powerful, obese, middle aged men dressed in nappies being tendered to and waited upon by overly sexualised nurses in PVC uniforms. This is not your typical horror film!


The humour comes as quick and thick as the gore which will please both horror and comedy fans. Lines such as “We’re gonna need a bigger nappy” and “I’m going to cut you worse than a state pension” prove how much of an aware, modern film Attack of the Adult Babies is.


Shot on location at Broughton Hall in West Yorkshire, Attack of the Adult Babies joins Brunt’s CV of making socially aware Northern genre films, something not many can boast of. Since the release of The Purge series and last year’s Get Out there has been a revived interest in social-political horror films and after having watched this film I’m of the opinion this deserves a place in the conversation too.


Beneath the absurdity and the gore is an expose of how lazy powerful and greedy men can become, their reliance on others to wash, clean and cook for them here is shown by a regression to infancy.


If you’re after a horror-comedy film with gore and gags in equal measure, then check out this bonkers and brilliant effort. Attack of the Adult Babies is destined to be a cult British film, whether it be this decade or the next.


Attack of the Adult Babies is out on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 11th.


Charismata



Again as part of the Paracinema part of the festival is Charismata, a psychological horror from filmmaking duo Andy Collier and Toor Mian.


Rebecca Faraway (Sarah Beck Mather) is a murder detective working on a series of gruesome killings. As she becomes more involved with the investigation she begins to experience haunting visions which lead her to question her own sanity and state of mind.


I normally enter any independent horror production with an open mind, some can be quite hokey whilst others can surprise you with what they can do with so little. Luckily Charismata falls within the latter category, the cinematography by Fernando Ruiz and the score by Chris Roe give the film a polished and carefully constructed vibe, almost as if millions were spent in producing the picture.


Similar to Attack of the Adult Babies, Charismata feels very socially aware, whether intentional or not. Rebecca lives in a very masculine environment and is constantly under siege with sexist comments and a chauvinistic attitude towards her career as she is the only female on her team.


Acting isn’t usually lauded within the genre however Sarah Beck Mather as Rebecca was sensational. An intriguing portrayal, Mather plays Rebecca as quite a cold person however the character feels pretty well balanced considering the enormous pressure she endures throughout the film.


Whilst the “gore” level is by no means ignored, it is the carefully planned build-up of tension that brings the chills to the audience. I’m unsure when this will be screened again or released widely on home media however I urge any horror fan to seek this one out as Charismata was one of the best surprises of this year’s festival.


Escape from New York



Whilst the festival primarily celebrates fresh talent and brilliant new films, there is always space in the schedule to revel in classic films from yesteryear. This year, the one to catch for me was John Carpenter's science-fiction flick Escape from New York, a quintessential 80’s actioner starring Kurt Russell.


1997, Manhattan, New York has been abandoned and transformed into the perfect maximum security prison but unfortunately, whilst routinely flying over, Air Force One crashes onto the island leaving the President of the United States alive albeit in grave danger from unpredictable and dangerous inmates.


A deal is struck between the Warden and convicted bank robber Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), to save the president and he will have earned his right to freedom.


Having only seen this film once before it was great to revisit this on the big screen. On the surface you might mistake this as a simple film but a great escapist movie, however knowing Carpenter's work and his love for using genre movies to explore certain themes you can see why critics are of the opinion that Escape from New York uses its dystopic environment to explore class and race issues.


Last year I caught the screening of Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, a film I had never heard of until I watched it. It is now one of my favourite films of its period. I hope this Escape from New York showing had the same effect on someone and long may the festival continue presenting classics.


Overall it has been another successful year for the Derby Film Festival and QUAD as they continue to show a vast range of films across all genres, languages and budgets. I can’t wait to see what the 6th Annual Derby Film Festival holds in 2019. See you there.


Thanks to Peter Munford & Kathy Frain


Guy Russell


Twitter @BudGuyer


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Take a read of Guy's thoughts of the 2018 Derby Film Festival's other events including local documentary Spondon: Portrait of a Village and Five Lamps 24 hour Film Challenge



By midlandsmovies, May 23 2018 03:12PM



Midlands Review - Spondon: Portrait of a Village


Directed by Mark Rivers


I didn’t know what to expect walking into the documentary Spondon: Portrait of a Village. I was anticipating a love letter to Spondon, that much I knew, but what could possibly be said about a village in Derby in 120 minutes of running time.


My experience and knowledge of Spondon is limited to the local ASDA and a visit to The Malt Shovel once for a poker tournament. What I didn’t know was that Spondon is a small village and a tight knit community built up of small businesses and passionate local residents who are keen to keep the village alive.


Screened to a sold out audience on a sunny Saturday afternoon, director Mark Rivers presents a warm portrait of Spondon making certain to include residents from all walks of life, ensuring every voice from every corner is heard.


Local business owners, natives old and young, parents, the unemployed and the retired all have something to say about the current condition Spondon is in, whether it be positive or negative. A fair portion of the film is spent examining the community’s participation and reaction to the referendum to leave the European Union which proves to be interesting viewing.


As I mentioned earlier, I was anticipating Spondon: Portrait of a Village to be a love letter of sorts, with nothing too vast and deep within the narrative. However, River’s takes the smooth with the rough, the blissful outlook on village life is combined with the worrying awareness that the village is constantly at risk of declining as big corporate chains and cultural shifts threaten their way of life.


A local butcher is losing business to the supermarkets, British Celanese has all but shut down due to the sourcing of its materials overseas. River’s shows us what we would be losing if we don’t support local business - a way of life. Professionally shot and edited, it was a pleasure to spend what didn’t feel like two hours at all due to the pacing of the film.


Clearly I wasn’t the only one who thought this as the film received a rapture of an applause at the end of the screening, to my surprise from the very people who featured in the documentary.


I hope further screenings of Spondon: Portrait of a Village are planned so as to give more people the opportunity to watch this treasure of a documentary.


Guy Russell


Twitter @budguyer


By midlandsmovies, Apr 17 2018 07:56AM



Derby Film Festival 2018 – special guests, film previews and events in QUAD 4th to 13 May

Derby Film Festival returns from 4th to 13 May with a host of special guests, film previews and events as well as over fifty feature films.


Guests include actress and singer Toyah Willcox will discuss her career in film and television, from her debut in the television play Glitter in 1976, to Derek Jarman’s seminal punk film Jubilee and his version of The Tempest. She has also featured in films including Quadrophenia and Quatermass, and on BBC TV in Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde and Tales Of The Unexpected. Toyah Willcox will be in Conversation in QUAD on Saturday 5th May at 5:00pm. Both Jubilee (15) and The Tempest (15) will be screened as part of the festival on 8th & 9th and 9th & 10th May respectively.


Sir John Hurt's widow Anwen Hurt will introduce a preview screening of That Good Night – Hurt’s final leading role. Sir John Hurt was QUAD’s first Patron and Derby Film Festival’s Guest Of Honour in 2014. That Good Night (12A) Preview introduced by Anwen Hurt, takes place in QUAD on Wednesday 9th May at 6:30pm.


And Mandie Fletcher who will discuss her career in film and television, directing classics of British television, from Butterflies in 1983, to Blackadder, Only Fools And Horses, Desmond’s, Absolutely Fabulous and Miranda, and the big screen, with Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in 2016. Mandie Fletcher will be in Conversation in QUAD on Sunday 13th May at 2:00pm


Exclusive film Previews include:

Redoubtable from the Oscar winning director of The Artist on Friday 4th May at 8:40pm. L’Amant Double, the latest release from French auteur Director François Ozon on Monday 7th May at 9:00pm. Jeune Femme the debut film of director Léonor Serraille on Tuesday 8th May at 6:30pm. Edie starring Sheila Hancock on Wednesday 9th May at 2:00pm. Ismael’s Ghosts starring Marion Cotillard and Mathieu Almaric on Thursday 10th May at 6:30pm. On Chesil Beach adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan on Friday 11th May at 6:30pm. The Suffering Of Ninko, from Japan, is a unique tale which blends live action and animation on Friday 11th May at 8:45pm. The Bookshop starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy on Saturday 12th May at 7:00pm.


Festival films with a local interest include:

Portrait Of A Village is an affectionate portrayal of a semi-rural village in the East Midlands – Spondon - by local filmmaker Mark Rivers. Portrait Of A Village is a snapshot of life in modern Britain and explores the themes of home, community and belonging. Portrait Of A Village screens in QUAD on Saturday 12th May at 12:30pm.


A programme of short films, specially curated and tailored specifically to the needs of D/deaf cinema-goers, will include the Oscar-winning The Silent Child. Lives In Sign Language has been curated by London Short Film Festival’s young Deaf programmer Zoë McWhinney and shows the richness of D/deaf culture and experience. A mixture of comedy, romance, horror bring the stories of D/deaf characters to the screen in a selection of contemporary short films inclusive for all. The films include: Nonsense,


The Silent Child, My House, Imagine, Deaf, A Love Divided and Dawn Of The Deaf. Lives In Sign Language (Advised 15) will screen in QUAD on Saturday 12th May at 5:00pm. There will be Hard Of Hearing subtitles and BSL Interpretation.


Derby Based screenwriters Darrell Buxton and Steve Hardy will be on hand to introduce a Premiere of their film Ouijageist. In the film a young single mum moves to her new flat, and adds to the pressures of finding employment and meeting the rent when she and a friend begin dabbling with a Ouija board found at the property, consequently evil powers are unleashed and mysterious deaths begin to occur. Ouijageist (Advised 15) and Screenwriters Q+A takes place in QUAD on Sunday 6th May at 2:00pm.



This year welcomes a new strand called Paracinema, as part of the main festival. Including horror, sci-fi and fantasy films, it will also be exploring other genres outside the mainstream with special guests, previews and talks on a whole range of unusual genres and subgenres. Paracinema screenings, as part of Derby Film Festival, take place from 4th to 7th May. A Paracinema takeover will include a whole night of screenings on the opening weekend of the festival. The Paracinema All Night Takeover! (18) takes place in QUAD on Saturday 5th May, from 10:25pm to dawn.


Among the special events for Derby Film Festival, Derby Cathedral will host a screening of silent classic accompanied by a live score on the Cathedral’s Compton organ. The score will be performed by Richard Hills, organist of St Mary's, Bourne Street, who was named 'Organist of the Year' in 2010 by the American Theatre Organ Society. F.W. Murnau’s classic vampire tale Nosferatu, from 1922, stars the legendary Max Schreck in the title role. Nosferatu + Live Score (PG) takes place in Derby Cathedral on Saturday 5th May, doors open from 7:30pm.


Closing the Festival is the unique Five Lamps Films 24 Hour Challenge. Returning for its ninth year, the Five/24 24hr film challenge entrants will make a three-minute short in just twenty-four hours, over the weekend of 5th and 6th May. The following weekend the public are invited to a screening of all the entries and announcement of the winners. Five Lamps Films 24 Hour Challenge Screening & Prize Ceremony takes place in QUAD on Sunday 13th May at 8:15pm. For more information on how to take part, please see: www.fivelampsfilms.co.uk

For full information on Derby Film Festival films, screening times and ticket prices please go to https://derbyfilmfestival.co.uk

FULL LISTINGS


FRIDAY 4TH MAY

12:00 LEON MUST DIE (ADVISED 18) S - UK PREMIERE

12:00 SOMETHING (ADVISED 15) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

13:35 BODIES (ADVISED 15) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

13:50 ALL LIGHT WILL END (ADVISED 18) - UK PREMIERE

15:30 OUT OF THE CORNER OF THE EYE (ADVISED 15) S - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

15:35 HI-DEATH (ADVISED 18) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

17:45 IMAGES OF APARTHEID (ADVISED 15) - WORLD PREMIERE + DIRECTOR Q+A

18:00 CHARISMATA (ADVISED 18)

19:45 ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES (ADVISED 18) + DIRECTOR & CAST Q+A

20:40 REDOUBTABLE (15) S – PREVIEW

21:00 THE PARACINEMA SOCIAL


SATURDAY 5TH MAY

10:00 THE PARACINEMA DEALERS ROOM

12:30 DEATH LAID AN EGG (18) S + NUCLEUS FILMS RESTORING CLASSICS INTRO

15:00 BORLEY RECTORY (ADVISED 15) + DIRECTOR Q+A

17:00 TOYAH WILLCOX IN CONVERSATION

18:45 ALL LIGHT WILL END (ADVISED 18) - UK PREMIERE

19:00 JUBILEE (15)

19:30 NOSFERATU (PG) + LIVE SCORE AT DERBY CATHEDRAL

20:45 HIPPOPOTAMUS (ADVISED 18)

22:25 THE PARACINEMA ALL NIGHT TAKEOVER! (18)


SUNDAY 6TH MAY

13:00 AN INTRODUCTION TO PINK CINEMA BY JASPER SHARP (ADVISED 18)

14:30 THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI (ADVISED 18) S

14:30 PARACINEMA SHORTS (ADVISED 18)

16:20 THE ENDLESS (15) - PREVIEW

16:40 A TASTE OF PHOBIA (ADVISED 18) - WORLD PREMIERE

18:30 THE ASCENT (ADVISED 15) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

18:30 SOMETHING (ADVISED 15) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

20:30 THE LEGENDARY PARACINEMA QUIZ

20:30 REVENGE (18) - PREVIEW


MONDAY 7TH MAY

12:00 HI-DEATH (ADVISED 18) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

14:00 HIPPOPOTAMUS (ADVISED 18)

14:00 OUIJAGEIST (ADVISED 15) - WORLD PREMIERE + SCREENWRITERS Q+A

14:00 A.I. STUDIOS MAKE UP EFFECTS DEMONSTRATION

15:35 CHARISMATA (ADVISED 18)

16:25 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (15)

17:30 LEON MUST DIE (ADVISED 18) S - UK PREMIERE

19:05 BODIES (ADVISED 15) - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

21:00 L'AMANT DOUBLE (CERT TBC) S - PREVEW

21:00 OUT OF THE CORNER OF THE EYE (ADVISED 15) S - EUROPEAN PREMIERE


TUESDAY 8TH MAY

12:00 EAT MY SHORTS 1 (ADVISED 18)

12:10 JUBILEE (15)

14:20 MARISA IN THE WOODS (ADVISED 15) S

16:10 HUNTER'S CROSSING (ADVISED 15)

18:15 THE MAN WHO ALWAYS DID HIS PART (ADVISED 15) S

18:30 JEUNE FEMME (15) S - PREVIEW

20:35 BACKSTAGE JAZZ MYSTERY (ADVISED 15) S

20:35 JUBILEE (15)


WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY

12:00 THE TEMPEST (15)

12:00 EAT MY SHORTS 2 (ADVISED 15)

14:00 EDIE (12A) - MIDWEEK TREAT PREVIEW

14:15 JUBILEE (15)

16:25 VISMRIT (ADVISED 15) S

18:00 THE TEMPEST (15)

18:30 THAT GOOD NIGHT (12A) - PREVIEW

20:00 MUSIC ON THE RUN (ADVISED 15) S

20:45 JUBILEE (15)

21:10 HUNTER'S CROSSING (ADVISED 15)


THURSDAY 10TH MAY

13:30 THE TEMPEST (15)

15:00 THE MAN WHO ALWAYS DID HIS PART (ADVISED 15) S

16:00 EAT MY SHORTS 3 (ADVISED 15)

17:00 MUSIC ON THE RUN (ADVISED 15) S

18:30 ISMAEL'S GHOSTS (CERT TBC) S – PREVIEW

20:45 THE TEMPEST (15)


FRIDAY 11TH MAY

14:50 THE KURODIANS (ADVISED 15) S

16:30 BACKSTAGE JAZZ MYSTERY (ADVISED 15) S

18:30 ON CHESIL BEACH (15) - PREVIEW

18:45 MARISA IN THE WOODS (ADVISED 15) S

20:35 LEAVE NOW (ADVISED 15)

20:45 SATORI SCREEN: SUFFERING OF NINKO (ADV 18) - UK PREMIERE S


SATURDAY 12TH MAY

12:00 PORTRAIT OF A VILLAGE (ADV 12A) – WORLD PREMIERE

15:00 QUAD YOUNG ADVOCATES PRESENT SHARKNADO (15)

17:00 LIVES IN SIGN LANGUAGE (ADVISED 15)

18:30 EAT MY SHORTS 1 (ADVISED 18)

19:00 THE BOOKSHOP (PG) - PREVIEW

20:40 EAT MY SHORTS 2 (ADVISED 15)

21:15 THE KURODIANS (ADVISED 15) S


SUNDAY 13TH MAY

14:00 MANDIE FLETCHER IN CONVERSATION

14:00 LEAVE NOW (ADVISED 15)

16:25 VISMRIT (ADVISED 15) S

18:00 EAT MY SHORTS 3 (ADVISED 15)

20:15 FIVE LAMPS FILMS 24 HOUR CHALLENGE SCREENING & PRIZE CEREMONY




By midlandsmovies, Apr 7 2018 12:43PM



Midlands Spotlight - Don't Follow the Light


After the success of his psychological horror and Midlands Movies Award-nominated The Telephone, Derbyshire writer-director Stuart Connock Wheeldon is again delving into the world of independent cinema with his new film Don't Follow the Light.


Stepping into the preproduction phase this short will be filmed in and around the Derbyshire countryside during the summer of 2018 and Don't Follow the Light is a prequel to the filmmaker’s much-talked-about production concept for Vanished which is gaining a cult following on social media.


That film is to be a smart spin on misadventure and mystery and Stuart says Vanished has already attracted the interest and support of industry professionals.


The prequel - which now seeks funding - pre-empts the story of Gillian Gold, who is described by the filmmaker as the ‘Banksy of Journalism’ and a tenacious investigative journalist. Stuart has been influenced by Hitchcock as Don't Follow the Light is set amongst a succession of unsolved murders and the disappearance of Gold herself.


A range of fine actors has already been chosen for production with Lana O'Kell set to play Gillian Gold and Nigel Barber will be joining the cast in the role of Dr. Williams. Paul Dewdney will play Dr. Childs and Dilly Evans-Smith has landed the role of Jessica.


Stuart hopes all these acclaimed actors will bring an engaging mix of experiences and will add heart and soul (“not to mention a degree of ruthlessness”) to the characters.


His production company Nine Ladies Film is now about to undertake a crowdfunding campaign. Stuart is joined by Nick John Whittle as producers of the film and they plan to get together a working budget to realise this early chapter in the Gillian Gold story.


He hopes that with the help of a generous public who enjoy independent film, Don’t Follow the Light's dark ideas can be expressed in full once production is underway.


For more information visit The Vanished Film website to find contact details and updates about the crowdfunding page http://vanishedfilm.org



By midlandsmovies, Jun 3 2017 11:04PM

Shaun Barker: One More Time (2017)

Dir. Ashley Carter

Big River Pictures


“Worst team in Premiership history” says actor Jack O’Connell as he introduces us to this football documentary which follows Derby County Football Club player Shaun Barker.


O’Connell himself is a Derby-born success story seen in This Is England, ’71 and Money Monster and he shows his own local passions for Derby FC which matches the other interviewees featured in this sporting documentary.


The film follows the up and down career of Shaun Barker, a professional footballer who was involved in a serious collision with Nottingham Forest striker Marcus Tudgay and Derby goalkeeper Frank Fielding.


One of the strongest aspects of the documentary is the focus on the local. The story is intrinsically entwined with the area as Barker was born in the Midlands, played for Derby and his injury occurred during a match with a local rival. Yet it is also the local community that rallies around to support Shaun.


Ruled out for the remainder of the season with a dislocated kneecap, the problem had “career threatening” written all over it and Barker faced an agonising 16-month recovery from injury.


Barker used this support to help him with his lengthy period of serious rehabilitation even just to get walking again – which involved metal pins in his leg and many setbacks along the journey.


The documentary interviews a number of past football coaches, managers and players as well as more personal family members and technical staff as they throw their support behind Shaun who was still struggling to run even after 18 months.


Through periods of depression, Barker talks candidly about his own struggles to the camera and with injuries and time becoming an issue, Barker speaks openly about his doubts and the effect on his health, his mind and the fallout on his family.


Technical wise, the documentary uses an almost constant stream of interviews and voiceover without narration. This gives it a more personal feel as we only hear the stories from Shaun and those around him.


However, I found the constant slide-guitar and country-rock music a bit off-putting. Sometimes overpowering the audio from the interviews, it didn’t feel that it was a particularly good fit for the topic either. A few more different styles of music – like the switch to the Stone Roses’ “I am the Resurrection” towards the film’s conclusion – would have helped with the pacing and giving each part of Barker’s life a different tone.


That said, the story provides enough positive moments to capture the positivity of Shaun and his endless determination. Derby’s passionate fan base are also well represented and despite their absence from the top league, the full stadiums and community support for the club and its players shines through.


Barker finally rejoins training for Derby before a testimonial game leads to a move to the nearby Burton Albion team where he is allowed an opportunity to play again – this time against his former club – as a last minute substitution.


Midlands football fans will lap up the details of the documentary but passing fans may find the 2-hour run time as lengthy as Barker’s rehabilitation. Jokes aside though, I am sure most will appreciate the inspiring tale of an individual’s personal journey to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers. Even now his legacy remains with his own charity being set up to help those in a similar position, and so the film ultimately rewards those who stick with it and provides a comprehensive overview of a local hero. Taking the documentary full circle, the worst team 'ever' beginning, concludes with the most satisfying happy ending anyone could ask for.


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, May 25 2017 12:34PM



Family Portrait (2017)

Directed by Kelly Holmes


From Derbyshire filmmaker Kelly Holmes comes this short 14 minute film about time, inheritance and the changing dynamics in a family who have entered a precarious position.


Opening on a zoetrope of a horse as well as seeing a woman (Line of Duty’s Allison McKenzie as Margaret) reticent to sign a legal document, Family Portrait throws us straight into a world of upper-crust Britishness after the loss of her husband.


Filmed in a beautiful blue hue, the film has a gorgeous look of an older era with great costumes and the old stately home location carrying the ghosts of the past in its rooms and furniture.


After the death of said father, Margaret wants her daughter (In Plain Sight’s Kate McLaughlin as Louise) to maintain control of the family affairs whilst at the same time, the whole family have to tolerate the rigmarole of a family portrait.


The family surprisingly include the corpse of the father into the photograph, with the irony of the necessary “stillness” of the archaic process not lost on the film’s creators – “It would look more real”, says the photographer as he asks the family to pose in certain ways around the cadaver.


The dark tone of the screenplay by Nils Gustenhofen is sparse but gets straight to the major points and themes of the piece and allows enough ambiguity about death, possibly murder, and the future without explicitly stating in the dialogue. In addition, the score is at times gentle AND intense which gives a sense of dread as the story unfolds. This emotional music is expanded upon with ticking clocks and echoing footsteps which again show the passing of time and movement.


Time, image and movement are therefore the big themes Holmes has brought to the forefront throughout, with the rattling zoetrope alone emphasising the illusion of motion alongside the fixed nature of the images.


In summary, Family Portrait is a fantastic powerful short that captures the images of life from a bygone period. The film works on many levels and even displays its own themes via a sequence of images which show the progressive phases of motion during a family’s attempt to “move on”.


Midlands Movies Mike


For more information about Kelly Holmes and her films please go to www.kellyholmesdirector.com

By midlandsmovies, May 23 2017 09:59PM



Derby QUAD announce new Patron


A new festival Patron have been announced following the fourth Derby Film Festival, which ran at QUAD Derby from 28th April to 7th May. The ten-day festival included sell-out events, special guests and film previews from well know, lesser known, local and international film-makers.


DFF Film Previews included Oscar nominated animation My Life As A Courgette, war epic Fires On The Plain, vibrant teen-drama Spaceship, sumptuous animation The Red Turtle, family drama After The Storm, Finnish deadpan comedy The Other Side Of Hope, the new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life and Mindhorn a surreal comedy starring The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and featuring Steve Coogan, Simon Callow and Kenneth Branagh.


DFF Special events included The Phantom Of The Opera screening with live organ accompaniment at Derby Cathedral as well as Special Guests Michael Jayston, Alan J.W. Bell, Norman J. Warren, David McGillivray, Lesley Megahey and M. R Carey.


One of the sell-out events, which closed the festival on Sunday 7th May, was A Tribute To Sir John Hurt. Derbyshire actor Sir John Hurt was a Patron of QUAD since it opened in 2008 and Sir John’s widow Anwen Hurt came to QUAD and took part in a moving Q & A with Tony Earnshaw, discussing the actor’s extensive career and links to Derbyshire.


A film-reel of highlights of Sir John’s film career was followed by a premiere screening of The Journey (12A), which featured one of Sir John’s final performances.


QUAD’s Cinema One was renamed Sir John Hurt Cinema at the event and Anwen Hurt has announced she is to become Derby Film Festival’s Patron.


Adam Buss QUAD CEO and Derby Film Festival Director said “Once again we were delighted by the reactions of audiences to some of the key events and film screenings at Derby Film Festival. The brilliant Derby Cathedral played host to the incredibly atmospheric live musical accompaniment to Phantom of the Opera".


"Our tribute event to Sir John Hurt which included contributions by his widow Anwen, was on one of the most touching we have ever hosted. Anwen Hurt has agreed to be joint patron of Derby Film Festival with our existing patron David Morrissey, both of whom are committed supporters of helping us bring the best in cinema and events to Derby.”


The festival will return in 2018, full details will be found on http://derbyfilmfestival.co.uk


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