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By midlandsmovies, Nov 27 2017 08:23PM



RANDOM ACTS & RURAL MEDIA (PART 1)


In a new 3-part series Midlands Movies will be showcasing a selection of films and filmmakers from the region who have been involved in the national Random Acts programme.


Random Acts is a collaboration between Arts Council England and Channel 4. The short films (from just 90 seconds to 3 minutes long) have been described as ‘bold expressions of creativity’ with each one being individually engaging, experimental and quirky.


For the last 3 years, local organisation Rural Media (click here) has been working with young artists and filmmakers right across the Midlands to create ‘First Acts’. And Midlands Movies will be focusing on a selection of these fantastic films created by local artists right here on the site.


This Movement is Silent (Birmingham)

This spoken word film is from Paul Stringer who has made a film covering the journey of an open mic performer from chair to stage through a crowded, passionate and engaged poetry audience. This is edited alongside a journey throughout Birmingham, past its great landmarks in a bid to show that the local poetry scene is not only the people performing the poetry, but the whole collective community as a whole. Watch his film below:





Re-Code (Birmingham)

Made by Sipho Dube, Re-Code is a dance film exploring themes of dyslexia and empowerment. Sipho is a spoken word artist and dancer and as someone who has both dyslexia and with a profound stutter, Sipho has overcome issues through the use of spoken word. Watch this thought-provoking film below:



One Rogue Santa (Kidderminster)

Another spoken word film, Steven Williams’ short is an account of a troubled home life that led to various stints in and out prison. Through stylised silhouetted sequences, Steve’s story explores the complexities of growing up without a support network and having to deal with the choices we make. Now aged 24, Steven has been homeless from the age of 18 and has been in out of prison 4 times. Yet now with two children he’s looking to become a better role model and is working towards becoming a social worker to help other young people avoid making the same mistakes. Watch Steven’s video here:



Meet Cute (Northamptonshire)

Chris Cosentino has created an animation/live-action crossover comedy where a conspiracy nut shares a "meet cute" with a nice girl but discovers he's actually a fictional character in a short film. View the short here:



Dirty Re-Birth (Derbyshire)

Joey Mottershead explores the part of the human condition where we are required to perpetually reinvent ourselves, to grow and evolve to new forms. “The reality is these moments happen in the darkest of places, where directions have no meaning and internal struggles amount to the psyche being ripped apart”. Joey is a live interdisciplinary performance artist based by in the East Midlands whose work explores gender politics, the human condition and the empowerment of the self. “I take inspiration from the beautiful aspects of the grotesque”, says Joey, “finding light in the shadows and portraying the particular strain of glory only found within sadness”. Watch the film here:









By midlandsmovies, Sep 28 2017 08:32AM

Midlands Spotlight - Paul Vernon


Midlands Movies Mike finds out about regional filmmaker Paul Vernon who has gone from the local to the global arena with his documentary, dance and short films.


From gaining a BTEC National Diploma: Film and Moving Image at Brooksby Melton College back in 2007, Paul Vernon is now showing his latest short film, Lost In The Nameless City, in the Chelsea district of New York as part of the Artists Forum Festival Of The Moving Image .


From small beginnings, Paul has now directed a range of films, many of which have been selected, award nominated and chosen to open and close film festivals and Lost In The Nameless City was the recent winner of the Experimental Award from the 12 Months Film Festival in Romania.


The film is an experimental documentary and photographic film interpreting urban space in London and combines black and white video and 135 film photography with an original minimalist score from composer David C. Hëvvitt made especially for the short.


More locally, Paul directed A Film By Abigail which was shot in his home village of Tugby near Leicester. Screened twice at Phoenix Square in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter - once with The Short Cinema as their opening film and also at the DocFilm Fest as well - Paul explains that his unique style saw the film screened in a gallery in Nottingham too.


“I’m deeply interested in cinematic aesthetics and form driven with passion to create unique varied films of individuality, tone and image”.


Although Paul has one foot firmly in the UK, and gained an MA with Merit specialising as a director earned at The Northern Film School in Leeds, he has always looked beyond the local too.


And it was "Abigail" that launched Paul’s work outside of the region when it was incorporated into a New York City school art curriculum and was an opening film at the 25. Internationales FilmFest Emden-Norderney representing UK films in London Shorts Special. Afterwards, the film was soon being screened further afield as part of festivals worldwide competing in Russia, India, Israel, Estonia, Albania, Egypt and France.


The film also premiered as the opening film of a short film showcase at BAFTA, screened in the "Best of Fest" at San Diego Comic-Con as well as the London Short Film Festival at the ICA and at the LACMA.


Find out more about Paul and his projects on his official website here: http://www.paulvernonfilmmaker.com


Watch the full short documentary A Film By Abigail here on YouTube below:



By midlandsmovies, Jul 10 2017 05:44PM


Midlands Movies Mike uncovers an interesting new experimental feature that combines the mysticism of folklore with the modernism of an experimental soundtrack.


Staffordshire set film The Doxey Boggart is a new film from John E Smoke who is a deaf-blind filmmaker, musician and artist. Set within a nature reserve called Doxey Marshes, the film is a semi-documentary which follows a group of people investigating the local legend.


From an experimental sound artist with his guide dog to his fellow esoteric associates, they seek to uncover the truth about a ‘boggart’ (an evil or mischievous spirit) that is associated with the area.


Director John E Smoke is the aforementioned sound artist and has performed in many unusual locations including abandoned buildings and a set at Mermaid Pool in the Staffordshire Moorlands.


During one particular session of his there were claims of a ghostly image being caught on film which went viral online and featured widely in press at the time.


The film mixes a slim ‘plot’ with real-life elements as the musicians perform a set on Doxey Marshes during which a folk poem about a boggart is recited. At first nothing untoward happens but after the disappearance of a mother and child “the team are left wondering if the recital has brought something to life”.


Following their investigations the film includes field recordings and footage and borrows from 'actual' local folklore relating to 'boggarts', 'bugs' and other entities.



One of the key parts of the film is the music which assists in supporting the atmosphere of the historic locations. John E Smoke has pulled together friends in the music scene to compile a soundtrack that includes well-respected members of the experimental noise genre.


Soundtrack artists include 'Tunnels of Ah' (the solo project of the former Head of David vocalist, 'Autoclav 1.1', 'Khost' (featuring former members of Techno Animal, Final, Iroha etc), 'From The Bogs of Aughiska', 'John 3:16', 'Ian Haygreen', 'Whote', 'Satan's Bee Keeper', 'Theresia', 'Raxil4' and 'James Hoehl' alongside field recordings undertaken by John E Smoke.


With a mix of documentary, sound art and a little bit of horror, The Doxey Boggart’s eclectic combination of experimental images and dark ambient music will be released later in 2017 and also includes the release of hand printed DVD and double-CD music packs.


For more info please take a look at the trailer above and also check out further details of this Sonic Entrails production over on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doxeyboggart






By midlandsmovies, Jul 9 2017 01:13PM



Anarchy in the UK – The New Underground Cinema (2016)


Directed by Fabrizio Federico


Filmmaker Fabrizio Federico (aka Jett Hollywood) was born and bred in the Midlands and his new documentary features artists from Nottingham/Derby along with various cinema groups based around the region. Our writer Robb Sheppard takes a look at his new unique free-wheeling documentary.


Hands up…who likes a good moan about reboots and remakes?


The Matrix, Goonies, Big Trouble in Little China: as soon as one’s announced, the internet breaks like there’s been a Kardashian bum-cheek sighting.


Whilst many take to Twitter to vent their collective spleens, some have taken to the streets; cameras and mobile phones in hand to create the movies that they want to see. Labelled the Misrule Cinema Movement, it is centred on a DIY ethic towards all aspects of film: acting, directing, even viewing, which is where this documentary film finds us.


Catalysed by the abolition of the UK Film Council, the student tuition fees riots and the Occupy movement, this documentary serves as a manifesto for independent, no, make that underground filmmaking. How underground? Exploding Cinema vetoes festival submissions and selections, instead putting on guerrilla shows without licences; the Raindance Festival itself, is free for all, shunning press and VIPs in the process; Director Tony Burke makes film stars of commuters, it’s just a shame they don’t know about it.


Introduced through talking head interviews with the key players and inter-spliced with exemplar footage, it’s certainly a divisive watch. Imagine the film equivalent of speed-scrolling through your Instagram feed whilst at an illegal warehouse rave and you’re in the vivinity. It will either suck you in and inspire you or send you running in the opposite direction. And I imagine that’s precisely the reaction they’re after.


The movement posits that mainstream cinema doesn’t have all the answers; starving due to a lack of creativity and freedom, and if this is a position with which you agree then this documentary will be your Bible.


Shedding any sense of elitism or entitlement, documentary director Fabrizio Federico claims; “I decided never to study filmmaking, just to do it.”


Words to live by right there. Now let’s go make a film.


Robb Sheppard

https://twitter.com/RedBezzle


By midlandsmovies, Feb 15 2016 07:43PM

The Inner Carriage Metaphor (2016) Directed by James George Oshoba & Robin Trinity


The Inner Carriage Metaphor is the title of a new narrative music video from Nottingham media student James George Oshoba. Shot as part of a second year university assignment, this experimental short is as different as anything we’ve ever been sent here at Midlands Movies.


However, the short contains a wide range of film techniques to help create a series of memorable and ambient images. We also know that all the good directors like Spike Jonze and David Fincher began their careers as music video directors so the format provides a perfect short-form platform to achieve much, but on a smaller budget. That doesn't mean it's restrictive - in fact the opposite - as creators trial more challenging subject matter than a mainstream film could do.


Experimental in concept, the film tackles themes of information overload and raises a variety of questions through symbols, images and edits. Inspiration comes via a variety of topics and emotional beliefs and the filmmaker explains that the concept as a whole refers to mystic philosopher and spiritual teacher, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.


Spoken word, script, text and black and white video are combined to create a collage of hallucinogenic style dreamscapes. Images overlap creating an ambiguous experience for the viewer whilst there are some attempts at creating meaning between nature and technology as well as the human soul.


I enjoyed the René Magritte-esque apples and headshots whilst the superb music was not a million miles away from Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar soundtrack with piano/organ notes adding some spirituality. Albeit mixed with electronic drum loops.


The negatives? As a fan of narrative cinema I would have preferred some focus on a small “story” no matter how slight and I couldn’t care less for anything incorporating "interpretive dance" . The film’s reliance on just a black and white palette also gave it a bit of a student-y feel when a dash of colour could have enlivened the proceedings.


That said, the short intentionally keeps its meaning in the shadows and silhouettes combine with kaleidoscopic effects to create an abstract experience. Combining the conceptual with the intangible the film shows great promise for a short and although its ambient ideas were not particularly up my street, the piece could qute happily find a successful place in an art gallery as well as a music channel and that alone is something.


Find out more on

www.jamesgeorgeoshoba.tumblr.com


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