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By midlandsmovies, Jan 11 2020 09:06AM



Get On With It


Directed by Richard Steele


2020


The fanfare and lights of the classic 20th Century Fox logo is one of my first memories ever of cinema – in front of Star Wars: A New Hope of course. From there, more and more production company logos – the mountain of Paramount, the globe of Universal, the badge of Warner Brothers – flooded into my memory and became a staple of the movie-going experience.


Richard Steele’s new short Get On With It starts with the premise that by the 21st century, the less than clever foxes at Hollywood began adding more and more logos before a film began.


In reality, the old monopolies of the past were actually making way for co-funded productions so every company involved – especially those fronting the money – got their individual logos (now animated too) plonked at the beginning of a screening.


But how many are too many? Well, this Midlands micro-short tackles some of these themes in increasing funny and frustrating ways.


From space to futuristic design, the short even nods to the fact that some are so like film now that they could be confused with the movie actually starting. The logos also echo a Bond-style liquid, giving a shout out to a franchise famous for its opening sequences.


A few barbs thrown in the direction of the absurd nature of these logos also appeared. And ridiculous names and the repetition of the logos in the credits also come in for ridicule.


The short is a wry take on one of some cinema audiences’ bugbear of endless logos but it did very much remind me of a similar joke from Family Guy. It’s one note theme and short run time makes it feel a little like a comedy show skit rather than a fully formed short however. The end when the film starts, or does it, gave me a naughty chuckle though.


In the end (or beginning?) the short is obviously a personal pet peeve from the filmmaker and sends up a subject we can all relate to in a slightly cynical but humorous way.


Michael Sales



By midlandsmovies, Sep 9 2019 07:19AM

Midlands Review - Jallianwalla Bagh 1919 and Peaky Blinders A New Era



This week we take a look at a double-release of films from new West Midlands film production companies Gurjant Singh Films and Five Pence Productions, which delve into two very distinct historical stories from the past.




First up is Jallianwalla Bagh 1919 directed by Gurjant Singh which is a 1-minute micro short which pays tribute to those massacred by the East India Trading Company in 1919. Given its short length it’s a welcome surprise to see the film mostly shot in slow motion. This extends the visual experience as we see gentle flowing clothes in the wind giving off an air of peace and tranquillity. This is juxtaposed with a screaming military sergeant (Richard Teasdale) and a cut to a primed rifle barrel. A voiceover from the protagonist (Nisaro Karim) provides some context given the film’s extremely brief runtime which was a good use of technique to give the audience background information. The pull of a trigger and the splattering of blood also gives us a brief glimpse of violence. The focus on just one person rather than a group (nearly 2,000 were shot in the struggle for independence) brings home the personal nature of this story to the filmmaker.




The second film is Peaky Blinders: A New Era. Most Midlanders will no doubt by familiar with the BBC TV series crime drama which is primarily set in Birmingham. It follows the exploits of the Shelby family after World War I and the fictional group is loosely based on the real 19th century urban gang who were active in the city from the 1890s.To honour the release of Season 5 in Sept 2019, this fan-film was shot in just 4 hours and set closer to the present in 1950.


This time period allows the short to (briefly) open up a conversation about a time where immigration was a cause for concern for locals leading to tensions running high. The short opens with Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child infamous guitar riff which although is an impactful sound, is simply the wrong song given that it’s associated with the end of the 60s rather than the period aimed for.


The film’s visuals work much better though as we see a gang of suitably attired “peaky blinders” in a pub drinking before they leave and come across an Indian man (Nisrao Karim again) squaring up for a fight before it cuts to a bloody outcome and a promise of more revenge.


In summary, both shorts are technically proficient and tease insights into very different worlds of the past. Their short run-time though merely acts as brief advertisements for longer narratives. Definitely with an air of professionalism throughout, despite my pet-peeve of music choice, they both act as intriguing calling cards for stories I’d like to see more of.


Michael Sales




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