BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Friday, 28 January 2011

The much anticipated annual Sundance Film Festival kick started on January 20 in Utah. Besides the long list of films that the movie buffs are dying to watch, one movie that stands apart for generating a much higher level of curiosity among not only the film lovers but also the netizens is Youtube's Life in a Day.

Excert from Life in a Day - Cameras at the ready people By Matilda Battersby Friday, 23 July 2010 (The Independant blog)

"All over the world amateur and professional filmmakers alike will document tomorrow from sunrise to sunset. The fruits of their labour will become a feature length film produced by Ridley Scott and directed by ‘Last King of Scotland’ director Kevin Macdonald.

“‘Life in a Day’ is a time capsule that will tell future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010,” Macdonald said.

“I hope it will be something that will open people’s eyes to the possibilities of user generated film. Of course, it’s a risk. It could be that I won’t get anything interesting back. But I don’t think that will be the case. I’m sure there will be some real gems, some real magic, which is what I’m looking for.”

The project is being organised by the bastion of the online film revolution, YouTube.

The video sharing site – which gets more than 2 billion views a day, and receives 24 hours of uploaded footage every minute-, is giving a nod to the old fashioned world of cinema and feature-length filmmaking, while harnessing the vast creative powers in its possession as well as the skills of a couple of Hollywood greats.

Macdonald and Scott have made it clear that they want personal snapshots of the world at large, however domestic, low key, amusing or beautiful. This won’t be a movie blockbuster; it will be a hotchpotch of clips from diverse countries, with disparate themes, ideas, perspectives.

“I want to get people to give me a little insight into their lives. I think that the internet is a great metaphor and a creator of connectedness…I hope this film will be reflective of the individualistic approach of contributors with many different points of view from around the world,” Macdonald said.

“I’m also hoping that this is going to be a kind of net for happy accidents – that all sorts of fantastic coincidences are going to happen around the world that nobody would have realised were coincidences unless we brought them together.”

The idea for the project was based on Ridley Scott’s debut film ‘Boy and Bicycle,’ a 25 minute short. He said: “My first film was a day in my life. I thought, ‘I’ll just write a day in the life of me.’ It was about how I once decided not to go to school, I hated school, and I took the day off. Of course it involved hiding a lot and so the film was quite introverted.”

The ‘Day in a Life’ film will be premiered at the Sundance Film Festival early next year and 20 of its contributors will be invited to attend. To get involved in this scarily ambitious undertaking and to see if a snapshot of your life could become part of this mezzanine approach to a time capsule, you can visit

As Scott remarks: “There’s no excuse. If you have a digital camera go out and shoot your film this weekend. There’s no excuse!”

Cameras at the ready, everyone."

Watching it LIVE. Wow, look at me so interactive!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

La Haine - une revue

(1995) Dir: Mathieu Kassovitz

Set in the Parisian suburbs, I found this to be a cleverly shot piece, led by the performances of the three leads. I felt 2 scenes stood out for me. On the estate a DJ plays music out the window and it is followed by a tracking shot leading to a birds eye view of the estate with cleverly internitted music accompanying it. Vincent Cassel's scene at the top of the escalator is also a very nice piece of filmmaking. This film accentuates my love for everyday French life and La Haine captures an urban culture and the camaraderie that is essential to survive in the estates surrounding Paris.

Set in the 24 hours following a suburban riot, three friends wander the city encountering skinheads and casual police violence. Vincent Cassel leads Mathieu Kassovitz's angry and brutal film about racism and social exclusion in modern Paris Released to both controversy and acclaim in 1995, La Haine ranks among the most incendiary European films of the decade. Furious, funny, intelligent and tense, its treatment of racial violence, disenfranchisement and suburban poverty introduced audiences to aspects of French life rarely seen on film - specifically police brutality and Le Pen's National Front.

In style and intent it occupies a position somewhere between Scorsese's Taxi Driver and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. However writer-director Kassovitz's great triumph is the way he allies outright polemic with intensely powerful drama. In fact, so effective is his handling of the issues that the French Cabinet were reported to have watched the film in the hope that it would aid their understanding of the country's ethnically diverse young poor.

Set in the 24 hours following a riot on a Parisian estate, the film follows three mates as they wander aimlessly through the city. Vinz (Cassel) is a Jewish Travis Bickle, boiling with anger. North African Said (Taghmaoui) is a personable loudmouth, keen to get himself laid. Black boxer Hubert (Kounde) is a more thoughtful presence and his frustration the most deeply buried. During the course of a day and night they ponder the death of an Arabic friend at the hands of the police, and stumble across a cop's lost pistol.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

6 Nations trail

took part in the trail for the BBC's coverage of the 6 nations and you catch a glimpse of me looking cold and bored during filming, around 9 seconds in! the trail was a collaboration of the BBC and Red Bee media ( they were one of the main sponsors of the exbo we went to at last year) anyway. enjoy. and here's to a new year as a BM student!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

On Sunset Boulevard

Watched the great Sunset Boulevard (1950, Dir: Billy Wilder) today. It is the first 'warts-an-all' portrayal of Hollywood: The Hollywood Story-

"William Holden's hack screenwriter writes a role for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity in Billy Wilder's timeless classic. Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond claims her rightful place as the diva actress to end them all in the 1950 all-time great. It's quite simple: they don't make 'em like this anymore."

Friday, 7 January 2011

Thursday 6 January 2011
Dara O Briain kept on his toes by the BBC ... and the Mail

Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain. The comedian has made the Daily Mail see stars during Stargazing Live. Photograph: Bbc
Is Dara O Briain the busiest man in television? The Daily Mail points out that the "burly Irish comedian" has appeared in no fewer than five BBC shows of late – Mock The Week, Three Men Go to Scotland, Have I Got News For You, The Apprentice: You're Fired! and Stargazing Live. The Mail may not be a huge fan, though, saying OB "annoyingly talked over the excellent Dr Brian Cox" in the stargazing show. Never mind, Dara. The BBC loves you. (The Guardian)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Clever use of social networking. Bit creepy, mind.

The most diabolical phantom

The Man Who Never Was
(1956) Dir: Ronald Neame

Based on the WWII mission Operation Mincemeat was part of the wide spread deception plan Operation Barclay, The BAFTA winning The Man Who Never Was tells the story of "The most diabolical phantom" - an, albeit dead, anonymous victim of peumonia gains a new identity as Major William Martin, Royal Marines. The corpse is dumped at sea with false top secret documents containing fake letters falsely stating that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece rather than Sicily, the actual point of invasion. Major Martin was deliberately left to wash up on a beach in Punta Umbría in Spain...

The plot thickens and tensions grows in this good old fashioned World War 2 thriller and went on to be known as "the most successful strategic deception in the history of warfare"

Monday, 3 January 2011

Sound Arch

The Archer's. Experts in Foley

The Bear Family and Me

Great nature doc.

BBC's best programmes in the last few years have been similar Lost Land of the Tiger, and Lost Land of the Volcano some epic shows with likable experts not necessarily presenter led with genuine twists and turns with revalatory discovaries.