Wednesday, April 30, 2008
There is a new video online (well new to me at least) of a Question & Answer session with David Mackenzie. In this interview conducted after a screening of "Hallam Foe" at the Glasgow Film Theatre last August, David discusses working with Jamie Bell, and his choices as a director to look at characters in perhaps a more unconventional and different perspective than we normally see (and results imo as well, in a more realistic and honest character than often times is seen in films- I LOVE THIS ABOUT YOU DAVID!!! ) David also gives some cool background on how artist David Shrigley was involved in the project and made the title sequence for Hallam Foe. I understand that there are a plethora of interviews with David already out there, but to me anytime you can watch a interview with him is a good day indeed :) The five minute interview is courtesy of Shooting people.org
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Scotland on Sunday has posted a new feature on actor Dougray Scott, who discusses his role in the upcoming "New Town Killers" which also stars actor Alastair Mackenzie of Sigma Films. In this lengthy feature, Mr. Scott does mention his high opinion of New Town Killer director Richard Jobson ("He is one of the most knowledgeable directors I've worked with in Britain) and there is also discussion on filming for the movie. Quotage:
"He is in high spirits today, he assures me, and that is largely thanks to being in Edinburgh. He is filming Richard Jobson's upcoming film, New Town Killers, a thriller also starring Alastair Mackenzie, in which they play a couple of reckless, mercenary private bankers preying on those less fortunate than them just for the fun of it. A crew member tells me that, the night before, they shot a scene in which Scott's character had to beat someone up. Everyone was genuinely terrified.
For Scott, the best part of filming around Edinburgh, in areas including Leith, the New Town, Calton Hill and Muirhouse, has been seeing a city he knows so well in a different light. Later, I go on set to watch him in a scene on the rain-lashed, wind-whipped roof of a disused building off Princes Street. He gestures towards the view of the Old Town and the Castle and says: "See? I bet you've never seen the city from up here before."
Side note: Having never been to Scotland, I do not know quite what areas of the city they are talking about in the previous quote, but I remember Colin had posted several photos of his filming on rooftops of Edinburgh for Hallam Foe, that showed the absolutely beautiful buildings and landscape of the city like the one below, which is one of my favorite.
This feature shows a fairly reflective actor, not quite the image you think of when you watch him on Desperate Housewives. He also speaks quite glowingly of his wife, actress Claire Forlani, who starred in Hallam Foe. The paper notes: "He is surprisingly open about his marriage, and is clearly smitten with Forlani, whom he was introduced to by a director friend two and a half years ago. She has already been to visit him in Edinburgh once during the five-week shoot and is coming again. "She is extraordinary," he says. "I've never met anyone like her. She's really special, you know… to me." He wasn't sure he wanted to marry again but "it came along and felt right. We have a great, really healthy relationship and a real understanding of each other's psyches and needs. She's incredibly supportive."
New Town Killers continues in production in Edinburgh, and is due for release sometime next year.
The Press and Journal reports that an open casting call is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland for the part of a young boy to play a pivotal role besides Mads. The paper saysm"they are looking for a small, slightly-built 13-year-old, no bigger than the average 11-year-old. At the same time, he must be athletic enough to appear in action scenes and must have his sea legs, as much of the film will be shot at sea. The successful applicant will get all the best lines." LOL dunno if that is quite the way to appease the other actors but that is one way to generate interest! :)))
Its was interesting to see that the casting director quoted for this piece is someone named Des Hamilton who has worked with Sigma Film's Kahleen Crawford in the past and helped cast films such as Hallam Foe, Young Adam, Dear Frankie, and Sigmas/Paddy Considines' short "Dog Altogether." The newspaper article quotes Mr. Hamilton saying " “It’s so exciting that Scotland is attracting this kind of co-production.It’s got a budget of £3.5million, which is very healthy these days. The production is in full swing now, and the director is here.For someone who wants to be an actor, this is as good as it gets.It’s a tremendous opportunity and it will be lucrative as well. It will be a good earner for a little kid as well as a leg-up into the industry.”
There is no indication if Sigma will be involved in this at all, or any other crew from past Sigma films will work on the film, this film,which had been rumored for years now as seen on the official Norway website, should be an interesting one.
Mr Hamilton said: “Mads Mikkelsen’s character is a warrior who has had his tongue cut out and the boy communicates for him.”
The casting director has already been round dozens of schools in the west of Scotland in his search for a star. The story is set in the 11th century and Vikings have been living in Scotland for decades.
An expedition sets out to return to Scandinavia but gets lost in fog. They eventually reach an unknown land and think they have died and gone to Valhalla, the Viking equivalent of Heaven. But it turns out to be America.
Further info on the movie can be found here.
Bonus Video: Even though I tend to avoid war pictures, Im mad for history and historical pieces, and the woman who sings in this fan video for Tristan (including Mads in King Arthur) is just wonderful, wish I could sing like that.
Friday, April 25, 2008
ahhhh! Tis Friday and thats always a good thing, and to end the week on a positive note, finally FINALLY the big movie sites (here in the US that is) are starting to review Mister Foe....oh wait- its now apparently MR. Foe, cause as we know, we Americans can't get big words like Hallam and esp stuff like 'Mister' all spelled out you know... meh
Anyway, Aint It Cool posted a very good review of Mr. Foe from the Hawaiian film fest, where apparently the reviewer actually knew the film makers and the film was set in SCOTLAND (and not Ireland like the local press corp though lol) More importantly, the reviewer also seemed to actually get what was happening on the screen, as this report reads:
MR FOE succeeds partially due to the fine work of its director David Mackenzie. Mackenzie( who co-wrote the film's script as well) skillfully steers his actors through the film's slightly creepy material but wisely decides not overload the film with a darkly overwrought tone but lightens the mood at the times.
The result is a film that feels transitional throughout-moving from light to dark touches-just as it moves from the sylvan countryside to the urban but not unpleasant cityscape.
Mackenzie also gets fine performances from his cast in particular Jamie Bell as the film's main character Hallum.
Bell does fine work in MR. FOE in creating a nuanced character out of what could have a one-dimensional part. Bell is so good here because he portrays Hallum not merely as a obsessive mother-loving peeping tom but as a young man on the cusp of adulthood who is wrestling with his issues and interests on the way to becoming a man.
Notice how Bell balances a somewhat mild, quiet persona with impassioned verbal precision. When Hallum does speak, he knows precisely what he wants and states exactly what his demands are.
What I enjoyed about MR FOE is that it that the film is a true coming of age story that manages to bypass the potential mine fields of obsessive whodunits and creepy melodrama and aims for a slight richer and more evolved canvas on which to paint its characters and backdrop.
By the final images of MR. FOE in which Jamie Bell is walking down with a smile on his face, we can understand why the film is called MR. FOE because Hallum has moved away from the obsessions of boyhood and is beginning his path into adulthood.
Side note: The word is now spreading about the June 6 release date as MRMovietimes.com (look!another Mr..... :P) are also starting to carry more about this film including this date and also the "R" rating for the movie.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
In addition to the news this week that Franz Ferdinand is indeed recording at Film City Glasgow, there was a bit of good news regarding a role for one of my favorite actors, Jamie Sives. Jamie has appeared in several Sigma Films productions, most recently as Alasdair in Hallam Foe, and has now joined the cast of "Triage." The Hollywood Reporter says Triage is based on the novel by Scott Anderson, involving the chronicles and tribulations of a photojournalist who covered several war zones, including the hell that was Bosnia- Herzegovina in the early 90s. The film is being directed by Danis Tanovic, and has a cast that includes Jamie, as well as Christopher Lee, Paz Vega and oh yea, some dude named Colin Farrell. woot! The incredible limelight (and subsequent relentless paparazzi) that led me to even learn Jamie was in this movie, as there were new photos from the set that showed them both at work. Currently filming at the Ciudad de la Luz studios in Alicante, Spain, popsites were quick to note "Ireland Meets Spain" heh, already tracking the star of the film in coffee shops and the like, and then flynetonline.com posted these good set photos a few days ago. Today, new articles are online and Reuters has a new batch of similar photos, where you can see earlier filming that apparently took place in Bosnia or Ireland, and now currently on going in Spain.
As exciting as this is for Jamie and his career, I'm not sure how I feel about this movie as a whole, having been there once to work in that situation was enough for me... but then again, I intend to go read this novel first. I couldn't agree more with this author after reading this short interview in NY Magazine where he said on war journalists: "I think part of it is the romantic notion that the rest of the world doesn’t know and you’re going to make them know. In fact, people do know, but they don’t care. And after you’ve seen your fourth or fifth suicide bombing or you hear the bullshit people use on all sides to perpetuate a conflict, you start seeing how war in a lot of places has become addictive to people." INDEED! As a rule of thumb I now stay firmly away from war pictures, but then its already been reported David wants to work on a film involving journalists in Somalia I think, but no idea if that will ever become a reality-so perhaps Ive been away from all that long enough now I will watch these things someday in the future-dunno. Anyway, its very cool to see actual photos of Jamie working, being in a film with someone whose has the press and pretty good critical standing I think-In Bruges was really good! surely must be a good thing to say the least!
Unrelated and random Hallam Foe note: The film is continuing the journey across the US, and MPR reports that at a recent screening at the film festival in Minnesota : "the reels of the film had been spliced together in the wrong order." good grief!
Monday, April 21, 2008
It's Monday, and it's a rule that things are always either annoying, or off- kilter, thus I feel compelled to do both, plus reveal how big a dork geek freak I really am by the following post (as if it wasn't painfully obvious already :P)
Its true that Sons and Daughters are my favorite band at the moment, but right up there are Snow Patrol, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band and Franz Ferdinand. Now the first three are NOT currently recording a new album in Glasgow, but OHO Franz Ferdinand most certainly is, as they've been posting a series of highly interesting photos on their official MySpace blog...
Raised on endless Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Nancy Drew mysteries lol, I've put those sleuthing skills to work *snort* and if you look closely at these photos (beyond the sheer awesomeness of the band members themselves that is ;) )
you can see these were taken in an eerily familiar building somewhere in the fabulous city of Glasgow. Now it is very very possible these could have been taken anywhere in the world and I well could be dead WRONG, but I gotta say those lovely chandeliers, beautiful ceiling and trim look mightily familiar... hmm...FILM CITY GLASGOW anyone? :)) wheeeeee!
*puts on Princess of mindless fangirl geekness tiara*
Am I the only one who cares about this? oh yes probably so lolol...well besides the band and the employees of FCG that is!... but to me I think this is awesome that great and talent people of Franz Ferdinand are making use of that lovely old hall. I know that the band and I think Mr Mackenzie have a personal friendship and heh clearly played on the Hallam Foe soundtrack which was just wonderful-hope they do more for any of Davids/Sigmas future films too! It looks as if maybe FF filmed a new video in the hall, which would be even better. Speaking of recording, a video snippet of new music of the band doing some killer work in rehearsals surfaced on youtube...UPDATE: latest word is that this was indeed recorded at FCG! and if I had a) seen the video on their blog first before I saw it on youtube, then b) bloody well read the title of that post, I would have realised it said "under the stage" god but I can be so STUPID at times. *sigh* Anyway, this music is great stuff indeed! If this is how the new album is going to sound this will be their best yet- I cant wait!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Well it's not quite the S.S. Minnow nor the Queen Elizabeth, but its time to set sail on the HMS Mackenzie...err sorta! If you've ever had the hankering to own a piece of movie history of sorts, and have a cool half a million dollars to spare, then the Young Adam barge can be yours! According to this website (and Im assuming by the date, it is still available,) "The Young Adam is a beautiful 60ft Replica Dutch Barge. Benefiting from years of boat building and engineering experience, Young Adam is an excellent example of compact accommodation afloat. The hull built by South Holland Marine in 2002 was used as the Scottish coal barge which featured in the film "Young Adam", starring Ewan McGregor. Young Adam is for sale on a mooring at Cadogan Pier in Chelsea, on a five year renewable lease. The pier is one of the only pleasure boat moorings in London to be accessible on any tide."
LOL awesomeness! No word if David is available for private Captain duties but woot...tempting ! ;) The accommodations look to be a bit more posh than were seen in the film, but lol I couldn't believe it, too funny.
I remember reading somewhere along the way that the father of the Mackenzie brothers (and a sister I think?) was an admiral in the Navy which is a tough job actually. My cousins on mamma's side of the family are mostly the military-if not in jail or embroiled in some political fiasco heh (two are currently serving on nuclear subs though, others are naval aviators) and I do have a serious appreciation and enjoyment of sailing swimming snorkeling etc, but I have to confess, barges are not the first thing that spring to my mind when I dream of owning a boat. Surely barges still have a presence here in the States (party barges I can attest are notoriously a lot of fun to rent for a weekend at a big lake etc) but I always wanted to learn more about how David and co went about shooting the scenes on the boat. I remembered during the slew of Hallam Foe press though, there was one piece at the Edinburgh film festival where it was pointed out they were celebrating right round the corner from where scenes of Young Adam were filmed. Anyway that Young Adam shoot would be one I would like to learn more about. I suppose the difficulties shooting on the barge helped in as he went on to shoot other tricky scenes in other films (a treehouse springs to mind lol) Anyway, I dont envision there will be a huge stampede of buyers for this barge, but it was too odd and quirky piece of news not to mention ...hopefully there will be proper news this week on some of Sigmas or Davids more recent work this week!
Friday, April 18, 2008
I guess I'm weird in that at Halloween and such I have no problem at all with the scary bloody stuff and dressing up and go to parties where you see all sorts of people walking around dripping with fake blood etc. I completely love some fantasy books too, like LotR or Potter or even the Twilight series (which really wasnt that well written but it was a nice escape for a weekend to plow thru all three of them at once) or some films or tv series (openly admit-Buffy fan! stick me thru the heart I know but Spike/Buffy forever :P) However when it comes to these type of films, I guess I just dont get what the appeal is. Heh I know I can be so so so dreary and dull and serious all the time, and this makes me terribly uncool and unhip, but it's so hard for me to even see commercials for this stuff- I cover my eyes in the theaters when horror trailers come on like a little kid gah...I just cant stand these things though, mostly because when you've seen that type of thing in real life in war which is so not pretend, and covering local news stories every day where people fail mankind and each other in the worst possible way all the time, it affects you I guess and I just well no matter...anyway this is one film I most certainly wont be seeing. I understand there is quite the market for these films, and from what I've heard making these films is fun change of pace (lots of work for the makeup teams obviously and people enjoy the challenge and opportunity to add to the resume as one dude on imdb has a thread titled 'I get shot in the head in this film! lol so there you go). I guess if you could stomach that and think of it as all pretend it makes it ok, but still not my cup of tea.
The interesting thing to me, besides the fact that part of it was shot at Film City Glasgow was that the couple who produced this film, risked quite a bit, including their house and home to get the picture financed. Along with The Herald, The Evening Times also has a nice piece (including video interview) featuring this couple, who apparently "gambled their Glasgow house and borrowed from friends and family to raise £300,000." One of the producers says "We could have lost the lot," says Arabella. "But sometimes you feel you have to take a gamble and we did." Now that is faith and determination to say the least. The brain can tell you that making a film takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get it to the screens, but its another matter to try this in real life and put your heart and heh home on the line for this, so its alway so cool to hear stories like this sometimes when risking a lot can pay off in a big way.
Random Friday Fail note: Mister Foe continues to find his away across the US popping up in various film festivals. This weekend, the Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu= uber expensive, yet uber beautiful though with fabulous beaches and hella good mai tais ) previews the film for the local film festival as such "This is a really great film from Ireland, starring Jamie Bell, who was 'Billy Elliott,' which captures the fun of 'Billy Elliott' — kind of 'The Graduate' meets 'Juno.' He's kind of an off-kilter character, but he's going into adulthood, is seduced by an older woman, so it's an adventure into adulthood — in an Irish way, with that sense of humor. Jamie Bell is amazing; with so many films from Asia, it's great to have something wonderful from Europe."
*slaps hands on head* IRELAND??? sense of humor clearly cause as we know, Scottish people have no sense of humor..... :P
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Cannes is one film festival I've been meaning to get to, having had several chances with the intrepid press corp, but either declined or missed it for reasons not worth going into at the moment. Regardless it is, I think, considered the height of the film festivals (although others will dispute that such as Sundance etc) and it is one I would love to go to. Ive been to Sundance which was awesome when I was there, but Cannes has a certain amount of inherent glamour and a sense of chic and excitement that the others will never quite reach I dont think.
While unfortunately many of the old photos of the Sigma crew are missing from the blog these days, I remember two years ago now oy! they went there with Red Road, which won the Jury prize. Although you can now buy the film on DVD and watch it on various channels in the US now, it was kinda cool to look on the Cannes site and see the old clips, interviews and most especially, the excitement and joy in the cast members faces as they made their way up to the top of the stairs. Not sure when the next entry from Sigma will be screening at Cannes, but lets hope Rounding up Donkeys will meet the same warm reception! :)
If you've ever ventured into any of the forum discussion of any of David Mackenzie's films or those of Sigmas, I think it's safe to say you are usually going to find at least one conversation about that pesky three letter word...sex.
Incredibly, there are still ongoing long conversations about the Jackie/Clyde sex scene from Red Road, and plenty of reference to sex as well in both the reviews and discussions of Hallam Foe. However, while most of them focused on the 'Oedipal' aspect, there was also discussion on Kate being with a younger man.
While Kate surely was no Mrs. Robinson and wasn't that much older, the fact was that Hallam was a younger guy and she didn't have a problem with that ...the peeping thing is another matter of course lol. Jamie Sives is like 7 or 8 years older than Sophia Myles, yet the only discussion of that relationship was that he was a married man and his character was a big jerk, but ZERO on the age difference... and what if Hallam had been like in his early 20s and Kate in her 30s or 40 and REALLy looked more like his mother, would that have made a difference? In fact, if I think about it a couple of the women in David's films have been a few years older than their male love interest, although I'm not sure if that was a deliberate thing, but most likely it just was a fluke or it is deliberate, but has little to do with the overriding plot points of importance and nothing the viewer is supposed to focus on. Hmmm I need to go look that up eep, and heh maybe its just my faulty OLD mind because Natasha Richardson looked a lot older than Marton Csokas in Asylum, although technically I guess she is only a few years older...same for Tilda and Ewan; Ewan looked really young in that movie Young Adam I thought. Anyway, I would love to hear some comments from David, who clearly isnt shy at all about discussing sex, on what he thinks about this matter.
I remain confused as to why this issue of older women/younger is such a big deal anymore. Yes I know here in the States our views on matters of sex are more err conservative or repressed or less open about it than our UK/European friends, this is true (and heh there is more sexuality used on tv in the UK, and our papers have NOTHING on the UK tabs especially who well woah lol) While I hardly am what anyone would call a babe or 'cougar' material lol, and perhaps it's because I've dated younger and older men, but to my way of thinking this issue of younger guys with older women shouldn't be a big deal, and yet there surely is a plethora of media attention about this 'phenomena' lol. (BTW The urban dictionary describes "Cougars" as older women on the prowl for younger men). One of the most frequently mentioned couples used as an example of 'defying the odds' with their relationship (as opposed to something you know dull, like having a successful happy marriage that survives continual media scrutiny at every turn)involves the star of David Mackenzie's latest film Spread.
As noted last weekend, Ashton Kutcher was a guest host on Saturday Night Live, and today someone uploaded that hilarious skit where he and they poked fun at this cougar label. With this added bonus of actress Cameron Diaz, they had a good skit mocking the ludicrous "cougar den'' label and it really made me laugh. Perhaps it might be not so funny to the British mentality but to me it was funny, and I gave him (and Ashton's wife the OLDER woman gasp!, Demi Moore, who was there in the audience) loads of credit for this. Yea it was silly crude humor, but ooh the hidden truths and funny! (bjoy ..joy, well its certainly not a job! and then lmao look, its not going to be as gross as you think LOL) POUNCE ON IT! hahahha
VIDEO NO LONGER AVAILABLE -BOO!!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Several mentions of the family Foe today, as there are new articles focusing on Mister (Hallam) Foe cast members Claire Forlani and Ewan Bremner.
First, Claire Forlani is featured on the cover of the Evening Standard Magazine. Unlike many of the papers who charge you IMO a lot to read the digital copies of their weekly magazines, such as woefully The Herald in Glasgow, where I believe they've had quite a bit of Sigma/Foe news that I have been unable to read-boo!, the Evening Standard magazine can be accessed by all. Just as Jamie Bell (Hallam Foe) was featured recently, so too is there a nice article and great new photos of the actress who played the (evil?) stepmother Verity in Hallam Foe. The piece dwells mostly on her new marriage to Dougray Scott and her flourishing career. Life does seem to be treating her right, as she attended the premiere of Flashbacks of a Fool (staring Daniel Craig who stars with Jamie Bell in the upcoming Defiance) and she looked fabulous!
Speaking of fabulous, the always wonderful Ewan Bremner also was out and about lately, attending the premiere of "Fools Gold" in London as well. The Scotsman has a nice feature on the versatile actor, where Mr. Bremner discusses having a career in Hollywood, while sticking to his Scottish roots and living in Edinburgh. He also mentions his role in Hallam Foe, as the article says quote:
"But at the same time he has made more films in Scotland than Sean Connery and admits it was nice to be able to walk to work when he played a hotel concierge in David Mackenzie's recent offbeat sexual drama Hallam Foe, with Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles."I love the city. I love living there. I like it because you can walk around," he says. "To tell you the truth, the things that I've done in Scotland generally, things like Hallam Foe and 16 Years of Alcohol, are because the film-maker is a friend and they have asked me to come and do a little bit." Yay for David and making that casting move for sure! Ewan Bremner received many good notices for his funny turn in the film, and it was so nice to see him in a role like that.
Bonus video: The EXCELLENT teaser trailer for Hallam Foe which is ten time better than the official full length one
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Exhibit A: tacky red shorts used in scene for "Spread" filming in LA.
Big deal , who cares right? Well,what to my wondering fan girls eyes do I see, when last night when watching Ashton's opening monologue on SNL?? Demi randomly popping up and not happy, asking about a pair of
EERILY SIMILAR RED SHORTS!
Exhibit B: red shorts/brief
Hahahaha spooky kooky coincidence?? I think not! ha!, yea I know but still , cracked me up....and yet further proof I've lost my mind ;))Goo ashton/demi/david :)) TV guide has a review of the show here and I admit I laughed at the sorta tacky Cougar Den skit-kudos to them and viva dating younger men lolol. Anyway, obviously this really had to do with the last time he memorably was on SNL of course, lol but still made me laugh :))
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Well this is a banner day for me, with three entries in one go-whats a fan girl to do lol!
The Scotsman has a new feature online (I think for their Sunday paper?) focusing on New Town Killers, starring Alastair Mackenzie and Dougray Scott. The interview contains many new quotes from the director of the film, Richard Jobson, who describes the film as "It's pretty dark," he nods. "It's about two forms of social invisibility. On the one hand you have kids who have fallen off the social radar then the other end of the spectrum of social invisibility are these hedge fund managers who control our economy." Mr. Jobson also mentions working with actor Alastair Mackenzie (who is of course, a main force at Sigma Films) when he describes the character Al is portraying as "so nihilistic, his view of the world is just a game," says Richard. "He sets people up to hunt them down. Dougray is playing him with an incredible charm and luxuriousness that you kind of like him until you really see what he does."
There is bonus great news on the film side of things, as the director says New Town Killers has been picked up by Warner Brothers (oho!!!) and reveals production has been ongoing in the city of Edinburgh recently as "the cast and crew have been enduring sub-zero temperatures on the top of former bank buildings on St Andrew Square."
Stating something all his fan like me have long suspected, Richard Jobson says working with the former Monarch of the Glen star on this otherwise serious movie has been enjoyable noting "Alastair Mackenzie is also a very funny guy, so we've been having a blast."
Finally, Richard Jobson gives away a hint of a release timeframe (oh no lolol) when he discussing his involvement with the Circle charity (ALWAYS glad to see mentions of charity work which makes a big difference!) and he says that a friendship with the current UK Prime Minister may lead to him attending the" premiere of New Town Killers when it is released early next year."
Congratulations David, Ashton, and all on the big Hollywood film; lets hope the movie does well and on to bigger and brighter things for you and Sigma!
Right...honestly I am grateful its even being released here in the US clearly and adore Sigma etc or I wouldn't even bother with this blog heh, so how now to be positive and hopeful about June 20...*looks the date up in history, sees nothing positive related to this..oh look June 21, Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, patron saint of youth! Hallam=tale of mixed up youth- bonus!LOL Plus theres St. Aloysius' College in Glasgow, so its a positive sign right? right? *lolz, gives up* Heh I think I'll take Ted's advice and just buy the UK DVD at this point so I can watch it again. Ive avoided those plethora of downloads of the film all over the net, but really want to watch the film again :(
Although I'm tempted just to retire my goofy HF/ Sigma pompoms at the moment I guess though I really shouldn't complain. I fully understand that making films requires a HUGE amount of PATIENCE, hope and belief in the film. I know that others are keen to see the film do well over here and they are doing the best they can I guess (there is a reason that behind the scenes stuff/negotiating is called behind the scenes and lol not 'fodder for random doofs to blog about publicly.') The Hallam Foe Facebook group continues to grow and people are even posting again and uploading new pics so rock on for that. I even saw a fun video pop up on Youtube this week using a clip from Hallam Foe (featuring Hallams chase through Edinburg-even saw the Arty guy again huzzah ;))) ) so lets hope the distributors can get things settled and this film will make it into theaters before all the buzz and excitement is lost in the waves of frustration.
PS: one fun unrelated note... Ashton is in New York ,though probably not to filmmore on David Mackenzie's Spread, but to host the classic Saturday Night Live. While not always consistently funny, Ive watched that for years, so lets hope this episode will be funny too. You can submit Q's for Ashton to be used on the blog ...and LOL NO Im not emailing asking about Spread, but hmmm this would be a COOL THING if we could please do an open Q & A on the Sigma blog one time wouldnt it? :)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(£386,948) though I had to chuckle over this line from the press release " The funding was officially announced yesterday, although it will have been known about for a few weeks within some film circles." ya think? ;)
Also The Edge of Love starring Keira Knightley and Cillian Murphy will be opening this year's Edinburgh Film Festival. While there much ballyhoo over the marquee names due to attend, it did not mention if Alastair who is also in this film, would be there for the premiere, but I am hopeful he will attend.
Finally, on the "Spread" front, the status on imdb has mysteriously changed from "filming" to "post production." However the papperazzi spotted and some lucky fans have videoed David and Ashton doing a scene in NYC recently (ahh I was sooo close too soho, drats!), so I am not sure if the movie wrapped this week or what. The time frame seems a bit short for a bigger film, than say the six week shoot I think that had been set for Rounding Up Donkeys (which is still cloaked under the discouraging no news blanket of silence alas), but then again I dont understand enough about how they go about filming these things to speak to this properly. Aw well, maybe more will turn up this weekend.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
"Music is what feelings sound like"
There must be hundreds and hundreds of quotes on music, thousands upon thousands of films on the subject, and millions upon millions of musicians and those who love what they do-make music. Just like almost everyone else I love music, its something I actively listen to each and everyday, and just like most people I love hearing new music or learning about a new group. One the best things about following the getyourpeople blog and the workings of Sigma Films is their clear love of music, especially the wonderful sounds that are coming out of Glasgow. Obviously David Mackenzie loves music, making the bold decision to have the soundtrack for the wonderful Hallam Foe be fresh and original with the entire score for a film consisting of modern pop music. Bold fresh and it worked so well. Several of the bands frankly I had not heard of before, and now after reading about them, and listening to the music, they've become one of my favorite groups.
It was a happy coincidence then to realise that not only had this band, Sons and Daughters featured on the HF soundtrack, but they had also actually performed last fall at Film City Glasgow. I was just surfing around on Facebook when I stumbled over a group for FCG, which I didnt know existed. Whiles its currently an open group, its not normally the type of thing that you go about actively promoting I suppose, but they had some wonderful photos taken by photographer Iain Smart of a few bands performing at the old town hall which is now the headquarters of FCG. One of these bands was Sons and Daughters. Apparently this was for UK Channel 4's show called Transmission with T-Mobile, which we don't get here in the states, but from what I gather its a music show where they travel round the UK catching various bands in different cities.
Now having bands appear at Film City Glasgow is nothing new of course, since the old town hall was built many years ago and has been used to host a variety of live performances. We have these old building by the dozens here in almost every city, and once when I was little I remember my mother being actively involved in a campaign to save the local hall. My imagination is so vivid (goofy?) that even last fall when I went to the legendary Carnegie Hall for an event, I just sat there for a few minutes trying to imagine all the amazing acts that had past through there during the years. What is that old saying-if the walls could talk? could reprise the amazing opera, symphonies, plays, speeches, and bands that filled it time and time again. I am certain its the same for FCG. If you look at photos, you can clearly see the lovely woodwork and structure, the light fixtures reflecting their age and invention and its such a nice thing to see. It was great great fun to see the comparison then between this photo from FCG
to these great photos from Iain Smart taken of the crowds and set for Transmission.
Recently of course, the We are the Physics music video was recorded at the same location, and shows the band in performance there. Obviously they are making good use of the facilities of Film City Glasgow and I think this is a cool thing to use the place for not just as a film base but for other ventures such a plays and more. Plus it most certainly cant hurt that companies such as Savalas Post production sound is located there as well (That site has a very cute and cool opening, and heh they've done some nifty work on not only Sigma's Hallam Foe and Wilbur but other TV shows and commercials that are very much worth a look) The Trifecta of S, Sigma, Savalas and Serious facilities (who do really solid good work, esp on some videos of some great Glasgow bands including Franz Ferdinand and S&D) really have a wonderful base at Film City Glasgow, and I look forward to more of their productions in the future.
Bonus video: Sons and Daughters raising the roof at Film City Glasgow for Transmission.
Thanks to Claire at FilmCityGlasgow, and Iain Smart
Sunday, April 6, 2008
OHO I KNOW!!!
The WE ARE THE PHYSICS -YOU CAN DO ATHLETICS -BTW VIDEO IS NOW ONLINE!!! Update ten thousand and 12: Blurgh- well no idea why they moved it off of youtube but here it is via the band's official site
I gotta say, I was uncertain what this side project of Sigma's Colin Kennedy would result in and frankly, my expectations were mixed, however after watching that video,all I have to say WOW!!! It was fantastic, and I was truly impressed, I loved it! Well done to all involved! The guys in the We are the Physics band were clearly clearly having a blast in that video and I actually enjoyed all that old scifi noir Mad Dr. Frankenstein-ish look to it all- very fun stuff indeed!
As a matter of principle I boycott MTV and don't watch too many music videos other than a few and so its not something I keep up with anymore (I mean if I'm out and they have videos on, its usually Kanye or something which is ok I guess, but omg his videos are all the same, and the latest Madonna/Justin Timberlake cool song but what is the deal with the AIRBRUSHING??- Plus I remember the day the first MTV video aired -I was at the original Live Aid too so it makes me an antique and the MTV of today is so not my MTV anymore) I do know enough to know that making these things is an art form all itself anyway, but this video by Colin Kennedy was wonderful! I have no shame in rambling on about how talented I think he and the fine work that he and all of Sigma do , and to me this was just another excellent example of what good work is going on there in Scotland. Well done and kudos to all involved!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Because I am made of all kinds of fangirl fail, I caved and had to check to see what was happening with the progress of David Mackenzie's Spread. To no surprise (and frankly great joy) there were not only new tabloidy set photos X17online, but these photos involved a scene where they go SHOPPING.
Filming apparently took place a couple days ago on the very hip Robertson Blvd in LA, a place I actually know. In these photos you can clearly see Anne Heche filming with actor Ashton Kutcher, carrying a slew of shopping bags from these stores. On this road (major haven for press seeking celebs and major papparazi lurking land), there are loads of chic trendy shops, including a few I know such as Kitson, Citizens of Humanity. While my dull wardrobe staples are basics from BananaRepublic/Ralph Lauren/DKNY/Gap even I cautiously branch out once in a while to wear something (sorta) hip, and know this Lisa Kline, though I've not shopped there before.
Now clearly product placement is an issue/monetary bonus for the film industry anymore, but I wasnt sure to what extent David has done this in his previous films with Sigma (aside from say various cars and the locales they filmed in for say Hallam Foe) I mean, Anne and Ashton flash those bags around big time and I figure this was totally deliberate, and not just indicative/in keeping with the trendy frivolous nature of the character. Even more evidence of this is in VIDEO and lots of it from Hollywood Bubble, of them shooting this scene over and over (Bonus: at the end, David is there :) and joking about with his star) Ps---------->
Anne is wearing some killer shoes!
Side note: What precisely is the deal with Ashton and his leaping about over the car??? I swear this is like the third or fourth filming pic I've seen where he goes skipping gleefully around the edge of the car. Unless you are say Cary Grant, it has been my experience that most men do NOT leap over the edge of the car, especially after a day of what is long (and expensive due to all those bags) day of shopping-run for freedom yes lol, leap merrily, NO. :)
Today is a day of celebration, for today is the official TARTAN DAY here in the US! On this day the speeches are in full flow there are parades, piping, dancing colorful costumes, good talk and good spirit and most certainly good will from all of us celebrating our Scottish heritage.Nunquam Non Paratus
US politicians weighed in already, heh shock-not!The ever popular Sean Connery also weighed in with his thoughts on the matter in the LA Times, especially on the topic of a Scottish Independence, noting
"Independence is something Americans inherently understand. My whole adult life, I have waited and worked for the day that Scots are able to decide democratically if they wish to rejoin the community of nations as an independent and equal member. A recent poll showed that two-thirds of Scots would welcome that opportunity under certain circumstances.
I believe that day -- Scotland's independence day -- is closer than ever."
As for me, I just wish for a thriving growing successful Scotland (and much more world wide notice and respect and success for the fine work being done by Sigma Films), and while I cant be there today, I will be among those happily celebrating Scottish heritage and good things from that fabulous country!
Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Fancy a drink and something good to eat? Well go to Scotland...well not quite lol but tis Friday, and Scotland week would not be complete of course without a mention of some of the food and beverages as a source of tourism.
Speaking from experience, all Southern people here in the states think they know all about what makes good cooking, and while there are places that leap to mind when you traditionally think of fine cuisine (France, Italy, Greece, some cities in the US etc) frankly I dont know that many folks goo oh yea, lets head to Scotland for all that fine food!.... Unfair of course, because there is good food to be found EVERYWHERE, although there is the dreaded Haggis that is so associated with the food in Scotland which errm well doesn't exactly appeal to me. I gotta say that is one food I have zero desire to try, cowardly lol perhaps but i dunno (then again there is a certain understandable amount of disdain for some meals served in the South ie Crawfish which aren't generally considered haute gourmet despite ole Emeril and his blams! Personally I recommend Commander's Palace and well just about anywhere in New Orleans really)
Right, well in my family beer reigns supreme with my father in his retirement now serving as a consultant to many of the microbrewers who focus not just on quality beers (which is my dads area) but are also hiring great chefs as microbrew food is big thing (and totally not complete common pub fare anymore!) On a few occasions Ive tagged along with my parents on this visits, I've spoken to the chefs and have been impressed at the quality and talent, yes really, that is actually going into some of these places. As much as I enjoy wine, I do enjoy beer and would love to go to where they brew McEwans and try some of the various local whiskies ,Pop also mailed last year quite excited about some beer trail thing he hopes to drag us all on when we descend on Scotland hopefully next year for that Gathering 2009 event which I fear will dominate the time there alas lol (great a whole week of drunken Americans tourist roaming rampant in the country, just what the Scots want lol NOT). Anyway, I enjoy going to restaurants (clearly as no skinny minnie I appreciate good cooking!) I also pay attention to things in the culinary world and food tourism too. Most certainly food tourism is a hugely profitable thing no matter what country, and as such I saw there is a nice EatScotland page online which is definitely worth checking out.
Now, I'm fairly certain the fine folks at Sigma Films all appreciate the finer art of cooking for in at least two videos Ive seen Gillian Berrie being interviewed in the kitchen cooking or doing something with the groceries in one of Colin's podcasts. (nitpicky me: I so wish Glasgow film office would offer the films they have on their site easier to link too, and bigger so you can see what is going on, the tiny size is so frustrating!) Plus die hard Monarch of the Glen fans like me remember that Archie clearly was into the restaurant scene, and Lexie the housekeeper/cook and all round awesomeness of course ,with food and the practical aspect of running an estate being a nice and honest, and realistic backdrop in the show.
I was thrilled to stumble over a pretty nice film Alastair Mackenzie did outside of acting, where he interviewed a famous chef regarding his modern cuisine. The restaurant is someplace in Cumbria and while not all of the food appealed to me, some of it looked fabulous and it was especially nice to see Mr. Mackenzie talking about something he so clearly enjoys. Food network hire him please!!! He was also apparently a host at something called The London Gathering celebrating things Scottish in the fabulous London, and not sure if besides presenting he did anything with the food displays or anything but that would be a FUN event to go to this year.
While all the various cities and such have pages on the restaurants and bars in their respective cities, places to hit while in Glasgow are fore on my mind. I really would love to try a couple great restaurants and see as much as I can, so reading up on all of this, I was thrilled when I saw that they have a page up now featuring the awesome Dawn Steele doing a tour of the city. There is a video she narrates on the page, plus on iTunes there is a slew of really good podcasts (free! bonus!) she does about various things in the city...such a nice surprise and what a great way to end the week! Cheers!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Today, words are on my mind. Well, given by the multitude of lengthy posts in this blog, clearly its safe to say I love words! Words in a book, words in a script, even the word of the day emails; to me, words are a thing to savor and enjoy. It is to my great regret I am not better adept at presenting words in a more enjoyable (or as witnessed by latest pitiful attempt at a thesis which bombed badly) more intelligent manner that I am capable, but none the less, the love of words and all things written remains.
Peter Jinks, he the author of Hallam Foe and clearly a lover of words too lol, is giving a presentation for Word Weekend at the University of Aberdeen on Sunday May 11. According to the description of the event, there will be a screening of Hallam Foe after his presentation, where he will probably discuss the adaptation and working the Sigma Team (David Mackenzie and Ed Whitmore) on developing the screenplay to Foe. I remember that Mr. Jinks was part of a panel on this at the Edinburgh film festival which I missed last year, but perhaps I can catch a similar panel this year (although no foe , woe ;) ) In the interviews I've read/seen with the author about his experience with the film, one interviewer cites him saying “Everyone who writes a book hopes it will get optioned and made into a film,” says Jinks. “But I didn’t have any idea how it would work with my book. I knew that I liked Dave’s films and that he understood the underlying idea of the novel, but the book was just source material. They’ve been making their own piece of art.”
Indeed! I love David and Sigma's art but that is pretty obvious now isn't it? Now that Ive read the HF book and seen the film, I can understand the changes made (much better to have Hallam work in the hotel than at the charity I think, plus much better visually and a greater chance to showcase that gorgeous city). Their history of adapting of books to film is impressive of course, and Im certain it will continue with whatever they have in the works (not sure if that Ewan Morrison Swung movie is going to happen) If there is one thing I admire about David and Gillian and well all of the team is that they have a clear appreciation of literature and the written word matters in their films, so bring more on I say!
Speaking of words and Sigma ...well sorta, the words and phrase 'Rounding up Donkeys' is certainly an interesting choice for a film title and I believe they chose the title from something in the script. I don't suppose it will generate the buzz and uber hipness that the "I drink your milkshake" phrase has gained (in part because of the extraordinary talents and performance of Daniel Day Lewis in the Oscar nominated and winning film There Will Be Blood which was adapted from Upton Sinclair's Oil! .. and who alas is not in Donkeys or prob not in any Sigma films any time soon, but a girl can always dream! ) I believe that the movie must be nearly done filming if they are holding to the six week time frame or have a week or so to go. Last word on the film's progress came in the form of a blogger who is apparently friends with the director Morag Mckinnon and the screenwriter Colin McLaren. The author of Shadowplay, who also has a joyful abundance of love for words too, mercifully provided a morsel of news writing that the shoot is undergoing "six-day weeks and 50% night shoots. Some scenes are being shot night-for-night purely for cost reasons — without enough funds to black out the windows of a church, the production was forced to shoot after nightfall."
As for the script, an older piece regarding the Advance Party series found via indieWire went into detail on the collaborative nature of the films and hence some story elements. More hints about RUD came from the director who said in the lengthy profile piece:
In the development stage, the directors added two entirely new characters, a teenage girl that McKinnon needed, as well as another man. "We added a significant new character to facilitate the tone we wished to achieve," says McKinnon, who hopes to shoot her own film this fall. "Although he started out as Avery"--described as a 40-year-old who stays far away from drugs and alcohol because he knows that his interior contains anger'--"that wasn't going to work with the casting that Andrea needed."
And because McKinnon wanted to add these two characters, "the rules were that if somebody incorporated a main character that wasn't included in the main list, everyone had to agree to include them," explains Arnold....
"We were all going for different main characters which meant that we would not be in conflict about the casting," explains McKinnon, whose own film is about a 64-year-old character named Alfred who realizes he is dying and tries to make amends with Jackie, his estranged daughter. "Had we chosen similar main characters then it would probably have made for a more difficult situation," she adds.
"It's kind of a collaborative process," McKinnon notes, "but in terms of the casting, it's safe to say that we all had to compromise somewhere." McKinnon worries about the impact "Red Road"--having come first in the series, and winning much acclaim--will have on her own film. "'Red Road' will definitely influence ours," she says. "When people see it, it will set up a sense of expectation which will be very difficult to live up to. People have got used to seeing these characters in this way, and if they loved them like that they might not want to see them change."...[Rud] will be "tragi-comic," she says. "I hope we will have something that is naturalistic yet absurd, both funny and sad."Bonus video of the exceptional Daniel Day Lewis, an actor who can always make a word speak volumes in the most amazing of ways.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
In other news, Scotland week continues, so its time to focus on another random Sigma Film reference. With tourism and promoting all things Scottish to the fore this week, I was checking out the various Scottish tourism sites. Visit Scotland. com has gotten a new makeover, featuring a much brighter and cleaner layout, complete with updated info on tours etc. They still have these city breaks pages, although I personally think the SeeGlasgow (Scotland with Style) website is much better for info on that city; not sure about a good Edinburgh site yet. Although I am interested in Glasgow of course and not just because of Sigma!, I have to say Edinburgh really appeals to me, however I have friends who are urging me to try and get a job in Aberdeen which seems quite lovely to be honest but a bit to remote (read=COLDer than other parts of Scotland lol) for my tastes.
Anway, while surfing about I saw that Hannah McGill, the director of the Edinburgh Film Festival where Hallam Foe opened so gloriously last August (older video coverage here and here (with the Jamie/David interviews), has compiled a list of the top five Scottish films. On the list she included David Mackenzie's Young Adam. She writes of the film:
"The other end of the equation: still a study of extreme acts, but told in a sedate, poetic, melancholic style. It's about a young traveller working on a river barge who knows more about a dead woman in the river than he's letting on. With excellent performances by Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton and Peter Mullan, it offers a true sense of the mysteries of human character and motivation."
Side note: I find it amusing that the photo they use is her with the awesome Jamie Bell, star of Hallam Foe. I still think a very good review of Young Adam can be found at the Verging Writer blog spot that is well worth a re-read. Heh and of course, the entire Young Adam movie is up on YouTube, where you can also see a video which contains some very good and interesting comments from director David Mackenzie, and the cast including Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in the following behind the scenes feature:
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Well now that we've all been suitably Rickrolled enough for one year and April fools is almost over (here in the states) there is an legitimate bit of news of interest tonight. Variety is reporting that Alastair Mackenzie is to star with Dougray Scot in the New Town Killers film which is now filming in Edinburgh, Scotland. This film is written and directed by Richard Jobson, with Alastair to play the character of Jamie, in a "tale of two high-flying financial whiz kids who get their kicks hunting people on the margins of society. " On his blog, the director described the film he was then developing when he wrote
VIOLENCE IS PART OF WHAT AND WHO WE ARE
We were born from violence. The stardust that is the fabric of all nature was born from the largest single act of violence ever known. Nature lives by a code of violence. We as a race are given to extraordinary moments of distilled violence prosecuted against the vulnerable and the innocent. The next film I hope to make THE NEW TOWN KILLERS is the story of two private bankers who have everything life can give them but they need to search further for new sensation; this takes the shape of hunting people. They create a scenario where they research someone they would regard as being at the bottom of the social ladder and offer them £1k to hide for twelve hours with the notion that if they are not found they get to keep to the money. Edinburgh becomes a playground for the two nihilists as they crash and burn their way through the night. The violence in the story is real and extreme and absolutely appropriate in the context of the story. The central characters have no respect for the people they encounter, abusing them with a venal corporate arrogance, as they think their will be no consequence to their actions. They at one point play a game on a computer called THE NEW TOWN KILLERS, which indicates that they are/feel part of a virtual world rather than something thats real. Their victim is a 16 year old rent boy who is awaiting the results of an AIDS test. He is to all intents and purposes invisible, a social leper, who would not be missed if he disappeared. Could this happen in our society. If you have to ask the question you're asleep or already dead.
Quite! I think this looks interesting, and although I never picture Alastair Mackenzie as one who should be trying with the bad guy roles, he does seem to want to strike against the stereotype casting and take on another part which hopefully will allow him the chance to showcase some edgier sides to his acting repertoire. Imdb also says the cinematographer is Simon Dennis who shot Sigma Films/David Mackenzie's The Last Great Wilderness which of course, starred Alastair. What's this, Archie has developed a mad killer streak all those years up there in the highlands? the illusions are shattered!boo lol just kidding ;) Mr Jobson, the former lead singer for the Skids, is also the same man who directed and wrote A Woman in the Winter that starred the wonderful Jamie Sives (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself).
(Side notes for the Six Degrees of Sigma Separation game: Dougray Scott is married to Claire Forlani who of course starred as Verity in Hallam Foe along side Ewan Bremmer who starred in Richard Jobson's first film 16 Years of Alcohol that also starred Kevin Mckidd. Kevin Mckidd, who appeared in the series Rome with Ciaran Hinds (Papa Julius Foe in HF) also starred with Jamie Sives in a film called On a Clear Day which was up against A Woman in the Winter in the same category at the Scottish Baftas...Phew! Crazy Scots film world, love em all! :)
As much as I adore Jamie, that Woman in the Winter film is one I struggle with. I mean, it was gorgeously shot, and there were several really great moments, but overall it was too slow at times and I got a bit distracted with the use of slowmo time travel stuff. As a person who enjoys most of the sci-fi fantasy genre, I thought the plot was OK not entirely original, but appreciated they were trying to do an original and fresh type of film coming out of the UK/Scotland, for which I give him/them serious props. Problem for me was I had just re watched Truly Madly Deeply which is one of my all-time most favorite films, and wrongly or rightly that movie pretty much owns that whole ghost lover storyline these days and I think took away from my enjoyment of the movie which I need to go see again (dont own the DVD yet alas, slacker Jamie fan I am!) Can I just say though the whole physics time travel thing is HUGE again...coughLOSTDesmond/Penny /Faraday storylinecough*
Video: A few minutes from A Woman in the Winter