Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jamie Bell, A Young Man on the Move Says Sunday Times

The June 1st edition of The Sunday Times has a new feature on Jamie Bell, where the young actor reflects on life growing up, life in Manhattan, and the pressures of Hollywood. While the article only briefly mentions his acting work and mentions the upcoming Defiance, the piece mostly centers on where the Hallam Foe actor is now, enjoying life here in the Big Apple as he notes “I like it here,” he says. “I like the size of the place – the tall buildings, the bustle, the nonstop, 24-hour-a-day activity. I won’t be here for ever, but it suits me at the moment. I can fly across to Los Angeles for meetings, if I need to be there. And it’s only a seven-hour flight back home to England.

There are mentions of his personal life and dating, as well as the impact of the passing of Heath Ledger had on him earlier this year. Jamie reflects " “I never even met Heath but I can appreciate the pressure he was under,” Bell says. “There is a feeling that, however supportive your family is, you are very much on your own. Was there anyone there to help him in his hour of need? They also hand out prescription drugs in America like packs of Smarties.”

On a lighter note, JB brings up the topic I know I can relate too: NOT driving in Manhattan. I could not agree more-drove there once and that completely scared the crap out of me-taxis and subways only ever since! (plus the subways are always so full of errm unique individuals, every time is an adventure in new species of life lol) Quotage:

“I walk everywhere,” he says. “Or I take the subway.

“Driving will be useful, though, when I’m in Los Angeles. There’s no public transport and the city is spread out over miles. I am looking forward to driving – in something open-topped – along the coast highway near Malibu.” It is all a long haul from his home in the northeast of England, where Eileen, his mother – a single parent after his father walked out when he was a baby – could not afford a car to take him to dance lessons. But it’s clear he’s not letting either his success or his bank balance go to his head.

“My biggest fear was that I would not be able to take the step from a child actor to an adult,” he reflects. “I think it happened when I was able to play a soldier in Deathwatch, set in the trenches of the first world war. The film didn’t quite work out – it was a very good movie, almost – but I think that got me up and running as a grown-up actor.”

Roles followed in big-budget Hollywood movies such as King Kong and Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood. Most recently, he appeared in Jumper, a sci-fi fantasy film that reached No 1 at the American and British box office earlier this year.

“I have grown in confidence,” he reports. “And I do like to think I know the difference between confidence and arrogance.

“At the very start, after Billy Elliot, I did wonder, ‘Is this what I really want to do?’ But I could not think of anything else I would rather do. So I began, taking one acting job at a time. There’s no other way to play it, really. There is no career structure in this business.”

More footage of Franz Ferdinand Set at Film City Glasgow

More goodies for loopy fans like me: Someone was lucky enough to be at the Film City Glasgow studios when Franz Ferdinand was there recording their new CD that is due out this fall. Since I had deleted my MySpace page, I had not been there recently till this am, and besides missing a wonderful update from Gary and Snow Patrol, I also totally missed this recent update from the most splendid Alex on Franz Ferdinand's official blog about this new video of their recording set (NO BAND/MUSIC) at FCG now available on youtube. LMAO FERDINAND LAIR-lol Did I mention lately how much I ADORE those guys lol-so cool they post these type of entries (although I suppose I shouldn't be blathering about the location but judging by the comments Im not the only one who knows where they recorded in the past few months .) How long till October? LOVE FF!!

TURN IT ON! so hot, absolutely love this

Friday, May 30, 2008

New Video Interview with Jamie Sives

Great news tonight! Thanks so much to 4cSlater for generously posting this new video interview with Jamie Sives, where the actor discusses his role as Alasdair in Hallam Foe. It is so so rare to see an actual video interview with Jamie, and this is quite a treat to hear him discuss reading the script for Foe and the book by Peter Jinks, noting his character is pretty much an ass (lol at calling him dog's bollocks ooh plus he's an actor who bothers to read the source material-triple bonus points for him!!). Jamie also has some great stuff to say about his director David Mackenzie and is so complimentary on actor Jamie Bell.

Here I thought I was gonna spend the weekend awash in booze sadness and hopeless ponderings and suddenly Poof-new stuff from my most favorite actor - Jamie goodness to save the day! Many thanks again! :)

Is it real?

So last week I had been back on imdb, and saw that now my favorite actor, Jamie Sives, has apparently been cast in "Valhalla Rising" with Mads Mikkelsen. This film (which is not being produced by Sigma, has zero to do with them aside from VH using Film City Glasgow as production offices or something), is due to start shooting in the near future -June I think.

While ordinarily I would have been just thrilled by this, but it almost seemed too good to be true. Yes of course it's quite plausible, especially since Jamie and Mads worked together on Wilbur wants to Kill Himself and the whole Glasgow/Sigma film community is developing these quite serious ties with the Danish film community. However, the media person in me said umm oh really? and I had been trying to find some additional confirmation or further information about this possible new role for Jamie, but as of yet I have been unsuccessful. Thus I am not really sure if this is happening, but it would be just fantastic if true.

The problem for me is that imdb is not always a reliable thing, anyone in fact can go and submit things and theoretically the staff there verify it before it gets added to the page. Thus, if they were to verify it with say the casting director or the production team, then thats great and Jamie is in this movie and huzzah and all is good and well..however it is equally possible someone is having a laugh and its not true, which has happened multiple times on that site daily. In addition, I have had too much experience there with all the bogus stuff that HAS been posted before, not to mention all the incredibly bogus rumors and the unfortunate amount of troll traffic that frequents the boards, but on the other hand, there is so so much legitimate things there, a great source for the fans and filmmakers alike to try and rely on, that its hard to not want to trust everything you read.

The issue of what you see and don't see, what you know and dont know really have hit home with me the past week. I've been working on my revised Thesis which deals with media accountability and sourcing heh, so all these deep and probably quite boring philosophical issues are foremost on my mind. Then, yesterday two things happened that really hit it all home with me.

First, I'm a big fan of LOST and that whole time flash forward/backward and the question of reality and what is truth and lies was so beautifully and amazingly done last night, just aces! The writers on that job really are quite skilled at weaving all these layers and thoughts and possibilities out for you, truly some of the best stuff happening in TV writing lately (imo). The show also left me pondering on one of the many subplots regarding what is truth and more boring philosophical things like is silence and not saying something for reasons like to protect your privacy or protect someone or spare them hurt always the best choice.

The other thing about reality and truths and stuff came in the form of a mail with someone I had been a bit concerned about. Now after an exchange where I learned that something that normally most would be joyful and want to shout to the rafters about is quite deliberately not being shared and it seemed so sharply contrary to all I've known and respected about this person, that the reaction I got only served to heighten my worry and concern. My reaction would be viewed by them as a bit ridiculous though if I continued the conversation, given this person doesn't consider me a true friend and has given not one single reason in the world I should give a damm anyway, plus its all probably well and good for them for the time being anyway, but man it has left me all greatly puzzled and I cant shake the feeling things are just off for them. Anyway this is far far too heavy deep and boring for a Friday to be certain! Suppose its too early for a beer lol but wow, lots to think about this weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Bell of a Baggins?

I am a Hobbit. Well, maybe. Oh yes, its true I may indeed be a real life Mary Tyler Moore-annoying zippy outlook and a mouth full of big teeth to boot, but if you were to equate yourself with any book/film character, I always fancied myself to be a Rosie Cotton Hobbity person (sans the hairy feet of course lol). I love the Tolkien series, and I remember just adoring J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit when I first read it years and years ago as a youngster. Sure I read and adored things like A Little Princess and The Secret Garden and Nancy Drew/Five mysteries etc, that whole world Tolkien created always stuck with me. Like so so so many others I also adored the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the film The Hobbit, which is joyfully now coming to reality at long last.

Now, following a recent webchat with director Guillermo Del Toro and director/producer Peter Jackson, speculation has ramped up several notches regarding who will play the key role in the"The Hobbit." Often discussed in the past, I was wondering how long it would be till more talk surfaced again casting Jamie Bell as the young Bilbo Baggins. Today both Cinematical and Awards Daily weighed in on this mentioning Jamie in the pieces, but both saying too they preferred others for the role.

Hmmm. Having spent many years (pre-Jackson) lurking in the Tolkien sites and fandom, Jamie as Bilbo has been bandied about for many years to be certain, and I think if it were to happen, may not be universally favored but on the whole I think would probably go over pretty well. However if I were to bet on this actually happening, I would not take that for I am thinking this is not who they will go for. Empire reported today too, that while the script is not yet done,a nd production on the films is not set to begin until 2010, that they've all agreed on the first choice of the actor for the part, and we should hear more about that in the coming days. Quotage:

As part of an exclusive chat with Del Toro for the next issue of Empire, on sale Friday, we spoke to him further about many details, including the casting of Bilbo.

"We are writing based on [Ian Holm's performance], but other than that, we have ideas [of who could play him]," Del Toro told us. "I can tell you that it's down to a few names that we all agree upon. And that our first choice...completely, magically, we said the same name. All of us!" Obviously the script is yet to be written by Jackson, Del Toro and Philippa Boyens, so there won't be a name attached to this for some time (despite poking with sticks Del Toro was mum on the identity of the actor, who probably doesn't know he's in the frame yet). Del Toro says we can expect "at least a year before we announce any casting". So, while they have a name in mind, you can count any forthcoming rumours as false, at least until the script is written.

Me personally, I do NOT think Jamie is the one they are going to mention, (and please please NOT Mcavoy-god no-hes good but he's already a Narnia fixture)

Now I think Jamie could certainly pull this off, and there are certainly many things he could bring to the part. Make up aside, he could pull off looking like a slightly different version of Elijah Woods' Frodo and a younger Ian Holm, and he certainly has the acting skill I think to hold his own with McKellan. Hes worked with PJ and Andy Serkis in the past of course too which would be a plus and Del Toro surely would seem like a director Jamie might like to work with.

Some might argue no this is too commercial too popular too iconic a thing for an Indie minded actor like Jamie to want to take on, and that does have some merit. On the other hand, these films are beloved world wide. There is no indication that these (The Hobbit and the Transition movie) will not live up to the standards achieved in the Trilogy already, but that temptation to want to be part of something that could concievably become an even larger, more successful and a film that becomes to entrenched in world wide culture for the future, surely must be appealing. Again, I dont believe that JB is who they have in mind for the part, but its fun to speculate on for sure.

Bonus video: The Lord of the Rings Super Trailer, where you can relive that amazing series that follows the Hobbit storyline.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Report: Jamie Bell to Star in New Film "Prodigy"

There is a new report this holiday morning from a Spanish newspaper, claiming actor Jamie Bell (Hallam Foe) is to take on a new role in what is called a " futuristic film ‘Prodigy’, " to be directed by Chuck Russell. According to this report, Jamie will star along side the highly acclaimed Irish actor Sir Michael Gambon, as well as Joan Allen and Leighton Meester. The paper notes filming will take place in Spain, "in the Valencian region and at the Ciudad de la Luz studios," which is of course where Colin Farrell/ Jamie Sives film "Triage" just finished location shoots.

No idea if this is true, for last I heard Michael Gambon has a full deck with Pinter's No Man's Land in Dublin later this summer, and Variety reported in March the director was doing a film about stunt pilots or something. Also while Spanish media is a tad better than Italian media which is notoriously dreadful, it is not uncommon for their studios to give local press the first heads up so its possible this is true. Gambon is a hella good actor, and am hoping we hear more about this either way soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Video Interview with Claire Forlani on Hallam Foe

What a great surprise this morning to discover two new video interviews from the German Hallam Foe DVD, including a rare interview with actress Claire Forlani. She has always struck me as an elegant reserved yet lovely person, and it shows in this video interview. Noting that Jamie Bell is 'inherently talented,' she feels we will all be hearing much more excellent work ahead from Jamie. Agreed! I have to say though, her thoughts on David seemed to confirm what I had suspected, as she noted that being on set was like in the old days when they made films, and the director was there creating and actually enjoying the process. YES! So many directors you hear about or even see at work, seem caught up in being cool, all style over substance, and rather detached from what they are doing...its all about making something slick, and the true love of creating and wanting to show something original, thought-provoking and fresh seems to have gotten lost behind all the hype. It's so nice to hear an actress actually speak to the fact the director on their project is actually enjoying the work.

Speaking of the director, there is also another interview with David Mackenzie from this DVD. To the person who takes the time to put these things up there on youtube THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Claire Forlaini Interview

David Mackenzie Interview

Friday, May 23, 2008

Just a Click Away

*warning, no news in this post, just long blathering reflection on technology and blogging and films*

A friend (or I hope someone who considers me a friend!) remarked privately to me the other day that this blog must take up my whole life.

I actually had to stop and think about that for a few minutes, and its true I do put effort in here once in a while, but not as much as you may think because working on the internet IS my world, and to me this is the fun part of being on the net. Oh yes I have much outside going on, example my son who remains the most important thing in my life, and lol I still manage to go out and do things off the net too, but in terms of my everyday routine, technology and working on the internet plays a huge role. Surely it's a far cry from when I first started out- I even worked at an entry level TV station that was using FILM for news pieces, seems eons ago- but now its all about technology.

If you are reading this blog, it's thanks to technology. As is the case for so many of us, technology has allowed me to go places, meet people, learn new things each and every day, expand my career, and yes has allowed me to make a living. Through a series of happenstance and random occurrence, I've been able to support myself through various jobs on the net, both in news and for fun (not this of course, but other things I'm involved with.) Yes I still get out and talk to real 'live' people, but in the same fashion, I've met some of the best people ever because of the net. People from different walks of life, backgrounds, countries, people who most probably would not have given me the time of day if I had passed them on the street in 'real' life. I can literally go places all around the world, transmit news and information and random funny light stuff too to people because of technology. Heck Hugh selling wine and getting the word out about South African wine to all his readers who now gather in real life have formed real and lasting friendships and careers is all proof alone of that. Same holds for Sigma Films-if David and Colin and the crew had not had taken the initiative to put a blog out there, the script, held those blogger screenings would half of the interest in Hallam Foe even been there? Its because of technology I found HF, and its because of it I stay.

There was a report recently released about how technology is bringing in considerable income and jobs to Scotland, including Glasgow. The Evening Times reports that "SCOTLAND'S digital entertainment sector employs around 100,000 people and generates annual sales of £5billion.The industry - which ranges from television production to computer games - now accounts for 4% of Scotland's economic output, claims a new study."

The article continues:

Alistair Balfour, chairman of 2in10 said: "Digital entertainment is the fastest-moving area of global technology right now. He added that resources should be focused on proven areas of expertise - developing excellent games, and the creation of film or video content that works across a range of platforms.Scotland has Europe's third largest games industry, with internationally known names such as Rockstar North -producers of the highly successful Grand Theft Auto game - Real Time Worlds, and Dynamo Games.

Mr Balfour added: " Above all, we need to think big."

Scottish Enterprise, which backed the research, underlined its flagship support project for broadcast and film in the shape of the Digital Media Quarter at Atlantic Quay in Glasgow. Already home to the BBC, STV and studios Film City Glasgow, it will develop into one of the UK's key locations for the industry.

I understand there is some resistance to the development of such a hub (other plans afoot for this area seen here and here), but these "Digital Media" centers are nothing new, and can only be a good thing for Scotland or any country that tries to embrace this philosophy and engage in this type of economy and revenue generating approach. Some also decry this, claiming art is being replaced by things synthetic, that we've become a sterile remote world. I actually find the opposite to be true.

Some might say, well Sweetie, the US has the best of most things in the world so its been easier for you to do so-and thats a fair statement I think. I have access to everything, can buy whatever I want and the ability to take advantage of the technology is certainly readily available. Tis true enough as well I have loads of technology at my disposal: a mac and a pc , three pda phones, two ipods, digital cameras, wireless net 24/7 in house and car in coffee shops and stores and malls. My house now has a high def tvs which is a glorious thing to watch a film on HD I gotta say, and well I choose to embrace all those fun technology things (the folks at Best Buy love me lol.) My son has been taught computers at school since he was in kindergarten and most of the people I work with now have far more technological skill than me-its quite the pressure to keep up, and I have to do so every day or Im screwed and will be out the job-its just like the old days working at an office, only now its via technology. While there pressures, Ive gotten to do and go many places- Ive been extraordinarily lucky enough to go to high profile movie premieres and events and interviewed celebs and powerful heads of state equally because of the internet. So for me, choosing to work on the internet has been a positive thing. It is also how I learn and enjoy much of my 'free' or 'artistic' world too.

I love the world I discovered because of Sigma. I enjoy reading and writing about things unknown to me, about performers who bring me joy, about film makers who I believe make a difference and while I probably never will meet a single one of who or what I write about, I enjoy this. If it makes me pathetic that I choose to talk about it and perhaps spread the word to someone who stumbles over this, then so be it. I love movies and I think its a cool thing to be able to blog about them as opposed to just sit solely in a coffee shop or print an article and hope that someday someone will hear of. Results can be immediate and it can be fun and wonderful and well I dunno what else to say on this.

That does not mean that industry as we know it, that film and art in the old sense dead! but is just taking on another way of sharing it with the world around us. I will always seek the independent films and news sources and authors and musicians along with the mainstream-there is room enough for all of us, and room to make a living at this as well. I truly hope that Sigma Films and facilities such as Film City Glasgow continue to embrace this technology, so others can experience the great and positive things I have because of technology and wish them all the best with their endeavours.

Today is not the day

Today is May 23 here in the US.
Hallam Foe did NOT open in theaters on this day.

*insert expression of disappointment/frustration of your choice*
Well I am uncertain what to say, and while no doubt that painfully slow roll out late this year may actually happen, the SS Mister (Hallam) Foe ship of large scale fan expectation and excitement has done gone sailed, so order that UK DVD or something. On a related note, someone kindly uploaded some new interviews of Jamie Bell from the German DVD on youtube. At least that is something new for Foe fans this bleak day. Besides, if you are hankering to go to the cinema, there is always Indiana Jones this weekend lol. (went last night-not the best in the series, but enjoyable piece of fluff really, and there have been worse ways to spend two hours in a theater. I have to say it was cool to see it at midnight with a huge crowd of people, reminds you that movies and movie making should be about FUN too, not all just being serious)

Edit to remove painful private stuff that I shouldn't have put down in words cause there is not a damm thing I can do about it.

One of my biggest regrets is that I was unable to make it to Edinburgh last year, but one of the cool events was the opening of HF where the most excellent Franz Ferdinand played. Music please!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Kid in Town

When I was little, and after I got adopted, I remember being fascinated by this new thing called television. Oh, it was not new to households by then of course but to me it was this astonishing new and fascinating device, and I ended up watching it a great deal (makes sense then that I grew up to have work in it lol) and I especially watched many sitcoms. These were classic American comedies-some great like the Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke show, Andy Griffith and my fave Mary Tyler Moore, but also goofy, hokey stuff, like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Flying Nun, F-Troop, Batman (the campiest show ever lol)the Munsters, The Adams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island, and there was one ridiculous show called Green Acres. The basic premise of this show involved a silly obvious yet amusing plot line involving city dwellers who decided on the country life, and the resulting mayhem and goofy stories in their everyday adventures. As ridiculous that was, tales and books and shows involving people in new places new situation and new countries have always appealed to me.

There is word on a new program announced at Cannes, involving Zentropa and possibly Sigma Films involving this same type of thing: people from another country reflecting on the new place where they currently live. The report says that this is "a new pan-European production initiative..."aims to make eight films over a two year period." Indie wire says this is "a new series of feature films made by young directors with a nationality or background from the country in which they live. The initiative, which was detailed this morning in Cannes, is aimed at exploring the outsider's view on a country's culture."

Screen Daily notes the "partners include IDTV in Holland, Slot Machine in France, uj Budapest in HBungary, Ripple World Pictures in Ireland, heimatfilm in Germany, STI Studio in Poland and Sigma Film in Scotland. The rights will be divided between the companies.

A handful of projects are already in development, among then Greg Zglinski’s Ash Driver (Poland), Manyar I. Parwani’s Before We Die (Denmark), Robert Adrian Pejo’s Duke (Hungary), Iván López Núñez’s Evening Land (The Netherlands), a project from Jacqueline Perrin for Ripple World Pictures Ltd. In Ireland and a British project with director to be announced from Sigma."


Zentropa detailed the project's goals as threefold: "To raise awareness and encourage intercultural dialogue within the European union; develop young European talent within the different aspects of the audiovisual industry; and, to explore new ways of multilateral co-productions on a structural basis."

No idea who the director could be, or if they will be making the movie based out of Film City Glasgow but this surely is intriguing. I am uncertain if this is to be a personal based tale on the director's own personal experience or how the piece reflecting on the cultural differences and similarities I suppose would be presented. Now I am sure they are not thinking of stuff that you see in documentaries or on say TV news. I mean, we see those type of stories in weekly news pieces, heck Ive certainly lived in a different state/ country for a short while for work and filed pieces , but I am thinking is this to be a bit more involved.Of course there are a plethora of books and films involving people moving to another country and making. For example several of my favorite books have (disastrously) been turned into such films, including Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. I do love Under the Tuscan Sun, and have thought many many times I just need to pick up on a whim and move someplace completely different, maybe Italy like that character or France or heh Scotland (how do you suppose the average Scottish person would react to people saying y'all all the time? could they understand me? :P)

Anyway the story of being a new kid in town is not new, but while i am unclear of the storylines involved here, this project shows a great deal of promise, so cant wait to hear more about this.

Bonus Video. While I had been tempted to play the classic Eagles New Kid in Town song (which is what popped immediately into my daft brain when I first read the news this am) I decided its more fun to show the loopy opening to Green Acres! Ah these were the good days :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Film City Glasgow Article and More in Scottish Screen Feature

In addition to the awesome new info on Rounding Up Donkeys (as noted below) there is a plethora of new information contained in the new Scottish Screen feature: Made in Scotland.

Listen up Stone of Destiny and Dougray Scott fans! There are a host of new photos from the Stone of Destiny film (including BILLY BOYD and Robert Carlyle pics) as well as two new articles on New Town Killers, one with the director Richard Jobson and a separate feature with actor Dougray Scott. Download and enjoy via this link (PDF)
EDIT: Early wire photos of the Scottish Screen reception at Cannes today are online, and no luck on ANY pics of Dougray, nor Tilda nor anyone from Sigma *w0e* The director of Stone, Charles Smith seems to be there, as the EIFF director Hannah McGill, along with that couple that risked so much to make that Outpost film, and one or two other names I recognised but still-boo! c'omeon press corp dont let me down lol.

As for this dork, I was absolutely thrilled to see a feature on FILM CITY GLASGOW as well as piece on the other Trifecta of S at the film base: Savalas Sound.

The Film City Glasgow article contains a new interview with Operations manager Tiernan Kelly. In the article, which you can see on flickr here and here, Mr. Kelly discusses Sigma Films and their sense of international cooperation and desire to bring people and film makers together in one flourishing hub in Scotland. The facilities at FCG are one example of how Glasgow is endeavoring to try and create a unified center or 'hub' for a range of film makers from all over Scotland and the world frankly, to come and use their center, such as what is being done with Valhalla Rising (there is also a brief article on funding and filming in a country outside your own in Scotland)

New Article, First Photos from Red Road Sequel "Rounding Up Donkeys" (Updated)

I knew today was going to be a great day for news on Sigma Films, and it has proved true already. With Scottish day at the Cannes Film festival ongoing, Scottish Screen has released a major new feature on the film industry in Scotland. A wealth of new information and new photos are now available, including our first look at Martin Compston and Brian Pettifer filming for "Rounding Up Donkeys." Directed by Morag McKinnon, the tentatively titled sequel to Red Road (and film two of the Advance Party trilogy) wrapped production in Glasgow earlier this spring. Now well into the editing phase at Savalas based in Film City Glasgow, Scottish Screen has a new article available where we hear a bit more from the director on the movie as well as from producer Anna Duffield.

*Please note that as this was part of a PDF brochure which is quite quite large and image heavy (warning for those with slow connections), I nabbed some relevant portions and popped them up on my flickr: Part One and Part Two. You can also see Martin Compston reprising his role as Stevie, here and new addition Brian Pettifer at work, here.

As noted on the pages of Scottish Screen, the photos were taken by Roddy Hand. I looked this person (s) up, and discovered a marvelous website full of really lovely work, the wedding photos alone were just fabulous, such emotion and joy and lovely compositions!. More relevant that there is a gallery of stills-MANY MANY STILLS from Sigma Films Rounding up Donkeys where we get our first look at the most excellent Katie Dickie as Jackie with her new daughter. (hope they dont yank these down, just good good stuff!) There were also just terrific shots of James Cosmo who is playing the lead role in the film, as well as some shots of Martin Compston that will surely please his fans.

UPDATE: As feared, the photos and stills of RUD at the photographer's website most unfortunately have now been removed. Sorry if by posting this caused anyone trouble. :((((((

Monday, May 19, 2008

Usual Suspects

As the absence of a much adored and sorely missed blogger grows, I feel emboldened then to post something entirely random, and yea, sorta wacko perhaps LOL but it's all in good fun. As the Cannes film festival is in full swing, wire photos are completely awash in all the various parties and press calls and various hoopla that is ongoing in France. Avoiding real work this afternoon, I decided to browse all the pics at WireImage and stumbled over the BBC Films party-well to be honest, the fact that yummy Jude Law and his handsomeness called out to me too lol- so I started looking at those pics when lo and behold! Lurking in the background I thought I spotted two faces who I am sorta thinking are similar to faces Ive seen on the getyourpeopleblog.(Rounding up Donkeys producer Anna Duffield and Colin's I Love Luci producer Brian Coffey??) Maybe not of course but oooh if true and it is indeed y'all, this makes me very happy-whee! Dunno if the awol blogger is there too, but we surely miss those reports from these swanky parties-gotta live the high life vicariously somehow you know ;)

This and That (Updated)

Roundup for the third week in May:

As noted in EW and The Hollywood Reporter (love those google alerts!), David Mackenzie has reportedly taken on a second directing job, this one a remake of the Georges Simenon noir book "Stain In the Snow." Filming is set to take place next year in Germany. Not sure how soon it will begin in 2009, depending on the London Fields shoot/edit I guess, but congrats to David for keeping busy. This must be one of two films set in Europe he mentioned he had on the agenda earlier. I had read several of Mr. Simenon's novels, and they are not the most pleasant of tales, yet this one should be right up David's alley, with another dark and layered tale of a young man who is most definitely operating on the outside of the norm. I feel certain that David will do a beautiful job on this piece.

EDIT 2: IonCinema has a interesting piece online now regarding "Stain on the Snow," with the first speculation of casting Jamie Bell as the lead character and re-uniting him with his Hallam Foe director. Personally, while I have no doubt Jamie could pull the many nuances and demands of this role in fine fashion, I would hope he would not take it, simply because (and this is probably quite shallow and unfair of me) I fear it would typecast him and box him in to roles of the 'odd-person-always-on-the-fringes-of-society'. Character actors are marvelous, highly skilled and vitally important in movies, but that is not how I see Jamie as, and well, I just Jamie would continue to flex those acting muscles as it were and take on something other than this. Maybe not though, I suppose if the script were really good, and Im sure he would love to work with David again, but I am not keen on this idea at the moment.

EDIT: More good news for David Mackenzie coming out of Cannes today courtesy again of The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that his latest film SPREAD starring Ashton Kutcher has sold well. The trade paper reports: The romantic comedy "Spread," directed by David Mckenzie and starring Kutcher along with Anne Heche and Margarita Levieva has gone to Acme (Baltics); Imagem (Brazil); Coliseo (Colombia); Mediapro (Central Europe); ProSieben (German TV); Hollywood (Greece); Forum (Israel); Gussi (Mexico and Central America); Gulf (the Middle East); Pioneer (the Philippines); Monolith (Poland); Medyavizyon (Turkey); and Discovery (the former Yugoslavia).

The trailer for Alastair Mackenzie's "The Edge of Love" has been released. I really couldnt see Alastair in there at all lol,but the film looks good, and have that one firmly on the list to see at Edinburgh.

A press conference for "Triage" starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Sives was held recently in Spain, but unfortunately Jamie did not seem to be in attendance, and heh mosts of the news of the conference seemed to focus on the stars weight loss instead of any detail of what the film is about or the any underlying importance and themes of the Bosnian tragedy. Edit to add: The excellent Colin Farrell fansite has some good photos of the presser (more than what I saw on Reuters). Gotta say, his fans along with the ones behind the Ciaran Hinds fansite and others like ones for Sophia Myles Gerard Butler, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley all run top notch sites. Maybe I should start one for Jamie Sives? Need to find a good Jamie Bell site yet though-although Puzzles with Pans is beyond awesome with her/his flickr photos!)

Mister Foe does NOT open in May as Magnolia continues to fail in the rollout of this film. While the header at the top of their site
now shows June 6 (as seen below)

the Mister Foe website however still says opening May 23. Oh how we wish, but alas there are multiple reports from various sites with multiple various dates, including the often bandied SEPTEMBER date. Fail, fail FAIL. I gotta say though I do appreciate the optimism of Scottish Screen who noted: "The film will open exclusively at the Angelika in New York and then roll out across the country. Hallam Foe has previously screened extraordinarily well at its recent engagement at the Philadelphia Film Festival, selling out all screenings."

eh I had heard differently that not every screening at every festival is going as glowing as this, but I guess we need to remain positive (the few of us left who still care about this I should say!) My freshman year in college for my undergrad degrees, I took a class on marketing and one the first things is I learned is dont promote what you cant deliver. A lesson that wisely ought to be learned by most, especially in regards to the rollout of this film, is so not the case here alas alas.

Rounding up Donkeys. Well we heard about the funding earlier for the second film in the Advance Party trilogy. With Scotland day tomorrow, lets hope there is some good news about the film out of Cannes this week

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Scottish Day in Cannes Set for Next Tuesday

As a follow on the news from Monday, there has been a press release detailing a bit more on Scottish films at the Cannes film festival. The report confirms Tuesday, May 20 will see that panel on Scottish films, followed by a reception due to be attended by some leading Scottish actors, including Tilda Swinton and Dougray Scott among others. Also confirmed is a screening of Stone of Destiny and a film called Summer which is apparently directed by someone named Kenny Glenaan. I remember reading his name on the official Sigma Films website, but I do not believe (nor know much of anything about this alas) that Sigma has anything to do with this movie.

Again lol, this has nothing to do with Sigma, but I gotta say that Stone of Destiny is high on my list, and I stumbled over some filming pics for the movie here. The film stars the ever solid Robert Carlyle and Billy Boyd. I have much hobbity lurv for him, Billy is so cool, talented and he better be back as Pippin for the Hobbit, plus Billy was good in Master and Commander too!) The Stone of Destiny film is already getting some buzz and I've read a slew of articles about the stone and the myth around it in Scottish Life and Scotland magazine recently (yep I read those shiny glossy magazines faithfully every month yep yep lol), so let's hope the good press for the film itself continues out of Cannes.

More directly related to Sigma, its so nice to see that Anna Duffield got another mention regarding her involvement on that panel and her producing Rounding up Donkeys with Gillian Berrie. Heh, I do hope we hear more about the sequel to Red Road here soon! Speaking of the the Advance Party trilogy, Variety has a new article online remarking on two of the directors involved in the film trilogy. We learned that Red Road director Andrea Arnold is taking on a new film called “Fish Tank," which is due to begin production in June, in Kent, England I think? It also mentions Rounding up Donkey's director Morag McKinnon, noting the film received $700,000 from the UK Film Council. Screen Daily also has a piece on this, and has this quote about the funding and female directors involved:

Lenny Crooks, head of the New Cinema Fund, said: “I am delighted that we are supporting exciting new films from three inspirational female filmmakers and I hope this encourages other women who want to progress their writing and directing careers. Andrea Arnold has proved herself to be one of the most exciting filmmakers to have come out of the UK for years. She received international acclaim for her first feature and her shorts work and we are delighted that we can help her to progress her career."

Birthday Blast from the Past

If you'd indulged in some fun, and friended Hallam Foe on his Myspace page, you will know that today is his birthday...Last we heard from our man young Mister Foe, he left us with a message about this time a couple years ago on the GetYourPeople blog. As it seems quite evident that most people have moved on, and that no one, save a few of us loyal die hards, are even paying attention to the release of the film here in the US anymore alas...(Magnolia=stupidly ever changing release dates=incredible loss of momentum and thus serious and pitiful lack of public interest in the film= FAIL FAIL FAIL), I feel it was only appropriate to re-vist the following words from Hallam delivered by his good friend Jamie:

"Although the people filming and documenting my life have moved on.....

I remain Hallam Foe, and I'll always be watching!

Constantly thinking of ways to avenge my mother. Thinking of a way to give my stepmother what she truly deserves.

I will never rest, I will never stop watching and peeping. Climbing and jumping. Thinking and plotting.

For I am, Hallam Foe. So fuck you..."

Fuck you too darlin' :)
Its been a hella good ride, hope to hear more about you one day
Happy Birthday! xoxoxox

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cannes You Catch the New Town Killer?

It's May, and in the film world that means only one thing-Cannes. The fabled film festival gets under way this week, and if you are lucky enough to be at the Festival de Cannes in France, you just may catch those killers. No, not the band, but a bit of the New Town Killers starring Dougray Scott and Sigma's Alastair Mackenzie. As heralded by the big flashing sign on the top of ScreenDaily website today, the team from Independent is heading to the festival in hopes of selling the new film, and says that attendees can see a promo screening at their office at the festival. Lucky!

I know that other companies are going to the festival to try and make deals for distribution etc, and it said on the UK Film Center website that Anna Duffield, the producer of the upcoming Rounding Up Donkeys will be attending this year. Just because: I love this photo of some of the Sigma team including Anna, Colin, Brian Coffey-Colin's producer for I Love Luci- and the casting director Kahleen Crawford- everyone there is so good looking and so photogenic- totally unfair~lol. Anyway, there is apparently is to be some panel on producing and making films in Scotland which is all good of course. Random and totally not related to Sigma (other than the fact they used the Film City Glasgow studios to make the movie) but I am way keen to see Stone of Destiny and someone from that film is going to be on this panel as well. I was thrilled to see too that Stone of Destiny is also screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival this year, as is that new myspace backed filmed with Ewan Bremner yay! I had been hoping to see if anyone from Sigma (other than Alastairs other new film, The Edge of Love) would be showing this year at Edinburgh like that new short from Johnny Barrington -Terra Firma, but news on that film is hard to come by and its clearly too soon to show anything from RuD. Maybe they will premiere Donkeys later this year in London or something. Ah well, it seems there won't be much on the Sigma front from Cannes this year. Selfishly speaking , tis a pity as I thoroughly enjoyed reading those hilarious (and often booze inspired) posts and photos from Colin at these's hoping he will be back in fine posting form, in any manner, soon though! :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mums the word

The word festival is ongoing in Aberdeen, Scotland and today is the day that author Peter Jinks is scheduled to take part in a presentation, presumably discussing a bit on adapting his novel Hallam Foe for film as well as introduce a screening of the movie later tonight. I saw too that at this event, Mr. Jinks would be joined by author and columnist Ruaridh Nicoll and discuss some of his works, including White Male Heart. Now I had read in a couple places, in fact Yahoo movies said that David Mackenzie had directed a film version of this a couple years ago, and some said it was a UK/Sweden project being marketed. However on this site, it says the film is not made yet and is being shot later this year directed by someone other than David- so frankly I am confused and yea totally I fail as fan I guess lol, but I really dont know anything more about this alas.

Regardless, I was thinking of HF again today, for here in the US we are celebrating Mother's Day. I know the UK celebrates their mums day earlier in the year, but thinking about being a mother etc I reflected again that as Mister Hallam Foe is not only a film on 'coming of age' for Hallam, it is also one that very clearly shows the stages of grief and coming to terms with loss. While I dont know if any of the filmmakers have gone through that stage where you lose a parent, I think obviously its a reality that we all have lost someone we've loved along the way.

Its the old mantra again, but I admire these films, with their the truths and the unique refreshing manner they are presented -this is what draws me to them. Sure they are not always fun casual easy breezy things nor easy to watch, but at least they are being made! There really is some fine fine work coming out of Scotland and this company I blather on about so-they make films that are unique fresh and HONEST and deal with issues we all can relate too. Hallam Foe, with all its many levels and humor and sex and life adventures for the main character, also is very honest about some of the sorrow and grief and anger and confusion we all feel when we lose a parent or someone who has meant a great deal to us. It also makes us appreciate what we have without wacking it over our head-hey be grateful for the good, love celebrate love live life live! Sappy hokey but there it is, and I love it. Right, before I get too carried away yet again because Ive certainly done enough with the sad and deep talk for a while, Im not going to go there today. Today all I want to do is celebrate the positive and wish those who may stumble by this blog many good and joyful thoughts today. Thanks for taking the time to read this stuff too.

Friday, May 9, 2008

a toast...

Ahhh a sweet day indeed! Cheers to you David Mackenzie!... sending you good thoughts this day, wishing good light, good film making and many good days and years a head! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Film Adaptation of "London Fields" for David Mackenzie?

There is news today regarding another possible film in development for director David Mackenzie. The Guardian is reporting today that a film version of "London Fields" by author Martin Amis. The report states "Amis himself is collaborating on the adaptation of his controversial 1989 novel, and may even take a small part in the resulting film, which will be directed by David Mackenzie, best known for the films Hallam Foe, released last year, and 2003's Young Adam.Amis is working on the screenplay with Roberta Hanley, co-founder of Muse Productions, the film production company behind indie hits such as as The Virgin Suicides, Buffalo 66 and American Psycho."

Well, interesting. Not sure if this is official yet, and also not sure if Sigma Films would be a co-producer in this venture at this point either, or if this would be another solo venture for David. hmm. He certainly is a busy fellow if true, given the other projects in the pipeline. Not certain certain if the Ewan Morirsson 'Swung' film is still in the works, plus in other reports there was mention from David about something to do with a western, a couple of films in Europe, the long rumored Nico film and more. I figure Im probably the only person outside the filmmakers involved heh, yea I know-weirdo, but I actually read Scottish Screen quite regularly, and noticed last May they had awarded Sigma money to develop a script/film called "The Ordinary" which is described as "a feature film in development by Sigma Films. Following the sudden death of the Vatican's chief exorcist, Father McCartney must investigate a famous nun who claims that the devil is coming to Rome. So what is he scared of?" Oh man, now thats sounds interesting-wish David was working on that, or Sigma is really pursing that one too! More and more , the idea of learning more about screen writing and actively pursuing that dream appeals to me and grows stronger each day-something like this film appeals to me as well!

Right, well the Guardian piece goes on to say that filming on this London Field movie is due to start in London later this year. A quick overview of the novel was described as "centres on the character of Nicola Six, a femme fatale who foresees the exact date and manner of her own death in a dream. Not knowing who the future "murderer" might be, she manipulates three potential candidates - crook Keith Talent, rich banker Guy Clinch and terminally ill American author Samson Young - into meeting at the Black Cross pub in west London's Portobello Road for her impending death.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jamie Bell Gets MTV Movie Award Nom for "Jumper" Fight Scene

Well here is a kinda cool nomination I guess lol for Jamie Bell. According to MTV, Jamie has been nominated at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards in the "Best Fight" category for "the global grudge match" he and co-star Hayden Christensen have in "Jumper." Voting is now open to anyone interested via this link. Gotta say, while I didnt think the movie was overly great-Jamie was the best part imo, sorry Hayden, but as they say Jamie PWNS :)))
Well, what are you waiting for??? VOTE VOTE VOTE :)

In other news, because quite frankly, the world really does need more Jamie in it, the ever awesome PuzzlewithPans managed to get a scan of the May issue of Vogue that is up on flickr. In the article, Jamie Bell discusses his role as Hallam Foe in the upcoming Mister Foe (well new here to us patiently waiting US audiences). While Jamie looks great (reminds me of Gene Kelly or something in this photo) I dont know if this one is from the same photo shoot we saw back on Just jared a few months ago, but I guess it is? Anyway, good catch Puzzle

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ciaran Hinds Talks Mister Hallam Foe

Well, I am not sure if I remember ever watching an interview with Ciaran Hinds on his role in Mister Foe, but thanks to some kind soul on Youtube, you can now see a series of clips where the actor discusses his role as Julius Foe. I can not remember if Ive seen these before, but they seem to be clips from perhaps the German DVD? I hate getting old and not being able to remember things as I used to...blurgh. I do not know if these are included on the UK Hallam Foe DVD, as I seem to be about the only person that hasn't broke down and bought the UK disc or heh downloaded one of the zillion copies making the rounds. Regardless, it was quite nice to watch an interview with this very fine actor, who is quite complimentary on his co-star Jamie Bell as well. I must say, I've seen Mr. Hinds several times in person before and watched him interact with his fans, and he was quite gracious and nice, not mocking nor dismissive as others can be, and he strikes me as a thoroughly lovely man.

Martin Compston in the News

The Daily Record has a new article today featuring actor Martin Compston. In the lengthly feature (titled "It's so Sweet to be a Star" LOL! sweet... :P) topics range from brief mentions on Monarch of the Glen, an interesting audition for the upcoming Star Trek film (he didnt get the part), the soon to be released thriller/gore film "Doomsday," and an intriguing tidbit about the upcoming Rounding up Donkeys. Of interest, the article says the second film in the Advance Party trilogy may have another name "possibly Barrowlands " oho! Well not that anyone cares much what I think on this matter, but I much prefer this name as it keeps in with the location sort of theme with the first film Red Road. I have to be frank and say I do think this possible title would be a lot less off putting, and would be more intriguing to new audiences than RuD, which to some seems odd for as a colleague at work scoffed the other day 'heh isn't that a touch 'arty?' who the hell wants to go see something supposedly serious titled about jackasses' * sigh* Whatever, they will probably stick with the RuD title anyway, so this is all moot and blather as usual.

There was also this bit about Martin's reprising his role in the sequel to Red Road, as the article notes

"... it finished filming in Glasgow last month and features James Cosmo with Kate Dickie in a tale of a father-daughter's fractured relationship.

Martin admits to some challenging scenes but turns coy when asked if they involved his first sex scene. "I don't know," he says, grinning. "It's the best script I've read for years, and if we do it any justice then we're on a winner."

A winner- YES, lets hope so!

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Dates for Mister Foe Screenings Released

Magnolia, the US distributors of Mr. (Hallam) Foe here in the US, have updated their site with the following new dates for the film in the US. Confirming again the earlier reports (courtesy of Ted) of the new
June 6 Opening Day in New York city, the site now lists dates for Mr. Foe as follows:


New York, NY: Angelika Film Center

Chicago, IL: Music Box
Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema

Washington, DC: E Street Cinema
Philadelphia, PA: Ritz 5 Movies

Santa Cruz, CA: Nickelodeon Theatres

Mishmash for May

It's the start of a new month, and since the blog hasn't been update in weeks, here is my best guess and the latest I can find about ongoing projects.

*Mr. Foe*
See above entry.

*Rounding Up Donkeys*
I've read in several places now the film is well into the editing phase. While I dunno for sure, imdb lists that Colin Monie, who did such a fantastic job as editor on Hallam Foe, Dog Altogether, Asylum, and The Magdalene Sisters, is cutting RUD as well. Not certain, but it seems likely they are working with the other two parts of Trifecta of S-Savalas and Serious. Savalas clearly states on their site they are doing sound for the film, which is very cool news. I am really uncertain on the Serious part though, perhaps they rent out their editing suites or something-but regardless, progress is being made-so rock on for that!
A director friend of Morag McKinnon and the screenwriter Colin McLaren wrote recently that the film is in the rough cut stage and heh the dreaded "no-DVD policy [is] in force" LOL I remember when Colin blogged about that before and no one knew what that meant exactly-we all thought it meant no regular DVD for HF would be released, and all hell broke loose, but that is not what is happening here. Mr. Cairns also mentioned that the earlier suspicions about Jackie and that daughter were right- she does have a new daughter in this film, they are also "having her meet Martin Compston for the first time" LOL well that should be an interesting twist to say the least- cant wait to see this film!

*New Town Killers*
Sorry not much new this week on the movie. I did spot a very good unit still photo (as well as some interesting behind the scenes photos of the above mentioned RuD) and emailed the photographer to ask if it was cool to even mention his name or link to his stuff, but have not heard back as of yet alas. I believe that filming for New Town Killers starring Sigma's wonderful Alastair Mackenzie (and Dougray Scott yes too lol) is still ongoing though, but it may be wrapping up soon-heres hoping more news in the next week.

*Random Music Notes*
Tangent, but the most excellent group, Franz Ferdinand, has finished recording in Glasgow at Film City and are now in London doing more work. I cant believe we have to wait till OCTOBER for that CD- boo lol (so impatient I am), but if the past hints and tidbits are any indication, it will be well worth the wait indeed. BTW, FCG for sure is due to be super busy the next few months, with people in and out of there as even the National Theatre of Scotland will be using that wonderful hall for rehearsal space-GOD BLESS THE THEATRE. My first love and my early career ambitions was to work in theater (and proved to be mybiggest failure lol), I firmly believe the world needs theatre and plays and musicals- from local schools to college to seasonal events to national troupes to the dazzling heights of Broadway and the London stage- bring it all on! To echo and play on the excellent speech by Glenn Hansard (Once-and this song Falling Slowly is flat out gorgeous) at the oscars

Speaking of art, and on a purely selfish fangirl basis... I read on the We are the Physics band website they are issuing a podcast of the behind the scenes video of You can do Athletics via iTunes. As an American I can not buy the bands music from there, and while this podcast does not seem to be available on iTunes yet, perhaps they will make this one at least accessible for all when the band's new album is released on Monday...or I shall absolutely cry if I cant get that video of Colin at work with the band for my iTouch lol-the completed YCDA video would bloody well be nice to download too-just saying ... :P

With filming now completed and editing apparently ongoing, there is little news about a release date at this point. Ashton Kutcher is out doing junkets and press appearances galore for his latest film "What Happens in Las Vegas" and there were one line mentions in only a handful of articles about Spread. Curiously enough, there is a new interview with Ashton online, where he briefly mentions his work on the movie.For Spread, you’re acting and producing. How does that change your experience on the set? It doesn’t dramatically change your experience. The real difference is in preproduction. Great producers solve the problems before they happen. Then, once the film gets going, there’s not a whole lot to do.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

David Mackenzie to be Honored at Seattle International Film Festival

On a much brighter note now, there was some exciting news as it was reported that work of director David Mackenzie was to be recognized at this year's Seattle International Film Festival. According to GreenCine Daily, there is to be an "Emerging Masters" special and will honor "David Mackenzie (Young Adam and Mister Foe) from Great Britain." While the official film festival website has not yet been updated with ticket info for this event , nor screening times listed for the films (another showing for Mr. Hallam Foe to add to the list!), this blog says that this special may also include an appearance by the directors, but again no confirmation on that as of yet. Oy not sure if I can be there that weekend, but Seattle is a great city (good coffee too :P) and would love to be there. Congratulations David-he is already a master film maker in this fan's eyes, and am so thrilled to see him recognised in this fashion! The 2008 Seattle International Film Festival opens May 22.