Quick reminder for those lucky enough to be in town: Valhalla Rising will be screening on Thursday, October 22nd at the London Film Festival. While the main showing is sold out, tickets remain available for the second screening room ie happening at the same time the main one shows, only probably Mads and Nicholas wont be sitting there. No idea if Jamie Sives or Gary Lewis or how many of the cast/crew will go -hopefully more, but no idea ...btw ATTENTION WIREIMAGE: HIS NAME IS JAMIE SIVES NOT REECE RITCHIE (no offense to mr. R, its just they screwed up major league with that in Rome)
Speaking of Valhalla Rising, there are new comments from producer Karen Smyth who was understandably disappointed at the ommission of Valhalla from the curious choices made for this year's Scottish BAFTAs. As noted in the Scotsman:
Karen Smyth, the co-producer of Valhalla Rising, said that while she wished the nominated films well, she was "speechless" and "hurt" to discover that her feature had not made the Bafta list. She said: "Bafta Scotland is a very inward-looking organisation that rewards effort, not excellence. Sadly, Scotland is too small a country for a jury to gracefully concede the value of a film. "I cannot believe that films have been nominated that have not had distribution deals. Our film is opening nationwide in March, and has been at Venice and Toronto, where it was the first film to sell, and it's going to the London Film Festival. I think that because it has an international outlook, we're being punished with the 'tall poppy syndrome'."
I have no idea what the tall poppy syndrome is, but while personally I am elated over the noms for New Town Killers, all awards of late are seriously fucked up things and never make any sense to me. Plus I had to chuckle sadly over the elusive SCOTTISH film critic quoted in the paper about Scottish films and never having heard of them: He said: "I'm a full-time film writer based in Scotland, but not only have I never seen half of these films, I've never heard of them. "You would be hard pushed to find anyone outside of Bafta Scotland or Scottish Screen who have seen all these productions, and even then I'm not so sure."Pendreigh expressed astonishment that Valhalla Rising, a historical epic filmed in Argyll, was not shortlisted. He added: "To me, the idea of a best film prize in this instance is not for the best feature. The ground rules have been changed in the hope that a prize will provide a boost to an unknown film. "Valhalla Rising is an internationally acknowledged film that's shot entirely in Scotland that stands head and shoulders above anything else."
Well, lets be honest, both NTK and VH weren't exactly swimming in critical and fan acclaim but still it is good news that VH is going to be shown abroad true enough (Im NOT disparaging either) I also agree on the film selected (why not Wasted if the directors were nominated??? and where the f are noms for FEMALES-did we not learn a lesson from the embarrassing Sophia nom-who was great in Hallam Foe, but personally I thought Claire Forlani who was superb, should have gotten a nom with about five other women from other movies oY!) I dunno anything about Kurdi, but the Crying with Laughter certainly got enough buzz at Edinburgh Film Festival time, even I heard about it across the ocean lol but anyway I still think the LARGER PROBLEM IS there is not enough discussion or coverage of Scottish films in general- no NOT the techy webbie/marketing types , I'm talking about regular folk you know wee nothing fans like me who buy the tickets, posters soundtracks dvds, do websites on their own free time, stand in the rain/cold/heat hours on end at premieres etc. Imdb sure as hell is NOT the answer folks, bring it home and take it forward. ....And of course this is only one minuscule part of the problem-lack of funding, promotion of a variety of films, supporting long established groups like sigma are more..but ok I think ill shut up for now and just hope that Valhalla Rising will be shown in theaters in US (some countries are due to see it starting in early February; hopefully the website will be live soon too)
PS I am quite remiss for not pointing out that VH is screening at this film festival in Turkey.