Sunday, September 27, 2009

Master List of Last Word

Apparently there is a very brief listing online of David Mackenzie's The Last Word currently filming in Glasgow, Scotland. However from what I understand, the info is woefully lacking, and so I thought I would make this post a masterlist with updates to come as I can. For example the fabulous Giles Nuttgens is serving as Director of Cinematography, and Tom Sayer is Production Designer, but neither are on that page. Also missing are cast such as Stephen Dillane and Connie Nielsen. UPDATE: More are coming in; thank you lurking powers that be :))))

Here's what we have so far :

THE LAST WORD (working title)
Director: David Mackenzie
Screenplay: Kim Fupz Anderson

-Ewan McGregor (Michael)
-Eva Green (Susan)
-Ewen Bremner (James)
-Stephen Dillane (Samuel)
-Alastair Mackenzie (Colin)
-Connie Neilsen (Jenny)
-Des Hamilton (Frank)
-Malcolm Sheilds (Patient)
-Denis Lawson (Detective)
-Caroline Paterson (Patient's wife)
-Shabana Akhtar Bakhsh (Nurse)
-Adam Smith (Virology Technician)
-James Watson (Bus Driver)
-Richard Mack (Michael's apprentice)

-Gillian Berrie (Sigma Films)
Line Producer
Julia Valentine

- Malte Grunert
-Sisse Graum Jorgensen
-Tristan Orpen Lync

Exec. Producers:
-Peter Aalbaek Jensen
-Peter Garde
-Carole Sheridan
- Simon Perry
- Jamie Laurenson

-Giles Nuttgens

Production Design
-Tom Sayer

Film Editor
-Jake Roberts

Director's Assistant
-Amy Jackson

Producer's Assistant
-Brian Coffey

-Shaheen Baig

-Donald McInnes

Art Direction
-Andy Thompson

Art Dept.
-Tony Sheridan (Props Master)
-Paul Lambie (Standby props)
-Philip Barratt (graphics)
-Zoe Wright (Standby art director)

-COLIN KENNEDY (2nd Unit Director)
-Catherine Dunne (2nd assistand Director)
-Barrie McCulloch (1st assistant director)
-Simon Baker (a-camera/steadicam operator)
-Wayne King (gaffer)
-Derrick Peters (1st Assistant Camera)
-Zoe Laing (3rd assistant director)
-Iain Johnstone (grip)
-Luke Coulter (2nd assistant camera)

Sound Department
-Barry O'Sullivan (production sound mixer)
-Colin Gregory (boom operator)

Special Effects
-Perry Costello (armourer)

Costume Design
-Trisha Biggar

Costume and Wardrobe
-Anna Lau (costume supervisor)
-Harriet Edmonds (standby supervisor)

-Stephen Little

Editorial Department
Lorene Dewett

Other Crew
-Layla Mall (Production Coordinator)
Claire L Kenney (assistant accountant)

Filming end of August till mid/end of October.
Budget: £4.5 million (€4.89 million)
Post Production: Windmill Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Serious Facilities/Savalas Sound Film City Glasgow, Scotland

BBC Films, Scottish Screen, Irish Film Board, Zentropa, Papkassen, Danish Film Institute and Filmivast.

Stayin' Alive with Jamie Sives

Did you ever have one of those things you stumble over and you go nooo no way , but at same time you going hell yes and are laughing and cant wait for it actually to be real/see it/know it to be fact? Such is the case for me last week when I was watching an interview with one of the stars of Gurinder Chadha's upcoming It's a Wonderful Afterlife, when Sendhil made some new comments about the credits of the movie and what the cast-which includes the ever fabulous Jamie Sives as Detective Hughes- that make me just coo in delight at the prospect.. witness:

That director loves music on her films. Did she make you sing?Sendhil Ramamurthy: "No singing. I did do some dancing. She likes to do the credits so it's actually going to be a Bollywood-style version of 'Staying Alive.' It's 'Staying Alive' but they did a Bollywood version of it."

And do you do the John Travolta pose? Sendhil Ramamurthy: "I'm afraid I do. I do."How long did it take her to convince you to do that?Sendhil Ramamurthy: "A disturbingly little time, but I now regret it thoroughly."

HAHAHAH YES YES YES! Omg dancing with Jamie would be heaven sent as it is lol (sing, dance, talk to, be in same area together, breathe same air lol), but but but ajkljaklj ajkh wheee! ... I am so hoping we get to see this on screen. We are roughly the same age, so I know he and well frankly all of us know the Bee Gees so this is just toooo funny, cant wait! Right now tis scheduled to open end of March, 2010.

One quick other update that I tweeted about last week: Danis Tanovic's Triage starring Jamie Sives and Colin Farrell will be opening the Rome Film Festival on October 15. It will screen at 19:30, then again on the 16th and 17th at 20:00. Tickets go on sale this week (28th)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Details on "Spread" DVD with Ashton Kutcher Due November 10th

As first reported here several times now, David Mackenzie's "Spread" starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche will be released on November 10th. As a follow to the international cover art post here, Anchor Bay has now released the US cover art and new details about the discs. Thanks to those at Cinemablend we now know the following (no commentary of course from David as I noted previously but not sure if he will be on the feature/making of)

Blu-Ray Special Features
  • Audio Commentary with Actor/Producer Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche and Margarita Levieva
  • Picture-In-Picture – “Urban Sprawl: Los Angeles in Spread
  • “Living The Dream – The Making of Spread
  • Behind the Scenes With Ashton Kutcher
  • The World According to Nikki
  • Theatrical trailer
DVD Special Features
  • Audio Commentary with Actor/Producer Ashton Kutcher and Actors Anne Heche and Margarita Levieva
  • “Living The Dream – The Making of Spread
  • Behind the Scenes With Ashton Kutcher
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The World According to Nikki
  • Theatrical Trailer
Be sure to check out the b-roll/making of footage, similar to what we will get on the DVD.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Update on Outcast

A very brief update today on Outcast with the excellent James Nesbitt and Kate Dickie which was filmed in Edinburgh a few months ago. Last week, James has made brief remarks about the 'horror' film, and notes: "I did a horror film called Outcast - it's all the right things, gory and bloody, so it looks good actually."But the Irish actor added: "I'm not really a fan of horror - I'm the father of two girls so that's enough horror for me.""What makes me scared? Reporters, my mum, (Manchester) United losing and hangovers," he added, laughing.

Meanwhile, the first photo of what should be a fabulous adaptation to film of Ken Follett's award winning "Pillars of the Earth" featuring Kate Dickie is now online ----------->
Kate is also starring along side her Red Road co-star, Tony Curran in the huge epic, and is due for release on TV next year.

Outcast featuring James and Kate is still set for an early 2010 release.

Quote of the Day

UPDATE: Check out this interesting, reflective podcast with discussion on Mads, Refn and Valhalla Rising

While filming in the highlands may be like 'walking to the land of Mordor' says Mads lolol, its this other advice (from dvdtown who did not like the movie) in regards to Valhalla Rising which cracked me up and earns my quote of the day (month lol)

Mikkelsen advised the audience to "light that imaginary joint" before watching the movie, and that probably would have helped

Trippin and chilling with Mads and Jamie Sives: hell yes ;D
As a reminder, here is the video diary entry that we learn about the 'acid tripping scene-we also learn that Jamie has a girlfriend which made me a sad panda to say the least, but you can see how they deliberately incorporated that scene(s) in the film

Extras Still Needed for "The Eagle of the Ninth" with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell

I've been asked to pass along a quick reminder that with location filming on Kevin MacDonald's The Eagle of the Ninth due to begin in early October, extras are STILL NEEDED to feature in the movie with Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell,Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong etc (see Imdb for more)
In particular: Young women to be featured 'Roman Beauties,' and men to play FEATURED VILLAGERS AND ROMAN SOLIDERS. For your chance, click here and good luck :)

As a reminder of what has been posted here previously, the Highlands of Scotland will feature in location scenes for Eagle, with filming due at various stations near Achilitbuie, Glen Sloy, Fox Point and more. Julie who writes the Achilitbuie Garden blog says filming is next week, again confirming what was reported previously, with dates in the highlands between 2-14 or 17th. The production will be based out of Film City Glasgow with some studio filming due later on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ewan McGregor Cooking Up a Storm for Eva Green and Glasgow in The Last Word

When it comes to Ewan McGregor things are always hot...smokin' good looks, smokin' great talent, and apparently he can heat things up in the kitchen too ;) as the latest is that Ewan plays a chef in David Mackenzie's The Last Word.
Following on the host of photos yesterday from location filming along the river Clyde in Glasgow, filming continues and Ewan is TOP CHEF in our book here (yes see earlier pics clearly showing he and ewen b as such) as the article notes:

Ewan, who plays a crazy chef and Eva, who plays his love interest, have also been shooting scenes in Strathclyde University kitchens and top Glasgow restaurants The Buttery and Guy's. A source said: "From what I've seen, Ewan plays a character not unlike Gordon Ramsay and they have filmed takes in various kitchens.

"They took over the whole of Guy's restaurant for one night and were spotted using The Buttery as yet another location for the movie."All the inside scenes are being shot at Film City in Govan, where they have recreated a fully working professional kitchen."

The piece continues: One onlooker said: "I was just walking my dog when I met a couple coming towards me."I nodded hello and only did a double take when I spotted the cameras."I'm a big Ewan McGregor fan and I can't believe I almost didn't recognise him.

"I can't wait to see the movie with Glasgow as the backdrop."

The Last Word is directed by David Mackenzie, and produced by Gillian Berrie of Sigma Films. Filming is based out of Film City Glasgow and will continue for a few more weeks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mentalist DVD Released: Alastair Mackenzie's Guest Appearance Now Available

Tuesday, September 22nd will see the release of The Mentalist on DVD, including the guest star appearance of Sigma's own Alastair Mackenzie. The episode Russet Potatoes is included (disc 5 to be exact, review here) with the disc now available at retailers such as Amazon and more (not out until Jan next year in UK, but most us will play on your laptops in the uk anymore). Al is particularly hypnotizing in this role ;) xoxo

David Mackenzie Creates Havoc in Streets of Glasgow with Last Word

As a follow to the first report below to the Evening Times story on filming for "Last Word" in the streets of Glasgow, Scotland, there are more great pics to show you tonight. (NOTE I have a slew of Ewan and Eva on my flickr here too!)
THANKS SO MUCH to Werewegian who has given me specific permission to show some additonal photos of the street filming (see them on his flickr here!), including looks at director DAVID MACKENZIE on the scene...and yes that is a horse too on the set :)

ps yes you can see another of filmmaker Colin Kennedy, also author of the Getyourpeople blog on set here too :) YAY!

New Photos: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green Filming for David Mackenzie's Last Word

Woot more great news today as there is a new report from filming of David Mackenzie's The Last Word. The PA reports stars Ewan McGregor and the lovely Eva Green were on location today in Glasgow, Scotland as the crew "was on the banks of the River Clyde...Dressed in a dark polo neck jumper and grey jacket, the Perth-born 38-year-old was seen sharing a joke with former Bond girl Green.The pair were also pictured sheltering from the Scottish rain under a large umbrella." Update More via this blog, thanks, plus AP!

Be sure to check out this post, and here and here for earlier reports on filming.
Sigma Films and David Mackenzie are hard at work on Last Word, based out Film City Glasgow.

International Cover Art for Ashton Kutcher's "Spread" DVD Due November 10th

As posted here before, David Mackenzie's "Spread" starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche is due out on DVD this November. VideoETA now has a firm date of November 10, 2009. You can now see the International cover art for the DVD and Blu-ray disc here ------->

Box Office Mojo reports this film has indeed closed here in us (ie not screening anymore) and earned $4,983,443 worldwide.
While there was earlier reports the movie was to open in the UK in late Nov, that remains very much unconfirmed unless someone can tell me differently. Will post pre-order links to the DVD when I can, stay tuned!
RELATED! For those who have been asking, Im truly sorry I do NOT know the name of the song played in the dance scene; here is the only track listing of songs I have used in the film SORRY!

(Updated w/More pics) Streets of Destruction: Report from Making of Last Word with Ewan McGregor and Eva Green

Movie -making is a messy business! Not only all the complicated financial dealings, juggling of weather, schedules, equipment (even egos lol) but phew Sigma Films are now causing havoc in the streets of Glasgow, Scotland ;0

Well not really, as the street of destruction as it were is part of scenes needed for David Mackenzie's Last Word starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green. The Glasgow Evening times reports (with a wee photo) of the scene on Dalhouise Street on Saturday night as "Dalhousie Street in Garnethill was transformed into a debris-strewn neighbourhood for its part in apocalyptic love story The Last Word." The piece also says "The scenes, which feature a wandering horse, appear alongside part of a dramatic car chase. The film tells how two people fall in love as the world it gripped by a pandemic in which Scotland is sealed off from the rest of the world."

UPDATE: Check it out, via Werewegian on Flickr (they are his pics!) I spy Colin in the midst of that too lol AWESOME I CANT WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!

I also heard they were at the Glasgow school of art filming AS ALWAYS ANY TIPS photos certainly are welcome and will gladly post.

Filming is set to continue for a few more weeks on Last Word. LW is being produced by Sigma's own Gillian Berrie, and is of course directed by the acclaimed David Mackenzie (also co-founder of Sigma films) Movie is based out of FILM CITY GLASGOW which will then quickly turn from home of post-apocalypse lovers to lost Roman legions as Kevin MacDonald and crew will move in for October-busy times indeed!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

David Mackenzie will Have Last Word as Sales of Film Start

Woot good news indeed for Sigma as Screen Daily reports that some early pre-sales of David Mackenzie's Last Word are a done deal. Trust Nordisk has been busy indeed as the magazine reports:

The lure of Eva Green and Ewan McGregor is leading to a flurry of pre-sales on TrustNordisk’s new drama, Last Word (working title). The film, directed by David Mackenzie and currently shooting in Glasgow, has now been sold to South Korea (Entremode), Benelux (Wild Bunch) and Greece (Seven Films.)

Its a start; lets just work on the UK and US ok /selfish fangirl moment.

In other news, thanks to the tip about Last Word location filming in Glasgow, Scotland near Cathedral Street this week (see below for the two Es pics :) I have zero idea how much longer they will be there, if EvaG is there (more likely her scenes will be in studio) or what scenes are being filmed but as always TIPS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME lol /shameless begging :)

ps Ewan is great but I LOVE JAMIE SIVES
and I LOVE SIGMA , all of it them and their work/world.
just felt like saying that for the record in case there was any doubt :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scotsman Interview: Mads Mikkelsen Talks Valhalla Rising

The Scotsman has a new interview online tonight containing new comments from Mads Mikkelsen on his experience filming Nicholas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising. As well documented here on this blog, the film was based out of FILM CITY GLASGOW, with location filming in the highlands of Scotland. Along with his co-stars such as JAMIE SIVES and Gary Lewis, Mads Mikkelsen had to endure some tough conditions while filming. Quotage of interest:

"We were in Glasgow for four weeks," adds Refn, "and then spent four weeks up in the north-west, up near Skye, up near the ocean. Scotland's like a nature park. It's God's own production design."

There were limits to what could be achieved, however. The sea voyage that takes One-Eye, as Mikkelsen's character becomes known, and a band of grizzled Christians to claim Jerusalem for Christ, had to be shot inside a warehouse in Glasgow. It was a horrendous experience, recalls Mikkelsen, who, along with local talent such as Jamie Sives and Gary Lewis, spent days breathing in smoke used to simulate fog. But Mikkelsen, who professes a passion for radical film-making, is not complaining. "It was tough for everyone," he says matter-of-factly.

Mikkelsen knew, having worked with Refn on the Pusher films, that making Valhalla Rising would be hard from the outset, and that he would have to be in shape if he was going to survive the director's quest for authenticity."I needed to have good stamina," he says, "because it was going to be very challenging." A knee operation prevented him running, so he cycled to get fit, and create the image they were after. "We didn't want me to beef up and look like a bodybuilder because, obviously, the food these people were eating was not that healthy. So we went for that skinny, half-dead, half-alive person look."

When filming hit the hills, during the summer of 2008, the crew and actors would drive out into the countryside for an hour each day and then walk for another hour to the location. Mikkelsen recalls: "I had one eye, I couldn't see anything, and it was just holes everywhere, and everybody was just struggling. And once we'd get there, you'd take your close-up and start fighting."They would fight for eight hours, without the use of body doubles, he says: "Nicolas doesn't work like that." They had practised some moves in a gym with a stunt co-ordinator prior to filming. But when they got to the mountain location where the film's punishingly brutal opening scenes take place, they found themselves bogged down in mud and unable to perform as rehearsed.

"They didn't work," says Mikkelsen. "We couldn't even lift our feet. In half a minute you couldn't breathe any more. We were struggling."...Adding to their woes was the midge population which would sometimes obscure the actors' faces so completely they could only shoot, according to Mikkelsen, for ten seconds. "Everybody else was wearing survival gear, nets, and the actors weren't, obviously," he grimaces. "So we were covered in midges." On a couple of occasions, some of the wee critters even got stuck under the prosthetic make-up covering the actor's left eye, leaving him "rubbing and squeezing it all day long".

If this all makes Mikkelsen's time in Scotland sound like a horror story, it was far from it. The actor, who recently completed work on a big-budget remake of Clash of the Titans, laughs as he recalls staying at a "Fawlty Towers kind of place" near Loch Ness, where the landlady would not do anything without complaint. "Every time you'd order something, like a bottle of water, she'd be like, 'Oh, water… Why?' But she was very, sweet," he smiles, "and we got to know her well, but she was one of the types that was the mother of the house, not your servant."

He has fond memories, too, of the Scottish people, whose similarities to the Danes, he says, meant he felt very much at home. "We're much of a family, and it's very, very easy to integrate. We have the same kind of humour, we can laugh at ourselves, and you can drink a lot. Which is also good. So even though it was tough, it was a great experience."

Triage Update: Colin Farrell Interview features New Clips including Jamie Sives

Slowly slowly media coverage/reviews of Triage are starting to trickle out of Toronto, including this new video interview with actor Colin Farrell at the premiere of "Triage."In the video below we can see three new clips from the film including of Jamie Sives at work in his role as a photographer along with Colin, as well as graphic and moving scene of the doctor as he shoots those too bad off to save.
As for reviews, the two main stream outlets were luke warm on the movie, positive on esp Farrell's performance and the supporting cast (including Jamie) but most felt the pacing was off. Different story of course amoung fans who have been really raving about the film and CF. Hope Triage gets a distributor soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

(Updated) New Photos of Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner Filming Last Word in Glasgow w/David Mackenzie

Check it out NEW PICS of Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner on location in Glasgow, Scotland filming David Mackenzie's "Last Word."
UPDATE: The Irish film partners on The Last Word,
Subotica Entertainment have issued a release noting shooting has started on the movie (lol you think? ;) teasing.
Of interest is word that post production will be done in Ireland...hmm.If you will recall as well Subotica is also part of the ADVANCE PARTY II series currently under development with Sigma.

Ps...Ewen B...if you are checking that Blackberry
be sure to bookmark heee! :)))

Filming is due to take place for several more weeks, with the new movie based out Film City Glasgow.


(Now w/ 2nd Longer Video of Mads) Valhalla Rising To Show in US Theaters; Video of Refn, Mads at Premiere

Great news today thanks to those at Screen Daily, who report that IFC Films snagged the US rights to distribute Nicholas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising! woot! According to the piece:

“Nicolas Winding Refn knows film like no other director,” IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring said. “He elevates genre to the realm of art and has established himself as one of the most audacious film-makers working in Europe today. IFC Films plans to release in 2010 via its IFC In Theaters theatrical and VOD day-and-date platform."

No word on when the film which also stars JAMIE SIVES will show in the states; will update on that when I can! As a follow, cheers and many thanks again to Movie Moxie for this great clip of director Refn and Mads Mikkelsen at the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of Valhalla Rising over the weekend, very funny cool stuff LOVE THEM. Enjoy!

UPDATE: More, including an extended post screening Q & A with Mads, where he discusses the horrible weather, trying to do fight scenes in the mud and more, definitely worth watching, aces!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Triage Premieres in Toronto; Colin Farrell Talks Jamie Sives in New Interview

Thanks ever so much to Mary and for the heads up about a great new interview with Colin Farrell before the premiere of his new film "Triage" directed by Danis Tanovic. To my great delight, in this video interview from, Colin mentions working with his co-star Jamie Sives, noting they had a good camaraderie. More importantly the excellent Colin Farrell says of Jamie "He's great, he's a wonderful actor, he's a really good man"

FANTASTIC! Couldn't agree more :) What class, thank you Colin Farrell!

As noted previously of course, Triage did premiere tonight at the film festival in Toronto. Early photos can be seen of director Danis Tanovic and of course Colin Farrell here via Zimbio

Friday, September 11, 2009

Confirmed! Eva Green, Ewen Bremner, Stephan Dillane Join Cast of David Mackenzie's "The Last Word"

Excellent news this morning to start off what will be an excellent weekend! There is casting news today for David Mackenzie's upcoming The Last Word starring Ewan McGregor. As first noted here last week, the wonderful Eva Green has indeed joined the cast, along with an old friend to Sigma Ewen Bremner (so hilarious in his turn in Hallam Foe), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Rushmore?), and the truly excellent Stephen Dillane (US audiences will recognise him from his superb turn as Thomas Jefferson in the very fine John Adams series).

Based out Film City Glasgow, and working with many partners including BBC Films, Scottish Screen, Irish Film Board, Zentropa, Papkassen, Danish Film Institute and Filmivast, Gillian Berrie and Malte Grunert are set to be the producers.

Details on the script from Kim Fupz Aakeson remain elusive still, with the article restating that the piece is a" story about two people who fall in love as the world begins to fall apart." Ewan and Eva as a couple does it alone for me, FABULOUS! I cant wait! I will try and bring as much coverage to this production as possible. Please note: coverage of actual independent film news in Scotland is very limited at best, so fans hoping for scads of photos are sure to be disappointed, but we will keep our fingers crossed. AS ALWAYS any tips mails comments -yes annoy- are ALWAYS welcomed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Town Killers To Screen at Dinard Festival in October, Update on DVD

A few quick updates today on Richard Jobson's "New Town Killers" starring Dougray Scott, Alastair Mackenzie and James Anthony Pearson. Mr. Jobson has updated his website with the news that the film will screen next month at the Dinard Film Festival which runs October8-11th in France. Readers will recall that Sigma's Hallam Foe was a big winner at Dinard previously in 2007 so lets hope this is a good sign for good luck with NTK! :)

On a related note, previously I had posted that New Town Killers was to be released on DVD October 19th. Last month I also posted about the synopsis and the pre-orders for the disc; today there is a small update regarding the additional behind the scenes features. The audio commentary includes the director of course but also Dougray, Al, James and Liz White. who knows if this is accurate but god willing we will actually hear from Al on the DVD! Also on the disc is the aforementioned behind-the-scenes feature called "New Town Killers-The Story" According to the BBFC, this feature will run 30 minutes and 45 seconds, and will include the following:

00:03:40:06 (THE PROPOSAL) (FILM CLIP)
00:01:21:11 (THE LIST GAME) (FILM CLIP)
00:01:16:19 (THE TUNNEL) (FILM CLIP)
00:03:11:16 (THE ROOF CHASE) (FILM CLIP)
You can learn more about the various pre-orders for the New Town Killers DVD at this link.

Scottish Casting Call for Eagle of the Ninth with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell

Anyone from Scotland interested in being an extra in Kevin MacDonald's upcoming "The Eagle of the Ninth," we have news for you! A casting call is underway for THIS SATURDAY, SEPT 12 at the MacPhail Centre in Ullapool, Scotland. The Press and Journal reports that:

An opportunity for local men aged between 16 and 45 and woman aged between 16 and 25 to appear in the feature film Eagle of the Ninth, directed by Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald. Anyone interested will have their pictures and contact details taken and passed to the production team, 10am-4pm, Saturday.

Casting is being conducted by longtime Sigma associate Des Hamilton for what is sure to be another fantastic film from Mr. MacDonald. Good luck to all who apply!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Valhalla Rising with Jamie Sives and Mads Mikkelsen to Screen at London Film Festival

The 2009 lineup for the London Film Festival has now been announced and includes some great news. Nicholas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising, starring Mads Mikkelsen and the wonderful Jamie Sives will screen at the festival on Thursday, OCTOBER 22, then again on Friday October 23, with a final showing on Saturday October 24.

YAY! Fingers crossed Jamie will be there!!! Online tickets sales begin Sept 23rd; more info here.

Reminder: Valhalla Rising filmed in Scotland and based out of Film City Glasgow, will screen this weekend at the Toronto Film Festival where the director and Mads are confirmed to make an appearance. TICKETS FOR THE PREMIERE ON THE 13TH STILL REMAIN, available here. The earlier reviews have been eh eh disheartening (variety's was frankly scathing alas), but Todd from Twitchfilm wrote a wonderful review of the movie, excerpts as follows:

You could say that the mark of a good film maker is that they give you want you want. And if that is true then I suggest that the mark of a great film maker is that they give you what you want while also giving you something completely different. And this is the case with Nicolas Winding Refn and Valhalla Rising. Now seven films into his career Refn continues ... not to change, exactly, but to continue finding new facets of himself and his work. His long-discussed Viking project, Valhalla Rising has roughly the same relationship to a typical historical epic that Refn's lauded Pusher films have to The Godfather. That is to say that it is a much more intimate, much more raw affair - a film that trades in technical gloss for the punch of brutal immediacy. This is the part that we have come to expect from Refn, this is what we turn to him for. The surprise in this case comes in the way that he weds the rawness to a sort of Terence Malick inspired lyricism, embracing a hypnotic approach to storytelling and editing that takes its cues not just from the film's mute lead character but - more importantly - from the harsh landscape that it explores. ... Less about the characters than its ideas - a fact borne out pointedly by only Mikkelsen being given any sort of name at all in the entire film and his being one forced on him by a child - Valhalla Rising is a film about change, bloody and violent change but change nevertheless. Mikkelsen himself - a clear reference to Odin - is already a man out of place and out of time in this world, a man stranded on his own, a position that has led him through great hardship but also gives him a unique perspective on the battle between pagans and Christians raging around him, a battle he joins not to help either side win but simply because he can and fighting is all he knows to keep himself alive. All of the characters here are less in control of their own fate than any will acknowledge willingly, all of them clinging to the idea that they carry some sort of larger destiny when in reality they are being carried along - literally for a large part of the film - by forces that they have no power or influence over. By far the most abstract of Refn's work to date, Valhalla Rising makes a fascinating companion piece to Bronson. Not only were the two shot nearly simultaneously but both find the talented Dane experimenting wildly with structure and character and how both impact his ability to tell the stories he wants. Those raised on the multiplex will, no doubt, take issue with Valhalla's measured pace but for those willing to slide into its rhythm and world, the payoff is rich indeed.

Alastair Mackenzie to appear on London Stage Starting in November

Some truly good news today, as Alastair Mackenzie (Monarch of the Glen) will take a turn on the London stage this November. Playbill reports Sigma's co-founder and producer will star in the theatrical production of Michael Wynne's The Priory along with newly cast actress Charlotte Riley at London's Royal Court Theatre, with "beginning performances Nov. 19 (prior to an official opening Nov. 26), for a run to Jan. 9, 2010, in the mainhouse Jerwood Theatre Downstairs." Showtimes, pricing available here and here via Royal Court

The article continues:

"The Priory, in which they both appear, is described in press materials as a buoyant new comedy that takes a microscope to modern dilemmas abut life, love and retro board games. In the play, Kate is delighted when she finds a country retreat that ticks all the boxes. Gathering together a select group of her closest friends to celebrate New Year's Eve, she is keen to start 2010 afresh. But successful, stressed-out thirtysomethings in search of a good time in the sticks can make for one very fearsome party — and some surprising resolutions.

The play is directed by Jeremy Herrin, designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, with lighting by Neil Austin, sound and music by Nick Powell and costume by Robert Innes Hopkins and Iona Kenrick."

BRAVO! I cant wait as I will be in the UK for the holidays so this is fabulous news!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Video: First Look at Jamie Sives and Colin Farrell in Danis Tanovic's "Triage"

AWESOME News tonight again; what a great weekend we are having! Thanks to Anya over at Art & Culture Maven blog, we can now see the first footage from Danis Tanovic's "Triage" starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Sives. In the clip you can see an attack scene where the photographers are caught right in the middle of the fighting, then a very intense moment with the fantastic Jamie Sives as the photographer who has had enough. Oh man I cant wait to see this, Colin looks amazing too, just brilliant stuff.
Thanks so much Anya!
Update: Thanks so much to Pete for sending me the video seen below

As a reminder, here is what Jamie Sives had to say about working with Colin Farrell on Triage:

In Triage, Colin and I play photographers. I'm not too sure about the term 'photojournalist.' The photographers who work in war zones don't write anything. They take photos and send them home. These guys have to go where journalists dare not. Many war correspondents, although very brave, can cover most wars from the rooftop of a hotel but the photographers have to get right in there to get the shots. They sometimes work in tandem with a print journalist, but more often than not, they work alone."

"We had an amazing guy called Damir Sagolj as our advisor and he had quite incredible stories on the places he worked and the things he witnessed. I happen to admire serious news journalism. They're committed to providing the world with the truth, and I'd hate to imagine just what greater liberties the powerful people of the world would take if journalists didn't question or expose them."

"Incidentally, I also think some of them make great screenwriters. Some of my favourites like Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder were journos."

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Look! Ewan McGregor, Eva Green on Location for David Mackenzie's "The Last Word"

When it rains it pours as we have more great photos today, including our first look at David Mackenzie at work on his newest film "The Last Word." Seen here from are the first photos of star Ewan McGregor, along with the beautiful Eva Green on location in what seems to be the front of Film City Glasgow? Most likely this is first day meet up/read through thing but cant be certain. Also present are Sigma Films own Colin Kennedy, and the producer of the film and co-founder of Sigma (along with David and his stellar brother Alastair) Gillian Berrie. More when I get it, stay tuned!

Press report from Venice: "World Ignores Mikklesen Again"

There are days when the press just truly breaks my heart...witness header of this story in I believe a Danish paper : "The World Press Ignored Mikkelsen -again...subheader:It was not exactly an attraction when Mads Mikkelsen and the team behind 'Valhalla Rising' presented itself in Venice. a stake thru my heart good lord :(
Here are excerpts of the interview on Valhalla Rising....
(via the handy translation on google)

"Not very many have found their way to the official press conference in the wake of the press view of the most unusual films Vikings 'Valhalla Rising'. The entire world press counts less than ten representatives, since the press conference starts, so the moderator A. Pezzola are scrambling to find issues that can break the silence in the high-ceilinged hall.

'This film has been very different to do in relation to the other films we've made together ", says actor Mads Mikkelsen for his collaboration with' Pusher' director Nicolas Winding Refn.

Mads Mikkelsen: We created an animal
About his silent figure who has great tattoos and ax as his favorite weapon, "explains Mads Mikkelsen.'This figure is not a person. He is a myth. We created an animal rather than human '. Mads Mikkelsen adds that this OneEye rather a mirror as the other people in the movie mirrored in. Usually shortly before they get violent days, one might add. A fate that is not exactly a rarity in a film by Nicolas Winding Refn.

There may be several explanations for the low turnout.With smaller films are hovedkurrencen, it is usually only American film star and Italian home movies that could really fill the hall. Many journalists later in the day to make 'real' interview with Mikkelsen & Refn, so they do not need to go to a news conference. But it may also play into that enthusiasm for the film is restrained among journalists. At least judging from a small sample testing among a handful of European cinema journalists.

The European journalists give the movie, plus points for its strong visual style, but is generally both violent and foggy. Nor is it a film that does much to explain its deeper meaning is. And violently much wiser are not at the press conference.

The question of what the movie actually say about the relationship between Christianity and paganism are only answered so roughly by the famous Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen, who was in charge of the manuscript. It claims that the constant and very creative and interesting fights with Mads Mikkelsen and Nicolas Winding Refn. "We wanted to create a myth. We would not always answer questions. One-Eyes history is actually the entire history of mankind condensed. But he is also just a man, "says Jacobsen.

Winding Refn add anything about that religion tends to make a lot of trouble in the world. But is not done much already to the intentions, so no one can doubt the Winding Refn enthusiasm. "Every time I make a movie, I do it as if it were my last film, he says. "When you have to raise money for a movie, then we lie a lot", he explains. And then hope can actually deliver what they promised.

En brutal film A brutal film
On the question of whether 'Apocalypse Now' has been an inspiration for 'Valhalla Rising's journey into the heart of darkness, he answered in the affirmative in this way: "I'm cineast and it is as cineast I make movies. 'Valhalla Rising' is very much a melting pot of all the films I grew up with, "says Refn.

Against this background, it probably comes as a surprising for most, since the Danish director with a little smile comes to this pious wish: "To be allowed to make a romantic comedy is my dearest wish. A romantic comedy. With Mads Mikkelsen.

Toronto Film Fest: Tickets Still Available for Premiere of Valhalla Rising, Triage Sold Out!

This morning individual tickets went on sale for the Toronto International Film Festival. The site was crashed tho for the first several hours this am, and naturally by the time I could get through online, as predicted Danis Tanovic's Triage with Jamie Sives and Colin Farrell sold out both showings BOOO! As of this posting in the am east coast us time, a handful still remain though for Nicholas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising GO GO NOW ! (or try this link if that one doesnt work)
Valhalla Rising premieres
Sunday September 13th 2:30PM

PS: I have a big ole nice large size version of the Valhalla Rising poster now here on my flickr

Venice Film Festival: Valhalla Rising Photocall with Mads Mikkelsen

Finally! First pics are now released of the Valhalla Rising photocall at the Venice Film Festival. New are pics of director Nicholas Winding Refn and wonderful star Mads Mikkelsen. From my scant understanding of the languages, most of the reviews have been generally positive (ie the ones so far are in french/italian both of which i know very little, and crappy google translations dont help)However almost all mentioned (some flat out complained very negatively) about the excessive violence and one report said people left at the beginning of the film like they did for Vontriers disaster, but I am dubious on this source. Others praised the visuals and all while good for Mads, lamented he did not say a word. More photos here from Getty, same over at, both marked tho.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Review of Danis Tanovic's "Triage" with Jamie Sives and Colin Farrell

The next few days and weeks are sure to be full of news and excitement, kicking off in fine manner tonight with our first review of Danis Tanovic's "Triage," starring Jamie Sives and Colin Farrell. Thanks so much to Anya letting me know about this terrific review on the Art & Culture Maven blog, where she gives high marks to all involved saying the performances are "uniformly strong all around," and noting a fine turn indeed from Colin Farrell.

"If the story is superior, (based on Scott Anderson's 1998 novel of the same name,) it's the wonderful performances that bring it to life. Farrell is riveting as Walsh, the tough guy who thinks he can keep both his worlds separate - the bloody battlefields scattered across the globe, and the comfortable apartment he shares with his loving wife.

She summarizes what so many of us have been hoping for regarding this film, as the review states straight off: "Triage is a must see, a truly engrossing film that features masterful storytelling and nuanced, completely convincing performances; one that tackles some of the darker realities of human existence with a view that seems entirely authentic, and truthful in a way that mainstream films so very seldom are."

Triage screens at the Toronto Film Festival next week on September 12. REMINDER non jumbo package regular single tickets to go on sale to the public tomorrow via this link (Visa only folks). Alas I know I have a snowballs chance in hell of getting to see it lol, but hopefully one day soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advance Party Films: Red Road an Observer Best British Film; More From Sigma on Advance Party 2

Over the weekend, the UK Observer released results of a poll/survey on the latest take of the Best British Films. Coming in at number 20 was Sigma Films' great "Red Road." Part of the original Advance Party Film Series created in part by Sigma and Gillian Berrie, Red Road was directed by the superb Andrea Arnold ("Arnold’s feature debut confirmed her as a major film-making talent.") and stars the award winning Katie Dickie, Tony Curran and Martin Compston. In the accompanying Observer article, the excellent Trainspotting makes the number one spot (so many great actors: Ewan McGregor, Kevin McKidd, Ewan Bremner, James Cosmo, Peter Mullan, Bobby Carlyle, Shirley Henderson just amazing). A few of the panelists revealed their top ten lists including one of the stars of Red Road Natalie Press and director Kevin MacDonald (upcoming Eagle of the Ninth). Author Jonathan Coe even had Red Road in his top ten.

The original Advance Party 2 trilogy will see the release of number two: "Rounding Up Donkeys" with Kate Dickie reprising her role as Jackie, and as mentioned here several times previously, Sigma has now launched Advance Party 11, a new series of films, this with EIGHT films. As noted on the official Sigma Films website, Paul Wright, one of the directors involved in the new project, recently won an award for his excellent short film "Believe." You can learn more about this new project here, as well as in more detail from my post here and here.