Thursday, April 29, 2010

Valhalla Rising UK Screening List and DVD News Update

This is NOT a Sigma production, but for those long time readers who are looking for news on Valhalla Rising starring Mads and Jamie Sives, here is a quick update. As per Scottish Screen and producer Karen Smyths website you can now see the list of theatres that will be screening Valhalla Rising when it opens tomorrow. Notable:
London Apollo Piccadilly starting tomorrow for a week
Edinburgh, Cameo, tickets here
Glasgow (May 11 at 8:30 pm and May 12 8:30pm, tickets GFT)
Entire List below:

30/04/2010 - Apollo Piccadilly Circus, London
30/04/2010 - Ritzy Brixton, London
30/04/2010 - Cameo, Edinburgh
07/05/2010 - Watershed, Bristol
07/05/2010 - Showroom, Sheffield
07/05/2010 - Tyneside, Newcastle
10/05/2010 - Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow
14/05/2010 - Hippodrome, Bo'ness
14/05/2010 - Phoenix, Leicester
15/05/2010 - Rio, Dalston
28/05/2010 - Contemporary Arts, Dundee
07/06/2010 - Forum, Northampton
07/06/2010 - Cinema 3, Canterbury
11/06/2010 - Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth
TBC - Genesis, London

As a follow to what I reported here a few week ago, the VH DVD will be out on May 17 in the UK, with an official press release just going out today formally confirming that but also containing a large size image of that AWFUL LAME cover. Im sorry but thats just a joke, please a kill bill rip off w/bravehart's sword, there is NO swarm of 300 type gladiators in this kill gah. embarrassing. Anyway, it would seem we are only getting "insightful audio commentary with director Nicolas Winding Refn and journalist Alan Jones" which is good of course, but woe no deleted scenes or cast interviews; will try and verify that if possible.

Rumor Alert: Sigma to Produce New "Citadel" Horror Film; Filming Due in July?

Rumor alert today, regarding a possible new production from Sigma. Often new projects are bandied about on websites and take ages (if ever) to come to light. That said, word has it that Sigma Films will be co-producing a brand new horror film called "Citadel." Directed by Ireland's own Ciaran Foy (also one of the directors tapped for the Advance Party II series) this possible new film will be produced by Katie Holly of Blinder films along with Sigma's own founder Gillian Berrie and producer Brian Coffey (I Love Luci). This report says the team will be at Cannes with filming due to begin this summer in July (Note: IMDB says this film is already in post which is dubious). So no idea if this is part of the Advance Party, a sep Sigma production or what is happening with this....thus...PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: This has NOT yet been officially confirmed, and will update with more when possible.

The summary (spoilerish!) as follows:

Citadel is pure terror. Gangs of feral teenagers prowl a dark urban landscape, terrorising society. Always concealed beneath hooded tops, they are silent, fast and unimaginably violent. They attack innocent adults with septic syringes, and abduct small children to swell their ranks. Edenstown is truly the council estate from Hell, home only to those with no other choice. Abandoned by the police, the community that remains is plagued by a brutal and growing teenage population that few truly understand. Emerging at night, the gangs attack indiscriminately, but are especially drawn to anyone showing fear - in fact they can see it. When Tommy's wife Joanne is viciously attacked it turns his world upside down. Not only is Joanne left in a coma, but Tommy suffers crippling agoraphobia, rendering him housebound and barely able to look after their infant daughter Elsa. When Joanne finally loses her battle and slips away, Tommy is devastated but at least he now has the opportunity to leave the violent and lawless suburb for good. He meets Marie, a nurse from the hospice, and with her help he tries to overcome his debilitating condition and learn to love his daughter.
Before he can escape however, Tommy's worst nightmare comes true - Elsa is kidnapped.
In order to save his daughter, with the help of a vigilante priest who understands the horrific truth about the gangs, Tommy must now face his greatest fear and walk into the lion's den itself - the place where the feral teenagers reside - an abandoned tower block called the Citadel.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Leaping for I Love Luci: My thoughts on the film

Since doing this blog I've been hugely lucky along the way to get some truly special gifts, such as from awesome Jamie and my photo from Sigma, and recently I got the dearest birthday card ever along with another very special gift....

I got to see Colin Kennedy's I Love Luci.

Then I started to write a review, no more factually, I wrote a review... and, because it sucked, I wrote it again... and then again and again. By this morning I counted and there were a dozen different drafts, all with different approaches different styles but nothing worked, really encapsulated what this film was about what it meant to me until I realized Luci is about a leap. So what I'm left with then still pretty much sucks, for surely it isn't a glowing polished review by any means, or a nifty blurb to quote and copy, but an entry where I write that to me this film represents all I've been doing here with this blog, what Sigma does each day, what FCG and the Scottish film industry does-and that is...keeping faith.

Oh I know, pretty hefty and dramatic words heh! but after watching this delightful short film again for the third time I realised Luci is not just a comedy, but more about having faith. For just as the main protagonist (wonderfully played throughout in top notch and lovely wistful fashion by Colin Harris, bravo!) prays in his faith, so too is this film about a leap of faith. For leaps of faith, acts of believing abound in I Love Luci: seen in the slice of life tale of rather hapless junkies in an less than glamourous side of Glasgow who not only lose some teeth a bike and a dog, but may find something more precious along the way; faith reflected by the performance of beautiful actress (Camilla Rutherford) who takes on unenviable task of performing sans teeth and lends much humor to the film; faith by leadership writing and directing that all his years of training and natural talent played out here for all the world to see are paying off with this offbeat, original, and fairly amusing story that explores the errm ins and outs of a less than beautiful life with sly wry and perceptive humor (and one flat laugh out loud scene involving a dapper dentist fellow) adding in some nifty cinematography (night shots in the garden area -I've forgotten the name eep-are quite good) and the fine contributions of a solid supporting cast (Sanjeev Kohli is hilarious and all round perfect timing/sequence in that store lolz!) and hard working crew and company who make these small gems for all of us to discover and enjoy, all for very little notice pay or glory. PHEW! That's a heck of leap for most films and filmmakers, and here I think it works, works very well indeed! I noticed I took that leap and am very glad I did. Luci is a fun adventure, both ugly at times and others truly beautiful, where the laughs are on the hapless two but not on us and remind us that love, no matter its form, can bring a smile to face if you let it.

Eh a whole lot of leaping and a lot of faith for a short 13 minute film yea yea I know, but having been allowed to follow along with Colin thru his blog on this journey, I know full well that making this film sure as heck was not an easy journey (same holds true it seems for all of Sigmas films years go into getting them made) It requires a great deal of faith to write a movie that involves some things probably too crass for some (one ewww but funny moment and a quibble but one less messy toilet shot would have still gotten the point across) but overall added to the storyline, accents which might be hard for some ears at first but are well overcome by the action and plot of the film (really I mean if this shows up with subtitles in the US that will be a horrible shame bleh), a comedy and adventure in romance of sorts which can be quite the tricky business to pull off well and aren't cringeworthy-there's dozens of reasons why it could go awry and yet and yet and yet-yet with a leap of faith here is this fine short film, one well worthy of the precedent set by Sigma, and one I honestly hope you might take the time go see.

Most of all, Luci is about heart, foibles follies faults and all, and like a well needed kick in the butt, it reminded me again that having heart and having faith matters. Just like the song at the end I suppose, you can have a laugh on me reading all this, but you know what? I have no shame in saying I love what and who I write about here, about the people who share their talent and time both on the screen and along the way personally and from my heart Colin Kennedy and Brian Coffey thank you so so very much for sharing this beautiful piece of your heart and talent with me.
Much much love always

You can learn more about Luci here on the official website, older get your people blog, facebook and the trailer below.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alastair Mackenzie Guest Star Season Four "Lewis" on ITV

Great news tonight for fans of Sigma's own Alastair Mackenzie. Alastair, co-founder and producer at Sigma Films and beloved to millions for his turn on Monarch of the Glen, will be a guest star on the hit series "LEWIS" for ITV next month. The series, which unfortunately is making its final run, will feature Al on the third episode called "Sudden Death Question," where he will be featured as an Oxford grad & lawyer named Sebastian Anderson. YOU CAN SEE A CLIP of the program here (comedy & drama, then Lewis-Al briefly in beginning more in last minute of clip) Thanks paul and maddie! The first new installment of Lewis airs on ITV May 2nd, and a press release notes that "Series 4 of Lewis will be released by ITV STUDIOS Home Entertainment on 24 May 2010."

Note: PBS carries this show in the US (or did until ITV yanked the viewing online part), however as usual they are whole season/series behind at least and no idea when/if US viewers will be able to see this installment; more when I get it.

UPDTED: Jamie Sives Confirmed for "Get Him to the Greek" with Russell Brand

CONFIRMED! Just got the word that YES INDEED Jamie Sives will be seen in Russell Brand's upcoming "Get Him to the Greek." As some of us will recall, Jamie and Russell are old mates, as I believe they went to drama school in London together at one point. Anyhow, Jamie will be seen briefly (lots of fun cameos in the movie ) in a small part as a comedian for the film which is due out June 4th. Yay! :)))

Here is a quick update on other happenings with Jamie:

There is a cute new 'Stayin Alive' spot airing for "It's a Wonderful Life" that shows a new shot (@1:25) of Jamie with his fellow police officer (mark addy?);
screengrab here

Valhalla Rising
is getting some press (interesting series of shots/quotes with Refn at Empire, Times interview Refn, Herald which has this brief mention Apart from Mikkelsen, the film is populated largely by Scots, including Gary Lewis, Jamie Sives and Ewan Stewart. “It was always meant to be Scottish actors, because the film takes place in that region, so there was no point in casting Americans,” says Refn. “Plus I loved the whole accent thing. It gives it a more robust edge.”) before the release next week; if you should like to book tickets to the UK showings you can do so at this link. (website still not open, no idea if it ever will be at this point with the DVD coming so soon after the release)

Clash continues to do well at the box office but imo gah dont see it in 3d, because as tempting as it was for me it was such a mess, 2d is better (yes saw it twice just to see that 2 mins or so of Jamie, thats what true fans do despite laughing at the too many ripoffs of other films/homage attempts in the film) Mads is by far the best part of that film (despite the awesomeness that is Jamie who even has a few lines !! early in the film, which I was thrilled before umm he meets the smokey monster from Lost or whatever lol still... LOVE YOU JAMIE!).

Finally, there was a piece last week in the Scotsman about films made in Edinburgh. Alas, no mention of the superb Hallam Foe from David Mackenzie and Sigma Films which was beautifully shot in the equally beautiful city *sighs* However as a bonus, thanks to the ever awesome Chossychoss channel, we can see three clips of Jamie in Hallam Foe below. Thanks so much to chossy dude for uploading those!!! (even though as Jamie says his character of Alisdair is a complete arse and he totally is booo! but..., still easy on the eye :D)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cannnnet Hear a Whisper on Last Word

Well the much ballyhooed announcement of films at Cannes this year seem to omit much of Scotland, again. bleh! The whole of UK and US too for that matter have a limited showing (good films but still). Notable of course to me was the omission of David Mackenzie's The Last Word. alas. However ever optimistic fan I am, am hoping this means they still might announce later or more like likely, the movie might screen at Edinburgh which would be fab.u.lous (or London/Venice/Toronto/one of ten trillion out there) so hope remains!

There was a brief mention of Last Word today by means of a new interview with the star, Ewan McGregor who spoke about working with his uncle on the film. Quotage:

Since completing The Ghost, Ewan has been able to fulfil an ambition to work with his uncle Denis Lawson, whose exploits in the original Star Wars movies inspired his young nephew back in Crieff, Scotland.“I love him to death and he is the only person I ever turn to if I need to speak about work.

“I went to start work on The Last Word with David Mackenzie, who I made Young Adam with. I play a chef and there was a nice relationship with the owner of the restaurant. I could just see me and my uncle in those parts together. I suggested it as many times as I felt was polite because it had to be David’s decision.“It was just lovely to be on set with him and playing two Scottish characters in Scotland.”

Finally as a follow to the post below, Savalas Sound continues with ADR work in Paris for stars Eva Green and Stephane Dillane, as well as locally with Ewen Bremner and Caroline Patterson. Also FILM CITY GLASGOW IS NOW ON TWITTER!!! yayay~

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Tweet of News on Progress with The Last Word

Sometimes no news is good news, but there is nothing better than an unexpected, peep, word, a note, a brief update out of the blue on something you've been anxious this case several tweets about progress on David Mackenzie's upcoming The Last Word!

Part of the original Trifecta of super at Film City Glasgow (along with Sigma Films and Serious Facilities) I was thrilled to discover the excellent Savalas Sound is now on Twitter,woot! and better yet, they've updated on their progress as the highly anticipated film from Sigma and David is now well into post-production. Of note, listen up Ewan fans ;) came the following:

April 8 "Last night we connected to a studio in LA to record Ewan McGregor's ADR for Last Word. "
hell yea!

For those of us who are really interested in how they actually make quality films, it was also with grateful eyes I read these other pieces of news:

"We're recording foley for David Mackenzie's new feature The Last Word. It's mostly salmon slapping, watermelon munching and lemon twisting....Today at Savalas, Welcome to Lagos nears it's conclusion and the Last Word dialogue edit, foley and sound design continue at a frantic pace."

Be sure to follow Savalas HERE and you can learn more about the very fine work this company does here at this link! THANKS SO MUCH to those at Savalas for sharing this good news with us on Twitter! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US to see DVD Release of New Town Killers with Alastair Mackenzie

The US will finally see an official DVD release of Richard Jobson's New Town Killers starring Sigma Films co-founder, actor Alastair Mackenzie. While released last fall in the UK, the US will see the DVD released on MAY 25 with pre-orders available here. Bonus: Thanks to the very fine cinematographer Simon Dennis, we can see this great and intense clip of Alastair along with co-star Dougray Scott in New Town Killers.

New Town Killers - Rooftop from si dennis on Vimeo.

As a reminder, Al was the featured actor in the season opener of Murdoch Mysteries, which is out on DVD May 4
(Just because, reminder too May is a good month for the wonderful Mackenzie brothers as David will see the UK DVD release of his film Spread on May 17)
Finally, according to his IMDB page Alastair has apparently been doing some voice work for the video game Bio Shock 2, but no idea what this is, how much you can hear him or what the deal is with this, sorry.

USA Today on Valhalla Rising, More

Quick update today for those who still might be interested in the release for Valhalla Rising. Recently, the British Board of Film Classification gave the movie a "15" rating, noting the movie contains "strong bloody violence." you think? :P

Note this rating is NOT the same on this lame ass DVD cover for the UK DVD of the movie, which shows Mads ala Kill Bill mode, complete with the army from 300 or something looming in the background and Mads clutching a sword he clearly borrowed from William Wallace.. O_O *sigh*

Also, the USA Today has a new preview of the film from Nicholas Refn (and featuring Jamie Sives) sporting a July 23 US RELEASE DATE. HOwever, on the official IFC films page, it says IN THEATRES JUNE 4. uh huh

For those playing along at home, feel free to drink on any of these dates if proven even remotely accurate:
* April 26 : UK Amazon says DVD release
* April 30 : UK Theatrical Release date according to official FB page
* May 17: says UK DVD release date
* June 4 : US release date one (from official IFC film distrib. page)
* July 23: USA Today says via release from IFC films)
*July 24: We all drink