29/04/2006

Tribeca Reports

New York magazine has excellent daily reports from the Tribeca Film Festival, including this meditation on the double-edged sword that is showing your film in New York:

When you’ve played Tribeca, you’ve played New York. And that’s a double-edged sword, because it means that part of your ideal audience has already seen your film (even more so in the case of films in the NY, NY sections of the festival). There are actually some respected New York City art houses that are reluctant to program films that have played major New York festivals, precisely because they feel these films have already eaten into their potential profits, and because a New York audience has already discovered the movie.

Lists

For those of you who like best director lists, here's the latest.

28/04/2006

Tribeca Starts Buzzing

Organised for the fifth year in a row, the Tribeca Film Festival seems to have hit its stride this year. Sure, every year its cheerleader, Robert de Niro, pops up on the covers of Time Out, the Village Voice and as many publications as the festival PRs can get their hands on. But this year, things seem to be running smoothly behind the scenes too.

There is an actual press office with helpful people and plenty of PCs and MACs that are not all hogged by hotmailing journos. There is a lounge where filmmakers, industry and press can meet over free soda and snacks. Members of the industry have to fork over hundreds of dollars for accreditation, which is unheard of in Europe, but in the Capital of Hustle, people are willing to pay for access. The filmmakers whose work has been selected are rewarded for their creative suffering with eyepopping Crumpler messenger bags, a big box of Final Cut Pro software and plenty of after-parties.

The TFF is overly ambitious in its scope, with a top-heavy schedule that tries to be all things to all people: red carpet glamour, political documentaries, workshops, mentoring programmes, family screenings, a lounge with live singer-songwriters and much more. The festival has even outgrown Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street) with screenings in multiplexes further uptown.

But its hub remains in Tribeca and the festival accomplishes what its staid older brother, the New York Film Festival, doesn't. Filmmakers and the media are walking the streets of Tribeca, mingling, speaking different languages, making new friends, checking out the local shops. The New York Film Festival is a series of high quality films, screened at the Lincoln Center, but it's a rarified Upper West Side party for insiders only. After four previous editions, which were tentative and definitely lacking in the organisational department, the Tribeca Film Festival has finally managed to create a buzz on the streets of New York, which is quite an achievement, since the hustle and bustle in the Big Apple hardly needs any encouragement.

Stay tuned for more updates.

27/04/2006

Arrested development

As far as attempts to call media attention go, this press release that arrived this afternoon at Kamera's newswires takes the (dog's) biscuit. Cashing in on Snoop Dogg's Heathrow arrest, who arrived in the country yesterday to promote his new film, the PR people promoting the film issued a note to tell the media "the film is ironically told from Snoop’s prisons cell, telling the story of his life in the fast lane as a pimp. Unlike the golden prison bars and diamond crusted locks shown in the film, Snoop will be held in a West London police station. Let’s hope that his lawyer will be as good- looking as the honey in the film! Snoop’s DVD will be released on Monday, let's hope that he will be too!".


The world is getting smaller...

The San Francisco International Film Festival dedicated part of its programme to 20 films made for mobile devices with 2-inch-by-3-inch screens as part of its Pocket Cinema section.

Read full story.

26/04/2006

Vertigo then and now


Fans of Hitchcock, which I think the whole of the Kamera fraternity are, will love this website which constrasts stills of San Francisco from the film Vertigo with images of same spots now. The places chosen looked much better on the film, I thought...

Let me see it.

25/04/2006

DeNiro's Tribeca festival opens

The Tribeca film festival, founded by Robert De Niro, opens today with the world premiere of a movie about the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Full story

19/04/2006

The Return of a Legend - Herschell Gordon Lewis

Recently my good friend Andy Lalino at 51st State Productions announced that he was going into business with a true legend - the exploitation director Herschell Gordon Lewis ("Blood Feast", "Two Thousand Maniacs!", "She Devils on Wheels", "The Wizard of Gore"... need I go on?). Mr Lalino was kind enough to include me on his press releases and below is the response to the HG Lewis/ 51st State Productions team-up, which will begin with a film entitled "Herschell Gordon Lewis's Grim Fairy Tales"...

Cheers!
Calum Waddell



We've experienced a tremendous reaction to the Grim Fairy Tales/Back in Blood press release sent out March 7th:
- Major horror-themed trade magazines, Fangoria and Rue Morgue, personally contacted us, with RM requesting an interview with H.G. Lewis.
- We have received inquiries from actors, crew people, and distributors. Correspondence is currently being reviewed.
- Hits on the Film State 51 website skyrocketed to over 2,000.
- Bloggers and "boardies" (message board fanatics) from all over the U.S. and the world have been writing with excitement about our projects.
- Fangoria.com, The Horror Channel, Creature-Corner and many other horror-themed websites have publicized the press release on their news pages.

H.G. Lewis is All the Rage: 2 new major studio remakes:
In addition to FS51's Back in Blood, other studios have been busily producing and releasing remakes of H.G. Lewis's films. Even more reason to begin production on our films!
- March 2006 is the release date for 2001 Maniacs, a sequel/remake of Lewis's famed horror film Two-Thousand Maniacs! on DVD. 2001 Maniacs stars Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street) and was produced by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel).
- A remake of Lewis's 1970 horror hit The Wizard of Gore is in production starring Crispin Glover as Montag the Magnificent. Montag is the lead character in Back in Blood, and FS51 feels that Glover's film will garner us an untold amount of free publicity and will familiarize the general public with the character of Montag. We can't stress how important this development is.
Carnevil kicks off pre-production
What promises to be FS51's first horror feature - Carnevil - officially kicked-off pre-production in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend. Director/Producer/Screenwriter Andrew Allan, Producer Andy Lalino, Director of Photography Wes Pratt and Lighting Director Jeff Scolaro ventured to the site where Carnevil will be shot - a working carnival on the outskirts of the city, where the team scouted the area and shot some test footage. The weekend was a huge success as the crew prepares for production, which is slated for summer '06. Carnevil is a new feature horror film from FS51 about a cursed amusement park that seeks bloody revenge on its hellraising guests.

Grim... & Back in Blood mentioned in Fangoria magazine:
Hot off the presses! If you pick up the latest issue of Fangoria magazine (#253), the world's most popular horror trade magazine, and turn to page 20 you'll see both Grim Fairy Tales and Back in Blood listed as two H.G. Lewis features that are coming soon (look under the Terror Teletype section)! Filmmakers/FS51 partners Andrew Allan and Andy Lalino are also prominently mentioned.

For more info about FS51, please visit our official website:
www.filmstate51.com

17/04/2006

Stage fright

New York Magazine has published an interesting article about Julia Roberts's debut on Broadway, but I beg to disagree with the author when he calls her the 'ultimate film star'. I know she's the highest paid smile in the world, but...

16/04/2006

Masters of Horror gets UK box set

About time too!

Originally the plan from Anchor Bay was to release the Masters of Horror episodes as double discs - 2 installments every couple of months. The first of these was a really impressive double helping, featuring "Dreams in the Witchhouse" by "Re-Animator" director Stuart Gordon and "Cigarette Burns" by John Carpenter. Although the Gordon installment is, arguably, a little bit creepier than the already first class Carpenter one - this made for a fantastic release. Then the news came that the next two in the set would feature Don Coscarelli's "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" (not seen this one yet, sorry folks!) and "Chocolate" - the offering from series producer Mick Garris (this one is brilliant and features regular Garris actor Henry Thomas of "ET" fame).

This has now been cancelled, however, in favour of a box set of all the one hour television episodes - including the uncut helping from Japan's Takehsi Miike (which UK viewers were treated to on cable channel Bravo in early April). Cannot say I am complaining as, so far, this series has yet to offer a dud installment (Tobe Hooper's "Dance of the Dead" seems to be the one that splits opinion, although I found it to be one of the best things the director has done over the past two decades - and certainly much better than his latest feature "Mortuary").

Right now season 2 is shooting in Vancouver, Canada, with such new names as George Romero, Wes Craven and Tom "Fright Night" Holland back onboard.

Anyway, as a wee treat, here's a few words from Stuart Gordon on how the Masters of Horror circle began.


"How it started was that Mick Garris organised a dinner for us which was a couple of years ago and there had been a documentary made by Universal called The Masters of Horror. It interviewed each of us and we didn’t get a chance to meet each other, so Mick said, ‘Let’s all have dinner together.’ It was one of the funniest dinners and everyone showed up – it was at a restaurant out in the valley and Guillermo Del Toro was there and there were some people at the next table and someone brought out a birthday cake to them. So Guillermo started singing Happy Birthday to them and he got us all to join in at the table and when we finished Guillermo said, ‘The Masters of Horror wish you a happy birthday’ (laughs) and right afterwards he said, ‘We did pretty good – maybe we should do a Christmas album.’ So we kept getting together every couple of months and new people would come each time – David Cronenberg came along once, Bryan Singer and Rob Zombie and it expanded and got crazier and crazier. Out of that came the idea of doing a series of movies and it evolved from there. It turned out everyone had a pet project that they wanted to do – so here was the opportunity. We always have fun when we get together."


Calum Waddell

07/04/2006

Crashing out

You would have thought that being an Oscar winner translates into piles of cash, but apparently not. Entertainment Weekly magazine has written that Cathy Schulman, awarded for her production role in Crash, is 'broke' due to the legal wrangling between her and producer Bob Yari.

Full story.

05/04/2006

U - Carmen eKhayelitsha trailer

Coming up soon in Kamera is a review of the South African film U - Carmen eKhayelitsha, directed by Mark Dornford-May. U - Carmen eKhayelitsha is that rare thing: an artistically successful adaptation of Bizet's opera Carmen. In U - Carmen eKhayelitsha, the setting is a South African slum. Absolutely magical. Out on 21/4.

Watch the trailer.

04/04/2006

Tate Modern shows pioneer video work by Stuart Marshall

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Still from Pedagogue

The pioneer video work of the late Stuart Marshall, who died of Aids in 1993, is being shown at the Tate Modern as part of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Marshall's work was included in The Video Show, the first ever video exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1976. He was an educator, writer, composer, and independent film and video maker. In 1976 with Tamara Krikorian, Steven Partridge, David Hall and others, he established London Video Arts, an artist-run workshop, distribution and promotion agency. His work focuses on the historical and political construction of homosexual identity as a deviant, outsider category, positioning the homosexual as the catch-all bogeyman of societal fears and conformist pressure. The first programme is tonight at 6:30 pm and will includes Pedagogue (1988, made in partnership with Neil Bartlett, who will introduce the film) and the next one is next Tuesday (11/4) at the same time and will include The Streets of... (date unknown) and The Love Show (1980).
At the Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern.

Further details.