If you haven't heard the kerfuffle surrounding Zach Braff's new film, Wish I Was Here, allow me to sum it up in a sentence: the former star of Scrubs and writer/director/star of the lovely Garden State has pulled a Veronica Mars and turned to Kickstarter to fund his project. Why? Because he didn't want to give up creative control to producers.
It's a much better reason than Veronica's give-us-your-money-so-Warner-Bros-don't-have-to logic - although exactly how much creative control Mr. Braff would actually lose to a studio is perhaps debatable. So why the kerfuffle? Because while there's the satisfaction of helping out a creative artist to achieve their goal there's also the slightly niggling knowledge that you helped to raise $2 million for someone who earned over four times that amount for a single season of Scrubs.
To go back to our previous rant about Veronica Mars, there are indie filmmakers out there who put everything on the line to get their film made. I love Zach Braff - and I really want him to direct another movie - but if he really wanted to get his film made the way he wanted, I suspect he could do the same. Is that a reason to get angry at him? Not at all. You can decide what to Kickstart or what not to Kickstart - he's not waking you up at 5am demanding your life savings or first born children.
But it's a moot point anyway. Because this exists:
"I am going to build a roughly thirteen foot tall tyrannosaurus with Christopher Walken's head," promises Ethan Cyr on his Indiegogo page for Christopher Walken Rex.
There aren’t many men that I unashamedly, flat-out love. Clive Owen. Benedict Cumberbatch. Pete Sampras. That’s about it. What do you mean, why Pete Sampras? Have you seen him play tennis? He has really good ground strokes.
But one man who recently joined my exclusive group of man-crushes is Ricardo Darin. Ever since The Secret in Their Eyes, I’ve been a huge fan of Ricardo's work. Carancho; Chinese Takeaway; and now the very good White Elephant, out in cinemas this weekend. He’s just consistently, reliably, wonderfully awesome.
Why? Because he sometimes looks like Alan Rickman? Because he manages to be grumpy and twinkly-eyed at the same time? Because his grizzled charisma is the perfect front for director Pablo Trapero’s raw, gritty social dramas?
It’s all of those, but it’s more than that - and somehow less than that as well. I’ve decided that Ricardo Darin’s power actually boils down to one thing: his beard.
Whether it’s grey, black, stubbly or long, Ricardo Darin’s facial hair can make him look happy, sad, angry, sexy, old, young or kind-of-in-the-middle. It’s a furry conduit for every human emotion ever conceived. It probably even improves his ground strokes.
And the best thing about Ricardo Darin's beardl? It comes attached to Ricardo Darin’s face.
“Nonsense!” you cry. “A beard can't do these things, no matter how great, big and/or bushy it is!”
But allow me to prove just how powerful Ricardo’s chin-fuzz is – by removing it completely.
What would Ricardo Darin look like without a beard? Read on to find out...
Thor 2 trailer continues Hollywood's war against London
Written by Ivan Radford
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 08:58
Star Trek: Into Darkness. G.I. Joe 2. Now the Thor 2 trailer is continuing to wage Hollywood's war on London, with every sequel joining the Blow Up the UK bandwagon.
What is it that makes our lovely capital so irresistibly destroyable? The fact that it's somewhere new to explode? The fact that Natalie Portman is there? Or just because Thor got angry with waiting for an Epping-bound train on the Central Line?
Thor in London does actually have a lot of potential for an offbeat blockbuster. Here's hoping that Thor: The Dark World is as fun as the Thor In London hashtag, which @IncredibleSuit started on Twitter this morning:
Thor: The Dark World is out in cinemas on Friday 30th October. Now I've seen I'm So Excited, it's one of my most anticipated films of 2013 - behind Star Trek. Read on for the full Thor 2 trailer.
Sundance London 2013 (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Expensive Ticket Prices)
Written by Ivan Radford
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 06:43
Sundance London is back at The O2 this week for a second year after a successful 2012 – and once again, I find myself torn over the whole thing.
On the one hand, it’s a great platform for indie films and fun to have some Sundance buzz spill over into the UK. On the other hand, it’s an overpriced affair that sees Robert Redford's institution charge £10 for a ceramic mug with the Sundance London logo on it - perhaps the only film festival in the UK that sells its own merchandise.
This year, the prices for tickets have actually gone up: £14, including a booking fee of £2.50. Plus another fee of £2.50.
Director: Kimble Rendall Cast: Chris Betts, Richard Brancatisano Certificate: 15 Release date: Monday 29th April RRP: £15.99
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the supermarket… this film happens. That sounds like a damning criticism but honestly, it’s hard to hate on a film made by someone who goes to the shops and thinks: “You know what this supermarket needs? A shark.” And that’s exactly what you get with Bait: a shark in a supermarket.
It took an impressive six writers to work out how to get said shark in the supermarket – a tsunami hits Australia, bringing water (and the shark) into the building – but you wish that same level of ingenuity continued for the rest of the film. Instead, this is a trash-by-numbers exercise in mediocrity. Still, it’s a mediocrity that has one thing going for it: a shark in a supermarket.
Argentine Film Festival Interview: Dario Nardi (Sadourni's Butterflies)
Written by Ivan Radford
Sunday, 21 April 2013 17:01
Dario Nardi’s debut feature Sadourni’s Butterflies is the closing film of the second Argentine Film Festival London. The tale of an ex-con dwarf joining the fetish film industry in order to go straight (literally), it’s a bizarre, surreal film full of expressionist flourishes.
We tracked him down in the sexy Hackney Picturehouse, where he talked after a screening about his inspirations and choosing to shoot in black and white.
Argentine Film Festival Review: Dead Man and Being Happy
Written by Ivan Radford
Sunday, 21 April 2013 11:07
Director: Javier Rebollo Cast: José Sacristán, Roxana Blanco Showtimes
“On a bench in the park sits an old man. If we look closer, we can see that he is wearing pyjamas under his coat.” That’s how Javier Rebollo’s likeable road movie begins – with an omniscient voiceover. That narration, from co-writer Lola Mayo, never leaves, predicting and subverting every action of our titular pensioner, a guy with three tumours, a bag full of morphine and over 100 kills to his name as a professional hit man. Learning he’s about to die, he ducks out on his last job and flees in his old Ford Falcon – accompanied by a woman who jumps into his backseat at a petrol station.
“She turns to Santos and asks where he’s headed,” says the voiceover. She turns to Santos. “Where are you headed?”
One of my favourite parts of a festival is going to see the short films. So it’s great to see that after last year’s cracking selection of silent cinema, the 2013 Argentine Film Festival London has added a new strand to its line-up: Nuevos Talentos, a selection of shorts from new talents within the country’s film industry.
The result, perhaps inevitably, was a mixed bunch but one with some adorable gems that marks out some interesting filmmakers for the future.