Archive for October, 2014

October 26th 2014

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Filmwise: More rewrites and revisions. All good.

For my final London Film Festival viewing this year, I chose The World of Kanako (Dir. Tetsuya Nakashima, Japan 2014), an unhinged mix of violence, sex, alcohol abuse, and comic strip storytelling techniques. The positive in the experience was learning of what appears to be a popular genre of film in Japan.

The other positive was the art exhibition held at Rich Mix, the screening venue.

Entitled “Camus, Clough and Counter Culture: 20 Years of Philosophy Football,” the exhibition consists of a long row of football T-shirts carrying the thoughts of the great and good from across the spectrum of the arts and sports. Really worth the trip to Shoreditch.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

October 19th 2014

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Filmwise: Working on a couple of short pieces.

Being in my adopted home city, the London Film Festival and Raindance are probably the only festivals at which I feel most like an audience member, rather than a filmmaker. In their respective special ways, they  have the variety and quality curating of works from all over the world that gives one an impression of the zeitgeist of the moment across the filmmaking community.

In August, you would find me checking and rechecking their respective sites for programme updates.

So, having attended Raindance earlier in the month, on a rain-soaked Monday evening this week I was rushing on Shaftsbury Avenue to Curzon Soho for my first taste of this year’s London Film Festival.

The film was Décor (Dir. Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt 2014), the latest from a proponent of a new generation of Egyptian and other Arab filmmakers that are managing to tell local stories on an international stage.

Having watched the director’s best known previous work, Microphone (2010), I was keen to be among the audience for the world premiere of his latest.

The most impressive aspect of Décor is the fact that it has been made, as it is a decidedly art house piece, shot in captivating black and white, with high production values.

I look forward to Mr Abdalla’s next project.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

October 12th 2014

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Filmwise: I continue to develop a couple of new ideas. All good.

Opera and cupcakes

Being part of the wave of humanity that struck the main road outside a tube station, I found myself staying behind like a grain of sand that somehow manages to negotiate the current’s pull back into the sea.

It wasn’t the beautiful aria that a soprano was singing with well-chosen theatricality, for she was walking around her music console, delivering the libretto to the balcony of this imaginary house, before turning and smiling to those with the expensive seats. Rather, it was the clearly out-of-shape, grey beard, sixth-form-college-tutor glasses and a man-bag that may as well have been a rucksack, so far it was hanging from his shoulder and towards his back. His enjoyment of the opera appeared to have made him forget the two cupcakes in his hands. He was taking a bite from one, then after swaying with the melody, he would nibble from the other.

Like those long-exposure photographs we see of monuments standing still, oblivious to the busy sailing lanes of humanity all around them, he gently moved his weight from one foot to the other, possibly sharing the sweetness of the music with his taste buds through the cupcakes.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

October 6th 2014

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Filmwise: Continuing to explore new stories.

Raindance Film Festival

The first logo that stood out for me in this year’s poster of the Raindance Film Festival was that of the BFI. I understand that this is the first year in which Raindance has received support from the film culture fund of the state. Great news.

Arriving straight from work on Monday evening, the Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’ networking event was already booked up.

Out of a choice of three features, I settled on The Light Shines Only There (Dir. Mipo O, Japan).

The story of three characters in a northern Japanese coastal town, this was a film of two halves. The first is of direction, and the second is of storywriting.

The direction, camera work and frame composition were cinematically sound. A good  use of mis-en-scene to convey emotions and add subtle undercurrents to the scene.

The storywriting could’ve benefitted from some editing, and the pruning of scenes and element that do not contribute to the respective character arcs.

That said, it was a good watch.

Until next Raindance.

Peace and love,

Ja’far