London Film Festival – Film Review – Mistaken for Strangers #LFF #Film #Review

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In 2010 critically acclaimed US band The National were embarking on their biggest tour to date. Needing extra help – and seeing an opportunity to spend time with his younger brother – lead singer Matt Berninger invited Tom to join the band as a tour assistant. As an aspiring filmmaker, Tom too saw an opportunity and grabbed his camera. As an outsider with the cheek and irreverence of a younger brother, Tom begins to make a mischievous portrait of the band. Neglecting his day job, though, the stresses of the tour only lead Tom to a sense of alienation from the group and his brother. With 200 hours of unedited live footage and interviews, Tom, with the passionate, loving support of his rock star older brother, turns the film’s attention onto himself to rediscover a sense of purpose. What emerges is at once rough edged, enigmatic and moving; a comedic, satirical portrait of a popular band famed for nuance and intensity, and a beautifully honest portrayal of brotherhood.Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 14.04.02

It will be hard to leave this film without a smile. You have an over achieving older brother who has achieved fame through his band, he is wise, calm and popular and his younger, not so successful brother still lives at home with his mum and dad, can’t hold down a job and lacks real direction in life. The description of these two people alone would make the basis for a great piece of fiction, but actually they are both the product of reality. A real sibling relationship captured, comically, sentimentally and naively through the eyes of Tom. From the outset you see the playfulness, as Matt questions whether or not his younger brother even has a clue as to what he wants to interview him about, and throughout you see the members of The National road crew bite their tongues and put up with Tom’s awful attempt at being a roadie because he is the singers brother. It all makes for an enjoyable watch with plenty of laughs, honest insights and real views to life on the road with a famous band.Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 14.03.52

You don’t have to be a fan of The National to watch this film, although those who are, will probably find it even more compelling, but as a newbie to this whole world of Indie Rock, I found it interesting, hilarious at times and most importantly real. Its more a story about brotherhood and the things you will and wont put up with for your family, and that no matter how famous you are, supporting those you love is the most important factor.

Go and be surprised, entertained and uplifted with this fun and poignant watch.

3.5 Stars


Bees mean business and we find out how much in @morethanhoneyuk #film #beekeeping #bees

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We all know there is a problem with bees. They have been reducing rapidly in numbers over the last fifteen years. We don’t know what has caused this to happen, but what we do know is that depending on the regions of the world, between 50-90% of the bees have disappeared!

Now either they are starting one mega colony which actually, we should all be scared of, or they are vanishing into thin air. The latter is much more likely. What we’re seeing is that billions of bees (for some unknown reason) leave their hives never to return. Here in the UK as well as other parts of Europe, this is being dubbed the “Mary Celeste Phenomenon” after the name of the of the ship who’s crew vanished in 1872.

In More than Honey, director Markus Imhoof uses this topic to shoot a global film to discover the lives of bees from around the world and the bee keepers who look after them in a number of different ways, shapes and forms. This film isn’t just observatory, it also looks at each of the bee keepers attitudes towards the decline of the bees and also how they are going for and against nature to maintain their on colony – whether this be right or wrong.Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 08.46.23

What is fascinating about this project is that you really learn so much about the intricacies of the bee community. Imhoof goes from the idyllic Swiss Alps to visit Fred Jaggi who maintains an age-old tradition of bee keeping in the way his father and his fathers father did. There is passion and also ruthlessness in which he maintains the best of his beehive by taking fearless measures such as decapitating the queen bee when she is seen as ‘lazily’ breeding half breed stock!

On the other end of the spectrum, from one man to a million machines, in the US we follow John Miller who maintains a schoolboy like level of excitement for his bees. Beyond all this however we learn how bees pollinate the trees that start the process for a multi million dollar almond business, and how the use of mixed chemicals to keep the trees ripe and fresh cause havoc amongst the bee community killing them stone dead once sprayed, something that could be avoided altogether if the process of the machines could change to night instead of day. However, John himself is not a big enough voice to make change happen alone and at the end of the day, as much as he loves bees, he loves his job more. Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 08.46.10

These are only a couple of examples of the protagonists Imhoof meets on his journey, from Arizona to Australia and China he has travelled around the world in search of the secret behind the bees decline. Although he hasn’t quite unraveled the answer, what he has done is create a compelling set of stories which can open the eyes of a wider audience to the importance of the bee community around the world. With John Hurt narrating, you feel (particularly during the expertly filmed close ups of inside a hive) that you are watching a mix of Attenborough’s ‘Life’ and an intimate portrayal of human passion and dedication to a species taken too far for granted.

More Than Honey buzzes into cinemas on 6th September and is on limited release.

4 Stars

Searching for Sugarman still? Then @vauxhallvillage has a #free outdoor film screening for you! #film #vauxhall #london

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Exciting things are happening this summer on the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London’s historic playground, celebrated for fun and occasional licentiousness. Vauxhall Village wants to return the Gardens to their former fame and glory as the epicentre of alfresco London entertainment.

Vauxhall Village has been screening  a small selection of free films on the Pleasure Gardens throughout this summer. The films are brought to you by the Luna Cinema, the amazing  pop up Cinema Company who have provided memorable evenings at Kew Gardens, Brockwell Lido and Hampton Court Palace.

If you’re keen on spending the summer evenings basking in some film glory then its not too late there’s still a chance to see SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN on Thursday 13th June at 8:30pm – Its an Oscar winning documentary about a ‘lost’ American musician: truly heart-warming and inspiring. A true corker of a film!

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Its not only about sunshine and film watching though, the screening will also be accompanied by delicious artisanal street food stalls and a great bar courtesy of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Everyone is welcome to bring picnics and – if you make it early enough – to grab one of the brand new Vauxhall Village deckchairs.

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The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens are just 2 minutes’ walk from Vauxhall Rail and Tube stations, with a main entrance on Kennington Lane SE11 5HY. Guests are invited to get a good spot in the park from 6 pm when food and music will begin.

To find out more visit and follow @vauxhallvillage on Twitter.

Happy Film Watching!!

Sundance London Film Festival Takes Over the O2 @sundancefestuk @the_O2 #film #festival

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Sundance Film Festival has hit London town (well the outskirts in North Greenwich) for the second time, and this weekend is packed with amazing films, incredible street food and lots of cool stuff going on. With our friends at Red Carpet News we were able to send our reporter Becky along to chat to some of the film makers and stars that attended this years festival . Here are some of the highlights:

Interview with Kaya Scodelario for her breakout role with Jessica Biel in Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes

Emanuel, an acerbic but sensitive teen, lives with her father and stepmother. She’s on the verge of another birthday – a day she has never cared for since her mother died giving birth to her – when the mysterious Linda, a young and hip mother, moves in next door. Intrigued by Linda’s striking resemblance to her late mother, Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda’s newborn daughter. As Emanuel and Linda spend more time together, they develop a bond that becomes deeply entwined in a surprising secret Linda harbors.

Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes is a hyperstylized and often darkly humorous film that vacillates between surrealism and realism while it incorporates suspenseful drama. Writer/director Francesca Gregorini’s tightly constructed script fuses pain with poetry and explores the complexity of being complicit in the lives of our loved ones. In a breakout performance, Kaya Scodelario is the heart of the film as Emanuel, who must take a courageous journey to enter her dream and help extract Linda from hers.

Interview with Lake Bell about her Directorial Debut about the crazy world of voice overs In A World…a

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, In A World… is sure to tickle your funny bone as it pokes holes in the clandestine world of Hollywood voice over talent. Carol Solomon, a struggling vocal coach is both irritated and propelled by the gargantuan ego of her father, Sam Sotto, the reigning king of movie-trailer voice-over artists. Carol musters the courage to pursue her secret aspiration to be a voice-over star. She enlists her fiery sister, Dani, as trusted confidante, and engages the skills of a charming sound techie named Louis. Armed with renewed confidence, Carol lands her first voice-over gig – a primo spot – nabbing the job from industry bad boy Gustav Warner. And then the real trouble begins. Carol becomes entangled in a web of dysfunction, sexism, unmitigated ego, and pride.

Lake Bell shines in her enchanting feature directorial debut. The multitalented Bell also wrote and stars in this hilarious comedy. With the help of a captivating ensemble cast that includes Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, and Rob Corddry, In A World… brings us into an idiosyncratic world where one woman fights the odds and finally finds her voice.

Interview with Barbara Kopple Director of Running From Crazy

Hailed as one of the most distinguished families in American literature, the Hemingways have always exposed both their bright brilliance and their harrowing secrets. Two-time Academy Award winner and the only person to sweep all three of the Sundance Film Festival’s documentary awards for American Dream, Barbara Kopple focuses her newest film on Mariel Hemingway, a granddaughter of the legendary writer Ernest, as she explores her family’s disturbing history of mental illness and suicide. As a youngster, Mariel followed her supermodel sister, Margaux, into the acting world. Critics immediately praised Mariel’s natural talent, which created a deep rift between the sisters.

Kopple’s bold portrait of the Hemingways intertwines haunting archival footage from Margaux’s personal family documentary with scenes from Mariel’s life today as she advocates for suicide prevention and strives to live a rigorously healthy lifestyle to combat what appears to be her birthright. Mariel’s courageous journey of acceptance and introspection allows her to view her family and turbulent upbringing through new eyes and, for the first time, accept them with a peaceful heart.

So there’s just a taster of what we’ve heard about so far! We’re at the Festival again today so will be catching up with more talented film makers – so make sure you look out for the videos!