It’s back. It’s the film they should have tried to ban, one so bad that cinema audiences have been known to stage mass walk outs while those that remain wish they’d stayed at home. Yes, The Room returns to Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema on Saturday 27 March, and you really should be there.
As Ross Maclean wrote last month, “to call The Room bad is to do it a disservice. It transcends ‘bad’ to become an all-encompassing onslaught of ridiculous scripting, woeful acting, cringe-inducing sex scenes, frequent non-sequiturs, bad dubbing and over-earnest melodrama.” And he’s seen it five times.
Females in contemporary Japanese Cinema
are the subject of Girls on Film, an upcoming season at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema, running from Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 March.
As the cineam’s website notes, following last year’s Reality Fiction: Japanese Films Inspired by Actual Events season, this year’s Japan Foundation annual touring film programme looks at contemporary Japanese cinema made for, about, and in some cases by, women.
Women have continuously been at the centre of Japanese cinema, with notable examples being films by Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse, and even the animation works of Hayao Miyazaki. In the world of Japanese cinema, female characters embrace “more dramatic possibilities” since they have ìmuch stronger feelings than menî as Shochiku company president, Shiro Kido, once described.
Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema will have a special screening of new environmental documentary Dirty Oil on Monday 15 March, accompanied by a live panel discussion beamed in by satellite.
Building on the current appetite for environmental films examining issues around natural resources and pollution, Dirty Oil takes viewers deep behind the scenes into the strip-mined world of Alberta, Canada, where the vast and toxic Tar Sands deposit supplies the U.S. with the majority of its oil.
Through the eyes of scientists, ‘big oil’ officials, politicians, doctors, environmentalists and aboriginal citizens directly affected by ‘the largest industrial project on the planet today’, the filmmakers journey to both sides of the border to see the irreversible toll this ‘black gold rush’, fuelled by America’s addiction to oil, is taking on our planet.
I’m not entirely sure why this is being screened for one night only at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse (a new print perhaps?), but the chance to see Sergio Leone’s 1968 Western, Once Upon a Time in the West, is one to be grabbed.
From its tense opening moments which take place at a railway station through to its violent shoot-outs, it’s a film with a superb cast – Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards – and gorgeous soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, the film was made to be seen on the big screen.
Find out more over on the Filmhouse website.
Some glitz and spectacle is coming to Edinburgh this Thursday, 25 February, as Europe’s queen of burlesque, Immodesty Blaize, brings her new film Burlesque Undressed to town.
The film is described as “a lavish and dazzling journey right into the heart of the art-form, featuring a compelling mix of live performance, interviews from burlesque stars past and present, captivating music and all-round show-stopping entertainment.”
I recently caught a screening of the film and found it quite enlightening, the decision to focus on performers past and present offering a history of the art of burlesque.
Image courtesy The Room UK
Updated 15 February: enter the Twitter giveaway for two tickets to The Room
As Edinburgh prepares to host yet another cult film event, Ross Maclean steps into The Room…
The history of cinema is littered with self-financed personal projects and noble failures. When producer/writer/director/actor Tommy Wiseau plunged an alleged $7m into funding his debut feature, who knew it would be so awful? Or so enduringly popular?
To call The Room bad is to do it a disservice. It transcends ‘bad’ to become an all-encompassing onslaught of ridiculous scripting, woeful acting, cringe-inducing sex scenes, frequent non-sequiturs, bad dubbing and over-earnest melodrama.
Nominally a relationship drama, Wiseau himself plays Johnny, a gentle soul, betrayed by his girlfriend and best friend. If you’ve never seen or heard Wiseau, picture the result of a failed intensive breeding program between Sylvester Stallone and a Na’vi, with an indefinable accent approximating a tranquilised Arnie, dressed like a guest at a goth wedding.
It’s not hard to see why Tommy has gained a cult following – here’s a sample of what to expect:
Image courtesy Filmhouse
Shown a few years back on the UK’s finest television station, BBC Four, Reichenbach Falls was heavily promoted at the time as being developed from an original idea by author Ian Rankin but written by James Mayor.
Now the 75-minute film is about to get a cinema screening on Thursday 25 February, courtesy of Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema as part of their occasional Made in Edinburgh season.
The story revolves around Edinburgh copper Jim Buchan (Alex Newman) who’s on the hunt for his arch enemy The Monkey, while still hoping he can reconcile with his ex-wife (Laura Fraser) who is now in love with Buchan ex-best friend Jack Harvey (Alistair Mackenzie).
As I mentioned briefly late last year in the Edinburgh Evening News, I was lucky enough to catch a performance of David Allison’s brilliant reworking of FW Murnau’s 1922 horror classic, Nosferatu – now you can too as it comes to Edinburgh’s Filmhouse on Sunday 21 February.
Allison has added his own score to the film, sitting underneath or beside the screen with an assortment of instruments and playing them live to the picture. He also throws in some sound effects and overlays the ‘voice’ of long deceased Scotswoman Emily Gerard, the person who it is thought coined the term Nosferatu in the west.
Here’s a clip to illustrate what happens on the night:
For all the romantics out there Edinburgh’s Filmhouse are vying for your time and money this Valentine’s day with a screening of that classic (?) romantic comedy: Moonstruck.
Loretta Castorini (Cher), a 38-year-old widow, works as a bookkeeper and lives in Brooklyn with her very Italian-American family: her father, Cosmo (Vincent Gardenia), a prosperous plumber; her mother, Rose (Olympia Dukakis); and her grandfather (Feodor Chaliapin). Her boyfriend, Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), proposes to her; although not passionately in love with him, she accepts.
However, Johnny must travel to his mother’s deathbed in Sicily before the wedding. Meanwhile, Loretta meets Ronny (Nicolas Cage), Johnny’s brother, to whom Johnny hasn’t spoken in five years, and they are instantly attracted to each other…
Six out of ten! That was my response to the list of films served up by Filmhouse programmer Rod White as part of his 10 from 09 season (Sat 9 January – Thurs 4 February) which starts in a few days at the cinema.
White has picked his favourite films from 2009 and used his not insubstantial sway to have them all screened for our enjoyment over the coming weeks. I’ve been lucky to see six of them and could be tempted to see at least one more – Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno – as part of this season.
That list in full:
- Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno
- In the City of Sylvia
- An Education
- Let the Right One In
- Katalin Varga
- The White Ribbon
- Fish Tank
- The Class
- Star Trek
One of the main reasons for starting this blog was to highlight events that might only be around for a short time, one-off film screenings or plays that might be here today then…gone.
One upcoming event manages to mash both these things together rather wonderfully, providing Edinburgh film and theatre-goers with the chance to see a live play taking place at London’s National Theatre in the comfort of the Cameo Cinema, live by satellite – boggles the brain a bit really.
The play in question is Terry Pratchett’s Nation (and it’s not one of his Discworld novels) on Saturday 30 January and it goes something like this:
A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau’s village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home.
One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress; neither speaks the other’s language; somehow they must learn to survive. As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer.
From day one of itsonitsgone’s existence I’ve tried hard to search out the rarest screenings of the best cult films being shown locally – I Bury the Living at the Cameo was one of the first – and 2010 is already shaping up to be a good year for aficionados (or, to be more precise, geeks).
The Glasgow Film Theatre are proud to announce the launch if their Cult! USA strand, a chance to see some rarely screened gems from the various decades. Though the title suggests the films are all American, at least one of the offerings appears to be Italian which is slightly confusing.
The season opens on Monday 25 January (also being shown on Tuesday 26) with Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) starring Donald Sutherland in a tale of paranoia and horror.
Next up on Sunday 31 January is 1968′s Theorem from director Pier Paolo Pasolini and starring Terence Stamp – according to IMDB the film’s tagline was “There are only 923 words spoken in “Teorema” – but it says everything!”.
As I recently tweeted, 2010 sees me planning to celebrate the centenary of the birth of film director Akira Kurosawa with both a mammoth viewing of his back catalogue and of the work of many of his fellow Japanese directors – something I can kick-off with the Filmhouse’s Yasujiro Ozu: From Spring to Autumn season (on now until 8 February).
As the Filmhouse point out, Ozu is best-known for Tokyo Story and other tales of family tensions and troubles, his long career spanning everything from student comedies to gangster movies.
January sees the cinema screen seven of Ozu’s films, including Tokyo Story, Late Spring, Late Autumn, Early Summer and a special showing of the silent I Was Born, But… with live musical accompaniment by Forrester Pyke on Wednesday 13 January.
Here’s a look at the Tokyo Story trailer:
Yippie-kye-aye! Getting into the festive mood, Edinburgh’s Cameo will be screening two 1980s Christmas-set films this Sunday afternoon in the shape of Gremlins and Die Hard.
Gremlins is the film that introduced the world to Gizmo and his friends in 1984 as Phoebe Cates and Zach Gilligan try to remember the rules of the Mogwai.
Then there’s the first appearance from Bruce Willis as Detective John McClane, visiting Nakatomi Plaza in LA after flying in from New York to visit his wife and then getting caught up in a minor incident involving a few terrorists.
The films begin at 1.30 at the Cameo and you can book online now. In the meantime here’s the trailer for possibly the finest action film of the 1980s:
I don’t need much of an excuse to get a Muppet-related item on this blog, so thank you to Edinburgh’s Filmhouse for arranging a short season of Christmas-themed films in December, one of which is surely the ultimate retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: A Muppet Christmas Carol.
The cinema will be screening six films in total, beginning with the Muppets on 13 December and finishing with the Raymond Briggs Trilogy on Chrismas Eve.
In between you’ll find the Alastair Sim version of Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, the-not-that-Christmassy-but-we’ll-let-them-off The Wizard of Oz and White Christmas (I’m not dreaming of one if it means the train schedules get scuppered this year), all of which should warm the cockles of even the hardest hearts this festive season.
Full details can be unwrapped on the Filmhouse website, meanwhile here’s that Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody video taking the Internet by storm…and you can add your vote to have it released as a Christmas single via Facebook.
And if that’s got you in a particularly Muppety mood, you could do far worse than set aside some time to watch one the finest Jim Henson productions ever made, A Muppet Family Christmas – if you haven’t seen it, you’ve missed a treat…just watch out for the icy patch!
Edinburgh celebrates St Andrew’s Day weekend 2009 on Sunday 29 November with a programme of events featuring traditional and contemporary live music and family entertainment.
The St Andrew’s DO events are free, and the Filmhouse are getting involved with a programme of free films.
The programme looks like this:
- 11.15am I Know Where I’m Going plus Tam-o-shanter
- 1.15pm Mrs. Brown plus shorts from the Scottish Screen Archive
- 3.30pm The Flying Scotsman plus shorts from the Scottish Screen Archive
All the booking information you need can be found on the Filmhouse website.
Featuring as part of the Filmhouse’s French Film Festival, the Jacques Tati Season may have started a few days ago but there’s still plenty of time to see some of the director/actor’s finest work.
Coming up over the next month are seven films celebrating Tati’s career, including Playtime, Mon Oncle and Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (which I first saw in Screen One of the Filmhouse a few years ago).
Best known for his Hulot character, there’s a chance to see various sides to Tati in documentary The Magnificent Tati on Thursday 26 November, a good primer for those new to his canon.
Read more about the full season over on the Filmhouse website.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to the Cameo Cinema again, this time raising money for the refurbishment of the cinema.
Taking place on Saturday 28 November , all proceeds raised on the evening will go towards the upgrading of the outer foyer and toilets.
Keep an eye on the Cameo website for full details.
John Shuttleworth, star of Radio 4 and Sheffield’s favourite son, is back with a new film, Southern Softies, coming to Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema on Wednesday 25 November.
The film follows Shuttleworth (Graham Fellows) as he travels to the Channel Islands to find out whether Southerners really are softer.
The film opens as a main feature on Friday 20 November at the Cameo but on Wednesday 25 November Graham Fellows will be there in person for a Q + A following the 7.00 pm screening.
I went to the film’s only screening during the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe – you can read my review here. Here’s a look at the trailer:
Full details can be found over on the Cameo website.
Scotland’s leading short film curator The Magic Lantern celebrates short film as both the origin and future of cinema, viewing the short form as a unique platform for innovative, experimental and rule-breaking filmmaking.
Ways of Viewing: The Wooden Lightbox and The Audible Picture Show (CCA Glasgow, Thursday 26 November) draws from turn of the century cinematic prototypes and long forgotten ideas surrounding the moving image and its early promise.
At the core of this approach is the use of a homebuilt projector to present a striking array of handmade and processed emulsion. Hypnosis, panorama, motion studies, expectation, magic, the dreamworld and sleight of eye conspire in this intimate and immersive framework.