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5 practical tips for making your first indie film

Whether you fancy yourself as the next Kurosawa or you simply have a story you’re itching to tell, getting started in filmmaking is a daunting task. These tips and tricks should help you on your way. 1. Get the script right first With a lot of amateur filmmakers, there seems to be a rush to […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Three Wishes for Cinderella (Václav Vorlíček, 1973)

The story of Cinderella has been adapted countless times, from the iconic Disney animation to Kenneth Branagh’s recent live action take. One less well-known adaptation is Three Wishes for Cinderella, a Czech-German co-production regarded in Central Europe as a Christmas classic. Václav Vorlícek’s film gives a different take on Cinderella to what we’re used to. […]

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Brilliant Failures Features Reviews

Brilliant Failure: Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975)

Norman Jewison’s Rollerball opens with the rituals of any sports match. The stadium is prepared, team executives shake hands, and crowds cheer as the players emerge. But one of the first hints that this is not sport entirely as we know it comes when the players stand not for The Star-Spangled Banner or God Save […]

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Features Screengems Uncategorized

Screengem: Tom’s Fedora in Miller’s Crossing (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1990)

Inspired by the novels of Dashiell Hammett, and featuring corrupt cops, Tommy gun hits, and that typical fixation over loyalty, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Miller’s Crossing goes all out to embrace the mythology and imagery of the gangster noir. And what gangster’s image is complete without the iconic fedora? Though the story follows the war […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: Keaton’s Train in The General (Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926)

One of the most fondly remembered works of silent cinema, Keaton and Bruckman’s The General is a masterpiece in both daring comic performance and narrative simplicity – many of the greatest visual jokes ever filmed all revolve around one man and his train. That man is Johnnie Gray (Keaton), a railroad engineer whose attempt to enlist […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: The War Room (Chris Hegedus & D. A. Pennebaker, 1993)

With the UK’s General Election now over, those curious about what goes on behind the scenes of an election campaign may find interest in The War Room, a documentary produced by D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus as they followed the campaign staff of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential run. Trailing the team from the early […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Blue is the Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

Coming-of-age stories in which a young person comes to terms with their sexuality are very common in LGBT cinema and literature, yet Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour walks this well-trodden ground in a refreshingly intense manner. The strikingly blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux) helps unsure young Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) find her identity – but their relationship […]

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Brilliant Failures Features Reviews

Brilliant Failure: Celebrity (Woody Allen, 1998)

The lengths people go to when seeking fame and fortune has been a prime target for many comedians, not least Woody Allen. Celebrity (1998) gives a broad and characteristically cynical take on the lives of the rich and famous, as well as the not-yet-rich and the not-quite-famous-enough, undoubtedly drawing on the director’s own long Hollywood career. […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: The Crucifix in Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979)

As the recent tragic events in Paris demonstrate, religious satire is a dangerous game to play. And yet comedians across the ages have often found organised religion to be a prime target. A great and daring example of this is Life of Brian, which takes on the world of the New Testament, plus contemporary issues […]