<![CDATA[I'm With Geek - Film]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:28:37 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Best of 2015 So Far...And The Best To Come!]]>Mon, 06 Jul 2015 00:31:00 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/the-best-of-2015-so-farand-the-best-to-comePicture
by IWG Staff Team

We’re already passed the half way mark in 2015. As summer has come round so quickly, as it always does when you are an adult, so has the most anticipated movies of the year!


 With such a strong half of the year, it’s hard to imagine how the second half can compete! Our film team have gathered their favourites of so far and the ones we’re most excited for. And it’s an eclectic bunch, indeed.

Best of 2015 

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The Voices
by Cookie N Screen

I’ve got to be honest, this was immediately my jam the minute I saw the first trailer. A lead character who had a mental disorder and struggled to cope in an array of colour and emotion but with a humorous edge? Starring Ryan Reynolds?!?! That’s immediately cinematic gold to me. But despite all this The Voices still managed to exceed all expectations. The film revolves around Jerry - a lowly factory worker who is trying to get by with his sweet-nature and kindness. However, Jerry is suffering from schizophrenia and he hears his dog Bosco and cat Mr. Whiskers talk constantly (both voiced by Reynolds). Then a series of unfortunate events leads to him accidentally kill colleague Fiona. Keeping her head in the fridge and running away from his issues, Jerry stops taking his medication and things go a crazier from there.

Not only is Reynold’s performance incredibly well done - able to balance the off-kilter comedy and the depression well - but Marjane Satrapi’s work is bursting with cleverness and hysterics. Full of vibrancy, the story of Jerry as both hero and villain works marvellously well as he dabbles in his darker side, egged on by his Scottish cat. The film notably allows the issues of mental illness and Jerry’s murderous inclinations to intertwine with the off-kilter elements to produce an instant cult classic. Ferocious with all its themes, The Voices is a combination of all things stellar.

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While We’re Young
by Sean Narborough 


In a year filled with superheroes, terminators and dinosaurs, my favourite film of the year so far isn’t a big budget blockbuster. Instead,it’s Noah Baumbach’s comedy drama about the horrors of getting older and the danger of the youth, While We’re Young. Confession time, I have never seen an Baumbach film before, which nearly made my friend’s head explode when I told her that (Ed: and mine, because, well, Frances Ha!) But I have always been meaning to catch one of his films and I’m so glad I caught While We’re Young. Documentary filmmakers Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are in stuck a rut with both their careers and lives. That is until they meet a younger couple, Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), who helps to rejuvenate their lives, but they aren't what they seem. The film presents a wonderful idea of the fear of getting older and how much more dangerous the young ones are when you start getting older. 

It’s a film I could relate to despite being only 23, as I do start to feel quite old when I do meet people who are younger than me. The film also has some wonderful performances, Stiller shows how great of an actor he can be, something that we haven’t seen for a while. Watts has officially turned her career around after near career killer Diana and has some of the best and funniest moments of the film. But Girls actor and future Star Wars villain, Adam Driver, outshines everyone. The character is very relatable to everyone, as we will all meet someone at some point in our life who is annoying but you can’t hate them because they’re so nice. The film twists and turns with ease, never slowing the pace; always keeping you entertained and provides jokes that everyone can understand regardless of age. While We’re Young is a real gem and is essential viewing but, in the end, the film is telling every person who watches it to live life to the fullest and to have fun.


Now I can’t think of a better message for a film to have. 

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Shaun the Sheep: The Movie
by Jo Johnstone


From the moment the film begun, I knew I would love Shaun the Sheep: The Movie. The opening logo was. in fact, the sheep flock of the film spelling out the legendary name that is Aardman. Sadly. they had spelt it incorrectly and it was up to Shaun to rearrange his wayward flock, (and baby Timmy to provide the studio star logo). Aardman as a studio have, frankly, only gotten better with age. From TV, adverts, shorts and then feature films, their work speaks for itself.

With Shaun the Sheep, they had two mighty challenges. The first was to take a well-loved and popular character from the small to the big screen. Secondly, they had to overcome an obstacle - the characters lack of speech. They are sheep after all and cannot speak but communicate through action and noise.

The result was one of their best films, which sees Shaun and his flock travel to the big city to retrieve their lost farmer, after one of their pranks goes horrible wrong. The film displays what Aardman do like no other studio. Not only does it showcase their absolute skill and craft of stop-motion animation, it shows that they can tell an entertaining yet heartfelt story. They create work that contains all the wit and intelligence to entertain adults but also enough humour and lightness to keep the little ones glued to the screen.

In another studio's hands, this could have been a menial and unengrossing narratives but Aardman take the smallest of stories and create something larger than life. The film was such a success that a sequel is already a possibility. If they manage to make it half as accomplished as this then I am already excited and it’s Aardman, so of course they will.

Besides, anything that gives more time to Timmy is a cause for celebration.   


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A Little Chaos
by Jennifer Drewett 

There have been some good films out already this year including The Duke of Burgundy and Jurassic World but A Little Chaos is a film that truly stands out so far this year. This is a movie that was rather enthusiastically reviewed by this reviewer on I’m With Geek at the time of it’s release.

That enthusiasm has not dwindled with the progression of the year. It is a film that has a perfect mixture of modern film-making and traditional storytelling blended together to show a memorable and captivating piece. Alan Rickman is brilliant; not only as the film’s director but as the French King who is more than just frivolity and vanity. On that point alone, this film is more than worthy of viewing in homes and cinema screens across the land.

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Tomorrowland 
by Melissa Haggar

With over half the year gone, there have been many new additions to the cinematic universe and perhaps none so imaginative or futuristic than Disney’s Tomorrowland. Following in the footsteps of Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomorrowland’s concept stems from the ‘land’ in Disney theme parks.

The film was distinctly more thought-provoking than it was first advertised as, and the strong, emotional nature of the film persevered, boosted by the effortless charisma of Britt Robertson, who starred as Casey, and Hollywood heavy-weights Hugh Laurie and George Clooney. The film was perhaps more relevant than it was ever given the credit for, especially in today’s global climate, and it remains an intriguing gem amongst blockbusters. Beautifully designed, creatively imagined and with a real warmth at its core (largely helped by Brad Bird’s direction), Tomorrowland deserves its place as one of the best films of 2015 so far. 

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Mad Max: Fury Road
by everyone


To strike a balance between thorough story depth, expansive arcs, raucous action and batshit insanity is no easy feat yet Miller has accomplished it so terrifically that you’ll be salivating for more by the end of it. The intensity of Mad Max Fury Road is so, well, ferocious that it is damn near impossible to place it in a category as it drives mercilessly down its own path. George Miller, with barely a sniff of CGI (apparently only the sky is computerised), has enhanced the cinematic experience by gifting us with story, a dystopian world and some intense visuals that no other mastermind could muster. It beats, immediately, with this kinetic energy like the drums and flaming guitar of the theme music car that follows our villain around (well, he doesn't do anything in halves). The design of the film is plentiful - adorned with these vibrant oranges that translate the heat of a near waterless desert world, and wickedly surreal costumes that’d give the citizens of The Hunger Games’ Capitol a run for their money in the “What The Fuck Do We Wear In The Future?” award. All this comes together in this chaotic entertaining away that’s like stick your face into the fires of Valhalla in masochistic pleasurable way. It’s high octane action with the violent beauty of a man who’s wielded his budget and idea to a phenomenal level of filmmaking.

No woman or character is wasted here either. But it's the females who have turned heads this year. That’s the terrific thing about Fury Road. They are all different, with wavering lengths of resolve and plight that, when push comes to shove, level up their journey because of necessity and survival. From the wives, pregnant, young and scared, to the motorcycle gang of old women - no female is spared for the struggles of a man and none are needed for rescue. The combine together, spar off and battle in a true film of equality and strength whilst Max is still pivotal in the journey as well as Nicolas Hault's Nux. 

The countless amount of reviews that have lauded up the movie are all, indeed, correct (though Mark Kermode’s sheepish three stars is a lone review in the crowd. Still makes a lot of good points though). For about ten seconds, the film stagnates. But it is a momentary thing as the cast gather their willpower and fight for yet another scene of debauched, nightmarish and fun fighting. Every element here comes together, including Nicolas Hault’s twisted performance (proving that the young actor is one of the vital around). It’s tremendously entertaining, and should be celebrated many, many times over.

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A Most Violent Year 
by Robbie Jones

The crime drama is one of the best genres around, and contains quite a few masterpieces, the most recent of which would A Most Violent Year. It is an impeccable film; it’s aesthetically pleasing, with the costumes and locations looking very authentic and making the film very atmospheric.

 Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac and David Oyelowo are out of this world, and the direction is phenomenal. To top it all off, the music in this film is used to perfection. A Most Violent Year is hands down one of the best films of the year so far, and I’m sure it’ll still be in my top five by the end of the year.

Honourable Mention: Pre-Oscar releases Birdman, Whiplash and The Theory of Everything 

Best to Come 

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Victor Frankenstein
by Cookie N Screen

Charles Xavier and Harry Potter build a monster from human parts and wonder why it all went wrong.

Yes, even that sentence sounds enticing. One of the best horror novels of all time gets yet another screen outing but this time, it’s told from the point of view of Igor. Striking up his relationship with the titular scientist, the tale leaps off from there and looks to be a terrific horror film. Whilst Igor wasn't in the original Mary Shelley tale, it's a welcome addition here. 

It stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe as the leading men, -a combination that is undeniably great. But further this, it has Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss and Louise Brealey (connecting all the Sherlock crew). Despite being classed as an American film, Victor Frankenstein is steeped in Victorian period drama and gore human bits. Plus, the director has also directed The Great Game episode of Sherlock which is arguably one of the best episodes showcasing his adeptness at thrills and spills. Peter McGuigan may not have had the best cinematic outings but it looks, from initial images, to be a chilling escapade for the famed fictional scientist.

OH! And the writer of the film is John Landis’ son Max who wrote Chronicle. This film has all the right components and I swear if we don’t get a trailer in soon, my brain might explode. 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens
by Sean Narborough

 
What else am I going to look forward to the most this year; of course it’s Star Wars. The seventh entry in the most famous and biggest sci-fi franchise of all time returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Set 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, The Force Awakens centers around Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) appearing alongside returning characters from the original trilogy to… well, I don’t actually know. The film is wrapped up so tightly that only the people who worked on the film know what it’s about. It is this air of mystery that makes the film so much more exciting. The Force Awakens has everyone so excited because of the feeling of both old and new. It’s obvious from the trailers that the budget is bigger than any Star Wars film before it because of the large amount of special effects shown, but the familiarity of practical effects also shown in the trailers is a wonderful mix that will hopefully please everyone.

One of the things that has me so excited for the film is the cast involved. I got so giddy when I saw the cast announcement because there are so many wonderful actors who are about to get the chance shine brighter than ever before. Actors like John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o and Domhnall Gleeson will project their careers to new heights, while actors like Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow will add another impressive role to their storied careers. Plus the returning cast of the original trilogy is enough to please fanboys everywhere. The Force Awakens is going to be the movie event of the year; it’s going to be so big that I might have to book my ticket in advance for once. It’s without a doubt going to be the highest grossing film of the year and is the best chance in a long time to knock Avatar off the top as the highest grossing film of all time. But if The Force Awakens isn’t as awesome as it has to be, JJ Abrams, we will be coming for your blood.


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The Good Dinosaur
by Jo Johnstone

Way back in 1995 a film appeared that would change the face of animation forever. Toy Story was not only innovative for its use of complete CGI animation but for opening up animation to a wider audience. The film was a phenomena and the name PIXAR would forever be placed in our concise.

Since the film the studio have gone on to create some, if not most, of the best animations of all time. Newly released Inside Out marks the studios fifteenth feature film but it is a later release that really excites me.

The Good Dinosaur, released this November, asks the simple question, what if an asteroid never wiped out the Dinosaurs? What if they survived and we had to live side by side? The film follows a young Apatosaurus called Arlo who finds himself lost far from home. While making his way back he befriends a cave boy called Spot and the two go on an adventure together. Full film details are yet to be released but the film has a The Land Before Time feel to it. Mixed with magic as only Pixar can deliver this is a film to look forward to.

Pixar have always tapped into the greatest aspects of man’s inner most wants and desires. While also pushing their CGI animations to awe-inspiring new heights. Combine that with creatures that seem to bring out the geeky child in us all and The Good Dinosaur could be one of Pixar’s best. The film ran into early development problems that saw original director Bob Peterson moved off the project and the release date pushed back an entire year. Yet the initial footage and first teaser trailer show amazing promise. After Jurassic World, it would be nice to see the Dinosaur's lighter side.  

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Suffragette
by Jennifer Drewett 


Feminism and the suffragette movement have been controversial topics for many decades and continue to be majorly important to this day. With some proclaiming the suffragettes as one of the first examples of feminism whilst others consider them as too extreme, this reviewer is very keen to see where Suffragette goes in it’s representation of the women who fought for rights.

Will it be a rose-tinted, romanticised story that shows the women as pure protagonists despite allegations of the real-life women having other discriminatory attitudes? Will it try to be a balanced critique of a time in modern history that still has consequences in the present day? The only way to find out is to see the film and find out.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Robbie Jones


My love for rhyming titles knows no bounds, but that’s not the only reason I’m excited for this. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl looks amazing; the trailers have this quirky, heartfelt vibe that we could all do with from time to time.

With a title that involves the words “Dying Girl”, there’s always a chance of tears, but it’ll be worth it for the fun loving and heartwarming tone of this film. The film has already received great reviews, which was to be expected. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl can’t come soon enough.

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Crimson Peak 
by Melissa Haggar


Hiddleston. Chastain. Wasikowska. If that wasn’t enough to sway you then I should point out that Crimson Peak is legendary director Guillermo Del Toro’s latest effort. It certainly seems that the film is set to be an artistic vision packed with horror and mystery, if the credits are anything to go by. 

Set for release in mid-October, Crimson Peak looks destined for great things. It’s got everything you could possibly want - a sense of the supernatural, a dash of the gorgeous gothic and all wrapped up in with a nice terrifying bow. Who doesn’t want to live in their own creepy mansion with their new slightly mysterious husband and creepy sister in law? No one, that’s who (ok, maybe most people). Get your cinema tickets at the ready because this is going to cause major waves in October. 


What Do You Think? 

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What do you think? 

Are these the best of the year so far? 

What are you excited for? 

Let us know in the comments below! 

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: The Seventh Fire - Review ]]>Sun, 05 Jul 2015 20:04:27 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-the-seventh-fire-reviewPicture
by Cookie N Screen

Culture.

It’s an important part of who we are. It comes from a long history bestowed onto us from our parents, their parents and so on. Culture is there as an amalgamation of the past and the present. It allows us to remember who we once were whilst still evolving to how the world is now. Culture is so fruitful and vibrant - each country has different subsections that gift our lives with this understanding and love. There are also bad cultures - drug, crime and violent groups that have perforated through history.

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Despite this, a lot of the good side of these groups would and should continue thriving to this day. At least, that would be the case if one certain Empire didn’t spend years trying to twist or destroy other cultures. One such community is that of Native Americans. Pushed to near extinction, the traits and history of the Natives, who were ruthlessly cut down by settlers, has left many with this archaic view on the dwindling group and therefore drench them in stereotypes  

I’m starting this review as such because the terrifically astute and eye-opening documentary The Seventh Fire perhaps places the audience into a subsection of culture they simply forgot about - and allows them to understand the people in the heat of it all.

The Seventh Fire, directed by Jack Pettiebone Riccobono in his first feature, revolves around Rob Brown, a Native American gang leader who lives on a Minnsesota reservation and is facing his fifth stint in prison. As part of the Ojibwe community, he must come to terms with his responsibility and how he abused it, bringing a violent drug culture and introducing it to everyone he knows. Amongst the community is Kevin - a seventeen year old “protégé” who wants to be the biggest drug dealer, following in Rob’s path.

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Presented by Terence Malik and produced partly by Natalie Portman, in its own redolent and alluring way, The Seventh Fire is a necessary watch. The title comes from an old adage of that after the destruction of a culture, the youth will rise in its place and return the community back to the roots and tradition. A title which captures the visceral vein running throughout this film as you urge the young Kevin to change his ways before it's too late. By no means is this an easy watch - the almost cocksure attitude surrounding drugs and violence will cause you to shuffle in your seats. But these are people, fully fleshed out in front of the camera, that despite their degenerate ways, they have ambition, hope and personality. Rob even regales text and literature which gives depth to a documentary narrative that has been strung out before - drugs, crime and gangs.

By no means is Jack Pettiebone Riccobono is wielding his camera to judge - this isn’t Benefit Street or Ross Kemp and Gangs (which, by the way, isn’t the metaphor I really wanted either but the first that came to mind). The director is aware of how easy it is to implement a story that causes you to tut or lament about the people at the centre of it - which is what steers away from. It's without a specific agenda other than to showcase the community of the Ojibwes honestly and with all their problems - self-inflicted or imposed. It’s with this narrative that The Seventh Fire opens to its audience and allows you to engage with Brown and Fineday and their whole community as observers rather than criticize. All the while, this does not silence your thoughts and you’ll leave mulling over the situations and the pseudo-gangsters who, in some way, try to immortalise pop culture icons (there’s even a Scarface poster above them at one point which is very indicative to how they believe their drug empire should’ve gone).

There are times where the film drags with no coherent aim, especially the beginning but as the real-life characters of Rob Brown and Kevin Fineday are introduced, the film comes into it's own. Without this conscious thought, it’s bloody difficult to ease yourself into it. However, when you do - the film burns with this story of almost redemption? Certainly it has this element of understanding and captures a piece of America which has never before seen on screen. And despite the issues here within the Ojibwes “tribe”, it is a film about humanity still  and how, even now, it could thrive with hope once more. 

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: Dora, or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents - Review]]>Sun, 05 Jul 2015 18:57:07 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-dora-or-the-sexual-neuroses-of-our-parents-reviewPicture
by Helen Langdon 

As a society, we love sex. Sex sells. But it has to be the right type of sex. If you don’t look right, or you’re too old, mainstream society doesn’t want to think about you having sex. And that extends to those people with learning difficulties. Never mind that you might have sexual urges just the same – society rushes to infantilise you. That’s the central issue of Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents, the story of an 18-year-old girl with unspecified learning disabilities who comes off her medication and discovers her sexuality, to the horror of her protective parents.

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This is a story about Dora’s self-discovery and push for independence, even as her parents keep trying to have another, hopefully neurotypical child. Nothing’s simple and easy in this film, and it chooses to stay away from making any of the answers clear cut. For example, take the first sexual encounter between Dora and Peter. From one point of view – the view Dora’s parents take – it’s very definitely rape, as Dora is incapable of giving fully informed consent. But it’s an encounter that Dora seeks out, and she doesn’t resist, in stark contrast to the later struggle with Mark in Peter’s flat.

Dora wants sex because it feels good, and she associates Peter with that. Dora could have classed Peter as the romantic hero, but it would have been a weird, cheap resolution. Rather than Peter becoming a better person through his association with Dora, he remains a bit of a bastard throughout. He might be nice to Dora, but to her parents, he claims that he’s just there to fuck her. He’s the amoral centre of Dora’s world, and it’s great that we never quite figure him out.

And that indeterminacy is mirrored even in the look of the film. Towards the start, when Dora is drugged up, shots from her point of view tend to be hazy around the edges and a whirl of motion. Later on, there’s a change in focal length so that faces loom large and dominate the screen as much as they dominate Dora’s attention when people force her to focus on them. Just as Dora can’t see the full picture, neither can we.

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To be honest, the only problem with Dora is the ending. Her mum takes drugs and starts to see the world in the same hazy way as Dora, before possibly maybe taking part in an orgy while Dora gives birth in the same toilet cubicle where she first had sex with Peter. Or does she? Who knows? We see her straining and in pain, and then some extreme close-ups of Dora holding a clean baby in clothes. Is this just Dora’s mother’s imagination? Or Dora’s? Or did Dora manage to give birth, clean the baby and dress it all by herself, despite the difficulty she had earlier just boiling water?

It’s a step of ambiguity too far for this film, which remained grounded in reality up until this point. But still, Dora is a fairly good film that deals with an issue of sexuality rarely dealt with in mainstream media.

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: Generation Right - Review]]>Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:02:37 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-generation-right-reviewPicture
by Cookie N Screen

“Me me me me me, that’s the culture she instilled.”

says activist Lyn Matthews in the short but plentiful documentary Generation Right. And that is something I wailed “Yes!” stupidly loud. Whilst trying not to wade in on the political climate of an era I was born into, this is an atmosphere that trickled down since Margaret Thatcher was in power. The divide in the country has left an impact in the country so big that some are dismayed with the Tories reign continuing and many are in celebration. But there is no denying that when Thatcher was Prime Minister, it had a detrimental impact on our nation that is still met with distain now. 

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Directed by Michelle Coomber, this is a movie about ideology that was implemented into our culture and sent shockwaves across the nation. Following the reign of Thatcher from her rise to power and through to the crisis in 2008, Generation Right tries to understand exactly why people mention her name in embittered spitting and anger.

As aforementioned, I’m going to try and keep my own political opinion out of this review. Coomber does well to highlight issues with Thatcher’s campaign by splicing the film with interviews of those prevalent in the 80s as well as archive footage. The incidents such as the Miners’ Strike and the descent into crime and protest are juxtaposed against Thatcher’s statements, especially those such as blaming the chaos on the public rather than the stranglehold of her policies. As unemployment rose too shockingly, Thatcher - in her own stock footage so you cannot deny that - condemned the public who were outraged as lazy and moaning which in turn took the blame away from her.

That’s the more infuriating aspect of good old Maggie that will no doubt rile the watcher. Throughout her term, Thatcher changed a lot. Sometimes it was for the good but a lot of the times, her demands and cuts put people in crisis. As Generation Right points out, people and youth were leaving schools with a lot of hope only to be met with no work or job and subsequently no hope. The biggest takeaway from the film was that crime wasn’t a youth or unemployment issue - it was the result of desperation and frustration - something that Thatcher took and twisted in interviews. Which is hauntingly similar to how the Tories’ are treating the public today. Whilst some of their policies may seem good - there is enough to make people fearful - especially if they are low income or without work. 

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See unemployment isn’t the product of laziness. As someone who works and volunteers getting as little income someone whose 26 could get, and without benefits, I might add, it just isn’t as simple as going out and getting a service or low entry job. I live in a small town and for every job prospect, I’ve seen at least 75 people jump to it. From cleaning to admin work. Yet I see the same people desperate for some income clinging to hope and determination demonized for their efforts. Heck, I’ve been demonized for their efforts. Generation Right shows just how damaging a country in turmoil can be when the leader in charge blames you for everything going wrong.

Oh look - I’ve slipped into debate mode but I can argue that Coomber’s work was supposed to provoke. At a short forty minutes, she packs enough in here to mull over and chew the political fat with those around you. This may not be the most balanced of documentaries, despite interviews with Conservative supporters, there is a definitive focus on the backlash against her government and the madness it spread throughout our culture to the financial crisis of modern times. As one protestor mentions here, Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister still affects us today and until we revolt, she’ll continue to be mentioned.

While I’m not endorsing protest…it is something to think about.


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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: The Fire (El Incendrio) - Review ]]>Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:44:21 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-the-fire-el-incendrio-reviewPicture
by Mahesh Submarian 

First time director Juan Schnitman unveils El Incendio a movie  that’s set in the space of twenty four hours about the  hot and cold relationship between Lucia (Pilar Gamboa) and Marcelo (Juan Barberini). The two offer a violent chemistry from the start, with their banter threatening to turn from playful to sexual in seconds. Their forced to leave the safety of their apartment to deliver a large sum money to a suspicious friend in order to buy their new house.

When outside forces try to stop the delivery from happening, they begin to turn on one another. Schnitman does a good job of the fight scenes which could have been predictable but instead the characters bounce from one another with unconventional writing like magnets forced to reject one another.

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Schnitman also tries to satirically shows the cultural issues of gender as Marcelo is insecure that his woman Lucia is wealthier than him, the fact that it's her money that will pay for the new property is uncomfortable for him. Lucia is a chef who works in a kitchen full of male chefs and is suffocated with their attention from the second she enters, each attempting to win her favour. Marcelo also faces trials at his work, he is underpaid at the school he works at and, furthermore, facing claims he abused pupils at the school. Both characters manners change once facing different characters and in different environments as if changing masks.

The handing over of cash physically is an unwelcome salute to one of Argentina's laws, possibly mirroring Schnitman's own frustration, and when that fails they are forced to emotionally endure each other. On what should have been a special day to commemorate, they are, instead, at each other's throats in the other way, the violence that was only teased in the beginning now boils through with anger. The dance of control and power begins between the two characters and violence, information and sex appeal are their weapons of choice.

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Both actors give a superb performance, from feeling the frustration of Marcelo's lack of comprehension to Lucia treading on eggshells with her every word.  The chemistry illuminates on screen as the pair dive into their characters and roles. With them, the film would not be as engaging as it is.

The direction and cinematography were on par with one another as the isolated apartment in the big city further enhanced the distance between the characters, despite being close enough to touch either they couldn’t be emotionally further away from one another. Despite having a full apartment to be free of one another the apartment gave an odd emotional claustrophobia.

The movie struggles to find its footing and struggles with pace as we're either seeing a passionate argument between the two or a silent and gloomy lull, as the characters take their time to reenergise from each other. Understandably, it was an attempt for the audience to mirror the characters emotions but it was executed a little too gratuitously to make a lasting effect. Overall, a compelling and sympathetic look into a toxic relationship. 


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<![CDATA[Pocahontas: 20 Years On... ]]>Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:20:11 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/pocahontas-20-years-onPicture
by Laura W

Who doesn’t want a talking tree, a raccoon and a hummingbird as pets? Who doesn't want to be able an able to paint with all the colours of the wind? And don’t lie, you just sang that last bit! June 23rd marked the 20th anniversary of Disney’s 33rd animated feature film, that trickled through the globe. That film was Pocahontas. The songs were gorgeous and the story was fun, giving a few teachable moments, as per usual with Disney. While the film wasn’t entirely historically accurate (come on now, this is Disney), it was one of the studios artistically best.

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Pocahontas, the real Native American figure, inspires the film. A headstrong young lady, she has been informed by her father that she is to marry a Native warrior. While torn between whether she should follow her heart or follow the expectations of her father and people, Pocahontas meets John Smith, a British Settler who has come, along with other British settlers, in search of gold and other material “riches”. Pocahontas teaches him that there are no such riches here, but to look at the world in a different way. They encounter prejudices from both sides and learn to work together to bring peace.

While the film received mixed reviews, it was a success with audiences. Pocahontas was highly praised for its stunning animation and visuals and the music whilst being highly criticized. Pocahontas ended up winning two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Colours of the Wind), and a sequel, entitled Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World was released several years later. Pocahontas was one of the first films to use a big named star (Mel Gibson) to voice an animated character, potentially to attract audience, following on from films such as Aladdin (Robin Williams) and The Great Mouse Detective (Vincent Price). Several attractions were created at the Disney Parks, including meet and greets with the characters of the film and shows centering around nature and animals.

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There was some controversy around several of the song lyrics, particularly in the song “Savages”. Lyrics were changed due to complaints of offensive terms directed toward the Native people. While the words remained the same on the soundtrack and original VHS release, they were changed for all subsequent DVD and Blu-Ray releases only. This wasn’t the first time Disney has had to change lyrics. The song, Arabian Nights from Aladdin, had two lines completely rewritten, again to due to uproar.

We all know what Mel Gibson is (or isn’t) up to these days, but what about the rest of the cast? Irene Bedard (speaking voice of Pocahontas) voiced Pocahontas again in the sequel. She has appeared in other films including The New World (coincidentally playing Pocahontas’s mother) and several television shows. Judy Kuhn (singing voice of Pocahontas) recently received her fourth Tony nomination for Fun Home. She has appeared in numerous films, television and stage shows since Pocahontas, including Enchanted, Law & Order: SVU, and more. Judy also originated the role of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway.

David Ogden Stiers (Ratcliffe & Wiggins) is primarily known to TV watchers for his role in the television show M*A*S*H as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III. However, to film fans, he’s primarily known as the voice of numerous animated characters. These include Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast, the Archdeacon in Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Jumba Jookiba in Lilo & Stitch. Perhaps the most famous cast member, aside from Gibson, is Christian Bale, who provided the voice of Thomas. Christian has appeared in a variety of films since Pocahontas was initially won an Oscar and Golden Globe for his role as Dicky Eklund in 2010’s The Fighter.

Pocahontas taught us to paint with the colours of the wind and to listen with our hearts. It is considered, artistically, one of Disney's best. It’s funny how fast time flies.

Almost like colours of the wind. 

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: The Centre - Review ]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2015 22:56:22 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-the-centre-reviewPicture
by Helen Langdon 

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what The Center is trying to say. Is it a film about how no-one really understands twenty-something male writers? Is it a critique of Scientology? Is it actually all about the meaningless of modern existence, through a cunning use of constant urban imagery (lots of random shots of streets) and a neverending loud score (often louder than dialogue)?

The Center doesn’t seem to know what it’s about. So if you can figure it out, you’re doing well.

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The film revolves around Ryan who is struggling to cope with his shitty cope and shittier sense of direction in life. So, naturally, he is taken by the charismatic leader of cult The Center. Within the group, Ryan finds himself and begins to hope for his future. Except, this is a cult he is in and he soon realises that there is a darker side to the organisation. 

This story of a young man who falls in with a crowd of people suspiciously cultish in their outlook fails on a few fronts, but the main problem is the lack of characters. There are plenty of people in this, but we get zero information about most of them. Main character Ryan says that he feels disconnected from other people most of the time, and that disconnect extends to us as an audience. There’s nothing to Ryan, apart from a vague urge to study writing and a crappy TV. He’s so bland and blank and ineffectual in his own story that he might as well be replaced by a glass of tap water. There’d be more life in it.

There are just constant fleeting glimpses of possible storylines and characters which might be interesting – but then they’re snatched away so we can sit through another flashback to scenes from half an hour ago, just in case we’ve forgotten what happened. Why is Ryan’s mum alcoholic? What’s up with Amanda? What pushes that other Center member to try to quit? Who knows? It’s frustrating that these interesting bits are there, but never quite reached.

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It’s like Vincent, who’s supposedly the leader of the Center cult. From one point of view, it’s good that he’s unknowable. But on the other hand, it’d be great for us to actually find out why everyone’s following him. All we really see is that he’s a dick in the name of being “honest”. But that’s not enough to become a cult leader, or else Jeremy Kyle would be creating his own compound right now. It’s a lot of tell-not-show with Vincent – we’re never told exactly what his revolutionary new ideas are, for example, or why he’s a fraud. It’s a constant barrage of half-formed information.

Again, maybe that’s a deliberate choice by director Charlie Griak. Maybe we are supposed to be in the same position as Ryan's sister.  Perhaps the story is to take the audience on this journey of ignorance - not completely understanding what’s going on and why Ryan would make these choices. But if we’re going to care about the story, we need to care about the characters and understand the choices they make. And that’s something The Center just doesn’t quite manage. Instead, we get a film about unlikeable characters hard to quantify and know. It's hard to  justify the character which falters the entire experience. 

The biggest shame about this is that it is present by the Silence of the Lambs director Jonathon Demme - so who knows what indoctrination he went to back this film? 

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: Salad Days - Review ]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2015 22:28:52 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-salad-days-reviewPicture
by Sean Narborough 

If there’s one thing I love as much as films, it’s music. I listen to anything that sounds good, but I am more partial to rock and indie music. Over the years, I have listened to a wide range of rock music including punk music, so when it came up that the East End Film Festival was showing a documentary about punk music, I knew this was something I was going to enjoyed… right? 


Salad Days is a documentary surrounding the DC punk scene during the 80s and how the genre changed throughout the years but not always for the better. Music documentaries are difficult to make because you want to get across all the information you’ve gathered without being too boring. Salad Days treads this line but at times struggles to keep balance. The interviews are fantastic; they are informative and entertaining thanks to people like Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins but there are some people who are a bit dull and bring the energy down.

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The charge of the film is one of the film’s biggest problems. This is a documentary on the DC punk scene, a loud and energetic chapter of the political center of the US, but it struggles to maintain the pace. The atmosphere jumps up and down, using the footage of performances during the era to wake the audience up at numerous times during the film. But these performances are incredible to watch, they do a great job of showing the chaos of the punk scene and does a wonderful job of showing how the scene changed.

Before seeing Salad Days, I knew a fair bit about punk music but after seeing it; it has taught me more about the scene and what happened in DC during that time. The film charts the history of the scene from early beginnings with bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, to people using the scene to get away with mindless violence, to ‘Revolution Summer’ of 1985, to how the scene helped the shape the music of the 90s. One part of the punk scene I did know about was straight edge. Straight edge is when someone doesn’t drink alcohol, smokes cigarettes or do drugs, which started when under aged kids would have their hands marked with an ‘X’ at shows so that the bar knew not to serve them.

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What I didn’t know was how much trouble this caused for the scene, as people started to into two directions, straight edge or bent edge. This is one of the most entertaining parts of the documentary as lead singer of Minor Threat and Fugazi, Ian MacKaye says despite being in his 50s, he still to this day has kids prank call him, drunk, asking “Are you upset that I’m drinking?” and simply replies “No.” In fact, the most entertaining parts of Salad Days come from MacKaye, not only he is informative, he is hysterical. The documentary’s best moments do come from the wealth of punk royalty including people like Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Amy Pickering of Fire Party and even Dave Grohl, who did start out in DC punk band, Scream, before joining Nirvana.

While the overall energy of Salad Days rise and falls, it’s still an entertaining and interesting documentary. It’s a fascinating look at the DC punk scene with great interviews and very cool visuals that best suit the music. Director Scott Crawford has done a great job of using the money he raised via Kickstarter. You can see that this is something very personal to him and creates a wonderful film. If you love your punk music, you’ll love Salad Days, but if not, it’s still an enjoyable and loud rollercoaster of energy worth catching.


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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: MLE - Review]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2015 20:16:24 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-mle-reviewPicture
by Melissa Haggar 

Acting. Job interviews. Spying. Vampire Mermaids. It seems like an odd collection of elements in a movie, but nonetheless Sarah Warren’s East-London shot debut covers them all. Starring in the lead role as Julie Robert (whom people confuse for Julia Roberts), Warren encounters many bizarre scenarios in this quirky, comedic film.

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MLE (short for My Little Eye) is a film conceptualised by Warren, who wrote, directed and starred in it, and charts the journey of Robert as she moves to a new country alongside her best friend Camilla (Julie Sype). The two are set up to star in the lead roles in low-budget movie ‘Vampire Mermaids Go To Heaven’, until funding is suddenly pulled (not really surprising), leaving Robert without a job or any future career prospects. Robert’s day is made increasingly worse when she almost runs over a woman named Bella on her way out of the studio (Jo Price), who offers Robert a job to essentially spy on her step-daughter named Joy (Deidre Garcia) to see what she is actually spending their money on. All out of options, Robert takes the job and that’s where things get interesting, and begin to descend into lunacy.

Sarah Warren is introduced as insanely likeable, and the character of Julie is eccentric and ridiculously loveable, with her penchant for puppets and cake making her stand-out amongst the urban backdrop. Warren is in her element writing about funny women, and the comedy style is similar to more frank female-buddy films, with Warren’s distinctly self-deprecating humour and remarkable chemistry with Sype being one of the more notable elements of the movie. The two undoubtedly shine when together and their dialogue is some of the more humorous on the film, hitting the comedic mark effortlessly. The type of self-telling story through puppets that Julie has is an intriguing element to the film, which gives it a sense of true heart and makes the whole piece more quirky and relatable. These factors help to elevate the film above your average docu-drama.

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Whilst the film has some funny elements and a light-hearted feel, it has a stronger, more thought-provoking core – particularly surrounding the role of women in cinema and female actors. The film is underpinned with an interesting look on female exploitation, particularly in the acting profession, as the ways in which women are treated can range from bizarre to extremely disturbing. The film draws attention to the power certain people have in terms of ‘letting others in’ and the ways in which people can abuse this power, whilst also shedding light on the ways in which rejection and ignorance can devastate someone’s life.

Whilst some of the jokes and humour in MLE don’t quite soar as they should, the film is a smart showcase of Warren’s talents and has enough originality and uniqueness to see it safely through its 1hr 38 minute running time. Documenting the reality for a working woman in the 21st century, MLE. is exceptional at highlighting the socio-economic struggles of people in today’s society and the exploitation of women in industries whilst sealing it with a more humorous and sweet bow to help others digest the bittersweet taste of today’s reality.

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<![CDATA[East End Film Festival: Crumbs - Review]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:53:51 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/film/east-end-film-festival-crumbs-reviewPicture
by Gloria Daniels-Moss

Destiny, unexplained happenings and big dreams all combine together resulting in a unique and quite frankly bizarre post-apocalyptic love tale from Spanish director Miguel Llanso. One’s initial thoughts after viewing this rather weird and wonderful piece of cinema will most definitely be thoughts of confusion and bewilderment; in the best way possible.

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As we are taken on a fantasy journey riddled with emotion, a distinct sense of inspiration surfaces. The use of the vast, spacious deserted Ethiopian landscape makes for serene imagery that brings a unique opportunity for a photohraph in virtually every frame. Tortured, happy, sad and angry characters rule the screen providing a very enthralling narrative. Our determined lead character Candy (Daniel Tadesse) resides in an abandoned bowling alley with his quirky lover Birdy (Selam Tesfaye). Obsessed with finding out a way to break into a mysterious space craft that has been hovering, dormant in the sky for years. As this eerie spaceship suddenly awakes an unexplained force travels through our characters as strange things start happening.

Here there are so many genres being mashed together resulting in a hybrid reminiscent of the famous Coen Brother’s off the wall The Big Lebowski, alongside tropes present in the drug induced Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, minus the gigantic lizards. Ordinarily with such an independent film exploiting Nazism and destroying children’s fantasies, this isn’t a film that everyone will immediately take to. The epicness of Candy’s aspirations drives this narrative. After being pushed out into the real world, he has to adapt and by doing so and that’s where his over-sized dreams come into play. After all, what sort of place would this world be if we couldn’t conjure up something entirely different from reality in our minds?

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Llanso manages to neatly compact so many different themes, genres and side-plots into this just over an hour feature film. Short when it comes to the now near three  hour summer blockbusters we have to endure time and time again; however Crumbs is a refreshing indie flick that makes it seem as if anything is possible. The historical link of past civilizations and fairy-tales is at the forefront of this narrative, just as it is buried deep within today’s society. The human race is constantly picking up the crumbs and making up for the mistakes we have made throughout the years and perhaps dreaming of a better world is the only way to deal with what we have previously done. Just as Candy does, traipsing through places and in and out of old wives tales, he sees the mistakes and uses the power of his own mind to create a better world to live in, despite his immediate surroundings.

Spaceships, Father Christmas, Witches and horse riding Nazi’s usually wouldn’t gel on screen, yet somehow it does. The clichéd reminder that love conquers all is unavoidable, yet not completely consumed by Hollywood’s sickening representation.  A delightful, little piece of world cinema that captures a reassuring images despite being in such a chaotic world.

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