documentary tagged posts

BFI Player launches Japan 2020 in May



Japan 2020, a six month event showcasing over 100 years of Japanese cinema, is live now on BFI Player.

Collections on Akira Kurosawa and classic Japanese movies are available to watch, with more to follow in June through October.

The Tokyo Olympics are postponed until 2021, and possibly beyond. The chances of travelling to and from the Isle of Wight let alone Japan this year are wobbly. So, the fact the BFI are going ahead with the season is great news in a miserable time.

Safely escape lockdown for £4.99 a month (and two weeks free trial) by journeying through over one hundred years of Japanese cinema from the comfort of your living room.

Classics of Japan’s Golden Age and films that rocked the studio system...

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Saigon Metalhood – Inside Vietnamese Heavy Metal

If you want to rock down while you lockdown, we recommend a heavy dose of Saigon Metalhood. A documentary about the Vietnamese heavy metal scene since the 1970s, it uncovers a musical movement little known outside the country and one that receives little love from within.

Divided into three sections, Saigon Metalhood takes a past, present and future view of the country’s metal scene and key players.

We meet Trung Thanh Sago, who has flown the metal flag since the 1970s when the country was at war, and still fronts his band Sagometal. Trung Loki is another pioneer, again pushing a music genre largely unloved by a population who favour the synth stylings of K-pop...

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The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves

Director: Dima Ballin

Writers: Kat Ellinger

Cast: Ian Ogilvy, Tom Baker, Kat Ellinger, Benjamin Halligan

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Producers: Dima Ballin, Kat Ellinger

Editor: Dima Ballin

Cinematographers: Jim Kunz, Constantine Nasr, Jon Robertson

Running time: 86mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: A documentary recounting the short, eventful life of British director Michael Reeves.

What’s the verdict: For most who have even heard of Michael Reeves, it is likely their knowledge extends to him directing Witchfinder General, dying young and delivering one of film history’s great put-downs...

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London Film Festival 2018 Round-Up – The Electric Shadows Podcast


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In Episode 51 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel & Wallis looks back at the movies that impressed them at the BFI London Film Festival 2018.

Rob Daniel valiantly battles through a heavy cold to impart his movie opinion. Rob Wallis, being younger and of a generally tougher constitution, is on finer form.

Movies discussed range from the thrilling (Widows, Suspiria), to the moving (If Beale Street Could Talk, They Shall Not Grow Old) to the plain batsh*t crazy (Sorry To Bother You, In Fabric, Mandy).

The Robs reveal what their two fave films of the festival were, plus the one true stinker they both endured. What to know what these films are? Listen on…


To check out Rob Wallis’ mo...

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2018 London Film Festival – Mid-Festival Round-Up

An exquisite torture when attending the London Film Festival is working out how many movies can be viewed over the twelve days before physical shut down occurs. Two or three a day seems reasonable. But, with 225 feature films showing (plus a further 160 shorts), 24 or 36 movies begins to seem like small beer indeed.

A first amongst first world problems, we know, but there is so much to feast upon and so little time. And sleep tends to encroach at some point (typically around day 4).

What is genuinely good fun is seeing how the disparate films can be bunched together. What themes emerge across the movies? Below are our observations of this year’s London Film Festival at the midway point.

Sure, it is arbitrary as all hell – key films we were unable to attend include Vox Lux, Beautiful Boy...

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Fahrenheit 11/9

Director: Michael Moore

Writer: Michael Moore

Cast: Michael Moore, Donald Trump, Rick Snyder, Emma Gonzalez, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, David Hogg

Cert: 15

Running time: 128mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Michael Moore looks across America to see what paved the way for Donald Trump becoming President.

What’s the verdict: Michael Moore’s explosive new film is a paean to the grassroots activism that has mobilised in the face of Republican and Democrat indifference and corruption.

For Donald Trump is not Moore’s only target. Indeed, he is correctly depicted as a conniving opportunist able to see self-gain in a wrecked system. The film presents an urgently argued account of the road he took to seize the White House.

Moore is master of editing found footage into a compelling narra...

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Must-See Movies at FrightFest 2018

The biggest monster in 2018 is my dear friend who has chosen to get married abroad this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Ahem, I jest. It is, of course, a privilege to be invited to his wedding. Plus, it means I shall spend the next 12 months catching up with the fantastic films listed below. An all-year-round FrightFest? There’s an idea…

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 sees the festival entering a remarkable 19th year, and showing no sign of easing up on the shocks, surprises, special guests and treats.

Located at Leicester Square’s Cineworld and Prince Charles Cinema, the celebration of shivers runs from Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th August.

Over these five days FrightFest will showcase a record breaking seventy movies from eighteen countries...

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My Nazi Legacy

My-Nazi-Legacy-posterDirector: David Evans

Writer: Philippe Sands

Cast: Philippe Sands, Niklas Frank, Horst von Wachter

Cert: PG

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2015

 



What’s the story: Jewish international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands tours different countries with the sons of two Nazi war criminals. The men have very different opinions of their fathers’ wartime actions, which affects Sands personally when they travel to the Ukraine and the place where most of his family perished.

My-Nazi-Legacy---swastika-eyeMy-Nazi-Legacy---Horst-von-Wachter,-Niklas-Frank,-Philippe-Sands

What’s the verdict: Director David Evans, a veteran of such heavyweight shows as Whitechapel and Downton Abbey, keeps My Nazi Legacy visually simple, the camera held at a respectful distance from its subjects and rare family photos and archive footage providing a grim look into the recent past.

The complexity comes in t...

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Must-See Films at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

Steve-Jobs---Michael-Fassbender,-glasses-reflection

The 59th London Film Festival runs Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th October.

12 days.

240 movies and documentary features, plus hundreds of shorts from all over the globe.

Even the most rabid movie buff will concede defeat in trying to see all those films in less than two weeks. So what to watch?

In the best tradition of internet Top Lists, we proudly present the Top 10 movies we are most hotly anticipating. And then looked again and had to expand it to 15.

They may be great, they may exhilarate, hell they may even frustrate… The only guarantee is they will be memorable. Which is what makes the London Film Festival such an essential event year after year.

Enough of the preamble, let’s dive into the idiosyncratic Electric Shadows 59th London Film Festival Must-See list...

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The Nightmare (2015)

The-Nightmare-poster]Director: Rodney Ascher

Writer: Rodney Ascher

Cert: 15

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: Unnerving, disturbing and touching movie from Rodney Ascher, the director of the memorably bizarre Shining deconstruction Room 237. Here Ascher encounters eight people with sleep paralysis, a condition that leaves sufferers caught between consciousness and unconsciousness, plagued by terrifying visions. More shared experience than traditional documentary, like all nightmares early moments of unease escalate into genuine fear come the climactic scenes.

The-Nightmare---shadow-man-standing-over-womanThe-Nightmare---aliens

The full verdict: Whereas the opinions of contributors in Room 237 said more about them than The Shining, the sleep paralysis sufferers of The Nightmare appear to pinpoint fear archetypes hardwired into us all...

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