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Teaser trailer for the psychological drama movie The Artifice

"Imagine if you had the ability to see every tiny connection, every movement, every decision, every concept, and every consequence. Would you embrace this gift or try to hide it would you be able to use it without effect or would this knowledge change your life forever?"

Stylistically the promo reminds me of Jamin Winans' Ink and Tony Krantz's Sublime, mixed with a touch of Mamoru Oshii's Avalon. We don't have a lot more info on this project other than it's gained nearly a million fans on facebook on the strength of the intrigue created by the promo, but the crew behind it is going to send further details over.

www.the-artifice.com | www.facebook.com/theartifice | twitter.com/the_artifice


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Trailer for Melvin Van Peebles seminal independantly produced feature Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.


David Noel Bourke's "No Right Turn"

Four people. Four different paths. One intersection. Nina is the sexy and alluring girlfriend of Johnny, a charming, but petty crook. To escape from her seedy life she has a sexual relationship with Teddy. One night Nina is abducted by a pair of thugs, but is rescued by the beautiful and timid Monella. Together Nina and Monella begin an erotic and passionate relationship that leads to a plot to steal Johnny's drug stash hidden in a safety deposit box. But nothing goes as planned and the two beautiful women get caught up in a lethally twisted tale of revenge and betrayal that send all four characters to their dark destiny. Inspired by 70s film noir, with breath taking plot twists, and shot in colors that pop like a graphic novel. No Right Turn is a modern sexy thriller that is part fantasy...part mystery...and all Pulp!

No Right Turn - trailer

No Right Turn - posters

No Right Turn - Postcards

No Right Turn (Review)

Interview With David Noel Bourke, Director Of No Right Turn

www.lastexitproductions.dk


Sky Movies HD Indie

Sky Movies today launches an exciting competition in search of the nations's new rising star of UK film-making. The competition will give one lucky winner the unique opportunity to have their own HD film financed and broadcast on Sky Movies Indie HD.

Sky Movies Indie HD, in association with The Independent and Skillset is inviting aspiring film makers to submit their own one-page treatment for a 10 minute HD short film. A panel of industry experts will consider these treatments including Sky Movies’ Movie Geek presenter Josh Howie, before announcing the winner in December. The winning film maker will be awarded £5,000 for equipment hire to shoot and edit their film in High Definition. The film will then be shown on Sky Movies Indie HD in the New Year.

Sky Movies Indie HD is devoted to screening the best in independent film and has now become the tenth channel on the Sky Movies network to be transmitted in high definition, ensuring that independent movie fans can enjoy the widest variety of films in the highest quality.

The Sky Movies independent film competition closes at midday on Friday 4th December.  To enter, simply email a one-page treatment to: hdshortmovie@bskyb.com or post to: Sky Movies Indie HD – Short Film Competition, BSkyB Ltd, Grant Way, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 5QD

For further information, along with terms and conditions, please see: www.skymovies.com/independentfilmcompetition


... around

"...Around" is officially available to be rented/downloaded and streamed at Amazon.com through Amazon On-Demand. It's a first of the platform release through Cinetic Media-Cinetic Rights Management that will soon include ITunes, Netflix, DVD and various other outlets. I really rather like this Independant feel-good drama so would recommend giving it a look.

...Around - Trailer

www.aroundthefilm.com


... around

"...Around" is directed and written by David Spaltro and inspired by his experiences attending the film program School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC from 2001-2005. The film follows Doyle Simms, who at the age of 18 decides to finally live his dream of crossing the Hudson river and escaping a life of potential drudgery in his native New Jersey. Over a period of 4 years Doyle struggles to keep himself in film school while living on the breadline.

Thats the synopsis but at the same time its not really what "...Around" is about. Essentially a character study, "...Around" concentrates more on the introspective thoughts of it's main character. The world is full of people who like the idea of being seen as creative, rather than being driven by any creative vision. People like that tend to turn to talking about themselves or regurgitate clichés, photographers taking pictures of prostitutes and homeless, fashion designers making a sweater into trousers etc., all the while believing they are creating something avant-garde. Independent film just means films produced outside the large studios, however when you mention indie film in an American context, no doubt certain things spring to mind; the hip independent soundtrack, the mostly white middle class characters with "issues", self absorbed pretentious dialogue etc. I don't really care for that style of film much and will hold my hands up for assuming "...Around" would be self serving hipster drivel. And in many ways in the hands of another aspiring director it could of been. David Spaltro however is clearly well aware of the pitfalls and defly sidesteps most of them. Sure "...Around" has the feel of an American indie, but there's real substance here and true talent.

The acting is fairly strong as it needs to be in a character driven piece, with Berenice Mosca as Dolyes mother and Ron Brice as a homeless sage being highlights for me, but there's no really weak turns. Robert W. Evans carries the film well as the slightly sociopathic / disconnected Doyle. I'd like to see more of Veronica Heffron who plays Mona, who exudes a lot of on-screen charm and charisma.

"...Around" is essentially as complex or as simple as the person viewing it wants it to be, which in itself shows Spaltro to be a writer of considerable talent. There's the simple idea that you should "stop and smell the roses", life is after all made out of a series of moments not just a "goal" you have to achieve while ignoring "the journey".  The tagline "embrace the fall" is very apt; the idea that happiness and not saftey is the better thing to strive for, that as long as life is interesting it's worth living, even if this means immediate discomfort. We live in times where in the western world more and more people feel, and in many ways are, disconnected, atomized and driven by routine. "..Around" reminds us that people are what make our lives what they are. They come and go, but they always add a bit more to our own story.

Some of the other reviews of "..Around" take the view that it's about being able to achieve anything you want. And at the end of the day what you take away from a film and feel is correct - it's an individual experience. For me however, thats not quite what I got and would hope it's not the sum total of Spaltro's intent. For one thing it's not really true, you can try and achieve what you want certainly, but meritocracy is an over simplistic daydream. Many hardworking, talented people give it their all and fail (in terms of what they where trying to achieve, not that life is about winning). For me its about accepting you just don't know what will happen, but lack of certainty is no reason not to do things. Its about stepping into the dark and understanding when the sun comes up again you will be a stronger person, even if you tripped a few times wandering blindly. Hell its about whatever you want it to be, but its certainly good.

Socrates said something along the lines of "The unexamined life is not worth living" and in my opinion there's a lot of truth in that.  "...Around" finds Spaltro doing just that and when the credits roll hopefully the audience do to. Slow burning at first ...Around builds into one of the strongest debut films I've seen in some time. A charming, uplifting introspective character study, that should restore your faith that great independent film making is about more than a hip soundtrack and a cool marketing campaign. Talking of hip soundtracks, the use of Kirby Dominant's Nauzeated while Doyle attends the hipster party made me smile. Hopefully that arrow in the heal to the theory of meritocracy, C.R.E.A.M. won't stop "...Around" from reaching a wider audience.

...Around - Trailer

www.aroundthefilm.com


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Trailer for Jeremy Benson's independent horror Live Animals. A group of college kids must decide what price they will pay to gain their freedom after being kidnapped by a ruthless White Slave trader.

Live Animals, will be released nationally (US) on DVD September 8th, 2009 through EchoBridge Entertainment.


Trailer for independant film "The Red Machine" a spy caper set in 1935 in Washington, D.C. and 1928 in Tokyo. The film stars independant film favourite Lee Perkins (Carnies, Edges of Darkness, KatieBird *Certifiable Crazy Person).

Co-directors Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm won several awards for their 1930's newsreel style short "Gandhi at the Bat".

www.redmachinethemovie.com


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Trailer for Jamin Winans (11:59) very impressive looking independent sci-fi fantasy film Ink.

"As the light fades and the city goes to sleep, two forces emerge. They are invisible to us except for the power they exert over us in our sleep. These two groups battle for our souls through our dreams. One force supports our hopes and gives us strength through good dreams, the other force leads us towards desperation through our nightmares.

Chris Kelly, Jessica Duffy, Quinn Hunchar,Jeremy Make, Jennifer Batter, Eme Ikwuakor and Shelby Malone star.

Check out the second trailer on our Virb page.

www.doubleedgefilms.com


Little Miss Sunshine

It’s unsurprising that this little gem got picked up at last years Sundance as it has the all-round warmth to surely reach any faction of the audience. Now a Best Picture hopeful at the Oscars, Little Miss Sunshine has matured from indie arthouse flick to widely acclaimed pic and, whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say Oscar-worthy, it’s certainly deserving if its praise.

Little Miss Sunshine is essentially a road trip film, and one which has packed its bags of charm for the journey. We follow the dysfunctional (but stubbornly objective) Hoover family as they make the several-hundred mile trek from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to none other than the sunshine state of California, home of every aspiring young girl’s American Dream. Their goal is the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, the crown of which young Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) dreams of winning.

As well as establishing character and premise, introductory scenes show we’re in store for a breezily sharp script and top, likable performances if nothing else in this film. The opening dinner scene sets up the dysfunctional dynamic as we are introduced to the hassled Hoovers and their individual idiosyncrasies.  Head Hoover, Richard (Greg Kinnear), is a motivational speaker-turned dream-hawker whose world categorically divides into two sections: Winners and Losers. Wife Sheryl (Toni Collette) tirelessly rallies the troops and only seems to dream of maintaining a familial plateau of stability. Paul Dano is Dwayne, a Nietzsche-reading 15-year old admirably maintaining a vow of silence until his dreams are realised (a winning success of sorts in the eyes of his father), and big brother to baby Hoover, Olive. Extending the family is depressed scholar who’s lost the dream, Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), and foul-mouthed but knowing old-timer who’s lived his own dream, Grandpa (Alan Arkin).

Watching Little Miss Sunshine reminded me of another family-on-the-road comedy/drama, the Argentinian Familia Rodante (that's Rolling Family, not my hoped-for Rodent Family, more was the pity), though the comparison highly favours the American release. Where Familia Rodante depended on the brand of World Cinema, where it was on the wrong side of the fine line between slightness and charm, Little Miss Sunshine adds substance to these sensibilities. Husband and wife helmers, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, make their debut an impressive one in their move from music video to feature film. Some might find their refusal to pointedly focus their commentary frustrating, though I found its decision not to force feed any blunt morality refreshing. The hilarious finale does, though, take an ingenious swipe at a rather distasteful side of American Culture. Michael Arndt’s rightfully Oscar-nominated warm and witty script gives the cast the right tools to sculpt equally warm and easily likeable performances. Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin) is perfect as troubled intellectual, Frank, whilst Kinnear does a nice turn in hectically exasperated. Dano, also, puts in pretty mean performance when you consider he says nothing for the large majority of the film, while Colette seems a little underused. But it’s Arkin and Breslin who secured the Academy nominations for their performances in support roles, with Arkin delivering cheekily cantankerous with perfect timing and Breslin a natural in a role that allowed a kid to be a kid. But there’s more than wry dialogue and it’s expert delivery here. An unassumingly subtle visual style and a very European-sounding score reflect the film’s quirky, feel-good nature and aid the World Cinema feel. And that's the crux of why this film works, that it mixes the easy-going, idiosyncratic traits of foreign film whilst accurately subverting American cultural neuroses. In this case, a winning formula.

World Cinema meets Americana for a happily workable mix, resulting in a charming and funny film that's not shy of a critique 9/10

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No Right Turn - Postcards

Promotional digital postcard artwork for David Noel Bourke's "No Right Turn", which premiers at CPH:PIX film festival.

No Right Turn - Postcards

No Right Turn - Postcards

No Right Turn - trailer

No Right Turn - posters

No Right Turn (Review)

Interview With David Noel Bourke, Director Of No Right Turn

www.lastexitproductions.dk


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Trailer for "...Around", which is directed and written by David Spaltro and inspired by his experiences attending the film program School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC from 2001-2005.

The film stars Molly Ryman, Marcel Torres, Ron Brice, Berenice Mosca, Veronica Heffron and Robert W. Evans in teh lead as Doyle Simms.

"one of the most powerfully moving and genuinely uplifting films I’ve seen in a very long time." ... PulpMovies

Review at LateMag

www.aroundthefilm.com


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Trailer for the movie See Saw starring Aimee Muschamp, Michael Graves, Mike Digiacinto, Lou Martini Jnr. From director Tom Muschamp.

"A woman with no memory of her past utilizes the eyes and ears of New York's surveillance empire in a quest to find out who she is."

There is no release yet, but the trailer looks fairly strong for an independently produced thriller.


Pulp Movies

Pulpmovies features, reviews of independent film, trailers, film news and the blog Savage Popcorn.

You can also follow Pulpmovies Paul on Twitter


Rarely have I been so enamoured by a short film that it promptly asceneds to the lofty heights of My Favourite Shorts. But, such was the case with Dandy Dwarves' Pencil Face. So who are Dandy Dawrves and what is Pencil Face? The Double D's are "a multidisciplinary production company formed in 2006," or core group of various creative types, and Pencil Face is, well, Pencil Face. Literally featuring a large pencil with a face, this 3.22-minute short is so deliciously dark and surreal that it is a rare treat to be consumed with relish. But, you'd better see for yourselves...


The Harder They Come

Poor country boy Ivan Martin (Jimmy Cliff) leaves the countryside and heads to the city (Kingston) in search of fame and fortune. Ivan finds the promise that the streets of the big city are laden with opportunity a myth but refuses to give up on his dream and, although having recorded a hit record, he finds himself drawn into the ganja trade and the rude boy lifestyle.

A lot of films get given the tag’s “Cult Classic”, “Independent film Classic” and similar, and while to varying degree’s they may or may not deserve the titles, “The Harder They Come” is almost the definition of both. Working on commercials and for the BBC in Jamaica, director Perry Henzell always dreamed of making a feature film, and not just any feature film, but one with its roots firmly in his homeland of Jamaica. Perry had told people he not only intended to make such a movie, but he also intended to make it a success and the story of the process (covered in the documentary, “A Hard Road to Travel”) is almost as interesting as the film is good. When people think of Jamaica, feature films are not high on the list of things that come to mind, more than likely they will think of Reggae music and Bob Marley, Ganja and Gangsters or those hideous foreign-owned resorts that the nation’s people are kept out of. For a low budget movie full of a cast of unknowns and the first film made by the Jamaican film industry in 1972, “The Harder They Come” set a lot of firsts and has a resounding effect on influence on film since. This is really one of the first films for which the OST and was an integral selling point for the film, one of the first films to be shot on the then new Super 16 format and certainly the first film by a 3rd world nation that really showed life for the poor in such a nation. The stylistic and plot influences from this film can be seen in movies like Scarface, Taxi Driver, Perdita Durango (Dance with the Devil), Men with Guns as well as in the works of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.
Jimmy Cliff is fantastic in the lead role, utterly convincing as the man who just wants his share of the pie as he sings in the title song “as sure as the sun will shine, I’m going to get my share, what’s mine ... because the harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all ...”. Ivan’s view on life is best summed up by the conversation he has with his devoutly Christian girlfriend in which he says “you want me to go and beg work for 10 dollars a day, I tried that, Id rather die ...” and in the same scene after she calls him a dreamer he replies “me a dreamer? Who’s a bigger dreamer than you, always talking about milk and honey in the sky, well no milk and honey in the sky, not for you, not for me, it's right down here and I want mine now, tonight!” Considering the majority of the cast had never been in front of a camera before the acting is excellent, with standout performers from Bobby Charlton as the record boss Hilton who gives Ivan a measly twenty dollars for his record and Carl Bradshaw as the area’s ganja boss.
 
One of the excellent plot devices and a standout moment from the movie is the cinema showing of Django which Ivan attends with Jose, in which he is totally fascinated by Franco Nero’s genre defining performance and, when fearing that Django may die is told “Don’t be a fool man, you think the hero can die before the last reel”, the film leaves a big mark on Ivan and plays a pivotal role in “The Harder They Come's” finale. There are so many standout scenes in this film though, showing us both the highs and lows of Ivan existence as he goes all out after his dream of success and good living. Classic are the moment when, as a now legendary gunman on the run and anti hero for the oppressed “sufferers” of the Kinston Ghetto’s are the scenes when Ivan dressed in full rudeboy regalia takes his own glamorous gunman shots and sends them to the newspapers and when he takes a luxury car for a spin on a golf cause. Ivan's record, Jimmy Cliffs fantastic reggae standard “The Harder They Come” becomes a hit as his legend grows, but by now the law is closing on Ivan leading to one cult films most memorable scenes as Ivan, like his screen hero Django faces off against insurmountable odds and cal'sl out “one bad man, who can draw.” I recently read an article in which actor Benicio Del Toro listed this as one of his top 5 favorite films of all time and it's good after 30 years people can still see the genius in this movie from Jamaica. Passed off as yet another Blaxsploitation movie in the USA and given the tagline “he’s got a plan to stick it to the man,” the director took back the rights from Roger Corman and went on to sell the film himself, it took him 6 years but the movie finally made a profit. The film has gone on to find legendry status amogst fans of cult film, reggae and people who just like a damn good movie.

Great Characters, great scenes, great music and a great movie

thehardertheycome1thehardertheycome2thehardertheycome3thehardertheycome4http://film.shadowfaxmedia.com/images/thehardertheycome5thehardertheycome6


On Halloween weekend Bad Reputation played to a packed house at the Chicago Horror Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award for best film.

Bad Reputation premiered at the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, PA on October 7 to an enthusiastic crowd. At the awards ceremony the following night, the festival's jury gave Bad Reputation its top prize as Best Feature and named star Angelique Hennessy (Michelle) Best Actress.

Interview with star Angelique Hennessy: Bloody-disgusting.com

badreputationmovie.com | myspace


kisses

Kisses which carries the tagline "Love hurts. Bad.", is a short film by writer / director Dominic Travero and cinematotographer / editor Vincent Anton Obriskie. Their production base is split between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Bologna, Italy (At least that's what their website say's). The short film is indeed very short with a running time just under three minutes. It's little difficult to review this one as it really depends on one twist midway for it's impact and while I am pretty sure most of you will never come across the film, it still seems a shame to spoil it. For me this works well as a "calling card" type short, i.e. to showcase the skills of those involved rather than as something anyone would seek out. Although the subject matter will attract a certain audience who enjoy very unorthodox sex and gore cinema. I can't really say I am one of those people, that stuff does very little for me, but each to their own.

The film has some interesting shots, but it also suffers from something which plagues most digital shot stuff. I.e. a camera follows something around, for this short that thing is mainly the lead actors head. In my opinion if you only allow yourself 3 minutes for a short you really need to cram something more inventive in when it comes to camera work. Sure there are some cool practical effects towards the end, but it was nothing ground breaking. I think they just got a bit to reliant on their "twist" and really something this short could have done with a lot more stylisation, at least that's the way I see it. That said for what it is, it’s professionally done and if its primary purpose is to showcase some of the production companies skills it does a reasonable job. The score suits what they where trying to achieve well. I guess it could do Ok in short film competitions and might make an interesting edition to a DVD anthology of short film, but in and of itself there's not really anything above and beyond many of the films you can see on triggerstreet.com, Myspace, dovetail.tv, Veoh and others.

I forget now where the DVD was sent to me from, but it must be either the US or Italy I guess. That makes me wonder why they bothered, something of this nature would be far better off showcased online either on their site or one of the video streaming sites I mentioned above. Certainly that's the best way to create a buzz for a short of this nature and maybe gain a following. I did look for it online, but it does not seem available, which is a shame as I would have linked to it so you could judge it for yourselves.

www.amoralcinema.com | www.arcane-entertainment.com


A Wicked Tale

A Wicked Tale is a 45 minute independent film written and directed by award winning filmmaker Tzang Merwyn Tong (e'Tzaintes, 2003). The experimental thriller can be described as a psycho-erotic re-imagination of the Little Red Riding Hood story. It relates a little girl's fascination with the forbidden and deals with the theme of seduction and manipulation. 

Tickets were sold out when A Wicked Tale made its World Premiere at the 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam. The movie has since won the Gold Remi Award at the 2005 Houston WorldFest. It was also a surprise hit at the 2005 Montreal FanTasia Film Festival.

Small Trailer | Large Trailer

Official Website

That Swedish guy's acting seems (If you will pardon my language) f**king terrible, but the little string puppets look pretty "wicked".


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