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A Short Mission: One Year Lease

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Everybody in the world has had to deal with an unsatisfactory and, frankly, psychotic landlord. It’s why the “profession” has such a terrible connotation to it: Landlords suck and are out for all the money they can steal. It’s a shame we have to deal with downright loons who want to scupper our blissful living space with their lazy attitude as the home around you crumbles and rent is constantly raised to the unsuspected innocent victims – I mean tenants- who have no choice but to stick with it because more than likely, there’s nowhere else to go. Whilst there are, presumably, a bunch of hard working honest folk who what to make life as blissful for you as possible, there is undeniably a rotten lot who verge on megalomaniac money hungry beasts.

Then there are some whose heart is in the right place, but their heads…well…

One Year Lease is a case of this phenomenon and is a small enthralling documentary about award-winning filmmakers Brian Bolster and his partner Thomas’ unhinged ex-lady Rita who, when they moved into their apartment, began a bigger any tirade of messages from benevolent to manic.

The film presents this as an aural collection of snippets from 100 different and seemingly crazed dialogues that denotes the somewhat hellish badgering their new residence offered them. From Rita’s growing concern for Casper the Cat’s well-being, to belief that someone is lurking in their flat playing hide and seek as she tries to give them mail, the landlady’s pestering is doused with earnestness but., ultimately, the frustration begins to seep through.

Set to snippets of Bolster’s flat, the problems he had, and the serene contrast of their new abode (a focal point of the glossy white cat Casper quite a delight to,) One Year Lease presents an honest look at a woman’s kindness and obsession that eventually led to a tirade. There is an ache of sadness as you feel somewhat sorry for her because her messages smatter of loneliness, haunting with her concern. But that’s not to say that Bolster or his partner are to blame because, frankly, the overbearing messages seep into irritation and your heftily reminded that this is merely 15 mins of 100 messages, across a small period that amounted to an hours worth of nagging and dialogue. All the while, their apartment was falling apart. It’s not difficult to resonate with the pair and how Bolster represents this is endearing and wickedly entertaining.

Also, the film posts a heavy reminder that when you buy a flat, you aren’t just renting the property – you rent the landlord too…

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A Short Mission: The Casebook of Nips & Porkington

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Hand-drawn animation is not dead. Though it may seem that all the big companies of children’s art have leapt from the sinking ship of pencilled artistry to the bigger ease of computer animation sailing, there are still a few films out there grabbing an oar or two and sailing evocatively on. For example, the work of Tom Moore with the recent yet utterly sublime animation Song of The Sea has proved wondrous against a whole sea of pixels…It seems there is a new resurgence of for hand-drawn artistry and even in our short films, the need for quirky or wholesome cartoons is captivating audiences. Which is why the charming The Casebook of Nips & Porkington is so lovely to watch.

This imaginative short is based in Victorian London and sees two cartoon characters, a police officer kitten and a detective big try to solve the case of a missing goose egg and comes across a literal rat in the system. Can they catch the culprit and save the egg?

Warming and fun, this adorable short film is wildly vivid as it is set against a backdrop of Victorian newspapers that feel reminiscent of the era. As the crime takes them across the print media, the design of the movie has a kinetic energy that rambunctiously send the audience on a wild adorable ride. Like a Disney short at the beginning of their feature, The Casebook of Nips & Porkington captivates with an adoring palette akin to the era. Visually, it’s impacting in the way that cartoons can be – an impressive story with a charismatic tale at the core of it, this is an adventurous three minute short animation is truly inspiring.

Ok, so the animation was created through computer techniques but the spirit of hand-drawn animation is there and it is clear a lot of effort has been put in by doing something original and unique. Director Meloday Wang has a style and it is implemented here so amazingly well that it’s heart effervesces like classic family films would yet with this modern edge.. Added to a delectable bouncing score by Xintong Wang, the film is incredible and wonderful. A simply must see.

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Inside Out – Press Conference

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How are you feeling today? Joy? Sadness? Fear?  

Well, as the sun shone on London this weekend, all the emotions mixed into one for the UK release of Inside Out. The movie has already made waves across America and film festivals including a twelve minute standing ovation at the elusive Cannes. The latest from Disney’s Pixar comes with furore and unparalleled acclaim that has rejuvenated the troubled studio who’s latest ventures were lacklustre. With the return of them on form, it’s time for London to celebrate our emotions as star Amy Poehler, director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera gathered in the Soho Hotel to talk all things Inside Out.

For those who don’t know what the lest venture for Pixar sees Poehler as Joy, the epitomes emotion in young 11 year old Riley’s head who has to manage the likes of Fear, Disgust, Anger, and the energy sucking Sadness. Alarmed when the blue feeling creates a core memory, Joy is accidentally thrown from the brain centre alongside Sadness. The pair have to race against time before Riley loses herself forever.

Settling down for the press conference, after there was fun with photos and a lot of chat between journalists about what emotion they’d be (and how this ranks on the Pixar list), there was excitement in the air as Rivera, Docter and Poehler sat down to talk about the upcoming family film. “We went for this period in time as it’s on the cusp of a very important change,” says Doctor of his emotion based film which sees an 11 year old girl as the hub of an emotional and physical shift. “It was something I observed in my own daughter growing up and definitely something I experienced myself. There’s a happy bubble around you and we had to deal with the loss of that. It felt like something that was important to capture.”  

It was important for the filmmakers to create something realistic and, according to Rivera and Doctor through research they found, “that of all the creatures of humankind, 11 to 17 year old girls are the most fully aware of and in tune with their emotions.”

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“Really? I would have thought it was 80 – 82 year old men,” retorts Poehler. The comedy writer and performer who has graced such shows as SNL and Parks and Recreation is effervescent today, similar to her character Joy. With this hilarious jokes through the conference, Poehler tinges the atmosphere with this glee and is so on point, it’s hard not to fall in love with her a little bit. “That’s what you taught me with Up.”

Despite its extravagance and colourful vibrancy, a world inside a brain that is wild with imagination, the filmmakers still wanted to find balance between the emotions and the making the film visually engaging Joy’s position. Docter says, speaking of the neuroscientists who helped research the concept and find that balance, “It was very difficult. It’s not a science film but it’s such an abstract concept so we needed all the help we could get. We would also turn to the women on the show and ask what were your traumatic childhood experiences? Aand let them help work the film evolve in a more authentic way. It’s important, this one especially, because there is a lot happening in our own minds that we aren’t conscious about and so much more that’s just bubbling below the surface.”

So what has been conceived, dancing underneath the surface, is the aforementioned Joy and her spry, happy figure adorns the screen in an excitable way. Her look is described best by Poehler; “She’s looks a little bit like Peter Pan, an anime character, Tinkerbell, and The Jungle Book,” she giggles but talks more enthusiastically about Joy’s very own characterisation. “She is the energetic engine and she just teeters on the mania (unlike me) Peter and Jonas worked on allowing her to go on a journey. She’s ready to go at the beginning but, by the end of it, she has calmed down. She has these array of emotions too. Despite being herself, she’s not one-dimensional and you got to see that in the film.”

Poehler, being famed for her comedic writings and performances, was very much an extra hand in the process of developing Joy. As Docter says of his leading lady; “Because we record before we animate, we came together and went through the script scene by scene and Amy is amazingly quick witted. She goes in lots of different directions and by the end of it, it was like ‘what of these 18 hilarious lines do we put in’”

Echoing Docter’s sentiments and solidifying Poehler’s spirit, Rivera continues; “Amy would be like ‘what if she was playing an accordion?’ and as you can see it works in the film.”

“Let me handle the animation parts,” says Poehler giggling with the rest of the room who are captivated by this talented woman. “Then they put it in a weird chamber and lights are put on it. Then put through a colouring machine and people take a picture of that and they run really fast which is recorded. It’s that simple.”

Los Angeles Premiere And Party For Disney-Pixar's INSIDE OUT At El Capitan Theatre
In the press room and representing Into Film is 16 year old Kayden who asks the first questions from the group of awed journalists which wows everyone with his astute inquiries such as the influence Amy put into Joy and the advantages of having an 11 year old female protagonist instead of a male one. “Such good questions,” says Poehler, “I’ll answer the first part. Joy is an abstract concept that’s hard to quite grasp. It’s either manic or fully present. Happy is a really vague term as well as the pursuit of happiness and the film reminds us that it’s ok to be said. That the pursuit of happiness gets in the way of personal growth.”

Docter continues by answering the second question; “Well, Riley isn’t really the protagonist, Joy is and Riley is just the vehicle. You – “ he gestures at Rivera –  “came to the table with an observation of your daughter and, probably because we are overprotective father of girls, that just felt like the right first step and it echoed in the research.”

“You should meet his daughter too – she’s very cute.” Says Poehler, trying to play matchmaker. “And also 16! She’ll be interested in a man who knows what he wants.”

As adults, we often forget that we went through this experiences and whilst the pair Rivera and Docter say they were inspired by their children, it’s clear they still keep a hold of the emotions they felt growing up. “I went through a whole heap. There was a lot of joy as a kid, you are in a bubble like “I can do anything.” Now it’s still mostly joy but much more fear than I can admit.”

There certainly is a rise of SNL and NBC comedy based performers in our comedies films and here is no different. Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project and The Office plays Disgust, Phyllis Smith from The Office plays Sadness and Bill Hader has appeared in pretty much everything. Not to mention, Poehler leads the way with the aforementioned Parks and Recreation. But it all started with Anger and Louis Black. “He kinda appeared and I used him as part of the pitch like ‘imagine the fun we could have with the casting when you have Black as Anger’ and then they all started having this SNL root in some ways. “

Amy continues; “I was the last to join, it was just good casting and the rest was happenstance after. I can’t imagine anyone else being those voices.” There’s a brief pause. “But NBC does get 10% of the proceeds.”

Moving on though, Poehler resonated a lot with the movie. Not just as a woman who has gone through those tentative years growing up but as a mother to two boys as well. “You relate to it as a human adult and I remember what used to bring me joy or what I have forgotten. You really tune into it as a parent and how you deal with pain. As a woman, you think about when you were 11 and it’s like a magic hour where puberty hasn’t ruined anything yet. So I thought about it a lot.”

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Focusing on the parental side of Inside Out’s influence, Poehler talks about how important the film is in engaging with a child’s development; “I think so – it’s really interesting too. I think it gives children tools and ways to talk about how they are feeling which isn’t direct. They talk about anger like a funny character and you go ‘isn’t it funny how you get angry?’ and their like ‘what?’ and then go ‘what are you trying to play?’”

Touring the UK for much of the press and filming parts of her Parks and Rec, Amy is quickly asked what her favourite part of the country is (which, spoiler alert, is obvious our raucous comedy). “It was like a secret, growing up in the nineties, you’d watch The Day Today or Steve Coogan and go around to people like ‘Have you seen Brass Eye?,’ feeling important because you were the only one who knew them. I have such nostalgia for Nineties comedy and things I watched in my apartment in college.”

“I feel like we have the greatest job in the world,” says Rivera when asked about his definition of joy – without the capital letter. “I never thought we’d ever be in this great city, with this film and what we made is really a love letter to our kids. We get to make things and with enough time and care from the studio, we craft it into something meaningful.” He looks to Docter, “my family and my job, is that correct?”

After a few moments laughter, Docter bounces off this sentient. “That’s not easy sometimes you fight and sometimes you walk home defeated yet happy. It’s a deeper experience. Its defeat and sadness and despair which is what we’re trying to get at.”

A major part of Inside Out is imaginary friend Bing Bong. A fluffy pink elephant dressed as a clown with a candy floss smell, Bing Bong is a vagrant inside Riley’s mind after playing such an important role growing up. He also provides a lot of heart and humour through Richard Kind’s unique voice. So, with this in mind, I wanted to know: Did the team have an imaginary friend?

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“I did not, I wish I did,” says Poehler looking me right in the eye and making me, a massive fan pee out of excitement a little. Turning the question to Docter, he talks and animates his little imaginary friend Norman: “I had a small elephant, not pink, that was in a magic car that drove up the wall.”

“I had an imaginary enemy,” Poehler says, looking around the room suspiciously whilst we roared with laughter. “He’s here, hoping I don’t do well. He knows who he is.”

As previously mentioned, the team had such a good experience at prestigious film festival, Cannes, Rivera really captured what it was like having a film not only showing but having a standing ovation afterwards. “We were so blown away to just be there and it’s such an honour to be asked to go there. Cannes is a very disconcerting audience and they spent a lot of time warning us to manage our expectations – ‘remember, they’ll boo if they don’t like it. They don’t like big American movies, they’d booed a couple of films before us and we sat there really quiet. When they applauded and like it, it was one of the great thrills we ever had.”

“It’s totally unreal but there is nowhere to go but down.” says Amy “It’s totally ruined Cannes for me. I’d never go back again. No, I’m joking, it was very special.”

Going back to the rest of the cast and the excellent voices, Amy says she couldn’t imagine herself as another emotion because she’ll only ever hear the likes of Kaling and Hader. “I could do Anger,” she says, ruminating on the question, “But it’ll be my own version. He’s my kid’s favourite character with how he misbehaves. I enjoy the comedy of Anger. He gets a lot of good lines.”

“We had a version of the film with Joy and we added them,” says Docter about whether or not he thought about other feelings. “So we were jumping forward in time and loads of characters then there was Pride who says ‘Riley should be a president’ which the others would reply, ‘she’s only 11’ and he’d go ‘Well she’s good enough!’ Then there was Hope and she was running around like ‘Ooooo I hope’ and that’s why we cut her. Anyone we felt stepped on Joy’s stuff, we got rid of.”

But every feeling here has its own place and it is important to showcase them to children because, as Docter puts it, that’s the language they speak. “If you have an argument, they have no idea it’s over a tax refund. It’s the first thing kids recognise and relate too.”

Warning, Inside Out may have a lot of joy in it but it also has sadness. There is plenty here to pull at your strings and heck, even at the screening I was in there were a few men trembling with tears. Docter is no stranger to this as Up’s infamous fifteen minute opening reduced adults to piles of sorrow. “Our editor Kevin Nolting is great with pacing and has an intuition for comedy and sadness as well as Ronnie Del Carmen – the co-director. They contributed heavily to Up and borded that sequence.”

Rivera likes to stress that a lot of visceral connection you have with the film comes from the people behind it; “Everyone – such as lighting Kim White and Michael Giacchino – asks about how the scene should feel. It’s a very rare group of people. They care.”

Speaking of caring, Amy Poehler is no stranger to promoting healthy media figures for young girls and women with her charity and website Smart Girls. When asked about her approach to Joy and this background, she happily speaks about the importance of her character; “Thank you for mentioning those two things in the same sentence,” she says to the journalist, “We deal with that kinda spirit of being inclusive and celebrating the ordinary curiosity of regular young people.  There was a beautiful feeling that echoed there during filming for me and I wanted her (Joy) to feel like someone you care about and wanted to watch change. Exuberance is something you hope for with young women – unbridled energy – and Joy is not self-conscious. She doesn’t care what people don’t care about. It doesn’t change in your forties.  I loved her for that and I love girls who tap into that and men and women who encourage that.”

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Docter lets slip that her work with Smart Girls is what helped them pursue Poehler. “That’s what cemented it ‘We need Amy.’ We saw you answer one of the questions about body image and you were talking the same language as we were.”

Whilst Joy is the dominant driver, there are others who could easily be explored in possible sequels. “It’ll be fun to watch it become more tragic when adulthood happens. In terms of sequels, we haven’t really thought too much into it.”

“I think we should just stay with Joy,” Amy jokingly demands. “It seemed to work out pretty well. Joy goes to Europe! Joy has a Semester Abroad!”

“Joy in Space,” says a reporter wearing an amazing Mouse Rat t-shirt which prompts Amy to point it out a few times (Mouse Rat is Chris Pratt’s Andy’s band in Parks and Recreation). He then asks about how they now look at the emotion which she answer that she depicts them as the characters in the film. “Disgust and fear were a big part when I was younger – I look forward to them coming back in the Sixties. It’s good to see how everyone has a combination Angry, Joy and Saddness – you never know what anyone is going through and how someone is acting isn’t how they are feeling.”

On a final note, Docter and Rivera mention how the neuroscientists glowed when they left a screening and how, hopefully, it’ll inspire a bunch of children to get into career. Poehler says; “Neuroscientists or people who sell pizza. All are welcome including pizza sellers.”

With a lot of emotions still tinging the air as the filmmakers say their thank you’s, there is a lot within Inside Out to ponder. Make sure this weekend, you head to see Inside Out – an incredibly warming family film.

Read my review now!

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A Short Mission: Coda

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Death is always going to coerce something poetic from humanity. It’s the most mysterious yet inevitable aspect of life. No one knows how death is going to echo on after our life ends. No one knows the dance will take when we transcend this mortal coil. No one knows. It sticks to our mind and spirits, looming over us no matter what course of happiness or ignorance we take. It’s tragic and unpredictable – taking anyone and everyone to a plain we don’t know anything about. Or even if it exists – it could just be a blank space of nothingness, rolling for eternity.

So artists, filmmakers and anyone who tries to wrap their minds around Death as a concept end up regaling the phenomenon in these poetic, ethereal and stirring works. Whilst some may take the comedic elements to counteract the depressing “everyone must die” atmosphere (See: Death playing Twister with Bill & Ted), a lot of people treat it like a masterpiece – an ever-going verse on the futility of life.

That verse is sung highly in short film Coda.

Short listed for an Oscar nomination but inexplicably, never getting one, this other-world beauty is a breath-taking allegory of life after a fateful accident. A drunk man on his way home from a night out is run over reaching for change. Unsure of where he is, disorientated by the accident, he wearily walks around whilst the hooded cloak of Death tries to find him. When they meet, Death takes him on a journey through his past to try and assimilate him with his new fate.

This week sees a resurgence of hand-drawn animation with Coda and this week’s Song of the Sea release (Both, by the way, come from Ireland so could the Emerald Isles be the new powerhouse of animation?). Allan Holly, the director, has created such an enchanting and redolent short that it melts into your imagination seamlessly. The animation is exquisite as these characters float on screen through landscapes of dreams and vibrancy. Coda is a gorgeous use of colours and imagery that haunt the screen with this unnerving and spirituous journey as our man filters through the time and space of his mind. Outstanding use of texture and shapes, Holly is keen to showcase the fantastical elements of his transition and it is sublime to watch.

The overall tone is this aching element of remembrance and re-birth. As our protagonist drifts through his memories trying to come to terms with his death, there is this painful undercurrent off loss of life and how fleeting it is as he tries to grasp some happiness and meaning to something that has drifted away from him.

It’s a glorious exploration of the fleeting moments you’ll never get back and that abandon in your most tragic moments. Coda has this sense of truth – despite everyone being unaware of what happens when you are snuffed from. This is almost gospel and flows with this haunting sense of finality whilst trying to grasp the moments that left you in love, in loss and in life….

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A Short Mission: Break Free

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What a gay day. In every single conceivable way imaginable. Not only is it beautiful and happy, the sun beating down and possible rainbows on the horizon, but America has finally announced legalisation for gay marriage across all of the fifty states. Hooray! While this definitely isn’t the solution to all the LGBT problems in the world, it certainly marks a step in the right direction for love and inclusivity. On this note, why not have a look at a film about identity and changing perspective from the norm? Let’s throw in the hottest product around as well, Ruby Rose.

Starring in an incredible short called Break Free, Rose stars as an unnamed girl in a bathroom. Made up to the nines, in a gold dress and make up, representing the societal norm of femininity. Gleeful and girly, Rose unravels this persona by stripping, cutting her hair and removing the cover-up, binding her breasts and assuming a more masculine personality. Set to “It Pulls Me Under” by Butterfly Boucher and written by the star herself, this is poignant different look at gender.

Rose is admittedly gender-fluid and queer so it seems right to showcase in a simplistic way. That’s not to say that Rose doesn’t portray the complexity in the different nuances of both characters of her personality. It’s to say that the short is fleshed out in such a manner that those unassimilated with gender-fluidity could grasp whilst placing some common ground down for those, like me, who feel both female and male, flitting between the two. The seedy bathroom is a backdrop to her blossoming away from the societal norm and conventions. Beautiful acted and written, it may be basic in approach but it is tinged with poignancy and emotions.

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A Short Mission: Crocodile

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We teach a lot of different things to children. Respect your elders. Eat your greens. Look both sides before crossing the road. This is information passed down throughout the ages. Our grandparents taught our parents and our parents taught us. One day you’ll turn around to your own spawn and say “hey offspring, don’t pull a face or whatever.” Anyway, one of the biggest things that echoed through generations is that you should never, ever, ever (ever) talk to a stranger. And you should always alert a parent when it happens.

But what happens when a talking puppet crocodile talks to you? Is that allowed? Well, in this upcoming three minute short, Crocodile, a scary scaly puppetry beast tempts a young Harry. After arguing with his mum, for an unknown reason, the young lad absconds from the car with his yellow balloon and on the way, he comes across a foul- crocodile who tempts him into the life of loneliness and tempts him to carry on running away.

The puppet was created by Jim Parkyn, the lead Aardman model maker, so there is this jaunty element to Crocodile, both the film and the character, that it is easy to see why the young boy would be so allured by the dumpster eating swearing creature. And Crocodile himself adds a lot of humour, though not a lot of it lands in the right places, to make the child smile and trust him. In this colourful green creature, a lot of the films quirks and comedy come through. Part of it is distasteful whilst the delightful farting and “do it your own way kid” attitude tickles Harry enough to put his trust in the puppet.

Which is where the chilling message lies, and that makes for a richly dark film. As Harry’s mum goes searching for him, and he is found to be gone – with just the Crocodile puppet laying on the ground, it is clear what has happened and it is sickening, awful and leaves the ending cold. For anyone who is a parent, it is a tentative watch. Showing just how black comedy could be, Crocodile and director Matt Harris-Feeth greatly balance the hilarity, the oddity and then the disparity.

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Rad Robots in Film & Exclusive ‘Vice’ Clip

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Some of cinema’s most iconic characters aren’t actually human beings, sometimes they’re robots. There are those that are helpful, those that are loveable and sadly, those that go rogue. To celebrate the release of Vice on Blu-ray and DVD June 8th, we take a look at some of the best robots in the world of film.

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Released in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey remains one of cinema’s most groundbreaking films and arguably, its most iconic characters isn’t even human.  HAL is the computer that controls the spacecraft Discovery One but unfortunately this robot seems to have too much control. This is one film that will give you serious robot trust issues.

 

Robot_And_FrankROBOT IN ROBOT AND FRANK

Frank Langella stars as an elderly ex jewel thief living alone whose family turn to articificial intelligence to assist him around the house. Frank is adamant that he doesn’t need any help and certainly not from a robot but as he gets to know the machine he develops a cunning idea. A heartwarming relationship between a man and his robot, don’t be afraid to shed a tear at this one.

 

TARSTARS

Christopher Nolan brought us the epic space adventure Interstellar in 2014 where a brave team of explorers set out to travel through wormholes to find an alternative planet away from a decaying earth. There’s no doubt that this step into the unknown is a pretty daunting task so it helps to have the ultra reliable robot, TARS, to help you along the way. Complete with a humour and honesty setting, this is one robot you want as your right hand man.

 

Wall-e_backWALL-E

Audiences spend the first 40 minutes of Pixar’s WALL-E with just the loveable robot himself as he whizzes around cleaning up rubbish and compressing it into compact cubes. WALL-E actually stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class, but his life is about to change forever when he meets EVE and is whisked off into space.

 

star_wars_movies_c3po_r2d2_luk_1024x1024_wallpaperhi.comR2-D2 AND C-3PO

It’s pretty hard to choose between these two legendary robots of cinema and they arguably come as a pair any way. R2-D2 is the loveable beeping droid equipped with a whole of host of gadgets described as “an extremely well put-together little droid.” C-3PO on the other hand is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication but is known for his anxious personality. Together the two of  them make the best robotic double act in any galaxy.

 

termTHE TERMINATOR

The year is 1984, a cyborg assasin known as the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has travelled from the future with the aim of killing Sarah Connor. Arnie cemented his legendary status as the fearless  robot giving us some of the most iconic robot quotes…”I’ll be back.”

 

 

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Bruce Willis stars in Vice,  the ultimate resort where anything goes. Vice allows customers to play out their wildest fantasies and fulfil their deepest, darkest desires with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like real humans. Noentheless, one of the robots becomes self-aware and escapes the resort…let the chaos ensue.

 

Own VICE on Blu-ray and DVD from June 8th, the perfect gift for Father’s Day

In the meantime we’ll leave you with an exlusive clip from Vice in which the scientists discuss the robots, their capabilities and how they operate:

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Features

A Short Mission: Deafness

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There are a lot of movies out there that have people hyped up and talking. At the moment, Mad Max is the driving force of cinema – with people’s minds literally exploding and that’s the likes of critics such as Peter Bradshaw, Robbie Collin and literally everyone at Cannes who emerged like sweating beasts aching to see more. But much quieter, silent in face, that has tongues wagging in revered awe is the excellent Ukrainian film The Tribe. The film revolves around deaf children who aren’t translated through subtitle, and sees how they evolve in a Lord of the Flies manner as they are abandoned at a boarding school. However, this isn’t the directors first departure into deafness as the core of a film – which he explored in 2010’s Deafness.

Deafness by Myroslav Slaboshpytsky revolves around a deaf group of school children, outside their whose leader is taken into custody by the police sergeant. However, the policeman is definitely going to assert his authority in the a terrible way.

Surprisingly, it’s the sounds in this deaf drama that ironically make it more crucial. Pivotal. Not bogged down by the dialogue, this is an evocative short film that makes you aware of the heightened sounds around you. Utilising this atmosphere Slasboshpytsky lays the groundwork for his incredible recent film The Tribe. The words that don’t fall from the lips but are untranslated as fingers hits palms highlights more to the hearing world than any overspoken piece ever could. Whilst you may not fully understand what they are saying (and nothing is stopping you from learning), you are still aware of the visceral emotion and the story as it is translated gloriously well.

The only slight bit of confusion and contention is that this film came out in 2010 yet feels like the eighties and the story isn’t developed well enough to fit into a short film. And sometimes the police officer ridiculously overacts which detracts from the overall product of the film. Yet if you enjoyed The Tribe or are intrigued by the concept than this is a brilliant jumping off point on how to develop such a film.

You can watch it here. 

 

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From Bronson to Fury Road: Our Favourite Tom Hardy Performances

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Since his appearance in the 2001 thriller Black Hawk Down, Tom Hardy is an actor who has continued to churn out some truly terrific performances including appearances in such films like RocknRolla, Bronson, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Famous for delivering a stand-out and scene-stealing performances Hardy has continued to win over audiences across the globe and it would appear that there’s no stopping him. For his latest film he has taken on one of celluloids famous apocalyptic heroes as Tom Hardy takes over the role that had launched Mel Gibson‘s acting career which is none other than the road warrior himself Mad Max.

Mad Max: Fury Road tells the story of Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and few words, who is searching for peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of a world fighting for the necessities in life. Teaming up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action who is his complete equal the two drive across the desert back to her childhood homeland. Also starring in the film are Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max), Josh Helman (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon).

Packed with so much ferocity and adrenaline that makes the Fast and Furious franchise look more like Driving Miss Daisy, Fury Road has received largely positive phrase from fans and critics alike. So in celebration of the release of Fury Road in UK cinemas we here at Cinema Chords have put together our list of our top Tom Hardy performances we think you should check out.

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We adore Hardy’s performance in Guy Ritchie‘s crime thriller ROCKNROLLA. Playing the role of Handsome Bob, Hardy had no problem standing shoulder to shoulder alongside the rest of the film’s cast which included Mark Strong, Idris Elba and Gerard Butler. Hardy stole the show playing a gangster coming to terms with his sexuality. He made us swoon, laugh and cheer him on as he struggled with his crush on Butler’s One Two coming out of it as being utterly cool.

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Notably the film that grabbed the attention of American studio system, BRONSON was directed by Drive‘s Nicholas Winding Refn and helped develop Hardy’s career. Starring in the title role Hardy shaved his head, worked a waxed moustache and changed the shape of his entire body to pay homage to Britain’s most violent prisoner. Delivering an absolute phenomenal performance combined with the directorial aesthetics from Refn, the only way to describe this film and Hardy’s performance is to refer to it as a visual spectacle.

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true brit, there is no denying that Tom Hardy has charm. With strong masculine features, gravelly voice and the fact that he looks super dashing in a suit it still surprises me that he has not been snapped up for some kind of bond role but for now his performance as Eames in Christoper Nolan‘s INCEPTION is pretty damn close. His character is essentially a chameleon taking on different skills and attributes throughout the film. Hardy appears alongside such actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt but is never outshinedTom Hardy was just fantastic in what was essentially his first introduction to mainstream audiences.

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If there was ever a performance to equally match the tour de force performance given by Heath Ledger it is Tom Hardy’s performance as Bain in Christopher Nolan‘s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, the final chapter in The Dark Knight Trilogy. A true wonder and masterful performance unhindered by wearing a bulky face mask, Hardy’s Bain was terrifying and loved nothing more than to watch the world burn. Interestingly, Bain one of the more watchable out of the entire film and we firmly believe this is a testament to Hardy’s brilliant and unrelenting performance.

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In what can only be described as the man’s Notebook, THE WARRIOR saw Tom Hardy star opposite Joel Edgerton as two estranged brothers who enter a fighting tournament to come to terms with each other.  Hardy plays former U.S. Marine Tommy Riordan which of course sees him bulk up again but that’s not important here. His performance is jam-packed with raw emotion and such a stelar performance from Hardy that is near flawless which will guarantee to make even the hardest of men shed a tear by the time the film comes to a close. Seek it out, you won’t be sorry.

Max Max: Fury Road is now in cinemas across the UK so get yourselves out there and see what the fuss is about.

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Mad Max: Fury Road – Cannes Premiere Live Stream

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FRD-DS-00039Already tipped as the best action movie of the year, and in many cases the best movie of the year full stop, Mad Max: Fury Road gets its very own official gala screening as part of the Cannes 2015 opening night.

Both cast and crew members will be putting in appearances so, despite the fact most of us aren’t able to get over there to enjoy the ride (and the classy cocktails), CinemaChords is happy to be able to share the entire experience with you via the Cannes live stream (embedded below).

The Mad Max: Fury Road glamorous gala screening will take place at 19:30 tonight, 14 May, with the live stream for the event (below) going live roughly one hear earlier.

If you can’t wait that long for some Mad Max goodness then jump to the second embedded video below for interviews with George Miller, Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult and Doug Mitchell.

See you back here in a few hours for what is sure to be one of the biggest movie events of the year.

Synopsis:

In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

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FeaturesShort Film

A Short Mission: The Pavement

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A sign of skilled writing and innovation in film-making is competently mastering the narrative. In shorts and features, there are only a few that can edit and toy with the story’s time, pacing it well to still engross the audience in such an alluring and exciting way. On the top of my head, films such as Memento and Pulp Fiction, by Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino respectively, do this because the plot and film practically beg for sublimely done narrative work, with the former feeling much more akin to this following short as the crux of the idea revolving around a flare for paced time and non-linear plot. Taylor Engel, a self-taught filmmaker, has quickly leveled himself up the ranks of and nestled on a high perch with his fantastic short The Pavement.

Selected as part of a HBO competition, The Pavement revolves around a man who is shot and sent out of the window to his death. Narrating the moments that led up this tragedy, Engel unravels different elements of the story unfold in an amazing way as we find out exactly who killed our “hero.”

Pulsating with this noir narrator, The Pavement is a smooth beating story that is told like slam poetry. Engel uses repetition and skill to sublimely capture the essence of black and white crime dramas all the while balancing the facts and moments in this delectable story that pushes the boundaries of linear plot. Pulling away from the finale to reveal moments, told in the drawl of a man regaling his brutal death, is a masterful technique that is never squandered on a whim. Instead, Engel uses it to full effect – enhance the drama and captivating the audience superbly.

The editing is slick with the film drenched in grey tones that hammer the visceral context home. The filmmakers focus on key elements of the film to entrance you to the script; a lingering smoking gun, the scream of a woman and the cold titular pavement. What this is is an excellent example in how to use the full stop properly and allowing it to pause delicately on key moment.

Engel has remarkably pulled out a stunning film and slammed it in under five minutes. It has this thudding energy and unravels beguiling  in order to entice. It is a thrilling film that captivates the importance of short film ingenuity.

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A Short Mission: Love Me Tinder

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Some could say that dating in this day and age is a lot easier than before. Well, I wouldn’t say dating, which is as awkward as it’ll ever be, but I would say that finding a quick hook-up is certainly less of a pressing issue. Thanks to the uprising of technology, genitalia that wish to mesh with other genitalia is merely a button fwip away. Don’t get me wrong, this is a judgement free zone. After all, if you are both consenting adults and with more emotional depth than a stained metallic spoon – random fucking is fine and healthy. But sometimes, people get into these situations under false pretence. They think they are fine with one could healthy shag – but really, they are reaching out for a more visceral connection. And that’s the kind of aurora this new, excellently named short, is trying to capture.

Love Me Tinder stars the phenomenal Caroline Quentin and producer Tom Lorcan. A young has recently split up with his girlfriend and wants to explore his options with the titular dating app. He is paired with an older woman. But together, it’s clear that their desperation for some sort of human connection is going to make this date travel down the path of awkward.

Written by Alistair Donegan, directed by Sami Abusamra with Neil Gordon on camera, Love Me Tinder is a fantastic short that is brimming with incredible humanistic comedy that I feel only the British could truly muster. There are very little word said but each second is throbbing with this agonising embarrassment through either our leads not realising what they were getting themselves in for or the minute they locked eyes with one another, they realised it’s not quite what I wanted. Through Donegan’s script and Abusamra’s astute directing, the whole tone of the escapade is both sad sorrow filled and amusing.

What works is that, whilst Quentin’s Enya loving desolation hums off the screen in stomach turning awkwardness, she is never made to feel like a raw deal. Instead, it’s both of the leads insecurity of life and love that makes their misguided romanticism rub and therefore, allow the movie to spark. It helps that Lorcan and Quentin have heaps of chemistry together despite their characters not. They feed off the atmosphere and make it electrify with unease and humiliation.

Love Me Tinder has sweetness and sourness, all told alluring through the script and performances. It is a wonderful comedy that, if you have had a date like this, will rile up past memories of wretched emotional discomfort.

Love Me Tinder is making its way around the festivals and Short Sighted Cinema tours…

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