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Screenjabber Pubcast: Whip It good! And the new Who ain't bad either

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 08/04/2010 - 21:28

Just how good is Whip It, Drew Barrymore's first film as a director? You'll have to listen to find out, as Justin Bateman, Doug Cooper and Stuart O'Connor also examine this weeks other big-screen releases – The Infidel, I Know You Know, and Shelter. Plus a quick trip into the Tardis for our thoughts on the new-look Doctor Who ...

You can listen to and download the podcast here – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can also follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

We'd love your feedback too, please. After having a listen, please come back here and post your comments below.

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 08/04/2010 - 10:00

I'm no fan of programmes that swap people's lives over - I'd far rather see a decently researched documentary on a topic than watch z-list celebrities and ex-MPs pretend to live on benefits in a tower block for a week, for example. And Secret Millionaire is nauseating in its "let's be philanthropic and tug at your heart-strings for the cameras" way - seriously, if rich people want to give money away to help those in need they should just write a fat cheque and get stuck in. I question their motives for doing it for TV, I really do.

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Interview with Robert Fucilla, actor and producer of The Big I Am

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/04/2010 - 23:37

Last week I sat down with actor/producer Robert Fucilla to discuss The Big I Am, the new British gangster film that is his biggest acting accomplishment to date, not to mention his first time behind the camera as a producer.

With an all-star cast, The Big I Am tells the story of a small-time crook who is unexpectedly given the keys to a mobster's criminal empire for 24 hours.

What inspired you to get into the film industry as both an actor and producer?
I left university after my first year and literally just packed my bags and went to LA. I was 19/20 years-old at the time. I had a friend out there who was also trying to be an actor and I just wanted something different in my life. I've always enjoyed acting — I went to drama school when I was a child — it was something I was good at. I spent most of my time sleeping on people's couches until I started to find work out there. I only did a few small bits and pieces, but it was only when I came back to England that I started working with a producer and became friends with him. He was also a director. As I had a full-time job in finance, I kind of had the right connections to put a project together, so I sat down with Nic Auerbach, the director, and we thrashed out loads of ideas and thought that it would be great to do a Lock Stock [and Two Smoking Barrels] kind of film, something gangstery [sic] and exciting.

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First trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/04/2010 - 15:01

Now that it's officially coming out this year, after originally being put back to 2011 by Sony Pictures, Resident Evil: Afterlife's first international trailer has arrived.

As a fan of the first trilogy based on the Capcom video games, I am looking forward to this next instalment, which has been billed as the beginning of a new trilogy. Speaking of the games, from the trailer it looks as though there are various characters and elements, such as the Las Plagas parasite taken from Resident Evil 4 and 5. It's also going to be the first film in the franchise to be in 3D, so it looks as if plenty of zombie nastiness is headed our way in the third dimension.

Having written the first three films in the series and directed the original, Paul W.S. Anderson returns as both writer and director in Resident Evil: Afterlife. He is joined by Milla Jovovich, reprising her role as Alice. Newcomers to the film include English-born Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield, and Shawn Roberts replacing Jason O'Mara as Albert Wesker.

No plot details have currently been revealed other than in the trailer, but it will pick up right where Resident Evil: Extinction left off.

Resident Evil: Afterlife zombie walks into cinemas on September 10th

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/04/2010 - 08:04

Rosalind Franklin was robbed. Fact. Without her vital input, Crick and Watson would not have discovered DNA, or received the credit for it (or the Nobel Prize). Franklin was ignored, like many female scientists. Fortunately today more women working at the cutting edge of scientific developments are not just getting credit where it's due but also becoming known to the wider public. I'm ridiculously excited that BBC4 launches a new miniseries at 9pm tonight, Beautiful Minds, which focuses on these women and their achievements. First up is astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered radio pulsars in the 60s (but her boss got the Nobel Prize for it!). Burnell discusses not just her discovery and subsequent work but her beliefs and her thoughts on women and science. Unmissable viewing for anyone even vaguely geeky and worth a punt even if you're not.

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Armchair Viewing: JFK (1991)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Wed, 07/04/2010 - 06:48

"It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma."

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

The assassination of US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Texas on 22 November 1963. Was it a lone gunman in a nearby book depository? Or was it a sharpshooter on a grassy knoll near the motorcade? District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) intends to find out.

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PRESS CONFERENCE | Tilda Swinton, I Am Love

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/04/2010 - 21:36

By Robert Barry

Tilda Swinton, in a sharp black suit, hair and face with that just-washed look she so often sports for her rare public appearances, is talking about how she and director Luca Guadagnino managed to secure for their film, I am love, the music of John Adams, one of the most celebrated living composers, the "post-stylist" who became the hero of Alex Ross's monumental book on the music of the twentieth century, The Rest is Noise. Adams, insists Guadagnino, did not write the music for the film, "we worked on his repertoire."

Some years ago, around the time he first found the location for the house in the film and still in the very early days of the film's development, Guadagnino was given some of John Adams's music on CD by a friend and immediately felt it was the right music for the story. He played it to Swinton and she knew he was right, "This is such an edited world, this milieu that we show in the film," she says, "and the landscape of his music is so un-edited, so grand, and so florid, so vernacular and so modern and its completely shameless. It felt like a very human basket to put this rather inhuman content in."

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Interview with comedian David Baddiel, writer of The Infidel

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/04/2010 - 17:29

I was delighted to have the opportunity last week to get together over the phone with one of Britain's favourite comedians, David Baddiel, to discuss, among other things, his new film The Infidel, which he wrote. The comedy stars Omid Djalili as a salt of the earth Muslim who discovers that he was born a Jew. 

A good place to begin would be the start of any film — the script. With The Infidel being your first feature film, at what point in your life did you sit down and think, “right, aside from all the TV and radio, I'm going to write a movie”?
I've written films before, they just haven't been made. The first film I wrote was for John Hughes [Home Alone], incredibly. I went to America in the early '90s pitching an idea. I've actually met him once before and he commissioned it, it was called Forsaking All Others, and it was a romantic comedy. John Hughes ran a company called Great Oaks, who had a deal with Disney, and just as I was writing it, Great Oaks' deal with Disney ended, and at that point they were no longer in a position to just make movies, so basically, to cut a long story short, we couldn't find the right talent to get behind the film, which is a shame, as I quite liked the idea for that movie.

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Press Release: Alice in Wonderland becomes Burton's biggest UK success

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/04/2010 - 13:55

Walt Disney's epic 3D fantasy adventure Alice in Wonderland broke a new record for director Tim Burton over the Easter weekend, as the film surpassed his former box office hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (£37,802,185), with a cumulative gross of £38,423,738, making Alice in Wonderland Burton's biggest UK box office success ever.

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/04/2010 - 13:21

The daily telly tips are back! And my top recommendation for tonight is to switch on BBC4 if you like your music classic and American. Kicking off at 7.30pm Walk On By looks at the influence of Louis Armstrong on jazz, pop and other genres, then at 8.20pm Nina Simone: a Tribute explores the great soul star's own contribution to the roster of greatest-ever singers, although 45 minutes is far too short to do justice to her.

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