NUIT AMERICHÈN – Angelo Talocci


Original Review by Alan RogersNuit Americhen

An independent film-maker is hired to shoot a promotional video in an abandoned mansion. But what he actually wants to do is to use the eerie location in a key scene for his no-budget, English language slasher-horror movie. To get the best performances from his actors he puts them in realistic situations but the line between fact and fiction begins to blur for everyone when we realise that there’s a serial killer loose within the house. This is the story to Italian director Federico Greco’s horror-comedy short film, Nuit Americhèn. Veteran Italian composer Angelo Talocci (whose music for thriller Report 51 featured in a release from MovieScore Media earlier this year) provides appropriately eclectic music for a score that turn out to be quite a little gem. [Read more...]

THE FACTORY – Piotr Hummel


Original Review by Alan RogersThe Factory

I am of a certain age that I remember as a child avidly watching at TV show called “Screen Test”, a children’s quiz show about films. Part of the format was a young film-makers’ competition where viewers were invited to submit their homemade movies to be judged by a panel of experts (apparently Jan Pinkava, credited as a co-director on the Oscar-winning Pixar films Geri’s Game and  Ratatouille, won the competition in 1980). What I remember most about these animations was that the film-makers would sometimes use music clips from some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Today, technology availability is such that amateur animators can call upon budding composers to write original music rather than “adopt” previously-written music. Watching Polish directors Sebastian Kwidziński and Marcin Roszczyniała’s stop-motion animated short film, The Factory (Fabryka), reminds me somewhat of these Screen Test films, made by numerous passionately enthusiastic animators. [Read more...]

RED KROKODIL – Alexander Cimini


Original Review by Alan RogersRed Krokodil

Red Krokodil is a film telling the story of the deteriorating existence of a drug addict living in a post-nuclear city. The addict (Brock Madson) is addicted to the morphine-derivative Krokodil and the film follows his hallucinatory decline and physical deterioration. Krokodil, a street name for the morphine derivative desomorphine, is a relatively easy drug to manufacture but is severely toxic because little is done to remove the byproducts and leftover chemicals used for its synthesis (e.g., phosphorus, hydrochloric acid, paint thinners, etc.). The presence of these toxic chemicals means that users can suffer severe tissue damage and breakdown and Italian director Domiziano Cristopharo has used this physical disintegration as a metaphor for Madson and society’s descent into ruin. [Read more...]

CHINE: RÉPUBLIQUE POPULAIRE DE LA CORRUPTION – Maximilien Mathevon


Original Review by Alan RogersChine - République Populaire de La Corruption

Chine: République Populaire de la Corruption is a one-hour French investigative documentary made by Anne Loussouarn that examines the continuing spectre of state-wide corruption that’s hidden within the country’s recent and significant economic rise. Despite the launch of a high-profile anti-corruption campaign by China’s new leaders – illustrated most by the spectacular downfall of Chinese politician Bo Xilai – Loussouarn’s film uncovers persistent governmental corruption and follows the efforts of local activists to fight against the abuses experienced by the ordinary citizen. Chine: République Populaire de la Corruption (Chine) is typical of many investigative documentaries: plenty of sequences of clandestine filming of dubious meetings, footage of car journeys through city streets and face-to-face interviews with various interested parties. Much of the details of the film were lost on me – my understanding of French is too limited for me to follow much of what was said in the original copy of the film I viewed for this review – but one facet of the documentary I could follow was the score, written by prolific French composer Maximilien Mathevon. [Read more...]

37 DAYS – Andrew Simon McAllister


Original Review by Alan Rogers37 Days

37 Days is a three-part drama directed by Justin Hardy that covers the time between the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 at the hands of a Serbian nationalist and the entry of Britain into the First World War. Rather than being full of romantic sub-plots that can clutter many a good historical story (the 1983 TV mini-series The Winds of War immediately springs to mind), writer Mark Hayhurst focuses instead on the political discussions (on a number of sides) that were held behind closed doors, as well as the associated chain of events leading up to war being declared. It’s a drama where the characters of men rather than historical events are the important factors deciding whether countries go to war or not; where ill-informed assumptions, decision and indecision of key individuals leads to an escalation of circumstances and to global conflict that will result in the death of millions of people. [Read more...]

FOOD CHAINS – Gil Talmi


Original Review by Alan RogersFood Chains

Director Sanjay Rawal’s eye-opening feature documentary, Food Chains, shines a light on the abuses suffered by farm workers who work long hours to gather much of the fresh produce that ends up on the tables of millions of Americans. The film (on limited release in the US this autumn) follows members of a worker-based human rights organisation, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), documenting a six-day hunger strike they held outside the Florida headquarters of one of the United States’ largest supermarket chains. Touching on the history the US’s heavy reliance on migrant workers to harvest fresh produce and exposing how the industry’s economics has fostered a work environment that features abuse and injustices (including modern-day slavery), Food Chains focuses on the supermarket’s reluctance to even open discussions with the CIW and becoming a participant in the Campaign For Fair Food. [Read more...]

MY NIKIFOR – Bartek Gliniak


Original Review by Alan RogersMy Nikifor

My Nikifor (Mój Nikifor) is a Polish film from 2004 directed by Polish-born director Krzysztof Krauze. The film is a dramatized account the last few years of the self-taught, “primitive/naïve” painter Nikifor Krynicki seen from the point-of-view of fellow painter Marian Włosiński. Włosiński became Nikifor’s daily companion and dedicated caretaker until the latter’s death in 1968. Particularly noted for the trans-gender acting of female actress Krystyna Feldman in the title role, the film chronicles the relatively uneventful life of the eccentric and anti-social painter and the life-enriching influence he had on Włosiński, a talented painter but whose work was, up until this point, thought of as soulless. The score, released by Kronos Records/MovieScore Media in 2014, is by talented Polish composer Bartek Gliniak, who has fashioned a score that, in his own words, “views [Nikifor] with affection”, “emphasising his talent, temperament and great individuality.”  [Read more...]

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