Watch the 200+ Winning Writing Festival Videos for 2015

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:  www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: www.wildsoundfestival.com

Watch the Winning Writing Festival Videos Month by Month for 2015:

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Watch the 40+ winning readings and movies for the month.
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Watch the 40+ winning readings and movies for the month.
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Watch the 40+ winning readings and movies for the month
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Watch the 40+ winning readings and movies for the month.
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Movie Review: SVENGALI (UK 2015)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

svengali_posterSVENGALI (UK 2013) **1/2
Directed by John Hardwick

Review by Gilbert Seah

The story of this straight to Video on demand British film is as simple the mind of the lead character who nicknames himself Dixie (Jonny Owen). Dixie leaves his small Welsh mining town for the big city of London. He intends to become the manager of what he thinks is the best band in the world. This he thinks after watching them on Youtube. He brings along to London his long-suffering girlfriend, Shell (Vicky McClure). Things are not that straightforward in the big city but Dixie and Shell manage somehow.

As the ads ask, can Dixie manage a relationship, a band and his life? That is what director Hardwick (mostly British TV stuff) intends his audience to find out.

Hardwick’s film has several charms. For one, the lead character, though annoying that he may be at times, wearing the same old disgusting vintage parka and carrying around a Tesco plastic bag, is a loveable lug who always means well. His favourite words are: “I am sorry” uttered with his Welsh accent. It is hard not to feel for a small town boy (big though he may be) moving to London in search of his big dream.

Newcomer Jonny Owen isn’t half bad as Dixie. He basically plays himself, a music enthusiast, star and producer of his own internet-based sketches of the same title in real life, which he has expanded for the big screen. But running at 90 minutes, the task becomes massive and different from the execution of short skits on the net. The little jokes and humour fail to sustain, and the one idea film soon runs out of steam. The story is also too predictable but there are a few prize characters such as the fat pop drinking Russian landlady. The camera is fond of showing her ass.

It would be an additional bonus if the band did put out some good songs on film. As it is, the band members are all shown as a lot of arguing misfits.

The word Svengali, the film title, refers to a person who manipulates or exerts excessive force over another. It also refers to a character in the George Du Maurier’s 1895 novel made into a film several times called Svengali who hypnotizes and brings to fame a young singer. It is not clear which of the three director Hardwick or writer Owen has fashioned his title from. Dixie manipulates his girlfriend and the band to stardom, though not with excessive force.

The film contains cameos from several TV personalities that North Americans will not be familiar with. Martin Freeman from the three Lord of the Rings HOBBIT films is perhaps the only one recognizable.

It is difficult to envisage huge North American audiences getting too excited about this small British export. Unless one is ex-British staying in North America, in the music business industry, in a struggling band or have Welsh roots, SVENGALI will have little appeal. This film therefore goes straight to VOD (video on demand) skipping the theatres on January the 10th. Myself, I visited Wales 2 years back, which is the main reason this little film attracted me to review.

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Movie Review: HOUSEBOUND (New Zealand 2014) ***** Top 10

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

housebound_posterHOUSEBOUND (New Zealand 2014) ***** Top 10
Directed by Gerard Johnstone

Review by Gilbert Seah

It is not often that a film comes out of nowhere that turns out to be the biggest surprise of the year. HOUSEBOUND might be that film for 2015.

This is the story of story of Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly), an ill-tempered delinquent forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her crazed mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) – a well- intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. They do not get along. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small-town gossip. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return. Nothing more should be said about the story as surprises are around every corner.

The film contains priceless stereotyped characters everyone would love to laugh at. These include stupid follow-the-book police officers, a therapist that offers the most obvious observations and a parole officer that asks the silliest questions. But the supporting characters are also priceless. The best is the gossiping, superstitious mother who can believe that the ouse is haunted but not what her daughter tells her.

The horror comedic set-us are equally brilliantly staged from the climatic fight on the roof to the exploding head scene. As far as predictability goes, Johnstone parodies the familiar in horror films but the joked and set-ups are genuinely fresh.

HOUSEBOUND is the best horror comedy surprise coming from New Zealand since Peter Jackson stunned the world with BRAINDEAD (banned in Canada and released straight to video under the title DEAD ALIVE). Hollywood rewarded Jackson with THE FRIGHTENERS and the rest is Tolkien history. Who knows? The same may follow suit for Gerard Johnstone.

But what the film overlooks in explanation is the possessed stuffed bear. If all the noise and moving objects were due to the stranger living behind the walls, how did the bear come alive?

The film may be considered violent depending how one looks at it. Harmless fun perhaps? But funny, nevertheless. Scenes such as the one in which Kylie uses a grater to her attacker’s face could go wither way. But there are also nice touches such as Kylie finally protecting and bonding with her annoying mother.

O’Reilly is winning as the attention deficit Kylie. But Te Wiata ias the mother is completely unforgettable.

The film has had a super successful international festival run that included premieres at SXSW, Toronto After Dark, Vancouver International Film Festival, and Neuchâtel International Fantasy Film Festival 2014 where Housebound won the HR Giger ‘Narcisse’ Award for Best Feature Film, and the Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival in Scotland where it landed an Audience Award.

Peter Jackson has seen HOUSEBOUND and calls the film: “Bloody Brilliant!” It certainly is!

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Movie Review: LEGEND (UK 2015)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

legend_posterLEGEND (UK 2015) ****
Directed by Brian Helgeland

Review by Gilbert Seah

The second film about the notorious Krays, (the first was called THE KRAYS in the 80’s directed by Peter Medak) the gangster twins that terrorized London the 50’s and 60’s is given a glossier more modern approach.  But just as violent.  The Kray twins in LEGEND are both played by Tom Hardy.

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL his best film) and based on the book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson, the film is told from the point of view as well as narrated by Frances Shea (Emily Browning) the wife of Reggie Kray.   She met Kray at 16 and married him aged 22 in 1965 . She committed suicide in 1967, and narrates the film from beyond the grave.  “It took a lot of love to hate him the way I did,” were her famous words.

When the film begins, the Krays are already established gangster princes.  The script does not detail how they got to be such prominent gangsters except by having them usurp the turf from Charlie (Paul Bettany) and his brother Eddie, childhood friends of the Krays and the leaders of notorious south London gang (also known as the Torture Gang).  That was when Reggie met Frances.  The film that goes on to deal with the further rise and fall of the Kray twins; the relationship that bound them together, and charts their gruesome career to their downfall and imprisonment for life in 1969.  And all from Frances’ angle.  

LEGEND is necessarily violent.  The best segment is the well executed fight between the two brothers (made trickier to shoot as both brothers are portrayed by the same actor) which is guaranteed to make you cringe in your seat.

The script is set up to have the audience take the side of Reggie, the sane brother.  The other, who is ultra violent and homosexual and certified insane not once but twice is the script’s set up for the downfall of the Kray’s empire.

Hardy does an exceptional job playing the Krays, definitely proving to be Oscar material here.  He creates two very different characters in the Krays, one sane and the other insane.  Though the film uses the tactic of Ronnie’s glasses to distinguish the twins apart, Hardy creates different nuanced behaviour for each.  Of the other performances, David Thewlis stands out as the Krays business and lawyer connection who wants to make the business more legitimate, thus running foul with Ronnie.

Ronnie’s homosexuality is treated in the film with campy seriousness.  He justifies his gay sexual acts by claiming to be the giver and not the taker.  One difference between the two KRAY films is that Medak’s dwelt on the Kray’s doting mother’s influence, the mother played by Billie Whitelaw in THE KRAYS.

The 50’s and 60’s London atmosphere is effectively created, complete with the period posh suits, vehicles and Burt Bacharach songs like ‘The Look of Love’.

Hard to fault, LEGEND belongs to the genre of excellent British crime thrillers of the 70’s that used to be popular.

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Movie Review: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Canada 2015)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

the_forbidden_room_posterTHE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Canada 2015) ****
Directed by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson

Review by Gilbert Seah

Another weird and wonderful film by Guy Maddin with co-creator Evan Johnson – and one of Maddin’s best and most structured, which is not saying much.  And the film is in colour instead of black and white.

The film begins, humorously with a man in a bathrobe (Louis Negin) giving lessons on how to draw a bath.  This vignette is linked to another concerning a submarine crew in dire distress.  The captain is missing and the air supply is running out.  They chew on flapjacks to utilize the oxygen bubbles in the batter.  Does not make sense?  It does not matter.  All this is part of the weird pleasure that is abundant in a Maddin film.  A woodsman (Roy Dupuis) suddenly appears and the crew figure if there is a way in the sub, there must be a way out.  It turns out the woodsman is one of many out to rescue a damsel in distress from a pack of forest bandits.  And so it goes on.  

The way in which one scene leads to the next is impossibly funny.  A bust of the God Janus leads to possession of the carrier transforming him into Lug Lug.  To get rid of the bust, he finds a night auction to sell it to.  But he ends up bidding with his double but finally winning the bid and buying the bust back.  He turns into Lug Lug again to kill his double.  This is one example.  But it is the most hilarious segment.  And beware – the ASWANG!  – a black rotten black cone shaped rotting banana aka the jungle vampire.  (The aswang actually is the devil in the banana tree in Philippines folklore.)

Shot in Paris, which is the reason the film contains a more than impressive cast of French and Quebecois actors including Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Mathieu Amalric, Geraldine Chaplin, Charlotte Rampling, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot and a few other surprises.  Shot in various old gothic styles of films of old, Maddin’s film is terribly funny, nostalgic and the perfect vehicle to watch while under the influence.  A real treat that might be too weird for everyone’s taste!

 

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

 

 

 

 

 

2015, Poetry by Gloria D. Gonsalves

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

2015, by Gloria D. Gonsalves

It was a year of everything and nothing.

A home.
Tight-knit family.
Happiness.

They came and robbed us peace.

A chaos.
Disintegrated family.
Loss.

Then I met Louis Philippe.

Cherry finish.
Classic.
French.

He sat me down to write it all.

Memories.
Laughter.
Mostly tears.

* 2015 saw largest exodus of people fleeing from the Syrian Civil War. There were also other events which shook the global humanity. Some continue to occur (e.g. the eastern Congo as the site of the deadliest conflict since World War II and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict) and others were quickly forgotten (e.g. Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram, the Nepal earthquake and Germanwings plane crash).

 

Writing gives me courage to face grave realities. Prior to the end of the year, I was gifted a Louis Phillipe writing desk. It is there where I continue to find solace for my…

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Never to old for Love (2015 Poem), Poetry by Colin Guest

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

Never to old for Love (2015 Poem)
by Colin Guest

The year 2015 has been one of great joy and happiness.
With deep and everlasting love overcoming all in its way.
Although there were times of stress from health problems.
All turned out well, with nothing at all serious prevailing.
I thank the stars above for my meeting my wife Gulden.
Who since we met, has been a tower of strength to me.
Giving me the will to overcome any problems I had.
Each time we go out for a walk we always hold hands.
With my smiling in the knowledge that I’m a lucky man.
People sometime stare on seeing us sitting on a bench.
Cuddled up close together and looking so deep in love.
This can be seen by all, as surely as night follows day.
Some no doubt are shocked to see us sometimes kiss.
But we…

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