Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

1 yassine fadel

This is the story of two young guys without any trouble who just want to « screw »
without being disturbed.« State of Emergency motherfucker» is a surrealistic comedy
that depicts a society where police violence and invasion of privacy are daily routine, normal, tedious. The victims themselves are used to it. Even the police is used to it! Every day, they get back at it. Samy and Mehdi aren’t even paying attention to it anymore… the viewer neither. The real question of the movie is to finally discover if Samy did get some on the night of Valentine’s…

Review by Kierston Drier

Whether it is the eye-catching title or the vibrant opening scene that sucks you into this 5 minutes Political Satire from Belgium, once you’re in this film- you are really in it. Why? Because it simply doesn’t give you the opportunity to let go. With rapid dialogue, seamless transitions and flawless editing, this piece boasts dialogue gymnastics on top of its’ stellar performances. These factors alone are enough to impress any film critic, but STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERF***ER, is also making a political statement, while being hilariously funny.

How do they manage it all? It’s hard to say- because the piece is so fast, so witty, so active and so engaging, that it’s over before you’ve even had time to take in the sheer amount of work that must go into to a film.

Our piece begins with two young guys having the classic “guy-talk” about their nightly conquests, when they are carded, arrested and dragged down to a police station to be beaten and harassed. The humor comes from their casual acceptance of their circumstances, their lack of concern with the outcome, and their ability to continue their conversation without missing a beat. It is hard to say what is funnier- the actual humorous dialogue, or the context of it being said while the speakers are actively being cuffed and beaten.

What is brilliant about STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERF***ER is that under the comedy, is a deeply meaningful political statement about social profiling and the relationships specific communities have with government and police forces. It is hyperbolic because it must be. The controversial nature of the message behind the film means that it must be over the top and humorous- as Oscar Wilde said, “If you want to tell someone the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”

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Film Review: WAR MACHINE (USA 2017) ***

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war_machine.jpgAn absurdist war story for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody.

Director: David Michôd
Writers: Michael Hastings (book), David Michôd (screenplay)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro

Review by Gilbert Seah

A Netflix original movie opening only on Netflix and proudly not in theatres May 26th, WAR MACHINE opens as arrogantly as its voiceover, as its content and as its platform. It is a film directed and written by David Michôd inspired by the nonfiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings. It fictionalizes the events in the book based on the firing of United States Army General Stanley McChrystal.

The voiceover praises America, that seeks peace, that needs to find peace and win wars. If the war like the one in Afghanistan in 1993 cannot be won, then they sack the guy in charge and hire a new guy. Thus the film’s protagonist, first introduced as Glen (Brad Pitt) with the WAR MACHINE is described and said to be called THE LION KING by his men, and shown walking confidently at an airport lounge before deployment telling his men: “Let’s do it!” The beginning sequence primes the audience for an exciting 2 hours to follow, where hopefully they see a quirky film, different from the ones screened theatrically. It also warns the audience to be careful of the accuracy projected on screen. After all, how can Glen’s men call him The Lion King in 1993 when that film was released only in 1994. Glen eats one meal a day, sleeps only 4 hours and runs 7 miles every morning. Glen loves his men and his men love him back.

It’s Brad Pitt’s movie. Pitt is in almost very scene. He has a constant sarcastic growl painted on his face throughout the film. Pitt shows he is star material and he definitely commands screen presence. His gruff voice sounds like George C. Scott’s in PATTON. He hams up every scene and is as funny as his funniest role – the fitness instructor in BURN AFTER READING. Tilda Swinton who seems to be appearing in every Korean or Netflix movie is immediately recognizable in a cameo as a German reporter who questions Glen. Topher Grace has the supporting role of Glen’s loyal public relations supporter while Ben Kingsley plays the Afghanistan President. Meg Tilly has the odd role of Glen’s long-suffering wife. She provides the film’s most sentimental moment when she confesses her true feelings to her husband at their 30th Anniversary dinner.

As a satire, WAR MACHINE is funnier than it should be, where it should be more biting. Many critics have agreed on this point that the film is thus a bit below average.

For a war film, there are hardly any battle scenes except for the one at the end. The film also lacks a climax, expected in most films.

WAR MACHINE is a worthwhile watch if one has Netflix. It is at least a new and an original film compared to all the other films (mostly more than a year old and already seen by most subscribers) available. The film is currently playing on Netflix since Friday May 26th.Trailer: 


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LGBT Inside Out Festival: MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN (Germany 2017) ***

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mywonderful.jpgToday’s hip image of Berlin is based on the city’s vibrant and subversive subcultures, which originally emerged within the grey walls surrounding West Berlin. The queer scene played a major role in creating that subculture, with its sexual diversity and its wild and unconstrained party culture, ranging from the notorious clubs to CSD.

Director: Jochen Hick
Writer: Jochen Hick
Stars: Mabel Aschenneller, Wolfgang Cihlarz, Rolf Eden

Review by Gilbert Seah
MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN charts the gay activities between the end of WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall, looking from the point of view of West Berlin, which was a melting pot of political activists, partygoers, hedonists, club owners, musicians and fashion designers.

These are the stories of their lives, existing in gay communes and surviving the AIDS crisis. This trip down memory lane is not all nostalgic and joy. West Berlin is shown for all the ugliness and its gay history from the fights of the gay movements, the raids and arrests in gay establishments, the abolishment of paragraph 175, to the destruction of lives though A.I.D.S..

Shot mostly in back and white with extensive use of archive footage and home mvies, the audience is offered a ‘treat’ that still keels a relative light mood over the events. Celebrities that have visited West Berlin include Iggy Pop and David Bowie, stressed for heir use of drugs. Many older residents reminisce of the past from the youth to the present.

There is nothing really new revealed in this documentary, but it is still an informative and entertaining watch.


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Film Review: An American Dream: The Education of William Bowman (2016)

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anamericandream.jpgA cheerfully gullible college graduate embarks on a journey into adulthood that whisks him into the insanity of 21st century America, where he is beset by a parade of gun-crazed zealots.

Director: Ken Finkleman
Writer: Ken Finkleman
Stars: Diana Bentley, Shiloh Blondel, Jan Caruana

Review by Gilbert Seah

With its American theme and setting, this Canadian film #ANAMERICANDREAM
that was first screened earlier this year at the Canadian Film Festival is quite the gem of a movie. It is original, hilarious, current, absurd, Kafkai-ish but mostly frighteningly entertaining.

The unlikely hero of the film is William Bowman (Jake Crocker) a 17-year old footballer, who when knocked unconscious during a game, is sent to the future, one that is as weird if not similar to the Australian film BLISS where the protagonist, who when suffering a heart attack witnesses odd things going on around him.

The education of William Bowman as the film calls it, takes Bowman through several amusing set pieces on life. The first has him doing internship for the Payne Financial Company where he learns that lying is more acceptable company culture than telling the truth. The second has him working for a born-again Tally Pepper who sets him up as a travelling salesman. The third has him running from the police and government. But there is no escape, as they can see everything he sees, due to a transplant of a camera in his eye.
Writer/director Finkelman takes the audience on a journey through America from Bowman’s point-of-view while satirizing everything from TV, corporate culture, school, the future, the second amendment to the country’s beliefs of the future.

Despite the film jumping from one set-up to another, Finkelman transits from one segment to another smoothly and hilariously. Bowman enters his office, the Payne building one morning to suddenly realize that every employee he sees is Asian. When he sees another Asian at his desk, he is informed that his company has been taken over and that he is out of a job. This takes him to the next segment.

Newcomer Jake Crocker is excellent in the role of a confused man tying to make sense of the craziness. Crocker is sufficiently good-looking that the audience can believe that most women will want to have sex with him. Or most men would want to punch him in the face. Both happens. The film includes some quite steamy sex scenes, showed in blurring images, but still sexually arousing.

The film goes into futuristic sci-fi mode at the end, when Bowman is being chased after becoming the most hunted man in the country. This segment gives Bowman the chance to meet a wide range of Americans from sexy teen babes to an old codger who ends up shot after helping him.

Finkelman’s film is full of surprises with a new one coming round every corner. The dialogue is also razor-sharp in observation and wit.
#ANAMERICAN DREAM is that rare Canadian film that is set in the United States not to be more commercial but because the story is set there. The film is also one of the sharpest Canadian films I have seen this year.


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INSPIRATION/MOTIVATION Poetry Contest (Winner gets poem made into film)

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

Deadline May 31st. Submit a poem that is INSPIRATIONAL or MOTIVATIONAL and get it made into a movie. 

Accepting any poetry in any genre or length that is INSPIRATIONAL or MOTIVATIONAL in any way.

All poems will be posted on this network. Over 95,000 unique visitors a day. The winning poem will have their poetry made into a movie. SPECIAL NOTE: Every single entry will get their poetry performed by a professional actor and made into a video.

The RULES are simple:

1. Write a POEM that is INSPIRATIONAL or MOTIVATIONAL. Send it to this contest for $25 and it will be POSTED on this site guaranteed for 100,000s to see. Plus, every entry will get their poetry performed at the festival and made into a video. (you own all rights to this poem and whenever you want it taken down, send us an email).

2. Email your POEM to

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pirates of the caribbean 2017.jpgCaptain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Writers: Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem

Review by Gilbert Seah 

 The 5th instalment of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise has been delayed a year and then another to be finally released this year after budget and script problems. It is easy to see why. The film like most sequels comes across as louder and bigger but not necessarily better. Written by Jeff Nathanson based on a story by himself and Terry Rossio, the story is a narrative mess and all over the place. In the parts where it is barely coherent, the special effects and swashbuckling action totally destroys whatever left as a thread of a story.

The film begins with a boy rowing a boat into the vast ocean. A huge ship scoops the boy up from underwater where the audience learns that the boy is seeking his father (Orlando Bloom) to return home. The father is under a curse and the boy vows to seek the Trident of Poseidon which returns power to the seas and break the curse that prevents the father returning home. The film then jumps 9 years into the future. The boy is revealed to be now grown up as the handsome Brenton Thwaites who is locked beneath the ship after warning the captain of dangerous waters that no ship has ever come back from. When imprisoned, the ship is attacked by ghosts. Henry is met by an evil, hissing ghost by the name of Salazar (Javier Bardem). He is apparently a powerful and maniacal undead pirate hunter of the Spanish Navy who was trapped in the Devil’s Triangle. After escaping, he seeks the Trident of Poseidon to wipe out all piracy and exact revenge on Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). He asks Henry to pass the message to Sparrow that he is looking for him as he cannot relay the message as dead men tell no tales. Of course, all this make no sense. The story then jumps to anther point. jack Sparrow is robbing a bank.

No one really cares what happens. A female character Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) is further introduced into the story to form the romantic interest for Henry, who also ends up seeking that dreaded trident. To form a strong female presence in the film, she fights for women’s rights to study in the university at that time.

When Johnny Depp is not appearing half the time behaving as if he was drunk or high, the pirates are swinging all over the ship and beating each other up. Lots of props get wrecked with lots of pyrotechnics thrown in. The camera swirls around for no reason – to the sky, to the sea down to the vast expanse of beaches.

The film’s best segment which occurs at the start when Sparrow falls asleep during a bank heist is quite over-the-top, but the the rest of the film never matches that part.

It only took ten minutes of the film for boredom to set in and the film lasts a full 2 hours and 20 minutes. The few cameos of Paul McCartney and Kiera Knightley do not enliven the film either.

This should finally be the last tired entry to a tired series. Jack Sparrow and gang should be forever banished to the Devil’s Triangle. In this film, Sparrow is supposed to have lost his mojo and getting it back with Poseidon’s Trident. No kidding about that loss of mojo.



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Happy Birthday: Cillian Murphy

Festival Reviews

cillianmurphyHappy Birthday actor Cillian Murphy

Born: May 25, 1976 in Douglas, Cork, Ireland

Married to: Yvonne McGuinness (1 August 2004 – present) (2 children)

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

dir. Christopher Nolan
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ken Watanabe
Red Eye
dir. Craven
Cillian Murphy
Rachel McAdams
Batman BeginsBatman Begins
dir. Christopher Nolan
Liam Neeson
Katie Holmes
dir. Andrew Niccol
Justin Timberlake
Amanda Seyfried
Breakfast on Pluto
dir. Jordan
Cillian Murphy
Liam Neeson
movie posterPEACOCK
dir. Regina Crosby
Scott Michael Foster
Noa Hegesh
dir. Boyle
Cillian Murphy
Rose Byrne

dir. Wally Pfister
Johnny Depp
Kate Mara

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the trasfiguration.jpgWhen troubled teen Milo, who has a fascination with vampire lore, meets the equally alienated Sophie, the two form a bond that begins to blur Milo’s fantasy into reality.

Director: Michael O’Shea
Writer: Michael O’Shea
Stars: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Jelly Bean

Review by Gilbert Seah

THE TRANSFIGURATION premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year, apparently coming out of nowhere just like the film’s odd protagonist, a black bullied teen called Milo (Eric Ruffin).

Milo lives with his brother and they share an odd obsession with vampires. Milo actually drinks blood, as is observed in a very compelling and disturbing but well-shot opening scene set in a public toilet stall. The camera follows Milo as the audience learns more about the little man. He is bullied by other black teens, lives in a small apartment, collects and watches vampire videos, breaks into houses, stores a bag load of cash, drinks blood very few days and leads a non-existent lifestyle. When Milo meets Sophie (Chloe Levine), a white teen neighbour, the two fall in love.

Director O’Shea obviously drew his inspiration from Murnau’s vampire film NOSFERATU. Milo and Sophie are seen watching the 1922 classic NOSFERARU and O’Shea’s film is filled with similar sounding music. When Sophie is asked by Milo what she liked about the film, music was her answer. O’Shea also captures the same creepiness in his film.

The vampire is clearly used as a metaphor for bad people. O’Shea makes the point very clear – in act too clearly, in the one scene at the end of the film when Milo’s brother preaches to him that people in the world also suck blood from each other – figuratively.

O’Shea’s film is not without flaws. The main flaw is that it is only occasionally engaging. It is hard for the audience to connect with a black teen with no life, who breaks into people’s houses and has no redeeming qualities. Thee is also no explanation for the reason he dislikes the TWILIGHT films and only the real serious vampire films. The audience is also supposed to believe that a normal human being can eventually drink blood as a normal way of life.

Despite the flaws, O’Shea can draw the audience into a scene when he wants to. The best examples are the toilet scene at the film’s start and sporadically at various parts of the film. He uses light, sound and edition to create a moment.

The romance between Milo and Sophie works as a first love kind of romance. Milo gives it all up for her while she has reservations after finding out more about him. Newcomer Eric Ruffin is quite young and a risk as O‘Shea’s lead actor. But Ruffin is convincing and a fresh face which are good things.
One has to hand it to O’Shea for trying. But his film misses for its failure to totally engage, with its too weird premise and too obvious metaphor of a human vampire that lives among the living.



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Film Review: BAYWATCH (USA 2017)

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baywatch.jpgDevoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

Director: Seth Gordon

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra

 BAYWATCH is the latest edition of films based on a successful TV series that has very little to do with the series – like the JUMP STREET films. But it the marketing works. BAYWATCH is a modern re-working of a popular TV series of the same name. It cost $40 million to make and is estimated to gross $45 million the opening American long weekend.

BAYWATCH is an action-comedy film directed by Seth Gordon (HORRIBLE BOSSES) starring with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron with a list of general unknowns Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra and Indian actress Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the villain. David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are present with cameos and excellent ones, coming as neat surprises in the film.
The film concerns Mitch Buchannon (Johnson), the gung-ho leader of the elite Baywatch lifeguard squad. He believes he is making a different in the world, clashing with the local police as he outdoes his duties by trying to stop drug trafficking at the same time. Matt Brody (Efron), a washed-up pro athlete is brought in as the new face of the organization. However, when a dead body is recovered from the ocean, the two must put aside their personal differences and work with their team to stop a criminal mastermind’s drug trafficking operation. Mitch gets relieved of his post while Matt ends up saving the day with the help of Mitch’s crew. The film is at least smart enough not to make any preachy statement, but just let the comedy/action takes its course.

As an action comedy, the film devotes an equal amount effort to both comedy and to the action. The special effects especially the underwater segments (during he fire rescue) are impressive. It is rare when the action and comedy come together. The best and most hilarious segment occurs at the film’s start (which cannot be matched), when the logo BAYWATCH appears on the background accompanied by three synchronized choreographed dolphins after Dwayne Johnson saves some babes on his watch.

Dwayne Johnson has proven himself apt as an actor comfortable in both action and comedy. Zac Efron is however not that funny when portrayed as a victim. He is at his hilarious best (as in the film DIRTY GRANDPA or in NEIGHBOURS) when he is the instigator or the super drunk or drugged up super hunk. This best scene in BAYWATCH is when he punches out his supervisor and when his muscles are flexed doing the obstacle course. Jon Bass is given a lot of screen time doing the funny fat guy. All his antics – the co-ed shower, the beach CPR, the disco dancing are lame. Bass comes across as more annoying than funny. Audiences are not going to be happy paying good money to watch an amateur comedian fail on the screen.

BAYWATCH could have been better for all the effort put in, especially the fantastic special effects on display. Still, it is relatively entertaining, for those not expecting much from an evening at the movies.


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