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:

InceptionInception
dir. Christopher Nolan
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ken Watanabe
Red Eye
2005
dir. Craven
Starring
Cillian Murphy
Rachel McAdams
Batman BeginsBatman Begins
2005
dir. Christopher Nolan
starring
Bale
Liam Neeson
Katie Holmes
MOVIE POSTERIN TIME
dir. Andrew Niccol
Stars:
Justin Timberlake
Amanda Seyfried
Breakfast on Pluto
2005
dir. Jordan
Starring
Cillian Murphy
Liam Neeson
movie posterPEACOCK
2010
dir. Regina Crosby
Starring:
Scott Michael Foster
Noa Hegesh
SUNSHINESunshine
2007
dir. Boyle
starring
Cillian Murphy
Rose Byrne
MOVIE POSTERTRANSCEND
ENCE

2014
dir. Wally Pfister
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Kate Mara

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Film Review: THE TRANSFIGURATION (USA 2016)

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

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.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLXiyMbLR30

 

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

Film Review: POPULATION ZERO (USA/Canada 2015) ***1/2

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

population zero.jpgIn 2009 three young men were killed in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park. The only thing more shocking than the crime itself are the bizarre events that followed.

Directors: Julian T. Pinder, Adam Levins
Writer: Jeff Staranchuk
Stars: Duane Murray, Julian T. Pinder, Jonathan Potts

Review by Gilbert Seah 

 There is much to appreciate in watching POPULATION ZERO. The least one knows about the film, the more enjoyable and eerie the film will be. I went into it knowing absolutely nothing and ended up totally absorbed and bedazzled by the piece. So, if one has the intention of watching the film, DO NOT read this or any other review of the film.

That said, the film is a mockumentary. This fact in itself spoils the film’s enjoyment as co-director Pinder introduces himself as a documentarian in the film, and one (if unaware of the film being a mockumentary) will naturally assume all that will occur on screen be true. Wrong – though the film is based on a true incident, the fact that the story telling of the film unfolds in found footage form and documentary style, one tends to believe everything seen on screen.

The filmmakers were inspired to make the movie after learning of the existence of the “Zone of Death”, a small portion of Yellowstone National Park that under the Sixth Amendment’s Vicinage Clause, would enable “The Perfect Crime”.

Bring in the murder of three young men in the Park’s worst crime in history committed by Dwayne Dwayne Nelson (Duane Murray)and one has quite the story. In 2009, Nelson confessed to the shooting of three men in Yellowstone National Park. Despite his confession being accurately detailed, he was not convicted of the crimes because the crime occurred in an uninhabited area and as such, there is no chance of finding a jury to hear the trial. This is the loophole in the law that resulted from the POPULATION ZERO of the title. All is clearly explained in the film. But it is years later that Julian T. Pinder (playing himself, a documentarist) examines the crime and the legal loophole that allowed Nelson to walk free. As the film progresses Pinder begins to receive strange and frightening items, evidence of Nelson’s crime.

Directors Pinder and Levins are good storytellers. What begins as a real life murder eventually evolves into a totally concocted tale that is made so credible that one would believe it to be true. And it could very well have been true. The film’s pacing is close to perfect with the suspense and shock level building to an exploding climax towards the end.

The film also comes with a neat message delivered to big companies doing bad things to poor people. The film also scarily lets the audience unsuspectedly take the murderer’s side. For whatever had been done to him, he deserves the right to take his revenge. When it is revealed that Nelson could have masterminded the entire crime including his freedom using everyone including the Pinder for his cause, one cannot help but applaud the man.

POPULATION ZERO works as it is horrific yarn based on a true event, told convincingly in found footage documentary style. Made in 2015, it world premiered at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on April 26, 2016 and finally makes it debut. See it!

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/161531094

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

Film Review: TANNA (Australia) ***

 

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

tanna.jpgSet on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister’s loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.

Directors: Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Writers: Martin Butler, John Collee
Stars: Mungau Dain, Marie Wawa, Marceline Rofit

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Tanna is the first film shot in the South Pacific nation of Vanuata, based on a true story that happened there in 1987 as interpreted by the Yakel tribe. Hardly a word of English is spoken in the film. The dialogue is totally in the tribal language which all the tribes in the story appear to be able to speak and communicate with each other with.
The film plays like a Romeo and Juliet story. The story centres on doomed, star-crossed lovers. There are two warring tribes but the lovers belong to the same tribe. The bride, Wawa (Marie Wawa) of the Yakel tribe is betrothed to the enemy Imedin tribe as a peace offering. But Wawa is in love with the grandson of the chief (Mungau Daen) and they have slept together already. The lovers escape to another part of the island. The chief (Chief Mikum Tainakou) of the Imedin tribe is furious and sends his men to find the lovers – to kill Daen the boy and bring Wawa back to be wed. Wawa’s father, Lingai (Lingai Kowia) also travels to find Wawa to bring her back and to warn Daen. And so the story goes.

When the film opens, the audience is immersed in a fairy tale land. It is interesting to see the customs and living practised in another country. The film works like a fairy tale just like African films made of their tribes such as the excellent 2004 film, MOOLAADE by Ousmane Sembène. The people are clothed with straw skirts and mostly topless. The children play unfamiliar games. The people live in strange-looking huts and they speak in a different language. Unfamiliar sights are displayed on screen – like a big black sow with piglets sucking from her nipples.

Directors Butler and Dean love to use the smoking volcanoes in their film – both as a metaphor and for its landscape beauty.

Though the story is set in a different land, the human problems encountered are not different. Love is once again restricted by social culture. The lovers are unable to show their love for one another in public. Wawa is forced to decide between the fate of her tribe and her personal desire for happiness.

The directors choose to tell their story from two points of view, from Wawa and from her younger sister Selin (Marceline Rofit). Selin is the prepubescent younger sister of Wawa who though still playing childish games like hide-and seek is aware of what is going on. She eventually helps her sister by aiding her tribe find Wawa and Daen. The audience sees as a result, how Wawa’s decision will affect the lives of Selin and the later generations.

The directors were reported to have spent 7 months living with the Yakel tribe to understand the tribal customs and to capture them accurately on the screen.

TANNA works as the perfect combination of an ageless romantic story of true love set in a fresh never seen before setting.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di2cHkHrPwg

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

LGBT Inside Out Festival: HOOKED (USA 2017

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

hooked.jpgDirector: Max Emerson
Writer: Max Emerson
Stars: Jared Sandler, Katie McClellan, Conor Donnally

Review by Gilbert Seah

In the United States, 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. (In Toronto, the estimate is anywhere from 20 to 40 percent.)

Max Emerson’s crowd funded film HOOKED as in Hookers) aim at two goals. The first is to make a relevant film on the subject and the second to reach out to people for funds to help the LGBT homeless.

His film has the subject of an 18-year old hustler called Jack. Jack and his boyfriend Tom are an item, close and very much in love with each other. Otherwise, Jack is impulsive and explosive with few redeeming qualities.

A married man, Matt who has not come out of the closet takes Jack from NYC to Miami with the intention of helping him. The trouble with this well intentioned but terrible film is that it is laden with cliches such as Matt’s unforgiving wife to his unfunny priest offering ridiculous advice.

At worst, Emerson’s film is preachy to the point of annoying with the the story leading to a predictable climax when the film ends asking unashamedly for donations. Every male in the film appears to have hard and beautiful bodies, a fact so terribly false, in the real world.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfLodk5fH7w

_________

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

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday: Sean Gunn

Sean Gunn Picture

Sean Gunn (I)


Is a 1996 graduate of DePaul University’s prestigious acting program where he earned his BFA in Acting.

The character “Gunn” on the TV series Angel (1999) was named such after Angel (1999) creator Joss Whedon worked with both Sean and his brother James Gunn.

Former roommate of fellow DePaul classmate Judy Greer

Brother of Brian Gunn, James Gunn, Patrick Gunn and Matt Gunn.

Interview with Cinematographer Trent Opaloch (Captain America: Civil War)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

Trent Opaloch is easily the most talented and sought after cinematographers in the world today. He has DP’d for director Neil Blomkamp  on “District 9”, “Elysium”, and “Chappie”,  and director’s Anthony & Joe Russo on “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, and the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War”. It was an honor to sit down with him to chat about his career and the art of cinematography.

trentopolooch.jpgMathew Toffolo: You first worked with director Neil Blomkamp on the short films “Tempbot” and “Yellow”. How did you two meet? What makes your director/DP relationship so successful?

Trent Opaloch: I met Neill shooting low budget music videos. We shot a handful of videos & short films while I was working at Clairmont (camera rental house) & he had just left a vfx house here in Vancouver.

He used to do all his own vfx work back then so it was really interesting to…

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