Celebrating Great Films

Monday, October 18, 2010

UK Premiere

My short film, The Man Who Married Himself, has its UK premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday this week!

I handed in my MA Creative Writing dissertation a couple of weeks ago, and I was intending to focus back on screenwriting - with a mission to write the next low-budget indy breakthrough hit.

But then I saw the Terry Pratchett Prize, for a debut novelist writing a time travel story set on Earth. I happen to be a quarter of the way through writing a comic science fiction novel about a time travelling janitor. Destiny?

So I've set myself a challenge to finish it by the deadline - that's 1000 words a day until 31 December. I've only been doing it a week and I'm already behind... to work!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Social Network

#133 at time of writing.

In 1999, David Fincher captured the zeitgeist of a generation brimming with pre-millennial angst in Fight Club. Now, a decade later, he's done it again. The Social Network is today's zeitgeist, and this time it's a true story. An important story that needed to be told.

It's a completely different film to Fight Club, of course, but it displays just as much confidence, humour and darkness. The Social Network tells how brainiac Mark Zuckerberg went from nerding out in his Harvard dorm room to becoming the world's youngest billionaire, thanks to inventing Facebook.

Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is based on Ben Mezrich's book, which in turn is based mainly on the testimony of an embittered Eduardo Saverin, who had to sue Mark Zuckerberg to get his credit for co-founding Facebook. Unsurprisingly, Eduardo Saverin's character comes across the best in the film, if a little naïve. (Brave to make an unflattering film about real and very litigious people...)

The real Mark Zuckerberg refused to be involved in the production of either the book or the film. So it's hard to say how accurate the story really is, but it's damned entertaining. And, personally, I believe the ruthless, asocial, quiet, brainbox version of Mark Zuckerberg that is portrayed in this film. I'm willing to see him as a bad guy. After all, he is responsible for a website that allows such despicable activity as Holocaust denial groups to flourish, whilst irrecoverably removing accounts - without warning - such as my friend's just because his Facebook name was David IHateFacebookAldhouse.

And this man, Mark Zuckerberg, who is now 26 years old and worth $6.9billion, controls the personal details of over 500 million active members. That's one out of every fourteen people in existence. Scary.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Unranked at time of writing.

At the time of writing, this film is scored 8.2/10 - more than enough to get it into the Top 250 if it had enough votes. That's my excuse for blogging it here, although to be honest I would have made up any excuse to talk about this exceptional film.

What makes it exceptional? It is set entirely in a coffin. Remember Phone Booth? That was a brave film (and so cool), daring to be set almost entirely in a phone booth, in real-time. Well, Buried is braver still.

Ryan Reynolds gives an intense performance as the only actor on screen. The film is claustrophobic and tense throughout.

Chris Sparling's script is a work of art - it reads like a breathless thriller, full of darkness and satisfying little twists. This is probably the best film that could have been made from it, managing to hold your attention for the full 95 minute running time with creative camera angles and only occasionally overbearing music.

Oh, and the Saul Bass-inspired posters for this film are beautiful.