Friday, June 26, 2009

New writing gig

I've started collaborating with a new arts salon from London called Woolf & Wilde. My first post was on Maya Deren and you can read it here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Norman McLaren’s 1971 short film Synchromie

Friday, June 12, 2009

ANTICHRIST has been given an 18 certificate by the BBFC

ANTICHRIST has been given an 18 certificate by the BBFC and remains completely uncut. Described as ‘the most shocking film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival,’ ANTICHRIST will hit UK cinemas on 24th July 2009.

ANTICHRIST is the latest film from provocative Danish director Lars von Trier, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe. A psychological horror film, Antichrist outraged viewers at the world premiere at Cannes Film Festival 2009. London has seen two press screenings in the last 7 days in which several journalists walked out in disgust and repulsion. While many film distributors doubted that Antichrist could be released in the UK uncut, the British cinema-going audience will now have their chance to watch this ‘must see’ film of the summer.

Throughout the film viewers are exposed to explicit penetrative sex and masturbation, extreme torture and genital mutilation. The BBFC have conceded that “there is no doubt that some viewers will find the images disturbing and offensive.”

Curzon Artificial Eye CEO, Philip Knatchbull says “There is no doubt that Antichrist is a controversial film but it’s our duty as a distributor to present the works of talented directors such as Lars Von Trier in their original form exactly as the director intended. We fully support the BBFC’s decision to allow people to make up their own minds about this film.”

Director Lars von Trier says: “I can offer no excuse for ANTICHRIST. Other than my absolute belief in the film – the most important film of my entire career.”

That's good news. I haven't seen the film yet but I have immense respect for Lars Von Trier. The fact that this sort of film causes scandal while teenage violent fantasies have a free pass reveals something quite sinister about our culture. I was flabberghasted when I read reports that a petulant British journalist had demanded from Trier an explanation at a Cannes press conference. Really ...

Friday, June 05, 2009

From the newswire: MID-AGUST LUNCH

I haven't seen this film yet but I sure like the sound of it. It will released in the UK on 14 of August. Here's the full press release:



A film by Gianni Di Gregorio

Winner of the SATYAJIT RAY AWARD – London Film Festival 2008


Valeria de Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti, Maria Calì, Grazia Cesarini Sforza, Alfonso Santagata and Gianni di Gregorio

Italy / 2008 / 75 Mins / In Italian with English Subtitles / Colour / 1.85

An Archimede production in collaboration with Rai Cinema

Gianni is a middle-aged man, the only son of his widowed mother, with whom he lives in an old house in central Rome. Living under the tyranny of this impoverished aristocrat, his life drags on between housework and going to the bar. The day before the August bank holiday the apartment manager asks him to take his mother into his home for the two days of the bank holiday. In exchange, he will knock some money off the debts Gianni has run up over the years. Gianni is forced to accept.

The manager treacherously turns up with two women, since he doesn't know where to take his aunt, he brings her along too. Gianni is overwhelmed and crushed by the clash between these three dominant characters, but heroically does his best to make them happy. At a certain point he feels faint and calls a friend of his who is a doctor. The doctor not only reassures Gianni, but foists his own elderly mother on him, since he is on shift at the hospital. Gianni goes through 24 hours of hell. But when at last it’s time to say goodbye, the women have other ideas…

Gianni Di Gregorio was born in Rome in Trastevere, where he still lives and works. After studying classics at high school before attending the Accademia di Arti Sceniche in Rome, run by Alessandro Fersen, where he took a diploma in directing and acting. For three years he worked in Fersen’s experimental research workshop (taking part in seminars and exchanges with the groups of Bob Wilson, Grotowski, Kantor and Chaikin), which led to the show LEVIATHAN, presented at the Festival of Spoleto in 1976. After three years of theatre, as an assistant director and actor, he saw Scorsese’s film MEAN STREETS, which made such an impression on him that he left theatre and started to work in film.

In 1986 he wrote the screenplay for the film SEMBRA MORTO MA È SOLO SVENUTO by Felice Farina, with Sergio Castellitto and Marina Confalone, which won the Premio FRIPRESCI at the Settimana della Critica, at the 1987 Venice Film Festival. In the same year he wrote the story and screenplay for the film CAREFREE GIOVANNI by Marco Colli, with Sergio Castellitto, Eleonora Giorgi, Aldo Fabrizi, Franco Fabrizi and Luca De Filippo. Presented at the Quinzaine des Realisateurs at Cannes 87, it was awarded the Grand Prix du jury at the festival of Annecy.

In 1991 he wrote Shipwrecks directed by Marco Colli, and the following year he wrote the story and screenplay for the film AFFETTI SPECIALI directed by Felice Farina. In 2000 he wrote the screenplay for LONG LIVE THE MONKEY!, based on the short story LE DUE ZITELLE by Tommaso Landolfi and directed by Marco Colli. He met Matteo Garrone (GOMORRAH) after seeing his first film, TERRA DI MEZZO. He started working with him, as assistant director, in 2000 with Roman Summer, and continued with THE EMBALMER and FIRST LOVE. In 2007, with Braucci, Chiti, Gaudioso, Saviano and Garrone, he co-wrote the screenplay for the film GOMORRAH, directed by Matteo Garrone.