Film Blog

Sundance Film Festival 2013

posted by the hanging out team - Monday, January 28, 2013

A few months ago we featured the excellent short film Robots of Brixton, made by Kibwe Tavares. You'll be glad to hear that Kibwe is back with a new film entitled Jonah, which is being featured at the Sundance Film Festival 2013. The film tells the story of when two young men who photograph a gigantic fish leaping from the sea, their small town in Zanzibar becomes a tourist attraction. You can see the trailer and a small review of the film below.

Jonah Trailer from Factory Fifteen on Vimeo.

Kibwe Tavares grew up South London, where he had an interest in animation from a young age, taking inspiration from comics, manga, and sci-fi novels. After earning master’s degrees in engineering and architecture, he cofounded film and animation studio Factory Fifteen. Kibwe Tavares told us that: “Jonah is a story, set in the fishing town of Zanzibar, of a changing man in a changing town. Aggressive tourism sparked through Jonah’s discovery of the world’s biggest fish has caused the town and himself to change beyond recognition.

“The town is now a glowing, tacky, money making, wildly opportunistic beach town, which has abandoned its original fishing roots. As an old man, Jonah is ashamed of what his old fishing town has become and decides to hunt down the legendary fish and kill it, killing what it represents.”

An image from Kibwe Tavares' new short film Jonah.

Kibwe's previous film Robots of Brixton, imagines Brixton in the near future, over populated with robots, living with the hardships of poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. When the police attack the robots' home, the film echoes the events of the Brixton Riots in 1981. It provides us with a chilling warning to not let history repeat itself. Robots of Brixton has screened at festivals worldwide, including the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize. You can watch the film below.

The Sundance Film Festival was first held in 1978, as an alternative to the Oscars. It promotes films made independently of the major American studios and since then it has built up a reputation for showcasing young, talented and often quirky film makers. The festival has benefited massively from the help of chairperson Robert Redford, who played the character of the 'Sundance Kid' in the 1969 western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid alongside Paul Newman. The festival features awards for dramatic and documentary films as well as a short films section among others. Usually held in Utah, the festival traveled abroad for the first time in 2011, being held at the O2.

The Life of Pi

posted by the hanging out team - Thursday, January 24, 2013
Ang Lee’s dreamlike film The Life of Pi tells the story of a young Indian boy, who finds himself stranded on a raft with only a hungry Bengal Tiger to keep him company and the lengths he goes to survive and keep the tiger at bay.

It is in the telling of this story that one finds the best achievement of this film. Other reviewers appear to have gone overboard with lavish praise of the special effects, but the actual narrative and the way it is presented is captivating and masterfully achieved. In the hands of others this film might have boiled down to a shaggy dog (or tiger!) story but Lee uses the right mix of humour, action sequences and storytelling, keeping the audience captivated, emotionally attached and never delving to far into the realms style over substance- something that 3d pictures have tended to do so far.

The film is divided into three parts; the first, fun but slightly too long, explains Pi’s early years and sets the scene for what is to come. We learn from the narration of the adult Pi, talking to an author looking to clear his writer’s block, that his father owned a zoo in India which he decides to transport to Canada to sell, using the funds to resettle his family there. One of the inhabitants of the zoo that we have already been introduced to (and witnessed the ferocity of, courtesy of a poor, wobbly goat) is the fully grown Benghal Tiger called Richard Parker. The second part begins after the steamer he is travelling on sinks. Pi finds himself sharing his dingy with Richard Parker and a selection of other animals that are all polished off rather quickly, leaving him to play cat and mouse with Richard Parker. The ways in which Pi learns to live with Richard Parker and find food for both of them are touching and funny but one does get the sense that they are occasionally slightly strained in Lee’s search for profundity. The third section of the film ties up the conversation and adds a closure to the film as well as providing a nice little twist to the tale.

Suraj Sharma, who plays the younger Pi, makes an impressive film debut. Image courtesy of Bollywood Hungama

Throughout the film the compositions that Lee uses are wonderful, he takes the ocean and uses it like a blank canvas; the special effects are also impressive during the action sequences, but sometimes the 3d seems at odds with the CGI; when there is a lot happening on the screen the film started to look like a computer game. The CGI showcase of the film was undoubtedly meant to be the Tiger, but in some scenes the resemblance was a little too close to The Jungle Book.

I don’t mind admitting that I am sceptical of CGI. For me there is no real wonder or awe in an image that was generated by a computer. It used to be fun to guess and be impressed with man-made special effects, they had a “how did they do that?” factor to them. The use of CGI, for me, removes the human touch and artistic ability that should be cherished in cinema. That is not to say that it was not visually impressive: the 3d in the underwater scenes were excellent, giving the viewer a sense of depth and perspective not normally found.

The Life of Pi is a very enjoyable cinematic experience, with dazzling digital images and, if you can ignore the slightly silly search for greater meaning, an enjoyable, well told story that is never too challenging. It is showing at Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch, details are available here.

By Lee Greatorex

THE LINE by Marek Tarkowski

posted by the hanging out team - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Hanging Out Team would like to share with you this short film made by project volunteer camera operator Marek Tarkowski. Marek also contributed his own documentary film work to our V&A display. This film is about a man called Robert who patrols the line outside a West End pub.

ONE LOVE - iTunes Launch on 22nd October 2012

posted by the hanging out team - Friday, October 19, 2012

The Hanging Out Team would like to bring your attention to the film One Love, soon to be released on iTunes, produced by Yvonne Deutschman: co-directer of the Hanging Out Documentary.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence, One Love, directed by Rick Elgood and Don Letts (The Clash, Dancehall Queen), starring Ky-mani Marley (Shottas), Cherine Anderson (Dancehall Queen) and Idris Elba (Prometheus, The Wire) will be available online for the first time in the UK & Ireland. Filmed entirely on location in Jamaica, One Love tells the powerful story of forbidden love between a Rastafarian songwriter (Marley) and a young Christian gospel singer (Anderson) that incurs the jealousy and revenge of her fiancé (Elba).

One Love's universal appeal lies with the film’s underlying theme of ‘the power of love and music to overcome religious and cultural differences’. The visually stunning locations capture the breathtaking landscape of rural Jamaica with a delightful, uplifting script by the late legendary Jamaican writer Trevor D Rhone (The Harder They Come). The film is blessed with a fabulous soundtrack which blends traditional and contemporary reggae tracks from artists like Bob Marley, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Sizzla & Morgan Heritage. It won four international film festival awards for “Best Film Audience Award”, “Best Actress”, “Best Soundtrack” and “Film of the Year”.

Since making the film, the lead actors have grown to achieve global popularity:
Idris Elba boasts a huge fanbase from playing the role of Stringer Bell in the popular acclaimed HBO TV series The Wire. His A-list status has him averaging 5 films a year, most recently Prometheus.
Ky-mani Marley has risen out of the shadows of being Bob Marley’s son to become a hugely popular singing icon in his own right within the reggae/hip hop scene, currently working on his sixth album.
Cherine Anderson, dubbed The Dancehall Reggae Diva, has collaborated with the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears, Wyclef Jean, Michael Fanti, Sly and Robbie. Her song Coming Over rose to #1 on the Jamaican charts for 30 weeks.

Click here to visit the One Love website.

New Drama School: Sutara Academy of Performing Arts

posted by the hanging out team - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Website   About Us   Media   Courses   Join Us   Contact
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Artistic Director
Sutara Academy is founded by Award-winning Singer/Actress Lorna Gayle.

Dear Friend,


Sutara Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) is South London's newest drama school and we would like to tell you a little bit about it.  

We offer weekend training to young adults and seasoned performers, providing basic theory and practical techniques in acting, singing and dance. Our aim is to empower young people to express themselves in a safe and creative environment.

Sutara Facilitators

Wil Johnson The classes will be taught by an enthusiastic team of industry professionals, including, award-winning actor, Wil Johnson (Waking the dead, Adulthood)    
And Ricky Fearon (Currently in Julius Caesar/RSC) Each professional will lead acting masterclasses, working on monologues and scenes in order to bring students up to the highest standard of performance. The course will end with a showcase and students will be able to demonstrate their skills in front of a live audience.

Singing & Dance
We will also have masterclasses from the world of music & choreography. Professionals such as Lovers Rock Queen, Carroll Thompson will teach vocal harmonies/microphone technique, whilst dance experts Tolu Adefioye and Nadine Woodley will teach contempory and street dance.



Click the link at the top of this page to find out about our competitive prices!
Our courses lasts for 10 - 12 weeks with an option to continue throughout the year. All classes are taken at the Lost Theatre, London, SW8 2JU.

Saturdays ~14 - 18 year olds (Intermediate) 2 -5pm ~  

Sundays ~ 19 upwards (Professionals) 5 - 8pm ~ 

Wednesdays ~ All ages ~ 15 - 55! (drop in session for beginners) 
8 - 9.30pm ~ Pay what you can...

Please note: Wednesday Drop in sessions starts from 1 Aug 2012. To apply for any of our courses you can fill in an application form online. 
Romeo & Juliet (The Remix)
Romeo & Juliet The 'Hip Hop' Remix (SAPA)
Romeo & Juliet The 'Hip Hop' Remix (SAPA)
Romeo & Juliet (The Remix) an adaptation of Shakespeare's famous love story, written & directed by Lorna Gayle, played to a sold out audience in Jan 2012. 

When you join Sutara Academy you will get the opportunity to take part in our end of year full-scale drama production, in front of industry professionals such as casting directors and agents.
 We are launching with a Summer intensive course!!

Lorna Sutara Gayle

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