Reel Treats - August 2012


Happy Olympics, patriots!
We trust you've been glued to various forms of pixel-spewing devices supporting Team GB - or "Great Britain" as they were known before that regrettably pithy Americanism took hold - and as such, we wouldn't want to completely deviate from the Ringfest. So with that in mind we shall be devoting our entire selection to Olympic themed videos.

"Olympic Vermin" - Dir. Leo Bridle and Amael Isnard@Beakus -
As promised a mere sentence ago we have some Olympic themed work so you don't vomit on your keyboard from withdrawal symptoms. Leo Bridle and Amael Isnard at Beakus have hijacked The Games in this clever live action/animation piece by substituting war veterans and Tessa Sanderson for unloved street vermin as the primary Olympic torch carriers. Starting in Soho Square they make their inspirational journey through the less salubrious corners of our city before lighting their very own cauldron. A great variation of camera techniques and considered sound design make this fly by.

Olympic Link: Isn't it obvious?

"It's a Man Man's World" - James Brown Dir. Xavier Fauthoux -
The winner of the Saatchi and Saatchi James Brown Music Video competition now. This video was chosen as the winner by a select jury and boy does it deserve it. Aren't people clever, eh? Creating works like this with next to no moolah. It will also be one of the few French victories this summer, so doff your beret to Xavier Fauthoux and enjoy this ballad of a video chronicling Mr Brown's incredible life.
Olympic Link: There's some Tommie Smith/John Carlos style Black Power salutes from the 1968 games hidden away in here if you look closely*

"New Lands" - Justice. Dir. CANADA@Partizan -
Prolific Catalonian cameramen CANADA are back at it with this sense-abusing new video for French double-act Justice (or Jus-teece if you want to sound like a Radio6 hipster twerp). Taking cues from Norman Jewison's 1975 dystopian sport-action thriller "Rollerball" we enter the futuristic world of a violent sporting contest and are invited to feel at one with the characters whilst simultaneously nodding along to catchy Parisien electro-pop. And it works. We are asked how it would feel to live on a planet where major sporting teams and players are owned by international corporations and violence is celebrated by blood-thirsty fans. Can your imagination make that leap?

Olympic Link: Jacques Rogge recently ratified this as the latest demonstration sport for The Rio Games in 2016

"Tumbleweed!" Dir. Justin Varava -
"The weed is by far the most despicable of all God's vegetation" - Ah, how true. This comedy short from Justin Varava follows the life, or rather, focuses on the life of a tumbleweed that does not tumble. Brooding cinematography, a wonderfully wordy script and a distinctive voice-over are just some of the elements that make for a very engaging piece that delights with its quirkiness, originality and somehow, sweetness.

Olympic Link: Tumbleweed Disentanglement was a show-event at The Stockholm Games in 1912

"Grown Up" - Danny Brown. Dir.Greg Brunkalla@Walter Pictures -
Shirley Temple, Gary Coleman, Justin Henry and, not forgetting the pallid, lank-haired bad-boy Macauley Culkin, MOVE OVER. The child star has had a 2012 upgrade with this little runt in Greg Brunkalla's amusing video for Danny Brown's "Grown Up".

Olympic Link: Shanaze Reade considered quitting BMX after seeing this video last week.

"La Queue de la Souris ( A Mouse's Tale)" Dir.Benjamin Renner -
And finally, we have this charming and funny short from Frenchman Benjamin Renner in a story about a bully-boy lion who messes with the wrong mouse. A very funny script - although, any French speakers are welcome to inform us whether "Tub of Lard" really is a a Gallic phrase - with really sharp animation, a disciplined use of colour and precise transitional tricks make this a very engaging 3 minutes or so. Enjoy.

Olympic Link: Director Benjamin Renner is the pseudonym of Sally Gunnell

Go See...
Out on the 10th August is the documentary - Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry from film-maker Alison Klayman. This intimate portrait of the Chinese iconoclast is getting great reviews and judging by the trailer it looks like a must see if you have any interest in getting to know the man (and his work) behind the headlines. You can catch previews from Friday 3rd at Curzon cinemas.
Olympic Link: Ai WeiWei helped design the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing**

Until next time, sports fans... Laters.

*This one is actually true.
** As is this.

2nd August 2012