Movingtales Film Newsletter Issue.No:2, June 2016

Cover Story - Celebrating the Independent films of America

There's always growing popularity of American Indie-films world wide. But usually the films would be available only on VOD in iTunes or Amazon. There are many a times while watching Indie films, I've thought I wish I watched this one on big screen for it's technical brilliance like music and visuals. Palace Cinema Australia brings the Indie essence by staging an Independent Film Festival an annual event across Australia which showcases the past, present and the future of Independent cinema from the U.S. From Penelope Spheeris to Kelly Reichardt; from Woody Allen to Alex Ross Perry; from Martin Scorsese to Paul Thomas Anderson; from Sofia Coppola to Lynn Shelton, and from John Cassavetes to Richard Linklater, the American independent film community continues to flourish and produce people, ideas, and cinema with a profound impact on the craft internationally.

This year the round-up had a variety of new and classic indie flicks comprising various genres. This includes the emotional drama Time out of mind in Opening Night, fictional films like The Fits, The Keeping Room, Jane got a gun and Tumbledown, classics like Coen brother's Blood Simple, Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, and Linklater's Slacker, and experimental like Not Film and the short Film. Though it's not possible to check out all, this is a great opportunity for all the indie movie lovers out there to watch these flicks in one of the best cinemas of Australia.

P.S: I was able to watch Tumbledown, The Keeping Room and Blood Simple of the lot.

Two Cents Worth : Tumbledown (Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis, Dir: Sean Mewshaw)
A shot from the romantic drama Tumbledown.

I happen to see this indie rom-com Tumbledown @ the Independent Film Festival in Brisbane. It's written by Desiree Van Til, directed by Sean Mewshaw and has Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis in the lead. The film brings out a touching and poignant perspective of grief and death. Hall plays the role of a widow who takes the grief of the death of her husband, a folk singer as part of her life and leads a quiet life freelancing for a local bookseller and editor. She is interrupted by a professor from New York who intends to write about her husband and his songs. Where it travels from here is kind of obvious, but the narration, witty dialogues and the lead actor's performances make this film unique as a snowflake.

The highlights of this film includes soothing music and scintillating visuals. Other unique aspect is the individuality the lead characters brings out between them and how they connect with each other in the end. Hall's performance is flawless and Sudeikis is almost perfect for his role and proves he can don roles other than some forgettable ones. Overall the film's an enjoyable watch packed with some powerful performances.

Facts : Did you know ?
A shot from the bio-pic Argo

According to Tony Mendez, the retired CIA operative whose heroic actions during the rescue in Iran Hostage Crisis of 1980 inspired the biographical thriller Argo, the fake production office "Studio Six" was too convincing in the real life Argo planning that even several weeks after the Iranian rescue was complete, they continued to receive 26 scripts including one from the ace director Steven Spielberg. Was it E.T (released in 1982) ???

Vis Beau - Stories written by the lens

Cinematography is the powerful aspect of a film and is the aesthetic which helps to unfold a story. Cinematography is not just about the technique or the lighting aspects, it's a visual style adapted to each story to enhance it and reveal it to the audience as visualized by the storyteller. Here in this section, I'll take one of the best cinematography rich films (I categorize them as Vis Beau in my collections) of all time and talk a bit about it. In this newsletter, I've chosen Only God Forgives for its unique style of lighting and compositions.

Vis Beau : Only God Forgives (2013) - DOP: Larry Smith

This Vis beau, a psychological thriller directed by the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (who earlier directed beautifully shot films like Bronson and Drive), has one of the strong lightings and stunning compositions I've ever seen. The lightings are pretty heavy, but well handled and justifies for this kind of film. The man behind the lens, Larry is a specialist when it comes to the lighting design, his work in Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut speaks for him. His work only got better in Only God Forgives.

This is the second collaboration of Larry Smith with Nicolas, the first being Bronson. Throughout the film, you could see strong diffused lights illuminating the character's face mostly forming patterns filtered out from any supporting objects. Nicolas's films are known for its unique wide angle compositions and this one has few of the best wide shots (like the one frame I posted above). The cinematography helps the audience glued to the otherwise intentional slow narration of this stylish visual drama.

New films I can't wait to check out

The Conjuring 2 (June) - The expectations for this James Wan directorial would be sky high after it's dream run of its predecessor which released in 2013. I expect the sequel will have the same essence of bringing out the creepiness in a unique way through performances and disturbing visual images rather than too much of noisy special effects and meaningless thrills.

Genius (June) - A biographical drama that follows the story of American Novelist Thomas Wolfe and his relationship with the editor publisher Maxwell Perkins. This one's in my radar mainly for it's powerful casting which includes Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce and Dominic West and the other reason being its nomination for Golden Bear @ Berlin International Film Festival this year.

Cinema check

Like I mentioned in the last issue, I'll talk about a cinema here that's worth mentioning. This month's cinema is The Hayden Orpheum, Sydney.

A majestic cinema featuring seating for 700 and retro style unique art décor designs is undoubtedly the most grandest cinema in Sydney. Before it got renewed and opened in 1987, it used to be a theatre used for live cast musicals ballets, and plays with two levels comprising 1735 seats with a backstage dressing rooms,orchestration pit and fly-tower.

Orpheum is one and biggest of the six screens here that boasts 2K and 4K projections as well as 70mm projection. (As a matter of fact, I took a flight to Sydney to watch The Hateful Eight's 70mm première @The Orpheum). Hayden Orpheum would definitely be my movie hangout if I choose to live in Sydney in the future or should I check out films that are part of the Sydney Film Festival which starts later this year. Will be a cover story if that happens :)

About the Author

I am Manick, a movie fanatic based out of Brisbane, Australia. I'm a programmer by profession and crazy about movies, photography and music. I currently watch movies in over twenty different languages. I'm creating this newsletter Movingtales to share my passion with you and to bring you inside my world of movie watching. Thanks for reading. Happy watching movies.

Until the next issue, Manick.

Created By
Manick Ganesan


Created with images by MichaelGaida - "cinema movie theater movies"

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