Thursday 24 September 2009

Winterbottom's The Shock Doctrine: Slashing Through Cut Throat Capitalism

More from Borderlines Director, David Gillam, at the San Sebastian Film Festival:

Michael Winterbottom's new documentary The Shock Doctrine does exactly what it says on the tin - galloping through Naomi Klein's influential book in 75 minutes is quite a feat.

Klein's basic idea that crises provide the opportunity to introduce economic policies that would otherwise be unpopular is well documented through the usual suspects: Milton Friedman, Pinochet's Chile, Thatcher, Reagan, Yeltsin's Russia through to cut throat capitalism's current crisis.

An important film if you want to know why the world is in such a mess...

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Enigmatic new Jarmusch film - Spanish road movie or mind trip?

Fresh bulletin from David Gillam in San Sebastian:

Jim Jarmusch's The Limits of Control provided a note of entertainment to a diet of murder and madness. A black samurai crosses Spain meeting a stellar cast of mysterious strangers for bizarre, cryptic conversations about cinema, art, perception. John Hurt, Tilda Swinton in a ridiculous white wig, Gael García Bernal parade by till a final showdown with Bill Murray, one of the men in black running a secret prison in Spain.

Playful, funny, certainly the most acute, cinematic reponse to the state of the world.

Monday 21 September 2009

Post-haste from San Sebastian

Borderlines director David Gillam has sent news (via multiple texts) about what he's been viewing during the opening weekend of the 57th San Sebastian International Film Festival, the largest of its kind in Spain and one of the major European film festivals. Look out for his recommendations below. Who knows, some of them might be screening at Borderlines 2010...

The first day at San Sebastian Film Festival was a bit of a damp squib. I didn't get to meet Quentin Tarantino or Brad Pitt who were in town for the Inglourious Basterds premiere. Worse still, Atom Egoyan's opener Chloe was really dire, unbelievable with a terrible pat ending. Fernando Trueba's The Dancer and the Thief was even worse, a real mess despite the best efforts of the wonderful Ricardo Darín.

Best of the day was definitely Whatever Works, Woody Allen's latest. In many ways a comic panto with stock characters, nevertheless it works, funny throughout with great one-liners, s'amuse bien.

Day 2: Just occasionally I see a film that reaffirms my belief in the ability of the cinema to create such empathy for a character that it changes the way we see the world. Precious is such a film. Precious is a 200lb, illiterate 16 year old , pregnant for the second time by her father. From such an unrelentingly grim start comes a wonderfully positive film, full of life and imagination.
N.B. Precious has just won the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, often a good indicator of future Oscar success.

Day 3: Ozon's latest The Refuge is very fine, beautifully shot. Every scene leads subtly to a 'surprise' ending that for once is credible and thought-provoking. The Refuge is the story of Maggie who survives when her boyfriend o-d's. Pregnant, she learns to be 'alone' through her relationship with her boyfriend's gay brother.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Call for Hereford 350! International Day of Action on Climate Change

On Saturday 24th October 2009 thousands of events are taking place around the world, involving many millions of people…

From New Delhi to San Francisco, from Moscow to Amsterdam, from Songyuan City to Istanbul, people who see the urgency of the global climate situation are joining together to let those in power know that we want change.

Different towns and cities around the world are responding to the call for action in different ways, all featuring the number 350. It is an important number: 350 refers to the safe upper limit of Carbon Dioxide (Co2) in the earth’s atmosphere.

Here in Hereford, we are planning an event involving the whole city: 350 is the number of organisations, communities, businesses, firms, shops, factories, schools, churches, colleges, groups from all around the area that will come together to share in a celebration of human creativity and potential. Humanity has got itself out of some difficult situations… climate change is perhaps our biggest challenge yet!

Come and join in, learn about the possibilities and celebrate our potential to change. Within this crisis are opportunities. Ecological sustainability and social justice are achievable with the application of human creativity – and we already have ideas, projects, technologies and developments that show what can be done.

Get involved in Hereford 350! in whichever way best suits you or the organisation you represent…
For example you could…
  • Come and demonstrate an idea or technology that you or your company are developing
  • Bring along a stall letting us know how your organisation is dealing with making carbon reductions
  • Come and offer a workshop or discussion group about an area of interest to you
  • Come and set up an art display of work produced by your college, community or school
  • Bring along a stall advertising your green company or product
  • Bring along a piece of theatre, dance or display…
The possibilities are endless!

We will provide the space, the organisation, children’s activities and maybe even lunch! And, of course, the opportunity for you to network and create personal and community links with others from around the region.

By joining the 350 action on a world wide scale we are sending a clear message to our politicians: we are ready to change, and we are celebrating our ability to change.

At the Copenhagen Climate Conference this December we need these politicians to make even bigger changes: we need them to ensure that an agreement is reached on radical and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Only this way will we limit global warming and stop climate change.

If you would like to join in, please let us know!

Contact: Richard Priestley and the Hereford 350 team.
See our blog or e-mail or phone us c/o Bulmer Foundation 01432 294112 or write
c/o The Bulmer Foundation,
Cider Mills,
Plough Lane,
HR4 0LE.

See the website for more information about this international day of action.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

British Cinema Festival Hay-on-Wye coming up!

It's a weekend packed with some of the most potent and controversial films (classic and contemporary) this country has produced when The Screen At Hay's first Festival of British Cinema launches this Friday, 4 September.

Derek Jarman's Caravaggio and Michael Powell's disturbing Peeping Tom receive an airing alongside late night screenings of The Wicker Man and Performance. Among other rarities, The Gigolos (2006) starring Susannah York, Sian Phillips and Anna Massey.

Two nunsMeanwhile on Saturday, the Festival's patron Francine Stock hosts a series of talks including Q&As with Duane Hopkins (Better Things) and Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter. Jan Dunne, whose Ruby Blue drew an enthusiastic crowd at Borderlines 2008, will be present with her new film The Calling - about a young graduate who joins a closed Benedictine order - on Sunday 6.

A key component of the festival is an exploration of Welsh and Borders life and culture, past and present through talks, documentaries and local archival film. And our own Bill Laws introduces Fieldwork - Farming Memories from the 20th Century.

For the full programme visit the Festival of British Cinema website. Online bookings via the Hay Festival Box Office. Don't delay, spaces at the 2 screening venues, Hay Parish Hall and the Salem Chapel, are limited!