Entries in Film (11)
Last week Team Hebe, and some friends went along to the UK premier of The Thing which was screened at the Leeds International Film Festival. As regular cinema goers we were very happy to see this film a month early as we had talked about it a lot when we saw the trailer a few weeks ago. We were also the sponsor of the film, so we had a little shout out before it started.
Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr.
Just to confirm, this film is a prequel to the original John Carpenter's The Thing(1982), NOT a remake. The name obviously confuses people but I love the fact it’s almost a remake but yet it’s not. It works really well that the film can copy the formula of the original yet be a different story, in this way, the characters do not have to be overly compared to Kurt Russell and his crew.
The story revolves around a group of scientists sent to Antarctica to look at a ‘discovery’ out there. Kate Lloyd (Die Hard’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth Winstead), her crew and some Norweigen scientists realise the discovery is not only an alien life form but one that can replicate human DNA and ‘become’ one of them. As they struggle to work out who is themselves and who is not, they are picked off one by one by The Thing.
The suspense is bang on. I literally jumped in my seat more than once. Then once the action kicks in, the gore is amazing. I normally don’t like gore, but this was gore/science so it was interesting as well as stomach churning. I heard people behind me laughing, not because it was stupid, but because it was so intense at certain points in the film. A couple of the scenes brought back strong memories of the first film in great way. It was so similar to the original, yet different and new. I must point out that in today’s horror film market, this is a cut above the rest. Remakes such as Nightmare On Elm Street and John Carpenter's The Fog do not do justice to the originals but this makes a better stab at it and Winstead shows she is good actress without compromising her self-respect.
The only things that could have been improved were the characters and their relationships, I would have liked for the characters to have been more defined, and maybe slightly more interesting. Maybe that’s a bit cliché but the only characters that really stood out to me were Kate Lloyd and LLars(Jørgen Langhelle) but that is me just nitpicking, maybe putting the characters into certain brackets would have made the film more predictable.
In the original film the characters were so engrossing and you actually cared about each of them in some way. This is one of the main differences between the two films.
8/10 in comparison to todays horror flicks, 7/10 overall
Every single member of the Hebe team is mad about the movies. Our combined film collection makes for an impressive library, ranging from blockbuster classics, to obscure indies, to world cinema... mostly Chinese and Spanish, we have to admit. We're all in some kind of film rental club, and besides me (nearly Christmas - hint, hint) everyone has an unlimited cinema card. We're as close to being film geeks as it's possible to get without feeling compelled to sit in the cinema reciting lines in harmony with the actors.
So, imagine our delight when the team at Trinity Leeds revealed to us that one of the coolest boutique cinema brand in the UK, Everyman, intends to open its first out-of-London venue in the heart of the scheme; and, in order to introduce Everyman to the people of Leeds they wanted us to dream up a project to support grassroots, independent film making in the city. Our gut instinct was to call Matt Maude at Left Eye Blind to see whether we could work together, and the 2.8 Days Later film challenge is the outcome:
So, it’s lights, camera and action for this new project, which challenges aspiring filmmakers to write, shoot and finish a film in less than three days. Registration for 2.8 Days Later opened this week and the main event will take place in Leeds on 18th, 19th and 20th November 2011.
Over the course of three days as many as 150 people, working in small teams, will take up the challenge working from Left Eye Blind’s base in Holbeck, Leeds. Industry professionals will lead workshops covering different aspects of the filmmaking process, and will mentor participants as they create a brand new short film.
“This is adrenaline filmmaking at its best”, says Matt Maude of Left Eye Blind, himself one of twelve finalists in this year’s Virgin Media Shorts competition. “We piloted the project back in June 2011 with brilliant results, we even had filmmakers taking part in the US and Germany. This time we are focusing our efforts on supporting Northern talent in and around Leeds. It’s great to be working with Trinity Leeds and Everyman Cinema, both of whom we see playing a vital role in the future of film in Leeds and the surrounding area. It’s no secret that the future of funding for British film is uncertain at the moment and this is a great example of how private business can support and is supporting grassroots independent filmmaking.”
Film will share centre stage in the Trinity Leeds scheme, which will be home to Everyman Cinema’s first venue outside London. Everyman’s chain of boutique cinemas is widely known for screening independent film and world cinema, alongside major releases.
“Leeds is the birthplace of film and this project is all about tracking down today’s undiscovered talent” says Claire Reynolds, Marketing Manager for Land Securities, the developers of the Trinity Leeds scheme. “We hope to find people who have the potential to rock the future of British film and want to help them reach the big screen. We’re proud to be working with Left Eye Blind and look forward to viewing all the final cuts.”
All the 2.8 Days Later films will be entered into a new Trinity Leeds film prize. Three awards are up for grabs and the public, the media and a panel of industry experts will pick the winners. The awards winners will each receive a prize ranging from free cinema passes, to support towards a further film, to the opportunity to showcase their entry at an Everyman venue in London – as a trailer at the start of a major movie! The winners will be announced at a special, public screening event in Leeds during spring 2012.
2.8 Days Later is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, and thanks to support from Trinity Leeds it is totally free to enter. There are only 150 places up for grabs and registration closes on 15 November 2011. Visit the Trinity Leeds page on Facebook to register your place now: www.facebook.com/TrinityLeeds
The whole team will be heading down there on the day. The only thing to confirm is whether we form a team or go head-to-head in a quest for glory on the big screen - the film challenge is on!
We are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring the screening of The Thing at Leeds International Film Festival on Saturday. This is part of our media partnership with the festival.
We are really excited about this for a couple of reasons. First of all we love the film festival and the venue for the screening is amazing. Also from a personal point of view, we are really looking forward to seeing this film. The original 1982 The Thing by John Carpenter is a firm favourite among Team Hebe. You will often hear Lee raving about the soundtrack and the special effects. It is definitely right up there in our 'favourite films' list.
It was a great decision to make the 2011 version a prequel rather then a sequel. The original is near-perfect and to try and drag that out and potentially do a diservice to the fantastic ending would have been the wrong move in our view. It looks from the trailer and stuff we have read online that the team working on the new version have tried to keep things as close to the orginal as possible. Recreating the Norwegian camp seen at the begining of the 1982 film and generally staying along the same lines in terms of colours, shots, props etc.
Although it would be an amazing achievment to even get close to the original, we have high hopes for this film and for one night on Saturday we can kick back, chill and then get the hell scared out of us for a couple of hours, sounds fun :)