News for Week of 10 March 2014

 from IMDB. 

from IMDB. 

From Launching Films, next week's new releases in the UK:

300: Rise Of An Empire (3D) (15)
Director: Noam Munro
Grand Budapest Hotel, The (15)
Director: Wes Anderson

Total Siyyappa (Total Chaos) (12A)
Director: Eeshwar Nivas

Stag, The (15)
Director: John Butler

Wake In Fright (R/I) (18)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Rome, Open City (Roma, Città Aperta) (R/I) (12A)
Director: Roberto Rossellini

Bullet (15)
Director: Nick Lyon

Paranoia (12A)
Director: Robert Luketic

Escape From Planet Earth (3D) (U)
Director: Cal Brunker



  • If you ever wanted to see Michael Fassbender in a film, cast in the role of a 'difficult' musician, and buried under a giant paper mache mask, you've hit the trifecta here.  Frank, releasing May 9 in the UK, comes from a story by The Men Who Stare At Goats’ Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, and is directed by Lenny Abrahamson. The plot sees Domhnall Gleeson as Jon, a wannabe musician who joins a band led by the eccentric Frank (Michael Fassbender, playing a character partly inspired by the paper mache character known as Frank Sidebottom, who was created by Chris Sievey). Weirdness and some music ensues as they head for the Texas SXSW festival to maybe or not make it big. The trailer is below:

  • New teaser footage has been released for a film that has been on my radar for some time given the festival buzz about it stateside- Blue Ruin, from Brooklyn-based filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier. Its a revenge thriller that follows the enigmatic and hermit-like Dwight Evans (Macon Blair) as he returns to his childhood home to avenge a mysterious crime. The film is out in the Uk at least on May 2, and the full trailer is also below:
  • Bond 24 scriptwriter John Logan gave Empire magazine a script update, the first draft is 'nearly done.' Given Craig has signed for at least two more films, Empire pressed Logan about the next two Bond films being a two-parter, maybe featuring the returns of Quantum. No comment.
  • New stills and a trailer for Sin City II: A Dame to Kill For, which is once again directed by the duo of the original comics creator Frank Miller, and Robert Rodriguez. Gyrating women, guns, hyper- stylised CGI-augmented super noir aesthetic; its like they never went away. Some of the cast from 2004's Sin City  are back in town and will appear in various segments/stories in the new film. Jessica Alba is back as dancer /lawyer trainee (or maybe she is now an actual lawyer?) Nancy Callahan. Newly arrived is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who will appear in the segment The Long Bad Night (original to this film and not one of the original comics) as Johnny, a cocky gambler who goes too far. Mickey Rourke is back as the hulking Marv, (his episodes are set before last time's The Hard Goodbye allowing him to appear again despite being KIA in the last film). The title story will see Marv pitted against femme fatale Ava Lord (Eva Green) and teamed up with private eye Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen and Josh Brolin). Also returning are Bruce Willis as Detective John Hartigan, Rosario Dawson as Gail and Jamie King as Goldie and Wendy. Further new faces include Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, and Dennis Haysbert. Its out May 22 in the UK.
 From IMDB.

From IMDB.

Top 5 at the UK Box Office:

1. The Lego Movie, £3,226,594 from 549 sites. Total: £26,671,764
2. Non-Stop, £2,652,364 from 453 sites (New)
3. Ride Along, £1,420,992 from 382 sites (New)
4. The Book Thief, £1,370,649 from 511 sites. Total: £1,430,684
5. Mr Peabody & Sherman, £795,797 from 508 sites. Total: £11,628,241

  • The SXSW 2014 Festival is coming up, Indiewire have a handy top ten, given that there are about 5000 films playing. Two real oddities playing at this year's festival include the  3-D printing documentary Print the Legend, and Spanish director Nacho Vigalando's Open Windows, a thriller starring Elijah Wood where the concept involves the film's entire story plays out on a single computer screen through a series of open windows.


  • The Last of Us, the hit post-apocalyptic PS3 game, is to become a film. Neil Druckmann, the game’s creative director, will write the script, while Naughty Dog’s co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra are signed on to the project as creative architects. Guardian story here.
  • Current BFI Seasons include : Al Pacino Season Part II, which means Heat, Carlito's Way and The Insider. Derek Jarman Season Part II (including an Imax screening of Blue), and a focus on Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant). BFI Events in March include a Q&A with Barnard, a screening of Under the Skin and a Q&A with Johnathan Glazer, and the launch of the Birds Eye View festival (full festival begins in April).
  • 78-Year old William Friedkin will be buggered if he is quitting any time soon. It has been announced he has made a deal with HBO Films to direct and executive produce Mae West with Bette Midler attached to play the title character. The film is based on the actress' own memoirs, Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, and centers on Mae West’s rise to Hollywood stardom. Indiewire story here. 



  • The Coen Brother's next film could well be a madcap 1920s-era romp set during the production of a Roman epic. It could also be the third in their 'numbskull' series of films, reuniting them with George Clooney after O Brother and Burn After Reading. Guardian Story here.

And last but not least, we are in the build up phase now to Mad Men Season 7. We've had AMC tease out a short video clip of Don, now ....a trippy season promo poster from graphic designer Milton Glaser, artist known for his work in the 1950s and 60s ad world. 

 From AMC TV



Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.