Friday, 9 October 2020

[Retrospective Review] - Lapse of Honour

Writer/Director; Rayna Campbell
Stars; Tom Collins, Lady Leshurr, Louis Emerick, Gary McDonald

College students Tom and Eve, two teenagers from the Moss Side, Manchester, are studying hard to get into university in an attempt to escape their abusive parents. When Eve discovers she's pregnant it changes the course of the couple's lives. Eve’s aspirations to be a rap artist are thrown into doubt whilst Tom, obsessed with being able to provide a luxury life for Eve and their child, makes some questionable choices that put him at odds with local Yardie Razor, and local gang The Moss Crew.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

[Retrospective Review] - Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer

Writers; John McNaughton & Richard Fire
Director; John McNaughton
Stars;  Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold

Henry is a self-employed pest exterminator, who after ridding homes and businesses of scurrying vermin, gets his kicks from nocturnal extermination of a different kind - choosing his innocent victims at random then killing them anywhere and anyway he can. His only companion is Otis (Tom Towles), an ex-convict on parole who washes cars at a local garage and indulges in selling drugs and flirting with young men. Sensing a kindred spirit in his housemate, Henry introduces Otis to the pleasure of killing brutally and spontaneously in a horrific scene involving the two men beating, stabbing and bludgeoning a television salesman who refused to serve them. Things get complicated with the arrival of Otis’ sister Becky escaping her violent husband and looking for a fresh life, and soon Becky and Henry fall in love much to Otis’ jealous laden chagrin.

Friday, 17 July 2020

[Interview] - Rayna Campbell

Four years I ago I was offered the opportunity to interview British actress Rayna Campbell about her debut as a feature film director. That film was the award winning gritty drama 'Lapse of Honour'. Starring Tom Collins and rap artist Lady Leshurr, it tells the story of college students Tom and Eve, two Moss Side teenagers studying hard to get into university in an attempt to escape their abusive parents. When Eve discovers she's pregnant it changes the course of the couple's lives. 

'Lapse of Honour' is a story packed with drama and tragedy carried by stellar performances from its young cast, especially Lady Leshurr giving an award worth performance, ably supported by British veterans of the small and big screen Louis Emerick and Gary McDonald. Having screened at various festivals, including the BFI Film London event, critics praised the film with one writer concluding "Lapse of Honour never feels staid or tied to the inertia of its characters, as the bright lighting, lively performances and brisk storytelling propel the viewer along. The ride may not be a pleasant one, but Campbell ensures that it is a compelling one."

Saturday, 11 July 2020

I Am Vengeance; Retaliation - Interview with Ross Boyask

FORGET HOBBS & SHAW! if you're looking for a fast paced, fun filled action packed thrill ride featuring two of the genre's biggest hard men taunting and trash talking one another in a testosterone fuelled measuring contest look no further than Gold and Teague aka Stu Bennett and Vinnie Jones. The dark avenger from the 2018 independent hit 'I Am Vengeance' ('Vengeance') returns on an even more personal mission with plenty at stake and this time has to deal with a nemesis from his past whilst leading a team to capture him. For star Stu Bennett it means ramping up both his action credentials and his thespian abilities, as writer and director Ross Boyask puts both star and hero through one hell of a explosive and personal journey. 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

[Interview] - Matkai Burmaster giving Indie Film a voice with Fearless

Films are made to be seen and in the world of independent film competition to be seen is rife. Film festivals bring an audience and recognition, but it's all over in a few days. YouTube as a global platform is so vast that it can hard for a film maker's work to be seen. Although platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime do feature some independent titles, too many are left by the wayside, especially minority voices. 'Fearless' is a streaming service specifically for the independent film market giving a platform and a voice with focus on diversity inclusivity.  

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

[Interview] Going Undercover with Rising Action Star Saj Ali

British born actor and martial artist Saj Ali has become a staple of the independent short film circuit  with his own brand of high kicking high octane action. Having started training in martial arts a little later in life Saj's impressive and agile skills moved from dojo to celluloid in award winning short films. Though he has only featured in a handful of productions Saj continues to step up his persona and skills on film with his eyes set on the action star prize. 

Saj takes pride on his collaborations with other like minded performers and film makers, including David Cheung, and Lee Adamassie and all of whom met through the festival circuit. The films have a unique gritty feel with jaw dropping fight action that have won Saj and his collaborators various accolades around the world. Even in lockdown Saj never stops training and developing projects and we are pleased he has taken time out to speak to Cine Bijou.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

[Interview] - Searching for Action Heroes with Oliver Harper

To describe Oliver Harper as a YouTube star would be both accurate yet somewhat disingenuous. Yes he is a successful YouTube personality - his programme 'Oliver Harper's Retrospectives and Reviews' has up to 165,000 subscribers and since it's founding in 2011 features over 530 videos that have amassed between around 42 million views. However Oliver is not the star in his videos, whether it's a review or a nostalgic retrospective of a cinema classic it is the film that is the star. Each episode is packed with factual insights made up of production trivia, news reports interwoven with his own thoughts on the film, and are produced to the sort of high quality equal to the best television productions of the BBC. Oliver can best described as a film journalist providing the sort of middle ground insightful reviews delivered with the eloquence and dry humour of the late and legendary film reviewer Barry Norman. 

Monday, 25 May 2020

[REVIEW] - Payback

Writers; Jesse V Johnson & Stu Small
Director; Jesse V Johnson
Stars; Scott Adkins, Louis Mandylor, 
Valdimir Kulich, Marina Sirtis

The collection partnership of former gym owner French (Adkins) and ex B-Movie actor Sue (Mandylor) are united for a collection assignment that sees the boys heading to Las Vegas to do a job for their old boss Tommy (Kulich). Along the way they have to collect from three marks in 24 hours however nothing is quite what it seems. A battle of survival ensues, one that'll test the very fabric of French and Sue's friendship as they realise the man behind the assignment is vicious gangster Molly X (Ski Carr) and he has a personal score to settle with boss Tommy and the two collectors.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

[Interview] David Weiner - In Search of Cinema Legends

Any film nerd worth their salt should know the name David Weiner a writer with a sterling reputation as a film journalist - a living almanac of film and entertainment knowledge, as well as an insightful film maker. His work has won him accolades and garnered respect from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Born in New York City David had always wanted to work in film inspired by his love of genre television and blockbuster cinema releases during the golden age of entertainment. Raised on a cinematic diet of spectacular blockbusters, including 'Star Wars' and independent films during the VHS era, David's dream never wavered and so after high school he enrolled at one the country's top film schools, Ithacha College of Film. David chose this school as it allowed him to start learning the practical side of film making early into the course, and was already producing short films in his freshman year. Like any aspiring auteur David's search took him to Hollywood where he worked on a strong of projects as a production assistant, 2nd unit director, and assistant director for both independent films and major studio productions. 

Friday, 8 May 2020

[News] - UK Independent Cinemas Need our Help

Independent cinema is one of the businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 epidemic. Without patrons walking through the doors it's virtually impossible for these exhibitors to sustain themselves should the lockdown continue. Recognising this very real threat various purveyors of independent films are rallying financial support for the cinemas to stay afloat until they can open their doors safely to the public. The first is a crowdfunding effort by streaming service MUBI looking to raise money for a BFI run support fund, and the second is an initiative by UK film distributor Modern Films. 

Sunday, 3 May 2020

[Interview] Lockdown Festival Speaks to Cine Bijou

When governments around the world issued lockdown orders nationwide in order to curb the spread of the Covid-19 Corona-virus which has so far infected 3.2 million people around the world and taken over a quarter of a million lives, people asked themselves 'What do we do now?' All non-essential business have been closed, events and festivals cancelled. However three film makers, Harry Cartmel, Guy Allon, and Gil Kolirin came up with an idea to lift up people's spirits and get creative people engaged. Since there will be no Cannes Film Festival and various events remain unlikely to go ahead, these three creative talents launched the 'Lockdown Film Festival'.

With the the lockdowntv website up and running the team have put out a call for people to submit a short film, with the winner being awarded the opportunity to have their film made with all expenses paid, professional equipment and the support of a top notch film making team. The only limits are to use the confines of your home, and your imagination. Cine Bijou caught up with Harry and Guy to find out what inspired them to launch the festival, what they are looking for in the entries, and of course how they are coping with the lockdown itself.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

[Review] - DEAD END

Director; Carter Ferguson
Writer; Bryan Larkin
Starring; Bryan Larkin, Julian Gaertner

A contract killer still haunted by the murder of his lover by The Triads, is sent back to where it all happened, the city of Hong Kong to carry out an assignment with a cocksure young gun. However the plans are soon derailed as the two men start to question the motives behind their work.

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