Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crispy Sharp Competiton! 2 x weekend tickets to No Gloss Film Festival

It's Facebook competition time again!  The lovely people over at the No Gloss Film Festival have given me two weekend tickets for their festival to give away.  All you need to do to for a chance of winning is to follow the Crispy Sharp and No Gloss Film Festival Facebook pages, and then tag yourself and 5 friends in a comment on this Facebook post:

Click Here!!

Then put a link to your Facebook page in a comment underneath this page and a winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by private message on the evening of Friday 8th August.

The festival runs from the 11th-12th of October in Temple Works in Leeds and will feature a host of indie films, music, art and damn fine pop-up food stalls.  Check back soon for a preview of all of the films that will be playing as well as an interview with the festival directors... in the meantime check out their festival trailer here

  • Festival terms and conditions apply. Open to 18+ UK residents only.

Film Review: I am Divine (2014)

I am Divine poster

Ask people to think of a ‘70s movie star and they might say Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway or Diane Keaton.  Ask them for an ‘80s pop icon and they might say Madonna, or Whitney Houston, or George Michael.  But to a large group of people the answer is the same – Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine.

For those who do not know, Divine was originally a recurring character played by Glenn that appeared in John Water’s early art-house movies, the most iconic being Pink Flamingos which gained notoriety due to its mission of being the filthiest movie ever made.  (If that claim intrigues you then I suggest you hunt it down, it’s been discussed too much to explain why it is brilliant again here…)

Divine then turned her hand to making electronic disco records, a remarkably successful change of career that saw her touring the world and hanging out in such legendary nightclubs as the legendary Studio 54 in New York, and even Manchester’s The Hacienda.  She even performed on Top Of The Pops in the UK to a barrage of complaints from terrified conservatives, and this was 30 years before Conchita Wurst...

[side note: listen to how similar this is to Dead or Alive’s
 much more famous hit from two years later]

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Film Review: Leave To Remain (2014)

Leave to Remain poster

One of the most hysterical political issues in the UK (and around the world) in the current decade is immigration.  It is the thread that political commentators use to combine all of the other heated debates: religious freedom/persecution, economics, terrorism, education, the EU, unemployment – anything that winds up UKIP voters and little Englanders is pinned on immigrants.

It is a shame then that the first feature film from prolific political filmmaker Bruce Goodison has had such a small release.  If Daily Mail journalists and BNP supporters were forced to watch it then perhaps it would humanize the people of which they are so angry towards and maybe change (or at least soften) a few opinions.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Film Review: Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood Poster

Hollywood has spent the last 100 years trying to teach audiences profound truths through narratives on the silver screen.  There are strict formulae about heroes/villains, exposition, arcs and third acts that we as audiences have come to expect and absorb.  So it is so refreshing when a film comes out that is profound outside of the usual plot clichés.

In the literary world, America prides itself on the Great American Novel – a kind of mythical state-of-the-nation narrative that reflects how America is doing through a snapshot of metaphors and realism.  This seems to be what Richard Linklater has done for cinema with Boyhood.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Gloss Film Festival preview

This October 11-12th, Crispy Sharp will be heading off to Leeds to cover the No Gloss Film Festival.  Contained entirely within the Temple Works culture hub just south of the river in the centre of the city, No Gloss is a weekend of independent film as well as music and other treats.

So far there are Q+As with filmmakers, panels and speakers as well as music and live art collaborations, but there is more to be announced during August.

As the date draws near I will update on the full programme as well as posting interviews with the curators and offering a special prize for those who are interested in going so check back regularly for updates.

Tickets are on sale here and are moving fast...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Film Review: The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)

The Battered Bastards of Baseball Poster

Of the four holy sports of America – baseball, basketball, football and hockey – I have always had a secret affinity for baseball.  Clearly football and the NFL is the most divine, and basketball and the NBA is the sexiest; yet it has always been baseball that as a non-American I have wanted to waste an afternoon in front of.  This doesn’t mean that I really understand it; I just have a soft spot for it.

The Battered Bastards referred to in the title are a legendary independent Baseball team called The Mavericks set up in Portland in 1973 as a response to the previous team The Beavers moving to Washington.  At that time, all of the minor league teams were linked to a major league team who used the smaller teams as a ‘farm system’ in order to source and train up and coming players.  This meant that there was little cohesion in the lower teams and they were simply less exciting to watch.  This led to the Beavers getting tiny audiences and eventually moving towns.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Film Review: Cold In July (2014)

Picture the scene:  You’re at home in bed and your wife/husband wakes you up to tell you that they can hear a strange sound.  You hear it too so you go to the cupboard and get your emergency gun.  As you slowly walk into the front room you see in horror that there is a man trying to rob you so you raise your gun at him.  As you hold the gun you hear a loud noise so accidently pull the trigger and shoot him dead.  What do you do/how do you feel?

In the UK and the USA there are widely varying opinions on how you should feel.  Americans would probably see this as self-defense, where Brits would probably see this as murder.  Oscar Pistorious fans are still on the fence…