25-04-13 / ONE AND A HALF BRAS Just remastered the short film which became the first third of 10 again in 2002:
25-03-13 / SCANDALOUS CHARLATAN RENAMES 'SOFT' AND TRIES TO PASS IT OFF AS HIS OWN FILM Amongst you are directors, producers, film festival programmers, commissioners and musicians, all of whom i'd like to make aware of a Jean Philippe Farber, who has uploaded a film of mine onto youtube and changed the credits to claim it as his own. while his effort is more amusing than anything else, the sheer audacity is shocking - in the end credits he has re-spelled everyone's names, including myself as 'Simon Temple' for editing, himself for writing and directing, and claiming copyright between himself and the BBC.
I happen to know from an aquaintance who dealt with JPB in the past that he is an actual practioner of film in the UK, so this isn't some teenage YouTube prank. He also has a website under his name. It will obviously be no trouble getting the upload removed, and it may already be gone by the time you read this, but it's important that as many people see this as possible in order to expose JPB's duplicity and prevent him from potentially taking an honest filmmaker's rightful slot in a festival programme with a film that might not be his his own, or be commissioned with a script that is stolen intellectual property (for example). I would never seriously consider such ludicrous hypotheses were this theft not so brazen, and I would like to prevent anyone else's time being wasted by JPB, whether it be thoughts of collaboration based on unconfirmed experience or simply time wasted having to blow the whistle in a case like this. After all, once his upload is removed people won't know he ever did it. Honestly, this world...
UPDATE 1: The internet is a wonderful thing and feedback has been amazing. The plot has thickened somewhat and while some things wouldn't be appropriate to post online (oh the irony) it transpires that JPF has done the same thing with a US short by Dan Trachtenberg, re-editing as well as re-titling it. For anyone interested, and before they are removed, the original film is here and the buggered version here.
UPDATE 2: JPF realised something was happening and removed two separate links to my film personally, before Channel 4 enforced the removal of his 'showreel', which also featured three minutes of my work and parts of other people's films. The trigger pulled, I finally sent him an email and, surprise surprise, two of his other short films have magically vanished.
20-03-13 / JURY IN THE NETHERLANDS / APOCALYPSE Time flew during jury duties at GoShort festival in Nijmegen and it was really too much of a blur to report anything other than some favourite films, including Anna Frances Ewert's Endless Day (Germany), Oliver Schwarz's Dream Girl (Germany), Jan van Ijken's Facing Animals (Netherlands) and Sam de Jong's Magnesium (Netherlands). There were sadly many special programmes that clashed with work and therefore had to be missed, although it was an utter pleasure to see the Laurel & Hardy short Big Business by James W Horne (1929) on the big screen (they don't make them like they used to, etc etc).
I also found about, and was given, a book that was published in 2010 containing short stories by writers based on the synopses of several short films, Soft being one of them. The book was accompanied by a DVD of the films. I didn't ever hear about this.
On a slight tangent, here's an amusing short from this year's Sundance:
15-02-13 / 'STEW & PUNCH' PRESS SCREENING / UTOPIA It's been a mad month or so. A couple of weeks in Hamburg trying to write, then home, then back to Germany for a few days at Berlin Film Festival, then finally the rather glitzy press launch of six short films made for the Collabor8te scheme, including my own Stew & Punch.
Berlin was pretty much a blur. I almost missed my flight going out and coming back, flying direct to London for the Collabor8te press launch in my festival scruffs. It turned out to be a champagne-and-celebrities affair at the Old Lumiere Cinema on Regent Street, which I utterly failed to adapt to after rough and ready Berlin. Stew & Punch was the final film in the programme and was thankfully well received, picking up a rather nice review here (you'll need to scroll down a bit).
Finally, while I was away Channel 4 launched Utopia, starring the exceptional young Oliver Woollford who debuted in my last short Jam Today - whooop, go Oliver!
31-01-13 / A MUSIC VIDEO FROM TOO LONG AGO I've been wanting to post this music video for aaaages. It has been power-snoozing in the archives for far too many sundays, and I even had to go trawling through this blog to find evidence of the date I shot it. Seems I didn't mention it at the time, but from checking the file metadata I deduce it was late Summer 2011. I'd been nagging Swimming to let me do a clip for this particular song since hearing the early demo (before it finally happened we did the acoustic version in the sand dunes). Given that my intention was to choreograph a single, unedited sequence, for which we couldn't find an appropriately minimal location for free, it was decided that I would hijack "at least three hours" (my words) after their soundcheck at a London gig. This way I craftily stole the space for nothing; tee blummin hee, right? We all squeezed into a circle on stage in the same arrangement I'd sketched out, then we were told we had only 45 minutes before being booted out. So with very little time and only available spotlights, we moved fast, without a camera rig, follow-focus or viewfinder. After five takes we were out of there. Ohhh for a sixth.
05-01-13 / 'BINAURAL SWIMMING (BEACH)' BACK ONLINE / 'STEW & PUNCH' IMMINENT Here's the documentary sequel to Binaural Swimming (Skyspace) which I originally posted in October 2011 then had to remove for a festival screening opportunity. Don't ask why it took so long to get back online because I don't have a good answer. Remember to watch it through headphones though...
My new short film Stew & Punch is sprinting to the finish line. This is always the trickiest of times, watching it back endlessly while making those final adjustments, being mindful to keep perspective and not overcook anything before delivery. It's an excruciating dichotomy of relief and ordeal that is quite impossible to articulate in a few daft words, and I'm not about to write an essay on the matter.
13-12-12 / NEW MUSIC VIDEO While in the final throes of post production on Stew & Punch (sound mix and final picture imminent) I restored a wee bit of sanity putting together this batty music video for Swimming:
18-11-12 / JURY DUTY AT BREST EUROPEAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL / A SPECIAL MUSIC VIDEO It was still dark in Brest when I left this morning, then it was raining in Paris, but Birmingham was all booming sunshine when I landed and it's funny what cheers one up after only 90 minutes of sleep, even if said sunshine was wasted on my undead head.
Brest was brief and brilliantly bananas. While there was a lack of drunken Breton brawling compared to last year, the cinema audiences seemed even more enthusiastic for the films, and that's saying something. Their sheer numbers and insane fervour really made an impression on me last time and they pretty much blew me away again, exhibiting the kind of excitement that most festivals can only dream of seeing in their paying public. You should hear them holler when the festival trailer ends, even in the afternoon! It makes me wonder what they put in the water.
Interestingly, there was a male streaker who ran across the stage butt-naked on two occasions. Appropriately, his first caper was during a particular moment of Jean-Baptiste Saurel's porn-ish comedy The Dickslap, and he was clearly so chuffed with waggling his silhouetted balls on the stage that he decided to do it again during the closing ceremony. Under the spotlight this time, he wore a nappy to spare the crowds (and cameras), except that we, the jury, were standing right behind him. And we got a solid eyeful of dangle when he took a bow, I can tell you. Speaking of the jury, I got lucky again with my fellow jurors Mihai Mitrica, Ludovic Henry, Nabiha Akkari and Kris. Through much agreement and occasional friendly disagreement, we made the right choices for the right reasons. The schedule was fairly heavy: five 90 minute programmes for me on one day because of the need to view the non-subtitled films with English subs in between theatrical screenings, but despite the workload we got to go out and see some of Brittany's coast, pose for the cover of our upcoming album, and I ate the best crepe I ever had in Le Conquet. Thanks to Nabiha for some of these pictures (her wonderfully juvenile chocolate teeth trick was something to behold and damn I'm getting all misty-eyed already).
Right, enough with the sentimentality. Notable films were Gabriele Mainetti's Tiger Boy (Italy), Nicolas Guiot's Le Cri du Homard (Belgium/France), Michael Rittmannsberger's Punched (Austria), Fabrice Maruca's Coming Soon (France), Miha Hocevar's Can I Drive Daddy? (Slovenia), and of course Gunhild Enger's exemplary short Prematur (Norway), which I have bleated about in previous posts already. There were others too but I can't list them all.
To side-step for a moment, festival director and general bud Massimiliano Nardulli put me onto something I hadn't seen or heard of before, and I currently can't stop watching/listening to it. It's a music video using reappropriated footage from the 1962 Italian documentary Mondo Cane (A Dog's World), put together by one Jamie Harley. What makes it particularly hypnotic for me is that the footage is 1962 16mm shot in the streets and bars of my beloved Hamburg's St Pauli district. Anyone who has spent more than a fleeting amount of time in those streets can't fail to be fascinated by this raw document of the Reeperbahn's hedonistic heritage. It is something very special indeed, so fill your eyes and ears right up, right now. That means full screen, and louder... louder... a bit more... just a touch more... good:
01-11-12 / STEW & LOTS OF MUSIC Like the titular broth, Stew & Punch is bubbling along slowly but surely, and there is a page for it here which includes some waffle by me and an on-set report from Lauren Bergin. Nothing else to reveal on the film yet. What else... I exploded my face off for Halloween fun and games.
In more musical news, Nottingham's free Branch Out music festival last week revealed a true bevy of world class performers sure to break through into ubergalacticmegastardom. Gawd bless Nottingham, just when I was starting to wonder where all the talent had gone. Hats off to John Sampson for a sublime performance in pitch blackness, Ady Suleiman, Georgie Rose and the exceptional Natalie Duncan. I also had the pleasure to see Max Richter and Britten Sinfonia perform his recomposed version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons at the Barbican on Wednesday. Some moments of shivery bliss went on there, I can tell you. Made me want to give up filmmaking and learn violin. Again.L
03-10-12 / NEW SHORT WRAPPED Stew & Punch, the story of a housewarming dinner party gone awry, finished shooting two days ago. Despite being one of my shorter shooting schedules it is likely to be my longest short, and all that I have the energy to say at this time is an enormous THANK YOU to an outstanding cast and crew. Each and every one of the talented buggers really went the whole nine yards and never seemed to start flagging despite having to live on top of one another for the duration. I'm sure I will find better ways of gushing about them all as my head readjusts to the world outside but for now this is the best I can do.
23-09-12 / ENCOUNTERS FILM FESTIVAL The sun shone on Encounters Film Festival in Bristol this year, only to vanish abruptly as soon as the celebrations were over. The winning films were excellent choices by both the international and animation juries, and it was particularly gratifying to see Gunhild Enger's Premature (Norway) take its rightful Grand Prix after being robbed at Hamburg in June. Manuel Schapira's excellent Les Meutes (The Hounds) (France), Ross McDonnell's Remember Me My Ghost (Ireland) and Rafael Balulu's Eynayim Kaele (Such Eyes) (Israel) were just a few of the highlights for me out of a strong and eclectic programme. Other gems I've mentioned in previous posts were Till Nowak's The Centrifuge Brain Project (Germany), Julia Ducournau's Junior (France), and Emma de Swaef & Marc James Roel's Oh Willy (Belgium). It's a shame that fully unwinding was so difficult with an imminent shoot to ponder - a bummer when Encounters gets stronger every year and there was so much to see (or in this case miss).
A very special event was the live soundtrack performed for 1924 silent film Aelita: The Queen of Mars by cross-dressing Finnish performers Cleaning Women. They famously play self-made instruments adapted from recycled material and although I'd seen them perform some years ago in Finland I hadn't heard of the film at all. Pre-dating even Metropolis, its pioneering influence can't be underestimated. The production design and wardrobe of Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon, for one, owes it an enormous doff of the hat. Easily the most rousing live soundtrack event I've attended, check more information and see an extract here.