Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Dimensions: An Elegant, Visually-Stunning Period Sci Fi Movie...

It was a bright sunny day at the BFI Southbank area. All along the walkway outside the BFI there were festival banners, market stalls, fast food trailers and huge crowds of theatre and movie fans. My close filmgoing companion and I made our way to the Riverfront Bar, in happy anticipation of being two of the very first people ever to watch Dimensions movie.

The BFI Southbank is directly opposite the National Theatre, near Waterloo Bridge. It's a very exciting place to be if you love independent film; there is always something interesting on, and never more so than at film festival time.

The NFT1 screen room is quite large, with high ceiling, red walls and comfortable seats with plenty of leg room. It soon became very full as Sloane & Ant's friends arrived, along with cast and crew of Dimensions movie.

Sloane U'Ren and Ant Neeley famously sold their house to finance Dimensions. Before the screening began, they stood at the front and gave a speech mentioning this fact; and thanking everyone for their support. Huge cheers went up as soon as they began to speak. After their brief speech, the lights went down and the magic of Dimensions began.

Dimensions grips you from the very first few minutes into the story; as in the movie's tagline, it's a line, a loop, a tangle of threads. It draws you in with a tangled web of mystery and intrigue; following the main protagonists from childhood to adulthood, with plenty of plot twists along the way. It's also a breathtakingly beautiful movie; elegant and romantic with visually-stunning cinematography, set in the glorious county of Cambridgeshire, with all its weeping willows, lush greenery and glittering canals.

All through the film I felt utterly transported back to the 1920's; a magical illusion helped partly by the amazing photography and partly by the very authentic costumes. The women's dresses in particular had gorgeous flowing lines, with fairylike pointed hems fluttering in the breeze in the outdoor scenes.

All in all, the acting was superb, the storyline enchanting and the cinematography simply stunning. Highly recommended viewing for sci fi and period drama fans alike, everywhere.

Further reading on Dimensions: My interview with Producer/Production Designer Sloane U'Ren

Watch Dimensions Movie Teaser Trailer (YouTube)...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

An Interview With Nico Mirallegro: Six Minutes of Freedom (Plato Films)

Nico Mirallegro as Chris Duffy in Six Minutes of Freedom

Pinky: You filmed 6 Minutes of Freedom over 2 weekends between Hollyoaks filming, Nico... was it a nice change acting with a new crew in your free time?

Nico: Yes it was a lovely to do something different. There was a really nice atmosphere on set which always helps when working with a new crew.

Pinky: Was it fun working with your sister Claudia (who played your on-screen sister Nicky)?

Nico: Claudia was great to work with. She did a fantastic job plus it helped that we actually get on in real life as well. The script was initially sent to claudia, and I asked if I could have a read. After reading it I thought the part would be perfect.

Nico Mirallegro with his sister Claudia, behind the scenes

Pinky: What do you feel about the personality of your character Chris? Did you feel sympathy or empathy with him (his insolence to his foster dad must surely have been due to feelings of alienation)..?

Nico: Chris is and was a good kid he just wants his old life back, with his mum and dad. But because his dad is not there, he decides to rebel against it. Making him an angry teenager.

Pinky: Keith Mackin, the director, was the face of Chris's real dad, in a photo. Did he originally have lines / scenes in the film?

Nico: I can’t remember if keith said he was going to play the dad from the beginning. He did a great job of it though!

Pinky: Were there any funny moments or out-takes during filming?

Nico: You always get a few funny moments when filming these sorts of things, because nothing ever really goes to the full plan. But this shoot was so tight-knit and professionally done, that it fulfilled its expectations and there weren’t really any hiccups.

Pinky: Six Minutes of Freedom won the Yellow Fever Independent Festival Film Director Award for shorts, I bet you were happy to hear that...

Nico: All of the crew deserve that. They were excellent. Keith and John the directors knew exactly what they wanted. The Director of photography was great and helped them achieve their vision. So it wasn't really a surprise to find out the film won the award.

Keith Mackin accepting Director's Award at Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival

Pinky: What do you think might have been in the mysterious letter that Chris receives... or should we all just use our imaginations..?

Nico: You’re all going to have to use your imaginations... but his dad might have something to do with it.

Pinky: Lastly Nico, what do you like best about acting in short films?

Nico: Working on short films is great because you feel free to do whatever you want. You can take as long as you want playing with the scene and trying different things to make it more interesting for the audience. It’s also such a good way of learning how things like the camera work. All of which helps you understand the art of film making.

Pinky: Thanks for the interview, Nico. :)

Trailer For Six Minutes of Freedom
(Plato Films official YouTube video)

Six Minutes of Freedom is now available for download on MIshorts!