Category Archives: Film

My oh my, doesn’t time fly

Wowsers!

On Friday, someone at my new job asked me whether I had a blog. Well, I replied, I have a few but I don’t update them often enough. When I came on to this one I realised how true that was so I really REALLY am going to make more of an effort to do blogging. Honest I will.

So, what have I been up to and what’s been good?

I went to see Submarine, written and directed by Richard Ayoade who I’m a bit of a fan of. What a refreshingly lovely, very ‘British’ film full of poignant humour and sweet surreal moments. I even liked Alex Turner’s soundtracking. Here’s a trailer:

I went to the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House, a veritable visual feast from graphic artists around the globe with a bias towards the UK (and especially London-based artists). It was an inspiring and thought-provoking afternoon and I especially loved Anthony Burrill’s workshop room, complete with a DJ spinning some Jean Michel Jarre, and I even purchased a print from the Conrete Hermit shop. I’ll take a photo of it once it’s framed and up on my wall.

I went to see Interpol, naturally, last week at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. They played The Specialist, my favourite ever song which I’ve never seen them play live before. Some clever person filmed it and popped it on YouTube:

Whilst I don’t generally agree with people doing this at gigs (mainly as they out their cameras in my way so I can’t see), I’ll let them off just this once. They also dropped The New and NYC. No Stella or Roland though… but I still love them.

I’ve also recently had a little trip to NYC. We stayed in the lovely West Village, spent our time eating incredible food, wandering round lovely neighbourhoods and found some time to explore MoMA which I’d recommend to anyone who won’t find tourists exploring the museum via the art of taking iPhone photographs of EVERYTHING. Sometimes, technology really does irritate me. There was a cool little Andy Warhol video exhibition hidden away at the top – go see it if you’re there and it’s still on.

Next on my little list of ‘to dos’ is the next Secret Cinema – I’ve been to three now and they just get better and better each time. I also quite fancy checking out the Designs of the Year exhibition over at the Design Museum and Gabriel Orozco at Tate Modern.

That is all for now. Tally ho!


Woah, it’s been almost a year

My oh my, doesn’t time fly?

It seems like I have been neglecting Stella Was A Diver for so long now that almost a year has passed since my last post.

Bad me.

That’s what a new job will do to you. But, seeing as I am still getting traffic, I shall endeavour to get back into blogging. Poke me if I don’t do a very good job please.

Back to the old style of things, here’s a few interesting things I’ve been doing in the last few weeks…

I went to see the fab little French stop motion animation film called A Town Called Panic a couple of weeks back at my all-time favourite cinema Screen on the Green (it has sofas and they bring you wine to your seat, what’s not to love?). Trailer below:

Essentially a feature-length Cravendale advert written by someone with an over-active imagination and short attention span, this is a fab little oddball of a film.

When I was invited to go to Museum of Everything two weekends ago I was super excited. Tucked away on a back street near Primrose Hill, this place is a veritable rabbit warren of interesting things curated by Sir Peter Blake. Think Victorian fairground paraphernalia and freak show memorabilia, and a hodge-podge of children’s toys rubbing shoulders with an incredible taxidermy collection from Walter Potter’s Museum of Curiosity. Go see whilst it’s still there, if only for the boxing rats.

If you ever has the pleasure of visiting La Clique during their London residency then you’re pretty much there with La Soiree. In a temporary, wooden, saloon-styled big top on the South Bank I enjoyed a night of comedy and cabaret from the weird and the wonderful – think contortionists, hula hooping and leftfield comedy with a sprinkle of vaudeville, a touch of naughtiness and a generous helping of humour. Check it out here.

On a musical tip, it’s been a bit quiet on the gig-going front of late, though I did manage to catch Crystal Castles at the Roundhouse. On a Friday night and with a relatively late start, the shouty electro-tinged duo got the entire venue dancing. An awesome start to the weekend. Tons of exciting gigs coming up in the next month or so including The National, Fujiya & Miyagi, Soulwax and my beloved Interpol. Oh, and my first ever ATP too.

I’ve also been eating some delicious food recently (note my ever-increasing stomach) at the likes of Hix Oyster & Chop House, Giant Robot, Moro and best-steak-ever at Gaucho. My tummy’s starting to rumble even as I type.

Finally, I feel I should mention The Social Network, given my line of work. When I heard that they were making “The Facebook film” I decided it would be terrible. When I saw the trailers and (albeit rather nicely designed) website I still wasn’t convinced. Even the through-the-roof Rotten Tomatoes ratings and raving reviews would not move my scepticism. Then one evening, my friend who works for an unnamed popular film magazine told me that it was actually really rather good and suprisingly quite funny. So I went to see it and I must eat my words as I actually quite enjoyed it. I am now mostly looking forward to the next social network themed film, Catfish – trailer below:

Anywho, I think I’ve rambled quite enough for one day now. There’s plenty I have forgotten and plenty more to come.

Methinks this blog could do with a design refresh. Any thoughts/assistance welcome…


What I am up to…

Yes yes, I have been somewhat neglectative (is that even a word? Spellcheck says no…) of Stella Was A Diver of recent times. I’m sorry. I have many a-project on the go in work life , in regular life and all forms of life betwixt.

If you hop on over to my new photo blog one photo each day you will see that, in an attempt to get back into doing photography, I am documenting my entire life by taking one photo each day.

I am now also writing all about social media goodness and creativeness on a new collaborative project. That link will follow when there’s a bit more content and stylings sorted.

On the weekend, I “did some culture” and visited the National Portrait Gallery to see, as I do every year, the Photographic Portrait Prize. There’s some amazing photography there, go see it while you can. Some of my favourites below…

(note that the colours and prints are much more incredible “in real life”)

I also made it to The Photographers Gallery, happily settled in its new backstreet Soho home. What a lovely venue. Slightly depressing exhibition subject matter at the moment, however.

Tomorrow, I am very much looking forward to going to see Shutter Island (hooray for having film clients!), there’s some trailerlove for you below. Looks good, no? AND I intend to check out Damien Hirst’s new exhibition at White Cube Hoxton soon. Seeing as I can see it from my desk I think “why not?!”


I saw The Road

On Monday night I was lucky enough to score a plus one to the press screening of The Road, based on the incredible Cormac McCarthy book I read earlier on this year. Love having friends in high places at film magazines.

I wrote a (what I consider rather good) little review of the film and was about to hit ‘publish’ when I realised that there is probably an embargo on it and I just didn’t read the sign that said so at the screening. Damnnit.

SO… expect desperation, desolate landscapes of a seemingly dead world, a gun-toting cannibalistic underclass striving for survival in the cruelest ways imaginable and little hope or happiness (if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand).

Out on 8th January 2010 in the UK, whet your appetite with the HD trailer below:


I just saw UP… and other 3D film thoughts

…and I actually loved it.

Why?

When the talk of bringing back 3D films started, I was sceptical. Gimmick. Total gimmick. Leave it back in the past, with those funny little cardboard glasses with different coloured lenses.

Then I saw Coraline in 3D and I fell in love.

Today I went to see Disney’s crack at 3D animation. After incredible reviews from across the pond, albeit 5 months ago (why oh why has it taken so long to release over here?) today I braved the cinema full of kids and irritating couples and went to see UP.

The story is original, the script is funny, the characters are cute and the 3D effects are blended seamlessly, not distracting and merely enhancing the plot. It’s genuinely a brilliant, feel-good film.

Sooooo yes, whilst 3D is still a little gimmicky, I think it is here to stay. Just imagine if something like The Ring had been made in 3D? What about using 3D tech for epic nature documentaries, a la the BBC’s Planet Earth series? The potential for 3D films is certainly more than just family-friendly animation and could be the catalyst to make serious changes to both the film production industry, and also to how we consume films.

Filmic rant over. For now…

See more UP [starts 32 seconds in…damn Disney and their privacy policies]:


My weekend…

gin albion Fish Tank

…went a bit like this:

  • Gin & Tonics
  • Making website magic
  • Miso & my flatmates & The Reader: a fair representation of a book I didn’t actually love
  • Albion goodness in the form of baked goods and caffeinated beverages
  • Fish Tank: bleak, terrible dancing, verisimilitude (yep, I was a film studies student for a while), worth seeing, will win awards
  • Breakfast Club Sunday supper

Happy days…


My bank holiday weekend

When I photographed some flowers at Kew

  1. Party in a phone box: STOP TAKING PHOTOS OF ME!!!
  2. Clissold Park: Glorious sunshine, can of cream soda.
  3. Inglourious Basterds: Witty, funny, clever. A Tarantino triumph.
  4. Kew Gardens: Flora, fauna, photographing. Sweet.
  5. Sin Nombre: City of God with multiple narratives woven together. Tres bon.
  6. Holiday shoppery hell. Argh…
  7. Nice coffee and a sit down in Soho.

Dorian Gray teaser trailer

Sadly, doesn’t excite me as much as I feel it should AND I feel the story has “Tim Burton” written all over it so it’s a shame it’s not him but… well, have a look anyway…


What I’ve been up to…

Super Contemporay Coco Avant Chanel Futurism Moon

Super Contemporay @ Design Museum: Hugely inspiring look at iconic deisgn in, around or created in London. Especially loved the maps created for individual’s own London life. On my recommended list.

Coco Before Chanel: 30 minutes too long, too much time spent stringing out the beginning in slummy old Paris, not enough empathy with Coco. I so badly wanted to love it too…

Futurism @ Tate Modern: A little wishy washy but some good pieces to see. Not the sculpture. Do not like the sculpture.

Per Kirkeby @ Tate Modern: A bit angry for my liking.

Moon: Super intelligent film. Love Sam Rockwell. Love Kevin Spacey’s creepy-yet-etheral voiced GERTY. Brilliant artwork too.

Gilbert & George JACK FREAK PICTURES @ White Cube, Hoxton: Bold, brash and brassy, as I’ve come to expect from the Shoreditch-based twosome. Worth a scoot around if you’re in the area.


A little bit of trailer love

Here I am, back blogging!

Two trailers that have really stood out over the past couple of weeks:

The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus aka “the one with Heath Ledger which he will no doubt win posthumous awards for come awards season” which looks simply stunning:

Where The Wild Things Are (second trailer) reminds everyone of childhood, has Spike Jonze at the directorial helm and features that awesomely perfect Arcade Fire soundtrack:

A really great trailer can do wonders for film releases, creating that all-important hype around a release. There is certainly an art behind creating a great trailer, which can sometimes lead to disappointment when the trailer is actually better than the film itself.

A little bit of food for thought…


Alice In Wonderland Teaser Trailer Excitement!

OMG (and other teeny webby acronyms) how freaking good does this look?!


Alice in Wonderland, take two

Alice

New pic of Alice from Tim Burton’s much-anticipated Alice In Wonderland.

Sweet.

More at Empire…


Down the rabbit hole…

alice in wonderland

Just HOW good does ‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Tim Burton look?!

Loads of interactive concept art here…

Cast include Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Quelle suprise…


Post-it Love: A short film

More cute post-it note based frippery, this is so twee it’s practically a Belle & Sebastian video:


Horror film on a toilet roll…?

scariest toilet paper ever

Those crazy Japanese people are at it again…

Link here.


Things I missed last week

Ferris Bueller House Photorealistic Graffiti spotify logo

I was tres busy last week so stellawasadiver got a bit neglected. Sorry.

Here are a few of the things I wanted to blog about but just couldn’t find the time…

  1. Cameron’s  amazing house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (in my all time top 3 80’s teen movies along with The Breakfast Club and The Lost Boys) is up for sale. More at The Cool Hunter…
  2. Fresh Pics had a nice post on photorealistic graffiti. Take a looksie…
  3. Finally, for all Spotify users, this website is pretty darn funny, though I find the “Everyone loves music, especially in the bedroom” ad more irritating than Jonathan…

Sorry I’m Late

A gorgeous bit of stop motion animation from Tomas Mankovsky. Love it.

Watch it here.


My Bank Holiday Weekend

cocktail coraline meatballs Will

Went something like this:

  1. Incredible jerk chicken and cocktails, cocktails, cocktails in Banners
  2. Playing with my new camera. Oooh.
  3. Amazing stop motion animation aka Coraline in 3D
  4. Catching up with friends
  5. Homemade meatballs
  6. Spotting Will from The Inbetweeners in Covent Garden. Best “celeb” spot ever.
  7. Carrot cake baking
  8. Lots of wine by a water mill in the countryside
  9. Creepy rocking chair and screaming at The Woman in Black (technically yesterday but still counts in my mind)

A day or so late, but hey that’s ok.


Things I did this weekend

chopsticksthe dark knight chicken the wrestler yeah yeah yeahs

With miniature reviews, almost like a post-event Twitter feed:

  1. Ate Japanese from Shiso. It was so-so.
  2. Watched The Dark Knight on DVD. It was as good as I remembered from the cinematic experience.
  3. Roasted a chicken. Ate it.
  4. Saw The Wrestler @ The Prince Charles. It depressed me a little.
  5. Went to see Yeah Yeah Yeah’s @ Shepherds Bush Empire.  They were amazing. Karen O was charismatic as ever. Nick Zinner was his usual incredible guitar wielding, effects pedal laden pixie-from-a-Tim-Burton-film self. There was lots of pretty stage confetti. They played Y Control and Bang. This pleased me.

That is all.


My favourite film-y bits

Someone in the office is watching the title sequence to Catch Me If You Can and it has just reminded me of how incredible the animation is:

This also had me thinking about the end credits to Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, also pretty special and made me stay right until the end when I saw it at the cinema:

There is a real art to creating animations like these, and the care and attention that has gone into these small, usually irrelevant parts of the movie making process really shines.

Just a random thought…


I met the advertisers

she says

Last night, I attended a little event run by She Says, the organisation hellbent on getting more females in the creative industry, and Birds Eye View called ‘Meet The Advertisers’. Essentially this was a talk/presentation from three very different but equally interesting women, discussing their roles in the film industry and the cross-pollination of film and digital advertising.

Now, whilst I don’t usually go in for the whole ‘girl power’ feminist bullshit thing, I did quite enjoy the event, mainly due to the lovely work showcased by the speakers.

Harriet, one quarter of Unit 10, a London-based video production company and art collective, talked about a pretty cool viral piece they did for a Muse/The Streets collaboration on behalf of a music website which I really liked, especially given their amazing 24 hour turnaround. My only concern on it being that I hadn’t heard about it… however, I still liked it so watch it below:

Next up was Erica Herbert, a filmmaker with incredible visual style and flair – I certainly recommend you check out her dark but beautiful work and if anyone can find her website or showreel, please ping me the link. In the meantime, here is a piece she created for MTV Flux to give you an idea of how she works:

Finally, and most inspiring of all, was Christina from Knucklehead (sorry, didn’t catch her surname), a woman who has achieved so much as a director through sheer determination and drive in just 25 years, working with the likes of Dita Von Teese, Dido and Lewis Hamilton.

I shall now firmly remove my feminist hat and return to my usual, cynical state.


Carlos D makes a film

my-friends-told-me-about-you

Everyone’s favourite goth-nazi bassist Carlos D has made a (more than likely pretentious),  short film entitled “My Friends Told Me ABout You”. According to the synopsis, it is a “surrelaist examination of the unstable nature of fame and the incredible cost of celebrity.”

Intriguing.

Check out le website, complete with trailer here.


Coraline loveliness

I have been excited about Coraline ever since I stumbled across the trailer.

Stop-motion animation (a current “thing” for me), the Tim Burton-esque concept (director Henry Selick was also behind Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas) and the beautiful crafty handmade aesthetic is a winner in my metaphorical books, not to mention the 3D aspect – to those of you who laughed at my 3D glasses on my desk at work…ha, told you they’d come in handy!

50 covetable handmade wooden boxes containing character arms, keys, buttons and a whole host of Coraline-themed goodies were sent to key bloggers across the globe (I SO want one of these, dammnit) and have cause a frisson of excitement.

W+K, the agency behind the campaign, has complied this rather lovely video detailing the whole campaign, and you can have a play with the gorgeous website here.

Beeyootiful.


In Review: Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon

Whilst I don’t claim to have much interest in politics, and my knowledge of US politics is very limited to say the least, I left the cinema after Frost/Nixon knowing that I had just seen a very good film.

Perhaps it is the “real life” nature of the story, based on actual events. Maybe its the appealingly kitsch 70’s setting, or even the many intelligent humourous quips scattered throughout the film. Whichever way, I would highly recommend that people go and see Frost/Nixon even if, like me, they have little interest in politics.

Will it win an Oscar, of which it has been nominated for five? If it doesn’t we’ll surely see Oscargate…