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.