Another month, the longest day is behind us and the summer season is in full swing.
A mixed bag of box office success so far this summer but with plenty of major releases still to come cinemas are struggling to accommodate the quantity on offer.
This week has 2 extremes with new Pixar offering Elemental and the latest in the Insidious horror franchise.
But there is a real treat this week as I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with the director of upcoming movie, I am Kevin.
For booking details, visit wtwcinemas.co.uk
The latest Pixar offering and has been trailed in cinemas for a long time.
Pixar have a great catalogue and admittedly some of their films are more popular than others, they do attempt the original.
Especially in this film we have had talking toys, emotions made into characters and an entire world of monsters. But this is ambitious imagination even for them.
In Element City various science groupings have become ‘humanised’ and they co-exist but there are still differences between the various elements.
Chiefly Fire and Water, that is until hot-headed Ember creates an explosion in her parent’s shop and water inspector Wade attends.
The two hit it off and whilst they should not get along the two start a friendship which is not without its difficulties.
I have heard the film described as West Side Story in a periodic table, which is a fair description.
There is plenty of humour, amazing visuals and a fun family film.
Remember it is Pixar so there will be at least one emotional moment, to try and get your elemental water works going.
Insidious the Red Door
Regular readers know I am not a horror fan and certainly not the current crop.
I enjoy gothic horror’s Dracula and even a dark tale but the Conjuring and Insidious films don’t do it for me. That said the franchise is continuing and there is a strong fanbase for Insidious.
Patrick Wilson stars and directs this latest chapter. As long-suffering Josh Lambert is moving on away from demonic episodes, he takes his son to college.
But this upheaval brings back the demons to the Lambert.
Cinema Interview - Part 1
I am bringing you the first part of a very special interview this week.
I was very lucky to meet with Mydd Pharo who is the artistic director of Wildworks theatre company and the co-director of upcoming cinema release I am Kevin. We met at The Plaza cinema in Truro shortly after a test screening.
Will – Hello Mydd, lovely to meet you and I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw of your production. I only saw half but it was fantastic.
Mydd – Thank you Will, yes, we are all very excited now after our final test screening today, we wanted to check out the audio description aspects on the film as we want this to be as inclusive to as many people as possible.
Will – Please tell us all about I am Kevin?
Mydd – It is a theatre film hybrid; the film was recorded during the live performances of last summer’s production at Carlyon Bay.
We recorded over four nights featuring a live audience and the recording was made not with any great conclusion in place.
We thought we would do the filming and see what would transpire from the footage that we captured.
Luckily, we have created our unique theatre film.
Will – Just picking up on the four show recording, so you managed to blend together footage from the different productions, as what I saw on screen seemed to be one complete recording?
Mydd – Yes co-director and editor Josh Pharo took footage from four showings and using sound from 11 microphones to splice together one comprehensive and exciting complete journey.
Will – So if you took sound from the live events there are probably some extra noises not required, so did you have to do any re-recording and editing, because a lot of feature films will add the sound later?
Mydd – The filming was moved on each of the four nights so we would bunny hop that on different days to not get too involved with the audience by constantly moving around.
For the sound we would have a few pickups but the vast majority is actual recording from the productions.
Will – As you are recording in front of a live audience how much did you want them to feature?
Mydd – Audiences are a huge part of a Wildworks show and they are integral to the immersive journey.
We did discuss removing the audience from the film but it felt wrong, so we had an opening narrative which helps to explain the reason for having the audience in attendance.
We focus in a but who is struggling with a childhood trauma. He creates a mythical world and, in his bedroom, we have his fantastical storytelling creation and his scenes feature an audience watching his life develop.
Will – What was the inspiration behind the Story?
Mydd – Ooh, well there are lots or personal stories within and close friends’ experiences and we wanted to tell their stories in both happy and sad medium.
The Wildworks theatre shows will always work closely with different groups and organisations depending on the topic we are covering. For this one we had the involvement of Cornwall Mind and an amazing organisation called Carefree Cornwall to help us get a better understanding of Kevin’s story especially young people within and just leaving the care system.
Will - It is interesting that you mentioned the happy and sad perspectives as that is everyday experiences, you could be joyous in the morning and then brought down to earth with a major blow in the afternoon. But being able to tell the story when dealing with grief and trauma from different perspectives is fantastic and it will certainly help young people that may be experiencing difficult times to know that different emotions are common.
Now tell me what were the cast like to work with?
Mydd – An absolute Nightmare (laughs) – No, they were fantastic and hugely talented people.
Will - Did any of them treat the project differently knowing it was filmed and not just a one-off theatre show?
Mydd – Well initially it was just a stage production so I don’t think any of them treated it differently and were great and organic with each person bringing their own unique flavour to the work.
There was a bit of a different approach to some of the pickups for sound and we also wanted to create a new narrative layer.
So, the film is 98% the same as what was performed but we have developed some aspects for the movie watching audience, just to help with the extra narrative of people looking in on a story.
One of the standout performers is Stan Harvey (one of the Harvey dynasty), this was Stan’s first film. He is a natural pro, a young actor who managed to convey so much emotion and bring a real great young perspective to the role.
We needed someone young and we wanted him to be as natural as possible but with enough character to separate him from the character. But he was a joy to work with and we did have some powerful and emotive scenes.
In his bedroom signs which help the new narrative we needed tears and upset and Stan nailed it in every scene bringing a real honesty to the role.
Will – Stan is definitely one to watch. Talking of what to watch can you tell us what is next for you and Wildworks?
Mydd – Well we have the press run and plenty of Q&A performances for I am Kevin and there are a number of Wildworks productions to look forward to, some may be recorded and others will be just on the stage.
I learnt from Bill Mitchell former artistic director and he was a big film lover too. We do always want our productions to have a cinematic feel and there is definitely crossover ventures in the pipeline so watch this space!
Will – I did notice that a lot of your set pieces are very cinematic and it does really deliver on the big screen.
l I am Kevin will be screening at The Plaza on July 9 and White River on July 13. Part two of the interview will be in next week’s edition (July 12).
This Week’s Quiz
Now this week’s quiz and the tenuous link is films that have an element in the title.
Which actor headed up the cast as Mariner in 1995 film Waterworld?
Which actress was Oscar nominated for her role as Elisa in 2017 movie The Shape of Water?
Who starred as Leelo in the 1997 sci-fi hit The Fifth Element?
Who directed the much-maligned 2010 movie The Last Airbender?
The Day the Earth stood still was one of the first films to play at White River Cinema but can you name the year?
Which father and son star together in After Earth?
Who starred as Nat Serling and Karen Walden in 1996 drama Courage under Fire?
Which British acting greats play supporting characters Sam Mussabini and the Master of Trinity?
Who star as the main trio Jacob, Marlena and August in 2011 drama Water for Elephants?
1996 action hit Con Air featured a great ensemble cast but who played Cameron Poe, Cyrus the Virus, Agent Larkin, ‘Diamond Dog’/ Nathan Jones and Garland Greene?
1 It was Kevin Costner, at the time Waterworld was one of the most expensive flops.
2 Sally Hawkins played the mute love interest of the creature in Del Toro’s bizarre movie.
3 Milla Jovovich the film also starred Bruce Willis.
4 The King of the twist M. Night Shyamalan went more mainstream but with very poor results.
5 A) You should all get that one it was December 2008.
6 Will and Jaden Smith the 2013 film was very poorly received.
7 Denzel Washington was Serling and Meg Ryan as Walden.
8 Sirs Ian Holm and John Gielgud were Mussabini and Master of Trinity respectively.
9 Robert Pattinson was Jacob, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena and Christoph Waltz as August in the circus set drama.
10 Very cheesy and over the top but Con Air is a guilty pleasure. Nicolas Cage as Poe, John Malkovich at his menacing best as Cyrus, John Cusack was Agent Larkin, Ving Rhames plays Diamond Dog and Steve Buscemi in scene stealing turn as Garland Greene.