22 March 2011

The Cinema of Attraction

One of the pitfalls of reviewing movies is that even someone like Michael Bay or Allan Loeb can turn around and appear to dismiss any and all criticism of their awful shit by simply asking the reviewer if they've done any better. So Roger Ebert went and made Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and more recently, Mark Cousins gave us the documentary The First Movie.

Those guys are proper film critics, and I am decidedly not. If anything, I want to be a screenwriter myself one day, and hopefully avoid doing any of the rubbish things I've criticised in the time I've been reviewing films on this here blog. But it's still with some trepidation that I give you my first short film as a director, The Cinema of Attraction, which you can see after the jump.

While I admit the concept is a large one, The Cinema of Attraction is a short film I took from the idea to the finished product in just over a week, and on a budget of no more than £4.35. It's the story of James and Donna, whose relationship we follow over several days. Their relationship is constantly being reassessed and redefined by the development of cinema, meeting in a silent film with intertitles and the whole shebang, and continuing to develop through talkies, technicolour and the arrival of the multiplex cinema.

As you'd expect from a Mad Prophet production, there's a bit of a rant at its heart, but I'd like to think that it does have a heart. It's also got a fuckton of allegorical cinema stuff and occasionally quite overt references to classic romantic films, but it would be pretentious of me to talk about what they are and why you should like it. I'm not so arsey as to review my own film, but I'm not above promoting it to you, the good people who read this blog.

The Cinema of Attraction arose as another project for Writers' Block North East, that veritable hive of creative talent in Middlesbrough, and I managed to recruit two very good actors, Bonnie Hibbs and Tim Marshall, to star as Donna and James. They elevate the whole thing, of course, but there's not a lot more to talk about- it's better to just let you enjoy the film yourselves.

Next up, I'll be seeing if it wins the competition at Writers' Block in its truncated and admittedly slightly less interesting form, and submitting the full version for various short film screening events in the area. And after that, it'd be nice to make more films, frankly. Hope you enjoyed this one.

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