Monday 28 December 2009

Films of the Decade (?)

It's that time of year when newspapers etc are full of 'best of year' lists, and, as it's also the end of the decade, 'best of decade' lists as well. I must say, it doesn't feel like the end of a decade. And what a piss-poor 'decade' at that - 10 years of mediocrity, greed and evil.

I have seriously had to wrack my brains to try and come up with 10 worthy films for my own list. I'm sure the 1990s were easier. Anyway, for want of something better to do, here is my list, in chronological order:

Kimono (Hal Hartley, 2000)

Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000)

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Coen Brothers, 2001)

Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, 2001)

Être et Avoir (Nicholas Philibert, 2002)

The White Balloon (Werner Herzog, 2004)

Into Great Silence (Philip Gröning, 2005)

Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)

The Man from London (Béla Tarr, 2007)

Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, 2008)

Today is, incidentally, the anniversary of the first public film show, in Paris in 1895, by the Lumiere brothers. They later remarked that the cinema was 'an invention without a future'. On the basis of how bad most films are, I'm tempted to agree.

Monday 30 November 2009

The Druids: Travels in Deep England

Just back from Somerset, where we shot another interview with the great Ronald Hutton for Louise Milne's documentary The Druids: Travels in Deep England. We hope to have a cut of the film ready in spring 2010. More info coming soon...

Monday 2 November 2009

Lanterna Magicka Screening 14/11/09

Lanterna Magicka screens on 14th November 2009 as part of the Inverness Film Festival's Bill Douglas retrospective. More details can be found here.

The Trilogy will screen that afternoon, and Comrades on the Sunday morning at 1130.

Louise and Sean should be there for all of it, so see you there!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Lanterna Magicka UK Première

Lanterna Magicka will receive its first UK screening at the Inverness Film Festival next month. The festival's programme is still being finalised, but we understand that Lanterna will be screened on 14th November as part of a Bill Douglas retrospective. Directors Sean Martin and Louise Milne will be attending the screening. More details to follow.

Meanwhile, investors are still being sought to help complete Sean Martin's feature Folie à Deux, which is now in the final stages of postproduction. Funds are needed to complete the sound mix. Should anyone be interested in boarding the project as an investor, please email us. We are hoping that the film will be completed before the end of 2009.

Monday 3 August 2009

News and Reviews

The Comrades DVD continues to get good reviews. Please see the Lanterna Blog for links.

Meanwhile, new projects include The Druids: Travels in Deep England, directed by Lanterna's co-director, Louise Milne, which Sean is shooting, and a possible short derived from some of the same material. Both of these projects are documentaries. The Druids starts post this week.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Lanterna Magicka/Comrades DVD

Bill Douglas's long-lost 1987 masterpiece, Comrades, is finally released on DVD and Blu-Ray next week. We have seen the disc, and it is a very fine thing indeed. Superb transfer, and some great extras in addition to our own film, Lanterna Magicka: Bill Douglas & the Secret History of Cinema, about which DVD Beaver have said:

"Supplements are found on a second Blu-ray disc with featurettes in HD (except one). The highlight being a 2009 documentary by Sean Martin & Louise Milne on Douglas' life and work - running approximately 1 hour - and entitled Lanterna Magicka - Bill Douglas & the Secret History of Cinema. This is pretty much golden for fans of Douglas and a fabulous inclusion - it's not to be missed."

Wednesday 10 June 2009


Today is the 27th anniversary of Rainer Werner Fassbinder vacating his director's chair. It was front page news, I remember (I saw it on the front page of the Daily Telegraph). I shall be devoting space to RWF in my forthcoming book, New Waves in Cinema, due out next year. In the meantime, raise a glass in the great man's honour. (Or, perhaps more in keeping with his own predilictions, do something else:-))

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Lanterna Magicka DVD details

Lanterna Magicka will be released on DVD/BluRay on 27 July. Details of the other features of the DVD can found in the latest post on the Lanterna Magicka blog.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Tarkovsky: Cinema of Dreams

A page has been set up for our documentary Tarkovsky: Cinema of Dreams. You can visit it by clicking here. The photo shows Tarkovsky and Domiziana Giordano on the set of Nostalghia. We'll be uploading a trailer soon, so check back or wait for directorial ruminations and announcements here.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Caves and Wells

The weekend has been spent dashing around the Mendip Hills in Somerset shooting the landscape for an in-progress documentary on Druids and the landscape. After one interview fell through, we had to hastily arrange another, and filmed the ever-obliging Gordon Strong at a sacred well near - of all places - Bristol Airport. It's a great place - and you'd never know it was there. A secret well-kept, methinks (and no pun intended!).

Today's agenda: another documentary, on the great Russian auteur, Tarkovsky.