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God Help the Girl is a long-gestating musical film project from Stuart Murdoch, leader of Scottish indie pop group Belle and Sebastian. Having first released an album of the same name in 2009 with the help of various female vocalist collaborators, the first-time screenwriter and director finally got the intended film off the ground thanks to the efforts of Us producer Barry Mendel (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Bridesmaids) and some Kickstarter donations.
Shot and set in Glasgow, Scotland, the film follows the initially hospital-bound Eve (Emily Browning), who takes on songwriting to help her woes, collaborating with musicians James (Olly Alexander) and Cassie (Hannah Murray). Murdoch’s film got fairly positive buzz from its world and European premieres at Sundance and Berlin respectively, winning an award for its ensemble cast at the former festival.
Some early reviews made some very enticing comparisons to the work of both Jacques Demy and Scottish »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Already one of music's finest storytellers, Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch's move into directing with "God Help The Girl" made natural sense. That it was a musical, also made sense. Unfortunately, the resulting film got a mixed reception at Sundance (our review), but there's always the music. "God Help The Girl" finds the cast of Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray doing the songs from Murdoch's 2009 album of the same, with three new tunes in the mix as well: "Pretty When the Wind Blows," "I Dumped You First," and "I'm Not Rich." And you can get a flavor of it with the title track sung by Browning and co. and yeah, it's totally Murdoch-esque and if you're been a fan of Belle and Sebastian, this will be right up your alley of twee (but not overly so) pop. "God Help The Girl" opens in the UK on August 16th, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Exclusive: Company’s increased acquisition drive includes post Cannes purchase of boxing drama Bleed For This.
Rome-based distributor Notorious Pictures made its debut today on the Italian Aim market, the country’s alternative capital market for small and medium-sized companies.
Founded in 2012, the company has seen rapid growth over the last 18 months, climbing to number four in Italy’s distributor rankings for the first three months of 2014, from number 10 in 2013.
Notorious Pictures CEO and founder Guglielmo Marchetti told ScreenDaily in an exclusive interview that the €7.5m ($10m) raised through the move would be used to increase acquisitions and enter production.
The €7.5m ($10m) represents roughly 10.3% of the company’s total capital, said Marchetti, who controls the remaining 89.7%.
“Becoming a public quoted company is an important step for Notorious,” said Marchetti. “It gives us access to new sources of finance which will enable us to further expand.
“There are two poles of growth we want to pursue. Firstly »
IFC Midnight has acquired Us rights to The Vicious Brothers’ Tribeca sci-fi horror Extraterrestrial from Vicarious Entertainment, Twin Engine Films and Buffalo Films. Separately, Film Movement has picked up Belle And Sebastian.
CAA arranged financing and brokered the deal. Cargo Entertainment handles foreign sales.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
New York-based Film Movement has acquired all U.S. rights to WWII-set adventure tale “Belle and Sebastian,” the bigscreen adaptation of the classic French novel about the friendship between a young boy and his dog.
Pic has proven a hit in France, grossing over $23 million, and also scored more than $10 million in Italy.
- Elsa Keslassy
The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 films to be featured in this year.s event (June 4-15) in advance of the full program launch on May 7.
The line-up includes the world premiere of The Redfern Story, 19 Australian premieres, 13 features, 11 documentaries and an eight-film retrospective on maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman. Altman.s son, filmmaker Michael Altman, will attend festival and introduce several of the Altman screenings.
Darlene Johnson.s The Redfern Story chronicles the volatile birth of the first all-Indigenous theatre company, the National Black Theatre. It features interviews with indigenous media pioneer Lester Bostock, writer Gerry Bostock, actor Lillian Crombie, activist-academic Gary Foley, academic Marcia Langton, actors Rachael Maza, Bryan Brown and Bindi Williams. .We are pleased to present this sneak preview of 32 of the 180-plus films in this year.s program,. said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. .We have gathered a selection of the best films from the »
- Staff writer
Whishaw, who played Q in the latest James Bond film Skyfall, will co-star with Billie Piper in Foxtrot, the first TV drama by acclaimed playwright Polly Stenham, about an ill-fated heist by an all-girl gang.
Perry will appear in The Dog Thrower, a near silent 30-minute comedy written and directed by Jon Ronson with a soundtrack by Belle and Sebastian. Delevingne will make her TV acting debut alongside Sylvia Syms in Timeless, written by Tim Firth, about a young woman whose fiance is serving in Afghanistan.
Other stars appearing in the latest Playhouse season include Jo Brand, who will star in Damned, »
- John Plunkett
The Friends star will team up with comic Tim Key and Fresh Meat's Kimberley Nixon for the one-off feature, which follows the story of a nervous young man (Key) who attempts to become popular by copying a charismatic man who is throwing his dog in the air in front of a crowd.
Scottish indie stars Belle and Sebastian are producing the soundtrack.
The Dog Thrower was written by Jon Ronson and will air on May 1 on Sky Arts.
Perry is currently working in the Us on a TV remake of The Odd Couple.
Playhouse Presents is a Sky Arts drama and comedy strand, which pushes original and innovative UK writing.
London, Feb 27: Arctic Monkeys have won five trophies at 2014's NME awards, including best British band and best album.
The Indie rock band had also recently received two trophies at the Brit Awards, the BBC reported.
Other winners of the night included, Scottish indie band Belle and Sebastian, who won the outstanding contribution to music award, Lily Allen was dubbed the best solo artist and Sir Paul McCartney collected a songwriting award.
While the 'Godlike Genius' award went to veteran Us band Blondie, Haim were named the best international band.
NME Awards 2014 winners in full:
Godlike Genius - Blondie
Songwriters' Songwriter - Paul McCartney
Award For Innovation - Damon Albarn
- Diksha Singh
Recently, with Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen brothers proved that films with little narrative nor direction, about fledging singer songwriters, can be completely charming, wonderful and triumphant. However for first time filmmaker Stuart Murdoch, the frontman of twee indie pop outfit Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl goes against that notion entirely, as his very first deviation into the world of film is regrettably underwhelming.
Emily Browning plays Eve, a young girl living in Glasgow, in and out of hospital as she suffers from anxiety and anorexia. To help her get through life she writes music, and it’s at a gig where she meets nerdy guitarist James (Olly Alexander), who instantly hits it off with our protagonist, as he proposes the idea of forming a band. As music works by way of escapism for Eve, she seeks solace in melody, and when they recruit fellow musician Cass (Hannah Murray »
- Stefan Pape
As the masterful pop songsmith behind Belle and Sebastian, Stuart Murdoch has always shown a flare for storytelling. His songs are filled with outcasts and rebels eager to take on the world, or at least find a little peace in it. So it’s only natural that his musical film is at once madcap and melancholy. The film takes place over a summer in which two young women and one young man chase the idea of being in a band. Emily Browning has a magnetic screen presence as a mentally troubled would-be pop sensation trying to figure out what it all »
Sundance just ended, and we are already preparing for the next big film festival, South By Southwest. Not too long ago, the festival announced a few of the films premiering this year, but now they’ve announced the main slate. The midnight selections and some inevitable late-breaking additions are still to be announced, but this should be more than enough to get you excited. Along with many World Premieres, and Sundance favorites like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2, the line up also includes an anniversary screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and an extended Q&A screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel with Wes Anderson. SXSW 2014 runs March 7 through 15 in Austin, Texas. Check out the line up after the jump.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014. Films screening in Narrative »
Today the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced a diverse features lineup for this year’s Festival, the 21st edition and running March 7 – 15, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The 2014 program expands on SXSW tradition of embracing a range of genres and span of budgets, featuring a wealth of vision from experienced and developing filmmakers alike.
For more information visit http://sxsw.com/film.
Listed in the announcement are 115 of the features that will screen over the course of nine days at SXSW 2014. The lineup below includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, and consists of 76 World Premieres, 10 North American Premieres and 7 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 2,215 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,540 U.S. and 675 international feature-length films. With a record number of 6,482 submissions total, the overall increase was 14% over 2013. The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on February 5, with the complete »
- Movie Geeks
Not sure if there is a Short Term 12 equivalent in this year’s Narrative Feature Comp, but on paper SXSW programmers are serving up a mean (and the usual lean group of 8 out of a whopping 1,324 film entries) for the upcoming competitiuon of eight which includes notable entries (that we’ve been tracking for a good time now) such as Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, John Magary’s The Mend, Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns and Lawrence Michael Levine’s Wild Canaries. Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated docs of the year, on the non-fiction side we find Margaret Brown’s The Great Invisible. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the other sections (notable world preems in We’ll Never Have Paris and Faults (see Mary Elizabeth Winstead above), some Sundance items with Texan connections and other nuggets.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight »
- Eric Lavallee
Is Scotland becoming the world’s leading producer of twee movie musicals? On the heels of Sunshine on Leith, an Edinburgh-set jukebox journey through the Proclaimers’ song catalogue, comes the Glasgow response, God Help the Girl, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch. As frontman of indie chamber pop outfit Belle and Sebastian, Murdoch has proven himself an inspired storyteller, spinning captivating three- or four-minute narratives about misunderstood geniuses, lovelorn outsiders and sickly kids who weren’t good at sports. But the wistful pleasures are stretched awfully thin at almost two hours in a film that blurs the line separating self-
- David Rooney
London — Jean-Christophe Simon’s Berlin-based sales house Films Boutique has added a string of high-profile pics to its Berlin sales slate, including Susan Sarandon-starrer “Ping Pong Summer” and Daniel Ribeiro’s “The Way He Looks,” which world premieres in Berlin’s Panorama section.
Other additions include Goran Hugo Olsson’s Sundance and Berlin Panorama pic “Concerning Violence,” Sudabeh Mortezai’s Berlin competition player “Macondo,” Umut Dag’s “Cracks in Concrete,” which screens as a Panorama Special, and Denis Cote’s “Joy of Man’s Desiring,” which world premieres in the Forum section.
American indie director Michael Tully’s 1980s-set coming-of-age comedy “Ping Pong Summer,” which also toplines John Hannah and Lea Thompson, screened at Sundance and Rotterdam, and will be screened at the European Film Market in Berlin.
- Leo Barraclough and John Hopewell
Eve (Emily Browning) is the quintessential heroine of a Belle and Sebastian song. Remarkably dressed but heaven knows she's miserable, Eve is so depressed and anorexic that she needs to be hospitalized. On one fateful day, Eve temporarily escapes the hospital long enough to stumble upon a concert at the Barrowland where James (Olly Alexander) is trying to perform. That brief taste of freedom motivates Eve to begin writing songs upon her return to the hospital as a means of therapy. With her anorexia and depression presumably under control, Eve is freed to roam the streets of Glasgow once again. Eve meets up with James and they begin penning blissful pop masterpieces together, eventually recruiting Cassie (Hannah Murray) -- James' musical protégé -- to join them; then, the scrumptiously styled threesome recruits a backing band. Along the way, there are plenty of heartfelt musical interludes, some of which are paired »
- Don Simpson
Park City, Utah — “Whiplash,” writer-director Damien Chazelle’s electrifying drama starring Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer and J.K. Simmons as his drill sergeant-like music teacher, won the grand jury prize and the audience award for U.S. dramatic features on Saturday night at the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival.
Coming on the heels of last year’s double-fisted win for “Fruitvale Station” (then titled “Fruitvale”), the triumph of “Whiplash” marks the second year in a row that the top two prizes for an American narrative feature have gone to the same film.
Acquired for distribution by Sony Classics, “Whiplash” proved an early critical favorite, screening to a strong reception on the first night of the festival and immediately setting a high bar for what was generally agreed to be a middling dramatic competition. The film began its winning ways at last year’s Sundance fest, where Chazelle’s »
- Justin Chang
Lining up in crisp winter air is part of the Sundance experience, but film after film repays the wait
The former mining town of Park City, Utah, sits in a steep mountain valley surrounded by ski-runs. At night these runs are illuminated by chains of silver lights and start gleaming in the darkness like ice slides from Valhalla. An intrepid skier could conceivably slalom all the way from the summit to come crashing into the cinemas of the Sundance film festival. Except that first they'd have to walk the line.
The line is everywhere at Sundance. Outside each venue sits a big plastic marquee and inside each marquee is a caterpillar of delegates, trailing back and forth inside the metal stands. It is not uncommon to queue for up to an hour for a screening and woe betide the latecomer because too bad, they're probably not getting in.
This constant »
- Xan Brooks
Those keen on Belle and Sebastian’s very particular brand of pop twee will want to cuddle up to lead singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch’s debut film, “God Help the Girl,” like a hitherto mislaid childhood teddy bear. Those who think the veteran Scottish indie rock faves can err on the precious side may feel otherwise about a Glasgow twentysomethings musical that’s sorta like “Slackers” meets “Singles” as written by A.A. Milne. Starring Emily Browning as an adorably depressed girl starting a band, this slender exercise in self-conscious charm will face uneven critical support and sales interest.
We first meet Eve (Browning) as she’s seemingly sneaking out of boarding school to see bands at a Glasgow club. There she’s flirted with by Anton (Pierre Boulanger), the sexy Swiss frontman of screamo outfit Wobbly Legged Rats, and witnesses what becomes a one-song debacle when classically bespectacled, skinny, sensitive singer-songwriter »
- Dennis Harvey
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