Hey there, and welcome back to another edition of The 405 Film Digest. This week we're keeping it very visual after a busy week, and especially because the sun is starting to come out and the last thing you want is too many words getting in the way of you watching up and getting out there and enjoying it. So, watch away and then be off with you!

Don't feel like you need to read it all at once! Bookmark us or get that fancy Read It Later app, dip in and out, do with us what you will.

Danny - Film Ed.



See/Hear This - Sense And The City

- The 405

This thought-provoking exhibition hosted by the London Transport Museum ends next week. So this is your last chance to see a real gem. Below a little on their official explanation, but check out the full info at the above link and check it out before it rolls out.

"Always on your smart phone, or still asking a policeman? Sense and the City: smart, connected and on the move, which runs until 18 March 2012, explores how emerging technologies are changing the way we access and experience London and compares this with past visions of the future."

"Powerful new forces are shaping the way we live, work and travel in the city. GPS, electric vehicles, pervasive internet access, sensor data, short range wireless communication, reactive surfaces, augmented reality, open data, smart phones and a blizzard of new apps are combining to redefine the way we see and experience London. Sense and the City unravels the digital future, illustrates the power of emerging applications and poses questions about mobility, society and work in the Capital over the next decade."

"The exhibition opens with a striking futurist vision by artist Syd Meads (Bladerunner, Aliens, Tron) and a memorable selection of images showing past-future visions including those by architects Le Corbusier and Archigram as well as the failed and the frivolous such as a spiral escalator, winged buses and taxi airships. The centre of the space features two real vehicles – the controversial Sinclair C5 and the Ryno - a self-balancing, one wheel, electric scooter. The displays look at the development of technology and its integration into the - social, economic and political fabric of the city. The gradual convergence of devices which has led to smart phones, tablets and laptops and wireless networked devices is illustrated on a wall of retro technology including 1980s brick-sized mobile phones, Commodore computers and the earliest wireless devices."

One Dot Zero

- The 405

One Dot Zero are a fantastic 'digital creativity initiative' who I stumped across as they curated the ill-fated and now discontinued Loop Festival in Brighton a good four years ago now. However, they're still going strong and always turning me onto amazing new works of the mostly evocative abstract variety.

This new piece from Chun-Chien Lien feature not exactly original robot character design, but the humanity and tenderness that the animation manages to convey is quite heartbreaking, if you'll excuse the pun. I see it as a brief meditation on the futility of and frustration of trying to give yourself up to someone else entirely...but equally it works as a lovely little philosophical question, i.e. would you do something similar?

"A story of love, sacrifice and tragic comedy.

 This is the first of the "Endless Stories" series called "Reboot." Director/Story/Screenplay/Editing/Animation: Chun-Chien Lien
 - Character/Modeling/Animation: Maggie Chang
 - Composite/VFX: Apin Huang
 - SFX/Music: Kiwi Inc.

The Mill

- The 405

Whilst we're (clearly) on the subject of post-production/after effects and general filmic wizardry not remotely possible in camera, post-production house The Mill have very recently uploaded their latest showreel. You've probably seen a lot of their work in the past without ever realising it, but having a proper sit down with this little collection of clips really demonstrates how creative they can be even within the confines of the commercial gig. Granted this is an ostensibly corporate marketing tool but in all honesty, if this much talent and creativity drops down into the kind of stuff we normally passively consume then prime-time is all the better (slightly) for it. And there are some great ideas and images in here of their own right.


What's Wrong With The Oscars

- Alice Sutherland-Hawes

So why didn’t Shame get an Oscar nod? It was very well received, tackles an interesting subject and has a top notch cast. Surely it was a shoe in, or not. The Oscars are bizarre. You can tell straight away which films will make it on the long list and usually which ones will be nominated. Empire even has an Oscar feature before anything is announced, that’s how obvious it is. It’s like there’s a sub-genre, or there should be. So you have comedy > Oscar, drama > Oscar etc. In the Oscar sub-genre there’s a certain type of each main genre that makes it into the long lists and eventual nominations. Generally it’s a film that is so hugely different that nothing has been seen like it (The Artist) or something that uses a current subject people feel strongly about (The Hurt Locker). It’s got to have the right script, subject matter and actors to make it and Shame just didn’t make the cut. It’s a tawdry subject and one I doubt the Academy would want to associate itself with.

It’s a pity that films like Shame, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Drive are ignored purely because they don’t fit the mould. Ezra Miller gave one of the best performances of last year, to the point where one of his friends now can’t look at him, and Drive was so fabulously styled that surely it deserved at least a nomination. However, dealing with a serial killer sixteen year old and a very violent gang subject (at least fifteen people walked out of my screening of Drive) doesn’t go very well in the Oscars. Something like The Help does, dealing with morals and such, The Artist because it’s so charming and Midnight In Paris because it’s Woody Allen.

I think the Academy needs to open its mind a little bit, it’s missing out. However, I’m not holding my breath.