Short film Review: LEGAL SMUGGLING with CHRISTINE CHOY

Legal Smuggling

Creators: Noah and Lewie KlosterContributor: Christine Choy

Aesthetically the Sundance 2017 nominated film, Legal Smuggling, composed almost entirely of cut and paste illustrations, looks innocent enough. However all of this dissipates within seconds when the film’s subject and glorious narrator, Christine Choy, begins to regale the story of her relationship with cigarettes and her determination to sustain her love for smoking by doing the extreme – flying a few thousand miles to get them cheaper.  I’m loathe to use the term addiction (though, yes this is what this is) because the way Choy talks about her beloved twenty-pack of Benson & Hedges is a poetic, unashamed and unapologetic confession. 

With Choy’s unique gravelly voice and the Kloster brothers’ perfectly imperfect visuals, the audience is  guided through a succinct story that really kicks off during Choy’s teen years; from leaving the ‘Orient’ to ending up in an all girls’ Catholic school in North America. Choy does what any teenager does to adapt in new surroundings, follow the trend but for an all East Asian girl living in a time where all-white Hollywood stars are idolised and smoking is in vogue, a young Choy is limited in the ways in which she can adapt. It’s a humorous retelling, fast-forward to a trip to Canada, the charismatic and sharp narrator points to this as one of the only downsides to her escapade (there’s nothing to do in Canada… bleurgh!)

We’re treated then to a tense climax in Choy’s story, when her seemingly seamless plan faces one glaring obstacle, airport customs and security. And without giving the ending away, one thing is certain, this final act is a worthy wrap to a consistently thrilling production. 

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***OSCARS SHORTLISTED*** REVIEW: SING {MINDENKI}

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Director/Writer: Kristof Deák | Producer:Anna Udvardy  | DOP:Róbert Maly | Composer: Adam Balázs | Cast: Zsófia Szamos, Dorottya Hais and Dorka Gáspárfalvi

Sing is a beautiful dance between indie cinema realism and feel-good Hollywood charm that is hard to capture in any feature let alone a short film. This Hungarian language film is shortlisted for an Academy Award and it’s clear to see why.

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FREE STATE (2016)

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Writer/Director: Sallas De Jager |  Producer(s):Terwadkar Rajiv, Piet De Jager, Sallas De Jager | Dop:Tom Marais | Cast: Nicola Breytenbach, Andrew Govinder, Leleti Khumalo, Hemali Juta-Pillay, Mangesh Desai  and Deon Lotz. 

Free State plays at the Garden State Film Festival, 3rd April at 12.30pm

Ambitions and dreams lock horns with rules and expectations in this beautifully constructed South African film. 

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AMAR AKBAR & TONY | 2015

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Director: Atul Malhotra | Cast: Rez Kempton, Sam Vincenti, Martin Delaney, Karen David, Laura Aikman with Meera Syal and Nina Wadia 

With over 1.4 million indian Punjabis in the UK, Indian cinema was always destined to thrive on British shores. But it’s been close to three decades that the British Indian-diaspora of filmmakers have taken hold of western audiences and gained consistent critical acclaim for being able to open its doors to film lovers from various backgrounds. Indian cinema in the UK, unlike other subcultures, has managed to successfully navigate the line between what it means to be British whilst staying authentically Indian.

Cinematic wonders such as East is East, Bend it Like Beckham, Anita and Me et al are to name a few – but it’s been close to a decade since the real big Brit-Indian flick took ahold of the nation’s audiences. Continue reading

HORIZON | NEW WEB SHOW ALERT

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Web shows are where it’s at and more now than ever it’s the platform for filmmakers to collaborate, create and share the products that they want to see, with complete autonomy. 

Horizon hails from South West England – in this case, the story is set in Bristol (because why the hell not?) and as far as science-fiction disaster movies go, this has all the right elements of a decent one.

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