Creative Edinburgh, Creative and Corporate Love tonight in Leith


Creative Edinburgh Logo

I bet you’d enjoy this.  But you can’t, because you were too slow off the mark.

It’s the latest Creative Edinburgh event tonight on The Leith Agency’s Mary De Guise Barge.

As our membership grows (it’s well over 500 now) our events are getting more and more popular.  That’s why this one’s sold out.

Ed Brooke (Ed of Leith) will share the speaker’s podium with award winning photographer Jannica Honey and Arts Learning Specialist and Drama Artist Fi Milligan Rennie.

Keep an eye on the Creative Edinburgh website for our future evens (we’ve planned hosting and curating of over 50 already this year)

Better still.  Become a member.  It costs very little.  Or pop along to Creative Circles at Brew-Lab.  it’s free.

Advertising’s new “way”


I’m looking at a lot of interesting advertising at the moment because I’m teaching a module at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Digital Film and TV degree course.It’s required me to look for examples of old classics and new.

I’ve been struck by what’s winning the gongs these days.

Nothing, but nothing is short.

And a lot of it frankly isn’t really that good.

The most awarded ad in the world last year was this one for Canal +.

It’s OK. And it’s only 60″  (that’s short)

This is good mind. The Guardian’s 3 Little Pigs (120″)

This is great.  It’s for Chipotle (and their sustainable/organic farming approach to sourcing – if you believe it) and takes a Coldplay song and covers it by Willie Nelson.  It’s 2 minutes 20″ long.

Metro Trains from Melbourne have made this 3 minute monster. And it’s garnered 38million YouTube hits so far.

But this is the one.  This is the absolute king of the pack.  It’s for Expedia and it brought a tear to my sorry old eyes.  It too is a beast weighing in at 3 minutes 20″

What though, happened to 30″ spots?

 

Gangster Squad


Pish.

Pish.

Oh dear.  Why did I go to see this when one could see very clearly that it was likely to be guff?

I know, it’s because my wife and daughter wanted to drool at Ryan Gosling.  They needn’t have bothered.

But I can help you, dear reader, to avoid the same mistake.  If you’re reading this after its theatre release and preparing for an evening viewing it on TV, don’t, watch a programme about paint drying instead.

It’s awful.

Shot throughout as if it’s an Instagram it’s very obvious that style is more important than substance,  yet Zombieland, Ruben Fleisher’s, 2009 movie debu,t was cracking and hilarious.

This is neither.

Why Sean Penn (who nearly pulls off the role of “ruthless mob king, Mickey Cohen” in 1949 LA) chose to take on this role is anyone’s guess.  It’s certainly not a career high. and Ryan Gosling has finally blotted an almost pristine CV by camping it up as a very dodgy philanderer.

Avoid at all costs.

Django Unchained.


Yes, that really IS Samuel L. Jackson.

Yes, that really IS Samuel L. Jackson.

I’m not qualified to comment on the historical authenticity of Quentin Tarantino’s fully committed depiction of black American slavery in 1858 but I’m as qualified as anyone else to share with you why I, personally, think  this is another significant contribution to one of the greatest movie directing careers of all time.

With Django (the D’s silent you know) Tarantino cements his position in the top 10.

This is epic, just as Kill Bill (1 and 2) was, and proves that long movies don’t have to be padded out indulgences.  It grows in its impact with every scene and ends up a classic.

Spike Lee has problems with the depiction of slavery and I have to respect that as I, like Tarantino, am Caucasian.  At times it does seem to mock the plight of America’s black slaves but I feel sure that Samuel L Jackson (virtually unrecognisable) and Jamie Foxx saw more than a wage in choosing to star in it and I’m sure too that the judges of the Black Reel Awards which have given it six nominations are qualified to judge it on its merits as opposed to its politics.

Although described as a (spaghetti) western this is really a movie about slavery and not since ‘Roots’ has African American slavery been so prominently featured on screen.  Tarantino does not shy away from the subject matter or the vernacular of the time.  “Nigger” is used over 100 times in the script and not just by the slaves.  I had to refer to my copy of Filthy English: The How, Where, When and What of Everyday Swearing by Pete Silverton to establish whether or not MotherF@£$%er was currency in 1858 but there is evidence that points to its validity.  Just as well, because Samuel L J can’t really get through a movie without saying it repeatedly and he does so again, liberally.

There’s an early scene in which predecessors of the Ku Klux Klan hunt down Jamie Foxx, the freed slave and “black man on a horse!” who is bounty hunting with ex Dentist, Dr King Schultz (played entirely idiosyncratically by Christoph Waltz), their depiction is so funny that one has to question whether or not it’s really acceptable to laugh so uproariously at a subject matter so taboo; but that’s Tarantino’s gift.  It’s also his gift to spoof genres, mock convention (and history) mount lavish killing sprees and generally have a grand old time no matter the subject matter and that’s why we love him so.

Django is great fun, some say it’s too long but for me the movie simply got itself into a place (a little slowly I’d say) that fans of Tarantino would want to stay for hours.

Leonardo Di Caprio has not been this good since The Departed, (strangely not an Oscar nomination) and Jamie Foxx acquits himself well in a low-key, black Eastwood type performabnce.  But it’s Waltz that dominates in the acting stakes and his Oscar nod is fair reward.  There’s only one Chrisoph Waltz that’s for sure (and there’s plenty of it if you care to look – 101  acting roles to date to be precise.)

So, a little flawed (the start fails to quickly engage in gear) but unique and brilliant.  Go see it and forget the politics.  It’s a movie.