Eggs and Soldiers, written and directed by Imelda O’Reilly

Eggs and Soldiers: Christian, a single Irish father, forgets to buy the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned the older son’s humanity is challenged as he risks everything to have his younger brother Marco experience a real Irish Christmas. The script for Eggs and Soldiers has been short listed for Sundance Institute | YouTube New Voices Lab. The film will premier in August at FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival.

IndependentFilmNow sat down with writer/director Imelda O’Reilly to discuss her short film Eggs and Soldiers. The following are excepts of that interview.

Mike Fishman for IndependentFilmNow: Where did the story first come from about an Irish man living with his two sons from different mothers in New York City? Can you tell us about Christian’s backstory and his inner conflict as a man who has the potential for violence while at the same time we see him complain to a friend that his youngest son’s mother was hitting her son?

O’Reilly: The inspiration for Eggs and Soldiers came from wanting to capture a silent explosion in the life of a teenage boy when finds himself in a moment of crisis where he has to make a difficult decision. Another inspiring image I had was of a teenage boy who couldn’t afford a tree on Christmas Eve. The third was stories I remember hearing as a child growing up in Ireland about people drinking too much at Christmas time causing family feuds to break out. The character of Christian is full of contradictions. I wanted to create a character that despite his flaws he still made the right moral decision when it came to being a father for his children. Christian has a violent rage that alternates with him playing the victim of his given circumstances and in rare moments he tries to be a loving father despite his failures. Yet his character also has this dark sense of humor. I also wanted to play around with the notion of an unreliable narrator, so when we hear Christian speak in the pub to his friend Mick the audience are unsure as to trust what he is saying about his younger son Marco’s mother. Christian is deeply wounded from his past and like a hungry wolf he searches the night for companionship or friends who will listen to his sob story. It is clear that Christian came from a broken home, and his deepest struggle is not to repeat the past and repeat the sins of his own father.

IndependentFilmNow: Color is obviously important to you. The palette of the film is muted favoring brown and grey until Ned, the older son, trades the gift he was going to give his girlfriend for a Christmas tree and things start to lift emotionally for Ned and we see Christmas lights, the tree seller sporting a red Santa cap, and even a red blanket draped over Christian, Ned’s father, asleep on a sofa at home. Can you tell us about your use of color and how that informs the viewer, on a conscious or subconscious level, about the emotional state of the characters?

Imelda O’Reilly: I wanted a gritty aesthetic for my film; Christian, the Dad, is scraping by a living ducking and diving social services, employment and also his apartment crisis. I wanted muted colors to show how their world is bleak, but also through the dialogue some humor is added intentionally which helps them pull through. The slow introduction of color as you artfully mention comes when Ned’s character manages to get a tree for the family toward the end of the film. By having the characters dress in muted colors helps give the film a visceral dimension to the characters making them more three dimensional as opposed to one dimensional. I am referencing the cinema of moral discontent and also the melodramatic tropes of realism. The internal world of the characters is communicated through the use of the camera as narrator.

IndependentFilmNow: Tell us about your choice of lenses and hand-held camera versus a mounted camera to give different scenes their urgency or a more observational feel.

O’Reilly: In filming Eggs & Soldiers I wanted to be able to create two different visual styles for the film that would correspond to the two contrasting worlds that Ned, the main character, is caught between. I have a long working relationship with my cinematographer Joe Foley so we discussed at length the world of the characters. The film depicts Ned with an easy and amiable relationship with his younger brother Marco and also in a more contentious relationship with his father Christian. In order to have the audience have a better understanding of how Ned is feeling we used longer lenses with a more stable camera to portray the stability and ease with which Ned and Marco relate to each other.

I choreographed with the cinematographer longer panning shots of Ned as he moves along the street or Marco within the apartment to indicate the mostly pleasant and congenial world that they have created together. In contrast to that we used a handheld camera and wider lenses to show the less stable environment that is created when the father Christian is in the scene. At the beginning of the film when the three of them are riding in the car and then unpacking all the Christmas presents the camera is always moving following Christian’s sometimes erratic actions. This was done to illustrate the unease and instability that Christian’s personality is creating for his sons. They are not brought into their apartment and cared for, instead they are dropped off on the street corner and left-holding bags full of unwrapped presents and headed into an apartment with an empty refrigerator.

Later in the film I discussed with the cinematographer the choice of using a handheld camera during the confrontation scene between Christian and Ned. We used a shutter effect that was set to 45 degrees in order to give the scene a more jarring, disturbing feel. This ‘Private Ryan‘ effect and the handheld camera help the audience feel more of Ned’s shock and terror at his father’s anger and violent outburst.

IndependentFilmNow: How long was the shot and how did you get the locations?

O’Reilly: The shoot was seven days. It was difficult enough to find the locations. However I decided to focus my locations around Inwood in Manhattan. Christian’s character is a super in a church but as he mentions briefly in the film he is being kicked out because the pastor is moving his daughter into his apartment. Again Christian’s character tends to play the victim. There is a Church on 181st on Bennet Avenue, which was a perfect location. At the time Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance had their offices there so I had to transform the space to look like an apartment where a family lived. I got a vanload of furniture through a connection that worked at Saturday Night Live, which was amazing. They gave us curtains, pictures and all the necessary pieces to build the set. Thank goodness for the New York community when it comes to indie filmmaking. The Christmas tree location was kindly given to us for free and they were very cordial in helping us make our film.

IndependentFilmNow: The film is set on Christmas Eve and unfolds over a few hours of time. How did you decide on the time frame and Christmas Eve?

O’Reilly: I wanted to use one central action to reveal character what Aristotle calls a “simple plot.” In Jaws the one central action is killing the shark and through this one central action the characters within the film are revealed. I wanted to depict a nuanced slice of life within a non-traditional family and this structure seemed to fit well for the film. I choose Christmas Eve because that is a time in Ireland when tension is high; there are a lot of expectations and usually a time when agro within the home or family feuds tend to break out. It seemed a good day to set the story of my film.

For more information visit: http://www.imeldaoreilly.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Camden Love/Hate, directed by Daniel Meirom and Ron Lipsky

Camden Love/Hate
The Untold Story of Camden and Its Youth

SYNOPSIS: Camden Love/Hate follows six teenagers from Camden, New Jersey as they document the story of their city from the glory days of the postwar boom to today’s violent and fraught reality. The teenagers learned film-making skills at a last chance high school, CCYD, and use their newfound skills to express complex feelings about one of the most dangerous cities in America. From a white minority left behind in the 60’s to rampant drug tourism, to active community leaders, we see both the beauty of Camden as well as the parts that feel abandoned. Through the lens, the students become aware of a history they never knew and a future that looks at turns hopeful and bleak.

CONTACT US at: CamdenLoveHatefilm@Gmail.com

WHO WE ARE

Camden Center for Youth Development
An independent, last chance High School providing an alternative academic environment for
students challenged by public education.

Students/Filmmakers
Shanell Nesmith, Tamysha Jackkson, Shamiera Andersen, Kimel Hadden, Anthony Williams & Ja’far Mohammad were all students at Camden Center for Youth Development when they took an active part in creating the film. This involved taking cameras into the community, shooting interviewing with the most interesting people they encountered and exploring the history of Camden.

Directors
Daniel Meirom
An Israeli-American filmmaker. At 18 he won a prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival for his first short film. Some of his creative projects include Nowhere Else, a one-hour drama about Israelis in New York City, Xchess a reality web series that promotes chess and its scope as a game. Meirom also directed Green, TV series about teenagers in Jerusalem.

Ron Lipsky
Spent much of his adult life in Israel, but who was born in Camden and has seen the city degrade before his very eyes. His grandfather was a rabbi in the city in the late 40’s, and Ron grew up viewing the city from the safe haven of Cherry Hill, or across the river from Philadelphia.

Visit the website: CamdenLoveHate.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Alice Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton

Based on the book by Lewis Carroll, Disney brings us Alice Through the Looking Glass directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton. The story follows Alice who returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass is a magical fantasy adventure film in the great Tim Burton tradition. It is also a refreshing, feminist take on the classic Lewis Carroll story.” See his full review below.

Alice Through The Looking Glass
Review by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

The Playground directed by Edreace Purmul

The Playground directed by Edreace Purmul

Film synopsis: A New-Ancient thought-provoking thriller: Five vastly separate inner-city lives struggle against their limitations in an interlocking story assembled by a dark orchestrator. All five characters play their hand in an obscure playground they find themselves in. As answers begin to unravel, so does their sanity…

Review written by Shirley Rodriguez

This film presents us with 5 characters and several themed chapters in which they are facing various struggles, and not all is what it seems. Although the movie opens with a scene in an actual school playground, the true playground we discover is the world itself and its inhabitants. Within this playground are humans destroying themselves and each other. The destructive elements include lying, cheating, murder and deception for evil gains without regard for others. Faith and religion are questioned when times are difficult, but that is when it is needed most for those who choose to believe.

There is a married couple struggling to maintain their marriage, a young priest questioning if he has what is necessary to fulfill his calling, a homeless man tempted by outward riches while searching for substance and faith within himself, and a blindly ambitious businessman looking to attain and display wealth at all costs regardless of how ill-gotten they are. Their stories are interwoven and there are secondary characters who influence the main characters further complicating their situations.

Each of them are tested and their choices like a domino effect ultimately lead them to their ends. We see unquestionably outright destructive behaviors, but the more frequent incremental and seemingly harmless actions lead to ultimately similar if not more dreadful consequences. They are caught up in fear, insecurity and doubts in faith.

There is a lot of running away physically and spiritually in this film, but no one can run away from themselves. The human struggle is universal and personal at once. We can identify with a spiritual force of choice guiding our actions but it does not exempt us from any responsibility. You believe what you choose to. If it changes something in you in either direction, reassess yourself and where you stand. No one else can make those decisions for you in anything, including your faith.

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

Khelna Bati (My Toy World), written and directed by Diganta Dey

Khelna Bati (My Toy World) is a short animated film done in chuckimation genre Which is also India’s first chuckimation film on stop motion animation. Recently this film was Officially Selected in 6th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2016 in Delhi will screen on 30th April. Khelna Bati (My Toy World) is officially selected in Momentum Experimental Art Festival on 2nd April 2016 premiere at Kolkata in India. Festival details: http://littlei.in/momentum/

Language-Bengali
Direction & Story-Diganta Dey
Producer-Koushik Bhattacharjee
Cinematography-Arkajyoti Ganguly
Music & Sound-Kaushik Roy (Paw) & M.H.R
Edit & Effects-Smrijeet Ghosh
Production-Teammate Workers

Film Synopsis- There was a country which had no name. All countrymen lived together happily.One Day a ‘Civilized Human’ country came to know about them & also about their petroleum power. They captured the place but another human country attacked on them for that petroleum.’Gollu’ a countryman appealed to stop the war but died by a bullet at last.

Director Biography – Diganta Dey was born on 9th May 1994 in a small villege ‘Tufanganj’ in Coochbehar district of West Bengal. From class 9 he started writing short stories. After schooling he came to Kolkata for pursuing higher studies at the age of 18. From this time he started film making without proper film training & made short films by his own student film production ‘Teammate Workers’.

Director Filmography- 3 Seeds of My Life (2014) Short Docu Fiction; The Silent Wheel (2014) Experimental Short

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Ratchet & Clank, directed by Kevin Munroe and Jericca Cleland

Based on the Popular Play Station Game, An Adventure Suitable For Younger Kids. Ratchet & Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way they’ll learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Abigail Zoe L. and Ryan R. review the film.

Ratchet & Clank
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Interviews with cast & crew:
embed code:

Ratchet & Clank
Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

Scammerhead, written and directed by Dan Zukovic

Synopsis: A Global Film Noir with dark comic elements about Silas Breece, a legendarily unorthodox business hustler who travels the world seeking capitol from bizarre investors,mobsters and government officials for a series of increasingly elaborate projects.

Scammerhead was written and directed by Cult indie film director Dan Zukovic (The Last Big Thing), and produced by Jeremy Dyson, Brendan Keown and Mitch Mayer (Dark Arc).

Scammerhead had it’s World Premiere in the Main Competition at the 2014 Montreal World Film Festival, the only FIAPF endorsed competition festival in North America (http://www.ffm-montreal.org/en/317-en_scammerhead.html), and was nominated for the Prix des Ameriques. It recently won “Best Narrative Feature” at the Berkeley Film Festival, as well as the Trenton Film Festival, and the “Visionary Award” at the Lake Champlain Int’l Film Festival. The film continues on the festival circuit, and willbe playing Mexico’s Cine Pobre Film Festival in May.

An ambitious Global Film Noir with dark comic elements, Scammerhead was shot for over 7 years in numerous international locations, including New York, Chicago, London, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Memphis, Liverpool, Cleveland, Paris, Berlin, Rome, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Havana, Tokyo, Mexico City, Elba Island and Alcatraz Island. It features one of the final performances of legendary Hollywood character actor Alex Rocco (The Godfather, The Friends Of Eddie Coyle), as well as performances by other legendary Hollywood character actors Bruce Glover (Chinatown, Diamonds Are Forever), and Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scammerhead/492649894163215
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scammerhead

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

The Playground, written and directed by Edreace Purmul

The Playground, Winner, Best Feature at the San Diego Film Awards 2016.

Film synopsis
A New-Ancient thought-provoking thriller: Five vastly separate inner-city lives struggle against their limitations in an interlocking story assembled by a dark orchestrator. All five characters play their hand in an obscure playground they find themselves in. As answers begin to unravel, so does their sanity…

Film featurette:

Visit the website: http://www.theplaygroundfilm.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Comic Fingers directed by Aneek Chaudhuri

SYNOPSIS
Comic Fingers is based on the cartoonist, KV GAUTAM and his contributions to cartoon art form in India. Beside this, the film involves a great level of World Cinema experimentation, not used anywhere in world. The film includes the usage of three colors of the Indian Flag as contextual settings, hence, the chromatic background keeps in accordance the flag colors at appropriate moments.

THEME
KV Gautam is one of the cartoonists who is still pursuing his political satires in the age of hypocrisy when BRUTUS is always there to criticize him and we all know that Brutus is an honorable man. Moreover, the film comments on Indian cartoon form that is beyond Disney, MGM, SUKUMAR RAY, RK LAXMAN AND CHARLIE HEBDO.

Watch the trailers for Comic Fingers:

TRAILER 1

TRAILER 2

INTERVIEW

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

The Bandit, directed by Jesse Moss

The following is from an e-mail interview we did with legendary actor Burt Reynolds about the new documentary, The Bandit, an inside view of the friendship between Mr. Reynolds and stuntman extraordinaire and Smokey and the Bandit director Hal Needham. Thanks to Todd Vittum for coordinating this exclusive interview.

Mike Fishman for IndependentFilmNow: How did Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham meet? What drew them to become such close lifelong friends?

Burt Reynolds: We met on the set of Have Gun Will Travel. He was doubling Dick Boone and was already in demand on many shows. I was on the studio lot and doing Riverboat but my day was short so I would see what some of the other shows were doing. Later he doubled me on my show.

IndependentFilmNow: How did Hal come to direct Smokey and the Bandit? Did he write it specifically for Burt?

Burt Reynolds: He didn’t say that but I think he did. It was the studio that told him if you can get your roomie, we can do it.

IndependentFilmNow: What was the most challenging stunt you and Hal devised?

Burt Reynolds: The car canon in McQ – it was supposed to flip over twice – Hal used too much black powder and it flipped more than a dozen times.

IndependentFilmNow: Where did the idea for the film The Bandit come from? Was director Jesse Moss (The Overnighters, Full Battle Rattle, Speedo) involved from the start?

Burt Reynolds: He’s big in the documentary world – it was his idea from the start. I opened up my archives and did a few days of interviews and we just got along so well. He’s a good one!

IndependentFilmNow: Are there any screenings coming up (Note: The Bandit screened in March to enthusiastic crowds at SXSW)?

Burt Reynolds: We’re showing the film at Nashville, San Francisco and a few other festivals.

Follow The Bandit.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

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