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Archive for December 7th, 2009

Last night saw the twelfth annual British Independent Film Awards. For those readers living outside the UK you have probably never heard of the awards. The criteria for eligibility is basically that the film must have a budget that does not exceed £10million with at least 51% of its budget from a British source or sources. The film also had to be screened in Brittan to a paying audience (on general release or at a British festival) between 1 December 2008 and 30 November 2009. See the full criteria here if you are interested.

The top award, Best British Independent Film went to the excellent Sci-fi movie Moon directed by Duncan Jones who also picked up The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director. Best Director went to Andrea Arnold for her gritty drama Fish Tank, Katie Jarvis was named Most Promising Newcomer for her excellent portrayal of a troubled teen in Fish Tank. The Best Actress was won by Carey Mulligan for her breakout performance in An Education, hopefully a much deserved BAFTA and Oscar nomination will follow. Tom Hardy was named Best Actor for his colourful portrayal of the infamous prisoner in Bronson. The Best Foreign Film went to the Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In. There were also two special awards The Variety Award for promoting British films abroad went to Sir Michael Caine and The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film went to Daniel Day-Lewis.

For more information including all the nominations and winners check out the British Independent Film Awards website.

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Going Down?

I went into The Descent: Part Two with a certain amount of trepidation. Firstly as previously mentioned colons in titles tend to be bad, secondly and more importantly the first film not only didn’t need a sequel but actually ended in a way that would make a direct sequel difficult. Then I discovered that The Descent colon part 2 isn’t based on The Descent, it is based on the American cut of The Descent that was reedited to give a different ending.

For those who don’t remember this is the original ending:

I don’t know exactly how the American version ends but my understanding it is basically the same but ends soon after Sarah escapes making her escape real.

So the new film begins with a search and rescue team looking for the missing women. When Sarah is discovered running out of the woods covered in blood. Suffering from amnesia she is unable to help the rescuers, however the location she is found in proves they are looking in the wrong cave system (explained in the first film, Juno filed a false plan). Despite the fact that she can’t remember anything the Sheriff (Gavan O’Herlihy) takes Sarah back into the caving system as a guide. As mentioned in a previous blog I seem to be using the word contrived a lot but again this plot point is very contrived. The amnesia allows Sara to enter the cave system without warning anyone about the creatures that killed her friends and nearly killed her as she doesn’t remember anything, the flip side is that she is useless as a guide, so why take her. Once in the caves the film follows the same basic story as the first film as the group are picked off, one by one, by the crawlers.Overall there is actually nothing that wrong with the film, it is well made and does basically the same as the first film. However that is also the problem with the film, it brings nothing new to the genre or franchise and does absolutely nothing as well as it was done in the first film, thus making it somewhat pointless. Not a bad film but actually not a good one either! I somehow think this isn’t the end, just enough possibilities are left open to make The Descent: Part 3 possible.

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