Posts Tagged ‘A Field In England’

Last week saw the release of Ben Wheatley’s fourth feature, A Field in England. A thriller, horror, historical drama? I’m not sure what you would call it. Set during a period of history largely overlooked in cinema in the last few decades, the English Civil War, the film sees a small group of deserting soldiers who are forced to search a field for an unnamed treasure. 

A Field in England

More interesting than the film itself, is the way it was released in the UK. On 5 July 2013 it had a simultaneous multiple platform release, being made available on DVD, video on demand, in cinemas, and screened on Film4 that evening. When interviewed on BBC radio, director, Ben Wheatley compared the multi platform release to the “Pay what you want” release of Radiohead’s In Rainbows album. The idea isn’t completely new, back in 2010 the horror/thriller Frozen was release in cinemas and video on demand at the same time. A filed in England is yet to receive a North American release but it is expected that distributor Drafthouse Films will opt for a similar structure showing the film in theatres and through video on demand. Radiohead In Rainbows album cover

Is this the future of film release? Its hard to say. It is clear that the way we consume movies is changing. Hopefully not in the way George Lucas has suggested. Given the chance to see a movie in the comfort of our own homes at the same time as in cinemas will create an interesting question. Do we choose to watch the big event movies on the big screen and the smaller releases at home? Will this result in falling cinema attendances? Will it drive prices up, down or will they stay the same? Will it encourage or stamp out piracy? It is hard to say.George lucas

An lot will depend on the individual in question, although people will react to the changes their character and opinions won’t. I once had a conversation with someone who watches as many films as me but in a very different way. He tends to watch pirate DVDs. When I asked what the last movie he saw in a cinema he said it was Batman movie but couldn’t remember the name. “Batman Begins or The Dark Knight” I asked (it was shortly before the release of The Dark Knight Rises). “No” he responded “The one with Val Kilmer”. That was the day I thought there was a future for multi platform releases. If there is a way to get a regular film watcher who hasn’t seen the inside of a cinema since John Major was prime minister to pay for his movie consumption in a way that sees some of the money going back into the film industry and not into the hands of criminals it has to be a good thing.val kilmer batman

My fear is independent cinemas. I am loyal to one particular cinema chain, not because they are any better than anyone else, but because they have a pass scheme that results in me paying around £1.50 per film and not the usual £5-10. I do however visit an independent cinema from time to time to watch films that don’t make it into a multiplex. I’m sure many other people do the same thing. Are these smaller release the ones that will receive multi platform releases making it harder for independent cinemas to survive? That stands a good chance. However I don’t anticipate many films to be released on all these platforms. It is more likely that films will be released in cinemas and on another platform such as video on demand or DVD. If they go down the video on demand route that creates a further question; will some providers pursue exclusive rights to some movies?

Whatever happens, it is clear that we are at the start of a period of change. How long will it take and what will the situation be at the end? I don’t know, but one thing is clear, The cinema is still the best and by far my favourite way of watching movies and for the foreseeable future I still intend to watch an average of two movies a week in the cinema.


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As 2012 got underway I was looking forward to some well publicised movies like Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Hunger Games. I had heard good reports from across the Atlantic about The Artist, Young Adult and The Descendents. But, I had never heard of what turned out to be some of the best movies of the year: Moonrise Kingdom, Argo, Haywire, Rust and Bone, Café de Flore, End of Watch and Killer Joe. Hopefully there will be some pleasant surprises this year too, if not there is still a lot to look forward to:

Django Unchained
When Quentin Tarantino decides to make a western, he doesn’t just make a Weston, he makes a Blaxploitation Spaghetti Western. The cast includes Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio as well as a cameo from the original Django, Franco Nero. And did I mention Quentin Tarantino.Django Unchained

Zero Dark Thirty
I saw Near Dark when I was about 13, I have seen every other Kathryn Bigelow since (yes I am the person who saw The Weight of Water ) and would now watch anything she makes . It also stars Jessica Chastain who I had never heard of before The Tree of Life but is fast becoming one of my favourite actresses.Zero Dark Thirty

The Counselor
A Ridley Scott crime thriller based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy starring: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. Any one of these would be a reason to watch it.The Counselor

The Wolf Of Wall Street
Its Martin Scorsese what more do I need to say.The Wolf Of Wall Street

Cloud Atlas
Most readers probably know more about this than me as it was released three months ago in some countries. The story looks bonkers but Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski’s were responsible for two of my favourite movies of all time (Run Lola Run and The Matrix).Cloud Atlas

Star Trek Into Darkness
There have been a couple of great Star Trek movies, but the franchise had really run out of steam until the J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot that was far better than I ever expected it to be. Lets hope he can do it again.Star Trek Into Darkness

The Great Gatsby
As proved by previous adaptations The Great Gatsby (like all F. Scott Fitzgerald stories) is better on the page than the screen, however I am intrigued by what Baz Luhrmann will do with it.The Great Gatsby

The Last Voyage of Demeter
The Demeter was the Russian ship that carried Dracula from Transylvania to England in Bram Stoker’s novel. By the time it reached Whitby all the crew had disappeared presumed dead. Neil Marshall’s movie tells their story. One thing you can guarantee about Neil Marshall movies is that they are fun. (they don’t appear to have started shooting yet so I  Neil Marshall

Chan-wook Park, the director of my favourite movie of the 00’s (Oldboy) finally makes an English language movie. It looks bonkers; and that’s a good think if you were wondering!Stoker

Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots v alien invaders movie. Enough said.Pacific Rim

And the next ten:
World War Z
A Field In England
The Paperboy
Machete Kills
Kick-Ass 2
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Wolverine

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