Tag Archives: movies

From electrifying youngsters to seasoned veterans: the best directors of 2014

Even if their movies didn’t always gel completely (though most of them did), these five directors redefined what you could do in the cinematic medium in 2014. Using every ounce of their considerable talent, they made movies that were either visually so arresting or conceptually so bold they will haunt you for a lifetime.

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Five true originals in a banner year for storytelling

In a movie landscape increasingly dominated by sequels, reboots and franchises, luckily there are still some true originals out there. My five nominees for best original screenplay prove that there is still talent out there, willing to stare at a blank page and create something extraordinary.

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A driver, an inmate, a lover, a painter, a drummer

Are Brits by default the best actors in the world? I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but on my year-end list they combine for three out of the five spots. In what was once again a stellar year for thespians, these five performances will in my opinion stand the test of time.

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The five most wonderful actresses of 2014

It is often said there are too few good roles for women in the movie business. At least five great actresses defied the odds this year and deivered a towering performance, perhaps not surprisingly in an independent feature. Enjoy five clips of these actresses plying their craft and find out who of them impacted me the most.

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Who wrote the best adapted screenplay of the year?

On day five of my countdown of the best achievements in film in 2014, we move on to the REALLY important categories, i.e. screenwriting. Which wordsmiths wrote this year’s best adaptations? Find it out in the video below.

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2014: a phenomenal year for supporting performances

Continuing my countdown of the best movie feats in various categories, today I take a look at the best supporting actors of the year. To whittle them down to just five contenders was not easy to do, as 2014 produced a wealth of award-worthy performances. Still, in the end, one performance really stood out. Find out who walks home with the gold in the clip below.

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The best-looking movies of the year

In part two of my look back on the cinema year 2014, I’m focussing on the cinematography, the use of a camera and lighting on a picture. Many movies looked great this year, but only five made the cut on my list. Which one will be crowned as best achievement in cinematography of 2014? Find out in the video below:

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New flash fiction coming in 2015. Now: a look back at the movie year 2014!

Hi, everyone!

I have neglected this blog a bit in the past couple of months. The reason is simple: I’ve been busy writing my new (non-fiction) book and with all the research that goes into that I just haven’t found the time to post a new flash fiction story. Hopefully I should recommence writing short stories in early 2015.

As is my annual habit, I have also collected my thoughts about the movie year that was. The 150-odd films I saw in cinemas in 2014 were varied, often good, but sometimes abysmal, though in the end 2014 turned out to be a pretty fine film year. From today till December 31st, I’ll be posting the cream of the crop in ten different categories, culminating in my top ten movies of the year.

Today, I present the five contenders for Best Supporting Actress. Which one was my favourite? You’ll find out at the end of the clip.

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211. I did it all by myself

I did it all by myself. That’s what he intended to blurt out when he got to the podium to collect that coveted little gold man. He was a cocky young filmmaker back then, nominated for his first movie and sure he was going to win, cause he goddamn deserved it.

He didn’t win. He didn’t even get nominated for another 25 years. There’d be more nods in the following decade, but none of them were victorious, even though the filmmaker was now an elder statesman of the business, respected by all, even by the crew members he had once seen as mere footmen in his artistic pursuits.

In his half a century in Hollywood he had gradually learned that his own ambitions and passions might were what got the studios to greenlight his movies, but that it was the hard daily work of the gaffers, the PA’s, the cameramen, the set decorators that elevated his 35mm follies to heights he could scarcely have dreamed of. Many of his former crew members were close friends now, and he often told them just how much he appreciated their contribution to his own stature. And he meant it wholeheartedly.

Yet when the powers that be ordained him with an honorary award, he still had that yellow piece of paper in his tuxedo pocket, proclaiming to have done it all by himself. And when the big movie star handed him the gorgeous, shiny statuette, that’s exactly how he read it.

He had fought the urge, but cockiness was a hard habit to shake if you were successful in this profession.



Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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188. The human face is a wondrous tool

“The human face is a wondrous tool,” the actress told a class full of drama students. “If you know how to use it, that is.”

And she knew.

Faye Astor had been the most bankable movie star for three years running, her comedies delighting crowds all over the world, her drama roles tugging heartstrings from the East coast to the West. She was that rare actor who not only spoke to the casual moviegoer but to the film critics as well: charming yet profound, down-to-earth yet mysterious.

Her face was more recognisable than that of the president of the United States, they said. And though it was that elfin face with the piercing blue eye and the curly blonde locks that had catapulted her to Hollywood stardom, it was her mastery of facial expressions that had made her endure.

That had lured hundreds of drama students to the faculty’s on-campus theatre on a dark, wintery evening. They not only wanted to meet her, they desperately wanted to be like her.

“You must not be afraid of grandeur,” Faye Astor told the students. “As long as you don’t forget the subtleties. It might be the elegant gowns, the sumptuous hairdos the audience first noticed, but it’s the twinkle in the eye or the slightly raised eyebrow they’ll remember. Your face is a muscle. Exercise it. Every day. Your acting will be all the better for it.”

Standing in line at the movies the next day, Gillian and May-Ann, two aspiring actresses themselves, were still talking about it.

“What an actress,” Gillian said.

“What a woman,” Mary-Ann added. “And who knew she was German?”

“Yeah, pretty thick accent too. But what an actress.”

“What an actress…”

The box office window opened.

“Two tickets for The Jazz Singer, please.”



Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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