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Coming to you weekly from my vantage point in good old Blighty, it’s Slashfilm UK. Anglos and Anglophiles rejoice as every Friday I’ll be bringing you a round up news, links and coverage specific to the motion picture comings and goings here in the UK. Sometimes we’ll be talking about films that have already played in the US, other times it will be films that won’t make it to the US for a good while yet, and from time to time you’ll read about films that will never make it to the US at all.

The follow-up film to The Secret of Kells may well be in 3D. Director Tomm Moore tells Irish Film and Television Network that for The Song of the Sea he is experimenting with “3D stereo effects with our signature 2D style… but we are not decided yet if that will work”. Scripting and storyboarding continues, but here’s a concept trailer to give you some idea of what they’re heading towards.

Zone Horror is being re-rebranded as Horror Channel from Monday April 5 and, rather smartly, they’ve hired Frightfest‘s Paul McEvoy as a programming consultant. TBI Vision report that a few of Revolver Entertainment’s films are headed to the channel: Diagnosis Death, Red Mist, The Grave Dancers, Mega Snake and The Ferryman.

[REC] 2 is being released across the UK on May 28th. Here’s a fresh UK trailer courtesy of IGN.

And here’s the UK quad poster for the film.

rec2_quad

Pinewood Studio‘s revenue slipped a little last year. Screen Daily chalk the figures at £61 million down from £65 million. I’m sure this pinch wasn’t Pinewood specific.

The producers of new toon Sir Billi have announced that they will be wrapping this summer. They say they’re the first Scottish feature length animation, but I think The Illusionist may have a claim on that too. The title character is being voiced by Sean Connery, and Alan Cumming is in there someplace too.

Here’s an image from the film’s official site. Not very good looking, is it? Here’s hoping there’s a great script and storytelling to compensate.

sir_billi

Noel Fielding is still outlining a Mighty Boosh feature film, apparently not yet scripting it. How long will we have to wait, Noel? He tells the BBC that he’d “love” to make three films which will together have a road-movie arc. On part one specifically:

In our heads it’s like Indiana Jones, it’s huge, but obviously it’ll probably be more like Moon where we can have an exterior and then lots of models and CGI. It’s set in the Arctic and we get caught up in an adventure. I’m pretty pleased the way it’s going. I’m quite excited. Fingers crossed but I don’t want to jinx it. It might be awful.

Fielding adds that he and his Boosh-buddy Julian Barratt are also working on a “Rocky Horror-type musical” and the he’s busy himself  doing “a little bit of stand-up. I’m doing an art show. Just lots of different things really and another TV show hopefully”.

Screen Daily have a few quotes from UK producers feeling optimistic about the UK Film Council‘s three-year £15 million funding plan.

More details on Paddy Considine‘s Tyrannosaur, which I went into detail about yesterday. Screen Daily report that the film will shoot for four weeks in Leeds from April 12th.

In Contention discovered the following poster for Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin.

ramsay_kevin

Deadline have the cast for Jonathan Newman’s Foster, shooting now in London: Toni Colette, Ioan Gruffud, Richard E Grant, Hayley Mills and Anne Reid. The film is based upon a short of the same name that Newman was lucky enough to get screened on the BBC and HBO. You probably missed it, so here it is – but be warned: watching this now might temper your enjoyment of the feature length version a little, though it’s obvious from the Deadline story that Newman has made some major changes.

The same Deadline piece indicates that Newman’s first feature, Swinging With the Finkels, will be looking for distribution at Cannes. It’s a wife swap comedy with Martin Freeman and Mandy Moore. I can’t see that not selling.

This week, the BBC announced the new host of their Film 2010 show. There was widespread surprise that their pick was Claudia Winkleman, seen by many to be rather too lightweight a personality. Of course, this was crediting the Film 2010 target audience pretty generously. It’s since become clear that the new format will be quite unlike the reviews-to-camera paradigm that we’ve had almost 40 years of, and will now hem somewhat closer to the group discussions that Winkleman has herself hosted in the commercial breaks of the Oscar telecast for some years now. Claud, I wish you the best of luck.

Here’s the UK trailer for Alejandro Amenebar‘s Agora, opening in Blighty on April 23rd. Looks pretty darn good to my eyes.

Warner Bros. have been recruiting students to help in their anti-piracy measures here in the UK. The Guardian point out that Torrent freak have encouraged their members to apply and for some reason “get on the inside” and “spy on the spies”.

ITV are looking to Anglicise Fox’s show The Oaks as a part-time replacement for The Bill, say Broadcast. Other shows commissioned in an attempt to fill that gap include DCI Banks: Aftermath and Monroe, a “dark” medical drama.

Reel Scotland report on The Dr. Who Experience, which has been screening 3D clips from the upcoming series to outdoor crowds. If you note that a) the show will not be broadcast in 3D and b) that these roadshow screenings have employed anaglyph stereo, and you might wonder why they’ve bothered with the 3D angle at all.

And if you can’t wait until tomorrow evening, here’s the first 30-odd seconds of the new series.

Staying north of the border: Screen Daily have details of the installation of both 35mm and digital projection equipment in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, creating the country’s biggest cinema space at 1600 seats. It should be ready in time for this June’s film festival.

The UK Myspace page for Cemetery Junction will be hosting a live video webchat with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on April 12th at 5pm. You can submit your questions now. Meanwhile, Empire have an exclusive clip from the movie.

John Lynch is starring in Ghost as “a prison veteran whose life on the outside is falling apart; he strikes up a friendship with a mysterious new prisoner” played by Maritn Compston. Screen Daily also list Art Malik, David Schofield and Craig Parkinson as being on the cast, for debutante director Craig Viveiros.

Former Eastenders and Bionic Woman star Michelle Ryan had to train up to play a stripper in A Girl Walks Into A Bar. She tells The Telegraph that she’s picked up a few bruises in her pole dancing classes. I hope the film is worth it.

After the Wimbledon hmvcurzon – their lower case, not mine – it seems that HMV and Curzon Artifical Eye are going to team up for a number of other in-store cinemas. Their press release doesn’t say where or when, but it does say what. Here’s what we have to look forward to:

The latest Hollywood blockbusters, independent award winners, activities for kids, or live broadcasts of opera, concerts and sporting events.

Okay – so that’s what we’d expect from just about any other cinema in the Curzon chain, isn’t it?

Roman Polanski‘s The Ghost is being called… er… The Ghost in the UK. It releases on April 16th. Here’s a clip to celebrate – and even explain the name for those not really paying attention so far.

The Brothers Quay made their feature film directing debut with the wonderful Institute Benjamenta, headed to DVD and Blu-ray this May. Like other upcoming BFI titles, the box will contain both a DVD and a BD disc. Here’s a list of the special features:

  • Inside the Institute: an in-between world (2010, 31 mins): new documentary exploring the making of the film through interviews with the Quays, Mark Rylance, Alice Krige and principle cast crew
  • On the set of Institute Benjamenta (2000, 16 mins, DVD only)
  • Institute Benjamenta trailer (1995, 1 min)
  • Eurydice – She, So Beloved (The Quay Brothers, 2007, 11 mins): Orpheus’ attempt to rescue his dead lover Eurydice from Hades
  • Songs for Dead Children (The Quay Brothers/Steve Martland, 2003, 24 mins): Steve Martland’s Street Songs realised in eerily-beautiful animation
  • The Comb (The Quay Brothers, 1990, 18 mins): the ingenious animated short which paved the way for the Quays’ first feature
  • Illustrated booklet of newly commissioned essays and notes

The Daily Mail have literally called Kick-Ass evil. Literally.

Steve Carell this week appeared on GMTV to promote Date Night and ended up presenting the weather. Sort of. Here’s the clip.

It now comes to discussing the UK cinema releases of the week, and I think I can deal with How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans at once. Simply put, everything I might say to recommend Dragon doesn’t really apply with Clash. Whereas the Dreamworks animation will engage you and entertain you, I would imagine that Clash will just infuriate and annoy.

The 3D in Dragon is great stuff. The film’s stereo consultant was Phil Captain 3D McNally and he’s a very, very well informed practitioner of 3D technique. As a result, the 3D images are smooth, clean and well managed. There’s often a real sense of space, other times a nicely judged sense of intimacy. It’s not the best 3D we’ve seen to date, but it’s pretty close. For 3D buffs – are there any of you out there? – Dragon is essential, exciting stuff.

For the rest of us? Er… yeah, it’s okay. It ends up playing out in a somewhat predictable and light fashion, but there’s fun to be had and some smart filmmaking along the way.

Clash of the Titans, just to compound how different a beast it is, can’t really be recommended on any level. If you do feel the need to go see it, skip the hideous 3D conversion and see the cheaper, less nauseating 2D version instead. And remember that you’re being told this by an avowed fan of stereographic cinema.

The best release in UK cinemas this week, however, is quite comfortably Whip It. Drew Barrymore‘s directorial debut is an unexpectedly well crafted film that makes the most of generic conventions drawn from both teen-in-a-small-town and underdog-sports-team pictures. Shauna Cross‘ screenplay, adapted from her own novel, Derby Girl, and inspired, at least in part, by her own life is the bedrock of the film’s success, simply and clearly setting up everything the dynamite cast need to do their thing.

It’s a rare film that will count as a credit to the CV of every actor involved, but even amongst the diamonds dotting the resumes of Ellen Page, Daniel Stern, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig or Drew Barrymore herself, Whip It comes out looking like a trophy. It’s an actor’s film almost as much as it’s an audience’s film.

Parents of young girls aged around 10 to 16,  please note: this film has been rated 12A. Taking them to see a screening is practically mandatory.

Psycho is re-released today, starting a tour of the country. You should need no incentive to go see it when it comes near you, but just in case, here is its extraordinary trailer. If you’ve never seen this trailer before, consider it a must. That goes for the film too.

The Movie Geeks of London and VHS Movie Club are having a quiz in London on Monday April 5. It seems to be somewhat nostalgia driven to say the least – in fact, they’ll even be stopping the quiz part way through for a screening fo something off of VHS. Don’t they care to see films presented well?

At last! The Brothers Bloom has been passed by the BBFC for a UK theatrical release from Optimum.

Variety are reporting on Lionsgate UK‘s upcoming slate. On for 2011 are David Schwimmer’s Trust, John Curran’s Stone with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton, and Patrick Lussier’s Drive Angry 3D with Nicolas Cage.

I was going to share a list of UK film folk on Twitter with you today, but I’ve enlisted some extra help in making sure the list is full of interesting folk. As such, I’m putting it on hold while more names come in. If you have any suggestions to add – maybe even yourself – then either mail me, or tweet me.

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