Chomet’s film: Illusionist or hypnotist?

MANCHESTER Mouth’s movie magician Tony Boffey explains why Sylvain Chomet’s new animated film ‘The Illusionist’ may not enchant audiences.

Chomet’s new stunningly hand-drawn animated film is possibly not as immediately satisfying as his previous effort, the madcap Belleville Rendevous.

In that film you were distracted from the fact that there was a lack of emotional punch by the wildly over the top globetrotting Tour De France/mafia infused plot, terrific set pieces, hilariously eccentric character designs and delightful visual gags in every frame. The Illusionist moves at a different pace altogether.

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Not so controversial

Manchester Mouth’s movie expert Tony Boffey claims that Chris Morris’s new film ‘Four Lions’ is not as taboo as it is made out to be.

Speaking at the UK Premiere of Four Lions at the Bradford International Film Festival, Morris said that trying to break taboos is “one of the most boring things you can do. If that’s what you’re interested in, you might as well give up now”.

The creative force behind ‘The Day Today’, ‘Brass Eye’, ‘Jam’ and the BAFTA winning short film ‘My Wrongs #8245–8249 & 117’ also claimed: “Nothing I’ve done I would classify as controversial.” Despite his debut feature being a slapstick comedy about a group of incompetent suicide bombers, I can see his point.

To read the rest of this review visit the culture section of the main Manchester Mouth website.

Euro film festival kicks off

A VARIETY of European movies will be shown in Manchester as part of a special event.

Between 27 April and 2 May 2010 Kinofilm Manchester European Short Film Festival is hosting a line-up that offers an ambitious and wide-ranging week of new motion picture and filmmaking events.

To read more of this story visit the culture section of the main Manchester Mouth website.

Bollywood special this weekend

ABOVE AND BEYOND: Vohra's films playfully explore love, life and competition in the 'urban chaos' that is Bombay.

A LOCAL independent cinema has announced that it will be playing host to special Bollywood screenings this weekend, 10-11 April 2010.

Manchester’s Cornerhouse, on Oxford Road in the city centre, will be showing two of Paromita Vohra’s cutting-edge documentaries as part of its Bollywood and Beyond programme.

‘Q2P’ (2006) and ‘Morality TV and the loving Jehad’ (2007) are both Vohra’s playful takes on how men and women love, live and compete in the ‘urban chaos’ of Bombay. Both documentaries last less than an hour each.

Q2P takes an ironic look at how men and women live and compete for the use of public toilets in Bombay, considering the infrastructure of India’s capital city, how it’s 17million inhabitants survive, and the politics and rights for Indian women.

Similarly, Morality TV and the Loving Jehad examines a 2005 police operation where officers swooped down on lovers in a park and began to beat them up, taking along photographers and news cameramen with a promise of an exclusive.

As the images of the operation played repeatedly on all Indian news channels, Meerut saw some of the couples run away out of fear and shame. The film examines a town’s complex dynamics – the fear of love, the constant scrutiny and control of women’s mobility and sexuality, a history of communal violence, caste and feudal equations.

This not to be missed double-bill is the first of three screenings that are part of Cornerhouse’s collaboration with Between Kismet and Karma, a UK-wide project showcasing creative responses to conflict by South Asian women artists.

Featuring five experimental films that explore the interplay between gender and conflict in it’s widest sense this season gives a fascinating insight into South Asian culture from a female perspective.

The season continues on Sunday 25 April 2010 with award-winning film ‘Khamosh Pani’ – an moving exploration of the lives of two generations of Pakistani women.

Finally, on Wednesday 5 May 2010 there is a double-bill of documentaries from Bangladeshi filmmaker Yasmine Kabir, providing a lyrical look at the Bangladeshi liberation war and Chittagong’s ship-breaking graveyard.

Bollywood and Beyond is Cornerhouse’s rolling monthly programme of films which celebrate Indian Cinema.

It offers a unique opportunity to learn about South Asia’s multi-faceted culture and long history in filmmaking. Spanning classic, new, fresh and noteworthy Bollywood films, this is an opportunity to enter a world that’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

You can book tickets by visiting the website or by calling the cinema’s Box Office on 0161 200 1500 between noon and 8pm.

Filmmaker talks at Salford for LGBT Month

FUNNY: Summerskill is speaking about her film Queens Evidence at Salford Uni

PERFORMER Clare Summerskill will visit University of Salford as part of LGBT History Month.

Stand-up comedienne, actress, writer and singer-songwriter, Summerskill is appearing at the university to mark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month on 16 February 2010 and to talk about her film ‘Queens Evidence’.

The movie looks at the relationship between the police and the LGBT community over the last 60 to 70 years.

It was made in response to the low reporting levels of the newly introduced hate crimes law, by older LGBT people.

As a writer Summerskill has worked for many years in theatre and for radio and has just had her first book published. ‘We’re the Girls’ is a collection of her comedy monologues, favourite song lyrics and a few short stories.

She has her own professional theatre company, ARTEMIS Theatre Company and also performs an original cocktail of stand-up and comedy songs.

Summerskill, who has been described as “one of the funniest women in the country”, is the twin of Ben Summerskill OBE, chief executive of Stonewall.

LGBT History Month takes place every year in February to celebrate the lives, achievements and histories of LGBT people in the UK. This year’s patron is Welsh rugby star Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas – the first international rugby union player to come out as a gay man.

“We are delighted that Clare can be with us to talk about her film,” Vice-Chancellor Prof Martin Hall, the university’s patron of LGBT History Month, said.

“As a university we are committed to supporting our LGBT colleagues and students. And given our commitment and promise of continued support it is fitting that our university is hosting this important event – at a time when we are seeing a rising level of homophobia in schools and colleges.”

The event – which has been organised by the university’s LGBT Research Network – will be held at the Old Fire Station, Council Chamber, from 5:30pm until 9:00pm.

To find out more contact, Ben Light on 0161 295 5443 or or Steve Pugh on 0161 295 2375 or

To book your place, please contact Deborah Woodman on 0161 2952801 or email:

Congo mother and son’s asylum plight screened

DISPLACED: Tony Lola had to leave Congo after he was interrogated about the whereabouts of his family by police

By Mike Dalglish

A FILM that documents the struggle of a nine-year-old Congolese boy and his mother to win asylum status in the UK has been screened in Manchester.

‘Displaced’, which was shown at the Imperial War Museum North on Monday 23 November 2009, shows the plight of Tony Lola and mother Mireille who fled persecution in their native Democratic Republic of Congo.

Produced by Ella Cummins and Charli Allen, the film was one of five made by University of Manchester students as part of their MA in War, Culture and History.

Mireille, who now lives in Manchester, fled her home seven years ago after her life was threatened.

Tony was later sent to join her after he was locked up by police who tried to force him to reveal the location of his family members.

Neither of them know the location of Tony’s father Papy, who openly opposed the incumbent president Joseph Kabila. They believe he has been imprisoned.

The Home Office initially rejected their asylum application despite believing their story.

However thanks to a high profile campaign organised by staff and pupils at Didsbury C of E Primary School the authorities reversed their decision on 20 April 2009.

Football mad Tony, who was delighted with the decision, said: “I like Manchester because it’s not too big and not too small.

“It’s safer here. I don’t want to get arrested like my dad did.”

RELIEVED: Mireille Lola is glad she and her son have been granted asylum in the UK but is scared of what lies ahead

Mireille was relieved but problems still lie ahead.

She said: “I miss my country, my family, my friends, my work…everything. I miss everything.”

Ella said she wanted the film to dispel some common myths about asylum seekers, one of the most contentious topics in Britain today.

Charli added: “Tony and Mireille have been through hell – but they had lots of support.

“Many asylum seekers don’t have that luxury and are totally alone.

“We feel it’s important not to forget that.”

The screening also featured several other films.

‘War in the Time of Elections’ by Jonny Mundey, filmed in Nakuru, Kenya, followed a Kenyan family as they recalled the horrific post-election violence that poor the country apart in early 2008.

‘The Long Shadow’ by Anton Bielecki, is a story of the memories of Wanda Bielecka, who escaped from the Nazis during the Second World War.

‘In the Garden’ by Dejan Levi, introduced the audience to a group of refugees in Liverpool banned from paid employment by the government who work in a garden to pass the time.

‘The Shape of War’ by Ed Poole explored to what extent a museum can give people an impression of what war is really like.

Course director Dr Ana Carden Coyne said: “The MA in History, War and Culture reflects the intellectual challenge of truly grasping the serious impact of war on peoples and cultures.”