The Neon Demon Trailer

Amazon Studios has really got their shit together. Immediately after seeing just the poster for this film, you can tell this is a Nicolas Winding Refn film; it’s the “Neon” that gives it away. From what I have seen in this trailer, this seems to be marketed as a sort of sexy thriller, which I think could ultimately prove to be detrimental to this movie, because Refn’s films in the past have been marketed pretty poorly (just look at Drive, which got sued for having a misleading trailer). I would argue that this one is still worth a watch, because this director, with this cast could potentially be a force of nature, but I would walk in with measured expectations, or none at all.

‘The Neon Demon’ is set to hit UK cinemas on 8th July 2016

Watch This Space: October 12 – 18 [ladies week]

Welcome to a special edition of your weekly go-to film guide. This week, WatchThisSpace is celebrating women in film, so read on and enjoy Molly’s recommendations of some great female performances in the cinema, on the TV and a few of her all time favourites.

IN THE CINEMA

The Women’s Rights movement materialises in ‘Suffragette’, the latest offering from British director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady). The female-heavy cast and crew is headed by Carey Mulligan, while the film intertwines wrenching personal and political tales of female solidarity and strength. ‘Suffragette’ is in cinemas from Monday 12th October.

Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain star alongside Tom Hiddleston in this thriller-come-romantic story from Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. Paying homage to gothic romance, ‘Crimson Peak’ is another British must-see, in cinemas from Friday 16th October.

ON THE TV

MONDAY 21:00 GMT: RenĂ©e Zellweger stars as the famed awkward, honest and self-conscious titular character in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, the first installment of this romantic comedy series. With a third movie currently in the works, now is the time to switch to ITV2 and catch the original.

WEDNESDAY 18:20 GMT: A screen adaptation of the Jane Austen novel set in 18th century rural England, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ sees Keira Knightly lead as Elizabeth Bennet in a typical British romance film on Film4.

SATURDAY 22:45 GMT: Carey Mulligan returns to our recommendations with a star performance in ‘Drive’, that saw her nominated for a BAFTA back in 2012. See this thrilling offering from Nicholas Winding-Refn on BBC2.

SUNDAY 18:50 GMT: Feminist campaigner, Angelina Jolie, stars as adventurer Lara Croft in this film adaptation of the video game Tomb Raider. Get into the action with ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ on Syfy this Sunday evening.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Thelma & Louise: An original girl-power film, ‘Thelma & Louise’ was branded controversial upon release, apparently due to the discomfort felt by many male viewers (un-fucking-believable). Geena Davis and Susan Surandon are cast perfectly as two women with a new found drive, confidence and zest for life that serves as a perfect example for females everywhere. What doesn’t serve as such a good influence are many of their impulsive choices – but they make for great viewing nonetheless! Ridley Scott directs the first screenplay from Academy Award-winning Callie Khouri, which would inspire Tori Amos’ famous and chilling tune ‘Me And A Gun’.

Girl, Interrupted: A challenge to observe; ‘Girl, Interrupted’ offers a chilling insight into mental health amongst various female characters with varying mental disorders. Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie and Brittany Murphy all offer standout performances in their own, unique way. The roles of strong and submissive women blur, with seemingly powerful sociopathic Jolie unravelling as the movie progresses, meanwhile protagonist Ryder offers a character that you can never quite decipher. Based on Susanna Keysen’s memoir, the idea that this on-screen depiction has some truth at the root of it makes it all the more fascinating.

Bridesmaids: Not only does ‘Bridesmaids’ signify a funny and successful female comedy, it stands against the best comedies regardless of gender. Kristin Wiig is genius as lead character Annie, a woman still trying to find her way and generally refusing to become the responsible woman that she is expected to be. Alongside best friend and bride-to-be Lillian (Maya Rudolph), the duo offer a hilarious take on this major life event, with crude humour catering to both genders and leaving viewers (okay, me) yearning for more.

Erin Brockovich: Where would the list of powerful, shit-hot women in film be without Erin Brockovich? Not only does Julia Roberts provide an inspiring on-screen in character, but we must offer a huge THANK YOU to the real life Erin Brockovich for her phenomenal achievements as a legal clerk and activist, and offering us a woman to aspire to. The true story centres on a legal case against energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company, accused of water contamination in the American town of Hinkley, California. The film covers personal tales, legal struggles and a whole load of stick-it-to-the-man drama.

This week’s special ladies week edition of WatchThisSpace was compiled by Molly Dolan

Watch This Space: June 22 – 28

Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

It was only a matter of time before the stars of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise got their own spin-off, with kids across the UK finally getting to see their beloved ‘Minions’ take centre stage this week. Any of you with children won’t have much say in the matter, you’re going to the cinema this weekend.

Michael Fassbender is absolutely everywhere right now, and looks set to stay firmly in the spotlight for a long time to come. His latest release, ‘Slow West’, is out in cinemas this week and will see Fassbender star as an outlaw in 19th Century America. Expect plenty of grit!

ON TELEVISION

Monday 21:00 GMT: The box-office record held by ‘Avatar’ could be under threat from a certain dino flick, but it will take a massive effort to best the $2.8 billion haul from James Cameron’s epic fantasy film. Catch the blue guys on Film4 this Monday night.

Wednesday 18:55 GMT: Rewind twenty seven years, to 1988 and enjoy ‘Big’ on Film4 this evening. A fresh faced Tom Hanks stars in this fantastically funny, family movie, in a role which earned him an Oscar nomination. Must be good!

Friday 21:00 GMT: Full on action for Friday night, as Film4 brings you ‘Hanna’. Playing the titular character, this was the breakout role for young Saoirse Ronan. Kinda like the female version of Jason Bourne, or a teenage Uma Thurman in ‘Kill Bill’; dangerous, but we’re rooting for ya!

Saturday 21:00 GMT: To avoid a Film4 whitewash, we are going to push you to watch ‘Friends With Benefits’, on…well, it’s on E4. The fantastic ‘Kick-Ass’ is on at the same time, but if you’re after something a little more light hearted, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis offer the perfect relief this weekend.

Sunday 15:50 GMT: With ‘Minions’ released this week, see where it all started for the franchise, as ITV2 provide family fun in the form of ‘Despicable Me’. Also this Sunday, you can catch ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘The Princess Bride’ (on Channel 4 and Channel 5 respectively) which are just as capable of entertaining the family.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Hidden: French filmmakers are never afraid to present us with controversy, as the divisive ‘Un Francais’ has proven this week. Going by the French title of ‘CachĂ©’, this Michael Haneke flick from 2005 is a must see if you like a shocking, mystery-thriller. I watched this at university a couple of years ago, and personally, I’m delighted it was part of the module. A beautifully awkward, intriguing piece of cinematic artistry; something we all need to enjoy from time to time.

Control: Glastonbury is upon us, and I am lucky enough to be attending the festival this year for the first time. It saddens me that I will never get to see Joy Division – one of my favourite bands – live in action, ever. This biopic from 2007 is about as close as it gets; a black and white insight into the life and death of frontman Ian Curtis. As dark and tragic as the topic may be, this is a stunning and fascinating film which you just have to see! 

1984: George Orwell would have turned 111 years old this Thursday. Unfortunately, he got nowhere near that ridiculous age, instead leaving us at the age of 46. Whilst this film will never match up to the book (my favourite book of all time, actually), you are obliged to appreciate the clever and brutal story from the genius himself, adapted for the big screen. It may just provide you with a vital lesson should our world go the way Orwell envisioned; dictators and dystopia are more than just a dark fantasy now, let’s be honest.

Drive: I had the pleasure of rewatching Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Bronson’ last week, and was relentlessly reminded of what is arguably the director’s standout project – ‘Drive’. With both films sharing an almost identical, powerful soundtrack, it was difficult to get the enigmatic, muted performance of Ryan Gosling out of my head. And what with the unintentional pattern of picking films with one-word-titles this week, I would be a fool to leave my 8th favourite film of all time off the list of recommendations.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes

Lost River [Preview]

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

With just one week to go until the theatrical release of Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut ‘Lost River’, hitting cinemas on 10th April 2015, here is a look at what we can expect. The film boasts a pretty impressive cast, with Gosling acquiring the services of ‘Drive’ co-star Christina Hendricks for the lead female role, ‘Hanna’ star Saoirse Ronan and wife Eva Mendes. Add to this Matt Smith, of ‘Doctor Who’ fame and Ben Mendelsohn, whose recent works include the fantastic ‘Starred Up’, and you surely can’t fail. The film has an alternative, working title – ‘How To Catch A Monster’, which reinforces this as a dark fairytale for the real world, an interesting concept for Gosling to approach for his first stint in the director’s chair.

Click here to read the full preview

Keanu Reeves Joins ‘Neon Demon’ Cast

Nicholas Winding Refn, director of one of my all-time favourite movies ‘Drive’, has assembled a pretty impressive cast for his latest project ‘Neon Demon’. Keanu Reeves has now joined Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning and Jena Malone in the dark horror film which is due to start filming at the end of March. Refn remains tight-lipped, but read what he had to say here.