What’s on? A Troppo Initiative starting with the British Film Festival

This image came up on a Google search for “What’s On”. It’s from The Central Tavern at Springfield Lakes, wherever that is. Seems nice enough, the cocktails can be very red by the looks of things, though there does seem to be quite a breeze blowing there. But I digress.

I’ve complained before about the strange state of the world. On the one hand we can set up fabulously useful markets for stuff on eBay and Amazon where you can not only find just what you’re looking for (if it’s available) but are also made aware of things that, based on what you’ve previously bought or liked, you might like, but you can’t get the same service for events on around you. And here the market for events is divided into the heavily marketed standard fare – mainstream films, and Big Arts for instance – and the not so much. Of this there’s what you might call ‘mainstream arthouse’ which is also heavily marketed, and then there are lots of other events like festivals where there are once off events. And here you’re at the mercy of the marketers of the festivals. For instance the British Film Festival started last night and had a film on that it said was pretty swish.  The reviews say it’s pretty horrible, but you have to do a bit of work to find that out.  True, with Google, it’s much less work than it used to be, but then there are a lot of events on. And I would check out perhaps one per cent of those events.

Meanwhile the government which should be in the business of funding public goods is nevertheless in the business of subsidising private goods.  It subsidises the Art Gallery to further its own interests and feather it’s own nest, and the Recital Centre, and the ABC and the Opera and so on. They’re all taking to the internet with their cool new apps. But that isn’t solving the problem, but rather replicating it. Why? Because us users continue to receive a service that’s fragmented which wastes our time and misleads us with marketing bumph rather than addressing our needs (to mainly go to events we’re likely to like.)

But there you go. Complaints are only ever surfaced so as to spur action to solve them – that’s one of our corest of core values on “Our Values Charter” at Troppo. So I’ve asked Anoop, Lateral Economics’ designer-cum-research-assistant in India to do the basic legwork necessary to produce a schedule of a film festival with our interests as potential patrons in mind. So instead of the marketing bumph on the official website, I’ve asked Anoop to go find the two best reviews he can find, and to put up the synopsis, and links to the trailer denoted by this iconTrailer  and the best reviews together with their ratings either as expressed by them in stars out of five, or as they have rated them themselves. So below the fold you’ll find the schedule for Melbourne. It immediately demonstrates the difference between marketing bumph and reviews. The opening movie is described on the official website as “A superb, celebratory crowd-pleaser, with a gorgeous performance from the affable Corden as an inspirational nobody who dared to follow his dream against all odds.”. Maybe that’s right, but you should at least know that the Guardian reviewer reported it as being a “weirdly miscast. . . treacly, tepid heartwarmer”. The bad news is that with this kind of shoestring operation, you would probably have liked to know this before last night when it was on.  But the rest of the festival is similarly unlocked for you. Imagine if markets in information actually worked a little more directly to actually help consumers! It really shouldn’t take much.

Melbourne Schedule

@Palace Cinema Como

Wednesday 20 November

7:00pm One Chance (Opening Night)Trailer
Triumph follows adversity follows triumph follows adversity in dizzying fashion in David Frankel’s contrived but still affecting biopic of Paul Potts, the phone salesman from Port Talbot who became the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent.
?????   The Guardian

Thursday 21 November

7:00pm Closed Circuit (Q&A with Eric Bana)Trailer
There is a flavour of Erskine Childers and John Buchan about John Crowley’s London-set thriller. Terrorists have blown up Borough Market. One member of their suspected cell has survived. The lawyers defending him suspect skullduggery on behalf of the British government.
8:30pm Closed Circuit (Introduction)
There has just been a nuclear attack on London and we are cast into the world of dystopian sci-fi. Adapted from Meg Rosoff’s novel, How I Live Now carries echoes of everything from Lord of the Flies to Quatermass IV.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

Friday 22 November

Keri Russell plays Jane, a lonesome thirty-something whose obsession with her namesake of 200 years ago prompts her to cross the Atlantic for a vacation at the titular English resort.
?????   The Guardian
It’s New Year’s Eve in Derry, Northern Ireland, and as the clock ticks relentlessly towards midnight, three interlocking stories twist and turn in this comic crime thriller.
?????   RTE Ten
?????   State

Saturday 23 November

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller, rereleased as part of a BFI Southbank season. Loosely based on John Buchan’s 1915 novel, the film follows the adventures of Richard Hannay, a man who stands wrongly accused of murder and must go on the run while trying to clear his name and thwart a band of spies in the process.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
Triumph follows adversity follows triumph follows adversity in dizzying fashion in David Frankel’s contrived but still affecting biopic of Paul Potts, the phone salesman from Port Talbot who became the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent.
?????   The Guardian
Still Life is a poignant, quixotic tale of life, love and the afterlife. Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession, John May is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized, John must up his efforts on his final case, taking him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last.
?????   Cineuropa
?????   FlickFeast
After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.
?????   The Guardian

Sunday 24 November

The story follows the adventures of Pip, a poor orphan who helps a convict escape on the Kent marshes. Pip falls in love with the beautiful Estella, but both young people are manipulated by the most bitter of scorned brides, Miss Havisham. When Pip is sent off to London society to become a gentleman, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, he learns harsh lessons about love and loyalty.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
3:45pm Good Vibrations (Introduction)Trailer
Just as the Troubles of 1970s Belfast threaten to take over his city, music-lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations. Hooley discovers a growing voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk movement, and before long he finds himself establishing a record label and leading a new community as the so-called ‘godfather of punk’.
?????   The Guardian
Based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, chronicling his experiences in Arabia during the First World War. Balancing big canvas set pieces, such as the attacks on Aqaba and Damascus, with Lawrence’s own personal struggles between violence, peace and conflicting loyalties, Lawrence of Arabia is both a sprawling historical story and an intimate portrait.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian

Monday 25 November

Set in the fields of Devon and the WW1 battlefields of Flanders, two brothers fall for the same girl while contending with the pressures of their feudal family life, the war, and the price of courage and cowardice.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Telegraph
When a schoolgirl is found murdered, the brothers are so bent on nailing the culprit that their judgement goes violently awry – and they become part of the crime they’re investigating.

Tuesday 26 November

Keri Russell plays Jane, a lonesome thirty-something whose obsession with her namesake of 200 years ago prompts her to cross the Atlantic for a vacation at the titular English resort.
?????   The Guardian
There has just been a nuclear attack on London and we are cast into the world of dystopian sci-fi. Adapted from Meg Rosoff’s novel, How I Live Now carries echoes of everything from Lord of the Flies to Quatermass IV.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

Wednesday 27 November

A gorgeous new version of William Shakespeare’s classic story, Romeo and Juliet. Romantic, epic, tragic – this is a timeless tale, retold for a new audience with exquisite period costumes and stunning northern Italian locations.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
It’s New Year’s Eve in Derry, Northern Ireland, and as the clock ticks relentlessly towards midnight, three interlocking stories twist and turn in this comic crime thriller.
?????   RTE Ten
?????   State

Thursday 28 November

When American pulp writer Holly Martins arrives in Allied-occupied Vienna to find his old friend Harry Lime, he is told that Lime has died in mysterious circumstances. With an army police officer and a femme fatale, Martins navigates a shadowy world of deception, danger and black marketeering in his search for the truth.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
When a schoolgirl is found murdered, the brothers are so bent on nailing the culprit that their judgement goes violently awry – and they become part of the crime they’re investigating.

Friday 29 November

Still Life is a poignant, quixotic tale of life, love and the afterlife. Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession, John May is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized, John must up his efforts on his final case, taking him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last.
?????   Cineuropa
?????   FlickFeast
There is a flavour of Erskine Childers and John Buchan about John Crowley’s London-set thriller. Terrorists have blown up Borough Market. One member of their suspected cell has survived. The lawyers defending him suspect skullduggery on behalf of the British government.
?????   The Independent

Saturday 30 November

Two strangers meet in a railway station cafe: a doctor and a housewife. Although they are both happily married, they fall in love and continue to meet – even though they know their illicit romance cannot last.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
Mission to Lars chronicles Kate and Will Spicer’s road trip round America with their ailing brother, Tom, in pursuit of Lars Ulrich – the dinky Danish drummer from Metallica.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
To celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, Meg and Nick revisit Paris to revitalise their marriage. Their bittersweet second honeymoon stirs up fears of loss and forces them to question a future together.
?????   The Guardian
8:45pm Good Vibrations (Introduction)Trailer
Just as the Troubles of 1970s Belfast threaten to take over his city, music-lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations. Hooley discovers a growing voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk movement, and before long he finds himself establishing a record label and leading a new community as the so-called ‘godfather of punk’.
?????   The Guardian

Sunday 1 December

Set in the fields of Devon and the WW1 battlefields of Flanders, two brothers fall for the same girl while contending with the pressures of their feudal family life, the war, and the price of courage and cowardice.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Telegraph
A gorgeous new version of William Shakespeare’s classic story, Romeo and Juliet. Romantic, epic, tragic – this is a timeless tale, retold for a new audience with exquisite period costumes and stunning northern Italian locations.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
7:15pm Philomena (Closing Night)Trailer
True story of one mother’s search for her lost son.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

@Palace Balwyn

Thursday 21 November

Triumph follows adversity follows triumph follows adversity in dizzying fashion in David Frankel’s contrived but still affecting biopic of Paul Potts, the phone salesman from Port Talbot who became the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent.
?????   The Guardian
It’s New Year’s Eve in Derry, Northern Ireland, and as the clock ticks relentlessly towards midnight, three interlocking stories twist and turn in this comic crime thriller.
?????   RTE Ten
?????   State

Friday 22 November

A gorgeous new version of William Shakespeare’s classic story, Romeo and Juliet. Romantic, epic, tragic – this is a timeless tale, retold for a new audience with exquisite period costumes and stunning northern Italian locations.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
When American pulp writer Holly Martins arrives in Allied-occupied Vienna to find his old friend Harry Lime, he is told that Lime has died in mysterious circumstances. With an army police officer and a femme fatale, Martins navigates a shadowy world of deception, danger and black marketeering in his search for the truth.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian

Saturday 23 November

Mission to Lars chronicles Kate and Will Spicer’s road trip round America with their ailing brother, Tom, in pursuit of Lars Ulrich – the dinky Danish drummer from Metallica.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
Two strangers meet in a railway station cafe: a doctor and a housewife. Although they are both happily married, they fall in love and continue to meet – even though they know their illicit romance cannot last.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
To celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, Meg and Nick revisit Paris to revitalise their marriage. Their bittersweet second honeymoon stirs up fears of loss and forces them to question a future together.
?????   The Guardian
8:30pm Good Vibrations (Introduction)Trailer
Just as the Troubles of 1970s Belfast threaten to take over his city, music-lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations. Hooley discovers a growing voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk movement, and before long he finds himself establishing a record label and leading a new community as the so-called ‘godfather of punk’.
?????   The Guardian

Sunday 24 November

Two strangers meet in a railway station cafe: a doctor and a housewife. Although they are both happily married, they fall in love and continue to meet – even though they know their illicit romance cannot last.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
Keri Russell plays Jane, a lonesome thirty-something whose obsession with her namesake of 200 years ago prompts her to cross the Atlantic for a vacation at the titular English resort.
?????   The Guardian
There has just been a nuclear attack on London and we are cast into the world of dystopian sci-fi. Adapted from Meg Rosoff’s novel, How I Live Now carries echoes of everything from Lord of the Flies to Quatermass IV.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
There is a flavour of Erskine Childers and John Buchan about John Crowley’s London-set thriller. Terrorists have blown up Borough Market. One member of their suspected cell has survived. The lawyers defending him suspect skullduggery on behalf of the British government.
When a schoolgirl is found murdered, the brothers are so bent on nailing the culprit that their judgement goes violently awry – and they become part of the crime they’re investigating.

Monday 25 November

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller, rereleased as part of a BFI Southbank season. Loosely based on John Buchan’s 1915 novel, the film follows the adventures of Richard Hannay, a man who stands wrongly accused of murder and must go on the run while trying to clear his name and thwart a band of spies in the process.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
Triumph follows adversity follows triumph follows adversity in dizzying fashion in David Frankel’s contrived but still affecting biopic of Paul Potts, the phone salesman from Port Talbot who became the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent.
?????   The Guardian

Tuesday 26 November

There is a flavour of Erskine Childers and John Buchan about John Crowley’s London-set thriller. Terrorists have blown up Borough Market. One member of their suspected cell has survived. The lawyers defending him suspect skullduggery on behalf of the British government.
It’s New Year’s Eve in Derry, Northern Ireland, and as the clock ticks relentlessly towards midnight, three interlocking stories twist and turn in this comic crime thriller.
?????   RTE Ten
?????   State

Wednesday 27 November

Set in the fields of Devon and the WW1 battlefields of Flanders, two brothers fall for the same girl while contending with the pressures of their feudal family life, the war, and the price of courage and cowardice.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Telegraph
There has just been a nuclear attack on London and we are cast into the world of dystopian sci-fi. Adapted from Meg Rosoff’s novel, How I Live Now carries echoes of everything from Lord of the Flies to Quatermass IV.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

Thursday 28 November

Still Life is a poignant, quixotic tale of life, love and the afterlife. Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession, John May is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized, John must up his efforts on his final case, taking him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last.
?????   Cineuropa
?????   FlickFeast
Mission to Lars chronicles Kate and Will Spicer’s road trip round America with their ailing brother, Tom, in pursuit of Lars Ulrich – the dinky Danish drummer from Metallica.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

Friday 29 November

Just as the Troubles of 1970s Belfast threaten to take over his city, music-lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations. Hooley discovers a growing voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk movement, and before long he finds himself establishing a record label and leading a new community as the so-called ‘godfather of punk’.
?????   The Guardian
A gorgeous new version of William Shakespeare’s classic story, Romeo and Juliet. Romantic, epic, tragic – this is a timeless tale, retold for a new audience with exquisite period costumes and stunning northern Italian locations.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent

Saturday 30 November

The story follows the adventures of Pip, a poor orphan who helps a convict escape on the Kent marshes. Pip falls in love with the beautiful Estella, but both young people are manipulated by the most bitter of scorned brides, Miss Havisham. When Pip is sent off to London society to become a gentleman, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, he learns harsh lessons about love and loyalty.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
Set in the fields of Devon and the WW1 battlefields of Flanders, two brothers fall for the same girl while contending with the pressures of their feudal family life, the war, and the price of courage and cowardice.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Telegraph
Still Life is a poignant, quixotic tale of life, love and the afterlife. Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession, John May is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized, John must up his efforts on his final case, taking him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last.
?????   Cineuropa
?????   FlickFeast
After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.
?????   The Guardian

Sunday 1 December

Based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, chronicling his experiences in Arabia during the First World War. Balancing big canvas set pieces, such as the attacks on Aqaba and Damascus, with Lawrence’s own personal struggles between violence, peace and conflicting loyalties, Lawrence of Arabia is both a sprawling historical story and an intimate portrait.
?????   BBC
?????   The Guardian
When a schoolgirl is found murdered, the brothers are so bent on nailing the culprit that their judgement goes violently awry – and they become part of the crime they’re investigating.
7:15pm Philomena (Closing Night)Trailer
True story of one mother’s search for her lost son.
?????   The Guardian
?????   The Independent
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conrad
conrad
8 years ago

I find rotten tomatoes pretty good as long you select movies that you might happen to like, and since most movies come out here later than other places in the world, you can almost always get reviews for things you might want to see.

Patrick
Patrick
8 years ago
Reply to  conrad

I agree, what’s wrong with rotten tomatoes? I find the IMDB ratings useful guidance too, although not an exceptionally high weighting in my decision-making framework.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
8 years ago

Been seeing a few of the films from the Japanese film festival – I reckon “The Grand Master” on November 29 looks right up your alley. Out of the classics I’d recommend “Elegant Beasts” a post-war comedy of manners about embezzlement and self-deception (http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2007/20/graceful-brute-yuzo-kawashimas-elegant-beast) and “Ichi: The Masseur” which is one of the classic samurai epics that spawned a zillion re-makes. The schedule is below

http://japanesefilmfestival.net/screening-schedules/

john r walker
8 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Hill

Stephen, years ago i saw a Japanese film about a man living in a garbage heap who, ‘thought’ he was a tram conductor- any idea as to Title and availability?

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
8 years ago
Reply to  john r walker

John, I know what film you are thinking about it is a Akira Kurosawa film (best known for “Seven Samurai” and the Japanese Lear “Ran”) its called “Dodes’ka-den” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065649/.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
8 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Hill

You can get the film in a “Kurosawa Classic Collection” of five films – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kurosawa-Classic-Collection-Toshiro-Mifune/dp/B005HPQ7MI. You can probably get it individually through Criterion Collection – I know friends who subscribe to the Netflix like services which allows you access to the company’s entire film catalogue for set monthly fee.

john r walker
8 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Hill

There was/is something very special about the combination of Kurosawa and Mifume. The idea of the bodyguard you have to watch, the professional killer whose secret is: “you’re kind”, almost sums up the edge that the combination created in so many of the films they made.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
8 years ago

Not the Wong Kar Wai film of the same name which is coming out soon – but this http://japanesefilmfestival.net/jff_movie/the-grand-master/

Rex
Rex
8 years ago

Great Idea Nicholas. How to make it sustainable?