Wednesday 30 March 2011

Exclusive: Cornish wafers for Auntie Nubbins

The joy of Twitter is when it throws you a unexpected bone.

One day back in February, I made a cheery response to a lovely journalist, Jon Hamblin's missive about meeting Joe Cornish for an interview the next day and he said he'd give me some of what he didn't publish.

He is a gentleman and true to his word. He also has a rockin' style so I urge you to read the main content of this meeting in SFX Magazine and on his blog. The details are way down below.

Here's what he gave me. Thank you, Jon.

On when he knew he wanted to make movies:

“Well it was when I was twelve. I always wanted to make films. The first thing I ever did with Adam was directing the Super 8 films. We made a feature length Super 8 film when we were 14 or 15, that I directed and he starred in, so to speak. And I went to film school straight after leaving school, I spent three years at film school, just before Edgar actually, in Bournemouth and I trained as a writer/director and then I worked as a runner in the film industry in London for several years and then all the time I was making little silly comedy skits with Adam. And we got the opportunity to do Takeover TV and so that was really a sort of … you know, just a way to practice really and even though there was a huge difference between doing three minute sketches and sustaining something for 90 minutes, it’s very good practice just churning stuff out.”

On Attack the Block, was there a moment where you thought: “What am I doing?”

“There’s lots of moments like that. There was never a why am I doing this moment but making a film is very frustrating not because the people around you aren’t brilliant and doing amazing work but because if you are ambitious you’ve spent years wanting it and imagining it and trying to get what would be the perfect thing to do and then when you are actually doing it, it is like a flipping trolley dash. It’s like you have got four seconds to execute an idea that you formulated over four years and nothing will be right. It will be raining, you know, something will break, the location will be a bit different, someone will be tired, you know what I mean? And sometimes you just have to think of a totally different way to do it because of that you haven’t anticipated or that you can’t control. So it’s this weird juxtaposition of – oh my god, this is my amazing chance – and shit where did you get this! Do you know what I mean? So that’s what is terrifying but exciting as well and, you know, every first time director, everyone around you has made more films than you. So the trick is not to be a pot which is hard for me and just really engage and get the support of and harness all the superior talent that’s around you to help you overcome those problems because everyone around you is … that’s what it’s about, it’s about troubleshooting that stuff and everyone around you has more experience. Especially in this film because we’ve got explosions and monsters and its all set at night and there’s weapons and actions and chases and so it’s not the King’s Speech, if you know what I mean.”

About Basement Jaxx’s score:

“Basement Jaxx are fantastic and what’s great about them is they are Brits and they are South London guys and they are originals. The club is about two roads away from where we filmed and where I grew up. But they are clever enough to know that they serve the film and it’s not about … they serve the film … everything is about telling the story and presenting the characters. There is not going to be this big rave explosion. It’s got to serve the film. I thought what Daft Punk did was fantastic in Tron Legacy, but the best bit was in the club I thought and I have to say I thought: “Why are computer programs drinking, and why do they go to a club?” For every bit that I enjoyed it, I also had a lot of question marks in my head, personally. Even though it was an amazing spectacle.”

Making the film in Brixton:

“We were shooting in South London on rural South London streets and we were staging a mugging, and we were shooting in proper little urban areas around the Myatts Field Estate which is quite a, if you believe what the papers say, notorious estate but actually it’s lovely, not architecturally, but it is lovely round there.

So we were staging a mugging and a group of genuine local “yout” came up to our actors, to our boys, and said "What are you guys filming?" And they’d heard about the film because we’d put letters through everyone’s doors. And they said "Where are you from?" to our boys, like, quite a little bit threateningly and our lead boy said "Oh, I'm from Peckham" and the other kid said "Oh, I’m from Elephant and Castle", and the local youth looked a little bit put out because they were local. "Oh we thought they were going to bring in some stage school, you know, idiots, to come and pretend to be local youth," they said. And then they looked our kids up and down and said, "Alright – but you rob that woman hard" – and left. And that was it, we never saw anybody ever again, we got left totally alone. Haha!”

To read Jon Hamblin’s full interview with Joe Cornish, check out issue 207 of SFX Magazine, available in all good newsagents now (but hurry) and on-line in the digital version. Also, check out Jon’s blog: or follow him on twitter @jon_cybernet for good times and more bits of Joe-related gossip.

Can I be controversial and say I prefer the quad poster? I like the air on the sides that gives room for a bit of my beloved London landscape and the lovely, clean top to the building is far superior. It'd look nice in my living telly room, in fact.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

No Sir, No Talk of Attack the Block Here At All*

If that's all you've come for, you'll have to go here.

The day after the announcement that the 6Music Adam And Joe Show was to return for twelve weeks in April, Lauren interviewed them on her show. It might just be me but I felt they pretty much phoned it in. Apparently "Stephen!" started trending on Twitter during the interview.

Andrew Collins made an enjoyable blog entry when 6 Music were finally in a position to put an end (albeit a sad one) to all these months of uncertainty. Even Jonny Greenwood expressed his joy and Miranda Sawyer can't wait.

Adam made a couple of blog entries, encouraging a bit of listener participation so please do your duty.

Spoonfed spoke fondly of The Union Chapel where Adam played earlier this month.

If you're a regular reader of this blog (and why would you have enough time to do that?), you'll know that the techno-sprites put the screws on Adam's recent gig at the Tabernacle which prompted him to foolishly offer a free show to anyone who was cheeky enough to lie about feeling in some way short-changed. True to his word, he's doing a special show on 7th April at the BFI followed by a third BUG24 show in recognition of the oversubscription to the BUGs this week. These shows are also sold out because Adam is probably the most consistently largest revenue generator at the Poncey Benugo Cinema Complex.

These podchancers were obliged with a special jingle from Adam (at around 11 minutes in).

The most gravitas holding item in this post is my rather tardy discovery that the short film Adam starred in, Little Face has been on YouTube for months now. If you're a casting director and you have hitherto only considered Adam for in-your-face comedy, I hereby dubb you Idiothole Supremo. This man has range. Use it.

Joe joined Edgar in LA on the pretext of doing some Ant-man writing but he was just there for the latest New Beverly season and some utter silliness. As recently as 17th March, Joe was still there.

Here's some stuff that's not about Attack The Block from Jon Hamblin's interview with Joe and I'm very happy to say that in the not-too-distant future, I shall bring a little more Hamblin goodness onto this very blog with his generous permission.

Huge Adam and Joe fan and longtime member of Twitsquadron is holding an evening of entertainment on a barge on 26th April. Do go along.

Don't forget Ben Mercer is also playing on 30th March.

The wonderful Sally Grossart has made some Paper People for Nick and Simon's movie "Paul". I can't wait to see what she makes of the characters in Joe's little film.

Peeps are saying Holger Czukay's "Cool in the Pool" sounds like Adam and Joe.

Finally and totally music doesn't get much lovelier than this from Robin Pecknold.

*OK, so there are a couple of mentions.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Imbalanced Blog Entry about Attack the Block

I'm not sure if anybody even notices but I do try to maintain an equipoise to my blogposts. It's not been easy over the past year with Adam being so charmingly accessible and Joe maintaing his haughty air of mystery but I like to think I've rarely mentioned one without the other.

The alien/hoodie lovestorm which took place in Texas over the last couple of weeks simply poleaxed me into a stupor of non-blogitude but I can't ride that colloid hydrogel forever so here's a lot of stuff about Joe's film. In a short while, I'll do something that barely mentions the elusive thing.

If you're new to this nonsense, I need to mention that I'm a spoiler-phobe and any review of Attack the Block I might link here is executed with the confidence I have in the source rather than an appraisal of the actual content. Furthermore, my decision to not capitalise 'the' in the film's title is not the product of an intimate discussion with the director. It just pleases my eye and softens the menace. Deal with it.

Deep respect to the tweeters who look after the British Independent Film Awards account for being right up there at the front with their Follow Friday last month.

Optimum Releasing are distributing this renagade capsule and I shall continue to praise them until they put my arse on a seat with a good view. They have programme notes and a link to another file with an extension name of .docx.docx.docx which immediately made an independently remote-functioning synapse of my brain mumble "Basement Jocx. ocx. ocx" but no matter. Said link will give you all the trailers in all the colours and all the sizes.

It would be rude to mention Optimum without including a link to Film4 and their latest article, without whose input this film would have been made on an even tighter budget, with far less red in it and virtually no ten minute 'specials' on their digital tv channel.

I'm going to say I am finding the marketing hoopla a bit of a conundrum and particularly testing.

More than two months before the film's release, the director himself was awkwardly plonked on the Film 2011 sofa in a position that required him to swing his neck back and forth like an umpire at Wimbledon. I mean, he was already being sick in his mouth before he got there. I am told that these clips were aired during the show.

That same day, in a 75 seater basement room in Soho, selected members of the press were embargoed right up and over the area.

With a click of his heels, Joe skidded out of Television Centre and onto a Los Angeles bound 'plane to join Edgar Wright for quality procrastination.

On the morning prior to the first public screening, The Hollywood Reporter broke the first of many trade paper missives. I'm particularly heartened to note their praise for young John Boyega.

The next weekend finally brought the premiere at South By Southwest in the Alamo Drafthouse and I straddled the delicate chasm between needing to know that Joe wasn't going to land in a crumpled heap and yet not absorbing any film specific information. I caught photos from people who watched the intro and links to Q & As that I'm still too resolved in unspoilerdom to watch properly. Here he is sporting his best hands on hips look that he probably learnt during his brief modelling career in Japan. There's another shot here.

Charles Gant's piece for Variety was the first review to hit the nets after the screening had finished. In fact, it was linked about twenty minutes before it went live immediately after the screening. It's behind a of the easiest paywalls to negotiate on the net but I didn't tell you that.

I'm not going to list too many more review links because Big Talk have collected the good ones on their post-premiere news page. Catherine Shoad at The Guardian has a view but all you really want to know is what Charlie thought of it. There's some more good reading stuff in here.

HeyUGuysBlog filmed the intro and the Q & A. I did some sneaky dipping and with a pointer to the time marker, I'm pleased to say there was some Stephenage in Austin!

The IFC streamed interview (including the trailer at the start of part two) is here and Dread Central have a video interview here.

The praise went on all week, up to and beyond the screening on Wednesday. Finally, the film was voted as the audience's favourite Midnighter.....and before you tell me it was a small strand of the festival, it was rammed full of films everyone is waiting to see.

In Other More Standard Film Release Info News:
The BBFC have given Attack the Block a '15' certificate and although it only lists the two minute trailer, a shorter tv spot has aired on E4 as well.
It would be weird if I didn't include the trailer, wouldn't it?

The poster looks like the kind of thing worth investing in a double-sided and a big old light box for as Slash Film broke (or should that be 'Forward Slash'?)

Before the film had even come back from Snappy Snaps the rumour of a US remake or at the very least, subtitles was manufactured by lazy types with too much time on their hands. Whatever it takes to deliver the thing to an audience will work but how real is this actual threat in the first place?



Reminder 1: Jon Hamblin's beautifully considered interview with Joe can be found in the digital and analogue version of SFX Magazine this month.
Reminder 2: Little White Lies Issue 34 has a glow-in-the-dark cover with at least 19 lumins and lots of Attack the Block delights.

Reminder 3: There is an Official Attack the Block website which has the hopefully temporarily messy look since they backgroundedid the poster artwork.
Reminder 4: There is an Attack the Block Facebook page thing.
Reminder 5: There is a Twitter thing here.


Wednesday 2 March 2011

The News in Brief

The Admirals of Idiocy are returning for at least 12 weeks from the beginning of April and it's not just wishful thinking on the part of lovely James....a parchment has floated down from the castle ramparts.

Is this Adam doing the latest Wrigley's campaign? Was this what she meant?

Joe talked to Total Film about his fractional contribution to the creation of Tintin.

The BBC Comedy microsite has released the third instalment of Country Man.

Joe's little Attack The Block hobby has a website, a Twitter account and a Facebook page. The trailer is expected any day now so follow, like and sign in there for updates. Some promo stuff was shot here last month.

Adam is doing a gig this weekend at a really lovely venue in Islington. His two shows at the Leicester Comedy Festival got some lovely responses on Twitter and Squadron member, Simon grabbed him for a bit of signatory and forgery action. He was also available for amateur papping too.

Joe was spotted on the tube a couple of times last week which means he's not toning his body on his bicycle any more in the hopes that his gym ones might be used in a Twilight film but on the other hand he's not quite haughty enough to use a Hummer. Something tells me he has had quite an influence on some of the younger members of his ATB cast.

I'm sure you've all found Adam's latest YouTube upload. There's another Buxton shaped gem out there but in the interest of balance, I'm going to save that link until Joe's little film trailer pops out.

Don't forget that SFX Magazine is out on 9th March and it will hopefully contain Jon Hamblin's interview with Joe. Not to mention the Attack The Block edition of Little White Lies due in the shops next week too.