Sunday, November 25, 2012

COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR
It's the end of the year again and the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards are open for submission. I have entered them in the past and may do so again this year. There have been some staggering winners and shortlisted entrants in past years so I am sure this year won't be any different. Here's some information about how to enter…

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TRIPWIRE: FROM 20 TO 21
For those of you who have been following the TRIPWIRE 20th anniversary crowd funding campaign on Unbound, you'll notice that it's come down from the site. When we approached Unbound earlier in the year, it was always going to be a gamble. There was no guarantee we were going to make our pledges and unfortunately it didn't happen. The people at Unbound were very nice and they meant well but it just didn't fit with the other books on the site. It didn't help that it wasn't known in the US, the place where a large proportion of the people who would have pledged on TRIPWIRE 20, are located. So you live and learn. So it's off Unbound but in January, TRIPWIRE 21 will be going on the Kickstarter UK site. Kickstarter is a place chock full of comics stuff and I feel more confident that it will raise what it needs. The aim is to get it out for around May time next year so this gives us more time to put it together and make it the best print project we have ever produced. So keep your eyes peeled here, on the tripwire website (www.tripwire-magazine.com), my twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, here's a few of the images we have gathered so far to include in the book: Frank Quitely, Walter Simonson, Dave Dorman, Phil Hale, Duncan Fegredo, Michael Kaluta, Joe Kubert, Howard Chaykin, Drew Struzan, Mike Mignola…










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Saturday, November 17, 2012

WELL SUITED
The Man In The White Suit is the latest Ealing film to get a Blu-ray release from Studio Canal. The story deals with biochemist Sidney Stratton (the brilliant Alec Guinness) who appears to have created a fabric which resists wear and stains in a textile mill up in the North of England. But he finds himself increasingly marginalised when he finds himself isolated and without allies when both the manufacturers and the factory workers want to bury his invention. Directed by American Alexander Mackendrick (The Sweet Smell of Success), The Man In The White Suit is more of a bittersweet drama than an out and out comedy, with Stratton first introduced on screen as a factory janitor rather than a fully fledged scientist. Guinness is the stand-out here but it also has an excellent supporting cast including British cinema staples like Cecil Parker as mill owner Alan Birnley and the mesmerising Joan Greenwood as his daughter Daphne. It has dated a little but it is still a wonderful snapshot of Britain in the early fifties, albeit a slightly artificial feeling North of England. It deserves a Blu-ray release just as much as The Ladykillers, Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets and if a viewer hasn't seen this film and they're an Ealing aficionado, they're in for a treat.
http://www.studiocanal.com/


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES
Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, located near Piccadilly, is a fantastic gallery that specialises in photography. Last night it held a private view to launch its Michael Kenna exhibition. The photographer was present and he was questioned in front of an audience to give a small glimpse into the way he works. He takes magnificent landscapes that are simple, graphic and sometimes abstract but they are breathtaking. The fourth and fifth photos here are of the man himself. I even bumped into Rian Hughes, who I normally see at comic events, down there. The exhibition runs into January 2013 and if you're interested in photography, you should get yourself down there…
http://www.chrisbeetlesfinephotographs.com








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Monday, November 12, 2012

MASTERING ANIMATION
StudioCanal has just released two more Hayao Miyazaki films onto Blu-ray, The Castle of Cagliostro and My Neighbour Totoro. I'll start with the older of the two, The Castle of Cagliostro, which was originally released in 1979. This is subtitled rather than dubbed and deals with master thief Lupin and his team, who rips off a Monte Carlo casino only to discover that the money is all counterfeit. He traces the bills back to the European country of Cagliostro, ruled by an evil Count. Lupin was a very popular anime series and this is an instalment in that series. It is very spotty visually and a little bit primitive both in terms of animation and its script, which sometimes feels like a poor attempt to ape American cinema. But Miyazaki was still learning his craft so there are still a few of the visual flourishes that have become his trademark. It is nice to see that it's on Blu-ray at last. The Castle of Cagliostro is only really for Miyazaki completists as it can be hard work in places...
My Neighbour Totoro was released in 1988 and it is far more accomplished than Cagliostro. It deals with a family who move to the country in Japan to be closer to their ailing mother. Their new house happens to be near the home of a group of friendly trolls and the two girls go on a series of adventures. It is a very sweet children's film, displaying the depth of imagination and invention that Miyazaki has become renowned for and is able to shift tone effortlessly in its script. It's dubbed rather than subtitled and this is less distracting for animation than subtitles and makes it a far more immersive experience than if it were subtitled. My Neighbour Totoro is unquestionably a classic and deserves a Blu-ray release. You can see why Miyazaki is called the Japanese Disney as this film matches the best of Disney. For aficionados of animation, My Neighbour Totoro is a must-buy…


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

A DARKER SIDE TO LONDON

It Always Rains on Sunday is a little-known Ealing Studios film, released in 1947. Directed by Robert Hamer, who went on to helm Kind Hearts and Coronets, and based on the book by Arthur La Bern, this film, juts released as a restored BFI version on Studio Canal Blu-ray, is a British noir about housewife Rose Sandigate (Googie Withers) who is put in an impossible position when her former lover, criminal Tommy Swann (John McCallum) escapes from prison and turns to her to hide him from the police. It paints an interesing picture of post-war London and the cast especially Withers, McCallum and Jack Warner as Det. Sgt Fothergill are very watchable on screen. Director Hamer keeps the action moving well, keeping the various elements of the plot engaging including a sub plot about record shop owner Morry Hyams, played by Sydney Tafler and his infidelities. Of course, noir films only end one of a few ways and it doesn't take a genius to work out how this concludes but it is an interesting curio, showing that Ealing could tackle more than just comedies. It's not a classic in the vein of the best Ealing work like Kind Hearts and Coronets or The Ladykillers but if you're a fan of their films and would like to see some a little bit different, you wouldn't go far wrong with It Always Rains on Sunday…

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

SENSE OF DREDD?
After a long gap, we have decided to return to putting out Digital editions of TRIPWIRE. Available to download for free from our website is our Dredd special, which looks at the Dredd 3D film with the help of interviews with John Wagner, Alan Grant, Karl Urban and our review of the film itself. To vary the content though, we have wrapped it up with a review of Skyfall and Argo. The plan is to put out a digital TRIPWIRE edition every other month from the first quarter of 2013. So why not check it out?
TRIPWIRE Digital Dredd Edition


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