Sunday 24th September

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London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

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Category: Art
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The KAOS Brief review: Blair Witch meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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Last week saw the European premiere of new sci-fi thriller The KAOS Brief at Stratford Picture House as part of this year’s ‘London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film’, a.k.a. Sci-Fi-London 17.  

Cora Robertson attended the screening and Q&A session for What’s On London, and was full of praise for JP Mandarino’s first feature film – “a really enjoyable romp through a host of sci-fi and horror tropes” – which manages to fuse the best aspects of The Blair Witch Project with Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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Category: Cinema
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Nick Moran: “I look back with fondness at the fact I was sort of ‘prince of my era’. I rang the nuts out of it and couldn’t have had more fun.”

Nick Moran was once one of the leading lights of the British film industry.  After nailing the lead role in Guy Ritchie’s cult classic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1997, he had the world – and its myriad pleasures – at his feet.  In the following years, his work was a mixed bag, with solid turns in the likes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being offset by sloppier movements in Soccer Dog: European Cup.

But Moran’s now making impressive strides as a film director and returns to the big screen today in Caradog James’ new horror-thriller Don’t Knock Twice.  Ahead of the film’s release, Moran spoke to Ian Cater about filmmaking, the ‘un-bankable’ Casey Affleck and partying with Hugh Hefner.

Don’t Knock Twice, released today, is a promising supernatural thriller from the team behind acclaimed sci-fi drama The Machine.  It tells the story of a mother (Katee Sackhoff) trying to rebuild a relationship with her estranged daughter (Lucy Boynton), who awoke the spirit of a demonic witch.  Amidst familial tension and terrifying goings on, Nick Moran makes a welcome appearance as Detective Boardman, investigating the daughter’s disappearance.  But if Moran is forced to play second fiddle in the film, his ardour for its final form comes through loud and clear.

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Category: Cinema
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – the latest container strapped to the back of the Lucasfilm juggernaut – has hit cinemas and is unsurprisingly delivering impressive returns at the box office.  Chief Features Writer Ian Cater went to see the movie for What’s On London and, after giving fans a chance to see it for themselves, sets out his views below.  Warning: this review contains spoilers.

As a lifelong lover of Star Wars, it’s hard to pinpoint precisely what makes the franchise so fantastic.  I used to think it was the crude but effective polarisation of good versus evil, diluted by a ‘real-world’ recognition that both have their day.  Or the way George Lucas allowed characters to develop over time, keeping the camera on a handful of heroes and villains in a crowded universe.  Or maybe the blend of humour and darkness, which became so horribly skewed towards the former (missing its target) in Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

But I was wrong.  Because Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has none of these qualities, yet still represents a welcome addition to the Star Wars oeuvre.

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Category: Cinema
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24th Raindance Film Festival, 21st September – 2nd October 2016

Tomorrow sees the start of the annual Raindance Film Festival in London’s West End – now Europe’s largest independent film festival.  Across 12 days, audiences will get the chance to see 90 feature films, 85 short films, an incredible Virtual Reality Arcade, and dozens of talks by the film industry’s great and good.  

Despite modest beginnings, Raindance has become a very big deal, helping launch the careers of Edgar Wright and Christopher Nolan, and providing a launchpad for films such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and Memento to achieve critical acclaim and commercial success.  

Ian Cater spoke to Raindance’s founder, Elliot Grove, about the inspiration behind it and what London film fans can expect to see at this year’s festival.

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Category: Cinema
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Him Tarzan, Me Very Impressed – ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ film review

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What’s On London were treated to an early screening of Warner Brothers’ The Legend of Tarzan this week, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie and directed by Harry Potter’s very own David Yates.

As Shannon Rawlins reports, although the film is far from perfect, it’s an enjoyable and immersive ride with a number of strong performances and excellent use of CGI more than making up for certain plot gaps.

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Category: Cinema
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Interview with Liam Tamne of The Rocky Horror Show – “It’s great not having to wear many clothes!”

Since its first appearance in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock n’ Roll musical.  It has been performed worldwide in over 30 countries in every continent and has been translated into more than 20 languages.  To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Christopher Luscombe has created a brand new production which is touring the UK until December 2016.

As ever, the show promises to thrill, following squeaky-clean sweethearts Brad and Janet on an adventure they’ll never forget.  What awaits is a night of fun, frolics and frivolity with the scandalous Frank N Furter, rippling Rocky and vivacious Magenta, bursting at the seams with timeless classics such as Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp.

Shannon Rawlins of What’s On London spoke to Dr. Frank N Furter himself, Liam Tamne, about his character’s charisma, energy and heels …

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Category: Cinema
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Asli Bayram – A Rising Star

By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Asli Bayram: if you haven’t heard the name yet, expect to hear it very soon.  Because although this talented actress, writer and former model has already done a great deal, she’s got the talent, hunger and grounding to achieve so much more.

Having earned acclaim for a series of challenging stage and film roles overseas, it’s time for her to break through in the UK.  And while she’s here, our politicians would do well to listen to her sensible views on tolerance and integration.

Asli Bayram being crowned Miss Germany in 2005.

Being crowned Miss Germany in 2005.

Writing about Asli Bayram isn’t easy, because it’s hard to know where to start.

Many choose her early career as a beauty queen, becoming the first Miss Germany of Turkish extraction in 2005.  Others focus on the prejudice Bayram faced growing up as a second-generation immigrant.  Some dwell on the awful tragedy in her life: witnessing her father’s murder at the hands of a neo-Nazi when she was 12 years old.

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Category: Cinema