Natalie Stendall

Film and fashion writer based in Birmingham, UK. Contributor to Gorilla Film Online and Audiences Everywhere. Film critic for Mansfield & Ashfield Chad newspaper and syndicated across the Midlands. Blogs at WriterLovesMovies.com.
Gorilla Film Online

Sheffield Doc Fest 2015: Day 3 & 4

Gorilla contributor Natalie Stendall has been picking her way through the thick jungle of the Sheffield Doc/Fest this week. Read part 1 here. After a packed weekend of film premieres, Monday at Doc Fest was a day of commissioning. The first session focussed on the evolution of specialist documentaries, whilst other commissioning sessions throughout the day explored topics including arts programming, class and culture restrictions and the increasingly blurred line between factual and entertainment.
Gorilla Film Online

Sheffield Doc Fest 2015: Days 1 & 2

Gorilla contributor Natalie Stendall has been picking her way through the thick jungle of the Sheffield Doc/Fest this week. The first full day of Sheffield Doc/Fest included world premieres of Magali Pettier’s portrait of farming in North Yorkshire Addicted To Sheep, Brian Hill’s noir-thriller documentary about a man who confessed to over 30 murders in Sweden The Confessions of Thomas Quick and an EU premiere of Landfill Harmonic following the fortunes of a Paraguayan orchestra with instruments made from rubbish dump materials.
Gorilla Film Online

Derby Film Festival: Oberhausen On Tour

Showing its commitment to filmmaking and new filmmakers, the Derby Film Festival found space for not one but TWO short film programmes on its final day. Eat My Shorts was a selection of films curated by the Derby Film Festival organisers, Oberhausen, the second of the two programmes, saw the world renowned German based short film festival turn up with six of their best that had been selected from the 4,000+ entries they received for their 2014 festival.
Gorilla Film Online

Short Films About Family - Flatpack 2015

Focussing on parent-child relationships, this insightful selection of short films chosen by Flatpack’s curators encapsulates family life in both ordinary and avant-garde ways. Tackling everything from intergenerational curiosity and the creation of memories, to familial expectations, responsibility and duty, these films pull their audience into recognisable and affecting worlds. Featuring Oscar nominated animation The Bigger Picture (above) and the latest film from BAFTA Scotland’s New Talent Award.
Gorilla Film Online

Flatpack Festival: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

The image of a girl vampire, captured in black-and-white, smokey eyes and dark lips, sweeping downhill on a skateboard in the middle of the night, her black Iranian chandor flowing behind her, is not easily forgotten. It’s also easy to read the image as a feminist one: a re-appropriation of the traditional Iranian cloak worn by women. But this is not how director Ana Lily Amirpour sees it, explained Black Sheep editor Virginie Selavy introducing the film at this year’s Flatpack Festival.

Roy Andersson Retrospective

To describe the work of Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson as ‘quirky’ would be an understatement. His distinctive art style of long takes, static shots, greyed-out palette and a kind of visual stillness blended with absurd events, is the mark of a unique filmmaker. Andersson has himself spoken about his preference for “hyper-reality”, filming each set from a single camera position in order to create static vignettes packed with details. It’s an approach naturally informed by his creation of over 400 adverts.
Gorilla Film Online

Cross Frequencies - Flatpack 2015

A chattering audience at the end of a screening is usually a good sign. Reactions have been provoked. Cinema has done its job. That’s exactly what happened at last night’s Cross Frequencies selection of shorts. Chatter about these experimental films – the most challenging of all the competition shorts programmes – could be heard in the theatre, the foyer and on the street outside. Sparking debate were the universal themes of Canadian film Controversies, the artistic beauty of animations Between My Fingers and Foreign Bodies (that would be equally at home in a gallery) and the incomprehensible strangeness of Seven Times A Day We Bemoan Our Lot And At Night We Get Up To Avoid Dreaming.
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