Posts Tagged film

Not Stupid!

On Sunday night, as promised, I was part of the record-breaking premiere of the Age of Stupid at Islington Vue, one of over 60 cinemas showing the film simultaneously.

I went with fellow candidate Jo Shaw, along with other friends of Angel resident Betty Harris, one of the film’s 200+ funders. To quote Jo, “it’s a difficult film to watch at times, dealing with the effects of climate change and the limited time we have to get to grips with our carbon emissions. Basically scientists are pretty much agreed that we’ve got until 2015 to get our act together, or it may be too late to prevent catastrophic climate change.”

It’s an inspiring film because it doesn’t just portray the devastation caused by climate change but shows how we can, still, change it – provided we act together and act now. Do we want to be suicidally Stupid, or Not Stupid.

The film avoided being too one-sided or preachy. Pete Postlethwaite plays the only fictional role, a man looking back and asking why we didn’t act when we could. But most of the footage is real people in the world now: and their lives show both the terrible impact of climate change and our oil-dependent lifestyles, but also the complex human stories involved.

The film is helping raise awareness of the urgent need for action by government in the run up to the Copenhagen summit. Being at the premiere we also saw the live Q&A with the film’s director, producer and star. They praised the government for the Climate Change Bill, but condemned the decision to go ahead with expanding Heathrow; and if the Kingsnorth power station goes ahead, they are asking people not to vote Labour again.

What else you can do:
– go and see the film! It’s on at Screen on the Green at on Sunday 29th March, Tuesday 31st March and Thursday 2nd April, all at 2 p.m.
– sign up to be Not Stupid
– come on the Stop Climate Chaos march on 5 December.


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The Age of Stupid

I’m off to a film premiere on Sunday evening. But no red carpet at Leicester Square.

The Age of Stupid is having a record-breaking ‘people’s premiere’ with simultaneous screenings at dozens of cinemas across the country. It’s a docu-drama about the impact of climate change, starring Pete Postlethwaite as a lone survivor in the future looking back on our age, the age that could avert disaster if we act.

I’m going to be treading the green carpet at the Islington Vue, along with my friend Betty Harris. Betty helped fund the film, making her an angel from the Angel! And though the Islington premiere screening is sold out, the film can be seen at The Screen on the Green on Sunday 29th March, Tuesday 31st March and Thursday 2nd April, all at 2 p.m.

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Keen as Mustard?

We’re used to getting estate agent flyers through the door – but today a message arrived that’s a bit different.

“Dear owner/resident,

We are currently scouting this area for film locations for a television commercial due to be aired nationally in the next few months.

We require access to a property in this neighbourhood where we are able to film in the downstairs living areas and a bedroom. The filming date will be either on the 17th or 18th of September with the timings yet to be confirmed.

We have a generous location fee to pay for the use of your property.

If you think your property may fit this brief and you are interested, please call myself on my mobile to discuss further, 07939 025 277. I will be in the area today and tomorrow looking at other locations.

Kind regards

Cloe Musker
Location Scout
For and on behalf of
The Mustard Film Company

I don’t think it’s for us, but if you have a corner of Canonbury to offer, then I’m sure Mustard would be keen to hear from you….. And it’ll be very interesting to see where they end up.

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Movie madness

A fascinating link here about Hollywood London – those inconsequential locations that make no sense to Londoners who know their neighbourhood well. If you’ve ever been amused by how many characters seem to go out of their way to cross Tower Bridge, you’ll enjoy this.

Islington locations are film characters in themselves; Chapel Market played Peckham in Only Fools & Horses, while the Farmiloe Building in St John Street appears as part of Gotham City in Batman Begins.

Meanwhile one of my favourite films, Truly Madly Deeply, which I thought was a wholly London affair, turns out to be partly filmed in Bristol…. Is nothing sacred?

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Give me Shelter

Has Ken Loach lost the plot? I heard him on the Today programme this morning. Loach, famous for his radical left-wing views, is calling on people to stop giving money to Shelter, because of an industrial dispute among its employees.

Shelter is a national charity but one in which I have a strong local interest. Shelter is based in my constituency, in Old Street. And Loach’s docu-drama, ‘Cathy Come Home’, which led to the creation of Shelter, was filmed partly in Popham Street, Islington; just across the road from my home.

The film’s tenements have been cleared long since, and the modern Popham Estate is in their place. The nature of homelessness has changed; instead of families on the streets, we have the hidden homeless, three or four generations of families squashed into one flat, because there is nothing like enough affordable housing to go round. So Shelter’s work is still desperately needed.

Shelter staff are as entitled to fair pay and to take industrial action as anyone else. But the idea that donors should cut off funding to the charity in response is just barmy.

Ken Loach is one of those left-wingers who seems to think any industrial dispute is worth supporting, no matter who suffers. It’s the kind of view that led me to leave the Labour party for the Liberals nearly 25 years ago.

But it gets worse. Loach argues that by taking contracts for Government work, something Shelter has done since the 1970s, they are somehow compromised in their independence. In fact, as Shelter’s Chief Exec Adam Sampson made clear, they are as outspoken as ever; his last appearance on Today was attacking Housing Minister Caroline ‘heart of’ Flint’s policy of evicting the unemployed. She’s demonstrated that new Labour is no more attractive or reasonable than the old hard left.

Loach then went on to say that Shelter should not take work from the Government, because the Government was ‘part of the market economy that causes homelessness in the first place’. What is he proposing? I thought state funding was the left’s holy grail to avoid dependence on the market? And what about corporate charity donations? Does he want Shelter to reject those? Many donors will be pleased to know that Shelter’s admin costs are kept under control, so the money goes to those most in need.

I should declare an interest: I’ve been a Shelter donor, through payroll giving, for many years. So Loach’s piece was aimed at me. I’ll certainly review my giving to Shelter as a result; it’s about time they got an increase.

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