Sunday, May 28, 2017

THE 'FREE CINEMA' APPROACH


THE ‘FREE CINEMA’ APPROACH

The ethos behind the 1950s FREE CINEMA movement is vital to understand the way ADRIFT IN SOHO was shot. 


The filmmakers used similar ideas and methods although modern technology and a bigger budget replaced the limited equipment used at the time by Free Cinema filmmakers.




In 1956 a group of film directors and technicians started a kind of ‘movement’ now known as FREE CINEMA and which lasted until early 1960s. The group tried to distance themselves from the established commercial cinema that was churning out heroic war films and star-studded romantic comedies.

Independent filmmakers of that period took advantage of low-cost technology by using small and relatively cheap 16mm Bolex and Arriflex cameras to produce highly original short documentaries.



ADRIFT IN SOHO is also a homage to other European filmmakers, like Dziga Vertov and Francois Trufaut. 

Vertov is the man seen carrying the tripod in the film and then editing the material back in the studio. Vertov also inspired FREE CINEMA but only in choice of subject matter and not in extreme camera movement. The woman filmmaker in the ADRIFT IN SOHO represents the new generation of female directors and producers which started with Vertov and re-started with Free Cinema.

Also an influence are the early films of Francois Truffaut, like The 400 Blows, which was released in 1959, and Jules et Jim in the early sixties. 

The film also uses some dialogue and shots from iconic films beyond Free Cinema.





FREE CINEMA filmmakers became mainstream a few years later when their creative methods and subject matter catapulted them to be part of the 1960s New British Cinema generation. 


Some of the FREE CINEMA directors who went on to create a new wave in British cinema were Tony Richardson (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), Karel Reisz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning), Lindsay Anderson (If…). 

Technicians of the movement such as Director of Photography Walter Lassally went on to work in seminal international films such as Zorba the Greek (1964) while innovative sound recordist and editor John Fletcher was recognised years later.



Colin Wilson, the writer of the novel in which the film is based (Soho segment only) was in contact with this movement and he was briefly featured in one its productions (Food for a Blush). 


Other filmmakers also connected to FREE CINEMA were Europeans Lorenza Mazzetti, Claude Goretta and Alain Tanner. The last two continued their filmmaking close to France’s Nouvelle Vague. The Soho night photographs of Ken Russell also inspired Pablo Behrens to make the movie.

ADRIFT IN SOHO recreates some of the original Free Cinema documentaries like ‘Momma Don’t Allow’ which features Jazz as the music of choice of Soho inhabitants and visitors in the 1950s, followed by Rock’n’Roll a few years later. If fact, the jazz 'jive' was the precursor of the rock dance. Other Free Cinema productions that inspired ADRIFT IN SOHO are 'Nice Time', 'March to Aldermaston' and to a lesser extent 'Every Day Except Christmas'.




In the cinema version of ADRIFT IN SOHO the very act of filmmaking is also one of the protagonists of the movie and not just a tool behind the camera.




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WHAT INSPIRED THE MAKING OF 'ADRIFT IN SOHO'.

ADRIFT IN SOHO: THE SECRET CODES.

All films have tiny references to other directors, films, art or writers. ADRIFT IN SOHO has them too.

At some point we will release the hidden information and inspirational quotes. For the time being, these are some of the clues.

INSPIRATIONAL WRITERS
Isidore Ducasse
Colin Wilson
Paul Schrader
William Shakespeare
Hermann Hesse
Frederick Nietzsche
Marcel Proust
Dylan Thomas


INSPIRATIONAL FILMS
Nice Time - Free Cinema
Momma Don't Allow - Free Cinema
March To Aldermaston - Free Cinema
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Taxi Driver
Jules et Jim
Mishima
Nosferatu
L'Age d'Or
Nouvelle Vague
Cinema Verite
Film Noir
Pipping Tom
Four Weddings and a Funeral
The Prisoner of Zenda
Dziga Vertov (as himself)

Monday, February 1, 2016

ADRIFT IN SOHO - FIRST PICTURES

ADRIFT IN SOHO will be finished in mid 2017. Here are some pictures in the meantime. Currently working on grading, sound mixing and online effects. All going very well. 


First grading references.
by Stef Perry at Framestore.













Visual Effects 
by Framestore.

The film has more than 150 individually crafted visual effects hiding behind a look of simplicity as the film was shot using the methods and techniques of the Free Cinema movement of the 1950s. Note: when they are finished we will post a few. In the meantime, here's one.




Pictures from the production.
Note: ungraded.





















iPhone pictures.
Note: by members of the crew.

























Some research pictures then and now.

Note: The author of the original Colin Wilson lived and worked in Soho and was involved marginally with the Free Cinema movement. The film draws on his books, his experiences and in events at the time. Some real events were reproduced for the film.

Piccadilly in 1952