short film

F is for Frank Castle

frank castleFrank Castle aka The Punisher isn’t exactly a good guy, but you could say he does bad things for good reasons. Basically he kills people, but they are people who are murderers or rapists and who have often escaped justice so Frank dishes his own brand of justice. Frank is a vigilante who does whatever he can to take on criminals and his history in the military means not only is he comfortable in using a wide variety of weapons but he is also a tactical genius and is a master of martial arts.

Frank Castle is definitely an anti-hero but that’s what makes him so compelling. The first time I came across Frank was in The Punisher (2004) which I thought was an OK film and it got me interested in the character (have to say I love the scene where Frank has a bow and arrow), then I watched Punisher: War Zone (2008) which was brutal but brilliant. Now Frank is in the latest series of Daredevil which I’ve yet to watch but I can’t wait to see what he’s like in it – fun fact, I have only watch the first episode of the first series of Daredevil and don’t really care much about Daredevil as a character but the fact that Punisher is in the second series really makes me want to catch up.

I’ve now read some of The Punisher comics, mainly the series by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads which I loved. I love the art style and it was a great insight into Frank’s character and the fact he does care about people even though he tries hard not to. He sees things as very black and white – you’re either good or bad and he treats you accordingly, he can be terrifying but there’s something strangely reassuring about Frank Castle.

To get an introduction to Frank Castle, one of the best places you can go is watch Dirty Laundry, a fan-made short film that is really great.

The 2014 BAFTA Shorts

On Tuesday I took a day off from University life and went into London to have a bit of a tourist day and to see the BAFTA Shorts at the ICA.

I’ve not really watched a lot of short films before, so seeing eight very different films back to back was a new and interesting experience.

A lot of them made me laugh, and to get someone to laugh (perhaps more than once) in 30 minutes or less is an achievement since actual full length comedy films struggle to do that sometimes.

My favourites were Island Queen and Keeping Up with the Joneses. Island Queen is about Miriam, a woman who has never left the island that is her home and never really grew up. So to remedy this she decides to have a baby, but it doesn’t quite go to plan. I found Island Queen hilarious; it is full of dry wit and black comedy that I love. I loved Miriam and her best friend Danny, I would quite happily watch a full-length film of them bickering and hugging and travelling the world together.

Keeping Up with the Joneses is about Celia, the wife of an MP, who is has to confront the imprisoned reality of her life after being taken hostage by two of her husband’s business associates aka gangsters. This one also made me laugh, mostly because of the actors deadpan delivery, but it also managed to make me really feel for Celia as she realises that her life is a gilded cage, and perhaps meeting these “business associates” of her husband was the best thing that could have happened to her.

I think it’s no surprise that my two favourites had wonderful, flawed yet amazing women as leads.

Sleeping with the Fishes won Best British Short Animation at the BAFTAS in February and I’m not that surprised after seeing it. It was my favourite animation out of the three, funny but rather weird.

Room 8 won Best British Short Film and it was a very deserving winner. It was the shortest live action short at only 7 minutes but still made a very clever and unique story. The visuals were great for such a short piece that is contained to just one prison cell. Still, it would’ve been nice if Island Queen or Keeping Up with the Joneses had won.

I really enjoyed watching all the shorts and definitely will go see them again next year if BAFTA decides to screen them.

The BAFTA Shorts are currently touring around the UK, being shown as a feature length package in cinemas across the country. To find out where you can see the shorts go to the BAFTA website. They are also going to be shown internationally as well.