Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Uncut Gems

Like Good Time, the Safdie brothers latest feature Uncut Gems is relentless and chaotic, with a hyper charged career best performance from Adam Sandler as gambling jeweller Howard Ratner. It's not an easy watch with over lapping dialogue, verite style camera work and discordant score (once again by Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a Oneohtrix Point Never) all adding to a panic attack inducing whole that is vulgar and grotesque and yet also addictive, mesmeric and strangely beautiful.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


The film that pipped 1917 to the big awards at this years Oscars couldn't have been more stylistically different to Sam Mendes war epic and yet was every bit as engrossing. In an awards season which will be remembered for the furore caused by the lack of diversity shown by both BAFTA & Academy voters it was extremely refreshing to see Bong Joon-Ho's phenomenal Parasite swimming against the tide to become the first ever non-English language film to win Best Picture.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Omen

To achieve the shot of Lee Remick's Katherine falling to the floor when she is knocked over an upstairs bannister in The Omen director Richard Donner dressed the wall to make it resemble the floor by attaching floorboards, plant pot, rug, fish and remnants of fish tank. He then had her stand on a dolly and twist her body as it was pushed towards the wall.

I love the simplicity of this in-camera effect. It makes me wish that today's film-makers would spend a bit more time thinking up practical solutions to achieving a shot before resorting to using a green screen.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020


The big winner at Sunday night’s BAFTA awards Sam Mendes 1917 is made to look like it was all shot in one continuous take a la Victoria but is actually a number of long shots cleverly stitched together with invisible joins in the same vein as Birdman. It’s a stylistic choice that suits the subject matter putting the audience right in the thick of the action as we follow George MacKay’s Lance Corporal Schofield through the WW1 trenches on a perilous mission to hand deliver a life saving message.

After gaining first hand experience on Children of Men I know technically just how hard it is to pull off these kind of shots but DOP Roger Deakins and his camera operators do an amazing job.

There is one join that Mendes doesn’t try to hide, when Schofield passes out and the screen fades to black. This allows enough time to pass when he wakes for day to have turned to night and the most striking looking scene plays out like a dream as flares light up the ruins of a French village causing the broken buildings to cast beautiful shadows.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Showreel 2020

Andy Hague// Showreel 2020

The Midnight Beast, Warp Films/ Channel 4
Daddy My (short film), 246 Films/ Sunday's Film
The Backseat (short film), Hidden Art Films
Figure it Out - Orla Gartland (music video)
Settlers (short film), 246 Films
Albert (short film), Stathi Twins Productions
Run it Off (short film), Creative England/ iShorts
Berberian Sound Studio (burn-out sequence), Warp Films

4K Music Videos

Despite loving the imperfect aesthetic you get from old VHS it is also very pleasing when you come across bright and shiny cleaned up versions of things you are used to seeing in analogue form.

These days it’s not just old films that are getting digitally restored. Old archive footage is often cleaned up when it’s included in films or documentaries, such as The Beatles Shea Stadium concert that appeared in Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week.

The original 16mm rushes of Elton John’s music video for I’m Still Standing were tracked down to use in the final scene of Rocketman. In the film Elton was erased and replaced by Taron Egerton in a re-edited version of the video. As all the rushes were digitised it made sense for the video to undergo the full 4K restoration treatment at the same time.

Other classic 80’s music videos that have been remastered at 4K include Take on Me by A-Ha and Last Christmas by Wham!

Elton John// I'm Still Standing

A-Ha// Take on Me

Wham!// Last Christmas

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Mark Leckey

I do have a soft spot for the texture and feel of old VHS footage. Another inspiring piece of work originating on VHS is Fiorucci Made me Hardcore, Mark Leckey’s mesmerising found footage collage of subcultures that takes in everything from 70’s Northern soul to 90’s hardcore rave.

Leckey had this to say about it’s look:

It’s VHS so it’s analogue, so it’s got this particular grain to it, this feel, that I think has been fetishised. Marshall McLuhan said in the 70’s ‘Poor TV definition demands more activity from the viewer, who ends up investing the image with a peculiar vitality.’ I think that’s how Fiorucci works, because you can’t quite see it so you look harder. There’s something very compelling about that fuzz of VHS. It pulls you in, but it’s always pushing you out at the same time. It’s like a faded wallpaper, the graphic intensity is lost, but there’s something compelling and seductive about that.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

King Krule

King Krule’s first new music since 2017 album The Ooz appeared at the tail end of last year as part of a 15 minute short film Hey World featuring 4 new tracks.

I love the extremely lo-fi nature of the VHS shot film. Parts of it remind me of my own hi-8 experiments from 20 years ago.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Blueprint Productions

Nigel Pearce uses a blueprint photography process to produce original artwork. Check out a promotional video I made for him here:

In return I received a blueprint record artwork with my desert island disc choices listed on the label.

To decide what tracks to choose I used my Top 30 playlist as a starting point but soon realised that despite being my favourites most of them didn’t have any deep meaning or memories attached so I ended up combining them with some more personal choices. Choosing just 8 tracks to represent yourself and your life means leaving out a lot of amazing music. Artists/ genres that didn’t quite make the cut included LCD Soundsystem, The Avalanches, African Highlife, The Beach Boys, New Orleans Funk, Caribou & The Bees. 
1. Little Ole Wine Drinker Me - Charlie Walker

I’ve got a soft spot for Country & Western after spending many a car journey as a kid singing along to one of my parents C&W cassettes.

2. Club Tropicana - Wham!

My older sister had a heavy influence on my musical taste as I grew up in 80’s suburbia. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Top of the Pops and Smash Hits! As I got older I fell out of love with the 80’s sound with a few notable exceptions (see also ‘I Can’t Go For That’ by Hall & Oates or ‘Close to Me’ by The Cure).

3. Beardsman Ska - The Skatalites

This represents my love of all things Jamaican; Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady, Dub. The horns on this track are joyous and infectious.

4. I’m Sticking with You - The Velvet Underground

I almost picked ‘Sweet Jane’ by the Velvets (a mainstay of my top 30) but this one seemed a more fitting end to side A. It’s the song that Clare and I performed at our wedding and will always bring back wonderful memories.

5. A Message to You Rudy - The Specials

One of those songs that has always been in my life and I never grow tired of hearing. It’s another Ska track, this time from the English Ska revival that came out of Coventry in the late 1970’s.

6. Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight & The Pips

I’ve always been a soul boy at heart. Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder.. I chose this track over the rest as it has my favourite backing vocals of all time.

7. Sound and Vision - David Bowie

Timless and unlike anything else ever recorded. This is my favourite Bowie track.

8. Stand by Me - Ben E. King

A perfect end to side B. I sang this song (along with You Are My Sunshine) to each of my three children every night before they went to sleep when they were small.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Favourite Films of 2019

It was another fantastic year for film despite the pull of staying in getting stronger all the time with a continued rise in the quality and quantity of TV drama and some notable releases appearing on Netflix very soon after a limited cinema run (The Irishman, Marriage Story).

My favourite film this year was Us, Jordan Peele’s intelligent follow up to Get Out.

Here’s my top 5:


Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Favourite Music of 2019

My favourite album of 2019 (and my favourite cover artwork too) was Thom Yorke's Anima, definitely his strongest solo album and up there with the best of Radiohead.

And this is my favourite music video..
All shot from the POV of a LEGO train. Genius!

Anna Meredith// Paramour

Here's a playlist of my fave tracks:

Thursday, 12 December 2019

When Fire Burns Cotton

A film I cut for artist Mary Flower is currently on display in the Geology gallery at Bristol Museum. When Fire Burns Cotton looks at the relationship between the standing stones at Stanton Drew and the planes that fly directly over them and the idea that objects have an existence in the world that humans are unable to access.

Mary Flower// When Fire Burns Cotton

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Orla Gartland

Yn Mor deservedly picked up a couple of awards at the Cornwall Film Festival in November; Best Regional Short & Best Ensemble Performance. I got to team up once again with Director Zoe Alker and DOP Charlotte Croft recently to cut the music video for Orla Gartland’s Figure it Out.

Orla has a massive fan base and the video has already clocked up 30K views on YouTube after it's first couple of days of release. I’m used to cutting shorts that are rarely seen outside of film festivals so it’s great to cut something that gets so much exposure for a change.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Fall

You may have missed the latest work from Jonathan Glazer as his 7min short The Fall premiered unannounced on BBC2 one Sunday evening in October without any advertising or introduction. On the same night it surprised audiences across the country by playing before features at a selection of independent cinemas. It’s well worth catching up with on iPlayer while you can.

The Fall is everything you want a Jonathan Glazer short to be; intelligent, nightmarish and visually striking. It shares many qualities (and key crew) with his last feature Under the Skin including a score from the consistently excellent Mica Levi.

Levi’s work can also be heard in the recently released Monos directed by Alejandro Landes. It’s one of the most powerful and all encompassing scores I’ve ever heard that pushes the boundaries of possibility and elevates the film to whole other level.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Hard Day's Night

The most famous and distinctive single strum in all of rock n' roll history has had guitarists guessing how to play it since it was first heard in 1964 at the start of The Beatles hit single A Hard Day's Night. Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive puts an end to years of speculation after Giles Martin lets him in on the secret:

Randy Bachman's Guitarology

Friday, 18 October 2019


Another film currently splitting audiences right down the middle is Todd Phillips Joker. It's been hit with a barrage of bad press since it's premiere at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion for Best Film.

I love the way Phillips has made an art film out of a comic book origin story and it's sure to surprise many viewers who will go to the cinema expecting a completely different type of film. Joaquin Phoenix gives an Oscar worthy performance as Arthur Fleck, his second film in as many years that owes a big debt to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver after 2017's You Were Never Really Here.

The scene pictured here where Joker dances down the subway steps in slow motion is one of the films most iconic but has caused controversy for it's use of the Gary Glitter song Rock 'N' Roll (Part 2).  I found the song choice to be entirely in keeping with the grotesque nature of the film and, despite what the tabloids have reported, Glitter (who is currently serving a 16 year jail term for sex with a minor) will not profit from it's use in the film as he sold off the rights to the recording and publishing of his entire catalogue more than two decades ago.

The makers of Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood faced a similar moral dilemma over whether they should use a Charles Manson song on the soundtrack and checked first to ensure that no-one connected with the Manson estate would profit.

This throws up the age old question, is it possible to seperate the art from the artist?

I know plenty of people who have stopped playing Michael Jackson music after the child abuse revelations that came out of the documentary Finding Neverland but it will be interesting to see whether people's stance softens over time. Unlike Gary Glitter, whose music was never particularly fashionable, Jackson's back catalogue may prove too good to be ignored.

Friday, 4 October 2019

James C. Lyons

Here's a music video I cut recently for my friend Jimmy Lyons featuring stunning Aerial photography of the Portbury Wharf coastline by Ammonite Aerial.

James C. Lyons// Selfless

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino has said that if you joined all his films together to make one long film the ending of his latest, the divisive Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, would make a fitting climax to his whole career. It’s certainly a very entertaining and well constructed set piece and yet I can see why some people may find it’s revisionist take on real life events in bad taste.

Other criticisms l’ve heard levelled at the film are that it is slow moving and lacking in plot and yet this is what I loved about it, that you get to spend time with some extremely watchable characters in a beautifully realised late 60’s L.A and are given plenty of time to revel in the details.

The film is Quentin’s love letter to Cinema. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are on top form as fading movie star Rick Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth and Margot Robbie gives a nuanced performance as Sharon Tate despite having very little dialogue, the sweet scene where she watches herself on screen at the cinema is the films heart.

Thursday, 18 July 2019


Setting a horror film at night and tapping into people's fear of the dark isn't the only way of scaring an audience as Ari Aster proves with Midsommar. The film is set in Sweden during summer solstice when the sun never sets. It's a deeply unsettling work of folk-horror that wears it's Wicker Man influence very much on it's sleeve with another extraordinary performance from Florence Pugh. I think it's apt that I saw it during the middle of the day.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke’s fourth solo outing ANIMA is his strongest yet and feels less like a side project and more an extension of the themes and cutting edge sounds he’s been exploring with Radiohead since heading away from the mainstream in 2000 with Kid A.

I’ve said before that the films I find myself drawn to are often those that blur the line between the conscious and unconscious (awake/ asleep). Films such as The Double, After Hours, the majority of David Lynch films. Watching the Paul Thomas Anderson directed short film that accompanies ANIMA it struck me that there is an overlap with my taste in music. The film plays out like a fever dream starting with a smartly choreographed scene of tube passengers falling asleep. Much of Thom/ Radiohead’s output seems to exist in a dream like void that leaves you trapped with a paranoid feeling of not knowing what’s real and what’s imagined. As he sings in How to Disappear Completely from Kid A; ‘I’m not here. This isn’t happening.’

Monday, 24 June 2019

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is the filmed document of a performance of gospel songs that Aretha gave over two nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972. Production of the film was abandoned at the time due to technical issues - there were no clapper boards used during the shoot and the task of syncing around 14 hours of footage to the sound recording with no sync points proved impossible using the film editing technology of the day.

It wasn't until 2008 that the footage was all finally put together with the sound rushes and an edit could be made and yet the film was delayed a further 10 years by ongoing legal issues and Aretha's refusal to approve it's release.

The perseverance of Producer Alan Elliott (who was 7 years old when the original shoot took place) pays off as the completed film is absorbing and utterly mesmerising. The Queen of Soul gives a powerful, impassioned performance yet remains calm throughout, eyes mostly closed, as she lifts her vocals to a higher plane. You can feel the heat in the room as the intimate crowd are whipped up into a frenzy and it's their reactions and those of the Southern California Community Choir, along with the colourful MC Rev James Cleveland that make the film such a pleasurable watch.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Martin Parr

It was an honour to be photographed by Martin Parr a few months back as part of the pop-up portrait studio sessions at the Martin Parr Foundation. Here's one of the prints we bought and some behind the scenes action.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


The subject of doppelgängers is rich for cinematic potential as we saw in Richard Ayoade’s excellent The Double. Jordan Peele takes it up a notch in Us with a whole family terrorised by slightly more unhinged versions of themselves.

I can’t recommend the film highly enough. The follow up to Peele’s critically acclaimed Oscar winning debut Get Out is an intelligent horror that is properly terrifying and yet funny and sweet at the same time. Lupita Nyong’o’s dual lead performance is phenomenal and the ending deeply satisfying - one of my favourites of recent time.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Kasper Häggström

I was lucky enough to catch a new BUG show last week at the BFI, presented by Adam Buxton. It was a great chance to catch up on some fantastic music videos from 2018 that had passed me by. My favourite was this one by Kasper Häggström for the Kelly Lee Owen track Throwing Lines.

Kelly Lee Owen// Throwing Lines

Friday, 25 January 2019

The Favourite

The Favourite is a glorious, grotesque romp of a film, anarchic and darkly funny with a monumental central performance from Oliva Coleman as Queen Anne, who's grief stricken madness gives the film a deep, sad human heart beneath all the absurdity.

Yorgos Lathimos breathes new life into the period drama by giving it a modern vibe not dissimilar to Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006). DOP Robbie Ryan's unorthodox use of fish-eye lenses is a masterstroke and Coleman, along with co-stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone deserve all the awards coming their way.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

It's no surprise that Netflix approached Charlie Brooker to offer him the chance to be the first filmmaker to test the interactive capabilities of their software, seeing as the theme that runs through all his stand alone Black Mirror episodes is new technology and it's effect on society. Black Mirror is mostly set in the near future or an imaginery parallel present but for his interactive episode Bandersnatch Brooker decided to go retro, setting it in the world of 1980's computer programming where he began his career, (he started out reviewing games for the computer magazine PC Zone).

In the style of a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' computer game viewers are asked to make decisions throughout the drama of varying significance, from choosing which breakfast cereal someone should eat to choosing whether to kill off a main character. Each decision takes the viewer on a different route through the narrative thus making the viewing experience for everyone a unique one.

I found the experience of watching Bandersnatch interesting yet stressful and ultimately frustrating. It reminded me of how a film feels from within the cutting room, a constantly moving story with endless alternative scenes and possibilities. I can appreciate how hard it must have been to shoot and put together but for me it highlighted the fact that when I’m watching drama I don’t want to control it, I want to relax and for someone else to have already decided where the narrative is heading.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Favourite Films of 2018

As funding for feature films gets harder to come by and more opportunities open up in TV production we have seen a growing number of big name film directors switching format from features to TV series in the last couple of years including Jane Campion, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Park Chan-wook, Michel Gondry and Stephen Frears.

With all this talent moving across and the money available from Netflix, Amazon Prime et al, it’s no surprise that the quality of TV drama has raised considerably and the level of detail and production values are now on a par with features.

And yet for all the quality available I didn’t watch anything on TV last year that I enjoyed as much as the five films listed below and on many occasions found myself giving up on a series after episode 1.

My favourite film was Steve McQueen’s Widows and I tend to agree with his point of view about film vs TV. When asked by Sight & Sound if he had considered making Widows as a TV series like the original McQueen said, “some of this new TV is so rubbish because they try to squeeze out every drop and keep it going, even when it’s over. They drag you along even when the narrative has finished. Moviemaking is about craft, about storytelling, in the best way, just like the novel, the fairytale. It’s the best form because there is a beginning, a middle and an end. Rather than stretching it out. Even the best TV dramas over several series, usually I think you could stitch them together as one shorter thing.”

Top 5 films of 2018:

Widows (Steve McQueen)
Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Monday, 17 December 2018

Favourite Music of 2018

My favourite album of the year was Neneh Cherry's Broken Politics, her second album to be produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). 4 tracks from that album spearhead a playlist that is this year dominated by female artists, accounting for around two thirds of the tracks.

My favourite music video was the incredibly simple and very charming TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME by The 1975.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

They Shall Not Grow Old

Commissioned by the IWM and 14-18 Now in association with the BBC, Peter Jackson's World War 1 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which aired on the Armistice centenary last Sunday, is the most extraordinary film restoration project ever undertaken - not only colourising and cleaning up footage taken from the Imperial War Museum's extensive archive but slowing it down and adding extra frames to make it run at 24fps and creating realistic sound and dialogue to bring it to life. Seeing the horror of war in such detail for the first time is utterly mind blowing. The Wizard of Oz moment when colour and sound is first introduced to the archive footage is especially chilling.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The Clock

Christian Marclay's installation The Clock is a montage made up of hundreds of film clips from scenes that have clocks or watches in them. The piece is 24 hours long and edited together so that every clock you see on screen shows the actual time.

Watching it for any amount of time is hypnotic and strangely addictive. The fact that it is never ending (unless you go to one of the special 24 hour screenings and watch it all!) means you can fully immerse yourself and, bizarrely, given that it makes you so hyper-aware of time passing, it causes you to relax and not worry about time.

The Clock is showing at Tate Modern until 20th January 2019.

Monday, 5 November 2018


Annihilation is Alex Garland’s follow up to his stunning debut Ex Machina. Once again it’s a highly intelligent and thought provoking sci-fi. Worryingly for the future of mid to high budget non-blockbuster releases, the studio decided to scrap plans for a theatrical release outside the US and sold the international rights to Netflix (the modern day equivalent of a straight to DVD release).

Films that ask philosophical questions often prove divisive and tend to score badly at preview screenings. Preview results don’t necessarily translate to box office failure though, in fact Ex Machina also tested badly and yet it recouped it’s budget. We’ll never know how Annihilation would have fared at UK cinemas but with Netflix up to almost 118 million global subscribers at least plenty of people will still see the film, although not on the size screen the director intended. I would urge anyone who watches it to try and do so on the biggest screen they have available - watching it on a phone or tablet won't do justice to the fantastic sound and visuals.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Showreel 2018

Andy Hague// Showreel 2018

The Midnight Beast, Warp Films/ Channel 4
Daddy My (short film), 246 Films/ Sunday's Film
The Backseat (short film), Hidden Art Films
Settlers (short film), 246 Films
Albert (short film), Stathi Twins Productions
Run it Off (short film), Creative England/ iShorts
Berberian Sound Studio (burn-out sequence), Warp Films

Monday, 15 October 2018

Yn Mor

I have just locked my latest short film Yn Mor directed by Zoe Alker. Shot on location in Porthleven, the film explores the relationship between a fisherman (Martin Savage) and his grown up daughter (Jenny Jope). It's a great little film with impressive performances from the leads who speak to each other throughout in Cornish, a language rarely heard on film.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Helen Levitt

Some of my favourite Helen Levitt photographs taken on the streets of New York City in the early 1970's.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Cold War

Cold War is a joy to watch from start to finish and well worthy of all the critical plaudits it has received and the best director award Pawel Pawlikowski won at Cannes.

As with Pawlikowski's last film, the equally stunning Ida, the sumptuous black and white photography by Lukasz Zal is presented in 4:3 ratio and the narrative style is simple and unfussy. It's great to see a film that covers a significant timescale (15 years) do so in a lean sub 90 minute running time proving that a film can be epic without having to be long. Pawlikowski trusts the intelligence of his audience to be able to fill in the blanks as the film makes several leaps forward in time.

Tomasz Kot is excellent as Wiktor but Joanna Kulig steals the show as the force of nature that is Zula. The scene where she comes to life in a club, drunkenly dancing to 'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley & His Comets is superbly executed, bringing to life the excitement the new sound of Rock 'N' Roll was causing all over Europe in 1954.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Paul Fusco

On June 8th 1968 Look magazine photographer Paul Fusco travelled on the train carrying Bobby Kennedy's body from his funeral in New York City to Washington D.C, for burial in Arlington Cemetery. Fusco took around 1000 photos on the trip as hundreds of people lined the tracks to pay their last respects. His images of white and African Americans standing side by side to honor a politician who had done so much for civil rights and racial equality are incredibly moving and amazingly all but two remained unpublished for thirty years.

Watching Dawn Porter's meticulously crafted Netflix doc Bobby Kennedy For President made me realize how little I knew about JFK's younger brother, whose assassination was almost as shocking as that of his elder, more famous sibling.

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