Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trailer Trash

Before Midnight's stellar work for the Greek tourist board and Moby's mission to help indie film-makers

Get us to the Greeks

Director Richard Linklater was pretty smart about his filming locations for the low-budget Before Midnight . In fact, this latest production sets the bar high for product placement in indie movies, though the film's so light and charming you can forgive it any brazen advertising. But, make no mistake, you too can now stay in the Before Midnight suite at the luxury Costa Navarino resort, where the couple stay in the movie. Interestingly, Linklater was brave enough to use the location as the setting for a monumental argument between lovers Jesse and Celine, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. But in general, the film is a great advertisement for the sunlit heaven of Messenia in the southern Peloponnese, an area of Greece the characters mention by name several times during the film. Even the airport gets a nice shot and a loving review from Jesse, who tells his son: "Wow, isn't this airport awesome, don't you just love it?" It's Kalamata airport, and to almost borrow a line from Charley's Aunt, yes, where the olives come from. I should know: at a screening of the film in London last week, guests came out of the movie to be greeted by bowls of these olives and a dipping session with its tasty, pungent oil, once dubbed "liquid gold" by Homer himself (the poet, not the Simpson). I learned that the film was shot in just 15 days and that not a single line of the free-flowing dialogue was improvised. I also learned that you can even press your own extra virgin olive oil if you holiday at Costa Navarino. Now, please can I have a week there with my kids too?

Free Moby

It was great to see the new documentary, The Crash Reel, by Lucy Walker at a screening at BFI Southbank last week. It's a thoughtful exploration of why people push themselves to the limit and it reminded me of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? I also had to divert my eyes several times as snowboarders suffered thumping crashes from great heights. As ever with Walker's films, there was a lot of good music on the soundtrack and I was interested to note the inclusion of a Moby track. A few years ago I wrote in this column that Moby had made a lot of his tunes available free to film-makers on his website, and I now learn that he has revamped the site, adding even more. His music has been used by so many directors already, including Danny Boyle, Paul Haggis, Oliver Stone and Michael Mann. But given that the high price of getting music clearance often stymies independent film-makers, this seems a great resource to me, because there are Moby tunes to fit all moods. You might even spot a remix by a certain David Lynch on the new site. All tracks are available to use without charge, as long as the film project is not for profit. If any of the film projects using Moby's music go on to be commercially successful, Moby just asks that the equivalent licence fee is donated to his charity of choice, the Humane Society, a global animal protection organisation. So today's Trailer Trash lesson: you can now make movies in lovely places with good music and save animals. Just doing my job, folks.

Ello guv'nors

The BFI appointed two new governors last week. Alison Cornwell and Tim Richards are both experienced industry figures who should ensure that future BFI projects have strong commercial prospects, particularly in terms of exhibition and distribution, two of the recurrent major obstacles to the success of more artistic British film‑making. I note, however, from the BFI's new release, that former MP (and former fiance of Lucy Walker) James Purnell is no longer on the board. Purnell was one of the original members when the new board was created only a year ago. Without fanfare, he has decided quietly to stand down since landing his new role as director of strategy and digital at the BBC last March. This is a shame, as Purnell has always been a committed champion of independent and experimental film, as well as a big film fan. Indeed, he was producer on Penny Woolcock's extraordinary documentary One Mile Away, about gang culture in Birmingham, which won the Michael Powell award at Edinburgh a year ago. Perhaps we can hope Purnell will now fight cinema's cause at the BBC and we will see better commitment to film culture on its channels. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds