Student Blog

Film reviews puts writing up in lights

Who doesn’t love talking about a good film? And who doesn’t love bagging a bad one for that matter! Everyone it seems – including our intermediate and senior students.

We have been working with these students to review all things lights, camera and action over the past weeks. The students had a lot of fun looking learning about genre and playing a great game of guess-the-film-genre-by-the-music: and they all screamed with horror – at the romantic music!!

Film review language is all about forming opinions: using modal verbs and adjectives to describe with shades of meaning how you feel about something.  Our intermediate students loved – and did a really great job – brainstorming positive, negative and neutral words they would use to describe a film. We pinned the words up in the room so they had a range of vocabulary to use in their film reviews.

Our seniors  (14 and 15 year olds) watched and reviewed a few short films. The BAFTA awarding winning short film Room 8 provoked a highly polarize response: some loved it, some hated it!

See who’s review you agree with more.

Room 8: Dullness in a box
By Moritz

Despite winning the BAFTA award for short films, this movie doesn’t have much to offer. Room 8 was released in 2013 and directed by James W Griffiths. The actors were Tom Cullens, playing a British prisoner in a Russian prison Michael Gould, playing a prisoner that secretly works for the Russians.

The problems with Room 8 begin with the story. Even though the idea is very original, the way it is displayed is absolutely boring. The British prisoner is in a Russian prison being transferred to a new prisoner cell, Room 8. There he finds the other prisoner that secretly works for the Russians. The new prisoner finds a box which opens another dimension, which gives the British prisoner an idea.

While the story in Room 8 might sound interesting, there are several elements that failed to convince. The story as an idea is great but takes much too long to take place. The ending, even though containing a major plot twist, is dulled by mediocre acting of Tom Cullens and the audience already having a good idea of what’s going to happen. The music is the same throughout the entire film, which adds to it’s dullness.

Room 8’s lighting is the only bright spot

The lighting is one of the movies only positive features in this short film, bringing it into context. The lighting is particularly impressive during the scenes in which you see the prisoner that works for the Russians sitting at his Desk. In those scenes, the light forms a glow around him creating a God-like appearance which is very fitting for the man’s position in the film.

All in all, Room 8 is a rather uninspiring movie that failed to convince me on almost every level and I think this movie deserves about three stars.

Room 8 is thinking outside the box
by Elizabeth

Room 8, directed by James W Griffiths, is a short film full of suspense and mystery. Released in 2013 the movie lasting a short 5 mins and 30 secs, received the 67th Annual BAFTA award in 2014.

In the movie, a British prisoner, played by Tom Cullen, is faced with a mysterious cellmate, played by Michael Gould, that is secretly working for the Russians and a box, that when opened leads to a parallel dimension. Due to his curiosity, the British prisoner opens the box, regardless of his cellmate’s warning.  When realizing what happens when he opens the box, an idea comes to his mind. This leads to a major plot twist and a completely unexpected ending.

Set in a Russian prison around 1965, the atmosphere is quite tense and intimidating. The lighting mainly focuses on the Russian spy, who’s desk is placed directly under the window. It’s very grey outside so the light that’s coming in though the window is very gloomy and cold. The cell is quite run down, which gives a better picture of the whole prison and adds to the tense and cold atmosphere. Violent and harsh seeming soldiers all make the movie very frightening and daunting.

I find the movie very interesting and captivating and I think the lighting and the setting definitely help creating the atmosphere that you need to make a movie tense and mysterious. I think the actor playing the British soldier could’ve played his role a bit better, but I think Michael Gould did at fantastic job at playing his character. I do although think that the music could’ve been different, because it was the same throughout the whole movie and you forgot it was even there after a short while of watching.

Throughout the movie suspense gets built up and it culminates in a surprising twist that opens up many questions. The movie includes multiple turns and really catches your attention; therefore, I recommend this movie to people who enjoy suspense and mystery. I would give this movie 4/5 stars, because I very much enjoyed, but I think they could’ve done at better job with the music.

Submitted by Elizabeth, Maura Hannon, Mortiz, December 6th, 2018

Checked and posted by Maura

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