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Hello readers, and welcome to July’s issue of The Spread! This month we have a variety of insightful articles dealing with films based on historical events that you can peruse as you sit back and enjoy the summer.

But first, let’s look back at some of Cinema Jam’s own recent history. This month we had, as usual, one of our Jam Sessions on June 9th. This time it was a special public event, to which everyone was invited, and it was also the first time we held the Jam Session at the Hackney Attic. This month’s guest speaker was Orestes Kouzof from Raindance, who spoke about the best way to approach festival submissions. We also screened an episode of Channel 4’s “The Art of Foley” by Rebecca Ferguson and the critically acclaimed short film “Hedgehog” by Chris Lee and Paul Storrie. MOFILM was our sponsor. FEST-no-background

July’s Jam Session will also be at the Hackney Attic, on the 15th. Confirmed for the lineup are “The Missing Scarf” by Eoin Duffy and “As He Lay Falling” by Ian Waugh.

Another big event in June was FEST, which brought filmmakers from all over the world together between the 22nd and the 29th to the New Directors, New Films Festival in Espinho, Portugal. On the 24th, we held one of our matchmaking events, Drunk on Revolution, at the Boo Dop bar in Espinho. At the event, guests were asked to choose the film quote that best represents their film career, and were then given a mystery envelope. Inside was one half of a transfer tattoo depicting the iconic film they chose. This was then placed on the back of their hand, and they had to find the person with the other half of the tattoo throughout the night and post a photo to twitter matching up their hands to win free drinks.

pathsofglory_2900189bOver here at The Spread we’re placing our focus for this month on history, with features and reviews about a number of different movies set in the past. To start, AD Cooper provides us with a rundown of films based on The Great War, from Paths of Glory to The Big Parade to La Grande Illusion. Then, Joe Morgan takes a look at another war that’s been the subject of many films, The Vietnam War, and explores two lesser-known Vietnam films that absolutely need to be seen. Also, new Spreader Miranda Mungai gives us her take on the top 5 historical films that everyone can learn from, from Selma to Pan’s Labyrinth.

Thomas Humphrey has two reviews for us, of Great War short Août 1914, and World War II drama Cross of Iron, which he believes is “an incredibly savvy and compelling adaptation of Willi Heinrich’s original novel.” From Marlies Janssens we’ve got a mixed review of The Young Victoria, which she praises for its production values but considers “rather tiring at moments.” She also reviews Hard Sun, a new drama about a woman who attempts to balance her social life with caring for her aging grandfather and her brother, who has Fragile X Syndrome.

IndexZero-2Also on the review side we have Marija Makeska’s review of Index Zero, a new dystopian sci-fi film about immigrants who are held prisoner because they are not considered “sustainable” by the government. Samantha Ward remembers Jaws on its 40th anniversary, taking us back through the film’s history from over-budget production nightmare to classic blockbuster. Finally, I take a look at John Boorman’s latest film, Queen and Country, the sequel to his Oscar-nominated London Blitz drama Hope and Glory.

This month’s Jammer of the Month is Stephen Follows, a producer and director whose impressive blog charts film history as it happens with in-depth insights into the numbers of the film industry. We’ve also got talks with Gene Fallaize, director of the upcoming epic Dark Ascension, editing guru Larry Jordan, who talks to us about his experiences in the industry and what he thinks the biggest challenge is in teaching new students how to edit, and music video expert Emily Caston, who gives us her take on the past, present and future of music video production.

We’ve also shared some industry tips from our partners at Raindance, including 10 tips for shooting film with a drone, by New Zealand-based filmmaker Sebastian Solberg, and a look at the history of Super 8mm film from Raindance’s own Itteshad Hossain, who picks his 5 favorite films shot with the influential film stock. Take a look also at this editorial by Lift-Off’s James Bradley, who explores the immense egos that many prospective filmmakers have, and how it can hurt their chances of making it in the industry.

Still looking for more Spread to read this month? We’ve got an extensive collection of reviews and other film-related on our site, and you can also have a read of our opinions on some of June’s biggest films, including Inside Out and Jurassic World. As always, stay tuned for more current reviews and industry articles throughout the month.

Thanks for reading, and have a great July!

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson is a writer and filmmaker born in England, based in Michigan, USA, and currently living in Enniscrone, Ireland. He writes about all things entertainment with a speciality in film criticism. He has been working on films ever since middle school, when his shorts "Moving Stateside" and "The Random News" competed in the West Branch Children's Film Festival. Since then he's written and directed a number of his own films and worked in many different crew jobs. Follow him on Twitter @GambasUK and look at his daily film diary at letterboxd.com/gambasUK.

Posted on Jul 6, 2015

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