"HIGH RISE" STANDS TALL AT TORONTO WORLD PREMIERE 0 314

“High-Rise”, the much anticipated adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel of the same name, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last night. In attendance were the films’ stars Tom Hiddleston, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Evans and Jeremy Irons along with director Ben Wheatley.

attends the "High-Rise" premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 13, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

It didn’t take long after the film ended for the reviews to start flooding in, many of them, like the ones below, extremely positive.

Screendaily.com’s Fionnuala Halligan:

“In Tom Hiddleston, the director has found an actor who can deliver the central character’s essential distance with the right mix of sympathy, intelligence and raw carnality. The film sings, and, frequently, dances; it feels alive. High Rise is unusual, and, despite the visual sheen, grubby enough to retain the director’s Sightseers fan base while reaching out to new, young audiences looking for a no-holds-barred ride. That, 40 years and countless dystopias later, Ben Wheatley can still make his work look modern and edgy in times when we think we’ve seen it all is indeed a feat to be celebrated.”

David Jenkins of littlewhitelies.co.uk:

“The first 20 minutes of Ben Wheatley’s feverishly anticipated High-Rise offer the suggestion – no, it’s more than a suggestion, it’s an assurance – that you’ve just sat down to a sick modern classic. The lead character for most of High-Rise is Tom Hiddleston’s raffish Dr Robert Laing…the initial suggestion is that Laing will act as our conduit into the bowls of this monkey house, though this dissipates when it becomes clear that he’s just another crazed maniac, even if immaculately turned out and well spoken. And that’s pretty much game, set and match for the movie. Brilliant sequences and witty non-sequiturs pile up, all individually dazzling but at the service of nothing.”

The Telegraph’s Tim Robey:

“Wheatley, previously a low-budget cult hero after the likes of Down Terrace and Kill List, has upped his craft and ambition..brings the spirit of seventies swinger parties into the mix with giggly, orgiastic results. Wheatley stops short of making Ballard’s vision relevant to our debatably more anxious present. Ballard’s concept is meticulously, lovingly recreated, like a museum exhibit of itself.”

William Bibbiani of craveonline.com:

“The most disturbing part of Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise is how utterly normal its apocalypse is. Society slowly collapses into brutality and hedonism and anarchy and it’s just another day, as sane or insane as any other. Ho-hum. Pass the plate of dog, please? Who’s next in line for a lobotomy? Say what you will, but at least no one in Wheatley’s phantasmagoric asylum is being turned down at the sex parties. This is a leisurely drive into social collapse, and if that doesn’t freak you out then nothing in this movie will, and maybe it’s already too late. Watch the movie about the world falling apart as the world falls apart and get comfortable, because this twisted erection isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s a fun house mirror that shows us how warped we will be in two days time, and that’s as incredible as it is sad.”

Of course, not all critics were as impressed:

indiewire.com’s Kevin Jagernaugth:

“High-Rise” doesn’t have a plot so much as an escalating mood of slowly unwinding chaos…the characters can never be more than narrative metaphors, and because they don’t have much on the page beyond that, being engaged with their fate as the high-rise devolves into hell on Earth is fairly difficult. The withholding nature of the movie, and its indifference to the fate of the characters, creates a barrier that makes it difficult for the audience to share in the mayhem they are watching on screen. Indirectly or inadvertently, viewers are left in their own penthouse of sorts, watching from afar, with a curious but detached interest.”

The Guardian’s Henry Barnes:

“The combination of the low-ish budget production values and the wry tone makes the film feel like a pastiche. Hiddleston surfs the confusion with ease. His tendency to look detached works well in a setting where the rules have been thrown to the wind. Wheatley has made High Rise his story, instead of Ballard’s. That’s fine – but, unfortunately, it’s a less interesting take. It’s not a disaster, but the faults stack up. It took nearly 40 years for High Rise to make it to big screen. After all that time, this is a bit of a dog’s dinner.”

Those who were fortunate enough to attend the premiere took to the web (mostly Twitter) to share their thoughts, with many of them agreeing with the critics who praised the film:

John Le Gris, writing on letterboxd.com:

“Wheatley has achieved something undeniably zany, fun, shocking, perplexing, and straight up bonkers…High-Rise is a crazed and yet thoroughly entertaining feature film, which should rightfully expose Wheatley to any film lover who (for whatever reason) hasn’t heard of him yet. 8.5/10.”

@marco_orlic:

“HIGH-RISE: The most frustrating, unenjoyable, ballsy & visionary film I’ve seen in quite some time. Beautiful in its grotesqueness. #TIFF15.”

Clinton McClung @ResidentClinton:

“Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise just may be the new A Clockwork Orange. #TIFF.”

@adambvary:

“HIGH-RISE: I can’t think of a film this elaborate, w/a cast this impressive, that is so deeply weird, alienating, and anarchic. #TIFF15.”

@ginnymonaco:

“Magnificently weird, weirdly magnificent. #HighRise.”

@MikeyGorman:

“Credits are rolling on #HighRise. Holy flipping wow did I love that movie. #TIFF15.”

Emma Badame @pollyprissypant:

“Stylish, surreal and a standout. Some will hate #HighRise, but I loved it. Wheatley, I bow before your Ballard ballad. #TIFF15.”

“High Rise” will have its UK premiere at the London Film Festival on October 9 but no general release date has yet been announced.

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RED TAN CHATS “DON’T YOU DARE”, TOUR PLANS & MUSICAL INFLUENCES 0 29

They say pain and heartache can be great motivators. For Red Tan, it’s true. As a young widow with a young son, the loss of her husband and her ambition to be an individual her son can look up to and be proud of spurred her on to follow her dreams of making her mark on the music world – a dream she has now fulfilled. Her recently released debut single “Don’t You Dare” will soon be followed by an EP of the same name, and she’s already making tour plans for 2020. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Red Tan to talk song-writing inspiration, her thoughts on social media and her long-time goals and aspirations.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as an artist? What one thing makes you stand out from your many artistic counterparts?

Red Tan: Since I wrote all my songs, I have an inspiring or empowering story to tell on each one and that I think is my USP. The audience will be captivated by emotions because I sing like a storyteller.

TITL: Which bands and artists are you most influenced by and how do they impact the music you make? 

RT: For this EP, my influences are Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa and Blackpink. 

TITL: You’ve been studying and performing music since the age of 16 and have since gone on to win two medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts; how has this helped you grow as an artist and shape you into who you are now?   

RT: WCOPA has opened me up to the idea that I can make it internationally even if you only have limited resources. You just gotta be resourceful and ask assistance from people around you who believe in your talent. As an artist, it made me mature and more purpose driven. It made me open to explore different genres and blend with them. 

TITL: Tell me a little about your debut single “Don’t You Dare.” Is there a particular story behind it and what made you feel the song was a good fit for a first release? 

RT: It’s something edgy but kinda warm. The verses are passive aggressive. I want it to stand out because the lyrics are the exact same reason why I am doing this EP and pursuing my singing career. The story behind is not to give up and to use all these challenges, situations, or even haters, as stepping stones to push yourself harder and do more in life.

TITL: The track is taken from your upcoming EP of the same name, which is dedicated to your late husband. Not giving anything away, how would you sum it up? Do you have a favourite track or does that tend to change from time to time? 

RT: This is my first EP and I think each song has a special place and meaning. It’s hard to say which is the best. They are all the best for me. Haha!

TITL: In terms of your lyrics and general song-writing, who or where do you find most of your inspiration? 

RT: Everyone and everything. Sometimes listening to other people’s experiences or my own experiences good and bad. Sometimes I will just look at my son and write down everything I want to tell him and voila! I have created my lyrics already.  

TITL: How easy or hard do you find the song-writing process? Can it depend on the subject you’re wanting to write about or your frame of mind at the time? 

RT: I can do both. I can also base my writing on the mood of the music my engineer makes. It’s quite challenging but once you find your perfect spot and the right momentum, it does get easier and I think the words become more powerful when it’s based on your personal experiences. 

TITL: To what extent does love and family, seeing as you’re a young mum, impact and influence what you do and what projects etc. you decide to give your time and attention? 

RT: My son is a big factor in my overall decision making. He’s my whole world. One of the benefits of being an indie artist is the freedom to decide and choose projects on your own terms. One for which must not require me to be away from him for too long. My family’s support has been good. They helped me in everything so haven’t had to worry too much. I am doing this for them as well.  

TITL: How has moving to London impacted your career and ability to connect with other artists/those in the industry? Have you noticed any similarities or differences between the music worlds/industries here and back home in Manila? 

RT: I learned so much in London; the ins and outs here is totally different as compared to the music industry in the Philippines. I want to share these skills which I developed in London to my home country and encourage artists there that they too can make it worldwide. Hoping to also expand the Filipino music and culture across the world. 

TITL: You’ve already performed as a jazz artist in Dubai and Malaysia, but if you could put together your dream show with four bands or artists, living or dead, who would you choose and where would you play? 

RT: My dream show is a mixture of my favorite genres with a powerful female cast like Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Lady Gaga and Beyonce at Wembley Arena in London. 

TITL: Do you have any performances/tour dates lined up? Where can music fans next check you out? 

RT: Nothing concrete but there are plans for the next year. 

TITL: What are your thoughts on social media and is being part of the technology-obsessed society we all seem to be a part of something you like/enjoy or something you prefer to stay away from? 

RT: I love social media. It’s made the world a smaller place which is good. I am able to promote easily and more effectively and make things happen fast as compared to how it was before. It’s amazing how my songs can go international easily through digital media.  

TITL: Aside from your EP release, what does the rest of the year have in store for you? 

RT: Hopefully get some kickstarter funding and build great collaborations to do a worldwide tour. Also planning to finish an album by mid-2020.

TITL: Finally then, what are your long-term aspirations as an artist? Given how hard you’ve worked to achieve and get to where you are now, what’s left on your bucket list, both personal and professional, for you to tick off? What message or legacy would you like your music to leave behind many years from now? 

RT: I want to write more meaningful and empowering songs and express a wide range of inspiring ideas when it comes to my performances. My music is a salvation to me personally and I would like it to be a salvation to my fans and supporters as well. Especially to those who are ignored, misjudged and rejected, to those suffering from mental health issues, and to those who are fighting their own battles. I want to send a message across and remind them how beautiful, worthy and important they are. As clichéd as it may sound, I dream that my music would lessen suicidal incidents and help a lot of people as much as it has helped me in my healing process and in gaining back my strength, confidence and wisdom. Also, the profit that I will earn from streaming will also be used to provide food and education to thousands of less fortunate children in the Philippines.

Check out “Don’t You Dare” below and for more information on Red Tan, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

READY STEADY COOK TO RETURN WITH RYLAN AS HOST 0 17

Cookery hit Ready Steady Cook is set to return to BBC One Daytime in 2020, with new host, Celebrity MasterChef finalist Rylan Clark-Neal. The new series will offer up fresh challenges to put the next generation of chefs through their culinary paces.

Ready Steady Cook, produced by Remarkable TV (part of EndemolShine UK), will feature a diverse range of exciting talent from the culinary world, offering the new line-up of chefs a platform to showcase their cookery prowess against the clock on BBC One. Chefs signed up for the series so far include Mike Reid, Romy Gill, Akis Petretzikis, Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh.

The show will reflect contemporary food themes, from cooking on budget to eating healthily, managing food waste to feeding the whole family, mirroring the changes in food and British cooking over the past decade.

In every episode two contestants are each paired up with a chef, going head to head in the newly designed Ready Steady Cook kitchen. But in this new series, the chefs will now face two different taste tests and the clock is always ticking! In the first challenge, each contestant comes armed with their bag of ingredients, all bought within a £10 budget. They’ll have just 20 minutes to create delicious, surprising and inspiring dishes ready to wow the discerning studio audience. And with further format twists along the way, from wildcard ingredients to chef timeouts, Rylan always has a surprise in store.

The revamped second challenge is even faster, as each pair has just 10 minutes to create yet more amazing dishes, this time based on audience ingredients cards. With unlikely combinations always a possibility, the pressure is on to create yet more flavour sensations. And, in true Ready Steady tradition, the casting vote on the show’s winner will be left to the audience who’ll have their say on the best dishes, by voting with the iconic red tomato and green pepper voting cards.

Rylan says: “I’m so excited that Ready Steady Cook is finally coming back to our screens. To be asked to host such an amazing show for the BBC is such a privilege. After making the finals of Celebrity MasterChef I know how tough cooking under pressure can be. I’m sure that the mix of new challenges, fantastic chefs and enthusiastic cooks will be a recipe for success, maybe with the odd disaster! I can’t wait to get in the kitchen!”

Carla-Maria Lawson, Acting Head of BBC Daytime says: “Ready Steady Cook is a celebration of the much loved BBC One Daytime show, reimagined for contemporary Britain. The premise of healthy, aspirational food being prepared against the clock will be familiar to the audience, as will the iconic red tomatoes and green peppers! This will be a series for the modern day featuring a brigade of exciting new culinary talent and with Celebrity MasterChef finalist, Rylan at the helm, a teatime treat for a whole new generation of viewers.”

Kitty Walshe, Joint Managing Director for Remarkable TV, says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing back such an iconic favourite. Ready Steady Cook was a staple ingredient of TV viewing for so many years and our refresh will bring it right up to date, while keeping the essence of the much-loved format. Rylan is the perfect host to bring the series back and the show promises to be the perfect mix of culinary inspiration and fantastic entertainment.”

Ready Steady Cook (20×45) was commissioned for BBC One by Carla-Maria Lawson, Acting Head of BBC Daytime and the Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime is Lindsay Bradbury. Executive Producer for Remarkable TV is Cat Lawson.

The new series will be filmed and produced in Glasgow.

Ellis Barrie

Ellis got his big break in cooking aged just 15, at Fellini’s in Liverpool. After developing his skills in restaurants across Liverpool and Australia, he eventually relocated to his family home in Anglesey, where with his brothers he turned an abandoned chicken shed on an old camp-site into one of the region’s most talked-about restaurants, the Marram Grass. After realising how much pork is imported into Wales, he set up his own farm next to the restaurant, providing it with his own home grown vegetables and meat. On top of this, he can often be found foraging for wild garlic along the Anglesey coast. All of which means it’s little surprise that The Marram Grass won Best Bistro/Brasserie of the Year at the Anglesey Tourism Awards, and Ellis personally was named one of the most promising names in hospitality under 30.

Mike Reid

With a career spanning 20 years on both sides of the globe, Mike Reid brings a wealth of experience to the RSC kitchen. He first fell in love with cooking while at university, and after choosing to follow his passion full time, found himself under the tutelage of Michel Roux Jr, Gordon Ramsay, and even cooking alongside Heston Blumenthal. In 2014, he opened Jardin Tan in Melbourne before returning to the UK to open another restaurant the same year, M in London. Never one to shy away from hard work, he balances his time between his restaurants in Melbourne and the UK. His food is eclectic, drawing on influences and cuisines from across the globe.

Romy Gill

Romy initially learned to cook from her mother while growing up in India. She moved to the UK for university and decided to make the UK her home. A trip to her local curry house left her longing for the authentic flavours of real Indian food and so she decided to open a restaurant, Romy’s Kitchen in Bristol. In 2016 Romy received an MBE for services to hospitality, so she’ll be unphased by anything the RSC kitchen can throw up! She is a master of both classic British cooking and authentic Indian cuisine, but loves to find new ways to combine both.

Akis Petretzikis

Akis discovered his true love was cooking whilst training to be an accountant. Within a year of finishing his degree he had gone on to become the first Greek winner of MasterChef, and later became Head Chef at Michel Roux’s Avenue Bistro. Since then he has become a regular name on Greek TV, fronting several of his own cooking shows, and even hosting the Greek version of Ready Steady Cook. With his own line of cookbooks, food products and his own (bilingual) YouTube channel, this is not a chef who shies away from a challenge.

Anna Haugh

Anna grew up surrounded by a family who loved cooking and while her career has brought her through some of the top restaurants all over the UK and France, she has never lost touch with those Irish roots. After establishing herself at restaurants including London’s Pied à Terre and Paris’ Hotel Lotti, she helped launch Gordon Ramsay’s London House restaurant, acting as its first head chef. It was always her dream, however, to launch her own restaurant, and in 2019 that became a reality with Myrtle in Chelsea. Anna has experienced all aspects of the restaurant industry over the last 20 years, and is ready to bring all that experience, plus a pinch of Irish know-how, to the RSC kitchen.