Flying the flag for bands such as Primal Scream, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Oasis, record label Creation Records was founded by the iconic music exec Alan McGee. His amazing, drug-fuelled tale has been immortalised by director Nick Moran, with a script penned by Dean Cavanagh and Irvine Welsh.
I seized the opportunity to ask screenwriter Cavanagh some questions about the making of this madcap biopic…
Creation Stories is a celebration of not only Alan McGee himself but also of Creation Records and it feels very passionate about that period of time. What do you think was so special about that beloved ‘Britpop’ era both musically and personally for you?
I was in a band during that period and spent a lot of time in London knocking about with people who were classed as ‘britpop’ artists. I knew a lot of the movers and shakers but I wasn’t really a fan of the music. I was more into underground clubbing but the paths often crossed and it was hard to ignore all the success and excess if you know what I mean.
Me and Irvine were both part of the scene but kept managing to avoid each other. My mate Paolo Hewitt was writing a book on Oasis so I got invited to a lot of the shindigs and was privy to it all. I loved Oasis’ first album. It really made a statement and put that indie spirit back in the charts. I knew Britpop was just a lazy media term so never really took it seriously.
Director Tiller Russell is well versed in documentary filmmaking but for his latest feature, he has crafted an amazing true story into crime thriller Silk Road. Based on David Kushner’s Rolling Stone article Dead End on Silk Road: Internet Crime Kingpin Ross Ulbricht’s Big Fall, the story centres around the conception of the notorious website that gives the film its name. Seemingly disillusioned by the stranglehold the US government has on their citizens, philosophical whiz-kid Ross (Nick Robinson) has a bold vision to create what he calls an ‘Amazon for drugs’. Before long, the site is an underground success and soon attracts the attentions of Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), a wizened DEA agent who is struggling to adapt to the modern methods of policing.
In 2018, legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson suffered a brain haemorrhage which left him fearing that he would lose his memory. Whilst in recovery, he began telling stories of his past to prove to himself and his family that he could. His son, Jason Ferguson, used this as an opportunity to craft documentary film Never Give In, which charts the illustrious life and times of his father.
Kirk Caouette has a wealth of film industry experience in a multitude of roles, most notably as a stuntman and fight choreographer. With hitman drama American Badger, he writes, directs, and takes on the leading role, playing ruthless gun-for-hire Dean. When he is assigned the task of befriending call girl Velvet (Andrea Stefancikova) and then subsequently ordered to take her out, he is faced with a dilemma that challenges his immoral attitude.
Police corruption stories have emerged as their own sub-genre of crime films of late, and due to the actions which reignited the Black Lives Matter movement last year, these reactionary tales are unlikely to stop anytime soon. The writer-director duo Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm join forces to address some of these societal issues in Danish drama Shorta, a common Arabic word for police.
The directorial debut of Ryan Andrew Hooper has its premiere at Glasgow Film Festival. A comedy Western set in Pembrokeshire, The Toll tells the story of an unnamed toll booth operator played by Michael Smiley, and about what happens when his dark past catches up with him. I was fortunate enough to chat with Ryan about the film ahead of its release…
I see you have directed The Toll previously as a short film titled Ambition. How closely linked are the two and were there any major changes to the story for the feature-length version?
In terms of that, it was actually written as a feature before it was a short. We came up with the idea and the writer (Matt Redd) and I had this strategy around a short film scheme in Wales called The Beacons. We decided to make the short in order to apply to Cinematic for funding to make the feature! We ended up making a short that was nothing like The Toll. We had different actors, a different toll booth, and there was some magic realism in it.
“The expert in battle moves his enemies but is not moved by them” is just one of the phrases slightly misquoted by the stationary anti-hero in black comedy The Toll, the first time feature from director Ryan Andrew Hooper. An extension of his 2019 short film Ambition, the crime caper centres around an unnamed toll-booth operator (Michael Smiley) who appears to enjoy the simple things in life. His peace is shattered by various incidents occurring in and around the nearby small Welsh town, meanwhile traffic cop turned detective Catrin (Annes Elwy) is looking for answers.
The US government’s forceful methods are called into question in Kevin Macdonald’s legal drama The Mauritanian, which tells the incredible true story of a suspected terrorist’s detainment at Guantanamo Bay. Based on the protagonist’s bestselling book, we see Mohamedou Ould Salahi (Tahar Rahim) imprisoned due to information suggesting his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Still protesting his innocence three years after his arrest, he is represented by defence attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri (Shailene Woodley), while the military lawyer Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch) heads up the prosecution.
A filmmaker suffers from writer’s block in jet-black comedy drama Black Bear, the latest effort from Lawrence Michael Levine. The initial plot sees struggling artist Allison (Aubrey Plaza) head to a rural retreat seeking inspiration for her next feature. She is entertained by expectant couple Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and Blair (Sarah Gadon) who own the lake house and after a few bottles of wine, the evening takes an unexpected turn.