Cambridge International Media Student’s TV Drama Reviews Pt2

Gangs of London 

Gangs of London is  Gareth Evans’ debut TV drama-thriller series made for a Sky Atlantic. Evans is better known for his work in film, such as The Raid 1 2 and 3 (2011,2014,2020), Killers (2014) and more. The Producer of Gangs of London was Hugh Warren- a nominee for British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series. Sound designer was Kenneth C. M. Young. The Gangs of London costume designer was Sandy Powell (Marry Poppins Returns -2018), the costumes she used in Gangs of London perfectly fit the characters and establish hierarchies in the show. The Cinematographers for Gangs of London were Matt Flannery and Gareth Evans. 

 Gangs of London stars Joe Cole (Sean Wallace-  John Selby in Peaky Blinders) who plays a young man set to take after his dad and be in charge of the family and the business. Lucian Msamati (Ed Dumani) Businessman. Sope Dirisu (Elliot Finch) plays an undercover policeman. Michelle Fairley (Marian Wallace, Game of Thrones) plays the jealous mother of the Wallace family. Paapa Essidu (Alexander Dumani, Murder on the Orient Express)  plays the son of Ed Dumani, Sean’s best friend. Brian Vernel (Billy Wallace) plays the other Wallace son and is seen as a disappointment due to drug addiction. Pippa Bennet-Warner (Shannon Dumani)  plays the daughter of the Dumani family and is a mother.

Gangs of London uses a creative and wide range of camera angles and movement right from the opening scene. The scene opens with a shot of the city of London upside down as seen from the perspective of a man dangling from his feet and begging for his life looking up at Sean Wallace this creates an enigma. Next to Sean’s feet we see a can full of petrol or lighter fluid of some sort and he pours all of it on to the dangling man. He then grabs a pack of matches and lights the rope on fire and watches him burn alive and fall to his death. As Sean lights the match we start to hear this music building up the tension of what’s about to happen. The opening of this scene makes you feel instantly uncomfortable yet gripped. – Opening scene

The editing, mise-en-scene, sound and cinematography is all amazing and really engages you with the show. They are very creative in the way they make it. The mise-en-scene helps to reflect the background of the characters, how they were brought up and where they live. At the beginning, the audience know so little about the characters really but the mise-en-scene makes the viewer feel like they know them a lot more. The editing is exhilarating and fast paced, making the viewer feel on edge and trying to keep your attention. The sound is always well fitted to what’s happening; if something intense is going to happen they use quiet, suspenseful music then build it up gradually.  Gangs of London is by far one of the best TV dramas I have watched and to top it off, also the most violent and gruesome TV drama I have ever watched.

Cambridge International Media Student’s TV Drama Reviews Pt1

Hollywood Analysis by Lade Oyewole:

HOLLYWOOD | Official Trailer | Netflix

The American Netflix drama TV series‘’Hollywood’,set in the Hollywood Golden Age (1910’s-1960’s) has been directed and produced by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. A show like Hollywood was designed to target people from different backgrounds, ethnic groups, sexual preferences and ages, giving viewers a peek into what actually happens behind the scenes in Hollywood productions in relation to gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.

Ryan Murphy played another key role as sound designer for the drama show. The two costume designers Sarah Evelyn and Lou Eyrich were able to reimagine the glitz and glamour of the most influential and prestigious era of fashion by creating a specific colour palette named ‘Harvest tones’, it contains very rich golds, pink, red and purple. Using this specific palette gives the viewer a sense of immense power, royalty and wealth as the colour gold is associated with wealth. The clever costume design including leather shoes, V neck sweaters and 2 piece suits help to establish the 1950’s time period. 

 The cast list consists of many familiar faces from our favourite TV shows such as Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon Cooper from ‘The Big Bang Theory’, David Corenswet who plays River Barkely in ‘The Politician’ which has been showing on Netflix since 2019 and Darren Criss who plays the part of Blaine Anderson in the award-winning Tv show ‘Glee’.

Hollywood is about a diverse group who aspire to be actors and filmmakers in post World War Two Hollywood. The show exposes the glamorized yet unstable film industry and explains how unfair systems stop people from being who they want to be due to race, sexuality and gender.

The first episode begins with a loud trumpet fanfare playing as a velvet red curtain opens, shortly after the voice of a narrator talks about how Hollywood changed throughout the war. The camera shot changes as the empty theatre is shown indicating a sense of loneliness in Jack Castell (David Corenswet). As the camera focuses on him the audience can tell by his vigorous eating and intense concentration that he has a passion for film and Hollywood. The following scene begins with a shot that shows a large crowd of civilians squashed together by a big golden gate.

From watching the first scene I could tell that the show would contain drama, mystery and romance as those are typical themes in movies and shows like this. The show creates a nostalgic feeling, which can make one at peace, so this is a show that I would highly recommend not only for its acting and plot but for its ratings and excellent reviews.

Yr 11 Film Studies Student’s Favourite Films pt 3

My favourite film is Catch  Me if You Can (2002) watch the trailer here:

The director of this 2002 comedy-action film was the award-winning Steven Speilberg. Other films he is known for include E.T, Jaws, and Jurassic Park.

Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 action and comedy film. It follows the true story of an incredibly smart 18 year old boy named Frank Abignale. Frank lives a life of luxury, being able to do so by using forgery. This does not go unnoticed, as Detective Carl Hanratty follows Frank throughout the country, following the forced paper trail in an attempt to catch young Mr Abagnale. 

While we follow Frank along his adventures, and understand he is just a child, con man Frank is not the protagonist, as the FBI agent Hanratty is the voice of reason and justice.

The stars in this film include Leonardo Dicaprio (Frank Abignale) and he had previously starred in the world famous film ‘Titanic’. Alongside him, as the work-driven detective, was Tom Hanks (Carl Hanratty). Tom Hanks is best known for Forrest Gump and Castaway, although he has been in many films and TV series. Both of these actors are very skilled, and truly brought the story of Frank Abagnale to life on our screens.

The sound director was John Williams, who had collaborated with Spielberg before, and he helped to create the perfect atmosphere for this hilarious nail-biter that is based on a true story.

The woman behind the skillful range of looks and disguises main character Frank Abignale (Leonardo DiCaprio) wear is Mary Zophres. She managed to create these looks in a way which convinces both the audience and the characters of Franks alter egos. The cinematographer was Janusz Kaminski, who displayed the emotions and actions subtly and cleverly. 

The use of mise-en-scene is well thought out, not only establishing the 60s setting but showing the many lives of Frank Abagnale Jr. The mise-en-scene captures the life Frank wants to live, while still reminding him that it is all a lie. The editing and sound help to create tension, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats, eager to know how this daredevil match between the con man and the FBI will end. 

Year 11 Film Studies Student’s Favourite Films pt1

My favourite film is Into The Looking Glass (2016), an adaptation of the Lewis Carol story  was directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton Tim Burton. Burton is famed for films such as Dumbo (2019) and Big Eyes (2014).

 Stars include, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, he has also starred in films such as Cry-Baby (1990), Mia Wasikowska who plays Alice and has also starred in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) , Matt Lucas who plays Tweedledee and Tweedledum and has also starred in Come Fly With Me (2010 TV Series), Helena Bonham-Carter who plays he Red Queen and has also starred in Fight Club (1999) , Anne Hathaway who plays the White Queen and has also starred in Oceans 8 (2018). 

 The music in Alice Into The Looking Glass is by Danny Elfman, the costume designer was Colleen Atwood, the cinematography director was Stuart Dryburgh.

This film follows the story of a young girl called Alice (Mia Wasikowska) who once followed a rabbit down a rabbit hole and came out into Wonderland but now that she has left wonderland and has grown up  no longer has any recollection of this place except for in her dreams. At her and her fiance’s garden party Alice spots the white rabbit which led her down the rabbit hole before and she follows it once more and meets her friends again , such as The Cheshire Cat (voice acted by Stephen Fry) and The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Alice soon realises that she is meant to end the Red Queen’s rule.

 I find the writing and the relationships between all of the characters as a truly beautiful thing. There are many points throughout this film which I find deeply sentimental and often evoking tears. This film is filled with amazing characters and acting, including one more menacing character known as Time (Sascha Baron Cohen), Time has a very unnerving personality. The setting of this film creates a fantasy world that is astonishing and beautiful however there are many parts in this film that bring that darkness that Burton is Known for to the text.