Hi There,

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the best drama and comedy I’d been looking at in the last few months and I commented on the fact that not many of my highlights had been new feature films.

Well, I had some very interesting responses and here are a few of the feature films I missed that I hope will be of interest to you…


a really adorable and charming film shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It’s a story about two guys who paint yellow lines on the roads in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. It’s literally these 2 guys out there on their own for 98% of the movie.   

As well as being lovely storytelling it’s a great lesson to everyone that all you really need is a terriffic script and a couple of great actors.   

There are tons of scenes where the shot is held for say, a minute, but you’re still really captivated by the characters.’


I also enjoyed this black comedy‘ (based on a Jo Nesbo story),


another Icelandic one…this one a gangster thriller


‘…which is a great one-man show from Bobby Carlyle.’

“An unexpected gem, Solo features a stunning central performance from Carlyle – perhaps his best since Trainspotting’s Begbie – and don’t be surprised if this turns up during the 2013 awards season (think Crazy Heart with a Scottish Madchester veteran).”
Total Film


which is just out and out laughs but is a lot of fun, kind of Tremors meets Father Ted!

The Daily Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin called it a “cherishable Irish B-picture […] with an unimprovable premise”


‘…was also very good.’

‘Andrea Riseborough stars in a slow-burning but brilliant thriller about an IRA sympathiser forced to become an informant by MI5.’

Directed by James Marsh of ‘Man On Wire‘ fame – one of the best documentary features of recent years (the story-telling in ‘Man On Wire‘ was superb – tense and compelling)

Two other outstanding documentary features of recent years that I’d recommend if you didn’t catch them at the time – ‘Touching The Void‘ – a climber in crisis story, a precursor of  ‘127 Hours‘ – and in my view a more exciting film; and ‘Deep Water‘, the extraordinary but very British story of failed round the world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst (also immortalised in the Jonathan Coe novel ‘The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim.‘)


And Brave was spectacular – top notch storytelling with jaw dropping animation – this film had the best role model for girls I think I’ve seen in years. Two very strong female characters actually… completely drove the story.’


I also heard good things about Flying Blind – the low budget film with Helen McCrory in a rare lead role…not before time‘.

A post 9/11 love story about an older woman working for a military manufacturer in Bristol who embarks on a passionate affair with a French Algerian student only to discover that he may not be what he seems.


 ‘Oh and I saw God Bless America too… I liked that a lot‘. ‘A B-movie that hits the spot, a revenge fantasy movie that does the job.’

NB FLYING BLIND was written by CAROLINE HARRINGTON who was one of the delgates on our first ‘Authoritative Guide To Writing And Selling A Great Screenplay’ course last summer. Congratulations Caroline!

 …which brings me round nicely to remind you that places on or Sept 22-23 version of the above course are selling fast – but there are still some available, AND at the unbeatable ‘early bird’ price of £197.

More information about the course and details on how to book here –


 and here –


And finally – now we’re into August – I’m slowing down a bit – thoroughly enjoying the drama and emotion of the Olympics and also taking a short break. I will resume my weekly newsletter at the start of September.

In the meantime I hope you all have a very enjoyable August and get a chance to re-charge those screenwriting batteries…

All the best




Aug 3rd 2012