Review

A Review of the Film

Off-milk austere and sky sunlight.
He’s deputed to go to collect a stray newcomer. Writer-director Zam Salim and his cinematographer Ole Birkeland create an enthrallingly scenario out of the coastal hotel It is a face well-suited to this Scottish comedy. He plays Martin, a gloomy soul trapped in the humdrum bureaucracy of a dead-person office, his only ambition to go “up there”. But a script that’s not quite funny or surprising enough, and a performance of insufferable garrulity by Aymen Hamdouchi as a insect that battens on to the long-suffering Martin hobbles the movie I have adored Burn Gorman’s lugubrious clown’s face since first seeing him as Mr. Guppy in the BBC adaptation of Bleak House.

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“We all know what we should do, or what we could do, but we more or less procrastinate and just bumble on, do not we?” Producer Annalise Davis hopes the attention will help audiences’ interest. Director Zam Salim said the story was motivated by “the experience of being unemployed, and wandering around town for a bit – I thought that was quite amusing”. Davis thinks this is independent films will be forced to survive in the long run. “Or perhaps you become interested in some mundane pastime. It’s just the unremarkable nature of the existence, just faffing around.” “But when you’ve done that a few times, once you’ve been a bit of a peeping Tom, then what you do?” asks Gorman. The actor insists he will continue to juggle his A-list appointments with smaller fare – . Up There’s received Scottish Bafta nominations, and awards from the Santa Barbara and Rhode Island, from the run-up to its release Film Festivals. “You turn up on place – those immense collections with thousands of extras – and he is still very quiet and concentrated and very much into the operation. The Burn Gorman of Torchwood and the long-dead Martin play – tasked with directing the ‘Moving On’ centre, endless and complete with progress checks group counselling sessions. The movie, set in anonymous Glasgow alleyways and a city that is Scottish, makes the afterlife seem dull as what comes. And that is what attracted Gorman. Gorman appearing alongside giant robots in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim is seen by next year. An experience plenty of independent movies have, I am told.” The producers have also been busy on social networking, allowing audiences to vote for the positioning of the movie’s premiere – held recently in Borehamwood – while distributing a series of ‘How To Be Dead’ clips on YouTube. “If you are a smaller, more independent movie… it’s really crucial for two reasons,” she says. But when his first customer is frightened by Martin’s new spouse into running away, the pair are forced to travel cross-country to track him down. Like many films that deal with life – Beetlejuice, Heaven Can Wait, and Defending Your Life – Up There attracts comedy from the newly-deceased’s plight. “Film will become ever more on-demand, and audiences are going to want to need where and when they see it. “It’s exciting for us that we’re the first film to completely commit to that.” It’s taken six years to turn it. After securing funding from Creative Scotland and the BFI, “it all seemed to go fast,” says Salim. “It is an exciting time.” “On something like Up There, Zam was again, quiet, focused, disciplined. But he says the process of film-making was exactly the same. “But things are changing. Things seem to be more accessible in terms of the hardware that you will need to create the post-production, and films. “He knew exactly what he wanted but would say ‘okay, this is my idea, why don’t we do you [take] how I’d do it, and then why don’t we just do it?’ For Gorman, the low-budget independent is to his appearance in Hollywood superhero blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises. That you could’ve bought, but you didn’t buy. CaptionThe movie sees his spouse Rash look and long-dead Martin after the deceased “But in addition, it’s about how you cope with loss.
If the dwelling struggle to come to terms with loved ones being dead, then how can the deceased come to terms with it at the afterlife?Zam Salim, Director, Up There
“[Martin] doesn’t deal with his problems in the film, or his emotional incontinence… he is just getting on with passing, just like he did in life, like most people. Money matters Meanwhile, Martin’s spouse Rash (Aymen Hamdouchi), even when he’s not bragging about his death in a televised car chase, spends much of his time thinking of strategies to spy on the living having sex. “Firstly for getting the word out about the film, but also that stamp of approval that this is a good quality movie, and that people aren’t going to regret putting down their money. And it feels nice also!” Started life short, made in conjunction with the Glasgow Film Office. “I’ve become aware of the frustrations of trying to find something made – everywhere, not only in Britain,” he says. “I have had a great, great year or two,” he admits. These ghosts cannot walk through walls. They can’t even open doors, forced to wait until a member of the living lets through them. It may be tough adjusting to your own death. That’s the premise of a new film which sees the dead living among us, tied up in bureaucracy as they wait to be transferred ‘up there’.

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