Little Pyongyang

Joong-wha Choi, a former soldier in North Korea, lives today with his wife and children in a sleepy London suburb, home to Europe’s biggest North Korean population. Despite enjoying the new found comforts of his British life, and being emancipated from the pressures of the North Korean state, he has a desire to return to the land that betrayed him, and feels like his true home. Joong-wha reflects on both why he left North Korea and the state of his day to day life over the course of several months, in a portrait of loss, longing, and the complexities of healing from trauma.

Joong-wha’s story extends to other refugees in the community he lives alongside, and with exclusive access to one of the world’s largest community on North Korean defectors, this stylised documentary brings an original and unique take to the experiences of refugees, and the human rights crisis in North Korea. At a time when the world is wrapped up in the exchanges of pomp and bravado between two theatrical but powerful world leaders, we recognise the North Korean defectors who live right here.

Key credits
Directed by: Roxy Rezvany
Produced by: Roxy Rezvany, Matt Diegan and Aya Kaido
Director of photography: Beatriz Sastre
Editor: Christian Sandino-Taylor
Executive producers for the Guardian: Charlie Phillips and Lindsay Poulton
Commissioned by the Guardian and Docsville

Massive Attack featuring Tracey Thorn – Protection

A small time travel back to the 90s, when Michel Gondry made one of the most incredible music videos ever and one that I cannot even begin to grasp how he pulled off practically and how he imagined and visualised it conceptually. My brain explodes every time I watch this. E-ve-ry-ti-me.

Massive Attack, Ghostpoet – Come Near Me

So simple. So effective. So fun. So sad.

Ed Morris from Rattling Stick directed this wonderful video, so direct all kudos and respect to him, the beautiful Arta Dobroshi, and of course, Massive Attack.

Spike Jonze – Apple, Welcome Home featuring FKA Twigs

I am a fool for practical magic in films and ads. And when Spike Jonze has an Apple level budget and FKA Twigs in front of the lens, I click on play faster than my shadow.

And then comes Danilo Para and brings us this 7 minute look into the work done behind the cameras. And it is incredible.

The following is borrowed from Adweek, mentioning credits and creatives.

we get immersed in the choreography (Jonze, choreographer Ryan Heffington and movement coach Theo Lowe all work with FKA twigs on her irresistible interplay with the apartment, and herself) and the production design (the set expanded on hydraulics to allow Jonze to shoot practically). But we also see how other elements came together, like the lighting, music and VFX (it turns out there was very little CGI).

There are other little gems in here, too, like FKA twigs auditioning for Jonze via FaceTime, and Jonze himself dancing with an office chair. (He never stops moving throughout, and you get a real sense for how physically plugged in he is to the ideas here.) We also catch a glimpse of Dunkirk cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema working with Jonze on the film—he also shot the “It’s a Tide Ad” spots for the Super Bowl (working with directors Traktor).

“It’s like a magic trick,” Heffington says of the piece in one of his interviews. It’s a delight, in the end, that the magicians decided to reveal their tricks like this—a worthy companion piece to one of the year’s most enchanting productions.


A film with David Beckham and Harvey Keitel? WTF?

Damn good too!

The film features Katherine Waterston, Cathy Moriarty and Harvey Keitel. Shot on location in Mexico, the film is written and directed by Geremy Jasper, produced by Belstaff Films and Legs (a Milk Media Company) and Executive Producer Liv Tyler.