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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival


ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

 
The 14th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place in Paris, France in 5th, 6th and 7th of April, 2019.
 
For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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MOVIE REVIEW: GOOD TIME

Since Nightcrawler, no film has better distilled American malaise better than the Safdie brothers’ ironically-named Good Time (2017). The film stars Robert Pattinson in a breakout role as Connie Nikas, an on-the-lam criminal in New York City trying to bail his mentally disabled brother Nick out of jail following a failed bank heist. As he hustles to come up with the $10,000, his night snowballs into a frenzied crime spree that feels utterly surreal as it plunges him into the grime of Brooklyn’s underworld.   

Connie is the archetype of today’s aggressive, anti-establishment go-getter. There is a hint of Trump in his bottled-up anger, bald lies, and brash narcissistic scheming. His character wouldn’t have our sympathy at all were it not for his genuine impulse to protect his brother and defy a world that has damaged them both. Pattinson is astounding in the part – single-handedly fuelling the film’s non-stop adrenaline rush as he bursts through doors, rushes down hallways, and rounds corners with razor-sharp quickness. 

Good Time’s intensity is also enhanced through its ingenious production design, which includes an award-winning soundtrack from Brooklyn-based musician Daniel Lopatin. His erratic electro-pop score grates against our concentration, lodging itself in our brains like a rickety, ill-devised time bomb that could go off at any moment. 

Recalling the neo-noir nightmares of Taxi Driver and Wake in FrightGood Timesuctions us into the paroxysms of its protagonist and propels its deranged odyssey through the sustained use of subjective camera. At the same time, it possesses an urban luridness all its own. Gone are Scorsese’s muted tones, supplanted by jarring neon colors that make the city shape-shift like a toxic kaleidoscope – and flicker like a doomed arcade game whenever cinematographer Sean Price Williams cuts to an overhead view.  The fatalism of these high-angle shots coldly counterbalances Connie’s crazed expectations that he will manage to beat the odds and bail out his brother. 

Echoing HBO’s New York noir series The Night OfGood Time uses sprawling images of the urban grid to suggest an inevitable trap around its protagonists – one riddled with dangers for America’s disadvantaged. Through an identity mix-up between Connie and a black security guard, the Safdie brothers incorporate a damning critique of our justice system’s racial disparities, as the officer tries to arrest Connie, only to have the latter beat him unconscious, steal his uniform, then effortlessly frame him as an intruder at the amusement park where he’d been scouring for a bottle of LSD to sell for bail money. “The balance of moral crookedness and conscience in Good Time is a complex one,” notes IndieWire. “That the film works such social nuance into what otherwise amounts to a breathless pulp thriller is perhaps the most impressive of its achievements.” 

Locking us into Connie’s rollercoaster quest to liberate his brother, Good Time crafts an anti-establishment crusade comparable to Taxi DriverDog Day Afternoon, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – infecting us with the virus of free-floating anxiety that pervades American culture as much as ever. As they send us hurtling through a labyrinth of impersonal institutions and anarchic drug dens, the Safdie brothers guarantee a cinematic experience that we will be processing long after the chaotic ride has come to a halt.    

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
 
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
 
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 
 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

 
Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 
 

 


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