Strong Island Co.

Film & Cinematography

Super8 Films of Southsea from the Late 60s & Early 70s

Despite it being the end of the holiday season and cold and grey outside, these two super8 films filmed in and around Portsmouth in the 60s and early 70s will give you a nostalgic warmth about Southsea. Super8 always creates a sense of atmosphere and these vintage home films from times past might inspire a little summer’s warmth, if not, crank that radiator up.

Super8 Films of Southsea from the Late 60s and Early 70s

Our Picks For No 6 – January 2015

If you haven’t visited the No. 6 Cinema before then we highly recommend it, it is a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in the dockyard.

Here are a selection of movies we recommend you check out. Be sure to check their website for full list of all the movies this being shown

Interstellar (12A)
Showing: 03/01/15 at 7pm

A team of explorers and scientists travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity. Amongst the group is Cooper (McConaughey), an idealistic everyman willing to leave behind his two young children to join a venture whose noble goals include saving humanity from its destructive excesses. Director Christopher Nolan creatively builds on the experimental cinematography he employed in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, using anamorphic 35mm and an IMAX camera attached to a plane with stunningly eye-boggling results. Please note this film contains strobe light effects.

My Old Lady (12A)
Showing: 08/01/15 at 7pm

Horowitz’s second directorial feature shows Mathias (Kevin Kline), a penniless New Yorker arriving in Paris to secure and sell an inherited apartment only to find it occupied by an imperious 90 year-old, Mathilde (Maggie Smith) who, supported by her equally obstinate daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas), has little intention of vacating it any time soon. Worse still an obscure French law enables Mathilde to charge Mathias rent. The emergence of Mathilde’s family secrets, Mathias’ comically-realised economic plight and an uneasy attraction that develops between he and Chloé are vividly executed by three hugely watch- able co-stars at the height of their game.

The Imitation Game (12A)
Showing: 09/01/15 at 7pm and 17/01/15 at 7pm

Benedict Cumberbatch masterfully portrays mathematical genius Alan Turing in his race against time to break Germany’s Enigma code during World War II. Flashbacks following Turing’s arrest for homosexuality chronicle his battles with the commander of Bletchley Park code breakers (Dance) before he wins the trust of an MI6 boss (Mark Strong) and the funding to build a huge electro-mechanical computer which will help him decipher the code. Cumberbatch’s twitchy, savant-like Turing doesn’t suffer the fools he initially has to work with but in Joan Clarke (Knightley) he finds an intellectual equal and friend. The result is both gripping and profoundly moving.

Mr Turner (12A)
Showing: 10/01/15 at 7pm to 11/01/15 at 2:30pm

This boisterous dissertation on Britain’s greatest landscape artist J. M. W. Turner is Mike Leigh’s first biopic since 1999’s scrutiny of Gilbert and Sullivan, TOPSY TURVY. Turner’s close relationship with his ailing father (Jesson), and the more complex ones involving the women in his life, are beautifully realised. Spall, as the muttering, opinionated eccentric whose eye is always on his work, delivers a performance amply justifying his Best Actor award at Cannes. Turner’s run-ins with the Royal Academy and his peculiar techniques are handled with humour and admirable impartiality. With Dick Pope’s cinematography the film is a joy to behold.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies (12A)
Showing: 24/01/15 at 7pm

In this concluding part of director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) has helped Thorin Oakenshield and the Dwarves to reclaim their Erebor mountain homeland from the dragon Smaug (voiceover by Benedict Cumberbatch). Furious at losing Erebor and its many treasures, Smaug unleashes his fiery wrath on the people of Laketown, who assisted the Dwarves in their quest to take back their home. The ancient and terrifying enemy Sauron and his Orc hordes join the fight against Bilbo, the Dwarves and their allies, triggering a war that will prove the defining chapter in this visually dazzling Middle-earth epic.

Paddington (PG)
Showing: 25/01/15 at 2:30pm

Arriving in London from his native Peru with a ‘Please Look After This Bear’ label around his neck, Paddington Bear is fortunately taken in by kindly Mr and Mrs Brown (Bonneville and Hawkins). Voiced by Ben Whishaw, and named after the railway station he arrived at, Paddington embarks on a series of bemused adventures as he searches for one of his Aunt Lucy’s (Imelda Staunton) friends and finds himself dodging a malicious taxidermist with an unnatural aversion to bears (Nicole Kidman). This charming amalgam of CGI, animatronics and live action will delight fans of Michael Bond’s perennially popular children’s books.

Get On Up (12A)
Showing: 29/01/15 at 7pm

This long-awaited Godfather of Soul biopic magnificently evokes James Brown’s high-octane life, thanks to Chadwick Boseman’s extraordinary performance as Brown and the no-holds-barred narrative from director Tate Taylor and co-writer Jez Butterworth. Beginning with Brown’s impoverished childhood the film follows his determined rise via gospel music to become a global soul legend and charts his tumultuous but steadfast friendship with long-time collaborator Bobby Byrd (Ellis). Brown’s vanity and numerous other faults aren’t shied away from, nor is the ruthlessness of his manager (Aykroyd). Producer Mick Jagger gives us a dynamic insight into Brown’s roller-coaster life story and celebrates his musical legacy.

What We Do In The Shadows (15)
Showing: 30/01/15 at 7pm

Clement propels the mockumentary into refreshingly original and hilarious territory, in this character-driven comedy following four vampires living uneasily together in a murky Wellington house- hold as they struggle to adapt to the 21st century. Being vampires they must prowl the nightclubs in search of fresh meat but flat-sharing also involves more mundane matters of quarrels, household chores, and cleaning up after bouts of bloodletting. Flight of the Conchords star Clement plays Vlad the Poker. His flatmates are the 379-year-old Viago (Waititi), Nosferatu lookalike Petyr (Ben Fransham), and Deacon (Brugh), a mere 183 and the young firebrand of the group.

The Hunger Games: Mockinjay Part 1 (12A)
Showing: 31/01/15 at 7pm

Director Francis Lawrence’s taut, gripping film is the third episode of the hit saga set in a dystopia where a cruel elite guard their spoils. After escaping the third Quarter Quell and destroying the Games, maverick District 12 winner of the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) has become a hero and inspiration to the downtrodden of Panem. Waking up in the unfamiliar District 13 and angry at her betrayal by the mentors she considered loyal, Katniss is desperate to rescue her District 12 co-victor Peeta (Hutcherson), with help from best friend Gale (Hemsworth) and District 13 president Alma Coin (Julianne Moore).

No. 6 Cinema

Aspex Project with University of Portsmouth

Aspex Gallery have recently been working with Television and Broadcasting BSc students from University of Portsmouth to produce a promotional video for the gallery. Credit for the video goes to Georgia Tolley, Ryan Jenkins, Safiya Pomell and Jonny Quinn from Tin Productions.

The video features scenes from the Platform Graduate Awards and the Virgin Startups event.

Aspex: Promotional Video Project with University of Portsmouth from aspex on Vimeo.

Kassassin Street – Centre Straight Atom Video

Portsmouth band Kassassin Street recently dropped the official video for their song Centre Straight Atom, a crowd favourite of their live sets. The video is by local visual artist Jez Stevens who has previously worked on many awesome projection and video projects in and around the city.

You can download the song via iTunes HERE and see the band live just before Christmas at The Cellars on the 19th of December, if you were lucky enought to grab the tickets as the show is now sold out!

Kassassin Street by Jon Neil
Kassassin Street in the Round Tower, photo by Jon Neil.

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Two

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring the No. 6 Cinema in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. The team being No. 6 have offered free two tickets to see a movie there.

You can find out more about No. 6 Cinema at or on their Facebook and Twitter @No6Cinema.

Q) What Disney movie are they showing over the Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

To find out the previous questions click HERE.

No. 6 Cinema

Our Picks For No 6 This December

If you haven’t visited the No. 6 Cinema before then we highly recommend it, it is a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in the dockyard.

Here are a selection of movies we recommend you check out. Be sure to check their website for full list of all the movies this being shown

2001: A Space Odyssey (U) – Saturday 6th at 7pm

Kubrick’s complete mastery as a director is evident in every frame and every scene of this film. His almost sadistically precise exposition of story and character creates a steady accretion of perplexed tension in the viewer. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY was a landmark film upon its initial release but it received mixed and often very misguided reviews, a fate that would befall EYES WIDE SHUT many years later. The film’s true meaning remains as opaque as the famous black monolith that appears inexplicably throughout the film.

Leviathan (15) – Thursday 11th at 7pm

This powerful drama from Cannes winner Andrey Zvyagintsev begins in a dilapidated port on the Barents Sea, where Nikolai, a hard-drinking mechanic, his long-suffering wife and truculent son are under threat of losing their home, which the mayor wants to bulldoze and replace with a fancy dacha. Hope emerges when a handsome ex-army pal turned lawyer arrives to aid their cause and in the process expose the mayor’s extensive corruption. Things take several unexpected turns, but this being a Zvyagintsev film, the family’s struggle against a poisoned bureaucracy ultimately testifies to the power of perseverance and determination.

Nightcrawler (15) – Friday 12th at 7pm

Drifter and small-time crook Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles into the seedy world of freelance journalism in LA, where he goes armed with a camera and an increasingly perverse taste for car wrecks and shoot-outs. His work soon catches the eye of veteran TV journalist Nina, although his driver Rick is more troubled. As rival newshound Bill Paxton exhorts him to sensationalise his reporting on the basis that ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ Bloom inevitably crosses the line, and instead of merely covering the story, he becomes it. Dan Gilroy makes a stunning directorial debut, combining tremendous action footage with a morally driven crime drama.

Fury (15) – Saturday 13th at 7pm

Brad Pitt’s second WW2 film is a far more visceral, indeed credible exercise than Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and as Wardaddy. It’s April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts. Director Ayer makes it clear this isn’t about the glory of victory, for as Wardaddy says, “You think it can’t get any worse, and then it does.

It’s a Wonderful Life (U) – Saturday 20th at 7pm

Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is a gloriously sentimental testament to homely small-town moral values. Masterfully crafted, the film opens with angels discussing George Bailey (James Stewart), a man so beset with problems that he contemplates a Christmas-time suicide. As George prepares to jump from a bridge his guardian angel Clarence Oddbody intervenes and shows him how badly Bedford Falls would have turned out without his good deeds. Filled with a renewed joy of life George returns to his family for Christmas.

No. 6 Cinema

Portsmouth Film Society: All Quiet On The Western Front

As part of Portsmouth Bookfest 2014 his Thursday evening at 7pm the team behind Portsmouth Film Society present ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ in the Eldon Theatre. The 1930’s American film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name follows a young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

The film will be Introduced by Dr Christine Berberich, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth.

You can pick up your ticket HERE for £6.

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

Island City Stories

Island City Stories is a collaborative project between students and staff in The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) and local independent businesses and community groups in Portsmouth. The project began in January 2014, with twelve local businesses across Portsmouth chosen to be part of the 1st phase pilot.

Students from BA Film & TV Production were paired up with these initial twelve businesses and each of their stories were captured with creative and insightful short films. The businesses involved in 2014 are:

Southsea Greenhouse
Bellamy’s Antiques
Make Craft Cafe
Anglepoise Ltd
Atelier Art Gallery and Art School
Ye Olde Bike Shoppe
Southsea Deckchairs
Southsea Coffee
Head Hairdressing
Sweetie Pie – Gluten Free Bakery
All About Tea
Bored of Southsea

Businesses lined up for 2015 already include Tony Wood Hairdresser, Pie & Vinyl, Bread Addiction & Yellow Kite Cafe.

Students from BA Illustration were also involved in the project by designing the logo/branding for ‘Island City Stories’.

You can watch a few of the films below and visit the Island City Stories website to see many more plus photos from being the scenes during the production of the films.

Island City Stories (1)

Island City Stories (2)

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry‘s new series ‘Who Are You?’ began on Channel 4 last night. As well as sculpture, Grayson is best known for his brightly coloured ceramic vases which feature caricatures of his subjects. There are also prominent autobiographical themes to much of his work. You can often find images of Claire, his female alter-ego.

Grayson was born in Essex but back in 1982 he graduated with a BA in Fine Art from what was then Portsmouth Polytechnic and is now Portsmouth University.

In the first episode Grayson works with former politician Chris Huhne; X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark; Kayleigh, a 27-year-old white single mother of five who has recently converted to Islam; and Jazz, who was born a girl but has embarked on a course of male hormones to begin his life as a man. Grayson produces portraits using various different forms of art including tapestries, sculpture and pottery which are featured in the National Portrait Gallery.

I personally love portrait photography, a simple photographs of a subject with a plain background, focusing all the attention on the subject. Grayson’s project is not quite as simple as this, he is going deeper, looking into our personal identities and the persona’s we attempt to portray. I found this an insightful and an interesting take on people who have been going through a transition to find their own identity.

I’m sure episode one will be repeated, however you can find it HERE on 4oD.

Grayson Perry

DVMISSION 2014 Film Screening + Awards Ceremony + After Party

DVMISSION is a film festival with a difference. At 5pm on the Friday night before the premier teams from across the country are given a film ‘title, genre and line of dialogue’. They then have just 48 hours to return on Sunday at 4pm, with a finished two-minute film. 2 hours later teams arrive in their best suits & frocks for the exciting culmination to the weekend… the Premier Night and the awarding of the coveted ‘Pompey Oscars’!

Now in it’s ninth year, DVMISSION has grown to become an annual extravaganza with well over 250 amateur and professional filmmakers taking part. DVMISSION is the longest running 48 hour film challenge in the UK and is the biggest on the South coast. It’s an event which brings the filmmaking community together once a year not only to make films but to have one massive party on the premier night.

The event itself is being held on Sunday 2nd November a the Pyramids Centre. The tickets include entry into the Premier Night screening, awards ceremony and after party. There is a dress code of black tie and posh frock. Tickets are available for £5 from the Pyramids directly. For more information check out the DVMISSION website at or the Facebook page HERE.


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Sunny Southsea

I went for bike ride today to take advantage of the nice, albeit cold, weather and take a few photos. Check them out over on my Flickr photostream.


Matt O’Neill

Matt is one of Southsea and Portsmouth’s legendary skateboarders since all the way back to the 80s. This footage was filmed all in one evening about a year ago, still one of the best skaters to ever step on a board on this fair isle.

Southsea Seagulls

How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…

Photography : Tristan

Local Photographer – Eamon Lane

A recent arrival to Portsmouth, Eamon Lane has been out and about the city recently shooting photos on the street and at local events such as Love Your Bike. Below are a few examples of Eamon’s photography, visit I Love Slugs to see more.

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

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