Posts Tagged LFF

Neruda: Playful Portrait Of An Iconic Poet

The work of Chilean auteur Pablo Laraín’s has always stood out as unconventional. Not even his recent stateside venture with Jackie, which arguably took him closer to the gates of mainstream and earned a nomination for Natalie Portman as lead actress, could made him lose any of his habitual narrative edge.

With ‘Neruda’, Larraín defies every single rule of the much maligned biopic subgenre, crafting a fitting addition to his body of work which, until ‘Jackie’, had dealt with the open wounds of Chile’s historical memory, particularly on his trilogy about the country under General Pinochet’s dictatorship, comprised by ‘Tony Manero’, ‘Post Mortem’ and ‘No’. Going back in time years before the General’s orchestrated coup d’état, it introduces Pablo Neruda both as universally acclaimed poet and as a consolidated political figure, right when the president in charge, González Videla, outlawed the communist party and issued an arrest warrant against the Nobel prize writer for his pro workers revolution ideals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Toni Erdmann: Conversation With Maren Ade

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To celebrate its release in the UK this Friday, the second in our Toni Erdmann “double bill” of interviews is the conversation we had with its director Maren Ade during the London Film Festival, where the film was chosen as the gala for the Laugh strand and became one of the most talked-about titles of the programme.

One of our favourites of the year, Toni Erdmann is up for eight Rober Awards. Among them, Ade herself for best director and original screenplay.

Radiating with good humour but joking about feeling confused with so many interviews, the chatty German director talked about her writing process; the way she works with actors; her production company and the current state of the film industry.

(By Roberto González) Read the rest of this entry »

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Toni Erdmann: Conversation With Sandra Hüller


Sandra Hüller attends the ‘Toni Erdmann’ Laugh Gala screening during the 60th BFI London Film Festival (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)

One of the best films of the year, Toni Erdmann, is hitting British screens this Friday. After sweeping the board at the European Film Awards, the hilarious comedy has established itself as the one to beat in the Academy awards’ Foreign Language category. It has also scooped a total of eight nominations for our Rober Awards 2016 film poll.

To celebrate the eagerly anticipated release, this week we are publishing the two interviews our LFF correspondents had with director Maren Ade and lead actress Sandra Hüller, respectively. They took place during the London Film Festival, where it was rightly chosen as the gala for the Laugh strand.

We begin our Toni Erdmann double bill with a chat with its female protagonist, in which she gave us her views on women in film industry; the challenges of her role as Ines and her disgust for the people who trade with celebrities’ nude pictures in internet.

Maren Ade’s round table conversation will follow later on the week. (By Nicolas Raffin) Read the rest of this entry »

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NFTS Film Programmers Select The Best Of #LFF 2016

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The London Film Festival came to an end last Sunday with the European premiere of Ben Wheatley’s trigger happy comedy Free Fire. Its more than 240 features have given shape to the strongest programme we have enjoyed in years. Which among other things means lots of great cinema is, hopefully, coming to a theatre near you.

The NFTS film programmers have been busy covering the LFF. Between us we have compiled the list of our Top 30 not-to-be-missed films of this edition. Results, as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF 2016: Conversation with Alice Lowe

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After co-writing and co-starring in Ben Wheatley’s ‘Sightseers’, Alice Lowe steps into the director’s chair, establishing herself as the queen of psycho comedy with ‘Prevenge;’ an hilarious look at the horrors of “being enceinte” which, among other merits, adds the hormonal pregnant woman to the ever expanding serial killer canon. We met with her at a round table before the film’s London Film Festival premiere to talk about her own pregnancy as inspiration; the way society deals with women when they are expecting, feminism and the terrible lessons imparted by ‘The Apprentice.’
By ROBERTO GONZALEZ

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#LFF 2016: Interview With Radu Jude

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By focusing on stories of his country’s past in his two former films, Radu Jude stands out in Today’s Romanian cinema landscape. After the success of last year’s “Aferim!” his new film, “Scarred Hearts,” was presented in the Dare section of the 60th edition of the BFI London Film Festival. Set in a sanatorium for the wealthy in a Romanian seaside town in the thirties, it presents us with Emanuel, who suffers from spinal tuberculosis, leaving him in a cast recovering his torso and binding him to bed. Fighting the despair of illness with eccentricity and romance, he recites poetry or puts himself in awkward positions to pursue physical love. The film’s format and cinematography makes it a real aesthetic wonder, with a masterful use of light, colour and composition.
We met Radu Jude to ask him a few questions about the book adaptation, the visual style of the film, and the choice of Lucian Teodor Rus as the charming but doomed poet Emanuel.
By MAUREEN GUEUNET

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#LFF 2016: Essential Films (I)

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The madness began. London’s annual date with the best cinema around the world, the BFI’s London Film Festival, kickstarted its 60th edition last Wednesday. From its opening gala ‘A United Kingdom‘, the crowd-pleasing story of an interracial royal marriage in the land that would become Botswana; until its closing night on October the 15th with Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated new thriller ‘Free Fire‘, over 245 features plus a large programme of shorts, talks and events will guarantee even the most demanding cinephiles a total immersion in pure cinematic joy.

We have all already heard about the standout films on show, from the hotly-tipped as future Oscar winner ‘La La Land, to Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed return ‘Manchester By The Sea‘. The toasts of Cannes ‘Toni Erdmann‘, Jim Jarmusch’s comeback ‘Paterson;’ Venice ‘The Woman who Left,’ ‘Arrival‘ and Sundance’s The Birth of a Nation‘ together with diverse strands to satisfy every specialist taste.

One more year, our blog will be reviewing our favourite films, looking for hidden gems and posting our discoveries. Follow us to get all the excitement straight from the event.

We kick start our coverage with our first selection of recommended titles from the ones we have already seen. The following is the first in a series of improvised Top 10s, beginning with titles that feature less prominently in the programme. If you miss them during the festival, keep an eye for their release and Have a great festival! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sounds Of #LFF2016: Sonic Strand and Beyond

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One more year the BFI London Film Festival arrives to its appointment with London cinephiles. From October the 5th until the 16h, over 240 features and a large programme of shorts and events will take place across our city. Roberawards will be bringing you all the excitement; reviewing the most awaited films of the season and scouting for hidden gems and surprises.

We kickstart our coverage with homemade video and audio playlists inspired by those films of interest for both music and cinema lovers. The Sonic Strand is the one that brings the two areas together. This year its ecclectic programme takes us around the globe, from Chicago in Spike Lee’s latest joing “Chi-raq” to an exploration through that treasure trove that is Today’s African music in “Fonko.” Interesting glances at Japanese glam metal musicians in “We Are X” or at the Israeli/Palestine hip-hop scene in music and politics-infused drama “Junction 48.”

Also featured are some accomplished documentary portraits. Among them, British new shoegaze band Wolf Alice in Michael Winterbottom’s “On The Road“; iconic rock photographer Mick Rock in “Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Manta of Rock“; Electronica maverick James Lavelle in “The Man From Mo’Wax;” the founder of a legendary LGBT nightclub in “Jewel’s Catch One” and Tinderstick’s frontman Stuart A. Staples co-directing with the man behind many of his band’s videos, David Reeves, “Minute Bodies: The Intimate Life of F. Percy Smith“, the story of the film pioneer.

Elsewhere, Damien Chazelle revitalises the classic musical in the winner of Toronto Film Festival’s coveted audience award “La La Land“; whereas the Treasures strand brings two restored gems of the genre: “King Of Jazz” featuring Bing Crosby and “You Were Never Lovelier” with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. We will witness R&B star Janelle Monáe’s big screen debut in the universally acclaimed “Moonlight“; Neneh Cherry teaming-up with Mark Cousins for the half documentary/half fiction film “Stockholm My Love; Israeli born, London Gay Men’s chorus member Sar in “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” and the dramatic murder of young jazz musician Lee Morgan in “I Called Him Morgan.

Among the festival’s excellent selection of events, LFF connects will launch the collaboration between experimental electronica producer Forest Swords and archited Liam Young in their Music meets Performance tour “In The Robot Skies,” filmed entirely by drones, plus DJ Yoda will link music and games through his show “DJ Yoda Goes To The Arcades: A History Of Gaming.”

A dazzling selection offering something for everyone. Check our LFF Sonic inspired spotify and video playlists here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remainder pushes the boundaries of Psychological Thriller

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Israeli video artist Omer Fast is known for installation works dealing with the psychology of trauma; the blurring of memory and the manipulation of time through the use of repetition, looping and reenactment. For his debut feature, premiered during last year’s London Film Festival, he has found a perfect literary match. Tom McCarthy’s third novel, ‘Remainder’, shares many of his habitual themes through the story a young man struggling to put his life together after a severe accident has left him suffering from amnesia.

Tom Sturridge gives a convincing performance as the emotionally detached, morally ambiguous victim, sustaining the film’s ambitious premise. We witness his trouble adapting to a disorienting reality that no longer makes sense and his lack of trust for those ones that suddenly reappear. Among them, a girlfriend and his best friend with whom he forms an oddly cold triangular bond whose nature is not entirely revealed. The intimacy of their relationships seems to be difficult to re-ignite. We follow the storyline as experienced by the protagonist trying to fit the pieces of his puzzling new situation, filmed by restricting the field of vision and using short focus to makes us share his narrow sense of perception. Extreme close-ups help visualize his inner turmoil. The sound design and the experimental electronica of Berlin musician Schneider ™, playing bodily rhythms such as heart beats and ear ringings, greatly enhance the claustrophobic atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »

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Heart Of A Dog: Laurie Anderson meditation on loss

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One of the highlights of last years LFF, where she came for one of the LFF Connects events for a conversation with Brian Eno about the links between film with performance arts and music; Laurie Anderson’s first feature film since 1986 the concert tour documentary ‘Home Of The Brave’ is a meditative essay on loss centered on her late rat terrier, Lolabelle. From the opening credits, the animation of a dream in which the artist gives birth and declares eternal love to her dog depicts the strong bond formed between owner and pet, almost as a replacement for parental affection. Anderson’s inquisitive mind was keen to understand the possibilities of the canine sensory world and her explorations shape an uplifting, full of humour tribute to her pooch that has continued with a series of concerts for a dog only audience. Among the memories of their time together, when Lolabelle went blind she was trained to play piano and perform at charity concerts for animal rights associations; recorded a Christmas song and even opened a Facebook account. Read the rest of this entry »

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What To Watch At The #LFF This Weekend

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While we’re still recovering from last night’s excellent surprise film, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s animated marvel ‘Anomalisa’, the festival reaches its last two days. After a week that has brought such highlights as Laurie Anderson’s documentary ‘Heart of a Dog’, a life-affirming meditation on death and existence, and her insightful conversation with Brian Eno, part of the LFF Connects events; Miguel Gomes ambitious ‘Arabian Nights’ trilogy, loosely taking structure and ideas from the classic Middle-Eastern folk opus ‘1001 Nights’ and adapting it to Portugal today in a portrait of the multiple anonymous stories left by an austerity stricken post-financial crisis country or the SXSW winner ‘Krisha’ and its startling study of the devastating effects of addition set against the backdrop of a Thanksgiving big family reunion. Reviews for all of which are coming soon.

Whether you want to carry exploring this year’s excellent programme or just don’t want to let the festival finish without having had a taste, there’s still plenty to choose from. Beyond the obvious “begging, borrowing or stealing” to get a ticket for its sold out closing gala, Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic, starring Michael Fassbender in an Oscar-tipped performance. Here’s a few recommendations from what we’ve already seen and a few more from the titles we are still eagerly anticipating, paired as suitable double bills to help you make the most of your festival experience: Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF Recommended: Carol (Todd Haynes)

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The festival Galas are normally reserved for those titles able to balance a prestigious facture with the star power needed for red carpet glamour. The ones this year have excelled at their purpose.

Our favourite among them has to be ‘Carol’, Todd Haynes’ return to old-fashioned melodrama adapting Patricia Highsmith’s novel ‘The Price Of Salt’. The notorious thrillers writer published it under an alias, afraid perhaps of the scandal to be caused for dealing with a lesbian relationship in a positive light, defying the convictions of the 1950’s. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF Recommended: Evolution (Lucile Hadžihalilović)

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As the festival goes on, its official competition has delivered a another strong contender for this year’s prize with Lucile Hadžihalilović’s beautifully disturbing second feature, ‘Evolution’.

Those who never saw Hadžihalilović’s 2004 debut, ‘Innocence’, are likely to find in her second work a total revelation. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF Day 4: Guy Maddin Connects; A Romanian Western and a Cannes Masterpiece

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The fourth day of festival’s personal highlight was Guy Maddin, fresh from leaving London audiences in awe with the IMAX screening of his latest feature ‘The Forbidden Room’ (review here), in conversation with festival director Clare Stewart as part of LFF Connect, the new events strand dedicated to explore the relationships between film and other creative areas. The ever entertaining Canadian auteur came to talk about how his work in installation art has influenced his filmmaking. The beginning of his installation projects happened mainly due to financial reasons, channeling an ongoing obsession for rescuing lost, unmade or incomplete films. Early projects such as ‘Hauntings’(from which we saw ‘Bing & Bela’, dedicated to Bing Crosby & Bela Lugosi) have grown in scope and ambition through the years up to his current one,‘Seances’. Read the rest of this entry »

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