Posts Tagged London Film Festival

#LFF2019 Closes With Scorsese’s Impressive ‘The Irishman’

The 63rd edition of the BFI London Film Festival went out with a bang. After twelve days of such standout works as Pedro Costa’s Locarno winner ‘Vitalina Varela’; Robert Eggers’ gothic nightmare ‘The Lighthouse;’ Céline Sciamma’s masterful ‘Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’ and many more; its closing gala wrapped it up on a high note with one of the most awaited films of the year, Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman.’

In the last few weeks, we had been reading about the many controversies surrounding its long and difficult gestation; the involvement of Netflix; the use of a new (and arguably revolutionary) technology to de-age its protagonists (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci on top of their game); the current, changing state of cinema… But perhaps the biggest headline we can take out if it is that ‘The Irishman’ is vintage Scorsese, called to rank among his finest works. The director; his two stars (De Niro -who also came for one of the LFF’s screen talks- and Pacino) and the film’s producers, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Jane Rosenthal, gave a crammed press conference to present the film. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2019 An Impressive Lighthouse; A Rather Basic Instinct and The Sex Life of the Disabled.

Our third festival chronicle features one of the best and most bizarre films of the year, ’The Lighthouse;’ A controversial; female gaze depiction of the boundaries between sexual desire and abuse, ‘Instinct,’ and a surprisingly enjoyable exploration of the sexual life of a young woman with cerebral palsy in the Japanese dramedy ’37 Seconds.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2019 The Story of Sound in Film; An Irish Drama; a US Indie Comedy and Mexican Social Realism.

Our second day at the LFF screenings began with a blast or, more specifically, with tons of them as featured in Midge Costin’s superbly didactic documentary ‘Making Waves: The Art Of Cinematic Sound.’ It continued with the thought provoking Irish drama ‘Rose Plays Julie’ dealing with a young woman searching for their real parents; ‘The Climb,’ a deadpan US indie comedy about friendship and we finished the day with our favourite film of the festival, so far, a Mexican drama about the great wealth divide ‘Workforce.’ Here’s our chronicle: Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2019 Recommended: Two Discoveries and A Return To Form

The first day of the London film festival finally arrived and I had almost forgotten, after a year abroad, the hardships of London Public Transport. A massive overcrowding in the Northern Line prevented me from being on time for the press screening of the opening gala , Armando Iannucci’s adapting Dickens in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield,’ which I’ll try luck later on the week with one of its public screenings. Instead, I opted for an Indian film, Jallikattu, which turned out to be quite a unique experience not for the faint-hearted. Yesterday I also caught up with Rose Glass’ disturbing first feature, Saint Maud, and the latest and rather good work by Canadian (former) wunderkid Xavier Dolan, Matthias et Maxime. Here’s my chronicle of those films Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2019 Mixtape: Films For Music Lovers


One more year, the London Film Festival is almost here bringing, from October the 2nd to the 13th, an impressive and massive selection of the best films from all over the world. As we did in past editions, we are focusing on those films that would be of particular interest for music lovers. This year we are spoilt for choice, from punk movements to gospel treasures; documentaries about rock stars; jazz icons; African legends; pop stars acting debuts; musical; global folklore; extraordinary soundtracks; music technical crafts…

We have also created a Spotify playlist, The London Film Festival 2019 Mixtape, not to be confused with the experimental strand of the festival’s session of the same name, in which the audience will be presented with a series of carefully selected, groundbreaking works, without knowing which ones in advance. Our mixtape contains tracks which either are part of the films mentioned or relevant to their contents, depending on their availability of the popular platform. On this edition we have only one miss still not ready for streaming: Nicolas Jaar’s fantastic soundtrack for the latest Pablo Larraín’s opus ‘Ema,’ with its unique mix of reggaeton and electronica that’s an integral part of the film’s atmosphere.

Enjoy the listen (and hopefully the viewing too!) Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Ray And Liz – Vignettes Of Family Poverty From The Thatcher’s Era

One of the strongest works in the London Film Festival’s excellent selection for the first feature competition, Ray and Liz marks the arrival of an interesting new auteur to British cinema. Like Steve McQueen did a decade ago, Turner-prize nominated artist Richard Billingham bridges the gap between art gallery and art house with this long gestating debut which offers a very personal recollection of his childhood memories as part of a dysfunctional family devastated by the socially damaging policies of the Thatcher era. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Recommended: Too Late To Die Young and Happy Birthday, Colin Burstead

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The theme of New Year’s Eve celebrations is instrumental in two of this year’s official competition films. Diametrically opposed in tone, location and intention, they both explore the dramatic possibilities the traditional annual gatherings offer. The first one is Chilean filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor’s evocative coming of age memoir, Too Late To Die Young, in the midst of the summer holidays as it is set in the southern hemisphere. The second, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, is a BBC commission to be aired as one of the specials in the channels’ festive programming. It gives Ben Wheatley a new chance to flaunt his corrosive sense of humour by putting together a dramedy about a rather traumatic extended family’s gathering. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Recommended: The Plan That Came From The Bottom Up and Wildlife.

After Steve McQueen’s Widows kick-started the London Film Festival in style, here’s our reviews of two of the best films we have watched from this year’s programme so far. Two very different works dealing with personal and financial struggles: a socio-political essay offering proof about the ravages caused by modern capitalism and its neoliberal doctrines (The Plan) and a faithful literary adaptation of one of Richard Ford’s short stories about family hardship (Wildlife). Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Recommended: Two Debuts Boasting Strong Political Satires

Among the most thought-provoking and boundary pushing films that we have seen this year, two completely different works: the debut feature of a young Scottish multimedia artist Rachel McLean, Make Me Up, exploring through a hyper-real, technology-ridden fantasy world the ways our society imposes ideals of beauty and perfection on women and their damaging consequences. The second is by former African-American rapper Boots Riley who uses a peculiar blend of comedy, social commentary and science-fiction to criticise the corporate-inducing precarization of the job market in Sorry To Bother You. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Best Films We Saw At #LFF2017



Looking back at 2017’s BFI London Film Festival and after careful deliberation, we finish our review with the list of the best films we saw at this year’s event. We began our coverage recommending 15 films we had already seen at Cannes and other festivals. A list that perfectly complements this one and whose, at least, first 8 titles (among them, The Florida Project, You Were Never Really Here, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Summer 1993, etc.) deserve to be included in any best-of the festival recap. We also took a look at a selection of the lesser-known titles from the different strands in former posts. But now its the turn for the films that we actually liked the most during the festival. Altogether, they shape up a promising look at some of the best work that (hopefully) will come to our art-house cinemas during the next twelve months. 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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#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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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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