wed 07/12/2016

London Film Festival

LFF 2016: Elle/Paterson

Paul Verhoeven directing Isabelle Huppert as a woman seemingly unfazed by a violent rape sounds a recipe for outrage. Elle (★★★★) , though, provokes in subtle, lingering, sometimes comic ways. The rape of Michele (Huppert) mostly happens off-screen...

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London Film Festival 2015: Dressed to Thrill

As a novice in the ways of the London Film Festival, I'm not only amazed by the scope and scale of the thing (350-odd films in just under a fortnight), but aghast at the thought of all the backroom work that goes into it. And on top of all that they...

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London Film Festival 2015: Who Dares Wins?

How do you corral 250 films in a way which makes sense to potential viewers? Major releases – so far at this year’s LFF we've had Suffragette, Johnny Depp in Black Mass and Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van – pretty much take care of themselves....

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10 Questions for Director Sarah Gavron

Director Sarah Gavron tends to make films with strong social content. Her TV movie This Little Life (2003) concerned a couple’s struggles after the premature birth of their son; her first feature film was an adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel Brick...

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LFF 2014: Germany, Pale Mother

When can Nazi Germany be humanised? Never, many German critics believed on Germany, Pale Mother’s 1980 release, when it was apparently despised for its “subjective” account of one woman and her daughter’s lives in that era and its aftermath....

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LFF 2014: Winter Sleep

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner is an epic chamber piece by a contemporary great. From the moment a stone suddenly smashes the car window of landlord Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), physical threat darkens the corners of the remote Anatolian...

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LFF 2014: A Little Chaos

Alan Rickman returns to film directing 17 years after he first stepped behind the camera with a film as pulpy and bodice-ripping as his debut feature, The Winter Guest, was chilly and austere. Visually enticing and packed with a blue-chip...

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LFF 2014: Foxcatcher

There is loud Oscar talk surrounding the stellar performance by Steve Carell in director Bennett Miller’s genuinely unsettling Foxcatcher. Miller (Capote) tackles yet another true crime drama, this time following the steps leading to the murder of...

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LFF 2014: Mommy

Motherly love is stretched to its very limits in Xavier Dolan’s deeply affecting melodrama. It's pitched to perfection and shot in a claustrophobic 1:1 aspect ratio, which is occasionally opened up to evoke a rush of liberating joy. This...

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LFF 2014: Phoenix

Director Christian Petzold avoided Germany’s grim version of heritage cinema – the war, the Wall – until last year’s Cold War hit Barbara. His fascination with his country’s present suppressions, though, helps him peel away its past’s familiar...

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LFF 2014: The Keeping Room

Indie actress Brit Marling takes aim at a rigid power structure in this tense and pared down female-led revisionist Western from British director Daniel Barber. Set towards the end of the American Civil war three women are grappling to survive...

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LFF 2014: It Follows

Few films this frightening are also so kind. David Robert Mitchell’s second feature starts with a pretty teenage girl suffering inexplicable, bone-snapping terror. He makes us wait to find out why, lingering in the lives of 19-year-old Jay (Maika...

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