London Film Festival 2017 Dispatch #1 - Group Dynamics

From the London Film Festival, two films depicting relations between (largely male) groups where complexities emerge, where codes of sociability were subverted or compromised, by factors both external and internal. Below, an exploration of how ideas of individuality and community functions in both films. "Violence isn't my thing"…

London Film Festival 2016 - Broadening Understandings

"International news coverage presents a very specific, often simplistic narrative of the Middle East. Cinema has the opportunity to provide an alternative. Elhum Shakerifar, one of two BFI London Film Festival programme advisors for MENA regions, is “particularly interested in challenging those meta-narratives that are created by the news,…

London Film Festival 2016 Dispatch #3 - Temporary Transportations

The latest in Albert Serra's series of imaginative retellings of the legends of historical or literary figures might be his best yet, and is certainly his most accessible. The Death of Louis XIV was conceived initially as a performance piece, commissioned by the Centre Pompidou and due to take place…

London Film Festival 2015 Dispatch #5 - Some Docs

A few words on some of the documentaries that played at the festival. Three films about people and places and what it means to call a place home, for better and for worse. Prolific critic and filmmaker Mark Cousins, best known for his autobiographical film history series A Story of…

London Film Festival 2015 Dispatch #4 - Of Lobsters and Horses

Two fractured coming of age tales, wide in scope and rich in feeling, that are both recognisable as traces of the nations that produced them; and two Greek films with British connections. One, a Film4 Co-Production that has a UK general release parallel to its LFF screening; and the other…

London Film Festival 2015 Dispatch #3 - Waking Dreams

At a film festival, sticking to known names can prove a little tedious. After all, half the fun of film viewership is the act of discovery. That said, when a new film from someone as reliably impressive as Apichatpong Weerasethakul shows up, it takes a special kind of commitment to…

London Film Festival 2015 Dispatch #2 - Visions of Hell

Moving onwards, more eclectic fare in a festival that caters widely. A seasoned auteur’s expansive, divisive vision of the state of affairs in his homeland (Arabian Nights, from Miguel Gomes) and a similarly confrontational, though decidedly smaller scale look at the tired state of the cinematic form from a…

London Film Festival 2015 Dispatch #1 - Talk, Tangerines & Trauma

Amongst the 240 strong programme, London Film Festival (LFF) is host to a large number of familiar names and flagpole films, acting as something of a net for the festivals preceding it. Mainly suiting a public (for many press, Karlovy Vary Festival or Krakow's New Horizons may serve the same…