Category Archives: Film Festivals
By Spank The Monkey
I love the work that Terracotta Distribution do to support Far Eastern movies in the UK. But they can’t write hashtags for toffee. Last year, I reported on their campaign to #keepasiancinemainukcinemas in the wake of indifference from exhibitors, media and audiences. A noble cause, but accompanied by a hard-to-remember Twitter hashtag. The same could be said about the one they’re currently trying to promote. It’s such an unwieldy combination of characters, it could almost be the title of a Richard Herring podcast. AIOTM! RHLSTP! TFEFF13!
It’s actually easier to remember the full-length version: because this is the hashtag for tweets relating to the Terracotta Far East Film Festival 2013, which runs in London from June 6th to 15th. It’s the fifth year of the event, and previously – in 2011 and 2012 – Mostly Film has provided you with exhaustive post-fest reviews. This year, for a change, I’m going to give you an advance preview of the programme, so you can plan that whole 26-films-in-ten-days experience for yourself.
by Indy Datta
Or, as festival director Louis Savy, or one of his good-natured and indefatigable team will inform you before almost every screening, Scifi London for short. I’ve been going to the festival since its inception in 2002; reviews after the jump of the films I managed to see this year.
By Clare Dean
“What’s wrong with you, have you gone mad?!”
- A good friend of mine when I told him that I was going to volunteer for Sundance London.
I’m an avid fan of Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. To me, the line-up announcement is more exciting than Christmas and for ten days in January, the incoming film reviews become the equivalent of my morning newspaper. I read up on interesting new filmmakers and keep my eyes peeled for the titles that make it over to the UK.
So when Sundance announced an additional festival in London last year, I had to go. As expected, it fuelled my addiction and by the end, I didn’t want to leave. But what I didn’t expect was the army of volunteers on hand to guide me through it. I hadn’t given much thought as to how a festival of this size would operate and I was intrigued, so as soon as Sundance London 2013 was confirmed, I put my name forward to volunteer.
I got picked and this is what happened (more or less)…
The second Sundance London Festival took place in the 02 from 25-28 April. Mostly Film regulars Phil Concannon and Gareth Negus were there; here’s a taste of what they saw.
By Clare Dean
I admit, I’ve moaned about Birds Eye View Film Festival in the past. Sometimes because I didn’t feel that the programming was very adventurous, but mainly because they kept offering me chocolate as an incentive to hand in my feedback form, (I like chocolate, but this is a film festival, why not something film-related?!).*
But this year, things are different. With a new Creative Director on board, (Kate Gerova, formally Head of Distribution at Soda Pictures), they have an edgy line-up of films that I really want to see, from a region undergoing massive change. I’m amazed that some of these films actually exist.
The Festival runs until 10th April at BFI Southbank, The Barbican, ICA and Hackney Picturehouse with a programme that includes 6 features, 9 documentaries, several short and silent films from countries across the region – Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Some of these films may never screen in the UK again. I urge you to go and see them.
These are some of my favourites…
*I did complete a feedback form with exactly that feedback on it. I didn’t win the chocolate.
Glasgow is a beautiful city that hosts a vibrant film festival every year. Three MostlyFilm writers were there this year, and they’ve written about it.
THE VETERAN’S PERSPECTIVE
BY DONNA SWABEY
I’ve been a regular attendee at The Glasgow Film Festival for the past five years or so, and this is the first time I decided to take the duration of the festival off work and jump in with both feet. Apart from emerging chair-shaped and half blind, I had a great festival. My method of choosing films is always somewhat erratic, and I tend to be heavily influenced by the blurb in the programme. I enjoy seeing classics on the big screen, but like to take a chance on films never likely to be screened again in the UK. All in all I had a fairly good hit/miss ratio this year. And I only turned up at the wrong cinema once.
Tags: Alex Salmond, Big Star, Blancanieves, Byzantium, Gangs of Wasseypur, Glasgow, Glasgow Film Festival, Good Vibrations, In the Fog, Joss Whedon, Mekong Hotel, Much Ado About Nothing, Populaire, Side Effects, Stoker, The Devil's Plantation, The Fifth Season, The Look of Love, Women's Day
Niall Anderson looks at a new documentary about migrant experience in London
The Road runs 260 miles, from Holyhead in Wales to Marble Arch in London. We call it the A5, but the Saxons called it Watling Street and the Romans called it Iter II. It’s still the main westward approach to London, which gave filmmaker Mark Isaacs an idea: “Just to go along the road and meet people who’ve set up homes in this stretch that’s more associated with constant travel.”
Originally conceived as a series for the BBC, The Road was going to traverse the entire length of the A5, but that was, says Isaacs, “a difficult pitch”. It was the advent of the 2012 Olympics that eventually gave the film its final 76-minute shape: “The idea of all these different nationalities converging for a few weeks on London, set against London as a migrant city from day to day: the persistence of migration in London’s history.” Continue reading this article ›
Continue reading this article ›
by Spank the Monkey
This year’s Japan Foundation film season – entitled Once Upon A Time In Japan, and touring the UK’s arthouse cinemas from today – has a historical flavour to it. All of the films are period pieces of one type or another, showing how Japanese filmmakers use stories of the past to say things about the present day.
Much of the programme hasn’t been seen in the UK before, unlike last year, so I can’t give you quite as comprehensive a preview as I did in 2012. We can’t discuss Hula Girls, the latest example of the Japanese genre in which young people bond during unfashionable physical activity. (See also: Waterboys, Swing Girls, Tits Volleyball.) We have to pass over Kaidan Horror Classics, a portmanteau film featuring big name directors like Hirokazu Kore-eda and Shinya Tsukamoto. Most regrettably, screeners were not available for Bubble Fiction: Boom Or Bust, in which Hiroshi Abe tries to solve Japan’s economic crisis with a time-travelling washing machine. How can the other seven films in the programme stand up against a synopsis like that? Well, let’s find out.
Hot off the press, a fresh new batch of reviews from the London Film Festival.
Rust and Bone
Reviewed by Ron Swanson
Rust and Bone is the quintessential festival film: French, with a ‘name’ director, a rising star and an art-house darling. It’s also muscular, brutal and frequently beguilingly beautiful. Jacques Audiard’s follow up to A Prophet was conceived as a response to that film; all open spaces and romantic entanglements.
Mostly Film’s intrepid reviewers have been out and about at the London Film Festival. Here is the first of two reports this week of what they’ve been watching.
Reviewed by Clare Dean
During his introduction to the late night screening of John Dies at the End, director Don Coscarelli told how he was mulling over a sequel to 2002 cult hit, Bubba Ho-Tep, when he received an email from a ‘robot’ – one of those automated Amazon messages that recommends on past purchases, ‘you bought this, so you might like this’ etc. The suggestion was David Wong’s book, John Dies at the End and for once, the robot was spot on.
John Dies at the End is a fun midnight movie. Told in confessional flashback as a potential story to journalist Arnie Blandstone (Paul Giamatti), two paranormal investigators (Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes) have to save the universe from a gigantic evil demon called Korrock, helped by a mind opening drug called (and looks like) Soy Sauce. Once the Soy Sauce takes hold, nothing is as it seems. Characters develop psychic abilities and cross time and reality. The dead have telephone conversations with the living. At least, I think that’s what happens.