Mostly Links – Festival Special

Blake Backlash is all about how that cute and funny round-up of film stuff you like is going to come back into style.

So... are we going to stick around for the Q & A?
So… are we going to stick around for the Q & A?

Here at Mostly Film, we’re not too proud to jump on a bandwagon. When we saw how crazy y’all went when y’all heard that David Lynch was bringing back Twin Peaks we decided to revive our own fondly-remembered cult sensation. Yup, Mostly Links is back. And just like series two of Twin Peaks it’s going to be weirder and less funny than it used to be. So if you’re used to things all being easy, urbane wit – then get ready to work harder.

Because I want us to think about the nature of these ‘links’ that this piece is ‘mostly’ made of. What is a link? What does it, like, mean to link? Well, it might just mean me linking to a funny trailer. Like if I showed you this trailer for Wolves

…then I could tell you about how I’ve been saying in the pub for ages that werewolves are going to be cool again. The mark of being cool again in the monster world, of course, means being in a movie all of your own, not one where you’re just there to be at war with vampires.  Werewolves haven’t really been in, in that way, since the 80s. So it gladdens my heart to see Wolves draw on a couple of furry classics from back then. You’ve got the doing-sex-outside-while-turning-into-a-werewolf scene from The Howling. And those scenes on the football pitch remind me of the unfair advantage the Beacon Town Beavers got every time Michael J Fox went full Teen Wolf. It’s probably too much to hope for scenes where Cayden Richards takes the role of some kind of 19th Century Union Army Wolf General in the school play, or a moment that will cause people on the internet to debate at length about whether or not one of the background players got their dick out.

Links are also the things that connect us. That could mean me using 80s movie references and crude YouTube clips to bond with you. But it could also be about what connects you to the other wonderful people out there in the dark, who love films as much as you do. Now, if you are any decent sort of human being at all, you will have worked out, sometime in your mid-twenties, that going to the pictures on your own is one of the most exquisite pleasures available on earth. But lots of other people are involved in making and watching films…and hanging out at a film festival really bring that home.

We’re thinking a lot about festivals at Mostly Film right now. Next week you’ll be able to read our coverage of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and – because Mostly Film is a glamorous and global outfit – later on in this month we’ll bring you a roundup of Austin’s Fantastic Fest and LA’s Beyond Fest.

Which is exciting, because a film festival is more than just a bunch of films. It’s your chance to link with – to  maybe meet, drink, flirt or sleep with – filmmakers, and fellow filmgoers. If that all sounds too hedonistic, then remember that it’s also your best chance to really ask questions of people who make films. To sharpen those lines you come up with in the pub after a film and then stick them into some director.

You always should always ask questions. Because if you don’t the people who will, will be the kind of people who always ask questions at a post film Q&A and nothing should ever be left to those people. But if you’re just too shy, then let your festival be about connecting with new people over a shared interest or passion. And that nearly always makes good things happen.  Spank The Monkey has already told us about how a bunch of people coming together to share their insights into some films that played London Film Festival in 1998 was what led to the great website you are reading now – Europe’s Best – coming into existence and blossoming.

The 2014 London Film Festival was launched on Wednesday. And we’re going to have comprehensive coverage of the LFF on Mostly Film over the next two weeks. The Opening Gala film was The Imitation Game, an Alan Turing biopic. Our own Ron Swanson was there and sent this dispatch about his first impressions, down the wire:

Hey, Benededict! Mostly Film has been a wee bit slow recently. Have a look at our servers, will you?
Hey, Benedict! Mostly Film has been a wee bit slow recently. Have a look at our servers, will you?

This year’s Opening Night Gala is a pure, classy crowd pleaser. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, director Morten Tyldum’s follow-up to Headhunters, a breakout foreign language hit that also opened at the LFF.

Tyldum’s new film is a more reserved affair, but is still a thoroughly enjoyable use of a couple of hours; a period drama with handfuls of thrills and plenty of jokes. Cumberbatch gives an assured performance, and is ably supported by Matthew Goode, Keira Knightley and a sparkling Mark Strong. Using flashback and flashforwards to frame Turing’s life before and after WW2 occasionally serves to take us away from the film’s strengths – the relationships between the codebreakers. Turing’s story deserves to be heard, and Cumberbatch, Tyldum et al have done so in a respectful manner.

Currently an awards front runner, this could run out of steam before Oscar time, but it’s an absolute banker for a shedload of nominations and a solid and impressive way to start the festival.

But perhaps you’re thinking – OK London boy, is that all you got for me? What if I don’t live in London? Well, one of the best ways to find out about exciting independent film stuff that is happening outside of the capital is to check out the Screening Film website. And have a look at The Days of Fear and Wonder programme, which will be screening cool sci-fi films all over this goddamn country from now until December. And, well…

…if you live in Aberdeen, go check out the Aberdeen Film Festival.

…if you live in Bristol check out the absolutely smashing sounding Cary Grant Comes Home For the Weekend Festival.

…if you live in Glasgow, go see Iboga Nights at the GFT on Sunday.

And if you’re looking for something to do in Glasgow tonight go to see San Francisco drag superstar, Peaches Christ’s Bear-Barella at the GFT. You’ll see Barbarella but you should know that ‘Ms. Christ would like to encourage audience members to dress up in their best Barbarella inspired couture and begin practising for the Orgasmatron Challenge’.

Well, you can’t argue with that. So if you can’t go to that, find the thing that’s most like that near you and go to that. Or just go to the pictures. Fuck your Netflix, fuck your DVD collection, fuck the telly. Get dressed-up. Go out and see a film, as part of an audience. Link.

Peace out my film brothers and sisters. May every film you take a gamble on be an undiscovered classic.

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