All posts by Susan Patterson

Mostly Links

by Susan Patterson

Mostly Links is back and this week it goes colour.  Mostly Links has been pondering why so many films are so blue.  And orange.  If you’re wondering what we mean think CSI Miami.  And then some. Mostly Links first pondered this after seeing  Carancho (dir: Pablo Trapero, Argentina, 2010), and wondering why everyone was wearing a blue shirt, and why all the streets were bathed in orange light, until finally  everything shot from inside a car was steely grey, with not a single other colour in sight.

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London Spanish Film Festival 2011

By Susan Patterson

Pa Negre (Black Bread)

Aside from Almodóvar, Spanish films barely get a look-in in the UK outside of festivals, and sometimes not even then (there are four Spanish films at the forthcoming London Film Festival and there were none at Edinburgh this year). Fans of Spanish film should be grateful, then, for the London Spanish Film Festival, now in its 7th year.

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The London Spanish Film Festival: Preview

In the next two months, Mostly Film will be covering a number of major film festivals in depth, including the BFI London Film Festival, the Raindance independent film festival and the London Korean Film Festival.

Susan Patterson kicks off this series with a look at the London Spanish Film Festival, which starts today.

Andrucha Waddington's 'Lope'

Spanish is the first language of some 400 million people on earth, but in 2009 only 12 Spanish-language films were released in the UK.

The 7th London Spanish Festival is previewing a handful of films that will get a general UK release (such as tonight’s gala film at the Ciné Lumière, Andrucha Waddington’s Lope), but more striking is that almost every film in the core programme is a UK premiere. And in many cases it will be your only chance to see these films on a big screen. Continue reading The London Spanish Film Festival: Preview

Fire in Babylon

by Susan Patterson

Holding 61370-11A

“We play cricket for the value of cricket” – Bunny Wailer

Despite my ancestors being indigenously British as far back as the Romans, I failed the Tebbit cricket test a long time ago.  My mantra was ‘anybody but England, unless it’s Australia’, but my true love in international cricket was the West Indies team.  When I meet someone from Ballycastle who supports Leeds United, or from Porto who supports West Ham United, I have a theory that the club was in its glory years when that person was ten years old. Having seen Fire in Babylon I now know that in supporting the Windies, instead of being a romantic maverick I was a glory hunter, no better than a London Red. (I prefer to believe that I had a premonition of the Barmy Army, and knew that I would want nothing to do with it.) After telling a classmate, who called me an n-word-lover, for the first, but not last, time in my life. My affiliation became the love that dare not speak its name. This was also my first lesson that National Front supporters were not cuddly patriots.

In Fire in Babylon director Steven Riley tells the story of the West Indies cricket team, from their humiliating 5-1 Test defeat in Australia in 1975 to becoming the unstoppable Test-winning machine captained by Clive Lloyd, using archive footage, interviews, music, and cultural analysis by Bunny Wailer and Frank I. The film is overtly framed in the emergence of a post-colonial Caribbean culture; the politicisation of some of the team, particularly Viv Richards, as black people increasingly conscious of their African descent; and the fight against apartheid. Its saddest moments come with the fallout from the rebel tour of South Africa in 1983.

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