Category Archives: Film Festivals

61st BFI London Film Festival

The 61st BFI London Film Festival was awash with fabulous performances by female lead actors, including those that anchored both the Opening and Closing night galas. In our festival wrap-up, Ron Swanson talks us through them.

Continue reading 61st BFI London Film Festival

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2017

Philip Concannon reports back from this year’s Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna.

No two experiences of Il Cinema Ritrovato will be the same. The festival’s vast and eclectic programme offers so many options for the curious film fan, there’s really no right way to navigate it. Some will choose to revisit old favourites screened from original prints or restored copies, while others will focus on rare titles and unknown quantities. Treats are to be found in every corner of the festival, along with a number of very difficult choices. On a single evening in Bologna, you could see one of the following: D.A. Pennebaker introducing Monterey Pop on Piazza Maggiore’s huge screen; the Austrian silent film Die kleine Veronika presented on a carbon projector; or a new restoration of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, with Dario Argento himself in attendance. It’s not always easy being a cinephile.

Continue reading Il Cinema Ritrovato 2017

Cannes Report

Ron Swanson watched a lot of films at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s what he thought.
I’ve been coming to the Cannes Film Festival for nearly 10 years, and it would be fair to say that the 2017 vintage will probably not go down as a great year. That being the case, there were still a number of outstanding films on display. Here are 13 of the best.

Continue reading Cannes Report

Certain Women BFI London Film Festival 2016 award winner

London Film Festival 2016 Round-Up

Ron Swanson

Farewell, then, to an all-time great edition of the London Film Festival. In the 13 years I’ve been attending the festival, this is by far the best programme of films selected, and given the festival’s innovative changes to the screening schedule (such as building an entirely new venue), there were opportunities to get tickets to most of the big items, especially for members. Continue reading London Film Festival 2016 Round-Up

Tickling Giants Bassem Youseff Lomdon Film Festival 2016

London Film Festival 2016 Days 8 to 9

Tickling Giants (dir-scr Sara Taksler)

During the Egyptian revolution 2011 Bassem Youseff, cardiologist by day, satirist by night, starting making five minute shows for his Youtube channel. Within three months they had had five million views. Youseff finds himself the golden boy of Egyptian comedy, and has a networked TV show, Al Bernameg (The Show) by the end of that year. Continue reading London Film Festival 2016 Days 8 to 9

The Revolution Won't Be Televised London Film Festival 2016

Whose Story Is It Anyway? London Film Festival Days 5 to 7

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised (dir Rama Thiaw)
An Insignificant Man (dir Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla)
Layla M (dir Mijke de Jong, scr Jan Eilander, Mijke de Jong)

Contains spoilers for Layla M.

The stand out point about The Revolution Won’t Be Televised and An Insignificant Man is that they were made by a Senegalese woman and a pair of young Indian filmmakers in their own countries about things that they know about. The stand out point about Layla M is that it was not directed nor written by Dutch Moroccans, and it shows. Continue reading Whose Story Is It Anyway? London Film Festival Days 5 to 7