In the second part of our look ahead to this years London Film Festival, we examine the New British Cinema and Cinema Europa strands of the festival. We begin with our look at the former.
NEW BRITISH CINEMA
Shock Head Soul
Simon Pummell, whose remarkable Bodysong hit screens in the first half of the last decade returns with an off-kilter adaptation of Daniel Paul Schreber’s Memoirs Of My Mental Illness. Quite literally a first person examination of a man’s own mental welfare, the book is brought to the screen via a combination of film forms and mediums.
Lawrence Of Belgradia
A documentary following Lawrence, the one time frontman of seminal British indie band felt. Based on the footage screened Lawrence looks to be that gem of a documentary subject; a genuine character.
Following in the tradition of this years Route Irish and Kill List, Junkhearts revolves around a figure who has quite literally “gone through the war”, and explores the manner in which regular people adapt to civilian life following their time in the forces. Eddie Marsan is the veteran in question, whose life is shaken up when he meets a homeless teenager.
The tale of a young man who attempts to boost his family’s legacy, How To Re-establish A Vodka Empire looks to present a charming coming of age tale within the confines of a quirky situation. There’s a series of short films that precede the feature available at the directors website.
Solely included in this round up thanks to the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch. Wreckers is the tale of a pair of newlyweds who move from the city to the village in which the man grew up.
A Franco-Belgian co-production that sees the legendary Chantal Akerman tackle the Joseph Conrad novel. Akerman has updated the original novel and set it in the modern, but in all honesty the thought of Akerman returning behind the camera is all we need to know.
Included in this list for its sheer ambition, Dreileben is a project, as oppoesed to a single film. Three of Germany’s most notable directors have come together to produce a trilogy of works that explores the very fabric of the german film industry in 2011. “Intriguing” would be the most appropriate word.
Fuchsia, The Mini-Witch
A Dutch work that reminds of pantomime via Guillermo Del Toro, Fuchsia, The Mini-Witch is one of the more interesting looking family friendly films of the festival.
An anti-coming of age drama from Bouli Lanners, whose work looks to have subverted the archetypical franco youth film (see Truffaut, Pialat, and even this weeks Tomboy). I’m a sucker for anything that remotely touches on this sub genre, and am rather excited to see what the Belgian filmmaker has done with it.
The LFF programme is keen to point out that Last Winter is a European work produced by an american-born filmmaker, suggesting a work which curiously blends the two distinctive film forms together. We’re looking forward to it for that very reason.
The Loneliest Planet
Gael Garcia Bernal returns to the road trip, exploratory field, with a film from Russian-American director Julia Loktev. The description of the film as a slow-burner brings to mind Old Joy and Gerry, with the beautiful landscapes of the Caucasus mountains theoretically making the perfect backdrop to such a tale.
On The Sly
Another Belgian-Franco tale, from a synopsis point of view at least, recalls Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, with the film’s intriguing premise concerning a lonely girl who one day ups sticks and moves to the woods to live by herself.
An ambitious documentary that spans the lives of sex workers in three countries, Michael Glawogger’s film attempts to understand the mentality behind the people who look to prostitution to earn a living. With a mammoth running time that reflects the scope of the tale Glawogger is attempting to tell.
Our complete preview of the London Film Festival 2011 can be found here.