With the Opening Night of the 56th BFI London Film Festival a matter of days away, Leicester Square is busily preparing for the invasion of excited crowds; red carpets to be rolled out, crowd barriers to be put in place, and popcorn to be swept from the cinema carpet.
In the run up to the festival, CALM’s Lisa Balderson has been allowed a sneak peak at a few titles:
Wasteland, UK 2012
Dir. Rowan Athale| Starring Luke Treadaway and Timothy Spall. 106min
Screening on: Sun 14, Tue 16, Sat 20 LFF Listings
How far would you go to get revenge? Meet Harvey Denton (Luke Treadaway), out of prison for just one month, Harvey finds himself in a police interview room being accused of a botched crime that might put him right back inside. A flashback to 6 weeks earlier and the film unfolds the events that have led to Harvey’s arrest at the start of the film. Released early from prison for good behaviour, Harvey returns home to his old friends with an offer of a lifetime; a new start, their own business and a different life abroad…it just might involve breaking the law a lot and taking on the town’s biggest gangster. And then there is Harvey’s second chance with his ballsy ex-girlfriend to consider too.
A first feature from writer and director Rowan Athale, this is a film full of surprises, has a perfect A-team style story interlude where ‘the plan comes together’ and is amongst all a charming and heart warming tale about male friendship. Go see, go enjoy.
Four, USA 2012
Dir. Joshua Sanchez | Starring Wendell Pierce and Emory Cohen. 75min
Screening on: Tue 16, Fri 19, Sat 20 LFF Listings
Transferring a play to the big screen is never an easy task, but debut feature director Joshua Sanchez is sure to make his mark with this adaptation of the stage play by Christopher Shinn. Following a night in the lives of four very different individuals, Four takes on just about every area of discrimination and prejudice it can in its short running time. The film’s intensity is created in its close, often just two character, scenes which are sometimes familiar, sometimes funny and often uncomfortable. It deals with its subject matter well and honestly; a tough film, with some tough messages that gives insight into lives that often remain hidden. A brave first feature that deserves to be seen. (Oh, and there is quite possibly one of the most amazing basketball moments ever seen on film, a shot made with such nonchalance, it should never have gone in. Michael Jordan eat your heart out!)
Gimme the Loot, USA 2012
Dir. Adam Leon | Starring Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson. 80min
Screening: Fri 12, Sun 14 LFF Listings
Yet another debut feature in this year’s festival is Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot. Two talented artistic teenagers from the Bronx have their graffiti overwritten by a rival gang. In retaliation, the pair decide to pull off the biggest tagging mission in New York history, an act of defiance that will certainly put them back on top. But first, they need a little help and a little cash in order to pull it off, and everyone seems to be standing in their way. Using non-actors, this film is raw and believable; the language of its two leads is pulled straight from the New York streets in which it was filmed, and at times it feels like you have simply stepped into the lives of these real teens, with some moments so funny you will laugh out loud.
Good Vibrations, UK – Ireland 2012
Dir. Lisa Barros D’Sa & Glenn Leyburn | Starring Richard Dormer and Jodie Whittaker. 103min
Screening: Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21 LFF Listings
One of the most fun films in the festival, Good Vibrations is the story of Terri Hooley, Ulster’s Godfather of punk and the man responsible for discovering The Undertones. Terri Hooley is a music lover without a care, who hosts his own DJ nights in Belfast in the 70s during some of the worst times of the troubles. His commitment to his cause, never backing downin the face of everything thrown in his way, is inspiring. He is the underdog that just won’t stay down which, as luck would have it, eventually pays off. A fun film, with a great soundtrack and a history lesson cherry on top.