Monday 29 May 2023

BFI Film on Film Festival


BFI is bringing real film back to the big screen this summer, this time in the form of a festival celebrating film solely on celluloid. Just like listening to music on vinyl, watching film projected offers an entirely different look, sound and emotional impact. The festival was designed to create a unique cinema experience enabling the audience to enjoy film in all its glory. 

Full post over at Filmhounds HERE.

BFI Film on Film Festival is at BFI Southbank from 8-11 June

Sunday 28 May 2023

Club Zero - Cannes Film Festival


At elite school, new teacher, Miss Novak, leads her class in an unconventional series of lessons and theory that we don’t need to eat. One by one, each of her students falls under her spell and beliefs. Even after there is resistance from the students’ parents, the bond created in the classroom is strong, resulting in an event no one would have predicted. 

Jessica Hausner has a knack for creating an uncomfortable and foreboding atmosphere. It has been present in her previous films, especially in her last film, Little Joe. From the very start of Club Zero, we are introduced to Miss Novak (played to unnerving perfection by Mia Wasikowska) who comes across as someone to be vary of. Her demeanour and very soon after, her open attitude to eating and consuming food gives the impression that we are to expect unconventional and somewhat persistent behaviour from her. The slow and sinister affect she has on her students does not come as a shock but more like an eventual horror. Hausner is able to convey this sinister feeling throughout without being too overt in her intentions. We know something will happen to these students; we just don’t know what. 

Hausner clearly has a distinct style of filmmaking and particular aesthetic that compliments her storytelling. There is no indication where the film is set, the clothes all feel like a mixture of genres and the art direction is carefully curated to make one feel that this is not a story from the world we know. Within the story itself there are science fiction elements that creep in ever so slightly and its mirrored in the styles of the film. But at the root of the story is more like a cult; an enigmatic mysterious character appears and convinces a group to follow them in their beliefs, cutting them off from family and friends and eventually to giving up everything for them. 

Although the style and sinister atmosphere is intriguing to start with, the film does descend into an incoherent and somewhat frustrating narrative. There is no clear end and there is no clear or satisfying direction. Though if you are a fan of Hausner’s work, this will be a fascinating film but for anyone not familiar with her previous films may find this, overall, a tedious watch.

Friday 12 May 2023

A Gaza Weekend - LOCO (London Comedy Film Festival)

Any story involving or mentioning Israel, Palestine or Gaza would usually be approached carefully, sensitively and probably at arm’s length by certain filmmakers. But thankfully, director Basil Kahlil dives head first into the genuinely funny, frustrating, observant black comedy, A Gaza Weekend. Perfectly selected to open this year’s London Comedy Film Festival, the film is a fantastic example of how to broach serious subjects, with the darkest humour possible, plus a cast who deliver every single laugh. 

Full review over at Filmhounds HERE.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

London Comedy Film Festival (LOCO)


The world’s largest festival of funny cinema is back! LOCO has been going strong for over a decade and with this year sees new Festival Director and Artistic Director, Anna Wetherell and Benedict Morrison taking up the reins, the festival promise to deliver something special. With new and classic comedies, features and shorts all to be screened in the heart of East London, Hackney Picturehouse.  

Full preview HERE.

London Comedy Film Festival 2023 (LOCO) will take place at Hackney Picturehouse from 11-14 May 2023