Wednesday, 20 October 2010

LFF8: Go west

Bollywood took over Leicester Square last night as Jimi Mistry, Ila Arun, Zita Sattar, Linda Bassett, Aquib Khan, Om Puri, Lesley Nicol and Emil Marwa lined up on an especially festive red carpet last night for the UK premiere of their film West Is West at the London Film Festival.

Perhaps to recover, today was a relatively quiet day at the festival, as there wasn't a major red carpet premiere, although several filmmakers were in attendance. Meanwhile, London-based critics have been watching normal releases as well over the first week of the festival, and my festival schedule has been augmented with the good, bad and ugly (in that order) likes of: Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth, Aussie drama Animal Kingdom, 3D Imax animation Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, the teen comedy Easy A, the Grindhouse spinoff Machete and the comic-based action RED. Meanwhile here are a couple of festival highlights...

dir Peter Mullan; with Connor McCarron, Joe Szula 10/UK ***
Beautifully shot in period style, this 1970s Glasgow teen drama is a harrowing exploration of how gang mentality seduces even the brightest students. The title is an acronym for non-educated delinquents. But while it's an intense story, the only discernible point seems to be that you should consider yourself lucky if you managed to grow up in 1970s Glasgow and are still alive to make a movie about it. Fortunately, Mullan has assembled a large cast of nonactors in the teen roles, and they all give powerfully believable performances, especially the extremely promising McCarron in the central role as a smart guy who is lured over to the dark side.

Robinson in Ruins
dir Patrick Keiller; narr Vanessa Redgrave 10/UK ****
A sequel to Keiller's London (1994) and Robinson in Space (1997), this is a witty and sharply observant exploration of the English landscape. It's also a fiercely artistic film that's impossible to categorise... MORE>

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