Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Festival Days: You've been papped!

The East End Film Festival winds up on Wednesday with its closing night gala screening of the biopic Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried (pictured) as the pornstar turned anti-porn crusader. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film has divided opinions due to its selective, doc-style approach, but it's still jarringly revelatory.

Other East End Film Fest titles I've caught up with include Ben Wheatley's brain-spinning 17th century Civil War odyssey A Field in England, which also opened in Britain on Friday (simultaneously released on DVD, VOD and screened on Film4). It's impossible to unpack, but is also unmissably insane. Any Day Now is a punchy drama about equality starring the superb Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt, managing to make a vitally important point without becoming an issue movie. Prospects is a loose, honest doc about two young British boxers trying to make it through the amateur system to get to the Olympics. It's superbly assembled and almost painfully involving. I also attended two world premieres: The Brightest Colours Make Grey is a low-budget London relationship drama that looks amazing on the big screen and benefits from a perhaps too-literate script. And Bruno & Earlene Go to Vegas is also gorgeously shot. It's a lively road movie that scrambles issues of sexuality for its characters. Cast and crew members were on hand from both films for Q&As.

Outside of the festival things were just a bit more massive, starting with Guillermo Del Toro's entry in the robotic blockbuster genre Pacific Rim, which is expertly assembled but ultimate sinks due to its underwhelming script. A lot more fun will be had when Edgar Wright's The World's End opens the following week - a raucous reunion of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike, all creating memorable characters amid the blind-drunk chaos of an apocalyptic pub crawl.

This coming week, British critics finally get a look at Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger and Michael Bay's Pain & Gain, as well as Disney's Cars spin-off Planes, the Sundance winner Ain't Them Bodies Saints and the horror romp The Conjuring. 

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