Tag Archives: BFI

We Are The Best – 2013

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Set in Sweden in 1982 We Are The Best tells the unlikely story of a pre-teen punk band. Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are keen to prove to the world that punk is not dead and create a revolution through a song insulting school sport. Their intentions and ambitions are so much bigger than themselves but, undeterred, they recruit the slightly older Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) to teach them guitar and join their punk vision. All three give lively and heart-warming performances and are so much fun to watch, although, by an odd quirk of make-up, Hedvig does appear to be at least four years older than her companions.

In fact, the whole film is purely fun. The script is genuinely funny and leaves you with a buoyant, joyous appreciation of life. No, they are not going to be world-famous musicians, nor are they going to find true love in the neighbouring male punk band but they have probably made lifelong friends. The problems and fights they have seem comically small and petty to an adult audience but you only have to cast your mind back to your own memories to find the ring of truth in this film.

Moodysson doesn’t shy away from the intensity of emotion which meets every twist and turn of the girls’ lives. Quite on the contrary he revels in it, turning it from juvenile melodrama into a true examination of delicate youthful emotions. This delicacy is reflected in the cinematography. The emotions play out in intimate close ups or isolating wide shots, both as equally well-framed and sensitively shot. Every molehill is a mountain at the age of 13 and it’s this high-strung drama which drives the film. You can’t help but engage with these characters when the stakes seem so high and they care so much.

It is a bold decision in the current film market to make an unashamedly happy piece of arthouse cinema but Moodysson pulls this off with such style and aplomb. It seems like an oasis in the mire of death, illness and heartbreak. We Are The Best fills that niche market for a feel-good film that is beautiful to watch.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       4/5

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BFI London Film Festival – Day 10

The Zero Theorem – An audience of hopeful people gathers wondering whether today is the day Terry Gilliam produces the masterpiece he might be capable of. Today was not that day.

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic:              1/5
  • Intellectual:       2/5

Kill Your Darlings – Two outstanding lead performances pull this film from the milieu of the good to the fantastic.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       4/5

12 Years A Slave – A beautiful film which somehow lacks the edge of McQueen’s other works.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic:              5/5
  • Intellectual:       3/5

BFI London Film Festival – Day 9

Parkland – While excellent to watch the film is so American as to alienate other viewers.

  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       2/5

The Invisible Woman – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ralph Fiennes brings us a ridiculously English period piece with not a lot of substance.

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       2/5

Due to Ralph Fiennes thanking every single producer he worked with and their canine companions at the Q&A I missed the third film I planned to see today. Nevertheless, tonight’s viewing matter is reviewed below.

Austalia’s Masterchef – The going gets tough in the kitchen as the one to get eliminated is blatantly highest in the edit.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic:              0/5
  • Intellectual:       0/5

I don’t even care, I’m in my pyjamas on a sofa.

BFI London Film Festival Days 7 + 8

Abus de Faiblesse: What seemed like an interesting concept descends into autobiographical self-pity.

  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Artistic: 2/5
  • Intellectual: 2/5

Grand Central: Due to a clichéd plot and lack of characterisation the only real interest in the film is the secondary action.

  • Entertainment: 1/5
  • Artistic: 3/5
  • Intellectual: 2/5

Camille Claudel: While Binoche gives an excellent performance the film is often quite dull.

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic: 3/5
  • Intellectual: 2/5

Tracks: A genuinely uplifting film, not ground-breaking, but full of wonder and heart.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic: 3/5
  • Intellectual: 3/5

A Long and Happy Life: I was assured by Russian relatives that Russian cinema was no longer concerned with farming. I was lied to.

  • Entertainment: 1/5
  • Artistic: 4/5
  • Intellectual: 2/5

Don Jon: A shallow and sexist film which devalues its own message.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic: 2/5
  • Intellectual: 0/5

Tonnerre: Excellently made, but lacking a vital conclusion.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic: 4/5
  • Intellectual: 3/5

BFI London Film Festival – Day 6

Like Father Like Son: A heart-rending piece of cinema despite a very simple premise.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic: 4/5
  • Intellectual: 3/5

Glückskinder: Fred and Ginger, now in German!

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic: 2/5
  • Intellectual: 2/5

Of Good Report: An uncomfortable film with some astonishing performances but perhaps a few flaws as well.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic: 4/5
  • Intellectual: 3/5

 

BFI London Film Festival – Day 5

Harbour Drift: When it was good it was fantastic, however parts of it slid into mediocrity.

  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       3/5

 

Ida: A mesmerising and thoughtfully rendered story of puberty and identity.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic:              5/5
  • Intellectual:       5/5

 

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf: An interesting concept, which could have been completed in half of the run-time.

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic:              2/5
  • Intellectual:       2/5

 

As I Lay Dying: A challenging film to enter in to, but ultimately rewarding.

  • Entertainment: 4/5
  • Artistic:              5/5
  • Intellectual:       3/5

BFI London Film Festival 2013 Day 3 + 4

Gare du Nord: A film which asks the audience to engage with the extraordinarily boring stories of ordinary people. An intensely claustrophobic viewing experience.

  • Entertainment: 2/5
  • Artistic:              2/5
  • Intellectual:       2/5

 

Chinese Puzzle: I took a risk coming into the third part of a trilogy but this witty, uplifting film couldn’t have been a better pay-off.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic:              4/5
  • Intellectual:       3/5

 

2 Autumns 3 Winters: Perhaps if it spent less time being quirky it would actually have more memorable substance.

  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Artistic:             4/5
  • Intellectual:      3/5

 

A Spell to Ward off the Darkness: hasn’t understood that “non-narrative” cinema doesn’t mean “pointless”

  • Entertainment: 0/5
  • Artistic:              1/5
  • Intellectual:       0/5

 

The Double: Bizarre and stylish and with a fantastic lead performance.

  • Entertainment: 5/5
  • Artistic: 3/5
  • Intellectual: 3/5