Saturday, 28 May 2011
Thursday, 19 May 2011
My round-up of the London Palestine Film Festival is up on the Little White Lies blog:
We laughed, we cried, we got enraged at the 14th London Palestine Film Festival: all things we’ve come to expect from cinema, no matter what the origin is.
The films from this year’s Festival were educational, enlightening, even radical and controversial – covering issues ranging from health to feminism and racism, the festival allowed a glimpse at what it is to live under occupation, what everyday life as well as life changing decisions mean to a people so diverse, broken up by newly drawn national borders, newly assigned citizenships and newly raised walls. read on...
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
The review includes Hamama (UAE), Ar'Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Sabeel (UAE), Moustache (Kuwait), To Rest in Peace (Kuwait) and Leaking (Oman).
Monday, 2 May 2011
Having spent the day reading Chuck Kleinhans essay 'Marxism and film' it was a good round up that by the evening, I had encountered Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism – and my sneak peak at Saturday Night Fever in between injected a good bout of Capitalism – on film all in one day. Lucky am I that London-based institutions like the British Film Institute and Film 4 exist to keep the love for film alive. And thanks be to them, I opened my eyes to the films of Bernardo Bertolucci.
The evening started with Before the Revolution. A 1964, black & white, 115 minute long, New Wave influenced film. This movie’s impact was by the fact that it made no impact at all, it didn’t even try. A 22 year-old Bertolucci had more questions than answers, and this was apparent in the film’s inquisitive look at religion and politics. Thoughts of uncertainty on whether he should join the subversive Socialist party and whether or not a middle-class boy can even be a Marxist were hovering throughout. But to make matters even more confused, Fabrizio, our naïve protagonist, was having an illicit and discomforting incestual affair with his aunt. I enjoyed the lack of righteousness in this film. The fact that this young man was so heavily influenced by ways of thinking different to his upbringing was perfectly reflected upon here through the introspection of the director himself. No preaching, just questions: there was something soft about his solid uncertainty.
image from italiangerry
review: from the Guardian 2011
Later that night, the TV flickering while I tidied up the flat, the voice announced: The Conformist would be on right after Saturday Night Fever.
The Conformist was a much more powerful film. Questioning power, politics, religion, sex and decadence, this film deals with big ideas yet is undertoned with a hint of comedy. Although these characters stop at nothing to show how serious they are, like Before the Revolution, there is a hint of uncertainty, perhaps stemming from fear rather than naïveté. A man who is part of the Fascist secret police longs for ‘normality’, something he is simultaneously attempting to achieve as a cover up to keep up his professional life.
He is assigned to kill his professor and mentor, an anti-fascist. One of the most interesting scenes to me is when they meet for dinner at a decadent Parisian dinner hall (yes the scene where the two immaculately dressed women tango), and the professor states that despite their conflicting political views, they decide to meet for dinner. Watch the rest of the film to make a decision on whether or not that was a very good decision.