Monday, 20 October 2014

London Film Festival: Part Three

If I could sum up the films I have been to see at the London Film Festival in a catchy phrase or saying, it would be "Variety is the spice of life". This certainly holds true for the last two films.

First Cub, my first ever Flemish horror movie. In the Q&A the director, Jonas Govaerts said that he had been inspired by the video nasties, banned in Britain in the 1980's, but he wanted to make the kind of terrifying visual experience he had expected rather than the over-hyped tosh they so often turned out to be. Cub is the story of a Scout troop who find themselves camping in the wrong part of the forest. There's humour, gore, and some surprisingly moving moments. It's a well-crafted tale and I bloody loved it. It also had the best poster of the festival.

I rounded off my LFF experience by seeing a collection of experimental short films gathered together under the title of Pareidolia: Following the Leads. This was, in fact, the very last viewing in the festival, and having had a tiring few days, I wasn't necessarily in the mood for the kind of high-art-weirdness you often get from this kind of film. Thankfully, they were all really good. Mutatis Mutandis, by Kathryn Elkin, was a brilliant combination of story telling, sound and image. How to Make Money Religiously, by Laure Provost, was an excellent play on internet scams and cult religious movements. Rib Gets in the Way (Final Thoughts Series Three), by Steve Reinke, included a whole section of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, adapted as a children's cartoon. They all had the right blend of humour and insight and definitely provoked conversation on the way home as well as keeping me awake in the cinema, which was no mean feat. 

Oh, and I only just looked it up, but "pareidolia" refers to a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus being perceived as significant, which totally makes sense if you've seen the films.

Overall, a really enjoyable festival. I'll try and get to even more films next year.

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