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Bruno


A few good news from the festival circuit I Bienvenue sur le blog de Bruno avec quelques news en français du circuit des festivals francophones. Laissez moi un commentaire quand vous le pouvez.


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BFI London Film Festival Looks To Be A Highlight Of The Year

Are you used to attending 'virtual' film festivals yet? We think we are. It's not the same as attending a star-studded red-carpet event in person, but we're grateful to the organizers of some of the world's biggest festivals for persevering in these difficult conditions and providing these events for us, even if we can only enjoy them through a screen. We're also grateful for the production crews who have managed to provide these festivals with films to view in what must have been extremely challenging conditions. 2020 is almost over now, and we hope that we'll all be together again for 'in the flesh' film festivals next year, but before that happens, we still have a few great festivals to experience through the virtual realm. Next up is the BFI London Film Festival.

Although the BFI event is ostensibly a celebration of British cinema, in reality it attracts contributions and talent from all over the world. The full line-up for the October event was announced a little over two weeks ago, and the full count is fifty-eight films drawn from forty different countries. That’s simply a staggering amount of cinematic entertainment, and if you don’t know where to start with the line-up, we don’t blame you. We can, however, help you.

Trying to predict what the highlights of the festival might be before we’ve seen any of the films might not be the smartest idea we’ve ever had, but we’re not going to let that stop us. Here are a few of the scheduled attractions that we think you ought to go out of your way to see.

Nomadland

As a rule of thumb, Frances McDormand doesn't make bad films. That might be because her presence in a movie can turn an average script into a great one simply through the strength of her performances, but we think she's also an excellent judge of scripts, directors, and opportunities. For all of those reasons, we're very excited about her taking the lead role in "Nomadland" by Chloe Zhao. In the lead role of "Fern," McDormand's character witnesses the utter economic devastation of her small backwater American town thanks to a recession (sound familiar), and decides that she wants to get off the grid. She packs up her few possessions, gets in her van, and hits the road as a new-age Nomad. Expect grit, drama, and a lot of socio-political commentary.

Soul

We would not normally recommend Disney or Pixar productions to you. Disney and Pixar don't need any promotion. They're the Harlem Globetrotters of cinema. Disney movies aren't just films; they're events. They get companion television shows, and action figures, and in some cases, they even get video games and online slots made for them. They're pop culture events. You won't find Frances McDormand's face on any online slots websites, put it that way. Even with all of that said, we'd be remiss if we didn't suggest that you should check out "Soul." This is Pixar getting existential, with Jamie Foxx playing a jazz musician whose soul gets separated from his body, and finds himself vying for a chance to return to the flesh-and-blood world. Pixar provides us with a whole creation theory and a new perspective on life. It's said to be life-affirming and beautiful and gentle. Being a Pixar film, it's also funny. With a bit of luck, they might not even cheapen it by turning it into an online slots game.

Possessor

Bad horror movies can be bought at ten for a dollar. Great horror movies are like hen's teeth. We have reason to believe that Brandon Cronenberg's "Possessor" is a hen's tooth. Cronenberg has already proven himself as a capable writer and director, and if his career trajectory to date is anything to judge him by, he's going from strength to strength. Early indications say that "Possessor" is a new high for him, helped along by a tremendously effective performance from Andrea Riseborough. Set in the near future, the plot revolves around Riseborough's character, a criminal agent of some kind, using neural implants to control other people's brains and force them to commit crimes. Through the implant, she literally inhabits their bodies, but as this is a horror film, there are some side effects of the process that she wasn't counting on. "Possessor" is apparently a deeply twisted tale. We wouldn't expect anything less.

Mangrove

By Aprillamb - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

You will hear a lot about this film in the newspapers, and possibly on the television news as well. Steve McQueen's "Mangrove" is the film that's been chosen to open the festival, and the true story it tells is an extremely pertinent one for the difficult times we’re living in. “Mangrove” is part of McQueen’s “Small Axe” series of films, designed to tell stories about racism and economic strife in the United Kingdom. The “Mangrove” of the title are the “Mangrove 9” - nine black activists who were arrested by police during a protest in London during the early 1970s and then placed on trial. The racial motivations of the arresting officers were laid bare during the trial and the British Metropolitan Police, for the first time in their history, were forced to acknowledge that they had an issue with systemic racism within the force. The movie will eventually be screen on television in both the US and the UK, where it will likely become a hot topic.

Ammonite

This movie is also likely to provoke some controversy, albeit for different reasons. Francis Lee’s “Ammonite” is a romance movie based on what Lee says is a true story. The central characters in it certainly existed; Mary Anning, a paleontologist, was one of the most notable fossil experts of her time during the 19th century, and Charlotte Murchison, another fossil enthusiast, was genuinely a real-life friend of hers. Mary Anning never married. Charlotte Murchison did, and to a man. Despite that, Lee's film portrays a lesbian romance between Anning, played by Kate Winslet, and Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan, after the latter is left in Anning's care for a summer by her husband as he goes traveling. Members of Anning's surviving family have decried the gay storyline as 'pure Hollywood,' whereas Lee feels that as there's no evidence that the real-life Mary ever had a heterosexual relationship, he has the right to speculate. A little controversy never hurt a movie, though, and Winslet and Ronan ought to dazzle as a pairing.

We're going to cut ourselves off at five films - else we'd be here all day - but we do want to reserve an honorable mention for "The Painter and the Thief," which is another real-life drama about a stolen painting and the subsequent unlikely relationship between the artist and the thief. We'll say no more about that one. We hope you'll be checking out at least some of the festival, and if you do, we'll be sure to give you a virtual wave if we see you!

 

 

 

 

 

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About Bruno

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This Blog in french, is managed by Bruno Chatelin

It covers the french film festivals circuit with ambience and news.
Videos and audio podcasts.

C'est qui Bruno?
HEC, publicitaire chez Intermarco Publicis, DMM et JWT puis distributeur chez Sony Pictures (Directeur Marketing) de 1987 à 1995 puis UGC FOX (Directeur Général de 95 à 97, à la création du GIE)

Co fondateur de filmfestivals.com

Fondateur de majorbuzzfactory.com


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