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The Joker Coming October.

Phillip Bergson


Writing about Films and Festivals.

 

Film Critic, UK, member of Fipresci

 

Winner of the Student Journalist of the Year competition in the UK weekly New Statesman, as a Classics Scholar Phillip Bergson then founded the Oxford Film Festival and, on graduating, was selected by "The Sunday Times" as a 'New Critic' and in the same week began broadcasting on film for many BBC Radio programmes. A contributor to the "Times Literary Supplement", "TES", "Screen International", "Film Bulletin", "Film a Doba" inter alia, he also worked for the "European Script Fund", has scripted shorts and features (that have been produced and released) and, fluent in eight-and-a-half languages, currently programmes and advises several international film festivals. At the National Media Museum in his native Yorkshire, he created the "Eurovisions" project, to promote classic and contemporary European cinema.

As a Jury Member

 


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Graduates with Distinction

As the autumn nights lengthen, and the Academy starts to screen its possible nominations, different kinds of film academies begin to put on their end-of-term shows that often may mark the beginning of some careers.The first of the invitations to view the latest student film harvest that came my way was from the London Film Academy, which is housed in an Old Church in Fulham Broadway, in a central London suburb.In early November the LFA organised two showcases of their latest short films, one on their own premises, and ,as befitted their profile as an industry-aimed school, an early-evening screening in one of London's most famous post-production studios and screening-rooms, the delovely De Lane Lea in Soho's famous Dean Street.(I am not sure if the LFA has a Dean itself ,but it has two attractive lady principals).The hour-long programme was an impressive montage of Trailers for 9 short films, with 6 others being screened in their entirety.Well-detailed printed programmes, CVs of the cineastes, and a nicely packaged DVD of the completed shorts were amply available as was festive fizz (I suspect from Spain) after the screening ,when there was a congenial reception to meet the film-makers in an informal atmosphere, but with the encouraging photographs and posters signed by so many professionals who have worked in De Lane Lea over many years looking down from the walls on the eager neophytes. The level of professionalism and maturity seemed high across the work on display, reflecting probably on the age and experience of students of the LFA,who seem to engage on courses there having already studied previously or even begun to work in or near film.Invidious to select examples ,but Heartless  was a wry twist on the mafia stories that seem to preoccupy British film-makers today;The Wall, an engaging medieval allegory,I think directed by an Edoardo Pasolini (who can t be Pier-Paolo's son);while Tourniquet, directed by irina Izmestieva was a Pasoliniesque menage a quatre in an uppper-class English house and garden, gorgeously photographed by Evgeny Selnikov.As often is the case at film schools, students work on each other's films in different or differing capacities,The LFA has recently introduced three new courses, a Writer-Director Diploma,a Screenwriting Diploma, and a Documentary Certificate.

For more information see www.londonfilmacademy.com and you may be able to find some of the trailers now on the YOUTUBE channel and some of the film-makers on FACEBOOK, and probably you should.

 

Phillip Bergson

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