02/11/2010

LFF: Final Thoughts

So, here we are. You probably noticed that last week I collapsed under the weight of my workload and practically stopped reviewing all the films I was sitting through at The London Film Festival. 30 to be exact and although it felt like about 700, here are the ones I can remember.

The Docs

There were so many films that I really liked I had to go through the catalogue/brochure/whatever and remind myself. A standout for most was Tabloid, a documentary detailing the scandal that hit the headlines in 1977. It had everything - former (batshit crazy) beauty queen, Mormons, sex slaves, cloned puppies, you name it. Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris clearly knows what he's doing as the straight on camera interviews are enlivened by spinning front pages, words flashing across the screen and footage from the time. It only enhances the film and is all the better for it. Documentaries always make me happy and this year they out shined the theatrical films. Fire In Babylon is without doubt the best film about cricket you'll ever see, Waste Land is about a project by ace artist Vik Muniz and will have you getting teary by the end or thinking that you've been manipulated. Lemmy was aiight, Armadillo was somewhat brill, The Tillman Story is a great subject handled completely wrong and Upside Down: The Creation Records Story is about a bunch of Northerners would took a load of drugs. Or something.

The Letdowns

Yes, it's true. I'm not particularly fond of Darrenofsky's Black Swan. I've already spent too much time defending myself from the rabid fans of Darrenofsky's GENIUS so all I will say is this - Black Swan is a solid film with strong performances, a consistent pace, brilliant costumes by Rodarte and a memorable score. What I didn't like is that everything gets so overwhelmingly stupid I fond myself utterly detached and uninterested in what was going on. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat, I wanted to be gripped and I wanted to care about what would happen. Unfortunately, I was a bit bored. Go on Movie Vortex, come get me. I was similarly underwhelmed by Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, It's Kind Of A Funny Story, 127 Hours, Howl and Never Let Me Go. Actually that's a lie, everything about NLMG was perfect apart from Keira Knightley. Can't have it all.

The Good-Uns

I want to leave this on a high note so lets talk about the good stuff. Everyone has heard about Catfish and for the sake of those who haven't seen it, I'm saying nothing apart from that it's awesome. The King's Speech may be my favourite film of the festival. Watching a man struggle with a stammer should not be that damn good and although it may come across as Oscar-bait, I thought it was pretty fucking amazing. "Fucking amazing" is what I'd say about NEDS also although I couldn't understand the bloody Scottish accents AT ALL. Robbie Collin can call me racist all he likes but the Glaswegian twang is a hard one to get your ears around.

There, it's over. Can we talk about something else now?