“When we were kids, during the war, the world was full of fear. It could have ended any second. Everything was uncertain.” “What’s the difference?”
That’s Ginger, 16 years of age, nailing the terror of existence as a teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The scary part now? She’s played by Elle Fanning, who’s only 14. How on earth are Ginger and Rosa’s young lead stars so ridiculously talented? What’s it like for writer-director Sally Potter to put her own formative experiences on the screen? And why would any man in any movie choose to leave Christina Hendricks?
The answer: Alice Englert. But what else did I find out as I hung around the Ginger and Rosa premiere at the London Film Festival, shouting random questions at passers by? Here are five things I learned from Ginger and Rosa’s premiere.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Cast: Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed
Every now and then, a film comes along that changes the world. Wadjda is the first feature film ever to be shot in Saudi Arabia. And it's directed by a woman.
A short and sweet story, it follows Wadjda, an unruly young girl in a buttoned-down society. She wears purple trainers to school. She doesn't cover her hair. She plays hopscotch in the street long after her friends have fled the gaze of nearby builders. "Wadjda! Go inside!" orders her teacher. "Don't you realise there are men who can see you?" The teacher misses the point: she realises. She just doesn't care.
Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Amour is patient. Amour is kind. Amour does not envy. Amour does not boast. Amour is not proud. Amour is not easily angered. Amour keeps no record of wrongs.
Amour cleans up after Georges’ (Trintignant) wife has wet the bed. Amour teaches Anne (Riva) to sing even as her lips stop working. Amour refuses to put her in a home. Amour stands by her bed as dementia sets in. Amour fires incompetent nurses. Amour is communicated in the tiniest of glances. Amour smothers when necessary.
Love! Debate! Dare! Laugh! Thrill! Cult! Journey! Sonic! Family! That’s the sound of an all-new London Film Festival. Replacing Sandra Hebron, director Clare Stewart announced a festival programme with a new themed approach instead of the old geographical strands. And judging by the LFF 2012 line-up, she’s succeeded in giving it a shot up the arm.
Oh yes, the LFF promises to give audiences romance, comedy, discussion and excitement. And what better way to combine them all into one film... than a documentary about the A5.
Five Monty Pythons. Back together again. Including the dead one.
Yes, it's the trailer for A Liar's Autobiography, the animated version of Graham Chapman's memoir's. Half of it's made up. The other half is very, very silly. And the whole thing looks abso-ruddy-lutely marvellous. Changing styles, genuine voice recordings and all of Flying Circus' bonkers editing? Yes please.
"The best film I've been in since I died!" says Chapman. Presumably right ahead of the Live at Aspen recording, where his ashes got knocked all over the carpet.
Read on for the A Liar's Autobiography trailer. It's out in the UK next year. But I'm very hopeful that it'll makean appearance at the London Film Festival in October.
Director: Nanni Moretti
Cast: Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo, Michel Piccoli
Thanks to mass media coverage (and Angels & Demons), we all know how a new Pope is elected. (It doesn't involve Ewan McGregor and a helicopter.) First, the conclave begins, cutting cardinals off from the world while they vote for a successor. Then, the burning of the ballot papers to mark the successful ordaining of his new Holiness. Then, everyone plays volleyball. In slow-motion.
Every once in a while, we all get cravings for a panorama of international animation, but just when you think a programme to facilitate this need doesn't exist, up pops the London Film Festival’s International Animation Panorama Programme 1.
Something quite different to the rest of the LFF line-up (it doesn’t have Michael Fassbender in it, for one thing), this collection of five short animated films promises cute tales, intriguing observations and funny skits, with an eclectic range of style.
Some are stronger than others - it's worth going on Sunday just to see The Monster of Nix, which features both Tom Waits and Terry Gilliam - but at a mere 73 minutes in total, this anthology (picked by Jayne Pilling) is a pleasant way to escape from the usual festival fare for an hour.
Here are a few thoughts on each:
It's a scientifically proven fact that Felicity Jones is awesome. Chalet Girl, Cemetery Junction, Dr Who - there's nothing she can do wrong. She even made The Archers awesome when she was a teen. You just have to look at the response she's been getting for Like Crazy (a Sundance Festival hit) to realise that she's heading for big things very soon.
A painful tale of a long-distance romance between Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Jones), Like Crazy has been hailed by many folks (I annoyingly still haven't seen it) as a non-cliched indie flick with a natural charm. So it was good to get a chance to holler some brief questions at the Chalet Girl star and director Drake Doremus as they strolled past Leicester Square's glamorous construction work and into the Vue West End for Like Crazy's European Premiere.
Of course, it didn't take me long to come up with questions for her. They mostly went something like this.
But my Felicity Jones crush aside, here are six things we learned on the Like Crazy red carpet (not including the discovery that other people share my love of Chalet Girl):
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly
Release Date: Friday 21st October
We Need to Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay, will open in cinemas across the UK on 21 October through Artificial Eye, following its highly acclaimed World Premiere at the recent Cannes Film Festival.
Eva puts her ambitions and career aside to give birth to Kevin. The relationship between mother and son is difficult from the very first years. When Kevin is 15, he does something irrational and unforgiveable in the eyes of the entire community. Eva grapples with her own feelings of grief and responsibility. Did she ever love her son? And how much of what Kevin did was her fault?
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Release Date: Friday 25th November
Lionsgate UK's 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humour in unlikely places, inspired by personal experiences.
Golden Globe nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emmy nominee Seth Rogen star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis.
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick, Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard and Oscar winner Anjelica Huston complete a top-notch starring cast in this warm and uplifting comedy drama which will open in UK cinemas on 25 November 2011.