Latest Films To Watch
A girl refuses rescue after a town is drowned by a storm, in this distinctive animation based on a story from Transylvanian-Hungarian author Ádám Bodor. A knowledge of Hungarian folklore would probably illuminate all kinds of allegory here, but the girl’s adamant refusal of help from a determined hero and three selfish nuns is intriguingly enigmatic. The bold animation style uses camera focus to heighten the physical and emotional effect of the storm.
BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
BFI Southbank, 19th-29th March
BFI Flare 2015, London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival, opens today. Now in its 29th year, Flare showcases an incredible range of the best features and shorts from the global community of LGBT and other Queer filmmakers.
Each falling into one of festival’s three categories – Hearts, Bodies and Minds – the films represent the full spectrum of the LGBTQ world, from the activist to the erotic. As always, this year’s programme will delve into some of the personal and intimate sides of modern queerness, explore some of the unique and strange corners of modern queer culture, and look back at queer’s rich history.
The British Council and fiveFilms4freedom
For the first time ever, The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and education, have made five short films from Flare available for free online on the BFI Player. They’re here right now.
The online shorts are part of The British Council’s fiveFilms4freedom campaign. On Wednesday 25 March, the shorts will be actively promoted for 24 hours in more than 70 countries and regions, including China, India, Israel, Poland and Ukraine. A ground breaking idea, fiveFilms4freedom is the world’s first digital, global, LGBT film festival.
It’s a chance for audiences across the globe to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema, to find out about a few emerging LGBT filmmakers, and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the LGBT equality charity.
Danish filmmaker Søren Green’s short is a sensitive exploration of a teenage boy’s early sexual feelings. Spending an afternoon with his friend Frederik, Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell him that he is in love with him.
Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare, and focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness. A chance encounter between two men with troubled pasts leads to romance and a new start to life.
Canadian writer-director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. In Code Academy, Frankie masquerades as a boy in futuristic cyberspace to get the girl of her dreams.
Morning Is Broken
Simon Anderson’s film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.
Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for queer, transgender and women’s communities in Detroit.
Gorilla will be attending BFI Flare next week, so look out for more news and reviews from this exciting and unique festival.
The goal of film student Harper and computer scientist Fallon is the ultimate fusion of science and religion, to create a film which induces hallucinogenic visions of God. Their film is a sharply edited sequence of rapid-fire images and a ticking clock, creating a striking symmetry and rhythm. They blend the unsettling aura of medieval art – angels, demons and tortured souls – with the logical geometry of religious architecture.
In a story where God is reduced to a neurological construct, a glitch in the human brain, there are inevitable repercussions. The film opens with a grainy, frantic hand-held confession foreshadowing events to come. Fallon is stalked by a masked being, the devil perhaps, or an aggravated religious sect. White crams a lot into nineteen minutes, challenging the morality of organised religion and exploring paranoia, with potential plot holes forming part of an intentionally blurred reality. The subtle crackling of an analogue recording adds to the eerie mood while giving us succinct character insights. ‘What was it that made me follow Fallon?’ asks Harper, ‘Was it a backlash to my Catholic schooling, the morbidity of faith?’
With a Best Short win at the British Horror Film Festival, this is a slick production. Imaginative visual effects, a clever utilisation of light and shadows, a tense piano score and natural performances successfully bring the potentially flawed concept to life. Philosophical with a chaotic pace, The Brain Hack creates its own exciting, mind-bending strand of theology.
It’s the idyllic social situation: a cosy coffee shop where individuals gather in their temporary solitude, each huddled over their own forms of distraction. Coffee To Go starts with a very calm, ordered and logistical scene with Mae, a lone woman intently focused on her Sudoku. When her crush walks in she immediately unravels into a quivering mess.
The pace of Mae’s transformation is most effective. We are given her rambling stream of consciousness, the deliberate punchiness of her internal speech sounding almost like a poetry reading. At times it’s stilted but on the whole it has a heartfelt fluidity, increasingly humanised by an explosive curse here or there. She hurtles through a range of emotions – irrational, insecure, pining, obsessive, and lots inbetween. As things are mostly in her head, the emphasis lies in body language and slight variations of nervous tension in her face.
Five minutes isn’t long to set up a story. Coffee To Go is brief and bittersweet, all tucked in at the edges. But while the situation as a whole is executed well, the potential between the two characters is not so convincing, lacking slightly considering her apparently electric attraction.
But the essence lies not in what happens after the story ends but in that moment of internal chaos. Even as Mae and Luke begin talking at the end of the short, her nerves are still apparent from fidgeting hands. It’s a moment that many experience in varying degrees of barely suppressed delirium. By grounding her panic in the internal and intimate before dragging it into external dialogue at the very end, it finds an angle that is both personal and universal.