Wednesday, September 24, 2014

13 Films I hope to see at Raindance...

Raindance 2014 logo

Tonight is the opening night of the Raindance Film Festival, which takes place mostly within the London Piccadilly VUE cinema.  It is one of the most important indie film festivals in the UK (the world?) and hosts hundreds of features, documentaries and shorts. Here are 13 that I am particularly looking forward to (in Calendar order):

HUMAN CAPITAL (Thursday 18:30) First up is an Italian neo-noir that charts the demise of a mysterious death from three different perspectives.  Based on a best selling book of the same name, the title reflects the insurance procedure of measuring the net worth of a human life and is set against the backdrop of the European financial crisis.

BONOBO (Thursday 20:40) – The second debut from (co)writer/director Matthew Hammett Knott,  Bonobo is about a middle-aged widow who sets out to remove her idealistic daughter from a hippy sex-commune that models its sexual behaviour on the Bonobo ape.  It sounds like a darkly comic family drama and should be a great opening night film.

DEALER (Friday 20:20) – A small time drug-dealer is offered the opportunity of a lifetime to transport a big cocaine deal for a dangerous gangster, which inevitably goes wrong.  It reminds me a big of Run Lola Run and should be a slick and stylish European city thriller.  From director Jean Luc Herbulot.

THE HORSES OF FUKUSHIMA (Saturday 18:00) – Admittedly this sounds like a very niche topic: The plight of the wild horses surrounding the Fukushima power plant after the 2011 nuclear disaster.  But it looks like a beautiful documentary with minimal exposition or narration and could be an amazingly serene way to spend 90 minutes in a cinema…

FOUREVER (Sunday 13:50) – Anton Saunders, star of the BAFTA and Palme d’Or winning The Most Beautiful Man In The World, writes directs and stars in a dark narrative of revenge and dinner parties.  An interesting looking middle-class satire full of cocaine, cheating and chardonnay.

LIVING DOLLS (Sunday 20:40) – A freaky looking documentary about grown men who collect a variety of different types of dolls.  Documentaries about semi-sexual aberrations are always interesting, and this one looks like it treats its subject matter with objectivity and sympathy.  Fascinating…

THE NINTH CLOUD (Monday 20:50) – Filmed on 16mm and set in 1990s London, The Ninth Cloud follows an idealistic young girl called Zena (Megan Maczko) as she falls in love with bohemian playwright Bob (amazingly played by Michael Madsen).  A seemingly charming Central-London love story, which I hope brings a return to form to MichaelMadsen. (Incidentally, there is a brilliant article about Madsen by Vice’s Clive Martin here)

ART OF DARKNESS (Tuesday 18:10) – A documentary about an artist called Bryan Lewis Saunders who has painted a self-portrait of himself every day since 1995.  He also spent 11 days painting portraits under the influence of a cacophony of different drugs and hallucinogens.  The existence of a day job is yet to be ascertained…

LUNA (Wednesday 18:20) – Having premiered at Toronto International Film Festival recently, Luna blends live action with animation for an adult narrative about anguish, intimacy and loneliness set in a coastal house as a couple and their friend share their dark secrets.  It looks visually stunning and definitely deserves to be seen on a big screen in a dark room…

SACRED SPERM (Thursday 18:10) – Another documentary about sex (or lack of), this documentary looks at the Hasidic Jewish community in Israel who believe that ‘uncontrolled sperm release’ is murder and an extreme sin.  Need I say more…?

WINDOWLICKER (Friday 13:10) – Essentially a movie about the descent into madness, this low-budget drama looks bonkers for all the right reasons.  Combining stop-motion, harsh lighting, webcams and a crazy soundtrack the film follows one man losing his mind.

PANIC (Friday 20:50) – A narrative that is influenced heavily from Rear Window, a journalist called Deeley witnesses a kidnapping and confront his agoraphobia to save his neighbor Kem.  Leaving his comfortable flat to enter a shady underworld of human trafficking, director Sean Spencer has mashed-up a number of different genres to create an stylish looking debut…

THEY ARE ALL DEAD (Sunday 17:00) – A Latin American drama about a dying mother looking after her ex-rock-star daughter described as a “labyrinth of human relationships”.  The film centres around the mother’s Day of the Dead and the last help she can give to her family.

So that is my proposed itinerary, I am hoping to get reviews of each of them up within 24 hours of each screening…  If there are any that I have missed or should definitely check out then let me know in the comment section below.

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