This Week At The GFT

This week sees a couple of excellent new releases in the form of Amma Asante’s tale of love in the mid 20th Century and the new slow burning drama, Paterson, from well regarded veteran director Jim Jarmusch. The remainder of the programme is made up some interesting features from the BFI Black Star festival and the London Korean Film Festival.

A United Kingdom
a-united-kingdom-featuredA United Kingdom is the extraordinary true story of one of the great forbidden romances of the 20th century. In 1947, sparks fly when jazz lovers Prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) meet at a Missionary Society dance. Their whirlwind romance and subsequent marriage are met with fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Their interracial union causes a further stir when Seretse returns home to assume his royal duties. Amma Asante’s follow up to Belle is a rousing yet intimate romantic drama.

paterson-1In the latest film from cult auteur Jim Jarmusch, Adam Driver stars as Paterson – a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, who spends much of his time in between routes writing observational poetry about his myriad experiences. In the evenings he returns to his loving wife Laura, has dinner and takes their dog for a walk, stopping for just one beer on the way. Jarmusch captures the history and feeling of Paterson as both a place and a person, astutely conveying small obstacles and quiet triumphs whilst observing the poetry of life’s smallest details.

creepy-1Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s adaptation of an award-winning mystery novel by Japenese master Yutaka Maekawa. After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life at the hands of a psychopath, detective inspector Takakura quits active service, but his desire to solve cases remains. He jumps at the chance when former colleague Nogami asks for assistance on an unsolved case involving a disappearance under mysterious circumstances.


United States of Love
united-states-of-lovePoland, 1990: society is going through fundamental change that brings with it a wealth of new possibilities.  One of Poland’s most striking contemporary filmmakers, Tomasz Wasilewski brilliantly uses muted colours and subdued production design in this compelling film to captures three women’s pain, loneliness and desire for love and intimacy.


magnusMagnus Carlsen is unlike any other chess player, possessing an innate creative playing ability and photographic memory from an early age. Shot over more than a decade, Benjamin Ree’s documentary follows the intense journey of the young Norwegian, remaining courtside throughout his trials and triumphs – including becoming the youngest grandmaster at age 13 and world chess champion at 22.


The Last Picture Show
the-last-picture-show-01Showing as part of the Check the gate series. Between World War II and the Korean conflict, the tiny West Texas town of Anarene dies a quiet death as its residents head for the big cities to make their livings and raise kids. Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) are best friends in their late teens who pass their time with football, cinema and girls – including Duane’s steady girlfriend Jacy (Cybil Shepherd), who is herself at the crossroads of adolescence and adulthood. An evocative and bittersweet slice-of-life masterpiece by Peter Bogdanovich.

Road to Peace: Ancient Wisdom of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
lamaIn a world dominated by suffering and violence, how can we create peace in our lives? This award-winning film embarks on an extraordinary journey with one of the most celebrated humanitarians of all time, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Complete with rare behind the scenes access and candid personal interviews, this fly-on-the-wall documentary offers an intimate portrait of the man behind the myth. Followed by a Q&A with director Leon Stuparich.


Wunder der Schöpfung
wunder-der-schopfungAcclaimed jazz duo Herschel 36 present their brand new electronica/acoustic soundscape score commissioned by HippFest for this ground-breaking silent documentary. An extraordinary and unique document of human knowledge about the world and the universe in the 1920s literally translated as ‘Wonder of Creation’.


16 Years till Summer
16-years-till-summerUisdean wants forgiveness. After 16 years in prison, he’s released to the Highlands to juggle crofting dreams against caring for his father. But it takes an extraordinary love story to elude accusations in a film that drifts effortlessly between opposing portraits of the same man, as carer and murderer. Filmed over four years, the film explores what gets sacrificed when people need to see the best in each other. The screening on Wednesday 30 Nov  will be followed by a Q&A with director Lou McLoughlan.

Factory Complex
factory-complexShowing as part of the London Korean Film Frstival. Factory Complex is a stunning essay film that was awarded the Silver Lion at the 56th Venice Biennale. Director Ima Heung-soon combines historical insight with experimental and autobiographical elements to provide an insight into the plight of female work, uniquely utilising a multitude of voices to complicate the standard discourse around labour issues in South Korea.

Dong-Ju: The Portrait of a Poet
dong-juThe second feature this week in the London Korean Film Festival. A bold black and white biopic of a young poet whose voice channelled the feelings of a generation in Korea when the country was a subject of the Japanese Colonial Empire. Kang Ha-neul features as the artist, whose lyrical verses had him arrested and tortured by the Japanese, while Park Jung-min shines as his headstrong resistance fighter friend in Lee Joon-ik’s powerful film.


moolaadeThis weeks offering in the BFI Black star festival. Colle´ Gallo Ardo Sy, a circumcised woman, has managed to help her only daughter escape from the ritual of ‘purification’ organised every seven years. Now that the next ritual is about to happen, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart. Moolaade´ is a moving and life-affirming film with the power to change long-held attitudes, a film regarded as Sembe`ne’s masterpiece, made when he was already 81-years-old.Screening as part of Africa in Motion.

John McArthur
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