LIFF27 Day Summary - 9th November - 5 Films, 5 Buses and a Best of the Year Contender

If you schedule anything in at Leeds that means you have to move between the central cinemas and Hyde Park Picturehouse then look forward to a day spent solely in either a cinema or sitting on a bus; certainly forget all hope of sunlight or relaxing for five minutes in a coffee shop. A nice gentle introduction of buses and cinemas then, as I managed a day one schedule that meant as many bus rides as films; five of both in total, squeezed in between 12.00 and 20.00.

There are different reasons to go to a film festival and certainly one of those is to see good films, but there's an argument too for seeing 'different' films. Certainly the first Saturday at LIFF delivered different, starting with After School Midnighters, an animation from Japan that has an anatomy skeleton as a main character.

Midnighters had its share of entertainment, but the over-riding feeling come the end was that, whilst the ideas and design, to a point, were good, you can imagine Pixar or Miyazaki turning them into something incredible. In actual fact, Midnighters feels too long and the plot too videogame-like.

The good old 56 bus back into town then and to Lasting, which is a typical festival film if ever I saw one, by which I obviously mean; Indie, floaty and a little flat. The Summer romance setup in the first third is sweet enough, but soon the film seemed to drop too many of its ideas by the wayside, never deciding quite which areas it wanted to focus on. It could be a decent Romance, a decent Thriller/Drama or a decent something else entirely, based on a plot element introduced about half way through, but actually, it ends up being none of those things and feels unsatisfying as a result.

The next bus ride was one I could have done without but the temptation of watching HK: Forbidden Super Hero, a film about a superhero who wears pants on his head, was too big to miss. I should of known better. It's another oddity that was worth watching for its oddness but it has one joke and hey, it's damn well going to tell it to you until its time is up.

Whilst all of the oddness and different offerings are welcome, it's refreshing to just sit down in front of something that has both been hailed as 'good' and then proves to be something arguably even better than that. After Lucia is a grim, grim film, full of horrible deeds and then some but it's also vital, realistic viewing. It's without doubt one of the best films I've seen in a cinema this year. It plays LIFF again on Tuesday and I can't recommend enough that you make time to see it if you're in the Leeds area.

Finally (and happily this one didn't involve a bus ride) it was to The Town Hall for Alexander Payne's new one, Nebraska.

Every year at LIFF there's some consternation about the acoustics in The Town Halls main 'screen' but, especially if you sit upstairs, I don't think they're actually that bad and in some cases (The Shining) have actually enhanced the experience.

Sadly, it didn't seem like 'enhanced' was a word Payne was all that interested in with Nebraska which, though OK, feels like his least interesting, least entertaining film for quite some time. Ho-hum.

And then it was time for yes, you guessed it, a bus back to where I'd parked my car and some time at home before returning for round 2 tomorrow.

All of the above films will receive full reviews in the coming days.

The 27th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) takes place from the 6th-21st November at cinemas around the city, including Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall. Tickets and more information are available via the official LIFF website.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

No comments:

Post a Comment