The London Film Festival closes tonight with 127 Hours

From Netribution last Thursday…

Danny Boyle’s take on the true story of climber Aron Ralston, 127 Hours, will close the London Film Festival tonight.

The 127 hours in question entail the 5 days that Ralston spent in a crevice in Utah’s Blue John Canyon. He had been climbing on his own and hadn’t told anyone where he was going. When he falls and finds his arm trapped under a boulder, he has to make a terrrible choice in order to survive.


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The London Film Festival opens tonight with Never Let Me Go

The London Film Festival opens tonight with a screening of Never Let Me Go, an adaptation of the 2005 Kazuo Ishiguro novel, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland, and the movie directed by Mark (One Hour Photo) Romanek.

The story takes place in an alternate England, where medical research has solved most illnesses, and the average life expectancy has passed 100 years old by 1967.

These great developments have come about thanks to the National Donor Programme, where human clones – who cannot reproduce but do think, feel and age just like us – are brought up in institutions and taught to accept their futures as organ donors. They will give away parts of their body, one by one, until they “complete,” usually before the age of 30.

Kathy H, our 28-year-old narrator, is a carer watching a donor be put under for his operation. She starts to reminisce about her time at boarding school – a place called Hailsham – and about her time growing up with her friends Tommy and Ruth.

Warning: spoilers ahead

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Talent Press alumna Suchandrika Chakrabarti about the shooting of Kyoko Miyake’s HACKNEY LULLABIES, one of the five finalists of the Berlin Today Award, the short film competition of the Berlinale Talent Campus

Kyoko Miyake’s short, HACKNEY LULLABIES, which has been nominated for the Berlin Today Award 2011, looks at what it means to be foreign in London, but to bring up a child who is British.

Miyake, 34, who is from Chiba, Japan, has lived in England for the past nine years. However, as she puts it, “If I speak, you can tell I’m not British… it’s kind of a barrier.” That’s an obstacle that faces the mothers in her film, but it’s not the only one. As Miyake adds, “there is something lacking in your experience if you didn’t spend your childhood here.”

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LFF: W. has its European premiere tonight

From Netribution

It seems as though there are two films in Oliver Stone‘s W., fighting to separate themselves from each other. There is the story of George W. Bush (Josh Brolin), the president who took his country to war in 2003. Then there is Dubya, the son in awe of his father, George H. W. Bush (James Cromwell); who feels rivalry with his little brother Jeb (Jason Ritter); and who sees politics as the family business. The present of the film is seen through meetings surrounding the 2003 Iraq invasion, with Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton), Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) et al. Through flashbacks, a light is shone on Bush’s character and family.

In the production notes from this morning’s press screening, Stone goes to great lengths to avoid saying that this film is about Bush being a bad, bad president. An example: “We set out to show his reasoning for the Iraq war as a function of who he is, his personal history.” Stone goes on to say,

I can’t say I liked Oedipus when I walked out of ‘Oedipus’, I can’t say I liked Agamemnon, I can’t say I like many of the Greek heroes. Some of them are outright assholes, but you watch them, you follow their story. That’s drama.

Well, poor Oedipus was the victim of a fate foretold before his birth, and Agamemnon came from a supposedly cursed family – you’ve got to feel a little sorry for them. Ultimately, though, they were never real; Dubya very much is. Mr Stone, it’s a bit more than just “drama” when you suggest your incumbent president belongs in the same category as these possible “outright assholes.”

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And your little dog too!

The lovely Louis plus-one’d me to a performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Royal Festival Hall last night. I thought it was aimed much more squarely at kids than at adults, but L thought it was more in-between and hard to say. At least it’s no Wall-E, which, coming from Pixar, was such a disappointment, having no winking-at-the-adults chat that Toy Story and Finding Nemo did. Wall-E is very, very dull. Extremely. Don’t bother. Unless you like squeaking robots, and not much else.

But anyway! Back to Dozza and co!

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Banksy Book Launch


In 11 years’ time, I’ll make a podcast episode about graffiti

Street art is so hot right now

Someone wrote a book on Banksy. And, as everyone knows, when a book is written, it must be launched. Home Sweet Home, a biography of the artist, was welcomed into the world with a party at Cargo on Rivington Street in east London last night.

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