London Film Festival: Official Secrets & The Valley

I do enjoy a good piece of political drama, especially if it involves a news desk, journalists flying around the world for a scoop, and lawyers defending a brave citizen. I’m mixing this review of Official Secrets, out in the UK this week, with Franco-Italian documentary The Valley, which tells of villagers near Menton, France, who are helping refugees who have just crossed the dangerous Mediterranean and sending them on their way after educating them about their rights.

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London Film Festival (Competition): Lingua Franca & Rose Plays Julie

Lingua Franca (Isabel Sandoval, USA)

Lingua Franca: a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.

Back at university, I attended a module called “English as a lingua franca”. We talked about how English is being spoken all over the world in life and in business, and the idealism of the Tower of Babel bringing people together. You’ve got those who speak English very fast but with mistakes, and those who speak it natively but don’t understand their own grammar.

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London Film Festival: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

I’ve never seen her smile.

Did you try to make her laugh?

Okay, I’m late to the party, and need to go back and view all of Céline Sciamma’s work before the end of the year. Yes? Continue reading

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London Film Festival: Arab Blues, System Crasher & Blackbird

Here are three new reviews from London Film Festival, starting with my favourite so far, and ending with the one with the big stars.

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London Film Festival: Seberg

One could draw a parallel between Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Benedict Andrews’ Seberg. The film, which is mostly set in Los Angeles (as well as New York and Paris), begins in 1969 and shows a three-year period of time when Jean Seberg, a sweet-looking blonde movie star who became very famous in France and was married to the celebrated author Romain Gary, was the victim of extensive FBI surveillance due to her support of the Black Panther movement.

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London Film Festival: Axone, She Runs & Miller & Son

What I love about foreign film is that it allows me to enter the people’s homes that I may never get to enter otherwise, and that it reminds me that humans are all the same – it’s just their circumstances that change. Today, I review one feature and two shorts before heading to the big LFF screens in Leicester Square starting tomorrow.

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London Film Festival: Walking with Shadows, Two of Us & Rehearsal

And we’re off, London Film Festival opens on October 2nd and I’ve been lucky enough to have early access to a selection of films. Here are three reviews, starting with a short film.

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