The May Fair

The May Fair hotel blog

06 Oct 2017

Guest Blog: Michael Blyth, Festival Programmer for BFI London Film Festival 0  

Posted in Culture, Film, Guest blog, News & events

Ahead of October’s BFI London Film Festival, we’re delighted to feature a guest blog post from Festival Programmer, Michael Blyth, with his top tips on what to watch during the Festival, from 4th – 15th October 2107.

“With so many films screening at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, making those all important decisions about what to go and see can be an overwhelming prospect. Where does one even start? How can you make sure not to miss out on those hidden gems? How do you make the most out of the LFF?

Well, fear not, I’m here to give you the inside scoop, and offer up a handful of my top tips on what to catch at the festival:

For those with a taste for hard-hitting drama, I would recommend Dee Rees’ incredible MUDBOUND, the powerful story of a friendship between two Second World War veterans, told against a backdrop of racial tension in the Deep South. Featuring some truly incredible performances from a cast including Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige, this is a politically charged and emotionally astute exploration of bigotry and racism, which sadly, in today’s current climate, seems more prescient than ever.

Meanwhile, for those which a fondness for fantasy and the macabre, THELMA is bold a surprising coming of age tale about a young woman at college whose burgeoning relationship with a fellow student awakens within her some long-dormant powers. Fans of dark teenage horrors such as Carrie, or more recently Raw, will love this bold and chilling tale of adolescent discovery and the untapped powers of the mind.

If you enjoy a good documentary, then you have to meet BOBBI JENE, a former member of the prestigious Batsheva dance company in Tel Aviv who returns to America to pursue a solo career as a dancer and choreographer. Closely following Jene for over three years, Danish film-maker Elvira Lind’s sensitive portrait of an artist at a turning point in her life effortlessly captures the captivating power of dance, as well as offering bonus cameos from famous faces such as Laura Dern and Oscar Isaac.

If high-octane thrill rides are your cup of tea, take a punt of WRATH OF SILENCE, an edge of the seat Chinese nail-biter starring martial arts legend Song Yang as a mute action man who returns to his remote fishing village following the disappearance of his son. With touches of spaghetti western, a dash of social commentary, and a whole host of exciting action set-pieces, this arthouse thriller is one of the most unforgettable experiences of this year’s festival.

And lastly, if you want to make a genuine discovery, then why not try TIDES, the debut feature film from a very talented British filmmaker called Tupaq Felber. The story of four thirtysomething friends who reconnect whilst on a canal boat holiday, this is an intimate and insightful piece of work, filled with wisdom and subtle insights. Shot in striking black and white, Felber cleverly infuses his low-key drama with a sense of the cinematic, and I think that his is a name we will be hearing much more of in the future.

So there’s a few suggestions to get you started, but as I always say to anyone who asks me for advice on what to see, the best thing you can do is take a risk. See something you might not otherwise see. Pick something you know nothing about. Who knows, you might just come across this year’s undiscovered gem.”

Michael Blyth, Festival Programmer.

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Posted in Culture, Film, Guest blog, News & events

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