BFI London Film Festival 2018 Round Up

BFI London Film Festival 2018.jpg

I’m back from the BFI London Film Festival. This was my 4th visit to the film festival and it has become my annual time to hide away from the world in a film festival bubble, although at times it was hard to escape the news.

I spent three weeks in total, one week attending the pre-festival screenings, plus the whole duration of the festival (attending as press means the festival can be is twice as long compared to the average film festival-goer because of the separate schedule of film screenings for press and industry that begins three weeks before the festival even starts).

In total, I watched 60 films, I’ve listed them all here on Letterboxd.
Here’s a quick round up and I am working on putting together some thoughts on films I want to write about, so watch this space.

Top 5 favourite films:
Happy As Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
The Wild Pear Tree (Nuri Bilge Ceylon)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
Birds of Passage (Ciro Guerra, Cristina Gallego)

Film that was perfect morning viewing to get lost into:
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (3D) (Bi Gan)

Film where the I loved the first half far more than the second half:
In Fabric (Peter Strickland)

Film that everybody loved except me:
Burning (Lee Chang-dong)

Film that turned out to be much better than I expected:
Cam (Daniel Goldhaber)

Films I’m still trying to process:
Asako I & II (Ryusuke Yamaguchi)
The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard)
Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng)
Sunset (László Nemes)

Film that made me fear glaciers:
Aquarela (Victor Kossakovsky)

Film I missed at Berlinale and glad I got to see it at BFI LFF:
Styx (Wolfgang Fischer)

Film that made me think of Lucrecia Martel:
Too Late to Die Young (Dominga Sotomayor)

Standout American films:
Bisbee ‘17 (Robert Greene)
Chained for Life (Aaron Schimberg)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
The Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley)

Outrageous films:
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt)
Mandy (Panos Cosmos)

Quirkiest film:
Two Plains + A Fancy (Lev Kalman, Whitney Horn)

Favourite animal in film:
Cat in Asako I & II

Favourite dance scene:

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)

Film that disappointed me:
Maya (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Favourite funeral scene:
Thunder Road (Jim Cummings)

Film with an ending that reminded me how I often think of life, that we all end up with dirt thrown on us:
Monrovia, Indiana (Frederick Wiseman)

Films I wanted to see but couldn’t:
Akasha (hajooj kuka)
Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa)
The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show
Joy (Sudabeh Mortezai)
None Shall Escape (André De Toth, 1944)
Rafiki (Kanuri Kahiu)
Wildlife (Paul Dano)
Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (Mark Cousins)

Films that weren’t on my radar, but now added on my wish list:
Cladach (Margaret Salmon)
A Family Tour (Ying Liang)
The Queen of Fear (Valeria Bertuccelli, Fabiana Tiscornia)
Quién te cantará (Carlos Vermut)
Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham)
Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski)
The Teacher (Mark Jackson)

Films I wish were included at this year’s festival:
An Elephant Standing Still (Bo Hu)
High Life (Claire Denis)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles)

Favourite film posters: