GFF 2020 : Our Writers’ top choices

Alex – Les Misérables

My film to look out for is 2019s Les Misérables from french director Ladj Ly. Set in modern day Montfermeil, the Paris suburb setting of the classic novel of the same name, Les Misérables examines racial tensions and police violence. Based on the real life police violence that Ly himself documented in 2008, it earned the Jury Prize at this years Cannes Festival, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature Film.

Fran – Agnes Joy

I love a coming-of-age films, particularly those that have a strong focus on familial relationships. Agnes Joy centres around a mother-daughter relationship, a dynamic I rarely tire of watching. The film is set in Iceland and I’d really love to review this film as it is a familiar story but the setting in a place I know little to nothing about is exciting as I don’t know what to expect from a genre that feels so comfortable to me.

Santiago – Measure for Measure

I’m one of those countless early 2000s kids who grew up watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and like any good fanboy of that saga I grew particularly fond of the cast of those three movies. So, whenever I get the chance to see them in a new movie, I tend to get excited. There are a couple of very short trailers for this movie that promise to be a very dramatic and intense tale filled with very tense moments affecting the lives of manipulative, self-centred, and heartless people. All while having Hugo Weaving (forever known as Elrond among us LOTR fans) caught right in the middle. I want to go to my first film festival with an open mind, and ready for my first reviewing experience which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and would very much see myself doing in the future should the opportunity present itself outside of university for me one day.

Lukáš – Cook F**k Kill

I’m looking forward to the Czech-Slovakian film called Cook F**k Kill (Zaby bez jazyka). I am from Czech Republic myself, so I have deep knowledge of Czech and Slovakian language and filmography. Also, I am keen to see this film in particular as Mira Fornayova is one of the most innovative and original directors in the country. I have already seen her older film My Dog Killer from 2013 that won several awards. Moreover, Cook F**k Kill has an interesting plot and almost completely unknown cast (none of these actors is a big name in Czech Republic or Slovakia), so I am really looking forward to the result.

Archie – Stalker

The film I’m most intrigued by at this year’s festival is Stalker. Part of the Are we there yet? A retrospective of the future strand of the festival, this film is one of the few standout classics from the Soviet Union. Follow the Stalker into the forbidden and secretive “Zone” ,guarded by heavily armed men and thought to have been created by a meteorite, towards the “Room”. The Room is a mysterious place where it is rumoured all your desires can be granted. This Sci-Fi classic, initially gaining poor reviews on it’s release, has gained a prestigious place in the BFI’s 50 greatest films of all time. This dark reflection on human psyche is not one to miss.

Thomas  – The Whistlers

I’m excited to see The Whistlers at this year’s festival. I’ve always loved film noir and international cinema. This film blends both of these strands into a sensational crime thriller which follows a corrupt cop Cristi who travels to La Gomera to attempt to uncover a stash of dirty money. It’s an interesting turn for director Corneliu Porumboiu who hasn’t really explored the territory of film noir before. This exciting pan-european crime thriller is a must see in the festival’s CineMasters strand.

Lamorna – The True History of the Kelly Gang

Adapted from the Booker Prize winning novel of the same name, the film charts the fictionalised life of Ned Kelly, from a damaged young boy to a cross-dressing criminal. Set in the baron Australian outback, the film provides a new, stark take on the Kelly gang, one full of violence and punk-rock energy. In previous an intriguing and unsympathetic account of the legendary outlaw’s life. With a knockout cast, featuring George MacKay and Russel Crowe, I have high hopes for this film.

Rob – Flint

My reasons for wishing to review the world premiere of Scottish director Anthony Baxter’s documentary Flint are simple – as an avid follower of US politics, my fascination with the situation in Flint Michigan stems from the fact it is a catastrophe which does not follow traditional partisan political dimensions. As much as one can lament the inhumane policies of the Trump administration, it is not he alone who has watched on with apathy as the people of Flint drank toxic water in their city riddled by other socio-economic woes such as crime, poverty and mass unemployment. Barack Obama famously pretended to drink the water at a time when the people of Flint needed his support most. It is thus that I look forward to review Flint to see just how Baxter captures the local population’s anger and resentment.