Forest Row Film Society Picks pt 2

Brad Scott from Forest Row Film Society takes a look at six Booking Scheme Titles that are on their shortlist for next season.

As part of Forest Row Film Society’s programme planning activity we’ve been checking out more of the intriguing titles lurking on the booking scheme.

Fish Story | Yoshihio Nakamura |Japan | 2009 | 112 mins

Combining humour, martial arts, music, sci fi and messianic terrorism, punk saves the world in this wonderfully bonkers Japanese feature. Jumping back and forth between events happening in several different years, the plot has at its core a song by an early 70s Japanese punk band [sic]. It’s entertaining and fun, and would be ideal for a (slightly) younger audience that enjoys quirky movies.

Rumba | Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy | Belgium/France | 2008 | 77 mins

Before The Fairy (2011) Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy made this delightful visual comedy. After 25 years of touring and theatre work, Rumba was their second foray to bring their wonderful observational and physical humour to the screen. At only 77 minutes you may want to programme something else with it (a Keaton short would be perfect), but for an audience that appreciates this kind of drole clowning it is essential viewing. I loved it.

Lost Embrace | Daniel Burman | Argentina | 2004 | 100 mins

Set in a shopping mall in Buenos Aires full of a small army of intriguing characters, Ariel helps his mother run a lingerie business while hanging out with Rita from one of the other shops, and planning his escape to Europe. He gradually finds out more about his father in Israel, and about his grandmother’s youth in Poland. Filmed mostly hand-held and often busily trawling around the people and events of the mall, Lost Embrace is a very engaging, humorous, and talkative film. It won two Silver Bear awards at the Berlin film festival.

Cousin Cousine | Jean-Charles Tacchella | France | 1975 | 92 mins

Not only is this the story of an affair between two cousins who meet at a family wedding, but it is now a pleasurable period piece of 70s French cinema. Marthe (Marie-Christine Barrault) and Ludovic (Victor Lanoux) don’t actually intend to have an affair, but when everyone assumes they are, well, it just happens. The New York Times got it right when it said the film “possesses a heart that is both light and generous”, which is down to its lovely ensemble cast.

Fireworks Wednesday | Asghar Farhadi | Iran | 2006 | 98 mins

Before A Separation and before About Elly, Asghar Farhadi made this cracking drama, focussing on the fractures in a marriage as Teheran prepares for the New Year celebrations. Roohi gets some work cleaning the apartment of a middle class couple and finds herself in the middle of extreme animosity and suspicions. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian called it “A formidable and technically accomplished drama”, and he’s right. Stunning.

Soul Power | Jeffrey Kusuma-Hinte | USA | 2008 | 92 mins

In 1974, alongside the famed fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, there was also a fabulous concert, uniting musicians from Africa with many of the leading soul performers. This film finally assembled together the footage from the gig and the lead-up to it to create what now seems like a record of a distant age. Filmed in Kinshasa, this is a world away from Benda Bilili! and the more recent history of central Africa. With great performances from Miriam Makeba, James Brown, Bill Withers and B.B. King, this is a fascinating concert film.