Tag Archives: Way of the Morris

Documentaries on the BFFS Booking Scheme

After the brilliant Doc/Fest hit Sheffield last week we’ve been thinking about documentaries, so here’s a brief look at a few of  the 150+ documentaries on offer via the BFFS Booking Scheme.

Shut Up and Play the Hits

LCD soundsystem

The carefully orchestrated end to a hugely influential band – Shut Up And Play The Hits details the build up to, and aftermath of, LCD Soundsystem’s final ever gig. An epic 4 hour gig at Madison square Garden saw LCD Soundsystem hold ‘the best funeral ever’. The doc presents an intimate portrait of frontman James Murphy, who’s honest and unflinching interview with Chuck Klosterman, as well as the footage of him the day after the gig, contrasts with the incredible concert footage. Watch the trailer

Way of the Morris

Way of the Morris

Filmmaker Tim Plester embarks on a journey from his childhood village to the battlefields of World War I as he explores the connection between the morris dancers of Adderbury and the history of his community. A film about the importance of tradition and spirit in rural communities Way of the Morris is a moving and, thanks to Plester’s self-mocking persona, amusing look at the oft-maligned art of morris dancing. Watch the trailer

The First Movie

The First Movie

In 2008 Mark Cousins’ travelled to Goptapa in Northern Iraq, a town that was devastated during Saddam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurds. But Cousins did not go to simply make a film about what happened, but to allow the children of the town to make their own films. First he introduced them to cinema – none of the children had seen a film before – and then gave them camera to make their own films. The results are magnificent, heart-breaking and insightful; and Cousins’ documentary is testament to the power of film.

Bobby Fischer Against the World


The remarkable story of Bobby Fischer, arguably the greatest chess player ever, who not only became the youngest grandmaster in history, but also won what was described as the “Match of the Century” against the Russian Boris Spassky. The match in 1972 played out against the backdrop of Cold-War tensions and made Fischer world-famous. His victory brought him huge fame across America, but he almost immediately disappeared from competitive chess and his behaviour became more erratic.  By the 1990s he was wanted by the US Government for breaking an embargo, and he was held in Japan before escaping to Iceland. Combining interviews with rare archival footage, Liz Garbus’s documentary is a fascinating and engrossing look at a troubled genius. Watch the trailer



Likely to put off those who don’t appreciate its eccentric sense of humour, Swandown is a bizarre and seemingly pointless film that I nevertheless find to be uniquely entertaining. A travelogue of sorts, filmmaker Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair steal a swan-shaped pedalo from Hastings and pedal it up the River Thames to Hackney; partly as an act of protest but mostly to demonstrate the idiocy of pedalling a pedalo 160 miles up a river. Along the way they ruminate on the English countryside and are shouted at by passers-by. Bemusing, diverting and strangely thought-provoking Swandown is (probably fortunately) one of a kind. Trailer

And if you were around at the festival here’s a few films that are on the Booking Scheme/coming soon:

We Are Poets – Profiling the teenagers that make up Leeds Young Authors, and their entry into Brave New Voices, a prestigious poetry slam competition held in Washington, DC, We Are Poets demonstrates the power of the spoken word. (Available now)

The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer confronts former members of Indonesia’s death squads. Unrepentant of their crimes, Oppenheimer encourages them to stage bizarre and chilling re-enactments of their murders. In doing so they begin to realise the horror of their actions. Winner of the Special Jury Award at Doc/Fest. (Available later this year)

Blackfish – In 2010, Tilikum, the killer whale who has become Seaworld’s biggest attraction, killed one of its trainers. Though there are no reported incidents of orcas attacking humans in the wild, this is not the first time Seaworld’s killer whales have injured trainers. Blackfish looks at the damage done to animals held in captivity and argues for a drastic reform to such practices.  (Available later this year)

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Looking back – the best of 2012

2012 was a bumper year for the BFFS Booking Scheme, it has now grown to over 550 titles and reflecting the diversity and originality of film society and community cinemas across the UK nearly 100 different titles were booked just this year. The top 10 most popular titles are a real mixed bag of classics, acclaimed foreign language gems and documentaries.

  1. Incendies – in at number one we have the fantastic 2011 Canadian Oscar nominee which follows the journey of twin brother and sister as they attempt to unravel the mystery of their mother’s life.
  2. The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson) – based on Muriel Barbery’s novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the film was given an amazing 96.7% reaction score at the 2011 BFFS National Conference.
  3. In a Better World – Beating Incendies to the Oscar but not our top spot, bad luck Susanne Bier.
  4. The Red Balloon/White Mane – The classic shorts from Albert Lamorisse proving they are as popular as ever.
  5. 2 Days in New York – the hilarious follow up to Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in Paris with an excellent Chris Rock.
  6. Loose Cannons – Ferzan Ozpetek’s story of two sons trying to get out of their pasta business inheritance.
  7. Way of the Morris – Tim Plester’s exploration of his morris dancing roots takes him from English village green to the battle fields of the Somme.
  8. Mademoiselle Chambon – Extraordinary performances make this French romance between a lonely teacher and married builder stand out.
  9. Benda Bilili! – A thrilling documentary following band Staff Banda Bilili from the streets of Kinshasa to music festivals round the world.
  10. Pomegranates & Myrrh – An exclusive to the BFFS Booking Scheme, this Palestinian film follows a dancer as she is torn between two men and shows the everyday difficulties of living in fear of Israeli forces.
Incendies – the most booked title of 2012

The full BFFS Booking Scheme Catalogue can be found on the BFFS website