22 March, 2011

BIFF 2011 Day 2

Blogger: James Cross, Front of House

Continuing on my film odyssey, where I watch football, fantasy, avante garde film, and a drunk man sings A Whole New World.

Kick Off

Kick Off UK Premiere

This documentary follows the Austrian homeless soccer team competing at the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Australia. These men, all of who have been homeless and addicts of one sort or another, are playing to restore their faith in themselves. Each have their own stories, but as one of the team members comments "it's the same stories", of isolation, desperation, hopelessness, and the desire for redemption.

Although Kick Off doesn't exploit the story to its full potential, the human-interest appeal of the film's characters carries you through to the end. I was left wondering "What will happen to these people, whose sense of self is so intertwined with this tournament, now that it is over?"

Kick Off screened for a second time on Sunday 20th March, did anyone else watch this film? Let me know what you thought.



Terry Gilliam has always toyed with the surreal, but with Tideland he took a far more sinister turn. Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland) is the daughter of a dead-beat rocker (Jeff Bridges) and self-obsessed junkie (Jennifer Tilly), who spends her childhood cooking up heroin for mum and dad. When her mother ODs, Jeliza-Rose is whisked away by her father to grandma's abandoned farmhouse house in the deep south of America. When her father goes 'on vacation' (takes an overdose) we find ourselves pulled into Jeliza-Rose's fantasy world. References to Alice in Wonderland mix with a healthy dose of the macabre to highlight Gilliam's convention-defying sensibilities. I just hope I don't meet his inner child...

BIFF 2011 Day 2

Amos Vogel Part 1: Cinema 16

This has been my favourite strand of the festival so far. The session was dedicated to a selection of short films representative of Amos Vogel's work. Screened at Impressions Gallery, the atmosphere was amazing. Sitting on a couch with an old projector clacking away behind me; this is DIY film exhibition at its best.

Tom Vincent introduced the session explaining that the aims of Bradford International Film Festival are very much the same as those of Vogel's Cinema 16 film society: to screen films you can't see anywhere else. This is certainly true of the innovative and thought provoking films that were shown here today, and one of the most intriguing aspects was to examine how the films had aged 50 years on.

BIFF 2011 Day 2

The intermission provided an opportunity for the audience to discuss the films, and as we stood outside in Bradford's Centenary Square, currently undergoing some regeneration, a passing drunken man serenaded me with A Whole New World, which definitely added to the overall experience). I won't be missing Amos Vogel: Part 2 on Friday night, a selection of modern films created with the Cinema 16 aesthetic in mind. Will I see you there?


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