Films I watched at the BFI London Film Festival 2015


Here's the list (and ratings) of films I watched at the BFI London Film Festival between 28th September and 15th October. The complete line up of films screened at the BFI London Film Festival can be found here.

I watched 53 films (including 6 shorts), plus half a movie. More on that explained below. Here's the list in order of rating.

★★★★★ - The films I loved
Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)
Carol (Todd Haynes) 
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson) 
James White (Josh Mond) 
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos) 
Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke) 
Son of Saul (László Nemes) 
Sunset Song (Terence Davies) 
Tangerine (Sean Baker) 
Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi) 

★★★★ - The films I liked a lot
Aferim! (Radu Jude)
Arabian Nights Vol 1-3 - The Restless One/The Desolate One/The Enchanted One (Miguel Gomes)*
The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Hèctor Hernández Vicens)
From Afar (Lorenzo Vigas) 
I am Belfast (Mark Cousins)
Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words (Stig Björkman)
The Invitation (Karyn Kusama)
Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang (Walter Salles)
Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley) 
The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzmán) 
Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry) 
Red Leaves (Bazzi Gete) 
Sembène! (Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman) 
Victoria (Sebastian Schipper) 

★★★ - The films I liked
Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)
Chemsex (William Fairman, Max Gogarty) 
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari) 
Danny Says (Brendan Toller) 
Evolution (Lucile Hadžihalilović) 
The Measure of a Man (Stéphane Brizé) 
Nasty Baby (Sebastián Silva) 
Nicola Constantino: The Artefacta (Natalie Cristiani) 
Parabellum (Lukas Valenta Rinner) 
Remainder (Omer Fast) 
Truman (Cesc Gay) 
Wave Vs Shore (Martin Štrba) 
The Witch (Robert Eggers)

★★ - The films I didn't like
Blood of My Blood (Marco Bellocchio) 
Der Nachtmahr (AKIZ) 
Don’t Grow Up (Thierry Poiraud) 
Live From New York! (Bao Nguyen) 
Lucifer (Gust Van den Berghe) 
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers) 
The Wave (Roar Uthaug)

★ - The film I hated the most
Beeba Boys (Deepa Mehta)

Short Films: 
An Old Dog’s Diary (Shai Heredia, Shumona Goel) ★★★
Dissonance (Till Nowak)  ★★
A Hole in my Heart (Mees Peijnenburg) ★★★
Over (Jörn Threlfall) ★★★★
Red Moon Rising (Vivienne Dick) ★
Tuesday (Ziya Demirel) ★★★

Screen Talk: Jia Zhangke and Walter Salles  ★★★★
Experimenta Talk: Artists’ Moving Image Criticism ★★★

One film that I went to see, but can't really rate is Cemetery of Splendour by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  The reason I can't rate it is because I embarrassingly slept half way through it and woke up at the end. But it turns out Apichatpong Weerasethakul doesn't mind if people sleep thorugh this film. In his own words, "It's ok to fall asleep."

Films I really wanted to see, but didn't get a chance:
The Assassin
A Bigger Splash
Embrace of the Serpent
High Rise
In Jackson Heights
Right Now, Wrong Then
Sworn Virgin
Virgin Mountain


* As a whole, I think the trilogy deserves 4 stars, but if I had to rate each volume separately, this is what my rating would look like: 
Arabian Nights - Volume 1, The Restless One ★★★★
Arabian Nights - Volume 2, The Desolate One ★★★
Arabian Nights - Volume 3, The Enchanted One ★★
I would like to revisit this trilogy again. Hope I get a chance to do so in the near future.


[images via BFI]