Posts Tagged ‘Women’

The Voice of A Woman Film Festival is coming to London this weekend to celebrate the creative leadership and risk-taking and originality of women filmmakers. Running from Friday 2nd October to Sunday 4th October at various venues across London, the VOW Film Festival will present rare stories of women globally by women globally – and its impressive programme is not to be missed.

The festival will begin at the ICA with a morning of screenings and talks held in collaboration with the National Film and Television School and led by their Head of Directing Lynda Myles, followed by a master-class at the Apple Store Covent Garden by award-winning digital developer Rebecca Winch (The Project Factory). The prestigious Hospital Club in the heart of Covent Garden will be the main hub of the festival, where dramatic and documentary films and shorts will be screened throughout Saturday and Sunday, with almost each one followed by VOW Talks Sessions with filmmakers, writers, executives, digital artists and more.

Cecile Emeke’s ‘Strolling’

From Deeyah Khan’s depiction of honour violence in Banaz: A Love Story to the Chinese state orphanages in Kate Blewett’s The Dying Rooms (1995) to the raw and honest conversations within Cecile Emeke’s Strolling (2014/2015), the VOW Film Festival features many works that confront the dark truth behind female contemporary existence across the world – told by women creatives who are themselves startlingly underrepresented in their industries.

By amplifying voices too often overlooked, the VOW Film Festival provides a platform for building awareness, discourse and cultural shift. In keeping with this, the festival shines a spotlight on observational filmmaker Kim Longinotto, well-known for the real-life brutality captured within her female-centred works.

Kim Longevitto's 'Eat the Kimono'

Kim Longevitto’s ‘Eat the Kimono’

To mark the festival’s opening night, Dreamcatcher (2015), which follows former sex-worker Brenda Myers-Powell as she helps other women in inner-city Chicago, will screen at the Curzon Cinema Soho and be followed with a discussion between Longinotto and novelist and feature writer at The Guardian, Kira Cochrane and Baroness Lola Young, a member of the House of Lords Committee of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The spotlight on Kim Longinotto’s works will refresh on Sunday where some of her other films, including The Good Wife of Tokyo (1993), Eat the Kimono (1989), Pride of Place (1976) and Pink Saris (2010) will be screened, alongside works by others.

Other filmmakers include Lauren Greenfield, Carol Morely, Debbie Tucker Green, Franny Armstrong, Esther Anderson, Joy Elias amongst others.

Don’t forget to book tickets, even for the free events:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1110825965612132/

See www.thevoiceofawoman.com for more details and a full listing of events.

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THE WOLF OF WALL STREETWell, someone’s got their mojo back. After a series of solid if unspectacular films, the diminutive Italian-American has recaptured the verve and energy of his 90’s output. The Wolf of Wall Street can be placed alongside Scorsese’s epic crime sagas Goodfellas and Casino, both in ambition and, more importantly, execution. What’s more, his long frustrating collaboration with heartthrob Di Caprio finally bears some fruit. So often looking like an ill conceived relationship of mutual flattery, we finally see the duo working to both their strengths.

The much discussed story is based on the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort, a self starting stock broker in 80’s New York. Arriving into the city as a starry eyed innocent, Belfort is soon inducted into the hedonistic ways of his charismatic superior (a show stealing Matthew McConaughey). When the company falls prey to the stock market crash, Belfort starts his own company selling dodgy deals to unassuming halfwits up and down the country. Soon the company begins to flourish and the money, drugs and, ahem, female companionship, start to flow.

Ably abetted by his trusted sidekick Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), Belfort juggles his burgeoning business with a troubled home life with his wife Naomi (Margot Robbie) and a persistent FBI agent on his trail (Kyle Chandler). The film is structured a lot like Casino and Goodfellas. We have the auspicious beginnings, the ascent into success and hedonism and immorality, then the inglorious fall. A cynic might label it formulaic, but it works. I think as viewers we find a strange pleasure in seeing something constructed, even if what is being constructed is deeply troubling. Belfort’s ascent, with the wild parties, drugs and booze is utterly irresistible.

Keeping in mind the somewhat unfavourable view the public has of the banking system right now, this should go down like a sack of lead. Yet Scorsese’s film making prowess makes the journey outrageously entertaining. All the Scorsese tricks are here; the slow Caravaggio-esque pans across crowds and the raucous rock music on the soundtrack. Yet there is something even more psychedelic about this particular film. To really recreate the hazy comedown of Belfort’s drug years, Scorsese makes use of disjointed editing and gauzy visuals to authenticate the experience. There is a particularly joyous sequence in which Belfort consumes a melee of quaaludes, only to find he has to escape the FBI in his car.

Leonardo Di Caprio turns in one of his greatest performances yet as Belfort. Often he has looked misplaced in Scorsese’s films, a pretty boy trying to act like the tough guy. This role is much more in his domain; Belfort is charismatic, cocky and ultimately, wild. Belfort is much like Ray Liotta’s character in Goodfellas, someone riding their luck and unable to see the end game. Di Caprio manages to instil a charm and pathos in him that makes him hard to dislike. Jonah Hill is also superb as the eager assistant, loyal to the bone and with his own wild streak. He is a perfect comic foil.

There are a few slight niggles. As with many of these macho gangster rise and fall films, the female characters get completely waylaid. You can predict every beat of their relationship with from the off; the seduction, the kids, the descent and the divorce. Although it is loosely based on true events it feels completely cliched- does anyone really care about this sub pot? Probably not. The film ends with a beautifully cheeky moment as Belfort addresses a seminar of people wanting to learn how to become the next ‘Jordan Belfort’. It perfectly conveys the paradoxical nature of the film: one part of us condemns these shysters, and the other part revels in their degeneracy.

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