LFF 2019 Highlights Part 2

With the 63rd BFI London Film Festival drawing to a close tonight, there have been a lot of wonderful movies this year. The best films of the first week can be viewed here. Below are the LFF 2019 highlights from the second week…

LFF 2019 Highlights – Unmissable

The Irishman

In a career positively littered with jewels, Martin Scorsese manages to surpass expectations once more. The film is a magnificent gem. The Irishman is an introspective study, with Scorsese pulling no punches where it counts. READ MORE

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Midge Costin’s documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound is as immersive as its subject matter. Midge Costin’s documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound is as immersive as its subject matter. READ MORE

Judy & Punch

Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy & Punch is an impressive fairy tale. Boasting a distinctive atmosphere and strong performances, the film is an engrossing watch. Foulkes has delivered an original, creative, and compelling debut with Judy & PunchREAD MORE

LFF 2019 Highlights – Best of the Rest

Knives Out

Writer-director Rian Johnson’s murder mystery Knives Out is tremendous fun. The star cast are on great form in this very entertaining film. With Knives Out, Johnson plants several red herrings, offers up twists, and delivers a hugely enjoyable film. READ MORE

Waves

Trey Edward Shults’ Waves is tender, powerful, and finely executed. There are several emotional moments, and each of these is earned by the solid script, good character development, and the filmmaker’s considered direction. READ MORE

Family Romance LLC

Werner Herzog’s documentary style drama Family Romance LLC depicts a bizarre but fascinating phenomenon. The film is both amusing and disquieting. Herzog once again shows his flair for capturing the various shades of humanity. READ MORE

Sid & Judy

On the fiftieth anniversary of Judy Garland’s death, director Stephen Kijak has created a timely and engrossing documentary with Sid & Judy. The film effectively conveys Garland’s magnetism, and does not shy away from depicting the star’s personal struggles. A very entertaining documentary. READ MORE

Deerskin

Another one of LFF 2019 highlights is Deerskin. Writer-director Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin (Le Daim) is absurd and entertaining. The film is a real treat. The film marries creativity and accessibility in an amusing package. READ MORE

The BFI London Film Festival ran from 2nd-13th October 2019.

Film Review: Family Romance LLC

Werner Herzog’s documentary style drama Family Romance LLC depicts a bizarre but fascinating phenomenon. The film is both amusing and disquieting.

Yuichi Ishii runs a company offering an usual service. Ishii offers fake family members; actors who pretend to be relatives to fulfil their clients wishes…

Family Romance LLC focuses on a very interesting, and for many alien concept; hiring out pretend family members to meet the varying needs of clients. Written and directed by Werner Herzog, the film is a series of reenactments by Ishii, who plays himself. The film focuses on a series of meetings and services provided by Ishii and his colleagues.

The narrative follows Ishii as he carries out several jobs and meets with a variety of clients. Herzog keeps returning to the first client; a young girl whose mother has paid Ishii to act as her estranged father. By choosing to focus on this story, the moral quandary is placed at the very centre of film. For both protagonist, those that hire out the service, and the recipients (some would say victims) the ethical dilemma of such a service is laid bare. Herzog approaches this in a careful and measured way to begin with. As the narrative progresses, these issues grow louder. 

Family Romance LLC highlights the setting very much as providing the context for the business. Using plenty of long shots, and some aerial ones, Herzog underlines the sense of alienation in a city bursting with people. He also highlights some uniquely Japanese anachronisms, such as worker who needs to save face over a mistake to both his boss and his family. The very end of the film is great; it really emphasises the toll such an endeavour takes. Throughout, Herzog provides his great style of humour, whilst never neglecting more serious aspects of the subject.

With Family Romance LLC, Herzog once again shows his flair for capturing the various shades of humanity. An intriguing watch.

Family Romance LLC is being screened at BFI London Film Festival in October 2019.