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On September 13th the Cambridge Film Festival returns, with a terrific array of events, premieres and special screenings. Celebrate London‘s own grindhouse, the sleazy, sexploitational Scala cinema. Regular features include a special selection of Contemporary German Cinema, including the dark drama FORMENTERA and the atmospheric, unsettling TOTEM. Indulge in a few Late Night Frights, not least the new film from [REC] director Jaume Balaguero, SLEEP TIGHT. Hitchcock Revisited offers new prints of the classics as well as early silents with live musical accompaniment. Sample some of the new work emerging from Estonia, or spice things up with Microcinema, Shortfusion and the homegrown Tridentfest. CFF branches out from the Picturehouse hub, spreading the excitement to our streets, our colleges and even to the beautiful theatre at our Buddhist centre. Magdalene Street will be the backdrop for silent cinema; and try not to pee in the pool at Jesus Green Lido during the free screening of JAWS.

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Through the first act of YOSSI, Ohad Knoller, as the eponymous heart surgeon, moves numbly across the smooth, blank, featureless backgrounds of contemporary Mediterranean architecture, living the empty blank, featureless life of major depression. Although respected, liked, and loved, even lusted after by his colleagues, Yossi has closed himself off. His homosexuality is, mostly, closeted. His current life closed off from his experience fighting with the IDF in Lebanon, the subject of Fox's 2002 break-out film, YOSSI & JAGGER.

... Yossi sets off on a heavily telegraphed Death in Venice tour of the deserts of southern Israel. After a grimly touching interlude with the parents of his (long) dead lover Lior (aka "Jagger") which bears a resemblance to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Yossi sets off on a heavily telegraphed Death in Venice tour of the deserts of southern Israel. In the


grotesque resort of Eilat, a sort of turbocharged Middle-Eastern Butlins, he is methodically seduced by the spirited, and out, Tom (Oz Zehavi), a serving IDF officer on leave. Fruity enough to be a credibly contrasting love interest to Yossi's lumpy everybloke without being too impossibly glamorous, Tom's cheerful and open approach to life and love brings Yossi close enough to happiness to do for now. Mostly hand-held camera work and mainly neutral cinematography add an air of restrained, realistic storytelling. The supporting characters are drawn with simple, clear stokes and the story unfolds at a very suitable pace. While the cast is good throughout, Knoller's minimal but moving performance makes the film, every silence deep, every tiny gesture meaningful.

Amiable wastrel David (Patrick Huard), a standard-issue incompetent manchild, doesn‘t believe he‘s up to the job of being father to the baby of his very unlikely cop girlfriend (Julie leBreton). Ironically, under his nom-de-masturbation "starbuck", he is, via an IVF clinic, biological father to more than 500 children! That‘s what they call irony. Some 100 or so of those children sue the clinic to know their true parentage, and ensuing hilarity is guaranteed for any cinemagoer keen to experience foreignlanguage arthouse film at its most accessible. STARBUCK is screened on Sat 15 Sep at 17.45.


Keith Braithwaite

YOSSI screens at the Arts Picturehouse at 18.00 on Thursday 20th September.




lack of satisfactory treatment for his father propelled his film work and his knowledge of psychiatry. Like Laing, ALL DIVIDED SELVES is beguiling, shocking, inspiring, frustrating and flawed. It is a human film about humanity. If we are all divided selves, then Fowler’s film is no exception. Steve Williams

RD Laing is a divisive and divided figure – a radical leader of 60s counterculture. A guru to some, a cruel alcoholic to others. He was as much fleeing his own demons as he was rushing in to confront those of others. Luke Fowler’s ALL DIVIDED SELVES is his third film to deal with Laing and his legacy. Laing grew up in the depressed area of Govanhill in Glasgow, within view of the local library – his only source of escape from the reality of this ‘hell-hole’ through imagination, books and learning.

...Laing observed treatment within violent, oppressive mental institutions. Early in his psychiatric career Laing observed treatment within violent, oppressive mental institutions, noting that doctors rarely spoke with their patients. For 12 months, Laing simply talked to schizophrenic sufferers about their experiences, and soon they were well enough to go home. Their subsequent return to hospital after a short time prompted Laing to extend his research into the

place ‘where madness is incubated’ – the home. Laing uncovered systemic forms of control and oppression within the home, which he translated into a geo-political and sociological context. This radical approach brought him rapid fame and hastened his descent into opprobrium.

ALL DIVIDED SELVES screens at 20.15 on Thursday 20th Sep.

Through his aesthetic style he mirrors the nature of mental illness ... That ALL DIVIDED SELVES has been nominated for this year’s Turner Prize serves to remind us that this isn’t a conventional piece of cinema. Fowler uses ‘found’ archival footage to construct an experimental documentary which, in a visual form, communicates the depth and complexity of the entire body of work of an eloquent and literary figure. Through his aesthetic style Fowler mirrors the nature of mental illness and societal reactions to it. Documentary conventions are rejected, the film is shorn of narrative and he breathes an openly subjective experience into the film. Fowler brings the elements of the film back to a personal space: the

"To be honest with you, I‘m not really up for a pint tonight. Well, not with THAT lot, anyway." Fist-biting fun with HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM, one of the TO ACCOMMODATE shorts, on 20 Sep at 10pm.


© 2012

Cambridge Film Festival Review Editor/Design Rosy Hunt Deputy Editor Jim Ross Comms Manager Mike Boyd Sub Editor Gavin Midgley Photography Tom Catchesides





TO ROME WITH LOVE to meet the Italian family of her new fiancée. In a further storyline, the clueless newly-wed Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) gets caught in a sticky situation with a high-class prostitute (Penelope Cruz).

...Allen makes a movie that, like Leopoldo’s fame, is ephemeral, though a great deal of fun while it lasts.

Towards the beginning of ANNIE HALL, Woody Allen’s protagonist Alvy Singer overhears a pretentious Columbia professor criticise Federico Fellini’s latest film. “It is not one of his best,” the professor informs his date, as Allen rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “It lacked a cohesive structure, and you get the feeling that he’s not absolutely sure what it is he wants to say. I found it incredibly indulgent.” Although TO ROME WITH LOVE is enjoyable, the same criticisms can be levied against this film – Allen’s latest homage to Fellini and to his own career. It cuts between four narratives that never overlap, as a more satisfying (though also more predictable) screenplay might have them do.

Benigni’s talent as a physical comedian makes it impossible not to laugh at his confused reaction to his newfound fame. Allen’s self-indulgence (or perhaps more precisely, his self-absorption) manifests itself in his own on-screen character, Jerry – a former opera director anxious about his retirement – and in Alec Baldwin’s role. Baldwin gives a fantastic performance as John, a successful architect revisiting the city he briefly lived in during his youth. John soon meets his younger alter ego, Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), and warns him about falling for his girlfriend’s sexy friend (Ellen Page). The way in which John looks back on his youthful escapades provides a fitting parallel to Allen’s reflections, in the film, on his long career. A second vignette follows the family of Hayley (Alison Pill), whose parents, played by Allen and Judy Davis, fly over


The most satisfying narrative features Roberto Benigni’s character, Leopoldo; an average, middle-class Italian family man who becomes a celebrity overnight for no obvious reason. Benigni’s talent as a physical comedian makes it impossible not to laugh at his confused reaction to his newfound fame. Allen pokes fun at our obsession with celebrities who have become famous for very little reason; he reminds us of the fleeting nature of fame, and of youth. He plays on clichés of foreigners falling in love with (and in) Italy, and of the culture’s reputation as one with rather loose sexual morals. In evoking these traditional and romantic conceptions about Rome, Allen consciously recalls the work of the Italian director he so admired, Fellini. Rome allows each of Allen’s characters to escape their normal lives and try on new identities and relationships, if only for a while. The film’s gorgeous shots of the Eternal City – its sunny skies, pristine ruins, never-too-crowded squares, and luxurious hotel suites – are enchanting for cinema-goers who love this Italian city. But the whole aesthetic of Allen’s Rome is a bit too perfect, and his storylines too superficial, to become too preoccupied with any one of its narratives. The selfcongratulatory professor in ANNIE HALL may have been wrong about Fellini’s AMARCORD (which came out four years before ANNIE HALL), but his critique seems apt regarding Allen’s latest film. In the end, though, what does any of this matter? By playing with his audience’s expectations that the four narratives might come together, Allen makes a movie that, like Leopoldo’s fame, is ephemeral, though a great deal of fun while it lasts. Rachel Boyd TO ROME WITH LOVE screens at the Arts Picturehouse at 19.45 on Thursday 13th September.


SPRINGS ETERNAL ON puts in every picture. Tinkering with the image could seem precious, but it serves to place the mood of the film in the right place, not least during the climactic rooftop scene.


MOONRISE K INGDOM DIR: WES ANDERSON Wes Anderson is a modern director whose idiosyncrasies of tone, theme and vision have put many people off before now. However, in delivering his most ‘Andersonian’ film yet, he has delivered a story that has wide appeal: his best since 1998‘s RUSHMORE. Set in 1965, MOONRISE KINGDOM follows the story of a 12-year-old khaki scout, Sam Shukusky, and his young love Suzy as they run away together on the fictional New England isle of New Penzance. Their disappearance prompts the locals – a scout master (Ed Norton), the local police chief (Bruce Willis) and Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) – into tracking them down with the help of Sam’s former scout troupe. Once again, Anderson’s eye for the visual is right at the forefront of MOONRISE KINGDOM, a bravura opening sequence sliding vertically and horizontally through Suzy’s family home.. Throughout the film, Robert Yeoman’s cinematography helps to evoke a sense of time and place (the film is shot on Super 16) which adds to the meticulous detail Anderson

The familiar elements are all here. Nerdy, misunderstood protagonist? Check. Bill Murray as a misanthropic patriarch? Check. Wry, detached humour? Check. Is there anything new here in terms of Wes Anderson’s professional development? Not particularly, no – but the way in which everything has been put together makes this whole ensemble work. The grand irony is that in delivering a film that is arguably the best example of his particular archetype, he has put together one which will surely win over Wes Anderson sceptics. Jim Ross

MOONRISE KINGDOM is screened on Sunday 16th at Cambridge University Press.



DIR: CHRIS SHIMOJIMA Based around a telephone conversation, MADELEINE ZABEL displays in raw detail the stripping away of celebrity, and the connections we make in a superficial world of fleeting encounters.



Maddy Zabel has been caught on tape with her sister’s boyfriend, causing a media frenzy. She allows one telephone interview, with star reporter Elliot Snow. Also in the middle of a relationship crisis, he breaks the rules and asks the questions he shouldn’t. Instead of ending the call, Maddy continues the conversation, immediately forming a bond between the two natural enemies.

... how fragile a relationship can be when the push of a button could end it all ... The genius of the film is so simple: confining the characters within a telephone conversation, but allowing the audience to witness each in the context of their own surroundings. Our expectations, and indeed knowledge of fast-paced, non-confrontational contemporary life, fuel the rising intensity. The film reveals how fragile a relationship can be when the push of a button could end it all. Add to this is the exceptional filmmaking, brilliantly paced and cut into real time, reliant on - as you might expect - near-perfect dialogue. The power of short film is used to its full advantage. MADELEINE ZABEL features as part of the TO BE A MAN shorts programme, and is one of two films from Shimojima to feature at the festival this year. His other short, JT VS THE GOOD GUYS, features in the TO BELONG programme on 22 September. Mike Boyd

MADELEINE ZABEL, part of TO BE A MAN, screens on Sun 23.

CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL OFFERS SCREENINGS ALL OVER THE CITY! To avoid disappointment, please double check the venue before setting off for a show.




ultimately successful mission provides its American audience with the satisfaction withheld […] in Vietnam, that of the complete devastation of an elusive enemy". So, what is the horror that the film dramatises? Vietnam, or Watergate? People’s vulnerability under the attractive and yet strangling grasp of voracious capitalism? Is the shark a vagina dentata threatening patriarchy?

... a volcano of unknown forces is erupting in all its brutal and unforgiving violence.

‘None of men’s fantasies of evil can compare with the reality of JAWS’. So a radio commercial aired before, around and on June 20, 1975 proclaimed about the film that was to revolutionise industry practice.

JAWS subtly tricks the spectator’s psyche by first offering the apparent clarity that the high awareness of the animal presents, while simultaneously plunging them into the foggy waters of ‘known chaos’ in a world where, from under the surface, a volcano of unknown forces is erupting in all its brutal and unforgiving violence. A world where, from under the surface, a volcano of unknown forces is erupting in all its brutal and unforgiving violence. Where can the spectators find their anchor of safety? Who are the heroes? The three men leading the hunt, all ordinary men in a way, or the other problematic characters?

JAWS was one of cinema’s greatest gambles as well as successes… JAWS was a financial prodigy, grossing 100 million dollars. With a young, relatively unknown director behind the camera, and a movie studio unable to foresee the film’s potential, it was one of cinema’s greatest gambles as well as successes. During the recession of the early 1970s, which coincided with Hollywood’s reinvention of the blockbuster, Spielberg became a reliable showman of New Hollywood with a career that speaks for itself. Blending low-cultural project with high-cultural artistry, JAWS became the ‘must-see’ event of 1975. A now legendary poster, TV spot adverts, pre-publicity and hundreds of simultaneous screenings made the summer of ’75 the centre of Hollywood’s earning year.

... what is the horror that the film dramatises? Vietnam, or Watergate? JAWS coincided with America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, its first military defeat: it evokes the troubled waters and the atmosphere of mistrust in which America found itself. Could the town’s Mayor, who insists on keeping the beach open for business reasons regardless of the evident danger, be paralleling Nixon’s claims about "public interest" and "national security"? Robert Torry read the film as an allegory of the US and Vietnam conflict: "The


Even before the credits begin, John Williams’ masterful sound and score designs place the spectator in a state of alertness, whilst the forward tracking opening shot follows the anonymous source of malice. The spectators are aligned, one might dare to say identified with the vicious shark, through repeated underwater point of view shots throughout the film, and they wish to break free from an instinctive voyeuristic drive to look at/eat the Others. Then, suddenly, they become the Others, vulnerable to the all-seeing/all-eating shark. It is under this constant dual trajectory that JAWS bears traces of the deep divisions in American society, and becomes a spectacle of the fragility of a nation ensnared in contradictions and, also, more universally, of human nature. Leaving us to ponder, having watched it again 37 years after its spectacular release, ‘Who are the real sharks?’ Loreta Gandolfi

The waterside screening of JAWS shows at the Jesus Green Pool on Sunday 9th at 20.00.

turn him into the emotional mess he becomes." Heslop‘s artistic influences include Tarkovsky, Lynch and Tarr, but FRANK was very much a cathartic outlet for a troubled artist. "I was not a happy bunny when I started writing FRANK," says Heslop. "I used it as a kind of therapy to exorcise my demons. That’s the great thing about writing and art, it’s an extension of the inner workings of the writer. I was also reading in the newspapers, over the




Richard Heslop last visited Cambridge Film Festival in 2008, when his work was screened as part of a strand devoted to Derek Jarman and his artistic affilates. He returns this year with his directorial debut, the intense and personal FRANK: the story of a lonely recluse who makes some peculiar new friends whilst beachcombing, and invites them back to his flat to party among the heaps of decaying ephemera. Heslop worked with Jarman as a camera operator for many years, and has also created music videos for several interesting persons including Queen, Suede, The Shamen and Scroobius Pip. His new production company "I Like Films, Me" is a chance for him to illustrate his

"I treated writing like therapy..." own stories. "I treated writing like therapy," says Heslop. "I would spend 5-6 hours a day writing, then take a few days off to let the dust settle." However, it was the worst of times for film makers in London, and it

was Northern Film and Media who finally offered funding. "We shifted the locations up North," says Heslop, "and thank god we did, because it’s visually wonderful up there and the people were brilliant." Darren Beaumont brings a haunted, delicate beauty to the character of Frank. "As soon as he walked in, I knew he was the man for the job,"

"Frank is almost Dickensian in his character..." says Heslop. "He hadn’t done much film work at all, in fact he trained as a butcher and had come to acting quite late. He gave his all to the part, there was nothing he wouldn’t do. Without his rock solid, sensitive, vulnerable and likeable performance the film just wouldn’t have worked. Frank is almost Dickensian in his character: he may be unhygienic and inadequate, and have mental health issues, but he means well and is a kind man. It’s the pressures of the outside world and his own self doubts in the form of the Poly and Fidel characters that

"I love textures of decay and industrial landscapes." years, many stories of people who have secretly lived with dead bodies either because they can’t bear to part with them, or they are collecting their housing benefits, or pensions or are afraid they will lose their flat if they confess to the death. It’s much more common than you realise." Frank‘s Newcastle is heavily inspired by Heslop‘s memories of living in London in the 1960s. "I grew up playing in building sites, and ‘bomb sites‘ as we called them," he says. "So I love textures of decay and industrial landscapes." The mollusc motif in FRANK was inspired by Heslop junior. My 7 year old daughter used to collect snails and carry them around with her. I love the fact that snails are all over the place but we almost don’t notice them, we are so used to them, but if you look real close they are amazing. While Frank‘s life is happening on one level, the snail‘s life is happening on another... life goes on, with or without you."

FRANK is showing at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse on 19th Sep at 20.15. Richard Heslop will be attending for Q&A.

Read Rosy Hunt‘s unabridged interview with Richard Heslop at http:/



Teaser issue of TAKE ONE, the official Cambridge Film Festival Review