Limara Salt Gives The Lowdown on the Docs
One of the highlights of any film festival is the endless amount of chin-stroking documentaries on offer and so far LFF has not disappointed.
Tabloid tells the story of a former beauty queen Joyce McKinney who became embroiled in a tabloid scandal in 1977 when she was accused of kidnapping her estranged Mormon boyfriend, chaining him up and forcing him to have sex. Featuring numerous interviews with former Mormons, hacks from the fueding Express and Mirror newspapers and McKinney herself, Tabloid is a hugely entertaining, wonderfully constructed documentary that reminds us that scandals made celebs before the internet rolled around.
On the other side of the spectrum is The Tillman Story, a film that delves into a government cover-up surrounding the death of former NFL star turned soldier Pat Tillman. The Tillman Story is a perfect example of how a brilliant story can be ruined by a clunky structure and too many unconvincing shots i.e. constant looks at people on the phone when they say they were on the phone. In the right hands The Tillman Story could’ve been a 5 star awards contender but as it is, it’ll end up on a cable channel and be largely forgotten.
Upside Down: The Creation Records Story is similarly frustrating because what should have been an entertaining look at a record company that was responsible for a major shift in British music and culture simply fell into the rambling, drug addled memories of all those involved. Alan McGee is clearly a colourful character with plenty of stories to tell but after a while it becomes mundane, slow and slightly dull and if there’s one thing that rock music shouldn’t be, it’s dull.
Anyone with memories of the world coming to a standstill whenever the West Indies cricket team faced England in a Test match will no doubt enjoy Fire In Babylon; an immensely informative and entertaining documentary that highlights the social and historic importance of West Indies rise to dominance in the world of cricket. You don’t necessarily have to have an interest or knowledge of cricket take something from this which is its greatest attribute. Full of interviews, slightly irrelevant musical interludes and entire sections dedicated to the pain one would inflict with a cricket ball, Fire In Babylon is one not to be missed.
The buzz surrounding Catfish can be attributed to the Sundance Film Festival and the constant discussion surrounding social media. When New York based photographer Nev Schulman received an email from a young girl on the other side of America asking permission to paint one of his photos, his brother Ariel and their friend Henry Joost start documenting it. Via Facebook and the phone, Nev becomes friends with the entire family and strikes up an unofficial relationship with the young girl’s older sister and sets off to Michigan to meet them. What unfolds is entertaining if not entirely surprising and once the cat is out of the bag.
Check out the lastest BFI Live’s coverage of
the 54th BFI London Film Festiva, featuring Michael Rowe Director of Leap Year, here.
Coming Soon: The big hitters – Uncle Boonme, Black Swan, Howl, The King’s Speech, NEDs