There's not long left at the BFI London Film Festival 2013 yet there are still plenty of films to catch. Today, we address the controversial French relationship drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' and that lesbian love scene, as well as Brit comedy 'Hello Carter' and Terry Gilliam's colourful return with 'The Zero Theorem'.
'Blue Is The Warmest Colour'(LFF Screenings: Mon 14, 19.45 + Thurs 17, 18.30)
Following its Palme D'or win at Cannes earlier in the year, 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' has continued to court controversy beyond its graphic sex scenes. Director Abdellatif Kechiche was criticised by the film's central duo, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, as well as members of the film's production staff for a harsh and strained working environment. Yet the end result is magnificent.
The story follows the sexual awakening of teenager Adèle (Exarchopoulos), sparked by meeting arts student Emma (Seydoux), and their subsequent relationship. The film fully invests the viewer into this relationship, portrayed in an incredibly believable fashion - a passion arguably unmatched at this film festival. The three hour run-time is indulgent, and the sex scenes needlessly long, but these are essentially the only criticisms of a soon-to-be-classic romantic drama.
'Hello Carter'(LFF Screenings: Sat 12, 18.30 + Fri 18, 18.30)
There's something quite likeable about 'Hello Carter' despite it being a solid, unremarkable offering that may have been better served as a television two-parter. Perhaps it's the occasionally witty script, or the SBTRKT-heavy soundtrack, or my own love of its London location. Or worryingly, maybe its parallels to my own life.
Carter (Charlie Cox) is unemployed, pining after his ex, and doesn't have a place of his own to stay. Carter bumps into his ex's brother on the tube, setting into a motion a series of somewhat bizarre and slightly criminal events. However, writer-director Anthony Wilcox doesn't get too far ahead of himself in terms of drama, and 'Hello Carter' ends up as more of a romantic comedy. Unchallenging yet comforting, all the same.
'The Zero Theorem'(LFF Screenings: Sun 13, 20.30 + Wed 16, 21.00 + Fri 18, 12.30)
Terry Gilliam has long made his mark as a visionary director, and 'The Zero Theorem' continues his exploration of the absurd. A strikingly bald Christoph Waltz stars as Qohen, a socially-stunted programmer for a corporation in an alternate near-future London, who is recruited to work on the Zero Theorem - a complex maths problem that also borders philosophy.
Qohen finds his life constantly interrupted by the likes of the alluring Bainsley (Melanie Thierry) and his virtual therapist (a hilarious turn from Tilda Swinton), while he tries to solve the Theorem and his own difficulties. Gilliam is at his world-building best here, creating a vivid setting akin to 'Brazil' in certain respects. Something of a meditation on our current digital communication, 'The Zero Theorem' slightly unravels towards its conclusion but its build-up is compelling.
Find more info and purchase remaining tickets at bfi.org.uk/lff. Any sold-out showings will have tickets available in the standby queue just prior to the screening times.