The Fan Carpet + ActingHour’s Lucy Aley-Parker shares her Reviews for Shorts Block 4 at the 2019 Edition of the London Independent Film Festival
The London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) is the premier event for first and second-time film-makers, micro-budget and no-budget films in the UK. LIFF offers a fantastic opportunity for indie filmmakers to showcase their achievements, with spaces reserved for first and second time filmmakers and for films that have been overlooked by other events.
LIFF presents the best of low-budget filmmaking from around the world, and mixes it up with relevant industry discussions and targeted social networking events. LIFF’s audience is London’s sizeable independent filmmaking community. It’s an indie film festival for indie filmmakers.
Here, The Fan Carpet + ActingHour's Lucy Aley-Parker shares her Reviews for Shorts Block 4 that showcased the films The Date by Emmalie El Fadli, Cake by Anne Hu, Tomato & Eggs by Nicole Tay, Girl Talk by Erica Rose and Care by April Wilson...
A simple story of an internet date that goes well. There’s a moment when you wonder if there’s something sinister about to unfold, which is a natural reaction when we hear so much about the way these things can go horribly wrong. But all is well, and the two leading women in the story give natural and openly truthful performances.
It is well filmed, capturing the atmosphere of a first date and the gradual mutual appeal these two women have for each other. It ends with potential, but of course who knows how far it will go – just like the beginning of any relationship. It’s feel good short, designed to make us not dismiss this route to love, but remain hopeful. As the movie progressed we felt slightly like intruders and wanted to allow this new couple their privacy – and then it ends. We can assume this is a new beginning for both women, and smile at their good fortune. Good direction and performances throughout engaged us with this likeable story.
This initially slightly comical short about a couple with sexual challenges, turns into a more serious statement of the the things we do for love and satisfaction in a long term relationship. Wife likes a bit of BDSM and purchases a stunning ‘robot’ girl, suitably clad in leather, to spice up their sex life. The ‘robot’ is beautifully played, with a lovely casual cynicism, the wife is suitably enthused and placatory, and the husband somewhat taken aback by his wife’s introduction and keen to please.
My first assumptions, that the husband was gay and this was the cause of their sexual difficulties, was soon quashed by his taking full advantage of robot-girl while wifey popped out for some milk: maybe it was just the way he was played… The wife catching him in flagrante delicto switches the film to a serious and warm observation of their love, which didn’t really sit terribly well with me. I wasn’t sure whether this was a comedy – it was comical in parts – or trying to be a serious comment about the complications of sexual relationships. The ‘robot’ was the star – a nicely understated and human performance, that strangely had more subtle depth than her co-stars.
Tomato & Eggs
This family tale of generation, tradition and prejudice was nicely observed and acted. It had a feeling of reality about it as if it had been taken from a true story. A single Asian father with traditional parents and a gay daughter he doesn’t really accept, is revealed to have a long term close male friend, who he clearly loves very dearly. Parents and father demonstrate their prejudices and the parallels are drawn with a realisation for the father. The tomato and eggs of the title refers to a favoured dish of the daughter; the father cannot emulate the dead mother’s recipe, despite trying and using it as a relationship link to his daughter.
Nice performances here, from both the generations and the girlfriend of the daughter, who urges her love to be honest and brave. The daughter becomes a little girl, fearing her father’s displeasure when talking about her wish to marry her girlfriend, and shows how we revert to child when confronting our parents at all ages: the father does the same with his ageing parents. These were poignant scenes, sensitively filmed. Although the story seems a little clichéd in our UK climate, it is no doubt a reflection of the difficulties faced by the entire LGBTQ+ community across both generations and the world.
This film opened the doors to a gay scene that spoke of brief sexual encounters and follows a woman who seems to have no emotional maturity, but is merely a renowned lover. A party scene was a fairly brutal insight into the transient sexual encounters that can exist in the gay community and activities and scissions at the party are purely about sex. Our expert lover woman is seduced into a threesome, but really it’s only to try to solve an orgasm problem of one of them. The result is not good, but it does make her register her own emotions and admit to herself that she is actually feeling. She has another girl on her mind, someone who has touched her emotionally, and who she wants to have a more fuller relationship with. But it’s not to be: this other girl was just an affair, and she feels the hurt. Her registering of her pain and realisation was beautifully acted, and the strong part of this film. Particularly well played by the lead actor and with a good supporting cast. This ended as a touching insight Into sex, love and emotional truth and commitment.
This beautifully shot, acted and written film tells of two older women who meet in a residential home. The stunning care with which the story is told of their recognition, connection and growing affection was sublimely portrayed, and is down to not only a poignantly understated script, but the exquisite performances of the two main actors. One is a widow with grown children, who was clearly dutiful but not happy in her marriage, and the other a single woman who never married. Being older – they are meant to be 60+ – their stories will have a resonance with a generation that was expected to marry and procreate or be a ‘spinster of the parish’, such was the social climate of their times.
We watched as they communicated their developing love and understanding for each other and movingly embraced their friendship. Often stories of love are age-centric, with younger characters demanding the spotlight. But this film showed that age is irrelevant where love and simpatico are concerned. It was elegant and enchanting, seductive and heart-wrenching and beautifully played and shot. I defy anyone who sees it not to be profoundly moved.