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London Film Festival 2020: Days 12 and 13

For the rest of my London Film Festival coverage, click here.

Whilst the festival has been complete for a few days, I wanted to take some time off to not stare at a screen and simply relax. With a lot of my coverage recently being on InSession Film, I only have two films to review in this final format of post for the festival.

Here are my reviews of Possessor and Lovers Rock as shown in the 2020 London Film Festival.

Possessor (2020)

Possessor

IMDB Link: Possessor (2020)
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Writer: Brandon Cronenberg
Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Synopsis: Possessor follows an agent who works for a secretive organisation that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies – ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.

This film sets the tone from the opening sequence, which is shocking and thrilling. So wonderfully written and shot, this sequence is a warning to those who have excessive horror and blood as it shows everything on screen. For me, it was exactly what I love to see with stories like these.

The concept is extremely engaging, the idea of going into other people’s bodies in order to kill whoever is close to them feels like something from a video game. However, it is well realised here and I appreciate that the film goes into the more psychological aspects of this concept. The film shows the lead character (played by Riseborough) trying to get back into her own body and remember who she is, which is the small details that I really appreciated.

This film shows the technology used for several cases but focuses on one in particular. This is the weakest part of the film, as the sub-plot never grasped me as much as the main story and our lead character. I still overall had a blast with this film and I would definitely recommend it, especially to the horror croud.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Lovers Rock (2020)

IMDB Link: Lovers Rock (2020)
Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: Steve McQueen, Courttia Newland
Stars: Amrah-Jae St. Aubyn, Micheal Ward, Shaniqua Okwok

Synopsis: A single evening at a house party in 1980s West London sets the scene, developing intertwined relationships against a background of violence, romance and music.

This is the second episode of the Small Axe series by Steve McQueen, and this is the second one that I have seen after watching Mangrove earlier on in the festival. Whilst I preferred the structure and pacing of the first episode, I thoroughly enjoyed what Lovers Rock had to offer.

This is the softest I have ever seen McQueen in tone. After the hard-hitting themes in the likes of Mangrove, 12 Years a Slave and Shame, it is nice to see McQueen explore the positive aspects of the black community. From the music they listen to, the party culture they have and the romance that builds, this film is a lot of fun.

There are a few narrative moments that help the pacing along, and some moments that do handle some tougher themes and they fit perfectly into this world. I would have preferred this episode to have more structure and a stronger narrative than is presented, but then again the free-flowing pacing will work for many other people. It is safe to say that I cannot wait to watch the rest of this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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