Three to see today: Monday 9 October
Three unmissable films with tickets still available at today's BFI London Film Festival.
The Drummer and the Keeper
In this warm, witty Irish drama, a rock drummer with bipolar disorder builds an unusual friendship with a goalie who has Asperger syndrome.
Alongside the anti-depressants that are slowing indie drummer Gabriel down, his unconventional therapist prescribes a healthy dose of Sunday football. A nonchalant dude who would rather be setting fire to things or fantasising about a pop star turning up to his gigs, Gabriel doesn’t exactly throw himself into his new regimen. But an encounter with teenage goalkeeper Christopher, who’s ostracised from his own family due to his Asperger syndrome, is going to significantly change Gabriel’s life whether he likes it or not. Former musician Nick Kelly, directing his feature debut, brings an authenticity to the dynamics of indie band life, skilfully drawing out the film’s humour. A warm, witty and sensitive film about an unusual friendship, it presents mental health and developmental disabilities in a fresh and wholly relatable way.
Mum’s gone. Work’s gone tits up. Dad’s got his dress on. It’s time to hit the road.
One of the freshest new voices in Norwegian cinema, Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken delivers a sweetly delicious, heart-warming and wildly alternative road movie. Glorious fun-filled memories and bittersweet reminiscences pepper this offbeat celebration of life and love. Would-be music teacher Kasper lost his beloved mother Irene some months ago. Before she passed away she implored him to ‘do something fun with Dad’, but Kasper and his rather unconventional father Georg have since struggled to connect. A surprise call to the west coast of Norway offers an opportunity to revitalise their relationship. Campfires, breakdowns, old flames, a man in tights, women with tights on their heads… it’s not going to be a regular road trip. Outstanding writing and direction by Dahlsbakken, together with powerful performances and a great soundtrack, highlight both the humour and poignancy in finding new life and love in the shadow of sadness.
A tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa.
A traditional rite of passage ritual forms the backdrop for this powerful exploration of masculinity and unspoken queer desire. In the remote mountains of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, the teenage boys of the Xhosa community are initiated into manhood through an annual circumcision ritual. This painful ordeal is followed by two weeks healing, during which each initiate is assigned an elder to teach the culture’s codes of masculinity. Factory worker Xolani is tasked with caring for Kwanda, a petulant adolescent from Johannesburg. As the days pass, Kwanda begins to notice Xolani harbours a deep affection for fellow elder Vija, leading to growing tensions between the three men. Privileging a need for cultural authenticity, director John Trengove worked with a cast of exclusively native Xhosa speakers, many of whom are non-actors. The result is a visually breathtaking, thematically complex meditation on the wounds that exist on the surface and those deeper scars that never truly heal.
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