Sunday, 14 October 2012

Love, New York and Pink Trousers

Technically this post should be part of the Film Challenge as, Love Story, is a New Zealander film, I think that is the right term.

Love Story was the first film I saw as part of the (long awaited) BFI London Film Festival. This had been the last ticket I bought and I have to admit it was spare of the moment, but I am so glad that I did. Not only was the film just so brilliantly constructed and genuinely funny but the venue, Screen on the Green in Islington was amazing. I had walked past the cinema a few times and had wanted to see a film there for ages and I got my chance.

Before the screening we, the audience, were treated to the director, Florian Habicht introducing his film and explaining a bit of the background. He is a character. Very tall Habicht, dressed in the pink trousrers that appear as if another main character in the film, was very happy to be there. He thanked his friends who had come with him all the way from New Zealand and said how great it was to see his film in big letters on the cinema.

The film, just like the poster says, is about a romance written on the streets of New York, or maybe by the people of New York. After a chance meeting with Masha (the tall Russian woman holding a piece of cake), Florian, who appears as himself, goes out and decided to make a film, a love story. The moments and scenes of constructed romance, a line is later blurred and it becomes hard to tell which is real and which is fictional. Inbetween these moments the film becomes almost like a documentary. Habicht goes out onto the streets and asks New Yorkers what they think should happen next in the romance. One of the star characters in the film, who only ever appears via Skype is Florian's dad. It is in these conversations where a lot of the humour comes out, especially when they share the idea of Marsha eating cereal out of the director's en-caved chest in bed. Florian's dad makes the point that this has never been seen is any film before and yes, he is definitely right. The action is later repeated but the second time around it feels less momentous but this is due mostly to what Marsha says. This when the film took a turn. It becomes confusing about whether these people actually mean what they say. The ending is emotional in the way everyone involved knew this 'romance' was going to end. A ending is obviously constructed but it works so well, the audience doesn't feel cheated at all.

I was glued to the screen the whole time. The film was so well structured and in ways, insightful to the people who Habicht meets on the street. I am not exaggerating when I say how amazing this film is.

After the screening, there was a short Q & A. I only heard one English accent, the rest American. I found this odd. Anyway, Habicht gave a little more insight to the film and its after effects. He said the film was shown to all those who contributed and I think we were all surprised to hear the rude stock broker in the cab that Habicht just jumped into on the spur of the moment, had given it her blessing. Masha had also had a private screening of the film and was happy with how it was completed.

The film is being released in Australia and New Zealand but unfortunately not America. He is in UK now meeting distributors. This film needs to be released here. If there is a screening of it, GO SEE IT!

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