Best of The Fest: Features
Date: 16/03/2016 13:48
To paraphrase Frank Zappa, "So many films, so little time." Here we single out a few of the fantastic feature offerings from this year's Belfast Film Festival.
Miles Ahead: Friday, 15 April 2016, 6:40pm, QFT, £6
Don Cheadle's much-anticipated biopic of jazz maestro Miles Davis lands. Miles Ahead (2015) was a labour of love for Cheadle, who both directs and stars. It foregos a straight-up retelling of Davis' life, choosing instead to zero-in on a particular period of his life, the mid-1970s. Davis was struggling, personally and professionally. Critics and fans were alienated by his forays into jazz's far flung, experimental hinterlands. Meanwhile, he'd lost his love, dancer Frances Taylor, and was surrendering instead to the embrace of heroin. The film details his struggles and search for redemption. Suffice to say that Cheadle doesn't so much play the part, as inhabit it, getting under the skin of his subject in a way that goes beyond the physical.
Men & Chicken: Saturday, 16 April 2016, 9:00pm, QFT, £6
Sporting curly-hair and a pronounced overbite, Mads Mikkelsen - urbane star of Hannibal - plays somewhat against type in this tale of two outcast brothers in search of their even more eccentric siblings. Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen, this blackly comic affair has drawn comparison to the work of that other Danish provocateur, Lars Von Trier. Not one for the faint of heart, this off-kilter film will outrage and delight in equal measure.
Green Room: Wednesday, 20 April 2016, 9:00pm, QFT, £6
A clever, uncompromising low-budget reworking of the revenge thriller, 2013's Blue Ruin was acclaimed as one of the films of the year and earned its director, Jeremy Saulnier comparison to the Coen brothers. His follow-up feature, Green Room ups the budget and the suspense, recruiting Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots and Anton Yelchin for a tale of a punk band falling prey to a gang of neo-nazis. Drawing influence from classic hillbilly horrors and exploitation pictures, such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977), viewers should expect a bit of the old ultra violence and lashings of gore.