Kick Off UK Premiere
This documentary follows the Austrian football team competing at the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Australia. These men, all of who have been homeless and addicts of one sort or another, are playing to restore their faith in themselves. Each have their own stories, but as one of the team members comments, ‘it’s the same stories’—of isolation, desperation, hopelessness, and the desire for redemption.
Although Kick Off doesn’t exploit the story to its full potential, the human-interest appeal of the film’s characters carries you through to the end. I was left wondering: what will happen to these people, whose sense of self is so entwined with this tournament, now that it is over?
Terry Gilliam has always toyed with the surreal, but with Tideland he takes a far more sinister turn. Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland)—the daughter of a deadbeat rocker (Jeff Bridges) and a self-obsessed junkie (Jennifer Tilly)—spends her childhood cooking up heroin for mum and dad. When her mother ODs, Jeliza-Rose is whisked away by her father to grandma’s abandoned farmhouse house in the deep south of America.
When her father, too, goes ‘on vacation’ (takes an overdose), we find ourselves pulled into Jeliza-Rose’s fantasy world. References to Alice in Wonderland mix with a healthy dose of the macabre to highlight Gilliam’s convention-defying sensibilities. I just hope I don’t meet his inner child…
Amos Vogel Part 1: Cinema 16
This has been my favourite strand of the festival so far. The session was dedicated to a selection of short films representative of Amos Vogel’s work. The screening at Impressions Gallery had an amazing atmosphere. Sitting on a couch with an old projector clacking away behind me, I thought: this is DIY film exhibition at its best.
Tom Vincent introduced the session, explaining that the aims of Bradford International Film Festival are very much the same as those of Vogel’s Cinema 16 film society: to screen films you can’t see anywhere else. This is certainly true of the innovative and thought-provoking films that were shown here today, and one of the most intriguing aspects was to examine how the films had aged 50 years on.
The intermission provided an opportunity for the audience to discuss the films, and as we stood outside in Bradford’s Centenary Square—which is currently undergoing some regeneration—a passing drunken man serenaded me with ‘A Whole New World’, which definitely added to the overall experience. I won’t be missing Amos Vogel: Part 2 on Friday night, a selection of modern films created with the Cinema 16 aesthetic in mind.