Thursday, October 16, 2008

London Film Festival Day 2 - LOVE LIVE LONG

LOVE LIVE LONG is the latest film by the pioneering British director Mike Figgis. It had a bizarre genesis as a vanity project of the Gumball 3000 - an annual event involving a bunch of flash tossers driving high-spec cars very fast on public roads because - hey - road safety is for peasants. Anyways, the Gumball spivs gave Figgis £100k and said he could make a movie about anything so long as it featured Gumball. Much like Shane Meadows' recent SOMERS TOWN, Figgis' LOVE LIVE LONG happily takes the money, makes a provocative movie and, if anything, subverts the corporate brand.

The film is essentially an improvised two-hander set in Istanbul. Sophie Winkelman (Big Suze in PEEP SHOW) plays an emotionally scarred young woman who gets off on being sexually degraded by a casually cruel flash git Gumball driver, played by Daniel Lapaine. The movie shows their first encounter in an Istanbul market, their involvement during the rally, and hints at the disaster that is to follow.

I loved the tension and raw emotion of the scenes in Istanbul and the denoument. The only mis-step was, in my view, the insertion of a very funny but jarring scene just prior to the finale.

LOVE LIVE LONG played London 2008.

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