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LFF preview roundup

October 13, 2009

Ahead of the London Film Festival’s opening night tomorrow, here’s a round-up of some highlights from Suchandrika Chakrabarti.

The LFF’s press screenings begin before the festival begins, and carry on during it, with the previews of the big gala films, like the opening night’s Fantastic Mr Fox (gosh, they do love a bit of Wes Anderson) and the George Clooney-starring The Men Who Stare at Goats, are saved for the morning of the screening. So you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for those.

In the meantime, you can read on for reviews of the latest Matt Damon movie and the mockumentary stylings of Michael “George Michael Bluth” Cera…

[The full article’s at Netribution, but here’s the bit on Paper Heart:]

Paper Heart

paperheart

This mockumentary carries within it its own making-of, as well as sardonic commentary upon the difference between documentary and fiction (clue: not much). That’s a lot of meta to wade your way through, but if you like that sort of thing – I do – you’ll be charmed.

Charlyne Yi has never been in love and so, along with her director friend Nick Jasenovec (played in the film by Jake Johnson, but the real Nick is a friend of Charlyne’s and did co-write with her as well as direct), she sets out to make a documentary about love, as she’s afraid that she’s incapable of it. The film includes some interviews with long-married couples, whose stories are played out in Michel Gondry-esque little scenes with Yi moving paper puppets along. These interludes have divided viewers, but I did find them sweet and an interesting alternative to the usual taking-heads docu thing.

There has been confusion over whether Yi and Michael Cera – who plays the guy who becomes her boyfriend in the film – actually were or are a couple. Go on, see if you can work it out. Well? Without a doubt, this are-they-aren’t-they? helped the film’s publicity along, and their relationship in the movie seems more like mid-teens puppy love than your average early-20s couple. Still, you do find yourself rooting for them. The best bit, though, is when Yi questions some kids in a playground about love. One little girl who is clearly destined for great things says that love is “taking them to Applebee’s to give them wings!” Comedy aside, their answers drive home the point that kids are forcefed ideas of perfect romantic love from an early age, and perhaps that makes recognising it in real life all the harder.

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