Books, Film & TV Friday, February 23rd , pictures by: Tile by HerefordshireLive/Empire/Twitter

Empire magazine's John Nugent picks out the Must See films at this month's Borderlines Festival

Books, Film & TV Friday, February 23rd

Empire magazine's John Nugent picks out the Must See films at this month's Borderlines Festival

Borderlines is back, baby.

And with next week’s -20 degree temperatures about to turn Hereford’s beer gardens in to the snow base scene from Empire Strikes back, it makes it the perfect time to head for the cosy confines of your local cinema. Or village hall. Or aircraft hanger.

The always-original Borderlines programming balances the best big-budget films of the last 12 months with some deep cuts and quiet classics of indie cinema from across the world.

And that can be kind of intimidating. Unless you plan on binge-watching hundreds of trailers, or happen to be well-versed in Iranian auteurs, it can be hard to know exactly which films to put a big, red circle around in the brochure.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. And this year we’ve brought the big guns.

BorderlinesHyperlink

John Nugent, a Herefordshire native and - more importantly - the Helen Mirren-meeting, new news editor at the monthly film bible Empire Magazine (read it here, subscribe here, or pick up a copy at any respectable news agent), has kindly cast his eye over Borderlines 2018 and picked his must-sees. 

Whether you’re planning on pitching up at the Courtyard with your sleeping bag for a two-week big screen binge-watch, or you just fancy seeing if there’s anything showing at a theatre or village hall near you, you can download the full programme here and plan accordingly.  But read this first...

 

The best... Coming-of-age comedy

Lady Bird (15)

"A painfully honest and semi-autobiographical tale from writer-director Greta Gerwig, this is about as authentic a depiction of the teenage experience as you’re ever likely to get — and a hymn to difficult but ultimately affectionate mother-daughter relationships."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... One to take the kids

Mary And The Witch’s Flower (PG)

"Studio Ghibli, the Japanimation team behind modern classics like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, has largely ceased producing new feature films. But this eye-popping fantasy from their heir apparents, Studio Ponoc, proves their legacy is in safe hands."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... Oscar favourite

Phantom Thread (15)

"Having Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) has made this meticulously crafted, delicately stitched romantic drama about 1950s haute couture that is at once gorgeous, dark, melodramatic, hilarious, gothic and just plain strange. If there’s any justice, it’ll win every award possible."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... Arthouse classic

The Seventh Seal (PG)

"A medieval knight plays chess with Death. So begins a philosophical epic unlike any other, beloved of film students and scholars alike. It’s one of a few films playing at the festival from Swedish master Ingmar Bergman, and part of a national celebration marking a hundred years since Bergman’s birth."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... Foreign favourite

A Fantastic Woman (15)

"Nominated for an Oscar in Best Foreign Language, Sebastián Lelio’s tender drama has generated massive buzz at film festivals for its sensitive and often heart-wrenching storytelling, with a trans woman (played by real life trans actor Daniela Vega) at its heart."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... Rural-set drama

God’s Own Country

"Set on a Yorkshire sheep farm, Francis Lee’s directorial debut is a searing, powerful gay love story between a stoic farm worker and a Romanian immigrant hired for lambing season. Features the muddiest sex scene ever committed to screen."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

The best... Animation for grown-ups

Loving Vincent (12A)

"Worth seeing for the technique alone: this has been sold as the world’s first “painted movie”. Telling the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s tragic final days, it has been animated using 65,000 real oil paintings on canvas, painted in his Impressionist style, by a team of 125 painters."

When and where to watch it - click here.

 

That’s it, enjoy the festival. It might not have the yacht parties of Cannes, or the maple syrup selection of Toronto, but Borderlines is one of the best independent film festivals in the UK. Right on your doorstep. Get out and see some great films in the manner in which they were made to be watched.

You’ll be glad you did.

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