Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 280: Sun Oct 8

Music (Schanelec, 2023): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 12.30pm

67th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (4th - 15th October 2023) DAY 5

With its date at the end of the year, London is a "festival of festivals", as the new Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin put it in one of his previews, so the films shown have mostly been seen and commented on by critics who have watched the features at such high-profile festivals as Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Berlin.

So I'm making it simple with one recommendation a day. I will be concentrating on the repertory choices but I've also read the reviews of the contemporary releases and talked to and listened to the trusted critics all year and I am as confident as I can be that this is the pick of the movies within the parameters I have set. Firstly, there's no point highlighting the major gala films - they will be sold out quickly. Secondly, there is little to be gained in paying the higher Festival ticket prices to see films that are out in Britain soon. I will be returning to the London Festival films worthy of seeing and set to be released in the coming months on this blog as and when they get a general release in London.

Every day (from October 4th to October 15th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening.

This film also screens on October 7th at ICA Cinema. Details here.

Observer review:
No Berlin Festival competition title was quite as radically sui generis as Music, by hardcore German experimenter Angela Schanelec. She was here in 2019, with her mesmerisingly inscrutable I Was at Home, But, which did very odd things with chunks of Hamlet. Her new film is an almost wordless modern variation on the Oedipus myth, set initially in Greece before abruptly and inexplicably jumping to Berlin (including scenes set just a stone’s throw from festival hub the Palast). A young man, born in the Greek mountains during a storm, grows up with chronically sore ankles, then is imprisoned for manslaughter. He forms a couple with one of the female prison guards (French arthouse regular Agathe Bonitzer), later becoming a singer in Berlin – by which time, any obvious correspondence with the original myth has become obscured by a dense network of symbols, echoes and enigmas. Music is less like narrative cinema – even of the artiest, most Godardian variety – than it is conceptual art, or a cinematic form of opaque modernist poetry. It may be near-hermetic but it’s utterly transfixing. It proves that the Berlin selectors aren’t afraid to stick their necks out.
Jonathan Romney

 Here (and above) is the trailer.


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