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1956年に始まったロンドン国際映画祭は、約60カ国から選りすぐった300以上の映画を一般上映するイギリス最大の公開映画イベントで、イギリスやヨーロッパ、アメリカはもちろん、日頃は観る機会の少ないマイナーな国々からの秀作を、14の会場で上映する。大作からインディペンデント映画、ドキュメンタリー、実験的映画、古典作品、アニメや短編作と何でも来い。また俳優や映画監督等のトークや無料イベントも充実している。いつもは気合いを入れて分厚いパンフレットをチェックし、早々にチケットを予約（良い作品はチケットがすぐ売り切れる）、ほぼ連日のように映画館通いをするのだが、今年はあんまり観たいと思う映画がなく、なんとなく先延ばしにしているうちに、観たい映画のいくつかは売り切れてしまった。今のところチケットを買ったのはThe Big Dreamを含め、イタリア映画の２作のみ。特に日本映画は今年は不作で、例年は数作観てたのだが、今回はゼロ。ちょっと淋しい。
We saw an Italian movie “The Big Dream (Il Grande Sogno)” at the BFI 53rd London Film Festival (October 14 to 29). The Big Dream, also invited by the Venice Film Festival and the Pusan International Film Festival, is an autobiographical story of the director Michele Placido. A young policeman and would-be actor Nicola, is sent undercover to infiltrate student protest groups in 1968, during the height of the political demonstrations in Rome. Nicola falls in love with Laura, a student activist of Sapienza University of Rome, buy her feeling swings between student leader Libero and Nicola. When Nicola is ordered to join the police force and go to the university to crack down the students’ sit-in, Laura and his comrades find out that he is a policeman and traitor. Later Nicola is accepted by an acting school and quits his police job. He still cannot forget Laura and goes to see her… I stop here so I don’t disclose all the story. The Big Dream is a typical Italian movie talking about their favorite themes – politics, family and love. It is also typical leftist movie, romanticizing the student movement and portraying the police and the government as evil. Also in all the Italian movies I have seen, I always see the same faces – aren’t there many actors and actresses?? The Big Dream is an average movie and not the masterpiece, but Riccardo Scamarcio (as Nicola) was gorgeous and I enjoyed the movie the same way as I enjoy TV drama like “Desperate Housewives.”
The BFI London Film Festival (LLF) is the UK’s largest public film event, screening over 300 films from 60 countries at fourteen venues in London – films chosen not only from UK, Europe and US but also from a wide variety of less known countries that you rarely have a chance to see. Big budget, independent, documentary, experimental, classic, animation, short – anything goes in this festival. LLF also hosts numerous events during the period such as lectures and interviews, educational events and free screenings. I always check the thick festival catalogue, buy tickets well in advance, and go to the cinemas almost everyday. But I couldn’t find many fascinating movies this time and didn’t buy the tickets until now, so some of the movies on my list are sold out already… So far we bought tickets for only two Italian movies including The Big Dream. Japanese movies this year are not as good as previous year, and I couldn’t find anything I want to see – disastrous.
Free screening at Trafalgar Square.