Lilting BFI Flare | Review

The Liltin BFI

The annual BFI Flare as it has now been christened kicked off on Thursday with a beautiful film called ‘Lilting’. We were lucky enough to have been invited by American Airlines to attend one of the screenings. ‘Lilting’ was our preferred choice and off we went, on Friday 21st March to see this wonderful film.

I had read the synopsis of the film and was looking forward to it very much. My partner Liz had had the pleasure of meeting and working with Ben Whishaw for a part in a past movie, therefore I knew she would love to see this film as she really enjoyed her time with him as he was such a nice, genuine chap.

I arrived at the BFI early to pick up the tickets and immediately saw Ollie from Peccadillo Pictures flying about, looking very busy and surrounded by film people. The BFI was buzzing. I love the whole ambience of the BFI, if you do get the opportunity to visit, make sure you check out the shop. It has such an amazing selection of films from all around the world – both old and new.

Then it was time to take our seats in the auditorium. The place was packed and the atmosphere was filled with anticipation. A gentleman introduced the film and told us a little about the cast and director and also informed us that the director and producer would take questions once the film had finished.

lilting-2013-001-ben-whishaw-cheng-pei-pei-out-of-focusWhat can I say about the film; well it has to be one of the most beautiful introspective films I have ever seen. There is a lot of humor through the film which balances out the deep sadness at the loss of a loved one, lover and son to the main characters.

Ben Whishaw was amazing; I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. The sensitivity of his performance and the realness of how he portrayed his character gave a real depth to the film. Also I have to add that Ben has the most amazing eyes and smile.

Hong Khaou Lilting

Hong Khaou after the screening

Peter Bowles was brilliant, playing a very different character to his normal upper crust roles. He was brilliant and hilarious too.

Cheng Pei Pei played the mother ‘Junn’, who is trapped in this foreign world she not only doesn’t understand but has no desire to be in. She portrays the loss so eloquently not only of her son but also her life and the isolation of not understanding a word anyone is saying to her.

It surprised me during the Q&A when the director told us that they shot the film in just 17 days. Amazing to think how much they captured on film in such a short amount of time.

If any of you get the chance to see this film, then don’t hesitate, the likes of this don’t come around very often. It was also a joy to watch it at the BFI with such a receptive audience. It was very funny as there were a lot of Chinese/Mandarin speakers in the audience who got some of the jokes before we did because we had to rely on the subtitles.

A wonderful film to start the festival and we are so glad we were given tickets to attend.

If you go and see any of the other screenings we would love to hear what you thought of them.

I would like to thank American Airlines for inviting us to the event.

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