Documentary | UK
Why Lift-Off Programmed this Film:
We find that films of this nature tend to tow a common background – but many fail to deliver something as unique as Francis B. Griffin. It had a certain humanity which we have found lacking in many talking head based retrospective cinematic family tributes.
Our Global Audiences Responses:
Francis B. Griffin screened at every single Lift-Off Film Festival last year after winning London Lift-Off 2014. It scored high in most areas and sat brilliantly in all of our programmes. One of the comments on the scorecard at Amsterdam Lift-Off 2015 said “This old guy knows the secrets to life!”
Francis B. Griffin ends its epic run with Tokyo Lift-Off in April and we hope to be receiving (and hopefully screening) the next works from the brilliant director Paul Griffin, in the months and years to follow.
Immortalising the unique characters ones life has been privileged with, always seems from our submissions something executed in regretful hindsight.
Documentary filmmaking by numbers, ideas are short. Yet death gives artistic opportunity – an easy access to create. We see it a lot: after a person, a family member, has gone, the grandchild decides to build a project aimed usually at highlighting the lifetimes work, family and personal-philosophies of the subject: the loved one since departed.
Documentaries inspired by life, actioned by death. We find ourselves, as festival programmers, with these screening opportunities Lift-Off City by Lift-Off City. A regular entry, an exercise in emotional filmmaking, common in arrival yet unique in story. These documentaries told from beyond the grave are great, but we get a lot of them, inspiration can come from grief. But sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, these films tend to serve better as personal family mementos than an indie cinematic experience.
However, what is rare are the stories told by people prior to departure. A documentary with 100% primary evidence, told from – and by – the horses mouth. An ‘in their own words’ account of the documenting filmmakers subjects personal story to date. The highs, the lows, a detailed look into who that person is, what they did, why they did it and how they are coming to terms with the ultimate inevitable.
A character study of great detail, and a brilliant homage to a life lived and a philosophy gained. Francis B. Griffin caught our eye initially as a comedic account of an old fellas life as he talks about the love for his wife, his offspring and his ideology towards death. In its own right the film is a simple talking heads piece, neat in post production and light in any particular ‘heavy content’ – but why should it be? Too many films of this nature are doom and gloom yet this film celebrates life, through the eyes of one and it somehow gives the viewer a feeling of warmth and a tender tick towards the goodness of humanity. The films form is simple and structured with a clean and clear message…
“…relax, all of the time.”