LOCO, the London Comedy Film Festival is coming to an end this weekend for another year, and what a year it has been. Now in its 5th year, the festival is dedicated to showcasing the hottest new talent in comedy from across the globe and, of course, from Britain too.
There’s been plenty to get hooked into, a personal highlight for me was a 35mm screening of Drop Dead Gorgeous at the Prince Charles Cinema, screened in partnership with The Bechdel Test Fest. Fab to see this comedy classic on the big screen and the audience loved it.
Hot Property, the directorial debut from British writer/director Max McGill gets its World premiere this Sunday 1st May at the stylish Picturehouse Central and will close this year’s festival.
The film stars MyAnna Buring as Melody Munroe, a corporate spy who’s living the ultimate fantasy life – the only problem is that she is also using fantasy money to fund it.
After being fired for embezzlement, Melody is informed by her landlord that she has to move out unless she can come up with several thousand pounds in unpaid rent. This is the catalyst for the action: Melody’s mission is to defend her flat, which she loves more than anything, and save her lavish lifestyle from destruction.
Melody’s boyfriend, Harmony (see what they did there) is on the cusp of breaking into the hipster zeitgeist as an up and coming chef – his niche is that he makes food that deliberately tastes bad in order to make a statement about situations around the globe.
Hot Property is a dark satire of the current housing crisis in London as well as the current clickbait hipster bandwagon culture upon which we often jump. The buzzfeed generation looking for the next sharable article is gently mocked in the film, as is our current obsession with the latest new food trend. Melody comments that, ‘food is still the new food’ – perfectly encapsulating the current culture of the ever changing hipster trends surrounding food.
Gentrification (a very popular current buzzword), is thrown around as well to highlight the modern middle class generation that rebels against the aforementioned gentrification but also actively engages with, and often profits from, it – from the restaurant pop ups to the warehouse parties.
The stand out in this film is the performance from MyAnna Buring, who plays a woman on the brink of a mental breakdown as her life (or to be more precise, her flat) begins to crumble around her. Her means of clinging to her property are fairly insane; she stalks her nemesis online for dirt with which to prevent her from buying Melody’s flat.
Tom Rhys Harries also does a great job as her boyfriend Harmony and the scenes in which they are going up against the landlord and sabotaging viewings are the highlights for me.
At times the story feels a little disjointed as several plot threads come to a head and seem to fizzle out but overall the film is enjoyable and the comedy is dark and intelligent.