London Film Festival 2011 line-up announced
Time Out was first in the queue when the LFF announced this year's predictably diverse roster. Here are our personal picks from the capital's annual cinema jamboree
Unlike previous years, where key artistic or political trends have been easy to spot, it’s hard to define much of a pattern in this year’s LFF programme: the films range across every corner of the globe, covering hundreds of topics in every conceivable cinematic style.
As always, the big names are to be found in the Gala and Films on the Square strands, where Anthony Hopkins, star of opening film ‘360’, rubs shoulders with George Clooney, director of American Express Gala ‘The Ides of March’ and star of Centrepiece Gala ‘The Descendants’, and where fun Hollywood fluff like Roland Emmerich’s Elizabethan conspiracy thriller ‘Anonymous’ plays alongside the poetic realism of the Dardennes Brothers’s latest, ‘The Kid With a Bike’.
As always, the Time Out Gala Screening promises to be one of the highlights of the festival. Lynne Ramsay’s long-awaited adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s harrowing high-school massacre novel, ‘We Need To Talk about Kevin’, has wowed festival audiences worldwide, with particular attention being paid to Tilda Swinton’s phenomenal lead performance. Join us at the Curzon Mayfair on Oct 17 for the British premiere.
It’s hard to pick favourites from the programme, but in the Films on the Square strand alone there are a number of films Time Out staff have already seen and loved, including the riveting Sundance smash ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’, Mexican gangland thriller ‘Miss Bala’, Roman Polanski’s wallpaper-shredding theatrical drama ‘Carnage’ and Andrea Arnold’s poetic, lyrical take on ‘Wuthering Heights’.
Further down the programme, the New British Cinema selection looks particularly intriguing, with debut features from actor Dexter Fletcher (‘Wild Bill’) and Alexandra McGuinness (‘Lotus Eaters’), a new experimental direction for Richard Jobson with ‘The Somnambulists’ and, as usual, a new doc about a great British musician, this time the former Felt frontman in ‘Lawrence of Belgravia’.
The French Revolutions and Cinema Europa strands are equally diverse and impressive, ranging from Matthieu Kassovitz’s return to the confrontational style of ‘La Haine’ with ‘Rebellion’ to eagerly anticipated Swedish political doc ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975’, and from legendary director Chantal Akerman’s Joseph Conrad deconstruction ‘Almayer’s Folly’ to family-friendly animation with ‘A Cat in Paris’.
And matters get even more unpredictable in the World Cinema strand: here we find furious Indian rap stars (‘Asshole’) alongside ageing California skateboarders (‘Dragonslayer’), Tibetan pet thieves (‘Old Dog’) next to Canadian vigilantes (‘Superheroes’) while Chow Yun Fat and his wisecracking Chinese gangsters (‘Let the Bullets Fly’) mix with Ken Kesey and his psychedelic band of Merry Pranksters (‘Magic Trip’).
The London Film Festival runs October 12-27, and as always, Time Out’s own band of merry pranksters will be on hand to guide you through, offering first reviews of as many films as we can lay our hands on. Watch this space for our in-depth coverage, due to begin next week. For now we leave you with two of our writers’ top five most anticipated titles.
David Jenkins picks:1. Terence Davies’s ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ Britain’s greatest living filmmaker: discuss. Cannot wait to see what the master of memory has done with Terence Rattigan’s intense, old-school chamber piece. 2. Frederick Wiseman’s ‘Crazy Horse’ A personal filmmaking hero returns, and he’s taken his camera into a Parisian bongo club. What’s not to like? 3. Hong Sang-Soo’s ‘The Day He Arrives’ Word on this latest from South Korea’s answer to Eric Rohmer is that it’s one of his toughest and most obscure works to date. Wild dogs couldn’t keep me away. 4. Jafar Panahi’s ‘This Is Not A Film’ I’m very excited to see what this great Iranian filmmaker has been able to make while locked in the shackles of extreme state censorship. 5. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘I Wish’ The Japanese director of masterpieces like ‘Still Walking’ and ‘After Life’ returns with a new film about a pair of kids who reunite a family.
Tom Huddleston picks:1. Takashi Miike’s 'Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai'’13 Assassins’ was perhaps the highlight of last year’s festival for me, so I’m eager to see this similarly themed Shogun-era follow-up.2. Oren Moverman’s 'Rampart'I loved Moverman’s debut ‘The Messenger’, and this LA-set police procedural has a script by James Ellroy, so I can’t see how it could fail.3. Andrea Arnold’s 'Wuthering Heights'Arnold’s take on the great Yorkshire romance has been compared to Terrence Malick in its poetic lyricism.4. Goran Hugo-Olsson’s 'The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975'This doc about the rise and fall of the Black Power movement as seen through the eyes of Swedish journalists looks insightful and fascinating. 5. Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s 'Last Days Here'Another ’70s doc, this time about legendary doom-metal pioneers Pentagram and their phenomenally disturbed lead singer Bobby Liebling.
Author: Tom Huddleston
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