Our top 10 of what to watch at the London Film Festival
The UK’s most influential filmmaking event of the year – the BFI London Film Festival running from 8-19th October 2014 is almost here!
BFI members will be able to buy tickets to the festival from 10am on 11th September, with the general public being able to purchase tickets from 18th September. Lucky Met Film School BA Practical Filmmaking students will be able to take advantage of their student accreditation to see a selection of films and events at discounted prices and will gain free admission to some festival events. As ever, the choice of films is incredible, with 248 feature films and 148 short films screening….
To help you choose what to see from this year’s extensive movie selection here are our top 10 tips!
1. Foxcatcher (USA) Featuring an all star cast including Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Steve Carell rendered almost unrecognizable with a prosthetic nose, this has Oscar nomination written all over it. Director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) brings this real-life story of wrestling world champions Dave and Mark Shultz’s doomed relationship with their millionaire benefactor John E du Pont to life electrically.
2. Wild Tales (Argentina-Spain) With brothers Pedro and Agustín Almodovar involved as producers, its easy to guess that this film will be have something special.Director Damián Szifrón brings together a crazy collection of loan sharks, road-rage drivers, dodgy lawyers, corrupt politicians, cheating husbands and traffic wardens in this eclectic black comedy set in Argentina.
3. The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom (China-Hong Kong) Fans of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon will immediately fall in love with this epic fantasy tale. It features amazing action sequences in tandem with a bold and enigmatic love story. Director Jacob Cheung’s grandiose tale of intrigue and the supernatural in the last days of the Ming Dynasty literally bursts off the screen with creativity energy and passion.
Still from White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom, Sales Workshop (HK) Ltd
4. Whiplash (USA) The sheer fearlessness of this movie will leave you stunned. Director Damien Chazelle, builds this superb film about the relationship a teacher and his musical prodigy, as if it were edge of your seat thriller. Andrew Neyman is the ambitious musician pushed beyond his abilities to breaking point. This is a definite must see.
5 .Eden (France) Films like 24 hour party people encapsulated the 90s dance scene in the UK, but here finally is a movie that captures the passion of the French house explosion, that gave birth to names such as Daft Punk, St. Germain et al. Spanning 2 decades this film follows the story of aspiring DJ Paul, as he brings France’s take on house to the world. With locations from Paris to Chicago this is musical panorama is set to the beats of a Frankie Knuckles mix.
6. 71 (UK) This audacious drama set on the violent streets of Belfast of 1971 could potentially be the most impressive British films of the year. Jack O’Connell follows his critically acclaimed performance in last year’s Starred Up with his portrayal of a squaddie straight out of training thrown into the middle of riot torn 71 Belfast. He’s cut adrift from his companions and reliant on the volatile and unreliable aid of the Loyalist milita. Watch this if you want a stone cold masterclass in the art of suspense!
7. Margarita, with a Straw (India) This film could not be any further away from the typical Bollywood blockbuster with it’s tale of the pursuit of love by this very unconventional female lead. Kalki Koechlin delivers a stereotype busting performance about a Punjabi teenage girl with cerebral palsy whose academic brilliance takes her to the USA, where she forms a relationship with a young Pakistani, making her confront her emotional ties old and new. Based on a true story.
8. Timbuktu (France-Mauritania) Director Abderrahmane Sissako brings brilliance and artistry to a tale about the temporary occupation of northern Timbuktu by militant Islamist Jihadists in 2014. Filmed both in Mauritania and Mali itself, the film examines how local people coped with everyday activities being turned upside down, with the imposition of radical Sharia law and explores how people find their own way of bending the rules to survive.
Still from Timbuktu, UK distribution Artifical Eye
9.Phoenix (Germany) Director Christian Petzold, a leading light in today’s German cinema brings us a visually and emotionally arresting feature that ripples mistrust and restlessness. A concentration camp survivor undergoes reconstructive surgery to deal with disfiguring injuries she suffered in the camp. She returns to life in post war Germany and embarks on a search to find the husband that betrayed her to the Nazis. Hidden behind a new face, her husband doesn’t recognize her leading to disturbing implications for all.
10. London Calling (UK) Let’s not forget that the London Film Festival is also an opportunity to see some of the best short films around. London Calling brings together the city’s emerging filmmaking talent who offer a heady picture of life in 21st century multi-cultural London. With shorts covering everything from challenging racial stereotypes to daytime raves there’s plenty to keep even the most demanding movie fan entertained!