The UK’s largest film event returns from 9th until 20th October, and will be hosting over 300 films from all over the world in 21 venues across the capital. This year is as star-studded as any, and of course there will be some hidden gems and future cult classics to see too.
All the films to be shown are split into programme strands (Dare, Laugh Love, Cult, , which help attendees identify similar genres and themes when choosing what to see. There is also a variety of talks, short film screenings and three competitive sections with awards for best film, best first feature and best documentary announced at the closing ceremony. Each genre strand has a gala showing and it’s advisable for any film buff to check them out, though demand for tickets is incredibly high. Although the galas will sell out fast, the remainder of the programme is more than worth a watch too, and we’ve compiled some of our must-sees:
DARE: Films that highlight the capacity of humans to reach and surpass extremes, and aim to push us out of our comfort zones.
18th and 20th October
Stranger by the Lake – Alain Guiraudie. A no-holds-barred, sometimes graphic sexual thriller; won the Un Certain Regard best director award at Cannes this year.
10th, 13th and 15th October
As I Lay Dying – James Franco (director and star). This adaptation of the 1930 William Faulkner novel, with themes of loss and redemption, is one of Franco’s rare forays into directing and will be drawing significant attention.
LAUGH: All things humour, comprising of both feature films and shorts.
16th 17th and 20th October
Don Jon - Joseph Gordon Levitt (writer, director and star). A decidedly different romantic comedy centring around an attractive single guy with a strange addiction, this is The Looper actor’s first time directing a feature length film and it’s already had a warm reception from the critics
LOVE: For those in love and also those that have have loved and lost, this strand presents both traditional and subversive love stories.
14th and 17th October
Blue is The Warmest Colour – Abdellatif Kechiche. It seems hardly anyone has a bad word to say about this Sapphic love story based on a comic. It won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes and will be immensely popular.
10th, 11th and 20th October
The Spectacular Now – directed by James Ponsoldt. This coming of age/teen love story is getting rave reviews, with special attention being paid to the two lead actors Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.
CULT: Films that push boundaries of genre and tell stories outside of the norm.
19th and 20th October
Only Lovers Left Alive – Jim Jarmusch. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, a vampire couple reunite after years apart and lament the poor course that humanity has taken. Expect pithy dialogue and off-beat camera work from the Coffee and Cigarettes director.
10th, 11th and 12th October
The Congress – Ari Folman. Featuring the voice talents of Harvey Keitel, John Hamm and Paul Giamatti, a quirky and different animation from a highly commended director.
DOCUMENTARY: Factual films being entered into this year’s Grierson Award.
16th and 17th October
The Armstrong Lie – Alex Gibney. An interesting one to catch – originally meant to be a film following Lance Armstrong as he trained for his eighth Tour de France, it quickly became an exposé after the famous cyclist and cancer survivor admitted to doping and sparked a scandal.
TREASURES: As the name suggests, these are going to be a real treat! A glimmering collection of classics from around the world that have been lovingly restored in recent years.
The Epic of Everest (1924) - Captain John Noel. Restored by the BFI National Archive, a truly original work of documentary film that follows Andrew Irvine and George Mallory on their Everest attempt. Not only has it been restored, it will be accompanied by a live score composed by Simon Fisher Turner
La Belle et la Bête (1946) - John Cocteau. A rare chance to see this early interpretation of the popular folk tale. Cocteau was a master of Gothic cinema and gives the narrative the dark undertones it deserves. No singing candlesticks here!
Follow our daily reports from the London Film Festival here.
For further information about the 57th London Film Festival visit here.
Watch the trailer for the 57th London Film Festival here: