Yesterday saw the reveal of not just the sexy new logo for the BFI London Film Festival 2015 but the full line-up of films. Which is more important I will leave up to you. The festival takes place in various London venues from 7th to 18th October 2015 with booking for members opening on 10th September and for the general public from the 17th. The full list of films can be found at the BFI website while below I have chosen one film from each strand of the festival. The films below constitute my gut reaction as to which films are the most exciting.
In the Room
Spread across many decades but set within one hotel room this film promises to explore love and lust through numerous encounters in just the one room. What better way to explore love than by examining what happens behind closed doors between couples?
My Scientology Movie
Louis Theroux turns his sceptical gaze towards the church of Scientology in a film that has caused sufficient debate to cause the church to film their own opposing documentary about Theroux. Come for the film and stay for the likely protesting Scientologists.
Yorgos Lanthimos has impressed with his previous efforts Dogtooth and Alps so arrives at his third feature with great expectations. Set in a world in which singletons are given just less than two months to find love this romantic thriller caused a big stir at Cannes and is high on my watch list.
Live from New York!
Standing out for me in the comic strand of the festival is this documentary on the history of Saturday Night Live. As a fan of the show I relish the opportunity to get behind the scenes and see how the show that launched a thousand careers is made.
The Ones Below
The best thrillers can turn the mundane into the exhilarating and what is more mundane but intriguing than new neighbours moving in downstairs? So it is for a wealthy couple who invite their new neighbours around for dinner only to experience a tragic accident.
With Star Wars fever reaching a new peak there is no better time to enjoy a documentary featuring ten anonymous individuals who appeared as extras in those early George Lucas films. More a character study than behind the scenes exposé this looks to be a sweet documentary.
Ruined Heart: Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore
I can’t resist a lengthy title and a confusing synopsis so how can I not be drawn towards a film described as a “kaleidoscope of sex, violence and crime” with a “banging soundtrack at its core”. The idea of someone at the BFI using the term “banging” is charming enough on its own.
I’ve heard very mixed reactions towards this film coming out of other film festivals but any film giving older actors a chance to be centre stage again is OK in my book. With Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in the lead roles Youth threatens to be a lot of fun.
When Marnie Was There
As part of their family friendly selection of films the BFI have included what may well be the final film from Studio Ghibli. How can you not watch it? This is history in the making.
The Stuff of Film
I have had a mixed response to this challenging strand of the festival in the past. My previous coverage of the artistic shorts has previously resulted in angry emails and notes of thanks from artists; both from the same blog post. This collection of shorts which examine how we see the moving image promise to be as frustrating and fabulous as usual.