The film festival and organisation at the forefront of Britain’s contemporary filmic life returns next month from the 7 – 18 October with its best programme yet. The 59th BFI London Film Festival will see an extensive range of pre-eminent British and international films screened across London, comprising 240 fiction and documentary features and 182 live action and animated shorts.
The programme features a variety of impressive discursive events conducted with film professionals, from the industry’s top directors to its best cast and crew and includes ScreenTalks, interviews, Q&A’s and a brand new programme Industry Talks: LFF Connects. As always, the festival’s line-up is arranged into thematic clusters so audiences can ascertain their preferred screenings in optimum time and perhaps even allow them to explore a different genre of film, expanding the festival’s diverse audience.
LFF’s Experimenta showcase, in its third year partnering with LUX and funded by Arts Council England, celebrates experimental cinema and artists moving image. The strand screens films and videos by artists and seeks to transform our experiences and perceptions, asking us to deconstruct what we perceive the function of film is, and to question what it can do.
This year’s Experimenta presentation screens Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s epic The Forbidden, a highly fantastical, absurdist piece in both its visuals and narrative, that experiments with super-imposition and odd intertitles. The Forbidden blends the charisma of silent film with a psychedelic colour palette and explores all levels, vistas and dark corners of the human psyche, and is described as being enough to cause delirious pleasure in any avid cinephile.
Experimenta will be screening an extensive collection of films from across the world. This includes the world premieres of William English’s Heated Gloves, an exploration of the life of an oddball inventor; Miranda Pennell’s The Host, in which the director traces and meditates on the narrative of her colonial past; Ben Rivers’ THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS, which uses the splendour of Morocco’s vistas as a catalyst to explore the formation of cinema’s unreal world; and Event for the Stage by Tacita Dean, a documentation of four unusual staged performances starring actor Stephen Dillane.
Experimenta’s programme also includes three eclectic European premieres. Omer Fast’s thriller Remainder is a new adaptation of Todd McCarthy’s critically acclaimed novel starring Tom Sturridge. Invention by Mark Lewis experiments with visual effects and transcends the limitations of camera movement, creating intimate and individual cinematic narratives of Toronto, Paris and São Paolo. While Kevin Jerome Everson’s Park Lanes exposes the undetected details in the average day of a bowling alley worker. In total 19 films of brilliantly diverse genre and styles are being shown as part of Experimenta.
The BFI London Film Festival begins on Wednesday 7 October with the European Premiere of Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Romola Garai and Anne-Marie Duff.
BFI London Film Festival, 7 – 18 October, various venues across London.
Find out more: www.bfi.org.uk/lff.
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