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BFI London Film Festival 2018: 30 films you need to see

BFI London Film Festival 2018: 30 films you need to see

Loud And Clear

The BFI London Film Festival is opening on Wednesday, October 10 and the programme is impressive to say the least. We tried to come up with a Top 10 must-see list, but there are just too many great films you need to watch: here are our thirty (yes, thirty!) recommendations.


The 62nd BFI London Film Festival is about to start, and we can’t wait to see with our own eyes what this year’s edition has in store for us. The expectations are high, as the programme lists a total of 225 feature films and 150 shorts, representing 77 countries. In a few days’ time, various venues in Central London will host 22 World premieres, 9 International premieres, 160 UK premieres and 27 European premieres, at what is without a doubt one of the most accessible film festivals in the world.

The festival will run from Wednesday 10 October till Sunday 21 October 2018, and there are still several screenings with tickets available to buyHead to the official website to explore the programme, and don’t forget to have a look at the special events to find out more about the Screen Talks with directors and cast members.

Need recommendations? Check out our list below, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we will be posting updates and live tweets from the festival.



GALAS AND SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

HEADLINE GALAS, STRAND GALAS and SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS



WIDOWS

(OPENING NIGHT GALA)

Director: Steve McQueen
with Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell / UK-USA / 130’ / Twentieth Century Fox, Regency Enterprises, See-Saw Films, Film4

Widows
 Widows (Twentieth Century Fox)

When: Opening Night Premiere : Wednesday 10 October 19:45 at Embankment Garden Cinema (sold out), other screenings: Thursday 11 October 14:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema and Friday 12 October 20:40 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road

Why:
It’s been seven years since Academy Award winner Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave )‘s first visit to the London Film Festival with his deeply moving portrayal of a sex addict (Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan), and the expectations are high. Set in Chicago in the present day, Steve McQueen’s Widows is the adaptation of Lynda LaPlante’s 1980s British TV show and tells the story of four women (Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo and Oscar-winner Viola Davis) from different racial, social and financial backgrounds who join forces after their husbands’ death due to their criminal activities. Co-written by McQueen and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and co-produced with Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech), the film’s impressive list of cast members also includes Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Jacki Weaver

McQueen had been wanting to “make a female-driven film” since he first came to Hollywood and realised “how many talented actresses weren’t working”. After having witnessed the delicate but poignant way with which he tackled important social issues in his previous works, we can’t wait to be mesmerised by Widows



STAN & OLLIE

(CLOSING NIGHT GALA)

Director: Jon S Baird
with Steve Coogan, John C Reilly, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston / UK 2018 / 97’ / Entertainment One 

stan and ollie
Stan & Ollie (Entertainment One)

When: Closing Night Premiere: Sunday 21 October 19:45 at Embankment Garden Cinema (sold out); other screenings: Sunday 21 October at 20:45 Curzon Mayfair 

Why:
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are Laurel & Hardy in John s Baird’s bittersweet account of the comedy double act’s farewell tour across the UK and Ireland. The London Film Festival’s Closing Film is a heart-warming, affectionate tale that will help you re-discover the world’s most popular comedy duo and make you fall in love with them all over again.



SUSPIRIA

(HEADLINE GALA)

Director: Luca Guadagnino
with Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Chloë Grace Moretz / Italy / 155’ / Amazon Studios

suspiria
 Dakota Johnson as Susie and the dancers in Suspiria (Amazon Studios)

When: Tuesday 16 October 19:00 at Cineworld Leicester Square and 20:05 Embankment Garden Cinema, Wednesday 17 October 11:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Friday 19 October 20:20 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road

Why:
Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic horror is the director’s most ambitious film to date and so much more than a horror film. This visually stunning work of art features incredible performances by its impressive cast members – including an exceptional Tida Swinton, who will surprise you in more than one way, and Dakota Johnson and Mia Goth’s best performances to date

Guadagnino’s clever analysis of human nature was a favourite of ours at this year’s Venice Film Festival (Click here to read our Full Review!): you don’t want to miss it.



BEAUTIFUL BOY

(HEADLINE GALA)

Director: Felix van Groeningen
with Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan / USA / 112’ / Amazon Studios, Studiocanal

Steve Carell, Maura Tierney, Timothée Chalamet, Oakley Bull and Christian Convery star in Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios)

When:  Saturday 13 October 18:00 and 20:45 at Cineworld Leicester Square, Sunday 14 October 11:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Tuesday 16 October 18:00 at Cinelumiere

Why:
Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) are father and son in this story of a family who deals with the difficulties of overcoming drug addiction. Based on both journalist David Sheff and his son Nic Sheff’s memoirs, this important and heartbreaking story was well-received at the Toronto Film Festival and is also going to be shown at the Rome Film Festival later this month. Felix van Groeningen’s tale of survival is a story that needed to be told, and definitely one that will make you think.



THE FAVOURITE

(AMERICAN EXPRESS GALA)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn / Ireland-UK-USA / 120’ / Fox Searchlight Pictures

 Rachel Weisz as Lady Sarah in The Favourite (Fox Searchlight Pictures) 

When: Thursday 18 October 19:15 at Cineworld Leicester Square and 20:15 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Friday 19 October 14:20 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 21 October 12:30 at Curzon Mayfair Cinema

Why:
Olivia Colman won a well-deserved Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her exceptional portrayal of Queen Anne, Great Britain’s last monarch of the Stuart House, in Yorgos Lanthimos’s first period drama. The film also stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone as the Queen’s long-standing friend and lover Lady Sarah Churchill and newcomer Abigail Masham, who become rivals to win Her Majesty’s affections. Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is an acquired taste, and his The Favourite is both entertaining and bizarre, but it’s also his best film to date. Click here to read our full review: you will be intrigued.



THE FRONT RUNNER

(THE MAY FAIR GALA)

Director: Jason Reitman
with Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons / USA / 105’ / Sony Pictures

Hugh Jackman as Senator Hart in The Front Runner (Sony Pictures)

When: Sunday 14 October 19:15 at Cineworld Leicester Square and 21:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Monday 15 October 11:45 Embankment Garden Cinema

Why:
Jason Reitman’s new political drama is based on Matt Bai,’s book All the Truth is Out and follows the rise and fall of charismatic politician Senator Hart (Hugh Jackman), front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until a story came out of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. Also starring JK Simmons as Hart’s campaign manager,  the film received positive reviews at the Toronto Film Festival last month, where it was praised for raising questions on the nature of journalism. We can’t wait to see Hugh Jackman tackle this challenging role: the Oscar nominee’s attendance at the festival has already been confirmed, so this is a Gala you don’t want to miss.



WILD ROSE

(THE MAY FAIR GALA)

Director: Tom Harper
with Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Julie Walters / UK / 101’ / Entertainment One

  Jesse Buckley as Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose (Entertainment One)

When: Monday 15 October 18:10 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Tuesday 16 October 14:15 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Saturday 20 October15:30 at Curzon Mayfair 

Why:
Jessie Buckley stars as 23 year old Rose-Lynn Harla, a talented singer who wants to get out of Glasgow and become a country music star in Nashville. But Rose is also a single mum fresh out of prison, and can’t afford to dream without thinking of her responsibilities.
Wild Rose is a feel-good film that originated from writer Nicole Taylor’s obsession with country music, but it’s also a clever reflection on modern motherhood with excellent performances from Buckley and the rest of the cast, including Julie Walters as Rose-Lynn’s mother and Sophie Okonedo as a benefactor. 



ROMA

(JOURNEY GALA)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
with Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira / Mexico / 125’ / Netflix

 Yalitza Aparicio and Marco Graf in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (Netflix)

When: Saturday 13 October 17:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 14 October 13:45 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Monday 15 October 18:00 Picturehouse Central

Why:
Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón takes us back to 1970s Mexico Cityand brings us on a beautiful, complex, emotional journey by drawing inspiration from his own childhood memories. The director’s most autobiographical film so far is also his best one to this date, and was a favourite of ours at this year’s London Film Festival: click here to read our full review and… What are you waiting for? Get yourself a ticket!



THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE

(LAUGH GALA)

Director: Terry Gilliam
with Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro / Spain-France-Belgium-Portugal / 132’ / Alacran Pictures, Tornasol, Kinology 

 Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote(Kinology)

When: Tuesday 16 October 17:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Wednesday 17 October 14:30 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Saturday 20 October 20:15 at Picturehouse Central

Why:
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was well received at the 71st Festival de Cannes in May, where it was chosen as the Closing Night Film, and we couldn’t have been happier for Terry Gilliam! The success is long overdue and well-deserved, as the production for this movie started in 1989, and was then postponed by a series of catastrophes – including floods and the death of the original actors that had been cast for the role (John Hurt and Jean Rochefort). The director’s imaginative adaptation of Cervantes’ classic tale stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård, and is definitely a must-see at the festival.



THE WHITE CROW

(CREATE GALA)

Director: Ralph Fiennes
with Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann / UK-Serbia-France / 122’ / Sony Pictures, HanWay Films

  Oleg Ivenko in The White Crow (Sony Pictures/HanWay Films)

When: Thursday 18 October 17:15 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Friday 19 October 11:30 Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 21 October 15:15 at Curzon Mayfair

Why:
Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes steps behind the camera again after his revenge period drama Coriolanus (2001) and his Dickens biopic The Invisible Woman (2013). This time he takes us back to 1960s Paris, where young Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (played by Ukrainian dancer Oleg Ivenko) is sent to at the height of the Cold War. The director joins forces with screenwriter David Hare (The Hours), who takes inspiration from Julie Kavanagh’s biography to give us a unique, emotional portrayal of a brilliant man and a story that is ultimately about discovery, rebellion and freedom. Click here to read our full review.



IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

(LOVE GALA)

Director: Barry Jenkins
with KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King / USA / 119’ / Annapurna Pictures, Entertainment One

 Kiki Layne and Stephan James in If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)

When: Saturday 20 October 17:30 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 21 October 11:00 at Embankment Garden Cinema and 18:00 at Picturehouse Central

Why:
Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins’ first film since Moonlight (2016) is told through the eyes of Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne), a 19 year-old African-American pregnant girl who finds herself fighting for her boyfriend (Stephan James)’s freedom as he is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Based on James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk is an intimate and empowering love story that deals with important issues, and we can’t wait for its European premiere in London.  



ASSASSINATION NATION

(CULT GALA)

Director: Sam Levinson
with Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bella Thorne / USA / 110’ / Universal Pictures

Odessa Young, Hari Nef, Abra and Suki Waterhouse in Assassination Nation(Universal Pictures)

When: Friday 19 October 21:30 at Cineworld Leicester Square, Saturday 20 October 14:30 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 21 October 20:30 at Prince Charles Cinema

Why:
Universal Pictures’s intriguing synopsys describes Assassination Nation as “a movie for absolutely right now”. Sam Levinson’s modern-day Salem witch trials take place at a high school, in a digital world of selfies and social networks. Assassination Nation follows high-school seniors Lily (Odessa Young), Bex (Hari Nef), Em (Abra) and Sarah (Suki Waterhouse) as they deal with a data hack that affected the whole town. This loss of privacy results in complete anarchy, in a film that is as gorey as it is satirical and whose own Trigger Warning lets us know from the very beginning that there will be: “bullying, classism, death, drinking, drug use, sexual content, toxic masculinity, homophobia, transphobia, guns, nationalism, racism, kidnapping, the male gaze, sexism, swearing, torture, violence, gore, weapons and fragile male egos”. 

We are intrigued. Aren’t you? Click here to read our full review.



MAKE ME UP

(SPECIAL PRESENTATION)

Director: Rachel Maclean

with Rachel Maclean, Christina Gordon, Colette Dalal Tchantcho / UK / 84’ / Hopscotch Films

Make Me Up: Trailer (Hopscotch Films)

When: Friday 12 October 18:30 and Sunday 14 October 12:45 at BFI Southbank

Why:
Make Me Up is a dystopian tale set in a future in which women attend a reality show-like beauty clinic owned by an ambiguous man called Figurehead and have to follow a series of harsh rules to remove all imperfections and attain the ideal of what “beauty” is perceived to be. Leading characters Siri and Alexa are lucky enough to receive a unicorn-style makeover, but things begin to change as the two friends start realising that some of the girls have gone missing. Make Me Up is a satirical comedy but also a new kind of “sci-fi horror film” that makes us question the rules of our society.



THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (EP. 1 and 2)

(SPECIAL PRESENTATION)

Director: Park Chan-wook
with Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh / UK / 120’ / BBC

 Florence Pugh and Alexander Skarsgård in The Little Drummer Girl  (BBC)

When: Sunday 14 October 17:00 and Monday 15 October 14:30 at Embankment Garden Cinema

Why:
The team who gave us the brilliant TV series The Night Manager (starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie) is back with a sophisticated espionage show set in the 1970s starring Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon and Florence Pugh. The first two episodes are going to be shown at the festival, and we already know they will make us want to binge watch the whole series.



PETERLOO

(SPECIAL PRESENTATION)

Director: Mike Leigh
with Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell / UK / 155’ / Entertainment One

 Peterloo: Teaser Trailer (Amazon Studios / Entertainment One)

When: Wednesday 17 October 18:30 at Home, Manchester and Friday 19 October 18:00 at BFI Southbank

Why:
Internationally acclaimed Oscar-nominated director Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky) is bringing another historical drama to London. This Venice Film Festival favourite is about the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 in which a peaceful crowd of 80,000 people who had gathered in Manchester to demand a democratic reform was attacked and massacred by the goverment’s army. Even though Peterloo is about one of the bloodiest events in British history (and one that seems to have been forgotten by many), this insightful reflection on the consequences of power is extremely relevant to our times.



IN COMPETITION:

OFFICIAL, FIRST FEATURE AND DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION 



DESTROYER

(OFFICIAL COMPETITION)

Director: Karyn Kusama
with Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Tatiana Maslany / USA / 118’ / Annapurna Pictures, Rocket Science

  Nicole Kidman stars as Erin Bell in Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer (Annapurna Pictures)

When: Sunday 14 October 20:30 and 21:00 at Vue Leicester Sq, Monday 15 October  12:00 and 12:30 at Vue Leicester Sq, Saturday 20 October 20:45 at Cine Lumiere

Why:
Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Girlfight )’s latest project is a crime thriller starring Nicole Kidman Erin Bell, a LAPD detective who becomes obsessed with chasing an old nemesis, played by Toby Kebbell (War for the Planet of the Apes, A Monster Calls), hoping to fight off the ghosts from her past and find redemption. The director describes Destroyer as a ” ‘woman-against-herself’ story” which is ultimately a “character study” that forces us to “confront our own personal ‘destroyers’ ” and make “the brave decision to be accountable for (our) actions“. We can’t wait to see Nicole Kidman tackle this challenging role, joined by her co-stars Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Infinity War, I, Tonya), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Bradley Whitford (The Post, Get Out). 



THE OLD MAN & THE GUN

(OFFICIAL COMPETITION)

Director: David Lowery
with Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek / USA / 93’ / Fox Searchlight Pictures

  Robert Redford in The Old Man and the Gun (Eric Zachanowich © 2018
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

When: Friday 12 October 20:45 and 21:15, Saturday 13 October 12:00 and 12:30 at Vue Leicester Sq, Saturday 20 October 18:00 at Curzon Mayfair Cinema

Why:
The Old Man & The Gun is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), who escaped from San Quentin at the age of 70 and embarked on a series of bank robberies that impressed not only the public, but also a woman (Sissy Spacek) and the very same detective (John Hunt, played by Casey Affleck) who is supposed to be chasing him. David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story)’s new film is highly anticipated, and we are looking forward to seeing Robert Redford in his comfort zone as he plays another fascinating rebel.



WILDLIFE

(FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION)

Director: Paul Dano
with Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould / USA / 104’ / Kaleidoscope Entertainment

Wildlife: Official Trailer (Kaleidoscope Entertainment)

When: Saturday 13 October 20:45 at Picturehouse Central, Sunday 14 October 12:45 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Monday 15 October 15:30 at BFI Southbank

Why:
Paul Dano’s directorial debut is about a couple (Jeannette and Jerry, played by Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal) who moves to Montana with their teenage son Joe (Ed Oxenbould). But this “fresh start” soon becomes challenging, as Ed leaves to look for a job and Jeannette is left alone, trying to hide her unhappiness while looking after her son. Based on Richard Ford’s novel with the same name, Wildlife is an intense and emotional drama that gives both Mulligan and Gyllenhaal a chance to show off their incredible acting skills.



THE DAY I LOST MY SHADOW

(FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION)

Director: Soudade Kaadan
with Sawsan Erchied, Samer Ismael, Reham Alkassar / country / 94’ / Stray Dogs

The Day I Lost My Shadow (Stray Dogs) 

When: Sunday 14 October 18:00 at Curzon Soho Cinema, Monday 15 October 15:30 at Vue Leicester Sq, Tuesday 16 October 15:00 at BFI Southbank

Why:
Soudade Kaadan’s moving tale of a woman who raises her son in a country at war hasn’t been released yet but has already won the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The Day I Lost My Shadowtakes place in Syria in 2012 and follows leading character Sana as she embarks on a journey to the outskirts of Damascus, right in the middle of a war zone, to find fuel so she can prepare her eight-year-old son a meal. Sana’s trip uncovers a world she didn’t know before, and we discover it with her in this important and emotional tale.



WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE?

(DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION)

Director: Roberto Minervini
Italy-USA-France / 100’ / OKTA Film/The Match Factory

What You’re Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? (OKTA Film/The Match Factory) 

When: Monday 15 October 18:00 at Curzon Soho Cinema, Tuesday 16 October 20:30 at Rich Mix Cinema

Why:
Multi-award winner director Roberto Minervini comes back to the London Film Festival after his success at Cannes (Stop The Pounding Heart, 2013 and Louisiana: The Other Side, 2015) with a film that already scored five awards at the Venice Film Festival last monthMinervini’s way of shooting a documentary is truly unique, as he develops a story by observing a community for a long period of time and then selecting certain moments to create a different story, which is both documentary and fiction, but still uncovers the truth.

What You’re Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?  follows the same logic as Louisiana: The Other SideHis previous project looked at Louisiana and gave us a hard look into a violent, drug-addicted and war obsessed AmericaWhat You’re Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?  is another clever critique of the American Dream, but this time the director chose to look at African American communities in the outskirts of New Orleans. Minervini introduces us to singer Judy Hill and her family, young brothers Ronaldo and Titus, Chief Kevin of the Mardi Gras Indians and the Black Panthers, in an important story that uncovers injustices and encourages us to protest against racism and discrimination. 
Click here to read our interview with Roberto Minervini.

See Also



STRANDS

TOP 10



THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

(DEBATE STRAND)

Director: Sara Colangelo
with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García Bernal, Michael Chernus / USA / 96’ / Pie Films, Maven Pictures, PaperChase Films

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Parker Sevak in The Kindergarten Teacher (Pie Films)

When: Thu 18 October 20:45 at Picturehouse Central, Sat 20 Oct 18:00 at Cine Lumiere

Why:
In Sara Colangelo’s psychological thrillerMaggie Gyllenhaal is given the chance to play one of those much needed and sought-after female leading roles in today’s film industry, as her character is a complex, strong, multifaceted woman. Lisa Spinelli is a mediocre Staten Island teacher who discovers a five year-old student in her class who has a talent for poetry, and becomes dangerously obsessed with nurturing his gift. In the director’s own words, The Kindergarten Teacher is about a woman who is on “an earnest, well-meaning, but twisted quest to deliver a young poet to the world” and who, realising she “can’t fulfill her own artistic ambitions” on her own, “decides she will do it through her student”. This nuanced, flawed role is perfect for Academy Award nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has been playing complex female characters for over a decade, and the BFI rightly describes her portrayal of Lisa Spinelli as a “career-best performance”.   Click here to read our full review.

Side events
Maggie Gyllenhaal will also attend a Screen Talk at the BFI Southbank on Friday 19 October.



FREEDOM FIELDS

(DEBATE STRAND)

Director: Naziha Arebi
Libya-UK-Netherlands-USA-Lebanon-Qatar-Canada / 99’ / Wide House

Freedom Fields (Wide House) 

When: Thursday 11 October 18:15 at ICA Cinema, Friday 12 Oct 15:30 BFI Southbank

Why:
Filmed over five years, Naziha Arebi’s Freedom Fields follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends into civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. This inspiring documentary was described as “a love letter to sisterhood and the power of the team” and was a success at the Toronto Film Festival, where it had its international premiere. Its UK premiere at the London Film Festival is going to happen on the International Day of The Girl, and we couldn’t have thought of a better day.



FLORIANOPOLIS DREAM (“Sueño Florianópolis”)

(LAUGH STRAND)

Director: Ana Katz
with Mercedes Morán, Gustavo Garzón, Marco Ricca / Argentina-Brazil-France / 106’ / Film Factory Entertainment

Florianopolis Drram (Film Factory Entertainment)

When: Wednesday 17 October 18:15 at Curzon Mayfair, Thursday 18 October 15:30 at Vue Leicester Sq

Why:
Ana Katz gives us a comedy about an Argentine family going on holiday to a popular beach destination. Psychologists Lucrecia and Pedro, who have been defining their relationship as “technical separated” for months, take their teenage son and daughter, Julian and Flor, to Brazil, where they rent a house from a man called Marco and befriend his family. Florianopolis Dream is a liberating coming of age comedy with unexpected twists that will surprise you and make you dream, but also invite you to make a deeper reflection on the nature of identity and social conventions. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.



SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

(LAUGH STRAND)

Director: Boots Riley
with Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, Armie Hammer / USA / 111’ / Universal Pictures

  Sorry to Bother You (Universal Pictures)

When: Thursday 11 October 18:10 at BFI Southbank, Friday 12 October 14:15 at Embankment Garden Cinema, Sunday 14 October 17:30 at Vue Leicester Sq

Why:
Boots Riley’s dystopian satire is set in an alternate version of Oakland and follows a salesman (Lakeith Stanfield) who is invited to use his “white voice” by an older colleague (Danny Glover) and starts succeeding at his job. This one-of-a-kind experience has been collecting positive reviews for months, and deserves all the praise it can get.



TWO PLAINS & A FANCY

(LAUGH STRAND)

Director: Lev Kalman
with Benjamin Crotty, Laetitia Dosch, Marianna McClellan / USA / 89’ / Maudit Films

  Twi Plains and a Fancy (Maudit Films) 

When: Wednesday 17 October 21:00 at Prince Charles Cinema, Friday 19 October 15:30 at Vue Leicester Sq

Why:
Two Plains & a Fancy is set in remote Colorado in 1893 and follows a Dandy Watercolorist, a Mystic/Reformed Confidence Woman and a Lady Geologist from France as they look for the perfect hot spring spa. Lev Kalman’s latest project was described by the BFI as “The world’s first psychedelic Spa Western” (source), and we can’t wait to find out exactly what this means. 



THE BILL MURRAY STORIES: LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MYTHICAL MAN

(LAUGH STRAND)

Director: Tommy Avallone
USA / 72’ / Double Windsor Film

  The Bill Murray Stories (Double Windsor Film)

When: Wednesday 10 October 21:10 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Thursday 11 October 15:30 at BFI Southbank, Saturday 20 October 15:30 at Prince Charles Cinema

Why:
The full title of this film – The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man – really says it all. The 68 year old man that we have all come to love in Ghostbusters, who made us laugh with his “for relaxing times, make it Suntory time” slogan in Lost In Translation and gave us important life lessons in Groundhog Day is the very same man who randomly decided to sing karaoke with strangers, serve customers at a bar in Austin, crash a kickball game in the middle of the afternoon and do the washing up at a house party in Scotland. Tommy Avallone’s documentary shows that these anecdotes are not just urban legends but accounts of what actually happened, and proves it with rare and never-before seen footage. Bill Murray’s way of interacting with people demonstrates that he truly is a “mythical man”, and that we have a lot to learn from him. Click here to read our full review.



BAD REPUTATION

(CREATE STRAND)

Director: Kevin Kerslake
with actors / USA / 95’ / Magnolia Pictures

 Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna in BAD REPUTATION (Magnolia Pictures) 

When: Saturday 13 October 18:15 at Prince Charles Cinema, Sunday 14 October 13:00 at Curzon Soho

Why:
Kevin Kerslake’s documentary on Joan Jett’s road to stardom was a Sundance Film Festival favourite. The film features interviews from the singer’s closest friends (including Iggy Pop, Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, Miley Cyrus, Debbie Harry, Nikki Haley, Kristen Stewart and Pete Townhsend) and rare archival footage of the band. The director made this film to show that “Joan Jett is the essence of rock and roll” and “so much more than ‘I Love Rock ’n’ Roll’.“: Bad Reputation is a tribute to a rock n’roll icon who always remained true to herself and never let others define her, and definitely a must-see on the big screen.

And the good news is… When you get home after the screening, you can watch it again! Bad Reputation is already available on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Youtube and even more streaming services: check out the official website for more details.



VOX LUX

(CREATE STRAND)

Director: Brady Corbet
with Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy / USA / 110’ / Bold Films/Killer Films/Andrew Lauren Productions

  Natalie Portman in Vox Lux (Bold Films/Killer Films/Andrew Lauren Productions)

When: Monday 15 October 17:15 and Tuesday 16 October 17:50 at Vue Leicester Sq

Why:
Oscar winner Natalie Portman plays pop superstar Celeste, a broken soul whose rise to stardom is directly connected to a Columbine-style high school massacre she happened to witness and survive as a teenager. When she sings a song with her sister (Stacy Martin) at the memorial service and meets a music manager (Jude Law), she becomes a celebrity and is transformed into a completely different person.

We were captivated by Brady Corbet’s unique and clever film at the Venice Film Festival (Click here to read our Full Review!), and we promise it’s one you won’t forget. 



SAUVAGE 

(DARE STRAND)

Director: Camille Vidal-Naquet
with Félix Maritaud, Eric Bernard, Nicolas Dibla / France / 99’ / Peccadillo Pictures

  Borderline (Peccadillo Pictures)

When: Friday 12 Oct 18:00 at Picturehouse Central, Sat 13 Oct 20:45 at Cine Lumiere

Why:
Sauvage is the story of a 22 year old sex worker who sells his body for money but really only wants to be loved. This delicate, introspective tale of loneliness and survival is moving and raw, and leading actor Félix Maritaud’s excellent performance already earned him the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.



THE SISTERS BROTHERS 

(JOURNEY STRAND)

Director: Jacques Audiard
with John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal / France-Spain-Belgium / 120’ / Annapurna Pictures

 Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly in The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna Pictures)

 Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly in The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna Pictures)

When: Friday 19 October 20:30 at Empire Haymarket, Saturday 20 October 11:20 at Cineworld Leicester Square, Sunday 21 October 10:30 at Vue Leicester Sq

Why:
Based on Patrick Dewitt’s novel of the same name, The Sisters Brothers is a dark comedy that takes place in Oregon in 1851, in which the two brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix and John C.Reilly), are chasing a gold prospector (Riz Ahmed) with the help of an associate (Jake Gyllenhaal). This Venice Film Festival hit was hilarious and ironic: you should expect a western which isn’t really a western, with unforgettable characters and laugh-out-loud moments.

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