The View From Here

London Film Festival preview

Michael Bonner

To Leicester Square this morning, and the launch of this year’s London Film Festival. There’s always something of a guessing game, prior to the announcement of the line-up, about what’ll be showing. This year, for instance, I’d been hoping we might get John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Mickey Rourke’s apparently astonishing comeback in The Wrestler and Sam Mendes’ film of Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates' novel I recently read and thought was incredible.

No such luck as at least two of them aren't finished yet, but still – the line-up is pretty strong. There’s an artful of choice of marquee name movies mixed with some excellent left-field selections, a fantastic looking documentary about one of the great 60s folk singers and a film which, despite having the most unwieldy name in film history, will be one of the biggest hits of the year.

Here, then, in no particular order are the 10 films I'm most looking forward to at this year’s LFF.

The Brothers Bloom
As a huge fan of Rian Johnson’s debut, Brick, this crime caper about two sibling conmen played by Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo is definitely the film I'm most keen to see this year.

Ron Howard directs Michael Sheen and Frank Langhella in this snapshot of the famous interview Frost conducted in 1977 with the disgraced former President.

Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before
Starting with Bunyan’s 2006 performance at the Barbican, director Kieran Evans film loops back to trace the fascinating story of this reclusive icon of British folk.

Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Doctor Hunter S Thompson
This brilliant documentary captures the anarchic life and times of Thompson through archive footage and contemporary interviews.

Never one to shy from controversy, Oliver Stone examines how the errant, alcoholic son of a prestigious family managed to become the most powerful man on the planet…

Quantum Of Solace
An unexpected pleasure to find this in the festival. Monster’s Ball director Marc Forster picks up the story from Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig out for revenge.

Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen’s bold, Cannes-winning drama, based on the 1981 IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.

Two fims, in fact, from Steven Soderbergh, following Che Guevara’s rise from doctor to revolutionary hero and beyond, to his death. Benicio Del Toro stars.

The Baader Meinhof Complex
From Downfall screenwriter Bernd Eichinger and Last Exit To Brooklyn director Uli Edel, this promises to be a grimly compelling look at the 70s German terrorist organisation.

Syndecdoche, New York
Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, with theatre director Philip Seymour Hoffman trying to produce his masterpiece. Expect much weirdness.

The LFF runs from October 15 – 30; tickets and all the info you could possibly want can be found here.


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