Uncut presents the 10 must-see films at this year’s The Times BFI London Film Festival
The Proposition (Oct 26; 21.00/Oct 27; 13.00)
Director: John Hilcoat
Nick Cave’s maggoty, blood-splattered masterpiece is a savage existential western set in the Australian Outback with Guy Pearce, Danny Huston and Ray Winstone. Echoes of Peckinpah and Cormac McCarthy. Essential.
Major Dundee (Oct 30;13.00)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Incorporating 12 minutes of new footage, plus a newly-commissioned score and restored print, this is as close as we’re going to get to a Director’s Cut of Peckinpah’s post-Civil War Western.
Good Night, And Good Luck (Nov 3; 19.00)
Director: George Clooney
The Festival’s Closing Night film, this is based on the real-life confrontation between broadcaster Ed Murrow and Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. Clooney directs David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downey Jr.
Be Here To Love Me (Oct 25; 21.00/Oct 29/16.30)
Director: Margaret Brown
Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Steve Earle are just some of the names queuing up to pay tribute to Townes Van Zandt in this fascinating documentary charting the troubled life of one of America’s finest singer/songwriters.
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (Oct 22; 23.00)
Director: Park Chan-Wook
From the demented imaginings of Sympathy For Mr Vengeance and Oldboy director Chan-Wook comes the third part in his revenge trilogy. An ex-con is released from prison and sets out no an elaborate plan to destroy the life of her nemesis.
Walk The Line (Oct 27; 20.30/Oct 30; 12.30)
Director: James Mangold
Johnny Cash biopic, from Heavy and CopLand director Mangold. Joaquim Phoenix is superb as the Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon revelatory as June Carter. The Fulsome Prison scenes are extraordinary.
The Constant Gardener (Oct 19; 19.00/Oct 20; 12.45)
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Shooting the shanty towns of north Africa with the same vibrancy that he brought to bear on the favellas of Brazil in City Of God, Meirelles’ second film is a gripping conspiracy thriller starring Ralph Fiennes and Danny Huston.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Oct 28; 20.30/Oct 29; 15.30)
Director: Shane Black
From the man who gave us the Lethal Weapon series comes a funny, foul-mouthed action caper with con Robert Downey Jr and PI Val Kilmer teaming up to solve a murder in Hollywood. Whip-smart stuff.
New York Doll (Oct 22; 18.30/Oct 25; 16.00)
Director: Greg Whitely
Excellent doc charting the 2004 New York Dolls reunion as seen through the eyes of Arthur “Killer” Kane – hellraising bassist turned Mormon. That Kane passed away soon after the Dolls’ reunion gigs makes this all the more poignant.
Mirrormask (Oct 30; 16.00/Nov 1; 15.30)
Director: Dave McKean
Dazzlingly inventive fantasy from comics writer Neil Gaiman, with echoes of Time Bandits, The Wizard Of Oz and Alice Through The Looking Glass. To save her mother’s life, 15-year-old Helena embarks on a strange odyssey in a dream world…
Tickets – and the complete festival programme – are available online at www.lff.org.uk.
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