The line-up for this year’s London Film Festival has now been announced – which means it’s time for me to give you a quick heads-up on some of the films we’re most looking forward to seeing during the festival. Apart from the new Mike Leigh and other festival die-hards, there’s plenty of promising stuff – docs on Lemmy, Mott the Hoople and Creation records plus Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Patrick Keiller’s Robinson In Ruins and Anton Corbijn’s The American.
Here, anyway, are 10 films I’d recommend you check out (in no particular order, please note).
The Creation Records story. It’s hard to know how to follow Dave Cavanagh’s tremendous book on Creation, My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize (incidentally, due for a reissue in February next year). Anyway, expect Alan McGee and many of the label’s key players to contribute.
From Ian Curtis to George Clooney… Anton Corbijn follows up Closer with this slow-burning thriller about an assassin (Clooney) accepting a mysterious assignment in Italy. The trailer has the look of a 60s European thriller, with Clooney doing his best Jean-Paul Belmondo.
As a subject for a documentary, you’d imagine there’d be few folk as colourful as Lemmy – seen here relaxing at home, playing live in London and Russia and smoking Marlboro while wearing his SS uniform. Nik Turner, Alice Cooper, Dave Grohl and Lars Ulrich are among the talking heads.
Robinson In Ruins.
As a huge fan of Patrick Keiller’s free-associating studies of the capital’s psycho-geometry – London and Robinson In Space – the prospect of a new film is something I’m personally very excited about.
The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople.
Filmmakers Chris Hall and Mike Kerry follow Ian Hunter and co as they reunite for the first time in 35 years.
Strange Powers: Stephen Merritt And The Magnetic Fields.
10 years in the making, apparently. Peter Gabriel, Neil Gaiman and Sarah Silverman turn up to praise Merritt. From the trailer, we learn that he has a Chihuahua called Irving Berlin. Of course.
Darren Aronofsky follows up The Wrestler with – um – a ballet thriller, no less. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are rival dancers in a production of Swan Lake. Well, you’ve got to see it, haven’t you?
Presumably not wearing the kind of terrifying hairpiece he sported in No Country For Old Men, Javier Bardem stars in Alejandro Iñárritu’s Spanish language thriller, as a corrupt policeman whose life is in freefall.
Richard Ayoade – that’s Moss from The IT Crowd – has already directed an Arctic Monkeys concert film, and now here’s his film debut – a coming of age comedy set in Swansea co-starring Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins.
West Is West.
Follow up to East Is East – writer Ayub Khan-Din’s semi-autobiographical story of a mixed-race family in Salford in the early 70s – this picks up the story of the Khans eight years on, as father George returns to Pakistan with youngest son Sahid, to sort out his troublesome ways.
The London Film Festival runs from October 13 – 28. You can find more information about all the films screening, and how to book tickets, here.