Luckily I have a friend with an AMEX card who has been able to secure me some tickets for the upcoming BFI London Film Festival. Many of the galas have already sold out, and as per usual the costs range from £9 to £30 in some instances, so I find myself torn in trying to justify paying a premium for a film that will almost certainly see a wider release in 3 – 4 months time.
Last year I got fortunate with my selections – I always take a punt on them, try to avoid previous reviews and go to see movies based solely on their description and cast. I was able to see Listen Up Phillip, Honeytrap, Difret and Whiplash, plus a couple of others not worthy of a mention, the good far outweighed the bad. I’m hoping this year is the same.
When you look at the programme there are some truly exciting films. Biopics seem to be a common theme as Johnny Depps supposed return to form in Black Mass depicting the life of Whitey Bulger, Danny Boyles interpretation of the life of Steve Jobs, and Stephen Frears takes the Lance Armstrong story to new heights in The Program. Elsewhere Louis Theroux’s documentary on Scientology will be screened, Johnnie To’s odd star-studded musical, Office, makes an appearance, and Victoria, a thriller shot in one continuous take over 20 locations will be sure to put bums on seats. These are only scratching the surface, many of these have unsurprisingly sold out even before general sale, but below are my initial 4 selections that I have tickets for;
Set in a dystopian near future, the film tells an unconventional love story where finding a romantic partner is a matter of life and death.
Winning the Jury prize at Cannes this year, and with an impeccable cast, I’m extremely excited for this movie. Although I didn’t want to see the reviews, they were pouring in on twitter during Cannes and it was met with nothing but praise. Dystopian future films are a dime a dozen nowadays, so it must have done something right to scoop the accolades it has been receiving.
No trailer for this one yet, nor is there really a plot synopsis. From the directorial mind of Ben Wheatley, who gave us such gems as Kill List and Sightseers (both worth checking out if you haven’t already), this is one of the films I am most looking forward to. Set in the future (again), a high-rise flat sections itself off from the outside world, creating a social hierarchy within the building. Based on the 1975 novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard, this has been receiving a great deal of buzz.
A modern-day story about the boundless love between mother and child; young Jack knows nothing of the world except for the single room in which he was born and raised.
Room has one of those trailers that gives you goosebumps. A sort of indie-Sundancey vibe but at the centre of it, a genuinely heartwarming tale under surreal circumstances. Brie Larson was the stand-out performance in Short Term 12, and her presence on the screen looks unbelievable again, even from the short clips in the trailer. Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, this looks to be one to watch when it reaches a wider release.
An intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath’s growing fascination with death.
Always like to take a bit of a chance on the odd film, and this one is my wild card. With a trailer that’s enough to get your heart racing, The Boy seems to be one of those quiet and brooding thriller/horror movies that really divides audiences. No doubt this will be classified by many horror buffs as ‘boring’, others will call it a ‘atmospheric tour de force’. I’m optimistic, and can’t wait to see Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute?) in a serious role.
So there’s my 4. I’ll keep you posted on any others I end up seeing. Are you seeing any? What are you looking forward to regardless of the festival? Have any of you guys outside of the UK seen these yet?
Best of luck for general sale tomorrow; http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff