London Film Festival 2018: What to look forward to — from Peter Jackson’s WWI docu to Bergman's lost spy thriller

FP Staff

Oct 01, 2018 20:29:23 IST

Red carpets will soon be unrolled as the British capital prepares to play host to some of international cinema’s big names for the 12 days of the London Film Festival.

 London Film Festival 2018: What to look forward to — from Peter Jackson’s WWI docu to Bergmans lost spy thriller

London Film Festival 2018 runs from 10-21 October. BFI

The 62nd annual BFI London Film Festival opens on 10 October with Steve McQueen’s heist thriller Widows, one of 39 British features on the slate. It closes on 21 October with John S. Baird’s Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan And Ollie.

London differs from many other European film festivals in focusing on bringing world movies to cinema-goers. Red-carpet glamour mixes with innovation and experimentation, and many of the films would not otherwise get a British screening.

This year, the festival will screen 225 features from 77 countries and host 21 world premieres, nine international premieres and 29 European premieres.

Here's a list of interesting things to look forward to at London Film Festival this year.

1 in 3 films by women

More than a third of films at this year’s festival are directed by women, as we found out when the schedule for the October movie extravaganza was unveiled. Thirty-eight percent of all films and 30 percent of the 225 features in the lineup have female directors, an increase on 24 percent of features in 2017.

Female-directed films in the festival include Karyn Kusama’s police thriller Destroyer starring Nicole Kidman and Sara Colangelo’s drama The Kindergarten Teacher with Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama’s police thriller Destroyer. Image via Twitter

Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama’s police thriller Destroyer. Image via Twitter

A jury led by Room director Lenny Abrahamson will hand out a best-picture prize from 10 contenders chosen by the festival — half of them directed by women. Other than Kusama’s Destroyer, competitors include David Lowery’s crime caper The Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford in what he says will be his final role; British director Ben Wheatley’s dysfunctional family drama Happy New Year, Colin Burstead; Sudabeh Mortezai’s sex-trafficking drama Joy; Zhang Yimou’s Chinese historical epic Shadow; and eve-of-war drama Sunset by Laszlo Nemes, director of the Oscar-winning Son of Saul.

AMC's John Le Carre miniseries to premiere at festival

The festival will also premiere the first two episodes of miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, a John Le Carre adaptation directed by South Korea’s Park Chan-wook. The six-part miniseries stars Alexander Skarsgard and English actress Florence Pugh in a 1970s tale of espionage and intrigue. He’s a mystery man, she’s an actress with secrets of her own, and hovering over all is spy mastermind Kurtz (Michael Shannon).

Restored classics

The festival also features restored classics, including Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show which features fragments of some of the earliest surviving British films from 1897 to 1901. Ingmar Bergman’s long-lost spy thriller, High Tension, will also be screened at the festival.

Terry Gilliam's cursed film

After nearly two decades of problems, Monty Python star Terry Gilliam's long-awaited film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will have its British premiere at the London Film Festival. It will be exciting to see Gilliam's herculean efforts to adapt Cervantes' "unfilmable" novel for the big screen.

Peter Jackson’s WWI documentary

The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s new film — a documentary that transforms grainy footage from World War I into color — will have its world premiere at the London Film Festival. Titled They Shall Not Grow Old, the film will be screened in London and at cinemas across Britain on 16 October, less than a month before the centenary of the war’s end. The Academy Award-winning director restored film from the Imperial War Museum using cutting-edge digital technology and hand coloring, pairing it with archive audio recollections from veterans of the conflict.

This year’s lineup also includes David Mackenzie’s kilts-and-carnage epic Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexico City-set Roma; and Tinge Krishnan’s London musical Been So Long.

Other highlights include If Beale Street Could Talk, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s Harlem-set novel by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins; Matthew Heineman’s A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike as the late war correspondent Marie Colvin; and Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman as Gary Hart, whose 1988 presidential campaign was cut short by scandal.

London Film Festival 2018 runs from 10-21 October.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated Date: Oct 01, 2018 20:33:10 IST