06th Oct2015

The 59th BFI London Film Festival

by timbaros

image001The program for the 59th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® is another stellar lineup of must-see movies starring the world’s hottest stars.

It’s a rich and diverse lineup that includes a total of 238 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 40 European Premieres and 11 Archive films. Taking place from Wednesday 7 October 2015 to Sunday 18 October 2015 at various venues across London, also included are talks and seminars and special presentations.

The festival opens with the premiere of the eagerly anticipated Suffragette. An all-star cast brings to life the early UK feminist movement as they fought for their right to vote. Carey Mulligan (who is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination for this role) stars alongside Meryl Streep, Helen Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff. Screenplay by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame).


Among the many other films to be shown include:


Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter in 1940’s Hollywood who gets blacklisted after he is confirmed to be a Communist. Diane Lane plays his wife while Helen Mirren plays gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.

Bang Gang
One of the most controversial films of the festival about a group of French high school students who start a private orgy society.

High Rise
Adapted from J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name, High Rise stars Tom Hiddleston in a film set in a luxurious high rise tower block that begins to decay almost as soon as it is built.

He Named Me Malala
A documentary about the 18-year old Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban for championing girls’ education in Pakistan.

The Program
Director Stephen Frears brings us the story of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong (played by Ben Foster) in a documentary-style telling of Armstrong’s triumphant Tour de France years to his mighty downfall after his confession of taking drugs to enhance his performance.

A tale of two transsexual hookers on Santa Monica Boulevard and the friendship they have amidst their dangerous profession.

Live from New York
A funny documentary about the long-running American television institution Saturday Night Live, from it’s beginnings in 1975 through it’s many cast members (some of whom went on to have highly successful movie and television careers).

Black Mass
An unrecognizable Johnny Depp stars in this true story about one of the Boston’s most violent criminals (Jimmy Bulger) who became an FBI informant. Also starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Bulger’s brother Billy and Joel Edgerton as the FBI agent who persuades Jimmy to turn against the mafia.


The Lobster
This film could win the award for the most far-fetched plot: In the future, single people have to find a partner within 45 days or are then transformed into animals and released into the woods. This one stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. With their very good lucks there is no doubt they will find a match, within one day no doubt.

The Lady in a Van
Dame Maggie Smith stars as a homeless woman who lives in a van parked outside playwright Alan’s Bennett’s home in the 1960’s. Believe it or not it’s based on a true story that actually took place in the 1960’s, where she ended up staying for 12 years.

Carol tells the simple story of a 1950’s department store clerk who falls for another woman. This one stars the can’t miss Cate Blanchett, and is directed by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven). With Rooney Mara.

Cate Blanchett (again) stars at CBS news producer Mary Mapes, with Robert Redford as anchorman Dan Rather, and their involvement in a story that questioned then President George W. Bush’s receiving preferential treatment to help avoid the Vietnam draft.

Documentary about the deteriorating relationship between Sherpas (local people who help expeditions guide their clients up Mt. Everest) and western tourists, arriving just a few days before last year’s deadly avalanche that killed 16 sherpa. Timely as well in that sherpas were all but ignored in the recent film ‘Everest.’

Brie Larson stars as a woman who has been trapped in a garden shed for seven years after being kidnapped and raped. She then attempts to escape with her five-year old son.

The film festival closes on one of the most eargerly-awaited films of the year – a film called Steve Jobs
Michael Fassbender plays the late Steve Jobs, the man who made Apple a household name. Kate Winslet co-stars as his assistant Joanna Hoffman and Seth Rogen plays apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

There are nine program strands each headlined with a gala, , they are: the Love Gala, the Debate Gala, the Dare Gala, the Laugh Gala, the Thrill Gala, the Cult Gala, the Journey Gala, the Sonic Gala, and the Family Gala.

There will also be talks with filmmaker Todd Haynes (Carol), casting director Laura Rosenthal, actress Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), and filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Walter Salles (A Guy from Fenyang).

There will also be prizes handed out in the following categories:
-The Official Competition: recognizing inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking.
-First Feature Competition: recognizing an original and imaginative directorial debut
-Documentary Competition
-Short Film Award

Tickets have already gone on sale, so if you want to see any of the above-mentioned films or to peruse the other events taking place at the festival, please go here:


14th Oct2013

London Film Festival – 2013

by timbaros

The 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express started on Wednesday October 9 with a stellar line up of films.

Here is a sneak peak of a few of those films.

Opening Night Gala

Captain Phillips – Tom Hanks (Directed by Paul Greengrass)

The first of two films starring Hanks in the festival, the eagerly awaited Captain Phillips has Hanks as the captain of a cargo ship which is hijacked by Somalis. The buzz on this film is that it is Hank’s best performance ever, and that the actors who play the kidnappers are just as good. This will be the film to watch.

Saving Mr. Banks – Tom Hanks (Directed by Lee Hancock)

This is the other film starring Hanks, and is about the making of Mary Poppins, the 1964 film which starred Julie Andrews. Emma Thompson plays PL Travers, the creator of Poppins, while Hanks plays Walt Disney. In this film, Disney asks Travers to come to Hollywood to participate in the development of the screenplay for Poppins.

12 Years A Slave – (Directed by Steve McQueen)

Unknown actor Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon, an accomplished violinist who is living as a free man in New York City but is conned into joining a traveling show and then sold into slavery. Ejiofor is being tipped for the Best Actor Oscar for his performance. 12 Years A Slave is produced by Brad Pitt, who has a small role in the film. Expect awards aplenty for this film.

Gravity- Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (Directed by Alfonso Cuaron)

Cuaron, director of the well-received Pan’s Labyrinth and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, leads heavy duty starts Bullock and Clooney who play astronauts who encounter danger on a mission in space. Expect huge box office for this film.

Labor Day – Kate Winslet (Directed by Jason Reitman)

Winslet, back on the big screen for the first time since 2011’s Contagion, plays the reclusive mother of a sensitive teenager, and is withdrawn and brokenhearted after the breakdown of her marriage. On Labor Day weekend, they meet a wounded man (Josh Brolin), who changes their lives forever.

The Invisible Woman – Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas (Directed by Fiennes)

Fiennes, who directed Coriolanus, stars as Charles Dickens, and tells the story of his affair with a young actress (Felicity Jones), which lasts until his death. Thomas plays the young girl’s mother. The Invisible Woman was written by recent Emmy winner Abi Morgan, who also wrote The Iron Lady.

The Epic of Everest – Directed by John Noel

Another documentary about Mount Everest? Yes, but this one is different. It records the third attempt to climb Everest, which culminated in the deaths of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. This sparked the debate on whether they made it to the top or not. Noel filmed this in brutally harsh conditions to realistically retell this moment in history.

Parkland – Directed by Peter Landesman

Hanks (him again?) produced this film, which recreates the events of November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in his motorcade while traveling through downtown Dallas. Featuring an ensemble cast, including Zac Effron, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, and Colin Hanks (his son), Parkland tells in detail every single decision that was made that day which would change history.

Kill Your Darlings – Daniel Radcliffe (Directed by John Krokidas)

The hotly anticipated Kill Your Darlings has Radcliffe playing a young Allen Ginsburg. Torn between loyalty to his sick mother and the burgeoning Beat Generation scene of downtown New York City in 1944, Kill Your Darlings follows the trails of Ginsburg as he makes friendships with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

These are just some of the highlights as to what is on offer at the festival. For more information, and to buy tickets, please visit http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.