So many films, and too little time – our selection for #LFF2019’s first weekend.
A sumptuous film about very grimy circumstances indeed. Two men in a lighthouse, with a seagull for company, and the raging seas all around. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as men with very murky pasts are staggeringly impressive – not only for the way in which they throw themselves into the story, but for their commitment to a ripe and fruity dialogue which soars into magnificence. Come for the stars, stay for the film, remain forever entranced by the language.
Diatribes to die for and die by.
Dir Robert Eggers
Saturday 5th October, 21.30, Odeon Luxe Leicester Square
Sunday 6th October, 11.30, Embankment Garden Cinema
And a chance to catch up on Friday 11th October, 15.30 Odeon Tottenham Court Road
Adam Driver leads a compelling political thriller with a case based on real life – and of immense topical relevance. If you were fascinated by Alan J. Pakula’s “All the President’s Men”, based on William Goldman’s brilliant script – this one is for you too. There’s also something in it for “Line of Duty fans” – and for all girl and boy swots out there. Enjoy.
Dir Scott Z Burns
Saturday 5th October, 16.30, Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 6th October, 13.50, Embankment Garden Cinema
“Shooting the Mafia”
Kim Longinotto is a unique documentary filmmaker, hands-on, and with a coherent body of work and persistence of vision that are remarkable. This film undercuts all those notions of glamour around the Mafia with the stark perspectives of women who have had to live with it, and sometimes stood up to it – including the photographer Letizia Battaglia, whose work is featured in this film.
See Kim Longinotto in person at her ICA Screentalk on Sunday 6th at 15.30.
Dir Kim Longinotto
Saturday 5th October, 15.30, Curzon Soho
Sunday 6th October, 20.30, Vue WestEnd 4
“By the Grace of God”
François Ozon’s meticulous, sometimes seemingly cold, and always highly controlled filmmaking approach works brilliantly well here, with a topical and true story – and a delicate subject. It’s a fascinating film, humane and elegant, and here again the dialogues are superb, beautifully written and acted. The film premiered at the Berlinale this winter, just as the real-life court case was developing.
Dir François Ozon
Saturday 5th October, 17.40, Curzon Mayfair
Sunday 6th October, 15.00, Ciné Lumière
It is so easy to miss out on excellent films from elsewhere, and Tunisian cinema tends to be one of the forgotten ones here in the UK. Nuanced, humane, with a self-awareness of a country in constant rapid transition, and of changing family roles, this is a film worth catching. As always with London Film Fest, why not prioritise the films that don’t yet have a distributor, in case the Festival is an only or rare chance.
Dir Mehdi M. Barsaoui
Saturday 5th October, 15.30, Empire Haymarket
Sunday 6th October, 18.00, Ciné Lumière
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