We wade through this years programme to bring you some of this years (possible) highlights…
The BFI unveiled the 56th London Film Festival programme on Wednesday. With new categories and more work in competition, it’s been the most change for a while. (Mind you, instead of the previous World categories, most World films now fit into the ‘Journey’ tag? Surprise, surprise…)
It’s an impressive showing for Korean movies, with 6 films showing tin the festival (plus one segment of an anthology). Once again this shows curator Tony Ryans commitment to Korean film (and habit of scuppering most of the London Korean Film Festival’s headline choices). Big films to watch include the #1 Box Office hit Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time by Yoon Jongbin, starring Choi Min-sik, and the Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung sci-fi anthology Doomsday Book. Hong Sang-soo also returns with In Another Country, a comedy starring Isabelle Huppert.
I’m rather intrigued by Park Hongmin’s A Fish, billed as ‘homemade 3D’ shot on a shoestring budget. Byun Youngjoo’s Helpless, an adaption of Miyabe Miyuki’s famous novel Burning Train to Korea, and former Hong Sang-soo assistant Lee Kwangkuk’s debut feature Romance Joe completes the set.
Outside of Korea, there’s also seven Japanese films being screened. Female director Miwa Nishikawa brings Dreams For Sale to the festival; as does Mika Ninagawa’s with her follow-up to Sakuran, Helter Skelter; Kenji Uchida’s Key of Life; Mamoru Hosoda’s (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) latest anime Wolf Children; Masaaki Akahori’s The Samurai That Night; and Takashi Miike returns with For Love’s Sake, a 60s pop musical take on Romeo And Juliet. Also of note comes Abbas Kiarostami’s French-Japanese co-production Like Someone in Love.
There’s a big selection from India too, with several Bollywood style films which I have to admit I’m by no mean an expert on. One film that caught my eye is Vasan Bala’s Peddlers, which promises to be a multi-strand film noir on the streets of Mumbai.
Thailand is well represented by Wichanon Somumjarn’s In April the Following Year, There Was a Fire; Tongpong Chantarangkul‘s I Carried You Home; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s (winner of the prestigious 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or prize for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) latest Mekong Hotel, which will play alongside another short film, Mother by Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul.
Which brings us to two anthology efforts. Beautiful 2012, commissioned by the Hong Kong Film Festival, brings back director Ann Hui after last years notable highlight A Simple Life, along with Tsai Ming-liang, Kim Tae-yong and Gu Changwei. Similarly 10 + 10 celebrates the best of Taiwan filmmaking talent in a project masterminded by Hou Hsiao-hsien.
The London Film Festival runs from 10 to 21 October, that’s 12 days instead of 16, which the LFF is making up for by screening in even more venues (which is going to make it even more impossible for us to see everything we want to – oh, well… hopefully it’ll save the bank balance?)
Read the full LFF film programme.
Are you involved in bringing any of the talent to the festival? Let us know here.