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2010 London Film Festival Lineup

Posted by: Matthew Turner 10/09/2010 @ 17:01
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 335
Films seen this week: Metropolis, Tamara Drewe (again), Alamar, Involuntary, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The American, The Messenger, The Town, I'm Still Here

2010 London Film Festival Lineup Announced
This week was the eagerly awaited press launch for the London Film Festival and apart from some fuss about the pastries running out, it was all very exciting. There was, admittedly, a curious lack of some of the bigger expected films (Brighton Rock, Love and Other Drugs and The Social Network all spring readily to mind), but there's also a lot of terrific films to look forward to when the Festival kicks off on October 13th. Obvious must-sees include: Darren Aronofsky's (see trailer piece in previous blog), starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballerinas; Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's It's Kind of a Funny Story (see below); Tom Hooper's The King's Speech (starring Colin Firth as stuttering Prince Albert and Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist); The Kids Are Alright, starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple who are thrown for a loop when their two teenage children track down their anonymous sperm donor father (Mark Ruffalo); and Danny Boyle's closing night film 127 Hours, starring James Franco in the true story of an American rock-climber who gets trapped by a boulder in an isolated canyon.

Elsewhere there are new films from Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem), Peter Mullan (Neds), Gregg Araki (Kaboom – so now we know why it was pulled from FrightFest), Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff) and Errol Morris (Tabloid). I'm also really looking forward to Richard Ayoade's Submarine (which got the warmest reception and the biggest laugh during the LFF clip reel), Let the Right One In remake Let Me In and Howl, starring James Franco (again, so he'd better show up) as beat poet Allen Ginsberg. It's also worth noting that the Hebron-Clooney Constant (which states that if George Clooney has a film out, Sandra Hebron will include it in the LFF line-up) is in full effect, with Anton Corbijn's thriller The American. The onstage interviews are also pretty tantalising this year, with Peter Mullan, Hilary Swank (whose based-on-a-true story thriller Conviction is also showing), Javier Bardem, Olivier Assayas, Darren Aronofsky and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu all scheduled to appear. Can't wait.

Films I'm Dying To See: It's Kind of a Funny Story
This is yet another film that I didn't know existed until it popped up on the clip reel at the London Film Festival press launch, but it's already gone straight into my Dying To See list. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (who made the excellent Sugar, my favourite film of last year), It's Kind of a Funny Story is based on a novel by Ned Vizzini and stars Keir Gilchrist as clinically depressed 16-year-old Craig, who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital after a failed suicide attempt and winds up on the adult ward when he learns that the youth ward is closed.

The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis plays fellow patient Bobby, who, from the looks of things, becomes Craig's friend and mentor. The film also stars Emma Roberts as fellow patient (and love interest) Noelle and the wonderful Lauren Graham, who sadly only appears in the trailer once, so I'm guessing she's playing Craig's mother. The LFF brochure notes cite “a nod to John Hughes' teen classics”, though, from the trailer, it seems to have more of a quirky-indie-meets-Wes Anderson vibe (note the animated bits). It also - it says here - features a soundtrack by Broken Social Scene, if you like that sort of thing. I've been told the book is excellent too. At any rate, I have great faith in Boden and Fleck and this is one of the films I'm most looking forward to at the LFF. No theatrical release date as yet, but that will presumably change soon.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with Tamara Drewe (Stephen Frears'
adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds), The Runaways (a musical biopic starring Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as Cherie Currie and Joan Jett) and quirky thriller My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (Werner Herzog and David Lynch: together at last) all entering the top ten. I'd also like to put in a good word for the re-released version of Fritz Lang's classic 1927 silent Metropolis, which includes recently discovered footage and represents the most complete version of the film to date. I attended a press screening last week and was really gripped by it. Well worth seeking out, regardless of whether or not you've seen the previous versions. Elsewhere we have press conference interviews with Tamara Drewe stars Gemma Arterton, Tamsin Greig and Dominic Cooper and you can still read our exclusive interview with Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry as well as the press conference interviews for Scott Pilgrim vs the World stars Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman and Brandon Routh.

1. Toy Story 3
2. Inception
3. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
4. Mother
5. Tamara Drewe
6. The Secret in Their Eyes
7. The Last Exorcism
8. The Illusionist
9. The Runaways
10. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

DVD Of The Week: LOST – The Complete Sixth Season box set (out now, price £44.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is LOST – The Complete Sixth Season box set, which picks up after the devastating nuclear explosion that ended season five (now *that's* how to do a cliff-hanger). Suffice it to say, things get even weirder for Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lily), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Hurley (Jorge Garcia) et al, as the season replaces its usual flashbacks with mysterious scenes (quickly dubbed 'flash-sideways' by fans) that seem to take place in an alternate reality where Flight Oceanic 815 never crashed. Opinion is still divided over the controversial ending (no spoilers here), but even if you don't buy into the finale itself, it's still a terrific final season for a consistently brilliant series.

And in case you fancy catching up in a massive Lost binge, the Prince Charles Cinema are helpfully staging a Lost marathon to tie in with the S6 DVD release, in which they're showing every single episode (121 in all) back to back – it lasts from Monday to Thursday and you can dip in and out as you like. Meanwhile, the superb extras package on the Season 6 box set includes: commentaries, bloopers, deleted scenes, a catch-up featurette, a behind the scenes featurette with cast and crew, a featurette on the Flash Sideways scenes, a Making Of the final season and, most excitingly of all, 20 minutes of new footage (a sort of epilogue) featuring two of the surviving characters. Highly recommended.


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