What do Tom Hanks, Mickey Rourke and David Copperfield have in common with The London Film Festival?
They’re all 58 years old, with The BFI London Film Festival ageing better than them all. From 8-19th October, 248 films will be screened across 17 London venues. Many of the films and events will be held at BFI Southbank Centre.
This is a festival in which emerging filmmakers really make their name. Last year Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida won the esteemed best picture award. I was very impressed by this beautifully shot feature, with complex characters and sudden and shocking revelations.
As well as the best film competition there is also the first feature competition and documentary award. The festival recognises the best in independent cinema from across the world and it is notoriously difficult to get your film selected.
This year the opening night film is Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, Britain’s mathematician who deciphered German codes during World War Two. Anyone who’s seen Mr Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes will be in no doubt of his credentials to portray a genius. Even more intriguing than the code breaking was Turing’s personal life, in which he was arrested in 1952 for being homosexual. I’m very excited to see what promises to be a gripping film with a conflicted and fascinating lead character.
The closing night film is Fury, starring Brad Pitt as a troubled sergeant who leads his men into a dangerous mission behind enemy lines towards the end of World War Two. David Ayer’s claustrophobic film follows a platoon on the edge following one of their men’s recent death. With the crew on the edge, the tension mounts as an inexperienced soldier is thrown into their team and his mistake costs another life. Brad Pitt’s performance as their commander, with personal demons of his own, is already being whispered about as being an Oscar candidate. This looks set to be a compelling, tense and claustrophobic journey through the brutality of World War Two.
Come back tomorrow for our tips on what to watch at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.
Written by Martin Stocks | @Stocks1986