Wednesday, 12 October 2011

55th BFI London Film Festival: Opens Today

Starting this evening with 360, the latest film by director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener), the 55th BFI London Film Festival kicks off its two week reign over London cinema screens. This year, there is a spotlight on British national cinema, accentuated by the opening and closing night gala screenings - the latter being Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea - along with, as usual, a wide range of international films of varied genres, from established to emerging filmmakers. Overall, the programme contains 300+ features and shorts, with interviews, Q&A's and masterclasses, to name merely some of the accompanying events. 

The Deep Blue Sea

Although BFI members and non-members have been busy booking their tickets, there are some left to buy, either via the BFI website (if you are a BFI member), by phone (020 7928 3232), in person at the BFI Southbank Box Office, or at the cinema itself. Most films will be shown at the BFI Southbank, or at one of the big West End cinemas, in Leicester Square. Prices start at £10.50, or £7 for weekday matinees. 

Aside from the opening and closing night films, here are a few of my personal highlights, from the 55th BFI London Film Festival. Even if they appear to be 'Fully Booked', you can opt for stand-by tickets at the cinema, 30 minutes prior to the screening:

The Ides of March, a sharp and engaging political drama directed by George Clooney, starring himself and a brilliant cast to include Ryan Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Ides of March

50/50, an original story of friendship, love and the twists and turns of living with an illness, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. You can book here for an on-stage interview with the two actors. 


The Descendants, Alexander Payne's first feature since Sideways, also stars Mr Clooney as a father rediscovering his relationship with his teenage daughters. Critics have already praised the film's emotional complexity, sensitivity and deftly-drawn characters.

The Descendants

Carnage, a tightly scripted film of four Brooklyn-based characters (Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christopher Waltz and John C Reilly), shows Roman Polanski moving from satirical storytelling in the political sphere (The Ghost), to the domestic. Adapted from the play, The God of Carnage. 

And, here are the films nominated for The Best Film Award at London Film Festival 2011...

Are you planning a trip to this year's 55th BFI London Film Festival? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the programme, or the films you have chosen to watch.

Images: BFI

1 comment:

  1. These sound wonderful. City of God was one of my favourite films so I'll have to check out the director's new one and I had wanted to see God of Carnage when it played in London so now I can see the film adaptation!


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