OK here’s the long and short list, long as it’s quite a lot of films, short in that I expect it will get added to as this years festival approaches.
I have only listed the films I am seeing at LFF 2011 and have excluded any films that I have already seen at at other festivals this year, which include the Very Good: Steve McQueen’s Shame, Lynn Ramsey’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Black, White and Silent crowd pleaser The Artist and The Dardenne Brother’s The Kid with a Bike. The Bad: Takishi Miike’s Hara-Kiri Death of a Samurai and Gus Van Sants’s Restless and the OK: Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be the Place, Markus Schleinzer’s Cannes competition entry Michael, Miranda July’s The Future. On the whole I’m also skipping on any films that are on general release in October.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Woody Harrelson’s plays a rogue LA cop with a performance that has been described as career defining.
Indie Cancer Comedy [if such a genre exists] staring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston and Philip Baker Hall.
Alexander Payne’s first feature since Sideways.
A Dangerous Method
David Cronenburg’s latest based on Christopher Hampton 2002 stage play ,The Talking Cure. Vigo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender respectively play Freud and Jung.
“A young woman clinging on to her dream to become a beauty contest queen in a Mexico dominated by organized crime”. Miss Bala has been widely regarded as one of the highlights of this years Un Certain Regard.
Transatlantic indie romance flick, another of the big buzz film from this years Sundance.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life
Werner Herzog’s new doc, a “powerful exploration of violence and its consequences, told through Death Row inmates and others close to their crimes” according to the LFF synopsis.
Veteran verité documentary maker Fredrick Wiseman (now in his 81st year) takes his camera into Paris’ Crazy Horse cabaret club.
Dreams of a Life
Director Carol Morley’s investigative documentary on the story of a young woman discovered in a London flat three years after her death.
Yet another “Dark Norwegian Thriller”
Walking too fast
From Variety: “Set in 1982 Czechoslovakia, Radim Spacek’s “Walking Too Fast” is a slow-burn political thriller about a secret police lieutenant bucking the system. Comparisons to “The Lives of Others” are apt, although “Walking’s” thoroughly unsympathetic protagonist makes the film more admirable than likable.”
From Pablo Trapero’s (Carancho, Lions Den) screenwriter comes this political allegory set in the wheeler-dealing world of Argentine student politics.
From the LFF programme “Philippe Torreton gives a superb performance in Vincent Garenq’s no-holds-barred docu-drama about a man unjustly accused in a notorious paedophilia trial.”. With Variety describing it as “Devastating drama about the greatest French judicial scandal in recent history.”
From Variety “Camera-scoured Manhattan wouldn’t seem to have many secrets left, but the extraordinarily beautiful “Restless City” achieves revelation on two tiers — in the kinetic landscape of the city itself and in the world of Senegalese immigrants, whose struggle evolves just beneath the sightlines of the average New Yorker.”. Hollywoood reporter calls ‘Restless City’ a Stunning Look at New York’s West African Immigrant Community.
Fernando Meirelles’ multi stranded festival opener, has been panned by The Guardian and received less than enthusiastic reviews elsewhere. Still I quite enjoyed Babel by fellow Mexican, Alejandro González Iñárritu, which has a similar theme and was dismissed by critics, so hoping for an enjoyable if not particular deep start to this years festival with this one. Update: The commenters describing 360 as “Love Actually without the jokes” aren’t far off, a pretty poor opening night film.
…the book nearer the time
Below are the films that I haven’t yet booked, but will probably get tickets to nearer to festival depending on my schedule.
One of the nominees for this year’s Sutherland Award, Mark Jackson directorial debut is described in the catalogue as a haunting, claustrophobic drama
Reviews: Time Out
The new film from Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Attenberg)
The winner of best European film in the Cannes Directors Fortnight sidebar. The directorial debut of Austrian actor Karl Markovics, Breathing is described in the LFF programe an ‘assured, intelligent work’. The film follows Roman, an institutionalised young offender in Vienna, serving time for a violent crime with a surly, uncommunicative attitude, blankly accepting of the solitary conditions.
From the LFF blurb “Andrei Zvyagintsev’s award-winning account of a struggle over inheritance is accompanied by an effective score by Philip Glass.”. Screen comment’s “A late addition to Un Certain Regard, for which it is the closing night film, one can only wonder, why is this extraordinary film not in the main competition?“
This is not a film
Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s (who is awaiting a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country) new film which according to the Guardian “was smuggled into the country on a USB stick buried inside a cake posted from Iran to Paris”.
…the (relative) Unknowns
Not the Tod Browning movie about an armless knife thrower, but a few of the largely unseen and distributor-less films picked out from the vast selection of European and World films in the LFF lineup.
The Forgiveness Of Blood
Maria Full of Grace director, Joshua Marston returns with an Albanian-set story of family caught up in a blood feud
Stopped on Track
From Variety A German postal worker’s precious few months between diagnosis and death are chronicled with an acute and raw sense of honesty in “Stopped on Track.”
From Variety “Based on a true story that happened in the U.S., “Girls” relates how the accidental pregnancy of an attractive teen leads to an epidemic of knocked-up peers.”
Vincent Cassel is The Monk.
A Bitter Taste of Freedom
Documentry on Russian journalist Anna Politkovskay.
Mathieu Kassovitz directs and stars in this political thriller come war movie.
The Screen Illusion
Mathieu Amalric’s latest “gives classic French theatre a twist by wittily updating Corneille’s play as a modern intrigue set in the CCTV present” according to the LFF synopsis.
“A rebellious teenager reacts against strictures of her local church and ends up on a bizarre errand to collect something out of town with the parish priest.”
Early One Morning
From the LFF synopsis “Jean-Pierre Darroussin plays a banking executive driven off the rails in Jean-Marc Moutout’s incisive and angry indictment of the financial world.”. The main still instantly reminded me of Laurent Cantet’s Time Out whether that was an intentional decision I’m not sure but it’s certainly piqued my interest.
My Back Page
From the programme synopsis “A rookie journalist in 1969 falls under the spell of a charismatic student radical (Kenichi Matsuyama), only to realise that he’s capable of murder. Nobuhiro Yamashita and his cast recreate the political turmoil of the period with awesome credibility.”