Our first picks from the London Film Festival 2022
Coming soon to a screen near you, wherever you are, next month’s LFF offers visual thrills galore.
An all-star whodunnit from director Rian Johnson. The new film featuring FACE ace Micheal Ward, and the latest project from documentarian Asif Kapadia. Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as journalists on the trail of Harvey Weinstein. The next chapter in the “Brenaissance”: the comeback of Brendan Fraser. A queer, high school-set coming-of-age based on a cult musicians’ memoir. What Paul Mescal Did Next. The unmasking (and, um, undressing) of Harry Styles as a leading man.
For the second year, THE FACE is proud partner for next month’s London Film Festival which, if you haven’t already guessed, launched its programme at the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank this morning (1st September).
The 66th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs in cinemas in London (and partner cinemas across the UK), and online, from 5th to 16th October. Over the 12 days, 164 feature films – including 23 (!) world premieres – will be shown.
For festival programmers (the bods who pick what we’ll watch) access is paramount, both geographically and financially. Alongside screenings also taking place in 10 UK cities, LFF for Free offers audiences a programme of short films, events and filmmaker Q&As, both in-person at BFI Southbank and online across BFI Player, BFI YouTube and social media – all completely free.
Equally important: inclusion and diversity. As the launch press release says: “41 per cent of the programme is from female and non-binary directors/creators or co-directors/creators, with 34 per cent made by ethnically diverse directors/creators.”
THE FACE will be previewing specific films in the run-up to LFF, as well as interviewing actors and filmmakers during the festival’s run. But for now, the works that caught our eye are, well, too many to mention here. To name but a handful, though…
We’re looking forward to Knives Out: A Glass Onion Mystery. LFF’s Closing Night Gala is the follow-up to the film that introduced us to Daniel Craig’s debonair Southern detective Benoit Blanc with, this time, Madelyn Cline joining the action.
There’s more Hollywood star power in She Said, the story of the New York Times’ dogged investigation of Harvey Weinstein, with Samantha Morton joining Mulligan and Kazan. Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) coaxes what’s being whispered of as a career best performance from Brendan Fraser as an obese recluse in The Whale, while Jessie Buckley is surely bound for awards season glory in Women Talking, Sarah Polley’s account of abuse and defiance in a Mennonite community.
Top Boy alum Ward demonstrates his rapidly expanding range as he joins Olivia Colman in Sam Mendes’ ode-to-cinema Empire of Light. Ditto Normal People star Mescal, who’s fantastic in Cannes hit Aftersun, playing a young dad on holiday with his daughter in the debut feature from Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells. In Creature, Amy director Kapadia is also extending his range. The North Londoner follows his brilliant Diego Maradona documentary with a film, set in an Arctic research station, on which he’s collaborated with choreographer Akram Khan.
On the doc front, indie sleezers will be well-served by the screen adaptation of Lizzy Edmonds’ best-selling account of the New York’s post-millennial music scene, Meet Me in The Bathroom.
And want more music/film crossover? Firstly, there’s High School, a Canada-set TV series from actor-turned-director Clea Duvall based on the critically-acclaimed memoir from queer twin sibling duo Tegan and Sara. And, secondly, there’s My Policeman.
Described (wholly accurately) by LFF Director Tricia Tuttle this morning as feeling like “a recovered treasure from the golden age of British cinema”, the drama stars Harry Styles and Emma Corrin as a mismatched couple in 1950s Britain – the “mismatch” being Styles’ character’s secret boyfriend.
You can find full LFF programme details here, would you believe.