[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he full line up for this year’s BFI London Film Festival, taking place from 9-20 October, has now been announced at the programme launch in Leicester Square by festival director Clare Stewart. The 12 day festival will screen over 200 films at cinemas across London, including 16 international premieres.
The festival will open with Paul Greengrass‘ Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and based on the true story of the hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates in 2009. It’s a bit of a Tom Hanks fest this year, as LFF will also close with Saving Mr Banks, in which Hanks will play Walt Disney, alongside Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers (creator of Mary Poppins). The film is directed by John Lee Hancock, and will focus on the strained relationship between Disney and Travers as he attempts to persuade her to allow him the rights to her most famous character. Both Thompson and Hanks are expected to attend the closing night.
Also screening will be Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour, a much anticipated French film concerning the relationship of a young lesbian couple. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan will appear alongside each other in Stephen Frear’s Philomena, which tells the story of a woman searching for her son who was taken away from her after she was forced into a convent. Steve McQueen’s star-studded 12 Years a Slave is also expected to be a festival highlight, with performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Quvenzhané Wallis and McQueen favourite Michael Fassbender, who has worked with the director previously on 2011’s Shame.
Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, which stars Christoph Waltz and is the director’s first feature film since The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009, will detail the efforts of a hacker to discover the reason for human existence (it’s expected to be just as mind-bogglingly strange as most of Gilliam’s back catalogue). Sandra Bullock and George Clooney will be left adrift in space together in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, while Ralph Fiennes will play Charles Dickens as he falls in love with a younger woman (Felicity Jones) in The Invisible Woman.
Daniel Radcliffe stars as poet Allen Ginsberg in Jon Krokidas’ beat-generation murder mystery Kill Your Darlings (Ben Foster will be William Burroughs, and Jack Huston is Jack Kerouac). Joseph Gordon-Levitt directs and stars in Don Jon, a dramedy about a New Jersey man in an obsessive relationship with pornography who sets out to look for something more meaningful. Also drawing attention is Only Lovers Left Alive, directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, who play a pair of vampire lovers who have been together for centuries.
For the full list of films to be screened at the LFF (there’s loads more really amazing stuff!) , take a look at the BFI website.