It’s already the second week & we’re only just catching up with this year’s BFI London Film Festival (02 to 13 OCT)… Good news is – despite plenty of sold out shows – there’s some great downlist cinema still to see. Here’s our RADIANT CIRCUS top ten best of the rest of the fest!
By RADIANT CIRCUS
Anyone who has followed us around the BFI London Film Festival before knows that we like to travel away from the hype to find films that are a little more overlooked and often a long way down the list. If nothing else, we like films that have yet to find a distributor and may never be easily glimpsed in this or any other city again. We also tend to take a deeper dive into the CULT and DARE strands, and have never knowingly seen anything in LAUGH or LOVE (make of that what you will…). These rules aren’t quite true for our selection this year as, truth be told, we’ve left it a bit late, but onwards we thrust.
Our selection includes Werner Herzog’s latest (FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC – why that’s not sold out we don’t really know…), some films by makers of contemporary chillers we have enjoyed (ADORATION, THE LODGE, ZOMBI CHILD), a restored favourite (LOS OLVIDADOS), and another restoration, this time of an epic Super8 original (UNHEIMLICH II: ASTARTI).
We’ve only listed screenings you can book for at the time of posting, but that doesn’t mean these shows won’t be sold out by the time you click, or return tickets released for other screenings. That’s just the thrill of the festival.
We look forward to seeing you in darkness…
RADIANT CIRCUS TOP TEN (by date/event)
HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD aka Beol-sae d. Bora Kim, 2018 (08 OCT 18:00 – Vue West End / 09 OCT 12:30 – Odeon Tottenham Court Road):
- FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION: “Announcing a bright new voice in South Korean cinema, Bora Kim brings us this absorbing coming-of-age drama about a dysfunctional Seoul family circa 1994.”
FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC d. Werner Herzog, 2019 (08 OCT 18:20 – Empire Haymarket / 09 OCT 15:30 – The Prince Charles):
- DARE: “Werner Herzog is on typically thought-provoking form, dramatising the work of a ‘rent-a-relative’ service, in this Tokyo-set meditation on contemporary alienation.” DARE
ADORATION d. Fabrice du Welz, 2019 (10 OCT 18:15 – The Prince Charles / 11 Oct 20:45 – Ciné Lumière / 13 OCT 17:15 – BFI Southbank):
- CULT: “The ‘lovers on the run’ genre is reimagined as childhood fairytale in this darkly unsettling odyssey from the acclaimed director of CALVAIRE and ALLELUIA.”
LOS OLVIDADOS d. Luis Buñuel, 1950 (10 OCT 18:30 – BFI Southbank):
- TREASURES: “Luis Buñuel’s searingly powerful account of the brutalised lives of delinquent Mexico City street kids fuses stark realism with surrealist flourishes, and re-established his international reputation. Restored by the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.”
ZOMBI CHILD d. Bertrand Bonello, 2019 (11 OCT 15:30 – The Prince Charles):
- DARE: “The latest provocation from Bertrand Bonello (NOCTURAMA, LFF 2016) splices Haitian history and folklore with contemporary life at an elite girls’ boarding school in Paris.”
- Read our RADIANT CIRCUS review of NOCTURAMA when we saw it at Ciné Lumière’s LA FÊTE DU CINÉMA.
THE OTHER LAMB d. Małgorzata Szumowska, 2019 (11 OCT 20:40 – Vue West End / 11 OCT 21:10 – Vue West End / 12 OCT 13:15 – Vue West End / 12 OCT 13:45 – Main featured image):
- OFFICIAL COMPETITION: “Małgorzata Szumowska’s (Berlin Jury Prize-winner MUG and LFF 2015’s BODY) English-language debut is a beguiling genre-tinged examination of life in an otherworldly cult.”
THE LODGE d. Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala, 2019 (11 OCT 20:45 – BFI Southbank / 13 OCT 20:50 – Curzon Soho):
- CULT: “GOODNIGHT MOMMY directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala take us to a remote cabin in the woods for their spine-chilling sophomore feature.”
UNHEIMLICH II: ASTARTI d. Maria Klonaris & Katerina Thomadaki, 1980 (12 OCT 19:30 – BFI Southbank – “165mins with no dialogue”):
- EXPERIMENTA: “A monumental work of sublime beauty, this exquisite 2K restoration of the Super8 original is profound in its expression of an empowered feminine.”
CIRCUS OF BOOKS d. Rachel Mason, 2019 (13 OCT 15:30 – Curzon Mayfair):
- JOURNEY: “Imagine discovering that your parents have been running a gay adult book store for most of their lives…”
THIS IS NOT BERLIN aka Esto No Es Berlín d. Hari Sama, 2019 (13 OCT 18:00 – Odeon Tottenham Court Road):
- DARE: “A young man’s life is turned upside down when he discovers the underground club scene of Mexico City.”
London’s mothership of moving pictures is responsible for promoting and preserving film and filmmaking across the UK. BFI Southbank holds its place on our list thanks to encyclopaedic – almost extravagant – seasons, an abundance of festivals and programmes that draw impressively from a vast archive. A commitment to the diversity of films, filmmakers and audiences as well as strands dedicated to experimental and cult cinema result in an unrivalled scope. Q&As with cast and crew come thick and fast, making BFI Southbank a place to rub shoulders if there ever was one…
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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.