| The Times BFI 50th London Film Festival


The Times BFI 50th London Film Festival

The Times BFI 50th London Film Festival


Feature by: Tom Huddleston

Posted on: 04 October 2006

Coming at the end of the festival season, the London Film Festival has long stated its aim to act as a ‘festival of festivals,’ to screen the best work already shown at Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Edinburgh to a public audience who might not get the chance to see many of these films in any other context. There’s no overriding theme here, this is more of a grab-bag of notable works, both modern and classic. Although there are some big international releases on the screening list – Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel – the festival is primarily concerned with smaller fare, local films and the cream of world cinema.

This year the British contingent is particularly strong—the Festival kicks off with Giles Foden’s The Last King Of Scotland, about the violent rein of Idi Amin. There are new films from Anthony Minghella, Roger Michell and the fearless Shane Meadows, whose This Is England deals with racist skinhead culture in early 80s suburbia. Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts, an unflinching examination of last year’s Morecambe Bay disaster, blurs the line between truth and fiction, and there’s a strong home- grown documentary strand dominated by films about musicians: Scott Walker (30th Century Man), John Lennon (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) and Arthur Lee (Love Story).

One notable (though most likely unintended) theme present throughout the festival seems to be rites of passage and coming of age stories. We have teenage fascists (This Is England), teenage cross-dressers (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliviero), even blind teenagers climbing Everest in the documentary Blindsight. From Denmark (Percy, Buffalo Bill and I) to Argentina (Glue), Germany (Lucy) to China (Taking Father Home), stories of adolescence and childhood seem ubiquitous. There’s even an historical perspective on the subject, with a screening of David Lean’s classic adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations.

The Festival runs from October 18th to November 2nd, in venues throughout the city.

Container 05 October
Candy 06 October
Ghosts 12 October
Who Loves the Sun 13 October
The Blossoming Of Maximo Oliveros 16 October
The Last King of Scotland 19 October
Stranger Than Fiction 23 October
Venus 23 October
For Your Consideration 24 October
Percy, Buffalo Bill & I 25 October
Black Book 26 October
This Is England 26 October
Buenos Aires 1977 01 November
Days of Glory 02 November
Half Nelson 03 November
DarkBlueAlmostBlack 07 November
Small Engine Repair 09 November

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