Introduction to London Film Festival 2011

It’s that time of year again where for two weeks actors, directors and audiences all flock to the capital in the name of film for the BFI London Film Festival. Now in its 55th year the programme includes over 300 features and shorts by some of the greatest living directors as well as relative newcomers.

The festival will open with Fernando Meirelles’ 360 a story of love in the 21st century with an impressive cast which includes Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins. George Clooney has two films screening including The Ides of March, an exploration of American politics in which he directs and stars. He also plays the lead in Alexander Payne’s tragic comedy The Descendants, as a father who has to face up to his responsibilities after the death of his wife.

One of the most talked about films of the festival is We Need to Talk about Kevin. Based upon a book of the same name, it stars Tilda Swinton as a mother dealing with her sociopathic son and is directed by Lynne Ramsay. It’s been well received on the festival circuit, as has The Artist which pays homage to the golden age of Hollywood. Presented as a Hollywood silent film it tells the story of a movie star whose livelihood his threatened by the ‘talkies’, making several nods towards Singing in the Rain as well as other classics in the process.

As for World Cinema, there is a huge variety from Miike Takashi’s Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai to Norwegian crime thriller HeadHunters, each film offering something wildly different. There is also directing debuts in the form of Madonna’s W.E. and Ralph Fiennes Coriolanus as well as masters of the craft with Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Miranda July’s The Future and Winterbottom’s Trishna. As for British Cinema there is a great selection, including period horror The Awakening, urban thriller Sket and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights.

FrontRowReviews will be present and keeping you up to date with everything from reviews and previews, the latest gossip from the premieres and interviews with key industry figures. All our coverage can be found here, including our ongoing London Film Festival diary the first of which can be found here.

For the full listings for BFI London Film Festival check out the website.

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