2015 London Film Festival Coverage – Week 1

240 films from 72 countries over 16 cinemas all contained within 1 huge film festival. What’s there not to love?
With the 2015 London Film Festival well underway, Close-Up has a sneak peak of some of the wonderful goodies that this year’s film festival is boasting.
Starting earlier this week with the wonderful strangeness that is Blood of My Blood or Sangue del mio Sangue (Marco Bellocchio, 2015), the Italian drama starring Roberto Herlitzka, Alba Rohrwacher and Carlo Crivelli is the thematically complex, two-part tale of the fall of a 17th Century nun, quickly shifting to the contemporary tale of the very same convent many hundreds of years later. Brilliantly funny and visually rich, its director (The Wedding Director, Vincere and Dormant Beauty),. For all those lovers of alternative foreign cinema Blood of My Blood is not to be missed.
Tuesday brought with it a ‘Netflix first’; a globally released treatment for the film that is said ‘to make grown men cry’. Written, shot and directed by Cary Fukunaga (creative mind behind the smash hit TV Drama True Detective). Beasts of No Nation is heartrenching tale of a child soldier trying to survive through a horrific war whist attempting to reunite with his family. Idris Elba helms a fantastic cast of newcomers including, Ama K. Abebrese, Abraham Attah, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe as the head of a murderous gang of mercenaries fighting in a war already so muddied by many conflicting perspectives. Winner of the ‘Marcello Mastroianni’ at the Venice Film Festival and devised especially for a global release on the already popular online format, it was defiantly one of the more popular films at the pre-festival press screenings, with audiences more then shedding a tear at this Netflix triumph. Do not be naïve in assuming that this film won’t be a hard watch, but well worth it.
Even in the earliest stages of the festival, there is a distinct buzz in the air as individuals of all professions hurriedly make their way from screening after screening (the schedule allowing for a maximum of three screenings per day from each of its approximately 20 categories). In order to avoid missing out on any of the hotly anticipated films that are largely sold out for the 11-day festival (7-18th October) there are three chances to catch any one film throughout the festival’s duration. If this is a sign of things to come, this may well be the most successful film festival of the year.
With a huge number of films premiering at the festival in its opening and closing galas (including Suffragette, Steve Jobs, A Bigger Splash, Carol, Trumbo, High Rise, Black Mass, The Lobster, The Program, Truth and He Name Me Malala to name a few), don’t miss out on the many goodies this year..
Ending the week was the spectacularly funny Men and Chicken (starring one half of the stars duo NBC’s hit TV series Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen), this is just another of the films that continue to surprise audiences. But don’t just take our word for it as you can very easily, and quite cheaply (tickets ranging from £9-20 at a number of iconic London locations) grab a ticket all of your own at the click of a button online. And whether you make the 2015 London Film Festival a solo outing (to which you can have all the film food to yourself) or a family affair, there are more than enough films throughout the 20 categories (approx.) to meet your needs.