BFI London Film Festival 2011. Lineup Announced

The BFI London Film Festival revealed the lineup for its 55th edition today, a total of 204 feature films and 110 shorts screening between October 12 and 27: "In addition to our previously announced opening and closing night films, Fernando Meirelles's 360 and Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea, Gala highlights include George Clooney's The Ides of March, Alexander Payne's The Descendants, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. This year's Archive Gala title is the BFI National Archive's restoration of Miles Mander's The First Born with a new score by Stephen Horne."

Nine strands make up the festival: Galas & Special Screenings, Films on the Square (sample highlight: Bruno Dumont's Outside Satan), New British Cinema (Simon Pummell's Shock Head Soul), French Revolutions (Gérald Hustache-Mathieu's Nobody Else But You), Cinema Europa (Rúnar Rúnarsson's Volcano), World Cinema (Sivaroj Kongsakul's Eternity), Experimenta (featuring, for example, work by Gabriel Abrantes), Treasures from the Archives (Marcel Carné's Children of Paradise) and Short Cuts & Animations.

All in all, "the pick of the international festival circuit," as Andrew Pulver puts it in the Guardian. "World premieres are perhaps thin on the ground, and they are largely confined to the New British Cinema section…. The 2011 event also marks the final year for the festival's distinguished artistic director, Sandra Hebron, who is stepping down after nine years in the post. This followed a reshuffle earlier this at the festival's parent organisation, the British Film Institute, which has taken over the UK Film Council's funding duties alongside its other functions."

Update, 9/8: Marie-Claire Chappet picks out highlights in the Telegraph.

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