The 54th BFI London Film Festival will open on October 13 with Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go and close on October 28 with Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. All in all, 197 features and 112 shorts will be screened in those two weeks.
Among the Galas & Special Screenings are Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Palme d'Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Mike Leigh's Another Year and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. This one looks potentially amazing: In 1924, photographer and cinematographer Herbert Ponting edited a version of footage he shot on the British Antarctic Expedition. The Great White Silence will be accompanied by a live performance of Simon Fisher Turner's new score.
Films on the Square features the "most anticipated new titles from around the world, in the heart of the West End." This one caught my eye right off: Archipelago, Joanna Hogg's followup to Unrelated. The strand also includes Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme, Jerzy Skolimowski's Essential Killing, Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff, Michelangelo Frammartino's The Four Times and Jan Švankmajer's Surviving Life: Theory and Practice.
New British Cinema is, of course, what it says on the tin. Clio Barnard's The Arbor is here, as is YBA Gillian Wearing's debut feature, Self Made. Films lined up for French Revolutions may or may not be revolutionary, but they are French and they are new. For example: Catherine Breillat's The Sleeping Beauty and Guillaume Canet's Little White Lies.
Cinema Europa promises a "cinematic journey across a continent" and three titles leap out before you even get past "A" in the alphabetical listing: Janus Metz's Armadillo, Pia Marais's At Ellen's Age and Andrei Ujică's The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu. Plus, two from Russia that've been rousing raves (albeit not exclusively) on the festival circuit: Sergei Loznitsa's My Joy and Aleksei Fedorchenko's Silent Souls.
Among the World Cinema titles: Phan Dang Di's Don't Be Afraid, Bi!, winner of two awards when it screened in Critics' Week in Cannes and featured in that image above, Jia Zhangke's I Wish I Knew, Michael Rowe's Camera d'Or-winning Leap Year and Hong Sang-soo's Oki's Movie, which'll be closing the Orizzonti section in Venice in a few days.
Experimenta features Sharon Lockhart's Double Tide, a workshop with Lewis Klahr (he'll also be presenting Prolix Satori), three films by Nathaniel Dorsky and Ben Russell's Let Each One Go Where He May.
Among the Treasures from the Archives: Manoel de Oliveira's Rite of Spring, Elia Kazan's Wild River, Mauritz Stiller's Gunnar Hedes Saga, Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day and Jean Renoir's Boudu Saved from Drowning.
And then Short Cuts & Animation features live action, animation and family films. There'll also be Screen Talks (Aronofsky and Romanek), Masterclasses (Olivier Assayas and Peter Mullan), In Focus with Time Out (a series of panel discussions) and yet more Special Events and Panels.
Updates: The Guardian's Catherine Shoard finds the lineup to be "precisely as predicted: a comprehensive mop-up of the best of the premieres in the five big festivals that will have already happened this year (Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, Venice, Toronto). We've listed our highlights below [click to see ten], and there's loads of titles to tempt the cineaste who lives within spitting distance of London. The way that this year's festivals have panned out — a fairly low-key Cannes, followed by stellar lineups at Venice and, especially, Toronto (which kicks off next week) — helps, too. London may be be serving seconds, but they won't spend too long on the hotplate."
Time Out London's Dave Calhoun picks five to look forward to.