Many of the new documentaries at this year’s London Film Festival showed us men under pressure: from boyband stars reconciling themselves to their past in the spotlight to a group of factory workers fighting for their jobs, writes Caitlin Quinlan.
Thursday 1 November 2018
Gender inclusivity was at the heart of the LFF agenda this year with 38 per cent of films directed by women. These distinctive female-directed debuts bode well for future parity, writes Alex Ramon.
Friday 26 October 2018
What does Steve McQueen’s new heist thriller Widows tell us about race and class in contemporary America? Plus Ash Is Purest White, Joy, Support the Girls and Long Day’s Journey into Night.
Wednesday 17 October 2018
This year’s LFF Cult strand ventures beyond the bounds of identity, adolescence and ethics in these incautious cautionary tales from France to Brazil, Norway to Indonesia, says Anton Bitel.
Sunday 14 October 2018
Does Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s colourising of archive film of WWI soldiers make them more or less real to us? The critics and archivists who argue it’s a travesty have got it wrong, says Ian Christie.
Friday 9 November 2018
Jim Cummings makes an impressive debut with this tragicomic tale of a police officer struggling to stay afloat in the wake of divorce, a near-breakdown and bereavement, finds Anjana Janardhan.
Tuesday 6 November 2018
A drama of an amnesiac cult singer and her karaoke impersonator that refracts its own cinematic influences dazzlingly, Carlos Vermut’s latest is a dark, dreamy fairytale of identities absorbed and reborn, says Mar Diestro-Dópido.
Sunday 21 October 2018
Multimedia artist Rachel Maclean offers a digital twist on the suffragette assault on art-historical misogyny – a sherbert-fountain-screened unmasking of cultural command and control, writes Tara Judah.
Monday 15 October 2018
For the 2018 London Film Festival Archive Gala, the BFI IMAX staged a variety show of early-cinema large-format actuality films, offering a towering immersion in the spectacles of our forebears, reports Pamela Hutchinson.
Sunday 21 October 2018
Melissa McCarthy dials down her portrait of convicted celebrity-letter counterfeiter Lee Israel in Marielle Heller’s empathetic, shabby-chic New York expression of contorted creativity, says Abbey Bender.
Salvation is barely a twinkle in the eye of pre-teen scrabbler Zain, driven to sue his parents for bringing him in to a life of destitution in Nadine Labaki’s furious, tumultuous Lebanese drama, writes Caspar Salmon.
A turbulent year in Mexico City is seen through the eyes of a young woman and the family she works for, in this very personal film that reframes the director’s own childhood memories, writes Beth Webb.
Carol Morley knocks Martin Amis’s Night Train into deep space, with Patricia Clarkson’s post-traumatic police detective following a murdered astrophysicist into an indubitably dark if questionably material place, finds Sophie Monks Kaufman.
Mike Leigh prepares the ground for a bicentennial commemoration of the slaughter of democratic reformers in post-Napoleonic Manchester with a full bore assault on the amnesia of British establishment history, says John Bleasdale.
László Nemes’s overblown melodrama tracks Juli Jakab’s would-be hatter through a lavishly recreated late-imperial Budapest, a florid procession of headwear and a madly unfocussed plot, writes Jessica Kiang.
Richard Billingham’s obliquely topical debut feature offers a fragmented story of life in inner-city Birmingham during the Thatcher years, as bruising memories rise to the surface, writes James Lattimer.
A first visit to the True/False festival means stepping on to enjoyably shaky ground. Two films at this year’s event in particular offered a destabilised and fascinating view of cinematic reality, writes Irina Trocan.
Set in the analogue milieu of a digitally discombobulated Parisian media couple, Olivier Assayas’s latest pulse-of-the-times drama falls back to old-school 16mm and a lot of old-hat debates over the page versus the pixel, writes Giovanni Marchini Camia.
A brave experiment in opening the screen to less sexually cocksure voices, Pintilie’s unflinching portrait of differently marginalised characters learning to find comfort in their own skin is at its best when at its most direct, says Paul O’Callaghan.
Benedikt Erlingsson’s follow-up to Of Horses and Men mixes absurdist comedy and tense thriller, with Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir as an eco-justice warrior faced with the challenge of juggling protest responsibilities and foster motherhood, writes John Bleasdale.
A group of adult engineers and another of playful children tread the same ground in Qiu Sheng’s impressive debut feature, in which the company we keep tilts the world on its axis, writes John Bleasdale.
Luis Ortega’s film doesn’t judge the horrible crimes of its baby-faced serial killer anithero, played by Lorenzo Ferro. Instead it’s a subversively funny and cool take on the crime movie, writes Christina Newland.
Panos Cosmatos’s follow-up to Beyond the Black Rainbow is a gloriously lurid mock-80s revenge quest that aims a raging, roaring Nicolas Cage at villains from another dimension, reports Katherine McLaughlin.
Jia Zhangke explores the masculine codes of his previous work in this ravishing, self-referential film about a woman in love with a mobster, with an astonishing lead performance from Zhao Tao, writes Giovanni Marchini Camia.
A freed hostage of war who absconds to Goa, Roman Kolinka is a soul unbound before Aarshi Banerjee’s winning Maya brings his life back in to focus in this tacit, ineffable Mia Hansen-Løve story, writes Sophie Monks Kaufman.
Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest follows a would-be writer’s reluctant return to his small-town fold, spinning an extensive series of conversational encounters into a typically rich, wry, melancholic mood-piece, says Geoff Andrew.
Raffey Cassidy and Natalie Portman play a mass-shooting survivor turned pop puppet coming apart at the seams in Brady Corbet’s turbo-burlesque, in which fame is just another form of assault, writes Paul O’Callaghan.
Unconventional storytelling, adorable pets and topical references swell this affectionate yarn about a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque soccer star being co-opted into an anti-EU plot, writes Sophie Monks Kaufman.