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The Times bfi 49th London Film Festival 2005



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Gala Presentations

Walk the Line (The Times Gala)
Director James Mangold’s eagerly anticipated biopic of the legendary Johnny Cash is a story that provides enough drama to need little embellishment. Joaquin Phoenix gives a remarkably convincing performance as the self destructive Cash whose enduring love for June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) anchors the film as it did Cash’s life. A musical biography, a love story and an all round unmitigated treat. (Preview l Interview)

Separate Lies (The Mayor Of London Gala)
Academy Award winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) makes a striking directorial debut with this gripping and handsome mystery thriller and psychological study which centres on the lives of a well liked and well known couple (Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson). The pair begin to question their loyalty to each when a roguish local (Rupert Everett) enters their lives.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Centrepiece Screening
Screenwriter Shane Black’s (Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight) directorial debut is a savvy cineliterate Hollywood set murder mystery, funny and foul mouthed. As the hapless but likeable loser Harry, Robert Downey Jr does his best work since Wonder Boys, and Val Kilmer is in career redefining form, revealing perfect comic timing as Gay Perry.

The Brothers Grimm - Sky Movies Special Screening
Terry Gilliam’s latest rollicking romp concerns intrepid Brothers Will (Matt Damon) and Jake (Heath Ledger) Grimm who travel through the Napoleonic countryside, making a quick buck by ridding fearful communities of demons and monsters. Gilliam’s spectacular fairy tale world is packed with rip-roaring action and disturbing fantasy. (Preview)

The Proposition - MTV Special Screening
Set in the hostile outback of 1880s Australia, The Proposition is a committed bushranger western. Guy Pearce, Emily Watson and Ray Winstone star in this dazzling, flyblown spectacle. With references to the foreboding landscapes of John Ford and the blood, guts and gore of Sam Peckinpah, John Hillcoat’s direction is claustrophobic, close and unsettling, while Nick Cave’s exquisite score and superb script is at turns unforgiving and brutal, at others, romantic and tender.

L’Enfant (Time Out Critics Choice)
This Cannes Palme d’Or winner by the Dardenne Brothers is a wonderfully evocative account of life on the streets. Jérémie Renier plays Bruno, 20, happily living off his girlfriend Sonia’s benefits and goods stolen by kids in his gang. Sonia who has just given birth is unprepared for Bruno’s cavalier attitude towards parenthood. L’enfant is a film of sublime grace and devastating emotional power with performances of enormous subtlety and conviction. (Story)

Hidden (Caché) - French Gala
Michael Haneke’s Hidden is at once a nail-biting psychological thriller and a philosophical inquiry into the act of watching. Daniel Auteuil plays Georges, a TV literary critic whose family starts receiving mysterious packages – videotapes suggesting that he and his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche) and son Pierrot are being closely observed. (Preview)

The March of the Penguins (La Marche de L’Empereur) - Family Gala
This beautiful inspiring documentary charts the remarkable journey of the Emperor penguins who march - single file - to their breeding ground during the harsh Antarctic winter. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this uplifting and epic tale of triumph against the odds has become one of the biggest grossing documentaries ever in the US. (Preview)

 

Film On The Square

The high profile titles in Film On The Square showcase the work of established directors and big name stars alongside remarkable directorial debuts and performances from the emerging stars of tomorrow.

Ranging from sophisticated mainstream drama and indie hits, to Hong Kong action flicks and hard hitting documentaries this strand celebrates the year’s finest films:

2 Girls (Iki Genc Kiz)
3 Needles
Bee Season
Bubble
A Cock And Bull Story
Crossing The Bridge: The Sound Of Istanbul
The Death Of Mister Lazarescu
Election
Elizabethtown
Everything is Illuminated
Factotum
Forty Shades Of Blue
Hell (L’Enfer)
Hustle And Flow
Keane
The King
Lemming
Lonesome Jim
Lower City (Cidade Baixa)
Manderlay
The Matador
Murderball
The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes
Proof
Rize
Sex And Philosophy
Shooting Dogs
Shopgirl
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
Takeshis’
Three Times (Zui Hao de Shiguang)
Time To Leave (Le temps qui reste)
Ultranova
Where The Truth Lies

New British Cinema

Giving audiences the opportunity to see provocative and relevant work from some of the most vital film-makers working in Britain today, this year’s New British Cinema Strand features an eclectic range of documentaries, dramas and shorts marked by cinematic invention, which explore themes of cultural and racial identity, memory and love.

Black Sun (Gary Tarn)
Love + Hate (Dominic Savage)
Mirrormask (David McKean)
Sisters In Law (Kim Longinotto)
Song of Songs (Josh Appignanesi)
Stoned (Stephen Woolley)
Unknown White Male (Rupert Murray)
A Woman In Winter (Richard Jobson)

Tickets can be booked online at www.lff.org.uk or by telephone on 020 7928 3232 from Thursday, October 6.

Cinemas screening festival films include the bfi NFT and Odeon West End, where the full programme booklet can be collected.

Related stories: Full line-up of films announced

Thrillers book-end London Film Festival

Watch The Constant Gardener trailer now!



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