London Film Festival Kicks off with "In the Cut"
by Brian Brooks
The London Film Festival announced plans for its 47th edition yesterday, with the event kicking off on October 22nd with Jane Campion's psychological thriller, "In the Cut." The Toronto 2003 feature stars Meg Ryan, a lonely woman in New York who 'discovers the dark side of passion,' as well as Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Jason Leigh. LFF will spotlight nine features as gala presentations including several films that screened in Toronto, such as Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," which opened in the U.S. last weekend to huge box office success.
Also set is Toronto opener "Les Invasions Babares" (Barbarian Invasions) by Denys Arcand, which will be the festival's centerpiece, as well as "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Peter Webber, Venice 2003 audience award-winner, "21 Grams" by Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu and John Sayles' "Casa de los Babys," opening this weekend in the U.S.
Films screening in the festival's "Orange Film on the Square" section include Errol Morris' Robert S. McNamara portrait, "Fog of War," Sundance 2003 winner "The Station Agent," by Tom McCarthy, Lars von Trier's anticipated "Dogville," Cannes jury prize-winning "At Five in the Afternoon" from Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf, "Noi Albinoi" by Icelandic director Dagur Kari and Siddiq Barmak's "Osama," the first feature to come from Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban.
U.K. offerings include British production "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself" by Danish auteur Lone Scherfig, drama "Kiss of Life" by Emily Young, as well as Alison Peebles' debut feature "Afterlife." In addition to the festival's British focus, LFF will also spotlight films from France including Venice 2003 competition film "Twentynine Palms" by Bruno Dumont. Additionally, the festival will spotlight films from the rest of Europe in its Cinema Europa section, while avant-garde will be the focus of the festival's Experimenta sidebar.
"I'm delighted with the quality and range of the selection, and pleased to be able to present such a dynamic and relevant program," said artistic director Sandra Hebron in an event release. "From high profile international premieres and quirky independent features to socially and culturally illuminating documentaries, archive restorations and a wealth of short films and videos, this is without doubt one of our strongest ever programs."
The festival will close on November 6th with New Zealander Christine Jeff's story on the relationship between poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in, "Sylvia," starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.
[For more information, please visit: http://www.lff.org.uk.]