LFF TOP 20
James DC’s list of the best genre and ‘cult’ films, still to be shown up to October 18th, in this year’s London Film Festival (in no particular order) :
1) THE LOBSTER
Tuesday 13th, 6pm & 6.30pm @ Vue West End
Thursday 15th, 6.15pm @ Ritzy
All-star absurdist fantasy, set in a future dystopia, involving animal transformations and other witty weirdness, from director Yorgos Lanthimos, of Dogtooth and Alps fame.
2) OLD CZECH LEGENDS
Saturday 17th, 3.45pm @ NFT2
Iconic, stunning masterpieces of stop-frame animation from Czech legend Jiří Trnka.
3) THE SURVIVALIST
Wednesday 14th, 9pm @ Vue Islington
Atmospheric, authentic slow-burner about an Irish man trying to survive in the woods, after a future apocalypse.
4) THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT
Friday 16th, 9pm @ Cineworld Haymarket
Saturday 17th, 12.45pm @Cine Lumiere
From director Jaco Van Dormael, who made the wonderful Toto the Hero (1991), this stars Catherine Deneuve in a bizarre fantasy which satirises religion.
5) GREEN ROOM
Wednesday 14th, 8.45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Thursday 15th, 8.45pm @ Picturehouse Central
Punky, violent, intense murder thriller, starring Patrick Stewart.
Friday 16th, 6.10pm @ Curzon Mayfair
Saturday 17th, 12.30pm @Curzon Soho
Ultra-stylish, visionary, suspenseful crime thriller from Germany.
7) THE WITCH
Wednesday 14th, 12.30pm @ Vue West End
Unsettling horror drama, set during the infamous witch trials of 17th century America.
Tuesday 13th, 1.15pm @ NFT3
Friday 16th, 9.15pm @ Picturehouse Central
Claustrophobic urban chiller, reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s horror films.
9) YAKUZA APOCALYPSE
Thursday 15th, 9pm @ Rich Mix
Sunday 18th, 8.45pm @ Picturehouse Central
Deranged genre hybrid, featuring vampire gangsters, from the cult Japanese director Takashi Miike.
10) RATTLE THE CAGE
Saturday 17th, 12.30pm @ Vue West End
Sunday 18th, 3pm @ Cineworld Haymarket
Inventive and stylish thriller from the Middle East, set in the confines of a jail.
Friday 16th, 9pm @ Vue Islington
Johnny Depp is almost unrecognisable as a ruthless Irish gangster who becomes an informant for the FBI, in this crime thriller from director Scott Cooper, of Crazy Heart (2009) fame.
12) SCHNEIDER VS. BAX
Saturday 17th, 1.15pm @ NFT2
An absolutely barnstorming, surreal comedy thriller, suspenseful and hilarious in equal measure.
Wednesday 14th, 6pm & 6.30pm @ Vue West End
Thursday 15th, 2.45pm @ Odeon Leicester Square
Sunday 18th, 1pm @ Curzon Mayfair
Jonás Cuarón (son of the more famous Alfonso Cuarón, director of Gravity) creates a taut, edge-of-the-seat thriller, concerning immigration and racism, set in the borderlands of Mexico.
14) ONE FLOOR BELOW
Wednesday 14th, 12.45pm @ NFT2
Gripping, low-key Romanian thriller, involving a possible murder.
Wednesday 14th, 6.30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
From legendary Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski comes a strange, fragmentary story involving multiple characters and stunning set-pieces.
Tuesday 13th, 12pm @ Vue West End
Friday 16th, 6.15pm @ Cine Lumiere
Hao Hsiao Hsien’s martial arts spectacular, set in 9th century China, won the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
17) FLAPPING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Saturday 17th, 6.15pm @ Ritzy
Sunday 18th, 6.15pm @ Curzon Soho
Magical realism meets abstract horror in this odd, affecting drama revolving around teenage pregnancy.
18) GOLD COAST
Tuesday 13th, 6.30pm @ Vue Islington
Thursday 15th, 12pm @ Vue West End
Redolent of Werner Herzog’s surreal epics of colonial adventure set in far-off lands, this is a dreamlike, historical drama.
19) UNDER ELECTRIC CLOUDS
Wednesday 14th, 6pm @ Curzon Mayfair
Friday 16th, 6pm @ Curzon Soho
The latest from Aleksei German Jr. (co-director of the awesome Hard to be a God, shown at last year’s LFF), this blends reality and fantasy in a dark, curious story set in a Russia of the near future.
Sunday 18th, 2pm @ NFT1
E.A. Dupont’s German Expressionist-inflected silent masterpiece tells the story of a circus acrobat whose life spirals out of control after an adulterous affair. Don’t miss this wonderful restoration.