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Home Blog Latest Festival Preview: LFF 2012 line-up promises love, debate, dares, laughs, thrills... and the A5
Festival Preview: LFF 2012 line-up promises love, debate, dares, laughs, thrills... and the A5 Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:07

LFF 2012 line-up

Love! Debate! Dare! Laugh! Thrill! Cult! Journey! Sonic! Family! That’s the sound of an all-new London Film Festival. Replacing Sandra Hebron, director Clare Stewart announced a festival programme with a new themed approach instead of the old geographical strands. And judging by the LFF 2012 line-up, she’s succeeded in giving it a shot up the arm.

Oh yes, the LFF promises to give audiences romance, comedy, discussion and excitement. And what better way to combine them all into one film... than a documentary about the A5.

I say that, but Marc Isaac’s new film (The Road: A Story of Life and Death) really does have me excited. It’s that kind of unexpected programming (and filmmaking) that led to Frankenweenie being screened as the LFF Opening Film. And, even more importantly, being screened to several other UK cinemas simultaneously – a wonderfully modern contrast to the predictable pick of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations for the Closing Film (in itself entirely appropriate given its still the bicentenary of Charles Dickens).

But what else can we expect from the line-up? A mostly predictable mix of festival highlights from Toronto, Venice, Berlin and Cannes, but more than enough (in my opinion) world premieres to set us apart. 14, to be exact, with 34 European premieres to boot.

That includes gala screenings of Crossfire Hurricane, a documentary about the Rolling Stones (to be attended by the band), Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quarter (starring Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon), Hyde Park on Hudson (starring Bill Murray as Roosevelt) and Paul Andrew Williams’ latest, Song for Maron.

As predicted by yours truly, the Pythons (well, Palin and Jones) will be in attendance for the European Premiere of A Liar’s Autobiography.

And then there’s the chance to see John Hawkes in The Sessions, Chris O’Dowd in The Sapphires (sponsored by Nintendo, no less) and Ben Affleck in the extremely acclaimed Argo – which, the LFF press release is keen to point out, was produced with George Clooney.

Could The Cloonmeister be back in London once again, despite not appearing in any of the festival’s films?

Frankly, I don’t care. Not with Beasts of the Southern Wild given pride of place in the First Feature Competiion and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children and Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psycopaths duking it out in the inaugural Office Competition strand. And, of course, the BFI’s restoration premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Manxman to finish off this year’s epic Genius of Hitchcock retrospective.

There’s too much else to mention here – I’ll give you a proper recommendations list next week – but let’s just leave it at this: Michael Haneke’s Amour, Mad Mikkelsen in The Hunt, Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, The Shining documentary Room 237 and this hidden away gem:

“This year’s Family Gala is ERNEST & CELESTINE, the delightful animated story of an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse from the directors of A TOWN CALLED PANIC.”

I’m buying a ticket for that one as soon as they’re released. Which, FYI, is Friday 24th September. BFI members get priority booking from next week.

The official LFF site is this way - or, if you prefer your festivals more on the indie side, take a ganders at the Raindance 2012 line-up.


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  • ben wheatley
  • clare stewart
  • film festival
  • frankenweenie
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  • hitchcock
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  • london film festival