30 Must See films at this year’s London Film Festival

Friday September 11th 2009


It took slightly longer than I’d hoped but here is the definitive list. This may just be the BEST round-up of this year’s programme available online. Even The Times aren’t making the effort and they’re the main sponsor. Enjoy!

30. HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT’S INFERNO
An uncompleted French masterpiece completed 45 years after its inception by directors who weren’t even alive when it was begun. Yes, this is a film festival.
29. BALIBO
We saw a bit of this at the press launch and I don’t know what its about or who made it but it looked quite good and we’re only at number 29 anyway.
28. THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS
I know this might be higher on other people’s lists but there’s something ever so slightly shit about the trailer that puts me off. Sorry Cloons.
27. FILM IST. A GIRL & A GUN
‘A five-act drama in which reclaimed footage is interwoven with aphorisms from ancient Greek philosophy’ says the blurb. Ponce o’ clock.
26. THE APE
An eighty minute Swedish character piece about human nature. Looks quite light on dialogue so hopefully it’ll have a lot of smashing shit up.
25. THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Some might have this higher up the list and I’m certainly no Wes-hater (his AmEx ad is a treat) but it’s not going to be that good is it? You saw the trailer.
24. ENTER THE VOID
Stupidly long (155 min) and from ridiculous French auteur Gaspar Noé, but it’s probably the sort of film that you can boast about having endured..
23. LIFE DURING WARTIME
A quasi-sequel to Todd Solondz’s Happiness but with different actors. Amazingness Warning: contains both Pee-Wee Herman and Omar from The Wire.
22. AIR DOLL
Inflatable sex doll gets soul. Comes to life. Learns about humanity. Falls in love with video store clerk. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
21. PRECIOUS
Sounds terrible (basically just a glorified Inspirational Teacher Movie) and even looks a bit terrible but supposedly is very good. According to Sundance.
20. LEBANON
An entire film set inside a tank. ‘High concept’.
19. DOUBLE TAKE
Does for Alfred Hitchcock what F for Fake did for Orson Welles. And it’s only 80 minutes long and is probably not one bit boring.
18. KINATAY
According to Sight&Sound this is more horrific than Antichrist and more painful than Irreversible so it’s definitely one for the whole family.
17. THE ROAD
Oh, The Road. How is it that it seems to get less exciting with each new photo or trailer that gets released? It will be 7/10. I have no doubt.
16. EXTRACT
THERE IS STILL NO UK RELEASE DATE SET FOR EXTRACT. So you really should see it at the London Film Festival. Seriously.
15. BRIGHT STAR
Ben Whishaw isn’t stretching himself very much at the moment but everybody said this was good at Cannes and what I’ve seen does look the shit.
14. ALEXANDER THE LAST
Mumblecore. If you’re not familiar with it, you never will be. If you are familiar with it, you’ll probably enjoy the latest from Mumblecore grandaddy Joe Swanberg.
13. TRASH HUMPERS
A 78-minute Harmony Korine movie shot on crappy video cameras about a group of antisocial freaks who have sex with dustbins. Yes please.
12. PAPER HEART
We’ve talked about this before (check the cool trailer) but this pseudo-documentary starring Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera looks pretty topples.
11. THE GOTHIC AND THE GROTESQUE (SHORTS)
You can’t go to a film festival without seeing at least three short films. And this lot look like the best. But of course I could be wrong.
10. THE WHITE RIBBON
Oh Monsieur Haneke, what will you do next? Black and white. German. About Terrorism. Won the Palme D’or. What more are you after?
9. A SERIOUS MAN
I’m still not sure about this but equally I find it hard to believe that the Holy Brothers Coen could possibly put a foot wrong so I’ll reserve my judgement.
8. THE THORN IN THE HEART
A Michel Gondry documentary about Michel Gondry’s aunt. If you’re not won over by the above sentence then you should go back and read it again.
7. AN EDUCATION
Nick Hornby, Peter Saarsgard, Carey Mulligan and Dominic Cooper are just a handful of the madexciting names involved in this.
6. TOY STORY 2 in 3D
The only film that I have seen more times than Toy Story 2 is Toy Story so I will LITERALLY KILL to see this in 3D at the earliest opportunity.
5. SURPRISE FILM
Last year it was The Wrestler. In 07 it was No Country for Old Men. We can only pray that this year it turns out to be Where the Wild Things Are.
4. NOWHERE BOY
It remains to be seen whether or not Sam Taylor-Wood can measure up to the standard set last year by Steve McQueen but I’m willing to bet she gets close.
3. UP IN THE AIR
Fuck the Fox. Screw the Goats. This is the Clooney film to beat as far as I’m concerned.
2. UN PROPHÈTE
I don’t know anything at all about this but I’m equally sure that it’s the best film of all time. Probably this year’s The Class. And not just because it’s french.
1. THE INFORMANT!
Everything about this gives me that incredible feeling when you’re so excited about a movie that you don’t even want to see it for fear of it being bad.