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BFI London Film Festival Highlights

CITIZENFOUR

The Film

A documentary about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the 2013 ‘Wikileaks’ NSA splurge.

Why we’re excited to see it

A staggering case of ‘right place, right time’, filmmaker Laura Poitras captures the moment when Snowden’s fame/infamy hit the headlines – with unique (and now almost impossible) access to the man in every government’s bad books.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

The Film

A black and white “Iranian vampire western”…

Why we’re excited to see it

As if the words “Iranian vampire western” weren’t already enough, Ana Lily Amirpour’s striking debut has been compared to both Let The Right One In and Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise .

The Keeping Room

The Film
Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld play two sisters left alone to defend their farm whilst the menfolk fight the last days of the American Civil War.

Why we’re excited to see it

A classic siege movie with a killer cast (that also includes Sam Worthington as a Yankee scout) from Brit director Daniel Barber, it’s got all the promise of Meeks Cutoff meets Straw Dogs .

Leviathan

The Film

A rocky coastline and a lonely man caught up in a local property dispute serve as allegories for Russia’s corrupt political system.

Why we’re excited to see it

Diretor Andrey Zvyagintsev picked up the award for Best Screenplay at Cannes, with his film compared to everything from the films of Tarkovsky to the novels of Gogol.

Son Of A Gun

The Film
Fresh from prison, JR (Brenton Thwaites) falls in with hardened criminal Brendan (Ewan McGreggor) in an Australian heist thriller with another (very different) starring role for Alicia Vikander as a feisty moll.

Why we’re excited to see it

An Aussie Training Day on the other side of the law? We’re there.

Timbuktu

The Film

Dramatising the moment when Islamic extremists rode into town, Timbuktu shows the effects of radical Sharia law in all its painful, absurd (even funny) detail.

Why we’re excited to see it

Abderrahmane Sissako’s boasts numbing social relevance, gorgeous cinematography (by Blue Is The Warmest Colour ’s Sofiane El Fani) and a scene where a team has to play football with an imaginary ball…

The Tribe

The Film

A new pupil at a boarding school for deaf teens uncovers a front for robbery, prostitution and organised crime.

Why we’re excited to see it

Perhaps the world’s first truly silent movie, debut director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy has his deaf actors perform their roles entirely in sign (without subtitles), flipping the language of cinema completely on its head.

Serena

The Film

A perfect marriage between a logging magnate (Bradley Cooper) and his wife (Jennifer Lawrence) starts to unravel in a depression era tale of jealously, infidelity and murder.

Why we’re excited to see it

Cast before Silver Linings Playbook , Susanne Bier's savage melodrama promises to push Lawrence and Cooper into even darker, edgier turf than any of their past performances.

Camp X-Ray

The Film

An uncomfortable bond develops between a prisoner (Peyman Maadi) and a guard (Kristen Stewart)... in Guantanamo Bay.

Why we’re excited to see it

Still tarred with the Twilight brush, Camp X-Ray marks another interesting departure for Stewart, giving her a chance to get edgy and, possibly, even controversial.

The Face Of An Angel

The Film

Michael Winterbottom directs Daniel Brühl and Cara Delevingne in a film about a director struggling to unravel the truth behind a student murder mystery.

Why we’re excited to see it

A film about a film about a contentious real-life story (the murder is inspired by the Amanda Knox case), The Face Of An Angel sees Winterbottom back on form; pushing envelopes, racking layers and stirring up another international debate.