Five to watch - London Film Festival

As the 55th London Film Festival kicks off, we've picked out a mere five films (there are 300+ in the programme so we have to be realistic) that we're looking forward to catching over the next few weeks. For full listings go to www.bfi.org.uk/lff/

1 Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
A tale of honour and revenge, filled with concerned glances and silent head-bowing is not exactly new to Samurai cinema, but this familiar tale of an impoverished Ronin struggling to cope with civilian life is given a less familiar freshness and energy at the hands of director. Mon 17th

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2 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

So how many Turkish/Bosnian co-productions have you seen in the cinema? This Cannes Grand-Prix winner following the story of a disorgansed police search for a missing body, starting at dusk and ending around lunchtime on the day after, is a perfect festival movie - taking you to places, people and themes you won't find at the multiplex. Mon 17th

 

3 A Dangerous Method

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David Cronenberg tackling the early days of psychoanalysis doesn't bode well for a light-hearted evening but told through the relationship of Freud (Viggo Mortenson) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), it plays out as an a convincing character-driven piece that happens to tackle some heavyweight issues (desire, science, the nature of humanity - you know the deal). Tue 25th

 

4 Shame

On the surface, Michael Fassbender plays a successful thirty-something with a pretty straightforward life. He just happens to also be a compulsive sex addict engaged in a relentless cycle of pick-ups and prostitutes, taken whenever and wherever he can. Steve McQueen's film not only looks great, showing a side of New York rarely seen on film, it's also a compelling look at why we behave like we do. Sat 15th

 

5 The Descendants

Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) is a master at finding comedy in the private tragedies of his flawed but likable characters. The Descendants fits this mould pretty well, following Matt King (George Clooney) as his easy life is turned upside down by a boat accident. Thurs 20th