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The BFI London Film Festival 2020 Announces Lineup

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Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Francis Lee's 'Ammonite'

Film Festivals are just one of many events across the globe that has been affected by the global pandemic. As a result of these unprecedented times, the format for most festivals is changing this year, and the BFI’s London Film Festival is no exception. With a mixture of select physical cinema screenings and virtual premieres online, this year’s LFF looks set to be the most interactive and accessible lineup yet.

The full program of films selected for this year’s festival have been unveiled, and it offers film fans across the country an eclectic mix of 58 films. These are films from all over the world, with films coming for over 40 countries, with new offerings from directors such as Steve McQueen (whose film will open the festival), Spike Lee, Miranda July, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Francis Lee (whose film, Ammonite, will close the fest).

It will be a new challenge for the dedicated LFF team this year, but one that the BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts is excited about, as he told The Guardian: ““Although it’s been born out of crisis, this year’s edition of the LFF will be our most accessible yet.”

The festival, which will run from October 7-18, will offer a new hybrid way of participating with the festival. Around 50 films from the program will have virtual premieres, available only to UK audiences. Some of these films will be screened live, with some being made available for 72 hours, although participants will only be able to watch the film once. There will be a small selection available at cinemas that follow social distancing guidelines, but for the most part this year’s LFF is set to be quite different, and it will undoubtedly be intriguing to see how it all plays out.

You can check out the full list of announced films below, as well as the trailer for the festival to whet your appetite. Make sure to head over to the LFF website for more details.

Full list:

180° RULE | Farnoosh Samadi | Iran

200 METERS | Ameen Nayfeh | Palestine

A COMMON CRIME | Francisco Márquez | Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland

A DAY-OFF OF KASUMI ARIMURA | d. Hirokazu Kore-eda | w. Sakura Higa | Japan

AFRICAN APOCALYPSE | Rob Lemkin | UK

AFTER LOVE | Aleem Khan | UK

AMMONITE | Francis Lee | UK

ANOTHER ROUND | Thomas Vinterberg | Denmark

BAD TALES | Fabio D’Innocenzo, Damiano D’Innocenzo | Italy

BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKET | Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross | USA

THE CHEATERS | Paulette McDonagh | Australia

THE CHESS GAME OF THE WIND | Mohammad Reza Aslani | Iran

CICADA | Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare | USA

DAYS | Tsai Ming-Liang | Taiwan

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA | Spike Lee | USA

DELIA DERBYSHIRE: THE MYTHS AND LEGENDARY TAPES | Caroline Catz | UK

THE DISCIPLE | Chaitanya Tamhane | India

FAREWELL AMOR | Ekwa Msangi | USA

FRIENDSHIP’S DEATH | Peter Wollen | UK

GENUS PAN | Lav Diaz | Philippines

GOLD FOR DOGS | Anna Cazenave Cambet | France

HERSELF | Phyllida Lloyd | UK

HONEYMOOD | Talya Lavie | Israel

I AM SAMUEL | Pete Murimi | Kenya

IDENTIFYING FEATURES | Fernanda Valadez | Mexico-Spain

IF IT WERE LOVE | Patric Chiha | France

INDUSTRY | d. Lena Dunham, Tinge Krishnan, Ed Lilly | w. Mickey Down, Konrad Kay | UK

THE INTRUDER | Natalia Meta | Argentina-Mexico

KAJILLIONAIRE | Miranda July | USA

LIMBO | Ben Sharrock | UK

MANGROVE | Steve McQueen | UK

MOGUL MOWGLI | Bassam Tariq | UK

NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN | Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert | Poland-Germany

NEW ORDER | Michel Franco | Mexico

NOMADLAND | Chloé Zhao | USA

NOTTURNO | Gianfranco Rosi | Italy-Germany-France

ONE MAN AND HIS SHOES | Yemi Bamiro | UK

THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF | Benjamin Ree | Norway

POSSESSOR | Brandon Cronenberg | Canada-UK

THE REASON I JUMP | Jerry Rothwell | UK

RELIC | Natalie Erika James | Australia-USA

ROSE | Jennifer Sheridan | UK

THE SALT IN OUR WATERS | Rezwan Shahriar Sumit | Bangladesh-France

SHADOW COUNTRY | Bohdan Sláma | Czech Republic

SHIRLEY | Josephine Decker | USA

SIBERIA | Abel Ferrara | Italy-Germany-Mexico

SOUL | Pete Docter, Kemp Powers | USA

SOUND FOR THE FUTURE | Matt Hulse | UK-China

STRAY | Elizabeth Lo | USA

STRIDING INTO THE WIND | Wei Shujun | China

SUPERNOVA | Harry Macqueen | UK

THIS IS MY DESIRE (EYIMOFE) | Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri | Nigeria

TIME | Garrett Bradley | USA

ULTRAVIOLENCE | Ken Fero | UK

UNDINE | Christian Petzold | Germany

WILDFIRE | Cathy Brady | UK-Ireland

WOLFWALKERS | Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart | Ireland-Luxembourg-France

ZANKA CONTACT | Ismaël El Iraki | France-Morocco-Belgium

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5 Best Independent Cinemas Now Open in London

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Everybody loves going to the movies. With the current pandemic making many people reassess their viewing habits, it may be time for Londoners to think outside of the box of big chain cinemas, and focus their attention on the independent cinemas that the city has to offer. With most back in operation, they need support more than ever, so allow us to show you five of the very best indie cinemas that are ready to transport you and offer a unique viewing experience along the way. 

1. The Prince Charles Cinema

The Prince Charles Cinema

Holding the honour of being the last independent cinema running in the West End, The Prince Charles Cinema has been entertaining movie goers since the 1960’s, and remains a firm favourite amongst the city’s film fans. It is not hard to see why. With a program that features new releases, cult classics, movies from across the globe, as well as many themed movie nights and marathons, the PCC is the place to indulge in your favourite movie niches. The amount of films on offer is simply staggering, with many seasons on the go, from James Bond to Studio Ghibli, to the movies of David Lynch and so much more. It is also famous for being the go-to place in the UK to experience Tommy Wiseau’s infamous ‘worst movie of all time’ The Room. A crown jewel of London’s indie cinema scene.  

Location: 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY
Prices: £4.50 – £16 (Membership available from £10)
Website: link

2. Genesis Cinema 

Right in the heart of Whitechapel, the venue for the Genesis Cinema has been keeping East-Londoners entertained for over a hundred years, before becoming a cinema in 1999. It keeps the spirit of good times and entertainment alive with its luxurious viewing options. You can experience a movie in its large main screen, or you can go for something a little more personal with their Studio Screening rooms, offering you a comforting armchair and footrest, so you can kick back and enjoy the movie in style. You can even enjoy a cocktail or two, along with some delicious food from the on-site kitchen. The Genesis Cinema offers a program of both recent and classic movies, but has also been known to host poetry nights and exclusive events, keeping the party spirit of this beloved East End location more than alive. 

Location: 93-95 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ
Prices:
£4.50 – £14 (Membership available from £20)
Website: link

3. Peckhamplex 

Just look at that ticket price! All tickets at the Peckhamplex cost just £4.99 for any film at any time, any day of the week. It is an affordable means of seeing the latest blockbusters on screen, and its joyful appreciation of the movie-going experience is infectious. It is the definition of cheap and cheerful when it comes to indie cinemas in London. It may not be the swankiest, but that doesn’t matter. It is a cinema that loves bringing people together to enjoy the experience of the movies. A location that many of those in the local area hold very dear to their hearts. Don’t just take our word for it, the location has won a Time Out Love London award three times, thanks to their combination of offering big screen entertainment along with community focused events.

Location: 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST 
Prices: £4.99 for any film at anytime seven days a week 
Website: link

4. Electric Cinema  

The Electric Cinema is the cinema for those looking for an extra indulgent experience. We’re not joking, there’s even a choice to book a double bed as your seat for your chosen movie (which is handy if you don’t like the film, you can just have a little snooze instead!). The Portobello location also just so happens to be one of the oldest running cinemas in the country, so not only can you put your feet up and enjoy your favourite glass of wine with a movie, you will also be sitting in a place rich with cinematic history. A plush and gorgeous experience that treats film fans like Hollywood celebs. 

Location: Portobello and White City 
Prices: £13.50 – £22.50
Website: link

5. Rio Cinema 

The Rio Cinema is a non-profit cinema located in the heart of Dalston, and is another London venue with a very rich history that dates back over 100 years. With gorgeous art deco stylings, the Rio offers cinemagoers a unique venue to take in blockbusters, arthouse flicks and classic titles. While there may only be two screens, the Rio creates a sense of community through a well selected program, as well as offers for film fans of all ages. It is a venue that celebrates its history, and the legacy that it has had as a long-standing piece of the community.  

Location: 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB 
Prices: £7 – £12.50 (Memberships from £30)
Website: link

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The Best London Galleries Open Now

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After being closed for so long, London’s most beautiful galleries are open to the public once again. Most of them are taking careful precautions to ensure the safety of their visitors, including one-way systems, mandatory face-masks, and entry only with a slot booked in advance. With safety ensured, here are some of the best galleries in London that are both culturally enlightening and free to enter.

Tate Britain

Tate Britain contains a collection of art from 1500 to modern-day in rooms organised chronologically by historical period, allowing you to quite literally stroll through a timeline of British art. There’s work to appeal to everyone’s tastes – there’s Millais’s painting of drowned Ophelia to contrast Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. Special exhibitions aren’t free, but there’s many that are worth paying for nevertheless. At the moment, the gallery is hosting the largest collection of Aubrey Beardsley’s works in fifty years, luckily an exhibition that has been extended because of lockdown closures.

Tate Modern

If your aesthetic interests lie more in the direction of the brutal and abstract than in the impressionist, Tate Modern is a great alternative to the Tate Britain. Based in the old Bankside Power Station in Southwark, it’s one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world. The collection is very international, some notable artists featured here include the Japanese artist Masami Teraoka and American pop-art and photography by Andy Warhol. With a new exhibition of Warhol’s works extended until November, there’s no better time to book a timeslot and visit this searingly modern space.

The National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square and therefore central to most of London’s main tourist attractions, this gallery is one of the most convenient to drop into casually, whilst also being worthy of a specific excursion. The National Gallery’s collection is vast (containing over 2,300 works) and a consequence of this is that essentially every major art movement finds representation in its rooms. Household names of the art world like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci all have work exhibited here, so if you’re still undecided about the nature of your art preferences, then this is a good place to examine many different styles in one place.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Although containing its own impressive collection of paintings, the V&A Museum is predominantly known for its collection of applied arts and design. At the moment, a display on the concealed history of Nazi Looting is available to view for free, as well as all its permanent collection. This is a gallery with a strong history dating back to 1851 when Queen Victoria herself contributed to the original collection. Even stopping for coffee here is an engagement with history – it’s café is actually the first museum café in the world!

Hayward Gallery

Perhaps the least famous on this list, Hayward Gallery is still absolutely worth visiting. It’s part of the Southbank Centre (which also hosts live events and workshops) and is unique for its outside gallery space. After lockdown, Hayward Gallery opened with a topical and relevant photography exhibition entitled ‘Everyday Heroes’, which celebrates the key workers throughout the pandemic. Another current exhibition ‘Among the Trees’ explores the human relationship to the natural world, and looking around it is a fantastic way to mentally escape the confines of the city.

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