The BFI London Film Festival is coming to Hackney Picturehouse. Over the course of eleven days, from 8 to 18 October, a sizeable selection from the LFF’s 200-plus line-up will be screening in Hackney, often with the filmmakers in tow for special Q&As. It’s the third year that the LFF has partnered with Hackney Picturehouse, and we’re as excited as ever to be bringing the programme to Mare Street this year. So what can cinemagoers expect this time? Here are some of our highlights.
Juliette Lewis gives an absolutely storming performance as Kelly, a mother of a newborn who has just moved to the suburbs with her husband. Enter Cal (the terrific Jonny Weston), a rebellious teenager who lives next door to her. These proud misfits bond, with former Riot Grrrl Kelly rediscovering her rock-chick mojo through the mischief she and Cal cook up together, while Cal begins to open up about the accident that left him a wheelchair user. But could this relationship be more than friendship? This debut feature from director Jen McGowan is a hugely entertaining and impressively sure-footed comedy-drama – and Jen and the film’s cinematographer Phil Lott will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
The PARTY GIRL of the title is Angélique, the 60-year-old hostess of a cabaret bar (and mother of now adult children). Decades worth of after-hours hard-living is beginning to catch up on her. When a regular patron proposes marriage, Angélique does what she has avoided all these years so far and settles down to a ‘conventional’ life, which leaves her questioning her identity. A poignant, wise and delicate film about ageing, regret and family life, with a bold and delicate central performance by Angélique Litzenburger.
L FOR LEISURE
One of the hits of the festival circuit, US directors Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn’s debut feature is a beguiling, lighter-than-air comedy set in the early 1990s, about a group of graduates taking time out from their studies. With its witty dialogue and atmosphere of languid introspection the film is indebted to Eric Rohmer and Walt Whitman, but Kalman and Horn throw into the mix a loving dollop of ’90s nostalgia, a dreamy score and sumptuously retro cinematography (shot on 16mm). Cinema is rarely so smart and so funny.
In a village in a remote (and visually ravishing) part of Eastern Anatolia, young Mert is to be circumcised as tradition dictates, but his impoverished family can’t afford a lamb for the celebratory banquet. His mother Medine however is determined to get one – and nothing will stop her. This droll, humane and exquisitely crafted paean to the resourcefulness of Medine (and other women like her) confirms writer-director Kutlug Ataman as one of Turkey’s finest filmmakers.
Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher’s second feature sees a German-Italian family attempt to create their own rural idyll, having moved away from the bustle of modern life to a remote part of Northern Italy. But when the eldest daughter enters the family into a tacky TV talent show, relations between the parents and children begin to strain. The result is a beautifully performed, impeccably controlled mood piece that won Rohrwacher the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes film festival. Alice will be joining us with actress Alba Rohrwacher who plays Angelica in the film for a Q&A.
From Danish director Fenar Ahmad, this absorbing urban drama stars real-life rapper Gilli as Mikael, the charismatic leader of a hip-hop crew from Copenhagen’s projects. Mikael’s talent sees him feted by the music industry, but his loyalty to his old friends is put under strain when an older, more successful rapper takes him under his wing. A vivid and honest film, with some terrific music from Denmark’s burgeoning hip-hop scene.