London Film Festival Picks: International opinion

The London Film Festival presents an eclectic mix of films from around the world yet again and Asia offers a very strong selection this year. Excluding the galas, European, and British films, here are a mere five that shine especially brightly amongst the giant collection:

The Congress

Israeli Ari Folman, writer-director of the multi-award winning 2008 film of great acclaim, Waltz with Bashir, returns with a live-action/animation hybrid based on the Stanislaw Lem sci-fi classic The Futurological Congress. Another title where the trailer is worth a gander. One of the true originals gracing the festival, at the very least.

The Past

To say Asghar Farhadi’s wonderful Iranian film A Separation was well received is a gross understatement: it is comfortably one of the most celebrated foreign-language films of recent years. So this, his next, more ambitious, film, would be a must-see even if it hadn’t been widely praised and didn’t feature a cast including Tahar Rahim and an award-winning turn from Bérénice Bejo.

Like Father, Like Son

One of the best-loved films at the Cannes Film Festival, and winner of the Jury Prize, a drama from renowned Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda (his previous film, I Wish, in fact, was released in the UK in February and is one of the year’s best so far). In competition for Best Film at the festival, Like Father, Like Son, is one of the favourites to win.

The Rocket

Just watch the trailer. A great looking film from Laos, a country seldom highlighted on film.

Ilo Ilo

Singapore is another country that hasn’t exactly pumped out a plethora of classic films in recent years. Ilo Ilo, from debut writer-director Anothony Chen, has been making ripples, however, winning praise and awards from early screenings. In competition for the festival’s First Feature prize.

Others…

There’s a LOT to choose from. More that jump out include Heli, a brutal Mexican drama that earned the Best Director Award at Cannes, Gloria, a coming-of-old-age Chilean drama with acclaimed performances, The Great Passage, from the director of former festival favourites Sawako Decides and Mitsuko Delivers, and the usual slew of exciting indies from the USA.

9th Sep 2013