61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® adds films by John Woo and Alex Gibney to the programme line-up along with Venice award-winners Custody and Nico, 1988
Dir John Woo. Prod Gordon Chan, Chan Hing Kai. Scr Nip Wan Fung , Gordon Chan, James Yuen, Itaru Era, Ku Zoi Lam, Maria Wong, Sophia Yeh. With Zhang Hanyu, Masaharu Fukuyama, Qi Wei, Ha Jiwon. Hong Kong-China 2017. 111min.
MANHUNT (ZHUIBU), represents John Woo’s thrilling return to his cinematic roots, with intrepid cops, flying glass, mid-air shootouts in balletic slo-mo. Here the Hong Kong maestro moves police thriller operations to Japan, where lawyer Du Qiu (Zhang Hanyu) finds himself a murder suspect on the run from tenacious cop Yamura (Masaharu Fukuyama). A hugely enjoyable full-tilt action romp which is both a dazzling assault on the senses and strong on humour, MANHUNT sees Woo at the top of his game.
NO STONE UNTURNED
Credits: Dir-Scr Alex Gibney. Prod Trevor Birney. USA-UK 2017. 111 mins.
NO STONE UNTURNED joins the Debate Strand, receiving its International Premiere at the LFF. Academy-Award winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the case of the unresolved 1994 Loughinisland massacre in Northern Ireland in this gripping non-fiction murder mystery. NO STONE UNTURNED is a suspenseful and profoundly effective true crime investigation that uncovers a shocking case of collusion and cover-up. Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God won the LFF’s Grierson Award for Best Documentary in 2012.
Dir-Scr Xavier Legrand. Prod Alexandre Gavras. With Denis Ménochet, Léa Drucker, Thomas Gioria. France 2017. 90min.
CUSTODY (Jusqu’à la garde), winner of the Best Director and Best First Feature prizes at the Venice Film Festival, is a taut, tense drama that confirms the promise of director Xavier Legrand’s Oscar-nominated short film. Myriam (Léa Drucker) has recently left husband Antoine (Denis Ménochet) and doesn’t want her youngest, Julien, to see a father she claims is violent. But the judge rules otherwise, and the boy becomes a pawn in a bitter parental conflict. Displaying psychological precision, skilful building of suspense and an eloquent use of ambiguity, CUSTODY is frighteningly credible.
Dir-Scr Susanna Nicchiarelli. Prod Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa, Joseph Rouschop, Valérie Bournonville. With Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca. Italy-Belgium 2017. 93 min.
The Festival’s Create strand grows in strength in its inaugural year with the addition of NICO, 1988, Susanna Nicchiarelli’s fascinating biopic of the iconic performer Nico. Winner of the Best Film in Orizzonti at Venice Film Festival, Susanna Nicchiarelli tells the story of the final two years in the often tragic life of the frustrated artist, exploring the destructive sides of Nico’s personality – her heroin addiction, her combative nature, her swollen ego – all brought vividly to life by Trine Dyrholm (who also recorded her own vocals for the film).