Pin It
Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 10.18.38

What to watch: BFI London Film Festival

248 features fill out the chockablock festival. Watch for the return of Gregg Araki, Xavier Dolan and the film entirely in unsubtitled sign language


No-one quite knew how to take this oddity when it premiered at Sundance, but we're excited to see Shailene Woodley push into more daring terrain in the '80s-set, hyper-coloured latest from exuberantly wild indie auteur Gregg Araki. She plays a teen who while dealing with her own burgeoning sexuality is faced with the mystery of her boozily unhinged mother's sudden disappearance.


Maverick director Abel Ferrara still has a taste for the lurid and sensational, as he showed with his audacious take on the Strauss-Kahn case Welcome to New York. We're intrigued to see how he depicts the last day of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, the controversial Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom visionary who died in a murder a rent-boy confessed to, in this portrait starring Willem Dafoe.


Dipping into synth-laden horror for the follow-up to his languid debut The Myth of the American Sleepover, American indie director David Robert Mitchell was the talk of Cannes this year for his smart and atmospheric twist on the genre, in which an STD causes visions of zombies in the teens affected in suburban Detroit. It's a chain more insidiously viral than a bad day on Twitter.

Read our interview with David Robert Mitchell on the film here

THE TRIBE (2014)

Another film that blew everyone's minds at Cannes is Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's radically innovative study in alienation and brutality, which is entirely in unsubtitled sign language. A new pupil adapts to the demands of life in a boarding school for the deaf out of which a prostitution operation for truckers is also run in this otherworldly combination of silence and unpredictable violence

EDEN (2014)

Mia Hansen-Løve's gorgeously shot, poignant latest charts the '90s French house scene through Paul, a fictional and modestly successful Parisian DJ, played by Felix de Givry (with Greta Gerwig as his American hook-up). Hansen-Love co-wrote the script with her brother Sven, who was involved in the scene that Daft Punk came out of, giving us hope they'll nail a degree of authenticity.


Swedish director Ester Martin Bergsmark's Rotterdam-winning feature debut is a raw take on young love between cross-dresser Sebastian and the mercurial guy he meets at a wasted Stockholm party. Unsure how to define their strong attraction, especially to others who impinge on their world, tensions in their relationship rise toward breaking point.

JAUJA (2014)

Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso's surreal, hypnotic and irreverently witty head-trip stars Viggo Mortensen as a Danish engineer who sets off on a quest to find his beautiful 15-year-old daughter (Viilbjork Agger Malling) after she elopes with a young soldier into the strange, sea lion-dotted wilderness of 19th Century Patagonia, having rejected the advances of a lecherous lieutenant.

THE GOOB (2014)

Non-professional, striking-looking actor Liam Walpole puts in a strong first-time performance in the title role of Guy Myhill's debut feature. Gritty films of family dysfunction are nothing new for Britain, but the lyrically shot Yorkshire setting gives a special eeriness to this story of first love, as teenager Goob is tempted out of his dead-end rut by a vivacious casual labourer.


If 3D's good enough for Jean-Luc Godard, it has to be legit, right? The French legend's playful experiment has been winning rave reviews for his striking use of the often sneered-at tech. His associative, fragmented snapshot of an adulterous romance (or two) observed by a wandering dog opens us up to new ways of looking at the world.

MOMMY (2014)

Willful directing prodigy Xavier Dolan is on exuberant, button-pushing form with his Cannes-awarded latest. Brimming with cannily chosen pop songs and high on emotion, it tells of a widowed mother who is struggling to cope with her super-difficult son (Antoine Olivier Pilon) and decides to put him in state care. Cue mayhem.