58th BFI London Film Festival Essentials: Art Films

58th BFI London Film Festival

Wednesday 8th October – Sunday 19th October

Essentials: Art Films

With less than one week to go until the Opening Night Gala of Morten Tyldum’s anticipated Alan Turing biopic, The Imitation Game, on Wednesday 8 October – which officially kicks off the 58th BFI London Film Festival – The Arts Shelf will be taking a daily rundown of ‘must see’ festival highlights in the lead up to opening night.

This year’s festival line-up sees a particularly strong focus on films exploring the world of art and artists, so for this first feature here is a selection of some of the more essential art films screening at this years festival.

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Mr. Turner [Dir. Mike Leigh]

This year’s Time Out Festival Gala is the critically acclaimed MR. TURNER directed by Mike Leigh, who will be attending the screening on Friday 10th October.

This Cannes-winning account of the later years of JMW Turner, brilliantly played by an award-winning Timothy Spall, is both a luminous tribute to the master of light and a fascinating, meticulous character study of a man who attained greatness whilst resisting the art-world conventions of his time.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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Hockney [Dir. Randall Wright]

Elsewhere in the Documentary Competition strand is the revealing and insightful HOCKNEY directed by Randall Wright.

‘Wider perspectives are needed now,’ states David Hockney in this spirited documentary spanning the artist’s career.

Randall Wright is here gifted a spectrum of archive material, which is pieced together with kaleidoscopic verve.

Richest is Hockney’s own home-movie footage giving candid insight into the painter’s relationship with his Bradford roots and the father he credits with a foundational credo – to never care what the neighbours think.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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National Gallery [Dir. Frederick Wiseman]

After his magisterial accounts of the Paris Opera Ballet in La Danse (LFF 2009) and Berkeley University in At Berkeley (LFF 2013), documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman explores another august cultural institution, London’s National Gallery.

Running just shy of a mesmerising three hours, this is a richly detailed, beautifully nuanced portrait of the gallery’s working life, from the difficult financial decisions facing the charity’s executives to visitors’ awed appreciation of its blockbuster exhibitions.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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The Great Museum [Dir. Johannes Holzhausen]

The minutiae of running one of the world’s great art institutions is the subject of this elegant and engrossing doc about Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Focusing on the daily work of its staff, no task is too insignificant for the film’s attention: from General Director Sabine Haag’s impeccable judgement in commissioning new chandeliers to restoration teams battling beetles that play havoc with classic paintings – all devout and passionate in the delivery of their roles.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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Marc Quinn – Making Waves [Dir. Gerry Fox]

Recording one year in the life of artist Marc Quinn, this energetic documentary delves into the nature of creativity.

Given unprecedented insight into an artistic practice that zips around the globe, from new work in New York and a reworking of the Alison Lapper sculpture in Venice to a display at the Chelsea Flower show and many other stops along the way, Gerry Fox has an obvious rapport with his subject.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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72 – 82 [Dir. William Raban]

Raban’s bold new film continues his ongoing examination of London’s stratified social geography by exploring a fertile, creative scene in which he played a significant part.

Solely using archival visual materials, he revisits the first ten years of experimental art organization Acme, highlighting its work in housing artists in the East End and the extraordinary work that was produced.

The powerful archival footage incorporates the work of artists such as Stephen Cripps, Anne Bean and Stuart Brisley.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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La Sapienza [Dir. Eugène Green]

Not strictly an art film in the sense that the previous films listed have been, Eugène Green’s latest feature is without doubt one of the most beautifully constructed and passionate explorations of art, architecture and humanity you are likely to see.

If you are new to the works of the New York born (though naturalised French) auteur, Eugène Green, then it will no doubt take a while to adjust to the rather formal and unorthodox style with which he constructs his films.

However, if you are willing to invest the time then you will almost certainly find yourself immersed in what proves a rewarding, precisely composed and aesthetically refined piece of cinema.

Click Here to read our full review.

For more information on screening dates and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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