The LA Film Festival is headed our way June 17-26, and I’ve watched the press releases with lineup info with great interest – this year I get to go to as much of the festival as I want, rather than the few films I could manage last year, so I’m setting myself up with a monster of a schedule. And it’s going to be a good one, I think; there are a lot of films on the list from notable directors and actors, several that have been hits on earlier festival stops, and of course, this being Los Angeles, a few obligatory big studio crowdpleasers in addition to the indie and world cinema offerings. The full lineup info is here.
The big gala presentations range from upcoming comic book geekery with Green Lantern to Nicholas Winding Refn’s thriller Drive (fresh off rave reviews from Cannes) to the premiere of Richard Linklater’s latest Bernie, with stops along the way for indie dramas (A Better Life), British genre films (Attack the Block), action thrillers (The Devil’s Double), and Guillermo Del Toro-produced scary fun (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark). Even without delving past the galas, there’s something here for everyone. Bernie and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark are the Opening and Closing Night films, respectively, so they’re reserved for passholders, but no fear – they’ll both be in theatres soon enough.
Beyond the galas, though, there are a lot of eye-catching films in the lineup. Here are some of the ones I’m hoping to see, followed by some other notable titles that I don’t think I’m going to be able to fit into my schedule. Feel free to try to change my mind, though, if you’ve seen any of these on earlier festival stops.
On my tentative schedule:
Drive (USA) – Okay, this is a gala, and I mentioned it already, but it is the only gala I’m planning to see, so I’ll toss it in again. The “trailer” for this so far is really just a clip of Ryan Gosling driving a group of thugs away from a crime, but even that is as compelling as all get-out, so I can’t wait to see the rest of it.
Winnie the Pooh (USA) – The Festival is sneaking in Disney’s retro animated feature under the “Summer Showcase” sidebar rather than as a gala, which is an intriguing choice. I worry about what that says about Disney’s hopes for the film, but it may make it easier for me to watch at the fest if I choose to do so.
The Future (USA) – The new film from Miranda July (You and Me and Everyone We Know) is making its debut at the festival, promising a meditative crisis of perceived mortality.
The Innkeepers (USA) – Ti West’s follow-up to Row Three favorite House of the Devil, which looks to be another old-fashioned horror offering.
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