SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
The London Film Festival returns with a surfeit of sci-fi treats...
Guillermo del Toro, Doug Jones and Martin Freeman will all be flying the sci-fi flag at this year’s London Film Festival. While the fest, now in its 61st year, will feature over 200 films across its 12-day celluloid love-in, the ones we’re really excited about are the genre premieres, and four in particular have really spiked our interest.
Top of the list, naturally, is del Toro’s The Shape Of Water. Described as an “American romantic horror”, it’s set in 1962 and follows a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) working in a government laboratory. Things get weird when she discovers a water tank containing an amphibious creature that definitely isn’t a frog, but who becomes an unlikely friend. Del Toro has described the film as a hopeful response to America’s current political climate, saying: “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to address it through a fairytale, tolerance and love?’” Will it give Trump the hump?
Other genre flicks taking their bow at the fest include Ghost Stories, directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, and inspired by the infamously terrifying stage production. Martin Freeman plays a professor who discovers a file detailing three supposed hauntings, and goes on a “terror-filled quest”. Meanwhile, Thelma is a Norwegian sci-fi romance about a woman who discovers she has fantastical powers, and Grain – by Berlinane-winning Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu – is set in a dystopian future where a crop failure threatens an already-struggling society.
The 2017 LFF will open on 4 October at the Odeon Leicester Square with Andy Serkis’s directorial debut, non-genre flick Breathe.
David Oyelowo speaking at LFF 2016’s debate on diversity. Sally Hawkins stars in The Shape Of Water.