My Top 25 Picks for BFI London Film Festival 2017

Zama, Dir Lucrecia Martel

Here's a list of films I am personally looking forward to seeing at the BFI London Film Festival and hope the schedule will allow me to watch them all. I've already watched a couple of films with a lot of buzz, Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman (both seen at Berlinale earlier this year and both already in my list of favourite films of the year). Click on each title for more information, schedule and ticketing details.    

In case you missed it, here are a few other film lists I made for this festival:
Ten Revived and Restored Films to See at BFI London Film Festival 2017
Ten Documentary Films to See at BFI London Film Festival 2017
Ten Experimenta Films to See at BFI London Film Festival 2017
Five Arab Films to See at BFI London Film Festival 2017

120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Dir Robin Campillo
2017 | France | 144min  

A riveting and invigorating account of AIDS activist organisation ACT UP-Paris. 

Dir Affonso Uchôa, João Dumans
2017 | Brazil | 96min  

A teenager is drawn into the past life of his neighbour in this delicate, poetic work from Brazilian filmmakers João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa.  

Bad Genius
Dir Nattawut Poonpiriya
2017 | Thailand-Australia | 130min   

Taking you straight back to the night before your GCSEs, this is an adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-the-desk exam-heist thriller like you’ve never seen before. 

Dir Kogonada
2017 | USA | 104min 

A young librarian with a thing for Modernist architecture expands her horizons when a Korean lawyer (John Cho) comes to town, in this impeccable debut.  

Five Fingers For Marseille
Dir Michael Matthews
2017 | South Africa | 120min

A wildly thrilling and deftly constructed Western-genre-inspired drama set across a boundless African landscape.   

The Florida Project
Dir Sean Baker
2017 | USA | 115min  

Sean Baker follows his incredible Tangerine with another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly.    

Good Manners
Dir Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
2017 | Brazil-France | 135min   

Rule-breaking filmmaking at its most compelling and imaginative.    

Dir Semih Kaplanoğlu
2017 | Turkey-Germany-France-Sweden-Qatar | 127min    

Mankind faces extinction in this stunningly-realised widescreen dystopian fiction about ecological disaster.   

Hagazussa - A Heathen's Curse
Dir Lukas Feigelfeld
2017 Germany-Austria | 102min    

This dark tale will put you under its spell.   

I am Not a Witch
Dir Rungano Nyoni
2017 | UK-France-Zambia | 95min    

Welsh-raised, Zambian-born Rungano Nyoni delivers a dazzling debut with this dark satirical fairy tale aboutalittle girl accused of being a witch.     

Let the Sunshine In
Dir Claire Denis
2017 | France | 94min   

Director Claire Denis gives a wry account of an artist’s search for love, in this witty black comedy starring Juliette Binoche.     

Dir Andrey Zvyagintsev
2017 | Russia-France-Belgium-Germany | 127min   

Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Leviathan) takes a caustic look at contemporary Russian values as a couplegoing through a divorce deal with their son’s disappearance.

Dir John Carroll Lynch
2017 | USA | 88min    

Harry Dean Stanton gives the performance of a lifetime as an irascible nonagenarian maverick in a New Mexican town, grappling with his mortality.   

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir Noah Baumbach
2017 | USA | 110min      

Master of the urban comedy drama, Noah Baumbach presents a study of a dysfunctional family par excellence, ruled over by Dustin Hoffman’s shambolic patriarch.   

The Party
Dir Sally Potter
2017 | UK | 71min  

Following some unexpected revelations, a celebration quickly takes a turn for the worse in Sally Potter's razor-sharp new comedy.    

Dir Joachim Trier
2017 | Norway-France-Denmark-Sweden | 116min    

A teenage girl taps into some long-dormant powers, in this chiller from Joachim Trier (Oslo, August 31st).    

The White Girl
Dir Jenny Suen. Co-Dir-Scr Christopher Doyle
2017 | Hong Kong (SAR of China) | 97min    

Debut director Jenny Suen collaborates with Christopher Doyle for this gorgeous Hong Kong-based drama, set to delight dreamers, outcasts and sensualists.  

The Wound
Dir John Trengove
2016 | South Africa | 88min    

A tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa. 

You Were Never Really Here
Dir Lynne Ramsay
2017 | UK-USA-France | 95min     

Lynne Ramsay journeys with Joaquin Phoenix into the mind of an ex-soldier gun-for-hire whose own demons are as brutal as the actions of his adversaries.    

Dir Lucrecia Martel
2017 | Argentina-Brazil-Spain-The Netherlands-Mexico-Portugal-USA | 115min  

A political western-cum-existentialist epic from the one of Latin America’s boldest filmmakers, Zama offers an incisive and visually arresting examination of the abuses of colonialism.  

Images and text via BFI London Film Festival 2017