What to watch: Your guide to this year's BFI London Film Festival

Matt Looker

2nd September 2015

The full programme of the 2015 BFI London Film Festival has finally been released and you may be left wondering "What are all these films I haven't heard of?", or "How come so many of them are foreign? This is the LONDON Film Festival", or indeed "When's the next Hunger Games movie out again?". Well, fear not - we have all the answers right here. Well, all except for the ones to those three specific questions.

We have cobbled together a list of the best films showing at this year's LFF, providing you with a handy guide to the ones that you should definitely pay through the nose to watch right now instead of waiting to see which of them wins an award and then promise yourself to catch up with them at a later date, even though we both know that, even after it becomes available on Netflix, you will still probably be more inclined to stick on Fast & Furious 7 again than watch something new and probably depressing.

Here you go!
The Coldness Of Winter, Oh So Cold

A riveting tale of one old man's struggle with self-belief and self-control as he waits patiently for his kettle to boil. Set to the timeless soundtrack of drumming fingers, the film ultimately becomes an exploration of depression as the man turns to suicide after discovering - at the three-hour mark - that the kettle isn't even switched on at the plug socket.
The Gasman Always Rings Several Times

Harrowing Holocaust drama told from the point of view of the man who checks the meters at several concentration camps. The rising figures on the measuring gauges becomes a cause for alarm as our troubled hero tries to come to terms with the staggeringly horrific toll on Germany's fossil fuel resource.
A LOLcat Sat On A Windowsill, Contemplating Its Existence

Essentially Birdman, but with an introspective Persian shorthair making one last attempt at career credibility while being haunted by his famous past as Cat Falling Off Trampoline.

So meta.
The Unwavering Courage Of An Apple

While you might think that the title is a fruit-themed metaphor that is referenced in the film, this is actually a very literal movie that shows a hyperlapse of an apple growing on a tree branch before making the daring leap groundward. The climactic act really is a fitting pay-off for the otherwise arduous two hours of all-weather viewing.
Horses: The Indolence of Thunder

A surprising winner on the documentary festival circuit - surprising because it is actually a sci-fi epic with a budget north of $300 million - this movie sees Thunder, a laser-hoofed death nag, fight alongside space broccoli to save the universe from trapeze-swinging intergalactic punk geese. Starring Alicia Vikander.
Am I?

A close-up of a man's face as he repeats this question to himself again and again for 74 minutes. It's a real thinker of a film.
John Craven's Newsround

A remastered edition of a classic episode of John Craven's Newsround from 9th March 1978, complete with Craven's own CGI tinkerings to "further enhance the expanded universe in which the show exists".

One of the all-time greats, finally in high definition.
Look At This Terrible Thing in the Middle East Why Don't You Feel More Guilty

A look at a terrible thing in the Middle East that should make us all feel guilty. Its probably about child soldiers or innocent civilian casualties from car bombs, but you won't care because you'll be too busy feeling terrible about shouting at the guy in Cafe Nero that morning for only putting one shot of espresso in your skinny sugar-free caramel latte like it was the worst thing that has ever happened to anybody.
Le Socialisme

Chinese martial arts drama about a woman in love with a sword that eventually turns into a dragon and then a handsome prince or something. Starring Alicia Vikander as the sword.
Carry On Fracking

A documentary about the ever-growing populace of Battlestar Galactica super-nerds and their adverse impact on the environment.

Lars von Trier's attempt to make a note-for-note, sound-for-sound re-recording of Will Smith's seminal sophomore album from 1999. Punctuated with homeless people reading aloud individual lyrics from Freakin' It, von Trier's mission to recreate a masterpiece forms a narrative that is so profound, it led Smith himself to comment "Aw, hell no!".

Lars 2K.
The Last of the Summer Wine

A Russian animated film for kids about a weasel who succumbs to alcoholism and ultimately dies from a blood cot in his brain. Currently being remade by Pixar.
Yellow Always Seems Like The Hardest Colour To See

A black-and-white silent film that just shows a suitcase on an endless loop of the conveyor belt at an airport baggage reclaim. Starring Alicia Vikander, twice, as two separate characters.
Shawn and Marlon Wayans' Surprise Movie

The Wayan brothers are at it again, this time parodying the LFF's famous annual 'Surprise Film' with a movie that is a complete surprise, just like the films that are a Surprise Film at the film festival! This will be this year's Surprise Film.
Star Wars: Lettre à un Fils de son père

This latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise sees Darth Vader sitting at his desk on the Death Star penning a letter home, describing the atrocities of the Clone Wars. Starring Alicia Vikander as the desk.
The Transporter Refuelled

The kick-ass action film series is back with more driving and kicking than ever before! Go fighting!
Come back during the run of the festival to hear our thoughts on the above picks as we review each film on the LFF calendar and... actually, sod it. Let's just watch Fast & Furious 7 again. Know what you're getting with that. eh?

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