Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel will discuss their careers and current feature LION, at this year’s American Express Gala at the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Eminent South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook, whose film THE HANDMAIDEN is this year’s Dare Gala, also join the Screen Talk series. Previously announced Screen Talk participants are Werner Herzog, Paul Verhoeven and Ben Wheatley.
Two additional feature films have also been added to the program. Following its Golden Lion win at Venice, Lav Diaz’s THE WOMAN WHO LEFT is added to the Festival, and Academy Award winning documentarian Errol Morris joins the LFF with his insightful and affectionate portrait of legendary photographer Elsa Dorfman in THE B SIDE: ELSA DOFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGAPHY.
An internationally-recognized, Academy Award-winning® actress known for her range and versatility, Nicole Kidman first came to global attention with her critically acclaimed performance in Phillip Noyce’s riveting 1989 Australian psychological thriller Dead Calm. In the two decades since, Kidman has amassed a body of work of great diversity and quality, from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and Alejandro Amenabar’s The Others, and from Lee Daniel’s The Paperboy to Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, for which she won an Academy Award.
Dev Patel catapulted to success in 2009 when he starred in Danny Boyle’s Academy Award®-winning Slumdog Millionaire, receiving rave reviews and a number of awards for his performance. Dev has continued to deliver deeply moving performances in a number of commercial and critical successes, working with some of the industry’s great filmmakers, in films such as John Madden’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Matt Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity and Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, and in television with hit UK series Skins, and more recently on Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed The Newsroom.
Nicole and Dev join BFI London Film Festival Director, Clare Stewart to discuss respective career highlights. They’ll also examine the craft of acting, and how they approach characters based on real people, particularly in reference to their latest film, Lion, the Festival’s American Express Gala and the true story of Saroo Brierley, who was lost on a train as a child before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, using revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he set out to find his lost family and return to his first home.
Dazzling and daring cinematic virtuoso, Park Chan-wook is celebrated for films of high-style, bursting with his trademark jet-black humor, as typified by his celebrated Trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. He wowed Cannes in May with his latest offering, The Handmaiden (screening as BFI London Film Festival Dare Gala) which sees Director Park channeling Sarah Waters’ best-seller, Fingersmith, to create a sumptuous twisty thriller full of erotic intrigue. Here, Chan-wook joins us to discuss his wider career and the singular vision which has delivered so many unforgettable viewing experiences to audiences world-wide. This event is presented in association with the Korean Cultural Centre UK.
THE WOMAN WHO LEFT (Lav Diaz) will screen in the Festival’s Journey strand. Lav Diaz picked up the Golden Lion in Venice for this slow-burn melodrama about a woman serving 30 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. When former schoolteacher Horacia is finally acquitted in 1997, she returns to her hometown with vengeance on her mind, and swiftly tracks down Rodrigo, the ex-boyfriend who framed her. Finding him now a wealthy criminal surrounded by bodyguards, she settles in and waits for her moment. Inspired by Tolstoy’s short story “God Sees the Truth, But Waits”, Diaz’s luminous film explores the emotional burden borne by the disenfranchised who live in the shadow of colonialism.
THE B SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY (Errol Morris) will screen in the Festival’s Love strand. Ensconced in her studio Elsa Dorfman shows us a treasure trove of work spanning 40 years. Her subjects included her social circle, leaders of 70s American counterculture including Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, a lifelong friend captured in some wonderfully intimate portraits. Errol Morris captures her delight and surprise at rediscovering the “discards” of her customers (“the B-sides”). Looking at pictures of Alan Ginsberg she reflects that portrait photography only becomes truly relevant when the subjects pass on, a poignant reminder of time, memory, love and friendship accumulated over a lifetime.
The 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday, October 5 to Sunday October 16, 2016.