Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell in Bones and All - 2022 BFI London Film Festival
Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell in Bones and All directed by Luca Guadagnino

The 66th BFI London Film Festival added the UK Premiere of Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All starring Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell and Mark Rylance, to the 2022 program, screening in a Special Presentation. Bones and All is the tender story of first love between Maren (Russell), a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee (Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter, as they embark on a thousand-mile odyssey through Reagan’s America.

Also added to the program is Bros from the ferocious comic mind of Billy Eichner, who co-writes and stars alongside Luke Macfarlane in the first romantic comedy from a major studio about two gay men maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling towards love. Maybe. They’re both very busy. Directed and co-written by Nicholas Stoller (Bad Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Bros is a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about how hard it is to find another tolerable human being to go through life with.

The Festival will hold screening of bold Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi’s No Bears, portraying two parallel love stories with the lovers troubled by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition and the mechanics of power. Starring Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, the film was shot in secret in Iran and won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival this year, with jurors and industry guests in Venice joining the International Coalition of Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) for a show of solidarity with Jafar Panahi, and to call for the release of the filmmaker who has been detained in Tehran since July.

The Festival announced its 2022 Screen Talk line-up with renowned directors Mia Hansen-Løve Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Noah Baumbach joining award-winning musician and actor, Janelle Monáe, as well as acclaimed actors Bill Nighy and Aubrey Plaza, in a series of in-person talks about the careers of some of the industry’s key talents, both in front of and behind the camera.

The Festival also welcomes director and screenwriter Mia Hansen-Løve back to the festival to discuss her career and her latest film, the poignant One Fine Morning starring Léa Seydoux. Hansen-Løve joins an impressive line-up of acclaimed filmmakers including prolific writer/director Noah Baumbach to discuss his extraordinary career alongside his most recent feature White Noise, a riveting adaptation of Don DeLillo’s acclaimed novel, and writer-director-producer Alejandro González Iñárritu who will discuss his monumental career along with his ambitious new work Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.

Bill Nighy joins LFF on the occasion of one of his finest performances, a deeply moving portrait of an older man reflecting on his life, in Olivier Hermanus’ Living. Musician, actor, author and activist Janelle Monáe will be discussing her career as well as her latest role in our closing night film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and actor and producer Aubrey Plaza will talk about her role in Emily the Criminal, and her career on the large and small screen.


Special Presentation:
Director Luca Guadagnino.
With Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance.
USA 2022. 130min.

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell star as sweet and tender young cannibal lovers in this finger-lickin good 80s set road movie from Luca Guadagnino. Shy teen Maren (Russell, dazzling again after Waves) isn’t like her classmates. She eats flesh; a fact her beleaguered single father finds increasingly hard to hide – and manage. Forced to set off on her own, Maren goes in search of the mother she never knew, meeting other outsiders – fellow ‘feeders’ – on the dusty highways and byways. Some encounters are less savoury, such as deliciously creepy turns from Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg. But puckish Lee (Chalamet at his megawatt best) helps her settle into her deviance and feel less alone. Cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan and designer Elliott Hostetter create an early Reaganite American that’s threadbare and broken-down, but also nostalgically soulful and full of humanity. And as befits the filmmaker behind such contrasting delights as Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria, Guadagnino deftly combines gristle, blood and gore with an achingly tender-hearted and wistful story of young love that’s good enough to eat.

Screening in the LOVE strand:
Director Nicholas Stoller.
With Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum.
USA 2022. 115min.

The first ever gay rom-com from a major studio, and featuring an almost entirely LGBTQIA+ cast, this hilarious heart-warmer was well worth the wait. Career-wise, Bobby Lieber has it sussed. Not only has the lovably misanthropic podcaster scooped the prestigious Cis White Gay Man of the Year Award, he is also a board member for a museum of queer culture. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Bobby doesn’t have a clue. Always the groomsman, never the groom, Bobby sidesteps emotional introspection with self-deprecating humor, proudly wearing his singledom like a badge of honour. But then he meets all-American dreamboat Luke, and the unthinkable happens – there’s a spark. Starring and co-written by Billy Eichner, the sardonic wit behind frenetic quiz show Billy on the Street, one might expect a sharp-tongued subversion of rom-com conventions. But while it effectively (and thankfully) positions gay relationships as distinct from straight ones, Bros is at heart a proud graduate of the Nora Ephron school of romance, delighting in trusted tropes and luxuriating in the warm embrace of familiarity. Check your inbox, you’ve got male.

Screening in the DARE strand:
Director-Producer-Screenwriter Jafar Panahi.
With Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Mina Kavani.
Iran 2022. 107min.
Languages: Farsi, Azeri, Turkish. With English subtitles.

For the last decade, Jafar Panahi has made a series of boldly inventive statements defying the Iranian government’s ban on his being an active filmmaker. As he faces six years imprisonment, his latest film is testimony to how artistry and protest can find inspiration in the very restrictions that he and other creative voices face. Panahi plays himself, a filmmaker trying to direct a cast and crew in Turkey, who is forced to remain in an Iranian village close to the border. As his actors perform their own story of attempted escape to Europe, Panahi finds himself coming up against suspicion and local traditions. Arguably the filmmaker’s richest and most complex work to date, No Bears is a witty, serio-comic self-portrait, and a resounding act of artistic and political expression.

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