Following last week's announcement that the LFF would open this year with Mark Romanek's adaptation of the 2005 Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go, the festival will come to a close two weeks later with the European Premiere of 127 Hours, the new film by previous festival-closer Danny Boyle.
Boyle's last film, Slumdog Millionaire, closed the festival two years ago and riding a wave of (bewildering) hyperbole, took home the Best Picture statue at the Oscars.
I've not seen a trailer for this one yet, but the (true) story sounds pretty intense (boulder falls on mountaineer's arm, trapping him, so he hacks it off with a pen-knife!). James Franco's been doing some great stuff recently, but Danny Boyle's always been a bit hit-and-miss for me. For all the claustrophobic tension of Shallow Grave, and parts of Sunshine, there are some really quite odd directorial choices in films like The Beach and A Life Less Ordinary which, whilst brave, just don't work for me. He's yet to better Trainspotting, still a dazzling film after what, nearly 15 years?
Here's the press release from the festival itself, it's gala screening will be on Thursday October 28th at the Odeon Leicester Square.
The 54th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, is delighted to announce that the Closing Night film will be the European premiere of 127 HOURS on Thursday 28 October.
Danny Boyle's highly anticipated 127 Hours stars Golden Globe winner James Franco (Milk). Boyle, the Academy Award winning director of 2008's Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, is reunited with Academy Award winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and Academy Award winning producer Christian Colson. Warner Bros. Pictures UK will release 127 Hours for Pathé in January 2011.
The filmmakers and stars, including Danny Boyle and James Franco, are expected to attend the red carpet. Boyle last attended the Festival in 2008 when the European premiere of multiple award-winning Slumdog Millionaire was also the Closing Night gala.
127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, abseil a 65 foot rock face and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.
127 Hours is a Pathé, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Film4 presentation in association with Warner Bros. Pictures of a Cloud Eight/Decibel Films /Darlow Smithson production. The producers are Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson with executive producers Francois Ivernel, Cameron McCracken, Tessa Ross, Lisa Maria Falcone, Bernie Bellew and John J. Kelly.
Sandra Hebron, the Festival’s Artistic Director comments: “Having closed the festival with Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, it is unprecedented for us to choose a Closing Night film from the same director only two years later. But 127 Hours was the obvious choice for us - with filmmaking as bold and adventurous as its subject matter, it confirms Danny Boyle as one of the World's finest and most visionary directors, and will be a very fitting close to the festival.”
Danny Boyle comments, "I am honoured and delighted that 127 Hours has been selected to close the BFI London Film Festival. LFF played a vital role in the journey of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and it's great to be bringing new work here and renewing a happy partnership. I can't wait to unveil the new film and I hope it provides a worthy climax to what will hopefully be two weeks of great movies for our city."
The full programme for The 54th BFI London Film Festival will be announced at the Press Launch on Wednesday 8 September.