Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go" to open London film festival

Wed Sep 8, 2010 1:38pm EDT
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By Venetia Rainey

LONDON (Reuters) - British talent and some extraordinary feats of digital restoration are just a few of the highlights promised for this year's BFI London Film Festival, due to run from 13th to 28th October.

The Festival, run by the British Film Institute, is in its 54th year and will include 197 feature films, and 112 shorts.

It will be opened by Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go," based on the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, and closed by Danny Boyle's "127 Hours," a film about the harrowing story of American mountain climber, Aron Ralston. Both films were produced in Britain.

On top of a group of 12 feature-length films promoting new British cinema, the Festival sees the British premiere of gritty realist Ken Loach's new film, "Route Irish." The Centrepiece Gala will be London-based Mike Leigh's film, "Another Year," a moving drama that follows a year in the life of a couple in their 60s, played by Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen.

The coup de grace, however, will be the world premiere of "The Great White Silence." Since 1993, work has been undertaken on the footage shot by Herbert Ponting, the official photographer and cameraman on Captain Scott's deadly expedition to the South Pole between 1910 and 1913.

Thanks to technological developments, the century-old negatives and film reel have been restored to full glory to bring the failed British Antarctic Expedition to a modern audience.

The film will be shown with a live musical accompaniment based on a newly composed score by Simon Fisher Turner, whose previous work includes "Caravaggio" and "The Croupier."

The film is part of a set called Treasures from the Archive, all of whose films have been lovingly restored to bring old greats to today's screens.   Continued...