As London Film Festival comes to a close, it once more served up another stellar selection of new cinema from around the world, with many of the best works coming from female filmmakers.
Here are just a small selection of the movies on display that celebrate women filmmakers.
Scottish film-maker Charlotte Wells' debut is a beautifully soulful and tender tale of Callum, a young father (Normal People's Paul Mescal) reconnecting with his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (first-time actor Frankie Corio) on a package holiday in Turkey in the mid-90's.
Wells' film is a gloriously sun-drenched evocation of time and place, with a structure that skilfully switches between the perspective of Sophie as a pre-teen, on the precipice between innocence and experience, and as an adult, revisiting fragmented memories of her father that can only be fully understood with the benefit of maturity.
Themes of memory, masculinity, love, and loss resonate in a visual style that shimmers and swelters, while a well-chosen soundtrack of 90s bangers suffuse the film's nostalgic ache with an ambiguous but affecting emotional alchemy.
UK release date 18th November 2022
The Eternal Daughter
This quietly elegant ghost story represents a surprising venture into genre filmmaking for British master Joanna Hogg, while retaining the meta-reflexive mood of 'The Souvenir' diptych, which topped many critics polls in 2019 and '21 respectively.
Shot during lockdown with minimal cast and crew, this is the tale of Julie, a film-maker, who takes her aged mother to stay at a country house where she lived as a child, now converted into a creaky and semi-deserted hotel, all the while making secret recordings of their conversations for a potential film project about her life.
Channelling the foggy, gothic atmosphere of '70's British ghost stories, and featuring Tilda Swinton in a dual role as both mother and daughter, the film's mysterious, hushed atmosphere becomes progressively more dreamlike, lulling the viewer to lean forward into a state of attention, and provides a satisfyingly emotional pay off.
Exploring the essential unknowability of those we are closest to and the ethics of making autobiography into art, The Eternal Daughter represents a miniature meta-masterpiece from one of the UK's best directors.
UK release date coming soon
All The Beauty and the Bloodshed
This documentary portrait of American photographer and activist Nan Goldin was the surprise recipient of the Golden Lion award at this year's Venice Film Festival and continues Oscar-winning director Laura Poitras' (Citizen Four) ongoing interrogation of control, corruption, and the ways disempowered individuals can disrupt the establishment.
The film vividly depicts Goldin's personal history, itself blighted by violence and addiction, from a dysfunctional suburban upbringing to a successful career in the art world, chronicling the queer and feminist subcultures of 1980s New York. Poitras interweaves the photographers' extraordinarily intimate underground images, with her modern-day activism that seeks to expose the immorality of the billion-dollar Big Pharma industry.
Founding the pressure group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), Goldin and her fellow activists attempt to demand accountability from the Sackler family, who amassed immense wealth by promoting the highly addictive prescription drug Oxycontin. Staging a series of direct actions and 'flash protests' in museums and galleries that accept millions of dollars in donations from the Sackler family, P.A.I.N exposes the murky world of 'art washing' and the toxic relationship between the art world and vampire-esque, corporate greed.
This rousing portrait of a photographer integrating her own life into her art and activism is a lacerating, raw and emotional experience that draws pertinent parallels between the AIDS epidemic of the '80s and '90s, and the current opioid crisis ripping through the heartlands of America.
UK release date coming soon