FILM / Preview: A selection of the highlights from the 36th London Film Festival

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
The 36th London Film Festival begins next Thursday with the gala premiere of Kenneth Branagh's Peter's Friends. The Festival box-office opens to the public tomorrow, but callers will find that Peter's Friends is already sold out. The explanation is that BFI members have been able to buy tickets for several weeks, and have snapped up all the tickets for some of the Festival highlights in advance. Some, but not all. Here we propose 10 worthwhile films for which there are still tickets remaining and which are showing in the evening or at weekends. Tickets, from pounds 5.95, can be purchased by credit card from the Festival box- office (071-928 3232) or in person from the NFT or the Film on the Square ticket office in Leicester Square (from 1 Nov).

Night and the City is Rocky-producer Irwin Winkler's lively re- make of Jules Dassin's 1950 noir classic, re-located to New York and starring Robert de Niro as the fast-talking lawyer out of his depth in the world of big-time boxing promoters. Thur 19 Nov, 8.45pm Odeon WE.

Wild West is perhaps the first film in history to focus on an Asian C & W band. The Honky Tonk Cowboys square-dance on the ruins of Major's Britain in a hugely spirited comedy-drama that will draw inevitable comparisons with My Beautiful Laundrette. Sat 14 Nov, 6.35pm Odeon WE.

Il Capitano, a convincing variation on the Bonny & Clyde theme, has doomed twentysomethings Minna and Jari on the run in bleakly beautiful northern Sweden. Sat 7 Nov, 6.15pm NFT; Fri 13 Nov, 8.40pm Barbican.

Sofie, Liv Ullman's directorial debut, is a weighty women's picture set in 19th-century Denmark. Sumptuously photographed and with superb performances from Karen-Lise Mynster as Sofie, a forward-thinking woman at odds with her conservative Jewish background, and Ghita Norby and Erland Josephson as her overprotective parents. Sat 14 Nov, 8.30pm Barbican; Sun 15 Nov, 10.30am Lumiere.

IP5 is an off-beat road-movie directed, with customary style, by Jean-Jacques Beineix. The film features the late Yves Montand as an old man with a heart condition, a piece of casting made all the more poignant by Montand's death days after filming was completed. Sun 8 Nov, 11am, 11pm Curzon WE.

Johnny Stecchino, the highest grossing film in Italian history, is a mafia comedy (described by one critic as 'The Godfather performed by the Marx Brothers') starring Roberto Benigni (soon to be seen as Peter Sellers' illegitimate offspring in Son of the Pink Panther). Tues 17 Nov, 8.45pm Odeon WE.

Sister Act stars Whoopi Goldberg as the witness to a murder who is put in a safe-house which turns out to be a convent. Sounds unlikely? Well it is. One of the year's biggest hits at the US box-office (dollars 136m and rising). Sat 14 Nov, 1.15pm, 6.15pm Odeon WE.

Elenya, the first feature from British director Steve Gough, tells of a 12-year-old girl in war-time Wales who discovers a German airman in the woods. Shades of Whistle Down the Wind but featuring an astonishingly assured debut performance from Pascale Delafouge Jones. Sat 14 Nov, 6.45pm NFT.

Mac, co-winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes, is a quirky tale of building folk in Fifties America written and directed by, and starring John Turturro. Sat 14 Nov, 4.00pm Odeon WE.

Honeymoon in Vegas, starring the lovely Nicolas Cage, describes itself as 'a tale of one woman, two men and 15 flying Elvises'. Thirties-style screwball comedy: funny and very cynical. Mon 16 Nov, 6.15pm Odeon WE.

(Photograph omitted)