Previews from the London Film Festival 10-21 October – Shadow, Jinn, The Breaker Upperers, May the Devil Take You and Support the Girls.
First Lookby Alexa Dalby
Visually stunning historical epic from Zhang Yimou, shot entirely in monochrome, shadow shades – landscapes, interiors and costumes – the only exceptions being skin tones and blood. Two warring Chinese kingdoms fight to the death amid dramatic natural scenery using an ingenious weapon never seen before – combat umbrellas.
Shadow screens on 19 and 20 October.
A family drama set among black American Muslim converts in Los Angeles, this is the kind of story you hope to see but it’s let down by a leaden script and a trite plot. When her mother enthusiastically converts to Islam, teenage Summer is forced to try and adapt her life to the strictures of the religion too but it’s hard.
Jinn screens on 11, 12 and 13 October.
The first film by a New Zealand female comedy duo, it’s in-your-face bawdy, outspoken but also very funny showcase for their multiple talents. The two women specialise in engineering the break ups of couples who can’t do it for themselves. Along the way it’s an insight into Maori/white/new immigrant race relations.
The Breaker Upperers screens on 11, 12, 14 and 15 October.
Indonesian horror movie whose starting point is a pact with the devil, so it’s never going to end well. A once-wealthy family is torn apart by screamy, bloody, full-on demonic possession.
May the Devil Take You screens on 17 and 18 October.
US comedy drama set in a sports-themed diner, where the waitresses’ skimpy shorts make them part of the show, hard-pressed manager Lisa uses diplomacy and tough love to somehow keep owner, girls and customers and also her family functioning during a difficult day – but they all discover that female empowerment and solidarity comes at a price.
Support the Girls screens on 17, 20 and 21 October.