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OFFICIAL COMPETITION SWEET COUNTRY THOROUGHBRED 32 An Aboriginal stockman is accused of murdering a white man in Warwick Thornton’s searing Australian Western. Thornton follows up his uncompromising Camera d’Or winning debut Samson & Delilah (LFF2009) with an expansive film of great cinematic scope and vision. It’s 1929 and segregationist policies weigh heavy in Australia’s Northern Territory. Cattle-herder Sam (Hamilton Morris) is sent with his wife and niece to work for newly-arrived station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie). But where Sam’s religious boss (Sam Neill) treats them respectfully, March is institutionally racist, unhinged and abusive. When March goes on a booze-fuelled rampage, an altercation occurs and Sam shoots him in self-defence. Anticipating that frontier ‘justice’ will prevail, Sam and wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. The local sergeant (Bryan Brown) sets off in hot pursuit, leading a posse of landowners and aided by Aboriginal tracker Archie (Gibson John). Traversing the stunning MacDonnell Ranges outside Alice Springs, the chase takes them onto country where Sam, a seasoned bushman, has the upper hand. Heightening the overall sense of dread and unease with a series of hallucinatory flash-forwards that reveal horrors yet to come, Thornton brings a vital Indigenous perspective and a striking visual imagination to this potent, revisionist epic. Clare Stewart MON 9 TUE 10 WED 11 20:30 EMBANKMENT 11:00 EMBANKMENT 21:00 MAYFAIR Dir-Scr Cory Finley. Prod Kevin Walsh, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Alex Saks, Andrew Duncan. With Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin. USA 2016. 91min. UK Distribution Universal Pictures Two teenage girls reignite a childhood friendship to deliciously dark ends, in this witty contemporary noir. Electrifying duo Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) are Lily and Amanda, reunited when Amanda’s mum asks Lily to help her daughter study. Having personally euthanised the family horse, Amanda is notorious amongst the blue-blood community of her Connecticut suburb. It’s a fact Lily clearly finds fascinating. Neither is afraid to shock or offend, and their competitive trading in acerbic quips soon intensifies to the point where they jokingly plan to kill Lily’s loathsome stepfather Mark. However, in their attempts to impress each other, the plan soon becomes serious and together they dupe a small-time drug dealer (the late Anton Yelchin, imbuing his role with the perfect amount of pathos) into helping them. Les Diaboliques and Heavenly Creatures are clearly reference points here, but Thoroughbred is no imitation. Playwright-turneddebut filmmaker Cory Finley embraces cinema’s full potential, directing with muscular energy. As Lyle Vincent’s camera prowls through Mark’s mansion – accompanied by Erik Friedlander’s unsettling percussive score – Finley’s finely-toned script is offset by smart visual cues, nudging the audience towards the dreaded dénouement. Thoroughbred is a pedigree treat. Tricia Tuttle THU 12 FRI 13 18:00 EMBANKMENT 11:00 EMBANKMENT Dir Warwick Thornton. Prod David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin. Scr Steven McGregor, David Tranter. With Sam Neill, Ewen Leslie, Thomas M Wright. Australia 2017. 110min. UK Distribution Thunderbird Releasing Buy tickets bfi.org.uk/lff 020 7928 3232 (10:00 – 20:30 daily)


LFF 17_ Brochure high res
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