Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 276: Wed Oct 4

Macario (Gavaldón, 1960): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6pm

67th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (4th - 15th October 2023) DAY 1

Today is the opening day of the London Film Festival. With its date at the end of the year, London is a "festival of festivals", as the new Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin put it in one of his previews, so the films shown have mostly been seen and commented on by critics who have watched the features at such high-profile festivals as Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Berlin.

So I'm making it simple with one recommendation a day. I will be concentrating on the repertory choices but I've also read the reviews of the contemporary releases and talked to and listened to the trusted critics all year and I am as confident as I can be that this is the pick of the movies within the parameters I have set. Firstly, there's no point highlighting the major gala films - they will be sold out quickly. Secondly, there is little to be gained in paying the higher Festival ticket prices to see films that are out in Britain soon. I will be returning to the London Festival films worthy of seeing and set to be released in the coming months on this blog as and when they get a general release in London.

Here then (from October 4th to October 15th) are the films you are likely to be able to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is the information you need to get those standby tickets.

Today's film also screens at BFI Southbank (NFT2) on October 11th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Based on a story by B. Traven (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) and set in colonial Mexico, Roberto Galvadon’s 1959 rags-to-riches fable combines magical realism and folkloric elements of Mexico’s Indianist movement with results that are alternately comic and poignant. An impoverished peasant shares his dinner with the grim reaper, who rewards him with an elixir that can revive the terminally ill. The peasant runs a profitable healing practice until jealous neighbors rat him out to the Inquisition. Gabriel Figueroa did the haunting cinematography.
Andrea Gronvall

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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