BFI London Film Festival

There are just seven days to go before this year’s Times BFI London Film Festival gets underway with the world premiere of Frost/Nixon, the screen version of Peter Morgan’s hit play about the historic 1977 encounter between disgraced US president Richard Nixon and jet-setting British TV personality David Frost. The gala screening in Leicester Square on Wednesday 15th October promises to be a glittering occasion, with director Ron Howard set to walk down the red carpet alongside cast-members Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Toby Jones and Matthew Macfadyen, as well as Sir David Frost himself.

Frost/Nixon - Michael Sheen as David Frost and Frank Langella as Richard Nixon

But the festival isn’t just about glitzy galas. Later on, Trafalgar Square will play host to two evenings of free screenings that comprise a celebration of London as captured on archive films.  Screening on Thursday 23rd is the futuristic silent sci-fi fantasy High Treason (1929), an anti-war tale that imagines what the London of 1950 would look like (bristling with skyscrapers rather like New York, it seems), preceded by a 10-minute short, The Fugitive Futurist (1924), that also attempts to peer into the London of the future. Indefatigable pianist Neil Brand will accompany these screenings with a live score, improvised on the night. Friday 24th will see the screening of London Loves…, a programme of over 15 short films from the archives that reflect the changing face of the capital from just before the First World War to the early 1950s. So join the audiences in the square – and look up if you want to see the stars.

High Treason - the London of 1950, as imagined in the 1920s