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FESTIVALS UK

Frears opens RLFF

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- More than 200 films at the British review that opened with Dirty Pretty Things, a thriller about human organ trafficking

Frears opens RLFF

The sunny face of French star Audrey Tautou, the female lead in Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things, was a sight for sore eyes as the 46th London Film Festival (RLFF) opened its doors to the public during a heavy downpour.
Among the 200 or so films screening at the RLFF from 6-21 November are many European titles including Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without a Past, Marco Bellocchio's L'ora di religione, Lukas Moodysson's Lilya 4 Ever and Patrice Leconte's L'homme du train..
In her opening speech, Sandra Hebron, the new artistic director of the RLFF said, “It would be really hard to think of a more appropriate film to open this year’s festival with than Dirty Pretty Things. It is very much a London story, but also a universal story.”
The Oscar-nominated director of Dangerous Liaisons amused the audience – that included Woody Harrelson, Joseph Fiennes, Terry Gilliam and many others - by describing his film as …”a British romantic comedy, a period film, lots of cups of tea and Helena Bonham Carter bathing naked!”
Dirty Pretty Things marks Frears’ return to a dispassionate analysis of British society, a characteristic that first brought him to the forefront of public attention with 80s films like My Beautiful Laundrette. In Dirty Pretty Things Frears describes London’s secret underworld of illegal immigrants and the trafficking of human beings and their organs - only with an entertaining and thrilling plot.
The film was produced in the UK by Celador Film, the company behind the hugely successful TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and written by one of the creators of the show, Steven Knight.
Used to working on both sides on the Atlantic and getting financing for his films from Hollywood and British sources (Dirty Pretty Things was co-financed by Miramax and BBC Films), Frears spoke at yesterday’s press conference about the problems British and European films experience in attracting big audiences.
“I think people like US films, you have to deal with that. And no amount of subsidy will change people’s desire to go and see US films. But it seems to me that these days, a lot of the best creative stuff comes from France…”. Dirty Pretty Things will be released in the UK by Buena Vista on December 13.

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