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The BBC's Rebecca Couper
"There are a 190 feature films"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Film frenzy at London festival
Frances McDormand
Actress Frances McDormand stars in Almost Famous
The 44th London Film Festival opens on 1 November and will screen almost 200 feature films and 65 shorts across 16 days.

The festival was launched in Leicester Square on Wednesday by Joan Bakewell, chair of the British Film Institute.

Almost Famous
On the road: Almost Famous follows the fortunes of a 70s band
This year's screenings include performances by Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, Woody Allen and Charlize Theron.

The festival opens with a screening of Cameron Crowe's new film, Almost Famous, his first since Jerry Maguire.

Almost Famous stars Frances McDormand, who won an Oscar for Fargo, and Goldie Hawn's daughter, Kate Hudson, and follows the fortunes of a young rock critic on the road with a 1970s band.

The film is loosely autobiographical, as Crowe was a critic for Rolling Stone magazine at the age of 15.

Quills - the story of the Marquis de Sade
Kate Winslet and Geoffrey Rush star in Quills
The LFF will show such widely anticipated movies as David Mamet's State and Main, starring Alec Baldwin, a satire about a Hollywood film crew run amok in New England, Duets, which brings together actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her director father, Bruce, and John Waters' new movie Cecil B Demented.

Philip Kaufman's Quills, to be shown at the festival, is just one of several forthcoming films dealing with the life and work of the Marquis de Sade.

There are separate sections given over to new British cinema and to what the festival brochure calls "French revolutions".

Danny De Vito
Danny De Vito in The Big Kahuna
A wide array of French moviemaking that "rarely gets international distribution" will have screenings, including Benoit Jacquot's Sade, a second film about the legendary writer and provocateur.

There will also be screenings of films from Italy, the Czech Republic, East Asia and Latin America, specifically Argentina.

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