Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Festival Of Festivals

If you're stuck for something to do over the next couple of gloriously sunny, warm weeks, why not spend them stuck in a little room with a bunch of strangers at one of two quite excellent film festivals taking place in London? Apparently sunshine has been proven to make you fat so you're much better off in the cinema eating questionably-sourced hot dogs and drinking pop.

The Sci-Fi-London Film Festival and The East End Film Festival both celebrate ten years of festivility this year, and between them there's something for everyone, provided everyone likes science fiction and/or the east end.

The Sci-Fi-London Film Festival
(April 23rd - May 2nd)

The cumbersomely-subtitled London International Festival Of Science Fiction And Fantastic Film (glorious acronym: LIFOSFAFF) skulks about between the BFI Southbank and the Piccadilly Circus Apollo, showing off some of the world's mentalest independent films about cloning, robots, spaceships and that. It's definitely not full of geeks and you will definitely not bump into anyone dressed as a Klingon. Maybe.

Here are just some of the literally some things you might like to pop along and see:

Your Days Are Numbered
Not actually a film - or science fiction for that matter (GOOD START, "Sci Fi Film Festival") - but a comedy show, Your Days Are Numbered is a stand-up routine that uses maths LOLs to explore how likely you are to die in any given circumstances. It promises to explode every Daily Mail front page ever written about how sunshine makes you fat.

Three people on a camping trip find themselves pitted against their evil clones in a BATTLE TO THE DEATH OR SOMETHING. Like the Red Dwarf episode 'Demons And Angels' but with sexy American teens instead of a Scouser and a robot with a Lancastrian spare head.

A faux-documentary about the uncovering of a ludicrous moon-based conspiracy, Lunopolis promises to be the perfect film for everyone who believes there are whole cities of people up there controlling our every move. Warning: a proliferation of rustling foil hat-wearing punters may make it difficult to hear the film.

You Are Here
With a trailer that makes the absolute bare minimum of sense and a concept that would make Charlie Kaufman scratch his head very hard indeed, You Are Here is a surreal collection of vaguely interrelated stories about notions of identity, the nature of cognition and a crowd of people all called Alan. I've read loads about it and still have no idea what to expect, but I haven't been disappointed by any movie with a crowd full of Alans yet.

SFLFF:LIFOSFAFF's closing film, about an idiot who decides to become a masked vigilante in order to get his missus back, stars Rainn Wilson (hooray!), Ellen Page (oh) and Kevin Bacon as an asshole called Jacques (SOLD). Total Film will be calling it "Kick-Ass meets Inception" before long so go and see it and tell them what numpties they are sometimes.

The East End Film Festival
(April 27th - May 2nd)

Taking place in various locations around East London, the EEFF is a charmingly rugged affair. It focuses in the main on British talent, but there are also small Romanian and World cinema strands, a varied programme of shorts and something called Movie Mayday, a day-long free event across 88 venues with more stuff than there's possibly room or time for. Get on it.

Films you might want to have a good think about seeing include:

The Libertines - There Are No Innocent Bystanders
Roger Sargent's rockumentary about the rise and fall of the inexplicably popular noiseniks is the EEFF's opening gala screening, and a world premiere to boot. If that's the kind of thing that gets you excited, then brace yourself: apparently the band will be there on the night. *joke about likelihood of Pete Doherty's attendance*

Outside The Court
Filmmaker Marc Isaacs spent months standing outside Highbury & Islington Magistrates' Court interviewing various misfits, petty crooks and troubled souls on their way in and out. Amazingly Isaacs doesn't get beaten up at any point; in fact many of his subjects are surprisingly candid. This hour-long documentary doesn't just put them on display but turns out to be a cathartic experience for those of them who just need someone to listen.


The second film from Lars Von Trier's Advance Party experiment (in which three different first-time directors each make a film about the same characters; the first was Andrea Arnold's Red Road, also showing at the EEFF) is a bittersweet comedy drama about an old codger trying to put his tattered family back together before he reaches the end of his puff. It's an easier watch than Red Road, and I hate to use the phrase "funny and touching", but, well... you know.

Manasse + Minima
The free outdoor screening of 1925 Romanian silent film Manasse, with live accompaniment by Minima, follows in the footsteps of last year's amazing showing of Hitchcock's The Lodger. I have no idea what Manasse is about - its IMDb page is practically blank - but with Minima providing the tuneage it'll be an atmospheric and memorable night for anyone with ears. And eyes.

The Devils
The as-yet unreleased Director's Cut of Ken Russell's 1971 debauched blasphemathon will be a popular choice for hysterical moral guardians everywhere, and if nuns masturbating with charred leg bones is your thing, you're in for a treat. Also, have a word with yourself.

If any of that's got your juices flowing (you weirdo), both festivals have tons more exciting gubbins cracking off, and The Incredible Suit recommends you check the programmes because that's what they're there for, innit?


  1. Trailer for Lunopolis here, looks a bit silly.

    LWLies gave Super a bit of a kicking (and massive spoilers) – looks like a rip off of Defendor (2009) to me.

  2. I've been away, diverted by EuroSport HD where as she leans forward to serve or recieve Wozniacki makes me think of Jane Russell in 'The Outlaw' (1943) and through dedicated and thorough study have become expert at associating tennis players with their Hollywood dopplegangers. "Love 40" says an umpire. Smashing stuff. Sharapova, Dementiava, Hantchukova and Golovin "40 All" You bet sir!

    Tennis Anyone? (2005)