Wednesday 7 September 2011

The 55th BFI London Film Festival Is About to Happen All Over You

This morning saw the cream of the world's film press, and me, cram into the Odeon in London's delightful Leicester Square to be the first to hear the line-up for the 55th BFI London Film Festival.
The primary cause of excitement at events like this is always the presence of delicious, artery-hardening pastries, and this morning's press launch was no exception. Fortunately the Odeon had laid on plenty of supplies, just in case there was a repeat of last year's Croissantgate affair, in which film critic and national treasure Robbie Collin snarfed the last few pastries, angering penniless bloggers hoping for a free breakfast.

I made my way into the cinema to find none other than film critic and national treasure Robbie Collin sitting by himself. I don't know why he'd arrived alone and so early but I could probably hazard a guess.
Proceedings were kicked off by the BFI's Chief Executive, Amanda Nevill. She talked and talked and talked and talked about sponsors and that, but nobody was listening because we were all waiting for the main event: SANDRA HEBRON'S BOOTS.

Eventually the BFI's Artistic Director took to the stage for her final London Film Festival introduction in a magnificent pair of knee-high black FMBs that completely distracted attention from every word she said. You can't see them in this picture but they're permanently etched in a dark and troubled recess of my mind, so that's where you'll need to go to see them in all their shiny, wipe-clean glory.
After far too short a time, Sandra Hebron's boots left the stage, taking Sandra Hebron with them, and a 30-minute clip reel advertised the highlights of the festival. And guess what? It looks amazing.

After the vaguely meh announcements of opening film 360 (now officially pronounced "Three Sixty", FYI) and closing film The Deep Blue Sea, it's good to see that the films that have been clogging up all the other festivals around the world are getting an airing here next month.

Stand by for a long and boring rundown of what I'm looking forward to in the next few days, but the obvious big draws are Clooney/Goslingasm The Ides Of March, silent beauty The Artist (I'VE ALREADY SEEN IT, LOOK AT ME EVERYONE), a cast of alarmingly hot talent (and Keira Knightley) in Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Steve McQueen's long-awaited second feature Shame and the Cannes-impressing We Need To Talk About Kevin.

All that remained was to grab my goodie bag and devour the Green & Black's chocolate I'd been looking forward to. Alas, due to a massive administrative balls up, the chocolate had been replaced by this:
Why we might require a clothes peg during the festival is a mystery, although its nose-holding properties may or may not have been in mind when organisers scheduled Madonna's critically-derided W.E. for the festival.

The fun starts on October 12th and ends at about 9pm on the 27th. No fun is permitted after that time.


  1. I think the BFI people are encouraging you to take part in a round of "Where's the Peg?", a particularly punishing drinking game some rugby players recently taught me.

    You have to surreptitiously attach the peg to someone's person without their knowledge and then loudly enquire "Where's the peg?" (hence the title of the game) and count down from three to one.

    If your victim has not found and removed the peg from their person by the end of the countdown, they must finish their beverage. It's exactly the kind of thing a gathering of film critics would enjoy.

  2. The Incredible Suite is the Roll Hunter

    The Wooden Pegs are a publicity stunt by Adobe ahead of the launch of the amazing Wizard .wpg file format that makes real what was shown as fiction in Harry Potter films where bbook illustrations come to life in 3D. The Roll Hunters were so busy looking for things to suck and swallow they missed that presentation.