Off to LFF 2015 on the morning train. I cocked up the booking dates this year and consequently all the best seats had gone when I started booking – but at least I was spared last year’s manic first hour of booking BFI Members tickets online. The result is that this year I have an odd ragbag of two restorations that I’m looking forward to, one acknowledged auteur (the wonderful Eric Khoo) and six other films I know nothing about and which I hope will surprise me.
There are some annoying aspects of LFF – the tedious strands of ‘Love’ and ‘Dare’ and ‘Journey’ etc. and the pointless (for me) red carpet galas – but the rest of it works pretty well. London is expensive, but LFF only charges old folk £6.50 before 17.00 hours. However, I did fancy one film which I was shocked to see was £20 minimum. Forget that. Surprisingly, this year I’ll only be at BFI Southbank once and I start with an unknown venue, Hackney Picturehouse. Otherwise it’s a nostalgic return to the ICA, the Vue West End (always the Warner West End to me) and the Vue at Islington. I’ll also be at Curzon Mayfair so that’s quite a few quick bus journeys between screenings. You need to know your London geography, bus routes and tube/rail maps for a stress free LFF.
After London it’s a quick trip over to Belfast for a day at Cinemagic and then the 29th Leeds International Film Festival starts on November 5th. Plenty to watch and write about. Watch this space!