Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 26/11/2001
Bruce Willis is a puff. There, I've said it.
It's a little ironic that the man who took on airborne terrorists in Die Hard 2 is now too much of a wuss to leave America. At least, we have to assume that's why he suddenly announced last week that he's no longer planning to be the biggest celebrity guest at this year's London Film Festival, after he'd committed to both an on-stage interview and an appearance alongside his new film, Bandits. And if that wasn't symbolic enough for you, that came shortly after the announcement that the President of the United States himself - or, at least, the guy who plays him on TV, Martin Sheen - has also decided that given the choice between being in a country plagued with exploding airplanes and anthrax mailbombs and being in one that isn't, he'll stick with the former and not attend his Guardian Interview after all.
Thankfully, though, not everyone is capitulating in the face of terrorism. So at the time of writing, we proudly hail actor Ed Harris and animator John Lasseter, who still have the stones to stick to their planned schedule in these admittedly trying times. Not to mention the Festival's European guests like Isabelle Huppert and Nanni Moretti, as well as all the others we're expecting.
But of course, Britain's biggest film festival isn't just about the visiting celebs: the films play an important part too. In recent years, LFF Director Adrian Wootton has been accused of making the Festival more commercial, and it has to be admitted that there are a few big Hollywood draws on this year's programme: the Pixar animation Monsters Inc., Kevin Spacey's K-PAX, the aforementioned Bandits. But these are basically the obvious draws to lure people into a programme that's as diverse and international as ever. From careful examinations of the human condition to things with titles like Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine In Daehakno, it's all here and open to everyone who has the ticket money.
Those of you who were here for 1998, 1999 and 2000 will know what to expect: reviews of three or so movies a day as they happen, to say nothing of the various contributions of Spank's Pals as they try to provide some much-needed balance. Every day around lunchtime between November 8th and 23rd, expect to see a new summary of the previous day's events. Watch this space.
Wednesday November 7th - Gosford Park
Thursday November 8th - The Cat's Meow, Gosford Park, Imperfect Love, Late Marriage, The Piano Teacher
Friday November 9th - Cool And Crazy, Lan Yu, The Mystic Masseur, Seafood
Saturday November 10th - Cool And Crazy, Domani, International Animation Panorama, Waikiki Brothers
Sunday November 11th - Dead Or Alive 2: Birds, Hearts In Atlantis, The Last Kiss, Mostly Martha, Pollock, Quitting, Ten Days Without Love
Monday November 12th - The Cat's Meow, Ed Harris Guardian Interview, Ikingut, Jan Dara, Last Orders, Monsoon Wedding, Pollock, The Pornographer (sort of), The Sleepy Time Gal, La Spagnola, Ten Days Without Love, Warm Water Under A Red Bridge
Tuesday November 13th - Afternoon Of A Torturer, And Your Mother Too, The Bank, Dark Blue World, Ichi The Killer, Jan Dara, Novocaine
Wednesday November 14th - Good Romance, My Voyage To Italy, Off To The Revolution By 2CV, Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine In Daehakno
Thursday November 15th - Fausto 5.0, Off To The Revolution By 2CV, Parallel Worlds, Tape, This Is My Chocky Message
Friday November 16th - Bandits, Heist, Saturday, Waking Life
Saturday November 17th - As A Man, Kurosawa, Metropolis, Nanni Moretti Guardian Interview, Nine Queens, Paris XY
Sunday November 18th - Heist, Light Of My Eyes, Monsters, Inc., Mulholland Drive, Pixar Masterclass
Monday November 19th - Apocalypse Now Redux, The Battle Of Orgreave, Dog Days, Freedom, Sex And Lucia, The Son's Room
Tuesday November 20th - Chico, Donnie Darko, The Emperor's New Clothes, Go For Broke, The Lady And The Duke, Monsters, Inc., Sex And Lucia, Time Out, Tribute To Pixar and John Lasseter Guardian Interview
Wednesday November 21st - Betty Fisher Et Autres Histoires, Happy Man, Ignorant Fairies, The Magic Box, Me Without You, Millennium Mambo
Thursday November 22nd - Birthday Girl, Happy Now, K-PAX, Me Without You, Teenage Kicks - The Undertones, Water And Salt
The Wrap Party - final analysis and acknowledgements, including last minute reviews of K-PAX and A Tender Place
http://www.rlff.com is the new address of the official London Film Festival website, and that 'r' in the address is the only acknowledgement you'll get here of the Providers Of Fully Equipped Offices On Flexible Terms who are sponsoring the event for a second year in a row. Last year the site was hosted by the movie webzine Six Degrees [dead link]: don't bother following the link, as it went titsup.com a few months ago (to use the charming phrase for dotcom bankruptcy coined by The Register). Still, this year the job's been given to Keymedia, and they seem to be doing all right. Features this year include reviews of all films, competitions, an email newsletter, bulletin boards and even a downloadable desktop theme. But will they ever get around to providing online booking?
The British Film Institute continue to be the keepers of the sacred flame of cinema in the UK, and their site describes their work organising the LFF and other Festivals, showing movies all year at the National Film Theatre, and writing about them in Sight and Sound magazine.
Film Unlimited - or Guardian Unlimited Film, as its hosts at The Guardian are failing to make us call it - is still the best movie site in the country. They have a dedicated London Film Festival section, which will include news, reviews and transcripts of the live Guardian Interview events as and when they happen. The FU talkboards are worth registering for, as they give you access to a lively online film discussion community, which counts yours truly and Old Lag among its ranks.
The LFF 2001 Buzzometer [dead link] is the work of FU regular RichardM. He's put together a list of the main films in this year's LFF, and trawled the web for reviews from other festivals, including those bad ones that never quite make it into the official brochure. There are also notes about which of the FU people are attending particular screenings, so you may get some clues here about what I'll be reviewing in the next couple of weeks.
View London is a London-based entertainment review site. Worth a visit for the LFF roundup [dead link] hosted by their regular film critic, a friend of mine who does reviews for them on the side in order to finance his ever-increasing crack habit.
George Bush gives an inspirational message (in MP3 format) to those Americans like Bruce Willis who have concerns about the current international situation. Chris Morris may have helped out with some of the editing.