We're four months into the Spank Gold project, and it strikes me that I've been a bit lax in namechecking the people working behind the scenes at the London Film Festival. Suze may well assume/hope that Sandra Hebron and her fetish boots have been around since the beginning of the festival in 1957. But back in 1992, we had Sheila Whitaker instead. Don't let the link to Socialist Review fool you (it's the only picture of her I could find): Sheila was a fun Director of the LFF, as could be gleaned from the way she'd outrageously milk her introduction to the Surprise Film each year. With the aid of Deputy Director Rosa Bosch (think a Spanish female equivalent of Michael 'Low Fat Morrissey' Hayden), she presided over the LFF throughout its thirties, guiding it through a major period of growth during which it expanded into the West End from its initial South Bank base.
The 1991 experiment of taking over both screens in the Odeon West End for a week continued in 1992. As a consequence, the programme started to take on a peculiar split personality, with clear lines being drawn between the commercial fare (almost exclusively shown in Leicester Square) and the artier stuff (almost exclusively kept in the NFT and ICA). The interesting thing to me, looking back at the programme now, is how much great stuff there was in terms of early works by future big name directors - and how many of them I missed out on at the time, notably Wong Kar-Wai, Ang Lee and Takeshi Kitano.
25 items to report on this time, though two of those lasted an entire day apiece. No weekday matinees at all this year. Ready to see how it all worked out?