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London Film Festival 2009

"Isn't it funny how you get more right-wing as you get older?"

Isn't it funny how it's only ever middle-aged white men who make that observation? (Richard Herring being the most recent example, although at least he was being ironic.) Still, it's not a prophecy I want to fulfil myself. I've got lefty roots going way back, and I have no intention of betraying them. I still believe in the equality of all people, the dignity of the working man, and his inalienable right to withdraw his labour in protest at his exploitation.

Having said all that, when a postal strike results in me losing out on London Film Festival tickets, that's the sort of thing that's going to turn me into frickin' Thatcher overnight.

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SPANK GOLD: London Film Festival 1997

Hmmm. They didn't even bother with a designer credit for this one.The 41st London Film Festival, and the first with new boss Adrian Wootton at the helm. He'd be running the shop for the next five years, until his deputy Sandra Hebron - an important part of his team from day one - took over in 2002. Wootton made a few immediate changes, but nothing too dramatic. The AmEx sponsor logo was printed a little bigger on the programme cover, to soften us up gradually for the introduction of a title sponsor in 2000: the programme itself was reformatted into the A4 magazine still used to this day: and the IBM PC User Group returned to give the LFF an unofficial basic web presence.

The last of those interested me at the time, because this was the first LFF I'd done since acquiring home internet access. Daily blogging of films wouldn't happen for another year, but I do have email archives going back to 1997, and I've found a mail I wrote to Lee on November 25th which included capsule reviews of a dozen or so movies. So, for once, some of the opinions below will accurately reflect what I felt at the time. But don't worry, you'll also get some of the awkward lapses in memory that you've come to expect from these features. Here, have a look.

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Simian Substitute Site for October 2009: Orange Monkey

Orange MonkeyIt's October, and you know what that means around here: the London Film Festival. I've been attending every year since 1989, and writing about it on a daily basis since 1998. Regular readers will know that throughout this year, I've been filling in the gaps with reviews of the 1989-1997 festivals as part of the Spank Gold project. There's just one more old LFF review to go - the one for 1997, which would have gone up yesterday if Demon's broadband service hadn't gone into meltdown first. Expect that to appear in the next day or two, and then regular daily coverage of the 2009 Festival to follow later this month. Have a trailer while you're waiting.

Other stuff for October? I doubt that there'll be enough time for anything else, but we'll have to wait and see. And yes, I do realise it's over two months since we came back from China, and the videos and photos aren't all up yet. Like I said, wait and see.

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