Take one last look at these babies: once the 55th London Film Festival has concluded on October 27th, you're probably not going to see them again.
Looking back - as everyone else seems to be at the moment - what was her legacy? Some would say that it was the increased visibility of the LFF: during those ten years, the big red carpet events got even bigger and more star-studded, though thankfully not at the expense of the smaller, more obscure films that are a festival's bread and butter. For my part, I'd say there's a case to be made for the way Hebron turned around the reputation of the Surprise Film. It started out as a dumping ground for any film they could lay their hands on at the last minute: it became a place where she could schedule a film that she desperately wanted to include, but couldn't confirm before the programme was printed. (When it came to her introductions to Surprise Films, though, she never had the degree of ballsy showmanship that Adrian Wootton used to bring to those nights. Then again, you need balls to introduce a film as bad as Hearts Of Atlantis.)
But some would say that in the end, it was all about the boots. The black, knee-length affairs that she wore to every screening. I honestly believe that it was my old mucker Suzanne Vega Fanclub who was the first person to publically perv over the boots on the internet - the earliest reference I can find to them here was in 2006. But now, in Hebron's final year, everyone's talking about them. A serious profile in The Guardian mentions them in its second paragraph. Film blogs like The Incredible Suit have turned them into a full-on fetish item. She's even been asked to name suppliers in a recent interview.
Which makes it a bit of a shame that Suze won't be around to wave bye-bye to the boots. He currently suspects that he won't be seeing much (if anything at all) at this year's LFF, thanks to an ongoing struggle with the property market. And it looks like quite a few of Spank's Pals are also having to cut down a lot on their LFF-going. Looking at my bank balance, I probably should be cutting down too.
But here we are.
As usual, expect several movie reviews to appear on here each day for the duration of the festival. I may also be chucking the odd review in the direction of Mostly Film, because Europe's Best Website has decided to go similarly nuts for the LFF this year, inviting contributions from all of its regulars. I'm toying with the idea of sending them reviews that directly contradict the ones I post here, just to see if anyone notices. Will you notice? Watch this space.
Thursday October 13th - Darwin, The Goose Woman, Volcano, The Waves
Friday October 14th - The Day He Arrives, The Machine That Kills Bad People, Sarah Palin - You Betcha!, A Trip To The Moon
Saturday October 15th - Asshole, Bernadette: Notes On A Political Journey, Crulic: The Path To Beyond, Shin-Heike Monogatari, Twenty Cigarettes
Sunday October 16th - Dreileben 1: Beats Being Dead, Dreileben 2: Don't Follow Me Around, Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai, International Animation Panorama Programme 1, Rampart
Monday October 17th - I Wish, Louise Wimmer, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Stopped On Track, Wonderful London
Tuesday October 18th - Las Acacias, Chicken With Plums, Dreams Of A Life, International Animation Panorama Programme 2, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Undercurrent
Wednesday October 19th - Last Screening, Let The Bullets Fly, Superheroes
Thursday October 20th - Dreileben 3: One Minute Of Darkness, Elena, Headhunters, How To Re-Establish A Vodka Empire, Shock Head Soul, Whores' Glory
Friday October 21st - Alexander Payne Screen Talk, I'm Carolyn Parker, Point Of Order!
Saturday October 22nd - The Artist, Bernie, Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below, King Curling
Sunday October 23rd - Damsels In Distress, Michael Winterbottom Screen Talk, Take Shelter, Wild Bill
Monday October 24th - Dendera, London Calling, The Monk
Tuesday October 25th - The Snows Of Kilimanjaro, Target, Trishna
Wednesday October 26th - Headhunters, Mitsuko Delivers, The Tsunami And The Cherry Blossom
Thursday October 27th - The Jewel, A Simple Life, Tahrir 2011: The Good, The Bad And The Politician
The Wrap Party - final thoughts on the Festival from Spank, The Cineaste, The BBG and Lesley