It's a little under-exposed (despite The Belated Birthday Girl's best efforts), so let me explain what you're looking at. This is me on October 30th 2010, sitting outside the Studio cinema at BFI Southbank, reading a copy of the 2010 London Film Festival programme.
In fact, it's the fourth in a series of similar photos. Earlier that year, The BBG had taken the first three, which were as follows:
1. Me outside the NFT1 cinema at BFI Southbank reading the LFF 1989 programme.
2. Me outside the NFT2 cinema at BFI Southbank reading the LFF 2000 programme.
3. Me outside the NFT3 cinema at BFI Southbank reading the LFF 2005 programme.
Did you ever have one of those days when you woke up and suddenly remembered that there was a book that you were supposed to have written by now, that you technically hadn't even started yet?
I had one of those days last week.
It's the fourth year of Clare Stewart's directorship of the LFF, and the third one in a row in which she's recycled the same basic graphic for the programme design. Sort it out, Stewart! To be fair, the static design is an indication of how much the festival has settled down after the initial upheaval of her arrival in 2012. The programme categories are still as woolly as ever: the short film collections are still trying to pretend animation isn't really a thing: the archive strand is still a major audience draw, even though the printed guide does its damnedest to pretend it doesn't exist at all. No real innovations to speak of, not this year anyway.
And let's be honest, the same applies to my coverage of the festival on this site. It'll be the usual thing: I'll catch a few films each day between now and the festival's close on October 18th, and tell you about them here the day after they happen, with occasional contributions from a few of your old favourites. Those astute people I mentioned earlier will have also noticed that the LFF's already started - hell, the Opening Gala even made the national news. Unfortunately, as was the case in, for example, 2003 and 2008, pressure of work means I can't review any films for the first day or two of the festival. But as was also the case in those years, we hopefully have a workaround in place to keep you entertained until I can get properly started.
Festival number 27! (For me, anyway.) Book number 5! (Note to self: put reminder to write book number 5 into 2020 diary.) Let's LFF and chill, as I believe the young people say nowadays. Watch this space.
- Thursday October 8th - Geena Davis Screen Talk, Lost In Munich, My Love Don't Cross That River, Ryuzo And His Seven Henchmen
- Friday October 9th - Ghost Theater, Land Of Mine, The Quays Meet Christopher Nolan
- Saturday October 10th - The American Epic Sessions, Assassination, Hand Gestures, Happy Hour
- Sunday October 11th - Funny How? How Am I Funny?, Kiss Me Kate, Legacy, Live From New York!
- Monday October 12th - Being Evel, The Idol, Invention, Right Now Wrong Then
- Tuesday October 13th - In Jackson Heights, Our Little Sister
- Wednesday October 14th - Frame By Frame, A Man For All Seasons, The Wave
- Thursday October 15th - LFF Connects: Laurie Anderson, Our Man In Havana, Yakuza Apocalypse
- Friday October 16th - The Brand New Testament, Rediscovered Laurel And Hardy, Steve McQueen: The Man And Le Mans
- Saturday October 17th - Old Czech Legends, Rattle The Cage, The Sky Trembles And The Earth Is Afraid And The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
- Sunday October 18th - Men And Chicken, Office, Sherlock Holmes
- The Wrap Party - highlights and lowlights, courtesy of myself, The BBG and Lesley