London Film Festival 1989-2023: An Index

Because Films Inspire... some sort of hideous trainspotter impulse, apparentlyI started going to the London Film Festival in 1989, and I've been there every year since. Thanks to a combination of Spank Gold articles (after-the-fact writeups of the 1989-1997 festivals), reposts (pieces written for the old site between 1998 and 2005) and live blogging (since 2006), I've got a record of every single film I've seen at those Festivals.

Trying to pick your way through all of those is obviously going to be hellish, hence the index below. Similar to the equivalent index I've assembled for the Edinburgh Festival, each year links to the relevant piece on that particular LFF, including a roughly chronological list of what I saw (plus, of course, any additional films reviewed by Spank's Pals). As a bonus, you get a thumbnail-sized history of programme cover designs.

This will be updated each year after the LFF, so most of the time this page should be resident at the top of the LFF folder on the site. Have yourselves a good old browse through, and try not to think too hard about how much the tickets for all this lot have cost me over the last couple of decades.

[updated 17/01/2024 to include 2023 reviews]

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Spank's LFF Diary: The Wrap Party 2023

Our coverage of London Film Festival 2023 is dedicated to the Suzanne Vega Fanclub, who passed away at the end of October this year.

Suze was, as regulars will know, one of the key members of this site’s LFF reviewing team, up until the point where he moved out of London a decade or more ago. But his regular grumpy outbursts in the comments sections were always welcome, no matter where he was living at the time. (Even if a lot of those comments were complaints about my not having a letters page any more, meaning that he could only write about stuff I’d already mentioned.)

When The BBG and I were arranging our civil partnership do this year, inevitably he was high on the list of people to be invited. So it was a shock to get a reply from him saying he was too ill to travel. The best we could do was send him a link to our photos from the day, and he seemed happy with those.

Suze’s final appearance in these pages was in the comments on my writeup of our subsequent trip to Palermo, where he said nice things about the short bit of video I shot there. No surprise there - photography was one of his interests, and one that had a bearing on the films he liked the most. I wish now we’d had a bit more time with him, so we could have discussed the James Benning film I got to see at this festival.

We’ll all miss you, Mike.

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