Wednesday October 28th 2009
Blessed was a late addition to the LFF programme, and is having only two screenings, so you might expect it to be something pretty special. Instead, it was the most irritating experience of the festival. For one reason in particular.
It wasn’t the terrible acting, crap dialogue and stick-thin characterisation. Nor the movie’s use of non-linear narrative in the most banal, gratuitous way imaginable. It wasn’t the moment when a character expressed his anger with the line ‘I’ll bloody hit you!’ or even the film’s total adherence to the most tired clichés of teenage life on screen (they made Thirteen look like a masterpiece of subtle filmmaking).
It wasn’t any of those things. It was the London Film Festival’s inexplicable decision to screen the film, without prior warning, with Spanish subtitles. This might not seem like a big deal. After all, it doesn’t prevent me from experiencing the film in its entirety, and it was presumably the only print available on such short notice. But it’s the same logic that allows a repertory cinema to project a Blu-ray of a film if they can’t get hold of a print, or a multiplex to assume that no-one will care if the projector screws up half-way through a movie and the audience misses a few minutes. Well I do care. RANT OVER.