Looking Back on the London Film Festival 2009

Saturday October 31st 2009

Could well be Haneke’s best, but even his worst would be up here. 144 minutes of complete unobstructed brilliance. The perfect balance of art and functional storytelling. Brutal, absorbing and provocative. Also contains some mad good violence. Pretty much exactly what you want from the Coen brothers: funny, bizarre and thoughtful in equal measure. Gets better and better the more you think about it.
The worst thing about this pile of old rubs was that it thought it was one of the greatest films ever made. The levels of self-importance and unbelievable seriousness were off the fucking chart. It’s time to put a stop once and for all to the crime against humanity that is the massive majority of British filmmaking. And what kind of title is that? Clive Owen is in this. And he’s not the worst thing about it. What have we learned?
I can’t believe I missed number one at the cinema and now I’ve missed number two at the festival. It’s not out until 22/01/10. Apparently this is fifteen or sixteen times better than it sounds. Which is good, because it sounds like an MTV Films film. It’s not out until 29/01/10. Herzog’s new one has divided opinion but I can pretty much guess which way my opinion would go. I also like to think that the elongated title is ironic, which would be brilliant. They haven’t even set a UK release date.


>> We saw 28 feature films at this year’s festival.

>> 16 of these were on our 30 Must See list.

>> 4 entered our Best of 2009 list (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Informant!, The White Ribbon and A Serious Man).

>> 4 will end up on our Best of 2010 list whenever that happens (A Prophet, Dogtooth, Up In The Air and Trash Humpers… just).

>> The only movie we saw but didn’t review was The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights. It was quite fun – 6/10.

>> The Vue West End turned out to be quite a good venue. Screens 5 and 7 are both top notch and having four Leicester Square screens dedicated to the festival meant that most stuff was easier to see.

>> Capitalism: A Love Story was a crap surprise film and Nowhere Boy was a crap closing film.

>> It was better than last year.

Thanks to everyone at the BFI and Premier PR for their help and support during this year’s festival.