Festival time

There’s no chance of me being bored when I make the switch from staff to freelance in the next few weeks. I’m going to cover the London Film Fest, which runs 17th Oct – 1st Nov, and press screenings start 1st Oct.

For more info, see my news story, written after the press launch last Thursday. It took place at the Odeon West End, Screen 2, which is absolutely massive – and it was packed to the rafters. There were introductions from the British Film Institute’s head honcho, and the festival’s artistic director, then a half hour reel of clips from a selection of movies. The poor/lucky selection team have sat through 2000 entries for the fest since January. Wow.

These ones look promising to me:

The Darjeeling Limited naturellement – I’ve used that great picture before, love the colours in it. Looks like archetypal Wes Anderson stuff, so it might annoy me like The Life Aquatic did – sorry fans – or it might be genius like The Royal Tenebaums. I’ll just have to go and see it. It’s set in India and stretches the suspension of disbelief thing ever so slightly by starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody as brothers.

I’m Not There – Any biopic of Bob Dylan is going to be interesting. 6 different people playing him should make it even more so. In the clip I saw, Cate Blanchett looked pretty convincing as him. Other good’uns in it include Christian Bale and Richard Gere – there’s variety for you.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) – If I see nothing else, this will do me. The book is amazing, and it must have been a real task to adapt. It is a memoir by a French journalist, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a stroke, which rendered his brain stem inactive. He is left suffering from the horrific locked-in syndrome. The only part of his body he is left able to control is his left eyelid – and yet, he retains his mental capabilities. That eyelid is the means for Bauby to dictate an entire book. It’s both a funny and moving book; I look forward to seeing how it translates.

SickoMichael Moore’s latest, investigating the state of the American healthcare system. More socialised institutions, such as Canada’s and our own NHS are used as counterpoints. Although the NHS probably isn’t as perfect as Moore’s rosy vision would suggest, you have to admit that that free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare is better than being faced with a bill in the ambulance, or after major surgery. It’s a vital subject to look at, and Moore is always entertaining.

Persepolis – I’ve been meaning to get my hands on a copy of this graphic novel for a while, so the film might have to do for now. Author Marjane Satrapi grew up in Iran, and looks back on her childhood during the revolution in the comic. Dealing with the lead up to modern-day Mideast problems through cartoon – it’ll be a unique experience.

Exodus – I quite like Penny Woolcock, after seeing her Mischief Night at last year’s fest. Exodus looks to be very different in style, from the short clip at the launch anyway.

I’m sure there’ll be more I just have to see once I’ve got the programme. How exciting!

Look at LFF 2006

Naomi Watts at LFF 2007

Sicko at LFF 2007 

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I like the comma in American headlines, I think England needs it.

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