A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL

Films

 
There are lots of films on. You know that one about the guy who does the thing and the other one featuring what’s his name. Believe it or not some people go to these Festivals because they love cinema and want to sit in a dark room for two hours trying to restrain themselves from viciously beating the woman with the persistent cough two rows back with her own shoes.

Transport
 
If you’ve got legs, walk. If you’ve got one leg, hop and if you’ve got no legs, you have my sympathy. Sure the underground system has it’s uses, but once you get central everything is accessible by foot. You may be tempted to hail a taxi when you fall out of the Groucho club at 4am with your tongue down a Downton Abbey extra’s throat and if so, check that it’s a legal cab and you’re not being driven off to some remote wasteland on the outskirts of Charlton to be robbed and defiled.
 
Drink
 
If you’ve managed to gain access to a Gala after party you’ll be stuffing yourself with free champagne and miniature hamburgers whilst Helena Bonham Carter break dances in the corner. If not then the wealthy but unlucky straddlers will be at the French House in Soho sipping extortionately expensive half pints and talking about sensible right-wing policies and the new Stella McCartney collection. Should you feel like mixing it up with the London Film critic community, they’ll be at the Blue Posts off Leicester Square chain smoking Camel Lights and squandering money on endless beer whilst complaining they aren’t paid enough. What the other peasants do, who knows? But let’s be honest, who talks to people not in the industry or cares what they are doing? If you wanted to chat about whippet racing and paedophile rings you’d go back home for Christmas.
 
Networking
 
Make sure you have your business cards at the ready and give them to anyone who is wearing clothes more expensive than yours. If you manage to get some good contact numbers, try not to vomit your tenth free Cosmopolitan on your mobile as you’re typing in the digits or better yet, retire to the bathrooms and crudely tattoo the details on your arm with a cocktail stick dipped in red wine.
 
Hotels
 
It’s all well and good booking into the Dorchester but if you’re planning to return in the early hours of the morning saturated with booze and smelling of your own urine then any flat surface that isn’t scattered with broken glass will feel like heaven. Save yourself some money and grab a cheap hotel with a complimentary breakfast. Do make sure it’s a Full English though because if you crawl into the restaurant in the morning and all they have to soak up last nights alcohol are stale croissants and Rice Krispies, you’re in for a world of hurt.

 

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: REVIEW

LONDON – Tom Hanks returns to acting from the Cloud Atlas dressing up cupboard to play the inventor of the Phillips head screwdriver in Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, the opening film of the 57th London Film Festival

Based on a true story, the film starts off quirkily enough with an episode from Phillips’ early life when he was the captain of large ship that was seized off the Somali coast by pirates. This is obviously well inside the Bourne director’s comfort zone and unfortunately the film refuses to budge from this moment. We see in Tom Hanks performance an inkling of the pragmatic humorless man who will write his name in the history of tools, but only an inkling as Mr. Greengrass prefers to pursue his thriller subplot for all its worth. Obviously, Captain Phillips is actually an origins story and Paul Greengrass is saving the exciting stuff for the sequel.

5 FACTS ABOUT THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL

LONDON – So Festivals come and Festivals go but what are the FACTS! Well, the Studio Exec in anticipation of his British sojourn has polished off his best Dick Van Dyke and cor’ Blimey Guv’ if these aren’t the FACTS! behind the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.

1. The London film festival originally took place in New York. It was called the London Film Festival due to the fact that the organiser was famous novelist and wolf channeller Jack London. But when he became disinterested in the world of cinema due to his death, they moved it to London so that it would make more sense.

2. Although there have been 57 editions of the festival, they only began to actually show films three years ago. Festival organiser Billy Connolly said that screening films was considered a waste of valuable drinking time.  

3. The BFI stands for Big Friendly Idiots.

4. The opening film of the festival this year is called Captain Phillips and stars Tom Hanks as the inventor of the screwdriver.

5.  As the festival takes place in Britain booing or applauding at the end of screenings is discouraged and audiences are asked politely to restrict their reactions to a quiet clearing of phlegm from the back of the throat.

For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE!