After all, it's just a ride….

London Film Festival 2016 – Phase II

This year, as you may have noticed, I have been pacing myself when it comes to the LFF. I would term my engagement with this years festival as more a rearguard defence than full frontal assault, such are the pressures of balancing the movie material with other commitments which must and indeed have taken priority. An increasing acceleration of day job activities and other social entertainments have caused me to sacrifice viewings of potential treasures – The Handmaiden and Manchester By The Sea have already been dismissed – my reasoning being that both of these well acclaimed features are bound to receive domestic distribution in 2017, so I’m not feeling that guilty. However, I can’t lie that I wish I was seeing more material given the echo chamber of social media chatter, but when I do get to a screening my choices seem to be solid as I haven’t been bored, offended, or listlessly wondered at what I could be better doing with my time, as thankfully there have been no duds as yet. Geling various elements of my professional and amateur realms I am in full appreciation of this new feature of this years festival, a pop-up cinema which recently sprouted up on the banks of the Thames;

As someone involved very recently with the complexities of project managing a so called ‘pop-up’ event/structure this new cinema on the Embankment yields double Menagerie fascination, as I acknowledge the backroom complexities of even considering such an entity (planning applications, technical requirements, licences, finances, construction & FM complexities, managing agents, safety, etc. etc.) let alone it’s programming linkages to a wider cultural event – behind the scenes I’m sure this new proposal was a risk, and it seems to have triumphed. Thus far I’ve seen most of my screenings in this venue, and it enjoys fantastic sight lines, an excellent, expansive screen, a contained sound environment and well organised staffing – the seats are a little uncomfortable but you can’t have everything I guess. OK, I’m being unreasonable at wanting everything, as I’m slightly miffed at missing this SFX attuned event which I’d really liked to have witnessed;

As it stands I have a couple of reviews in development from some Menagerie directorial favourites whom have turned in solid if passable work, but as I mentioned before the anticipated highlights of LFF 2016 were always going to be the Q&A opportunities for this year, given my reduced capacity in joining the rest of the press corp hunkering down for three or four, sunlight shunning sessions. Looking forward all ‘Laura’ eyes remain on the Carpenter and his Halloween ho-down, but until then please enjoy Mr. Verhoeven waxing lyrical in truncated fashion from his rather brilliant South Bank Q&A;


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