Monday, 26 September 2011

START UP: London Film Festival 2011

Shocking. Truly shocking. I had a huge bunch of films I was hoping to get this year, but alas, I cannot get them now. Priority booking for BFI members began about a week ago and general sale is today. So I thought, with my BFI membership, I would get a bunch of tickets I wanted ... but no. This year, before the tickets even go on general release loads of films are sold out.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - SOLD OUT
Shame - SOLD OUT
A Dangerous Method - SOLD OUT
Carnage - SOLD OUT
The Ides of March - SOLD OUT
Wuthering Heights - SOLD OUT
The Artist - SOLD OUT (except two tickets at £18 each!!!)

I found a few though but the higher-price ticket put me off. Don't get me wrong, I would be happy to part with a £14 ticket if I wanted to see it before the titles were announced (namely - all the films above) but, as a rule, I don't want to just randomly pay £18 for a film that will either (a) be released soon enough (The Artist) or (b) may be run of the mill international fare. I didn't know enough about The Kid with a Bike (the new Dardenne Brothers film) or La Acacias (an award winner at Cannes) to suddenly stump up the cash. Alongside all the other tickets too! The Artist nearly forced me to part with £18 for one ticket but I thought, it will eventually be released and all the hype will guarantee some sort of theatrical release in the art-house cinemas (Picturehouse chain probably...). I think, if I was given the chance, I would've paid up to £14 (maybe more) for tickets to A Dangerous Method, Shame, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Carnage.

At any rate, it does show that the film festival clearly caters to a much more affluent crowd. A crowd I do not reside within. No 'see-a-bunch-of-films' wrist-band offers here (Unless you are press...). Each film is individually priced and individually bought - Saturday night screening in Leicester Square is top price, matinee-screenings are low price. Thank God I'm a teacher and half-term falls appropriately.

I chose 4 films in total and only the first film I had planned to see from the outset, the other films I chose on good faith - and a secondary glance once I realised I wouldn't get the tickets I had hoped for. Bear in mind that, due to this, all tickets cost £7 each which is indeed a bargain. 

Martha Marcy May Marleneat Vue Screen 7, Monday 24 October 2011 at 15:00
Some interesting reviews from everywhere - but ultimately positive press. Apparently a film that sits well alongside the cult-focussed Red State by Kevin Smith

at Vue Screen 5, Tuesday 25 October 2011 at 12:15

Michael Winterbottom's latest. Not normally my bag, but I know that he is a credible filmmaker with a following, so this may be the start of a fully fledged interest in his filmmaking. We shall see.

The Art of Love
at Vue Screen 3, Wednesday 26 October 2011 at 15:30

Last year, I saw Little White Lies and I was impressed. One of the actors features in this film and, from the description, it has a little reference to the wit of Eric Rohmer and Woody Allen. This therefore, interests me.

We Have a Pope
at Vue Screen 5, Thursday 27th October 2011 at 15:00

I was born and raised a Catholic, so this is a 'tragi-comic' exploration of the selection process of a new Pope. I hope I will get some of the in-jokes but, if not, I can appreciate the architecture and art in the Vatican which is bound to feature.

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