Thursday, 4 November 2010


AAAAAAAA-lleluia! It's here! The Leeds Film Festival kicks off tonight in the city for another two and a half weeks of cinema joyjoy. (I'm going to go right out and say November is officially the best month ever - FACT. Basically Halloween, Bonfire Night, the Film Festival, my birthday, the German Market, and so merrily on)

This reminds me of queuing up for The Orphanage back in 2007.. not fun times

Once again I'm working the festival and you can check out daily updates on my special LIFF blog here: which also contains all of my reviews from last year's festival if you are bovvered, like. It's going to be a VERY busy 13 days for me starting from tomorrow as I'm practically working 14 hour days. So don't expect this blog to get updated too much (as if it's ever - HA!).

I must say on first look at the programme I was pretty disappointed with this year's line up. As I mentioned in my London post there were a few films I was expecting to travel up which haven't (desperately upset about Happy Few - I wanted to see it on the premise alone but then I found out it's by director Antony Cordier whose first film Cold Showers I had accidentally seen at the Leeds Film Festival in 2005 and I was convinced his new film would be here this year. Grrr!). A lot of the stuff I had just never heard of, which is fine, but I wish they would show more upcoming films than re-releases, old favourites and really obscure documentaries that nobody goes to see (believe me, I've worked them!). But I'm happy with my rota (I get to work at the HPPH! Wahoo!) and having re-read the programme a few times it is growing on me. I think I set my sights too high having previewed the cream of the crop this year, and I have to face facts: Leeds is not on a par with Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and London. It's (whisper) not even on a par with Edinburgh. But there's still a lot to be proud of, and hopefully it will just grow and grow and I'll get to be a part of that as it happens.

To preview I'm counting down my Top 15 Films To See At This Year's Festival as well as throwing in a few other well-known (but less culturemouse appealing) titles as well. Leeds Film have constructed their own top films list which you can see here, but of course mine is better. Hark.

**As a note, The Kings Speech opens this year's festival tonight (annoyed as I'd assumed I had free tickets to go ala Bright Star last year but for whatever reason volunteers didn't get in, and we have free tickets to Never Let Me Go instead WHICH I'VE SEEN ALREADY! ahem) but as it's sold out, if you want to catch it before it goes on general release in January it's showing at the HPPH again on the 20th.**

15. Erratum
A man is forced to confront the people from his past after a mysterious accident strands him in his home town

14. Kidnapped
'Them' made by the producers of [REC] - now Spain wants a go at home invasion terror

13. The Woman Who Dreamt Of A Man
Your soul mates appears to you in a dream, and then you see him breathing and walking the next day. Too bad you're both married

12. Twosome
Young Czech couple go off on a road trip to try and reignite lost passions, but are distracted by a new addition to the twosome

11. A Taste of Tea
A young girl is followed by a 50 foot version of herself, what more do you want from a film?! O those kerazy Japanese

10. Sweet Little Lies
Quietly a marriage is falling apart, in this beautiful looking film from the director of Strawberry Shortcakes

9. The Invisible Eye
The Lives of Others set in a school? As long as there's an unstable and confused teacher I'm happy

8. The Secret of Kells
It's an enchanting, mythic, gorgeous looking Irish cartoon for kids and bigger kids, so it is, so it is

7. The Last Employee
In the style of a classic Japanese horror ghost story... but with Germans in it instead!

6. Vital Signs
French Canadian cinema, woot woot! A lost young woman becomes immersed in her job at a nursing home and starts to forget her own world...

5. Catfish
Thee docu-drama that is emerging from the festival circuits a real standout - an honest and harsh expose on the web obsessed world of today

4. The Bothersome Man
Man wakes up in a strange place with no idea how he got there, and is forced to live with a new family and see new friends... Kafka-tastic

3. How I Ended This Summer
The winner of this year's Best Film at the London Film Festival comes to Leeds...and it's all things icy!

2. The Silent House
Shot in just one take, this is a haunted house story from Uruguay that is likely to unsettle you for weeks

1. A Town Called Panic
"Cool sounds Donkey - rip me one!" - I for one can't wait to see this utterly bonkers trip again on the big screen - it's just delightful, and my number one film to watch this year at the festival


Others of passing interest: Never Let Me Go, Leap Year, The American, The Loved Ones, Inside Job, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Zonad, Animal Kingdom, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, Pepperminta.

Some I'm working, some I'm not. I won't get to see all of the 15 but I'll try me best! The Bothersome Man kicks off my adventure tomorrow night. What type of adventure are YOU going to have? - please come and support the film festival! You can browse the rest of the catalogue here at Leedsfilm and if you see a good 'un I haven't mentioned yet let me know so I can share the secret!

See you in a cinema soon...

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