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London Film Weekender

Posted in Cinema Visits, Movies! by rachaelwithana on March 22, 2010

Léa and I indulge in our very own London Film Weekend, coincidentally at the same time as the official ‘London Film Weekend’.  That’s synchronicity for you…

Whilst Léa was in the UK for our Friday meeting at Broadway and Monday at Watershed – thus with a whole weekend window in the middle! – I thought it would make sense to spend our time watching films.  Therefore, it seemed sensible to head to the BFI on the Southbank where, in the mediatheque, you can watch what seems like thousands (I couldn’t find an exact number) of films from the National Film Archive for FREE.  Yes.

Needing to find a venue for a SylC branding meeting with Dominic Thackray (designer for Raindance, the British Independent Film Awards), it seemed silly to go anywhere but the BFI bar for coffees and a pint of sausage rolls (not for me, I’m vegetarian).  They might be slightly slow on service, but the view over the Thames is great, and the Waterloo Book Fair under the bridge is a little London gem.

waterloo book fair

waterloo book fair

Having discussed SylC branding, Johnny Halliday, the merits or not of Erich Rohmer and so on, Léa and I retired to the mediatheque and Dom went off to meet his wife and daughter.  Before I’d even had a chance to settle in my comfy mediatheque seat, Dom called to let me know that Patti Smith was signing books in Foyles beneath the Royal Festival Hall!  Being a fan of the venerable Patti, I left Léa to decide on what to watch, high-tailed it on over to the bookshop, bought a copy of Just Kids and was back in my seat with signed copy just in time for the beginning of Nineteen Eighty Four (the 1984 version with John Hurt and Richard Burton).

St. John on Bethnal Green - venue for PhantasmaGloria film nights

Sunday was, apparently, London Film Day (according to Boris Johnson, our mayor), which was serendipitous considering that I’d already been a part of organising a film screening in a London landmark – the Sir John Soane church of St. John on Bethnal Green.  I’m one of three curators of the PhantasmaGloria film nights there, and Sunday was our screening of Ettore Scola’s Le Bal as selected by artist Chris Gollon whose artwork hangs in the Church.  It transpired that this was the first ever showing of the film on a big screen in London, so we had a good turnout, and it was a good finish to our film weekender.  Possibly even better than the cross-London screenings of Nanny McPhee, as organised for London Film Day by Boris… if I dare say so myself.

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