At the opening of the 27th London Film Festival, its director, Ken Wlaschin, claimed that ‘if you had been living in a hole for the past twelve months, you could come to the festival and still see the best of the world’s cinema’. If anyone had been living in a hole for the past twelve months, it is unlikely they would want to spend a further two and a half weeks in a hole under the Waterloo Bridge. However, be that as it may, he had a point. This year, with over 150 films, the festival is the biggest yet, and in the absence of a market-place such as that which exists at Cannes, what better remit than to show the best of recent world cinema, with a few premieres and a few revivals, and even the occasional box-office smash thrown in for good measure.
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