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.
This year, in keeping with the hulabaloo surrounding the purported revival of the British film industry, the festival contained no less than seventeen British feature-length productions. Three cheers for all concerned, even if, upon closer inspection, the majority of these features turn out to have been made with television finance,