It’s that time of year when we start to feel the good film itch. Despite the odd much-hyped festival import summer has never been a great season for flicks. So what if the screens are full of prequels, sequels, Vikings and B-list rom coms? We’re supposed to be out sipping Pimms in the sunshine, not hunched in a dark auditorium. But after a typically rubbish British washout, autumn’s quality cinema can’t arrive fast enough.
Cue the BFI’s annual London Film Festival, a reliable new season highlight. I love the BFI, because it combines the thrill of a mildly edgy art-house offering with all the padded, post-show-talk comfort of a national institution. I’ve always fancied myself as an art-house sort of girl; the sort who spends her Thursday afternoons watching subtitled monochrome epics before discussing them in small dark bars, casually referencing lost classics of underground Slovenian cinematography while smoking a cigarillo and wearing a hat. Of course, in reality I invariably find myself, glazed-eyed and sticky-fingered, watching a supposedly ‘empowering’ but in fact painfully conventional chick-flick in a crowded Sunday afternoon multiplex that smells of taco seasoning and stale Haribo. The BFI is my middle-class middle ground, and a damn good middle ground it is too.