The Half Dozen Special: Cambridge Film Festival 2011

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It barely seems possible that a whole year has gone by since last year, but I guess that’s how calendars work, so no point trying to fight it. September is here again, so it’s time for the 31st Cambridge Film Festival, and for me the second experience of one of the UK’s foremost festivals of film. Having lived in Cambridgeshire for three years, I’d never even seen a single film at the festival, but last year made up for it in spades, in the end seeing nineteen films over the eleven days of the festival. You can see the full list here on last year’s Half Dozen, but there were some real gems in there. I may not have seen the likes of The Desert Of Forbidden Art, Pelican Blood, Dark Souls or The People vs George Lucas if there weren’t playing at a festival, and I didn’t see a single film that I regretted. In addition, the surprise film, which everyone I spoke to had pegged as everything from The Social Network to Despicable Me, turned out to be Chico & Rita, which was a delight. I can only hope to be similarly surprised again this year.

Ah yes, this year. My cinematic obsession still knows no bounds, it seems, so this year’s trailer run down is somewhat longer. So far I’m booked to see 34 films, as well as talks by Mark Kermode and Neil Brand and the festival’s late night short film festival, Tridentfest. I’m going in having seen one of the 34 already – Drive, which is so good I couldn’t pass up the chance to see it again at the Festival, especially when director Nicolas Winding Refn is due to be there, but even though it’s my second favourite film of the year so far, I live in hope that something will sneak up, surprise me and manage to beat it. And in the process of writing this I’ve already had two recommendations of films that happen to be playing at the Festival that I’m not seeing – yet!

But if you can’t make it to the festival yourself, you can at least get a flavour of what I’m signed up for by perusing the trailers below. Due to the nature of the films being shown, many of which are doing the rounds on the festival circuit before (hopefully) securing distribution, some of these trailers are a little limited. In fact, there’s two here I couldn’t yet find a trailer for, so at the moment they’re just clips. I will add and update as anything else becomes available or, inevitably, as I add more films to my schedule.

But when a film like Pelican Blood – which was young, fresh, intelligent and had Arthur Darvill from Doctor Who in a supporting role – can’t get distribution or a DVD release in this country, it would seem to be criminal not to make the most of an opportunity like the festival. And if you’re going to see any of these films, then please comment or message me on Twitter @movieevangelist, I’d love to see you there and to hear what you think. Don’t be shy! But whatever you’re seeing this September, I hope you enjoy it.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Mademoiselle Chambon


Sweet Smell Of Success

Act Of Grace


Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

The Last Projectionist

Mysteries Of Lisbon

Bombay Beach


The Silence


Late September

Mark Kermode: The Good, The Bad And The Multiplex Book Tour

The Woman

A Boatload of Wild Irishmen

As If I Am Not There

El Bulli

Dimensions: A Line, A Loop, A Tangle Of Thread

A Useful Life

The Seventh Seal

Funny Games

The Bengali Detective

The Show Must Go On

Street Kids United

StreetKids United from Ad Ahmed on Vimeo.

The Yellow Sea

Midnight In Paris

The Gerber Syndrome

Red White & Blue


Sound It Out

Sleeping Beauty

Surprise Movie

Surprise – there’s no trailer yet for this one!

The Look

3 thoughts on “The Half Dozen Special: Cambridge Film Festival 2011

    […] and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will appear on my separate run-down of the trailers for the films I’m seeing at the Cambridge Film Festival this year. In addition, I’ve already seen Kevin Smith’s Red State, which I liked, but […]

    […] to a documentary about a man who makes sushi and pretty much everything in between. In 2010 and 2011 I listed the trailers for everything I’m seeing, and this year’s list – longer […]

    […] first visit in 2010 and, despite a slightly reduced programme due to other factors, still caught 27 last year. So, in what is now becoming something of a tradition, I’ve assembled every trailer I can […]

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