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! Read the rest of this entry »