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LIFF27: A Review


So, a slight ambulance/ A&E related drama has ruled me out of the rest of the Film Festival. I am gutted. So thought I may as well blog my thoughts on the festival given that it’s over for me at least.


Hyde Park I love this place immensely, I’m an official “friend” of the cinema and its pretty hard to criticise although occasionally the audience can be annoying, as was the case with the Saturday, kid-filled showing of The Rocket. There’s no better place in Leeds to watch a film. Top marks
I rarely visit multiplexes, I just find them a bit bland, cold and unwelcoming. Vue does its job though, comfy seats and decent leg room. The cinema staff were uninformed though; I arrived slightly early for a screening and the guy checking tickets near screen 1 told me he thought I was in the wrong place (I wasn’t) as he knew nothing about LIFF even being on there!
Victoria, Town Hall
As always, a stunning setting in which to watch a film and big thanks to @xim123 on Twitter for recommending the balcony; slightly comfier seats and better sound quality. I’m a convert. Still recommend taking a cushion though, especially if you have back issues…ahem.
Albert, Town Hall
Strange little venue. Upright uncomfortable seats but mainly used for shorter documentaries. My schedule had all my Albert screenings after my mishap so didn’t actually visit this year.
The LIFF newbie. I was concerned about the use of this venue when I saw the programme. Many LIFF regulars attend films alone and I wasn’t looking forward to cosying up to a stranger on a 2-seater sofa. This is only an issue for sold-out screenings and I genuinely enjoyed watching films here; super comfy, glass of wine available and food too (although I didn’t partake in the latter and I imagine it’s expensive?)

It’s hard to criticise LIFF as it holds a special place in my heart, well planned, well organised and one of the key events in my calendar each year. As always the LIFF volunteers were good, although last year I had some good conversations with them and they seemed more clued-up on the films. A few teething issues towards the start of the festival; at Vue they insisted on checking tickets twice for each screening?! Just 2 technical hitches; one with sound at Hyde which was quickly resolved and then the Harmony Lessons debacle at Everyman. Wonder if anyone took them up on their offer to stay and watch the Kazakh film minus subtitles?! I understand technical issues are unavoidable just more annoying when you’ve just paid for parking and a glass of wine (which you then have to sit in the bar alone to drink, Bridget Jones style). This was the first time I realised how unstaggered the programme was too. There were no other unstarted screenings for 2 hours. Final bugbear is having to stand and read your ticket requests at the Carriageworks box office; an option to email or even order online with your pass number would be nice, particularly for those of us who work out of town.

So many films jumped out of the programme at me I was spoilt for choice! I never read reviews or watch trailers although this year I did look up just the IMDB rating of the films in an attempt to weed out any howlers (is that cheating?) It seemed to work well as I’ve seen some great films and credit to the organisers for once again creating a varied and extensive programme.
I only managed 16 films before having to bail out but here’s my attempt at a top 10. Maybe the biggest change for me here is the lack of Gravity in my top 10 but as good as it was visually, I have no desire to see it more than once so that’s caused it to tumble out of my rankings.
1. Blue is the Warmest Colour
2. Nebraska
3. Ghost Graduation
4. Mistaken for Strangers
5. Gloria
6. Big Bad Wolves
7. Circles
8. The Retrieval
9. After Lucia
10. The Rocket

Howler award: A Touch of Sin


2 comments on “LIFF27: A Review

  1. orielkenny SAGE_DEV
    December 30, 2013

    I see we were at several of the same films – and often screenings…and this LIFF volunteer is reasonably clued up ‘re programme!
    I was also sitting there thinking ‘my first Kazakh fun’ and then ‘okay it’s clear what just happened with the sheep but is there going to be NO translation(!)..I would have stayed probably – I think some people went to Vue for ‘jeune et jolie’ (fab as was Blue is…)
    Unexpectedly loved Ghost Graduation but disappointed at Gloria because I thought it was going to be uplifting & it wasn’t- very misleading trailer! Sorry to miss Nebraska…
    I had the same worry about the sofas at Everyman but they were quite firm so no problem to share with a stranger…
    Mekons film better than ‘mistaken for strangers’ I thought and ‘the Stuart hall project’ which you missed(?) Just brilliant incl directors Q&A

    • ideasfortheclassroom
      December 31, 2013

      I found Gloria immensely uplifting. Isn’t it strange how different people interpret different films? Didn’t realise you were local. Must say hello next year. Meet you in the Everyman bar! 😉

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This entry was posted on November 20, 2013 by in Film, Leeds, LIFF27 and tagged , , , , .
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