London Is Not The Only Festival

Robot and Frank is screened at both Leeds and Bath.

The London Film Festival may be my current pre-occupation – with my choice of outfit for tomorrow’s red carpet screening of Hyde Park On Hudson my number one concern – but film festivals aren’t confined to the capital.

The Leeds International Film Festival is now in its 26th year and comes hard on the heels of the London event, starting on Thursday, 1st November and running until Sunday, 18th.  It echoes London by opening with a screening of Ben Affleck’s Argo (see Argo See It!, 18 October) and closing with Michael Haneke’s Palme D’Or winner, Amour, while Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet, and Jacques Audiard’s Rust And Bone, also get an outing.

A Stanley Kubrick retrospective, plus an interview with Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse, also feature, together with a Skype interview with director Nick Broomfield and strands featuring cult movies and documentaries.  And my prize for best movie title has to go to the joint American/Polish production, Now Forager: A Film Of Love And Fungi.

For more information, go to,

Overlapping with Leeds is the Bath Film Festival, from 14th to 25th November.  Haneke’s Amour crops up again, plus other London debutants End Of Watch, Great Expectations, Quartet and Martin McDonough’s latest dark comedy, Seven Psycopaths.

I’m particularly intrigued by the comedy, Robot and Frank, which slipped under the radar during the early days of London and is screened at both Bath and Leeds.  Frank Langella stars as a dementia sufferer who is able to return to his former calling as a jewel thief when his son buys a robot butler to take care of him.  The premise is appealing, but sadly I’ll have to wait until it opens around the UK in March of next year.

There’s classic re-issues, like The Life And Death of Colonel Blimp and Spielberg’s debut, Duel, as well as a neat idea for a strand – Bath Debuts, films that passed the city by when they were first released.  On that schedule are  Even The Rain, scripted by Ken Loach regular Paul Laverty and which includes a Skype interview with the author; Up There, a dark comedy about death; and Free Men, set during the occupation of France during the 1940s.

Full details are available on the festival’s website,


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