As we enter the last few days of the Festival, the ambience is exuberant and relaxed. The Cameo Bar bursts at the seams every night but everyone has got to grips with the chaos of so many films in such a short period. Things run faultlessly.
One of the differences for me is there are now fewer press screenings and more time to catch public screenings. Last night, after enjoying Dead Man's Cards for the second time, I chatted to producer Phil Evers about different viewing experiences. His film, unlike many Hollywood blockbusters, features no lingering close-ups that make a film more accessible on the DVD market. Watching a film at a premiere must be the greatest way of seeing it. It has all the benefits of a regular cinema screening, plus the added excitement and anticipation, and is often enhanced by questions and answers from the audience to cast and crew at the end. A press screening, by comparison, can be rather dull, but is often the only way to provide a review of the film before it has its first public screening. I'm not a fan of DVD viewing, but for reviews it has the one advantage of being able to rewind and get the exact words of key quotes or pause to appreciate outstanding frames.
With 'Best of the Fest' rapidly approaching, Eye for Film already has reviews of around 75% of the films on offer, so be sure to check them out to help you decide which films are the ones you are most likely to enjoy. Tomorrow's highlights include the BAFTA interview with Sir Sean, the slowly sinister Night Listener with Robin Williams, and one of the most outrageous of documentaries: Osaka Love Thief, which opens up the wild, wacky world of Japanese male 'host' bars, where wealthy women spend thousands of dollars for the company of charming young men who make them smile. There's also one of only three chances to see Eye For Film's hot rated The Aura. Three days left! Make the most of it!
I'm now off to attempt a triple bill of Water, Shoot the Messenger and H6: Diary of an Assassin. Sadly, I'll miss the Reel Life with Arthur Penn, and the List Surprise Movie, Keane, but I'm still trying to perfect my ability to be in several places at the same time...