5 February 2015

Why now is the time to study in London

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in News

Whether it is a star-studded red carpet event at Leicester Square, a trip to the cinephile hub that is BFI Southbank, or just a quiet afternoon film at the East Finchley Phoenix, London has a lot to offer those passionate about film. However, rather then drawing upon everything the Big Smoke has to offer, what this blog hopes to do is highlight some of the contemporary trends and exciting film-related events going on in the city right now…




BFI Festivals – Flare/Future
Following the success of last October’s London Film Festival and the Sci-Fi: Days of Fear & Wonder season over the tail end of 2014, BFI returns this Spring with two exciting mainstays to their busy calendar. The first is the 8th Future Film Festival (20-22nd February), an industry-fueled selection of talks, workshops, masterclasses and Q&As for young people aged 15-25, who are of any level of experience.
Highlight: An exclusive talk from cast and crewmembers of E4’s critically acclaimed TV series Glue.


The latter point is of particular importance as the talk is being launched in collaboration with BFI’s other festival listing, BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (19-29 March).  In the twilight of the nation’s impassioned response to last year’s hit Pride, it is undeniably a good time for queer cinema and this year’s festival continues to act as a shining beacon to London’s forward thinking qualities.



Award Season = Cinema Time


London undoubtedly prides itself on offering cinemagoers an eclectic and, in many cases, imaginative selection of screens. With the award season in full flow, and the much-anticipated Academy Awards on the horizon, now is the time to seek out some new venues to sample the tipped contenders, and other classics alike. Over recent years, perhaps in order to combat the popularity of home viewing, cinema groups have had to go a step further in diversifying the form and output of their screenings. As such, there has been a sharp increase in the likes of outdoor cinemas, quirkily themed film seasons, small boutique art-houses and immersive retrospective showings (this one of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is particularly impressive.)

All of this helps elevate the cinema experience into a memorable social event, which can only be beneficial for the film industry. As a point of inspiration, this BuzzFeed post that recently did the rounds on social media shows some fantastic photos of not only the great variety of what is on offer in London, but also the architectural accomplishments that are some of the cinemas on show.




Theatre Productions


It would be difficult to argue that any particular point in time is more stirring then another for going to the theatre in London, because everyone knows the West End is a revolving door of productions, both classic and new. Yet this doesn’t alter the appeal of catching some of our generation’s finest actors perfecting their craft in the flesh. It has long been the case that many British stars take a break from film to engage with stage work, and equally for American stars to cross the pond in search of new challenges. The result is a stereotypically British phenomenon, and one that’s heart lies firmly within London.


From mid-February the BAFTA nominated Ralph Fiennes will be at the National Theatre in a reinvention of Man and Superman, from early March Kevin Spacey will be reprising his title role in Clarence Darrow at his beloved home – of which he remains Artistic Director – The Old Vic, and James McAvoy is only two weeks in to his latest collaboration with Jamie Lloyd, The Ruling Class, a production that has met rave reviews for the Scottish actor’s crazed and feverish performance. It’s also worth noting that many theatres across London have on-going cheap seat schemes for students and/or young people, or at least assigned discounted days, making theatre more accessible then ever before.




Last Chance to See Bond in Motion


Despite still being eleven months away from release, anticipation is already building for the return of everyone’s favourite jingoistic agent, James Bond.Spectre sees director Sam Mendes returning to his post and bringing with him yet another impressive cast including the Academy Award winning Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux and Andrew Scott. To help fuel your own excitement, it may be worth stopping by the Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Musuem, a show that ends its long run at the end of March.






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