LIFF27 Day Summary - 10th November - Pint-Sized Superheroes and Sofas

The fairly new penchant for cinemas with sofas meant that the day started seated in Leeds' Everyman with a two-seater to myself, watching a film about a pint-sized superhero. Antboy might be pleasant enough on its own but when cinemas get this relaxing lark right it can make for a highly enjoyable anterior experience. A slight shame that my next three films were in the common or garden variety Vue chairs, having had my posterior spoilt rotten first thing.

Before we go there though (to Vue, not my posterior), a word in praise of LIFF's Saturday/Sunday morning kid's programming policy. Over recent years I've watched Ernest & Celestine, Grave Of The Fireflies and now After School Midnighters and Antboy. I didn't love all of those films but the festival's willingness to provide the facility for kids to be exposed to classic and foreign films should be applauded loudly, often and for a long time. It's worth noting that there were plenty of adults there too; brilliant children's cinema being something we should all get chance to watch from time to time.

From the throwaway charms of Antboy to the distinctly more difficult wares of Concrete City, about as impenetrable and un-immediate a piece of cinema as I've ever seen. It might look brilliant, but this is the type of film I tend to find I can't stand; little to no story, apparent aim, voice or drive are all things I'm not sure a film should be without and this floating around aimlessly for ninety minutes, stopping for an occasional bit of misogyny, didn't help to convince me otherwise. As someone who doesn't sleep much in a bed, when I find myself on the verge of nodding off in a cinema, something is very wrong indeed.

Thankfully, having been kept awake by the Vue seating in that, the next two films were more than fantastic enough to hold my attention all by themselves. Again though, a quick break before that to praise La Bottega Milanese, which many LIFF converts will probably already be aware of. Independent yet in the highly commercial The Light, it boasts fantastic coffee and quick, clearly home-made meals and cakes. Water to accompany your caffeine is literally 'on tap', from a faucet at the end of the bar. I can personally recommend the lasagna, the pistachio cake, the thing with alcohol-laced cherries in that I failed to pronounce today and pretty much everything else in there.

Having reluctantly torn myself away, it was in to Circles, which at 112 minutes was my longest film at the festival so far; a coincidence or a fact which shows LIFF knows plenty of 90-odd minute films is good festival programming? Debatable. Then again, Blue Is The Warmest Colour, nearly three hours, played today as well, so maybe it's just my subconscious picking short films.

Any way, Circles and the film which followed it at Vue, Wakolda, were both extremely impressive Dramas, Srdan Golubovic's Serbian War film in particular worth seeking out if you can find it. The 7.8 average from 1,000 votes on IMDb is well deserved, as was my La Bottega lasagna. Rumours that I was seen contemplating a second helping were wildly exaggerated.


All of the above films will receive full reviews in the coming days.

The 27th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) takes place from the 6th-21st November at cinemas around the city, including Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall. Tickets and more information are available via the official LIFF website.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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