LIFF Day Summary - Sunday 16th November - "The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Festivalgoers..."

My second day at LIFF28 proved to be my first real taste of the frustrations that can be experienced when your carefully whittled schedule is thrown into disarray. Patch Town, showing today at the Everyman, was one of the films I had wanted to see the most whilst in Leeds. Knowing it to be one of the more popular films at the festival, I headed to the Trinity Centre a couple of hours before the screening hoping to bag a ticket only to find that it was already completely sold out. To add further disappointment, had I known this before heading to the Everyman I could have instead attended the screening of The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness at Cottage Road Cinema; by the time I knew Patch Town was out it was too late to head there instead. A valuable lesson learned about checking availability at popular screenings before heading in a particular direction - learned the hard way, admittedly, but something I'll ensure I do whenever possible in the future.

Anyway, enough about the films I didn't see, as the upside of my predicament was that two other films I had previously been forced to leave out of my schedule were now in. The first of these, My Old Lady, presented for the most part a gentle and charming comedy that occasionally wandered into heavier dramatic territory. The central trio of Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas were undoubtedly the highlight, ensuring the film was an entertaining and polished watch even when at its lightest.

The second film to find its way into my unforeseen empty slot was Stations Of The Cross, a German-language religious drama which produced one of the rarest phenomena to be witnessed in a room full of cinephiles: the silent auditorium exit, punctuated further by the film's noiseless end credits. You know a film has made an impact when people a crowd of people who love to talk about films don't know what to say to each other. Stations Of The Cross certainly delivers one or two emotional haymakers, but I'm still undecided on how well director Dietrich Br├╝ggemann's aesthetic choices worked.

My final film of the day - and the only one remaining from my original schedule - was Drew: The Man Behind The Poster. As a documentary, this offered little that attempted to break the mould; as a celebration of the work of Drew Struzan, it stood up incredibly well, essentially allowing Struzan's wonderful creations to speak for themselves for a large part of the running time. It was also my first visit of the year to the Town Hall, albeit in the smaller Albert Room than the main Victoria Room. In terms of lessons learned during the day, the second occurred during Drew: when planning to watch a film screening in the Albert Room, bring a cushion if possible.


The 28th Leeds International Film Festival runs from 5th-20th November 2014 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 Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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