LIFF30 Day Summary - Tuesday 8th November - Hitman / Heart

Two more films were added to my tally during my final day in Leeds, bringing my festival total to thirteen features and one short film over four days. At the risk of sound hyperbolic, I genuinely believe that my time at LIFF30 has been the best period I have spent at the festival since I first had the privilege of attending in 2013. I've enjoyed the majority of the films I've been able to see, and even the small handful which I didn't rate as highly I haven't regretted watching. LIFF30 has already proven to be another huge success for the organisers: I can't remember seeing a single complaint or negative comment about the festival on social media, which is testament to the hard work and commitment of the LIFF team.

Before I break into song in the style of a Disney princess, I'll get back to Tuesday. My first film was Hedi, a Tunisian romantic drama which I'll admit had been completely off my radar and only made its way into my plans at fairly short notice. Whilst there were elements of the film which I enjoyed, particularly the supporting turn from Rym Ben Messaoud, Hedi ultimately failed to resonate with me. The titular protagonist felt especially problematic, beginning the film as a total wet blanket and concluding it as a selfish bastard.

Thankfully, my second and final film of the day proved to be much more satisfying. Schneider vs. Bax offered a Dutch black comedy of errors centred around a hitman given a seemingly easy contract to bump off a novelist and the compications which ensue to make matters far from simple. Whilst the plot couldn't untangle itself from its own twists at a few points, this was a film I enjoyed a great deal thanks to some great dialogue and performances. Maybe it's just that I'm a big Coen Brothers fan, but Schneider vs. Bax was also the third film of the festival to feel reminiscent of their back catalogue, specifically Burn After Reading.

As I said before, attending LIFF once again in its thirtieth year has been a fantastic experience, and I sincerely hope I'll have the opportunity to return to Leeds in 2017 for LIFF31. With another nine days of programming to come, LIFF30 still has plenty on offer, so if you're able to attend the festival even to take in a single film then do. For now, keep an eye on the site for full write-ups of everything I've managed to take in over the past four days.

The 30th Leeds International Film Festival runs from 3rd-17th November 2016 at thirty venues across 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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