Sunday 27 May 2012

ID Fest - Saturday

Back for my second day of ID Fest, a day dominated by a large Yorkshireman with the biggest voice I've ever heard and aspirations of going into space.

I started my day by meeting up with a bunch of blogger types to discuss Sunday's podcast recording which I may or may not be involved with, depending on how well I feel and how much nerve I am able to build up. Saturday also brought with it the realisation that our very exclusive Blog Station was adorned with everybody's website logo (including my Scott Pilgrim twitter avatar that I WILL update when I get around to that site re-design, I promise). The most important development of the morning was receiving my all important lanyard. I hadn't got one on Friday, but couldn't help that everyone was wearing one on Saturday. Call it vanity if you want, but it feels good to walk around a film festival wearing your identification in a little plastic pocket around your neck.

Despite my assumed schedule for the day, I decided to skip Ken Russell's The Boy Friend in favour of seeing a Brain Blessed TV Showcase, partly to prep myself for the talk Mr Blessed would be doing in the afternoon, and also partly to see if the episode of Tales of the Unexpected they were screening was one that my Dad had worked on. I was determined to get a photo of the screen if and when his name came up, but a) it didn't appear, and b) it's hard to take a good photograph of a screen without disturbing everyone.

A show I'd heard of but perhaps not seen since I was a toddler, Survivors was basically The Walking Dead without the zombies, seeing a band of 'survivors' battling against a tyrannical, meat-eating Sheffield United fan (Blessed, of course) in the wake of a deadly disease that has wiped out most of the population. Blessed was great in it, bellowing out lines like "you're not a tax inspector, are you Charlie?" and showing off some impressive upper body strength, but Survivors has dated a fair bit since its original 1977 broadcast, and proves that everything is better with a few zombies in it.

Also, slightly unexpectedly, a nice lady working at the festival said she would try and get me a ticket for the Paddy Considine event. Despite not being quite as dramatic a series of events as I'd envisioned (no bribes were involved), when I checked back at the box office, she had managed to secure me a seat. Not only that, but I couldn't help but notice I had a better seat than some of the fellow bloggers who'd been clever enough to book in advance. The Paddy Considine Q & A was emcee'd by Empire Magazine/Film 2012's very own Chris Hewitt, wearing his customary film nerd uniform of an obscure film referencing t-shirt and blazer combo. If you're not sure as to your own status as a film nerd, it all depends on how long it takes you to recognise the logo on a fellow nerds t-shirt. Nakatomi Plaza, 3 seconds, Mr Hewitt.

As you can clearly tell by my expert attempts at photography (Paddy is on the left, I think) it was indeed a packed out screen. Paddy was a charming and honest chap, talking about the comparisons between Nil By Mouth and Tyrannosaur, as well as hinting at some less than brilliant experiences of his own acting career working on Back Woods and Blitz. Even though he's only directed one film, he's a guy who knows his stuff, and revealed that he has no plans of 'doing a Gary Oldman' by only directing the one film, and has his next project in the works as we speak.

My one and only film screening of the day was Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik, a film that's been on my 'to watch' list for years. And, well, it wasn't great. It looks absolutely fantastic (on an original 35mm print) and is a real achievement in costume and set design, but the story is repetitive 60's nonsense. It does contain one brilliant sequence where the government put a one million pound bounty on Diabolik's head, so he retaliates by blowing up the nations financial institutions, a la Fight Club. Sadly, it's a case of style over substance, but so much style.

Continuing my good luck with assigned seating (I was on row B which did make me slightly concerned for my ear drums), to end the night I went to witness the most one sided Q & A I've ever had the good fortune to see, with by my count a total of 2 questions asked, one of which was basically "so, Z Cars?". Emcee for the night Tony Earnshaw was wise enough to accept defeat and just sit back and let Mr Blessed go, not that he had much choice in the matter anyway.

As I said before, I was sat about 6 feet away from Mr Blessed. They might as well have saved energy by not plugging in the microphones as not only did he decide to get up from his chair and walk the stage, he's quite good at projecting his voice to a crowd. An animated man who's not averse to throwing his considerable frame around, it's almost as if he's trying to scare invisible bears away. Having said that, if it came to an actual fight, I'd put money on Blessed winning over the bear any day.

Delivering anecdote on top of anecdote before winding it back to the start and going off on a completely different tangent, there wasn't a single person in that room who wasn't completely enthralled by Blessed. A fascinating man who was only just getting started when the "Q & A" had to draw to a close for the screening of Flash Gordon (a film he's immensely proud of), he knew exactly what the crowd wanted, delivering a hearty "Gordon's alive?!' before departing the stage.

Brian Blessed was the undoubted hero of the day, and did you know he's becoming a fully trained Cosmonaut and plans to take his first trip into space next year in a space suit designed by the man who also built the Predator? Personally, I wouldn't dare doubt him for a second.

Sunday's line up includes a collection of BAFTA animated shorts and a screening of Sunrise in collaboration with Oh, and that pesky podcast recording which I'm slightly terrified about.

1 comment:

  1. Now, what did Mr Blessed tell us all? You can't NOT do the podcast after that! Be impetuous, boy!