Date: Friday 14 September
Films: 3 – Hope Springs; Camp 14: Total Control Zone; The Pleasure Garden
Beverages: 1 cappuccino, 2 teas, 1 coke
Verdict: First full day of the festival began with a catch-up screening of Hope Springs, which I missed last night as it clashed with Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love. A few decent moments aside, Hope Springs felt artificial and often descended in to the painfully predictable. Meryl Streep reprises her role from Mamma Mia, while Tommy Lee Jones plays Tommy Lee Jones. Best bits played over the end credits.
Camp 14: Total Control Zone was eye-opening if nothing else – the true story of a man who escaped from a North Korea labour camp, where he had spent his entire life. Some pretty hideous stories emerge, and though director Marc Wiese admirably lets him speak for himself, the documentary would have benefited from a longer stay in the editing suite.
Finally, the Hitchcock Revisited strand kicked off with The Pleasure Garden, the director’s first full-length feature from 1925. Plenty of laughs, thrills and saucy goings-on in this ripe melodrama about two dancers on the London stage. A few unmistakable Hitch touches help it rise above the average.