My day was spent with Roberto Benigni, a wild and wonderful Italian comedian and director. On stage he said he was tremendously honoured and so excited to be there that he wanted to kiss every member of the audience on the mouth and take all his clothes off. I managed to dissuade him.
Every day during the festival we have a meeting at 10am when we work out all the logistics of the day. It doesn't matter how late you were out the previous night - you have to be there. .At 6pm there was a presentation of the The Importance of Being Earnest archive restoration; Michael Redgrave's widow, Rachel Kempson, came with their daughter Vanessa, as well as Dorothy Tutin, the only surviving member of the original cast. After they were whizzed off to have a drink, I welcomed Willem Dafoe and did an interview with him on stage. We all ended up at The Ivy for a very late dinner.
Terry Gilliam, the director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, got in from New York and we were waiting to hear if Johnny Depp could make it - he couldn't. I welcomed Terry, then shipped him off to a big festival dinner. I went back to the Fear and Loathing party at the Atlantic Bar & Grill, which ended at some point or other.
I met Jonathan Demme and the star of Storefront Hitchcock, the musician Robyn Hitchcock, at the NFT. I packed Jonathan off to his hotel and jumped in a cab to go to the gala screening of The Nephews. I had to make an appearance at the party afterwards to keep the sponsors happy, though my body is craving sleep. I made the mistake last year of going to my hotel room to lie down for 20 minutes and nearly slept through an interview I was supposed to be doing on stage. I'm not doing that this year.
The British gala performance of Waking Ned. All the parties and receptions blur into one after a bit, though I don't drink - I'd never be able to be articulate to sponsors. They only way I survive is on coffee and cigarettes.
The young American star Matt Damon will be arriving tomorrow, so we had to deal with all the private jets and security arrangements. Meanwhile I flew from screening to screening with different people. Then I had to take a bunch of people to dinner. Forty minutes later I rushed back for another Q&A. I rarely eat a full meal during the festival. I usually end up having a few bits of bread and some canapes in the evening.
Matt Damon Day started early at 9.30am. Now we have to worry about things like security barriers and which cars to allow into Leicester Square. I've still got screenings to introduce and Q&As to do before changing into my tuxedo. There's also a wild party going on in St Martin's Crypt tonight which I think will be quite a contrast to our elegant gala. I'll just be glad when it's 8.30pm and Matt Damon's on stage.
The London Film Festival is in its 42nd year, showing 150
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