Luke Blackall: Bond is good again - but so is the London Film Festival

Man About Town: The series seems to be moving away from hack acting, gags which invoke the gag reflex, and bimbonic Bond babes to something altogether more serious

I write this just before I go to a preview screening of Skyfall, the new James Bond film. Security is so tight, we've been told not to bring phones, or they will be taken away from us at the beginning of the screening. While that's undoubtedly a pain in this era of iPhone-dependence, it has admittedly added to the spirit of secrecy and intrigue. All rather appropriate for a Bond film.

This creation of Ian Fleming has become a national obsession. Perhaps more so now that the films have become good again. Just as the nation's economy and sporting achievements have been subject to peaks and troughs over the past 50 years, so too have the quality of Bond films. If all three are at a low, then there is cause to worry.

Thankfully, the series seems to be moving away from hack acting, gags which invoke the gag reflex, and bimbonic Bond babes to something altogether more serious.

And in these serious times, the secret services are surely delighted with the continued success of the franchise, offering one of the best PR tools (and, presumably, a great recruiting posters) for their clandestine work.

None are more obsessed than the media. From 007-themed photoshoots with aspiring British actors to gossip-column speculation about the identity of "the next Bond", journalists (me included) like nothing more than a Bond tale.

So next week's premiere at the Royal Albert Hall will undoubtedly be covered widely across the press. What probably won't be talked about as much is the fact that the red carpet spectacular falls in the middle of The London Film Festival (LFF).

The 56th incarnation of the event has a brilliant line-up of films, with more than 200 being shown over 12 days. Tickets are available to the public, but the festival itself won't receive nearly as much publicity as Bond.

On Wednesday I went to the opening night, where Tim Burton (an adopted Londoner) presented his latest film Frankenweenie, about a boy's attempts to revive his dead dog, largely made in the capital's East End.

Awareness of the London Film Festival, like so many other film festivals across the country, remains hugely low and could do with some of Bond's publicity power. Film lovers who are waiting for Skyfall to come out could do far worse than go and see something at the LFF.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?