Archive for October, 2011

October 20, 2011

London Film Festival: Ides of March, Mooli’s, De Hems

Another night in Soho for the London Film Festival and another quick beer and food before the screening. Running late i needed to grab a quick bite. A chance to finally visit Mooli’s. I’ve followed the Frith Street purveyor of Indian street food for some time, read the blogs and craved a Goat Mooli. I’m glad I finally made it with it’s warm welcome and laid back feel. The Mooli is generous, meaty and fresh. The crunch of chopped red onion with the hot goat wrapped in a fresh roti is just what’s required. If I hadn’t been eating on the go I may have had to go back for seconds. Don’t get me wrong. The serve is ample, but when it comes to something this good it’s just too tempting.

Tonight’s pub is Lou’s choice and one that I’ve only briefly been to before. De Hems on Macclesfield Street is ideally placed for a quick pint and then a dash to the Odeon and the Gala Premiere of Ides of March. More of De Hems in a moment.

The sight of a red carpet and a D List celebrity will not set my pulse racing. When it comes to an A Lister then I’m sorry to say I’m kinda starstruck like most. As we hurry down the red carpet we fail to notice some bloke who did a film about staring at Goats. Nothing to do with Mooli’s I’m assured. You may know him as George Clooney. Or as i think I mouthed as he took the stage at the Odeon “OH MY GOD. GEORGE F***ING CLOONEY”. Not a proud moment but hey it’s George! As Phillip Seymour Hoffman was introduced I blacked out. I’ll explain at this point that my brushes with the stars of stage and screen are relatively limited. Gordon Kaye (of Allo Allo), Halifax Indoor Market circa 1983 is probably the most notable, so you’ll maybe forgive me this slip into hysteria? The film focuses on the dirty business of politics, following a campaign team during a Democratic Primary and the journey of a young political idealist (played by Ryan Gosling) to hardened political cynic. A solid script and cast make this a must see for the more politically minded cinema goer.

From Leicester Square it’s back to De Hems for a few beers to round off the evening. Things have moved up a notch. A barmaid serves in an orange wig while the DJ is pumping out a mix of party tunes you’d know and some you probably wouldn’t. Unless you are a fan of Ta Ta Ta Voor Oranje by Feastteam, which I’m guessing you’re not. It sounds awful, but its fun, people are having a good time and as a conga line forms and drunkenly slivers through the pub it’s time to head home after another Soho night of the London Film Festival.

October 19, 2011

London Film Festival: quick drinks, cheap eats ending in Carnage

So The London Film Festival is upon us. The time of year when cinema seems to take over my calendar. I usually avoid Leicester Square at all costs, preferring my cinema going a little less crowded and frankly cheaper. This isn’t an option during the festival with the bulk of screenings on the Square.

With an hour and a half to spare we head for a quick drink and some cheap eats. Soho isn’t my normal destination and without Lou I’d probably end up half way to Trafalgar Square. We squeeze into the French House for a swift half and a drop of vino. A true Soho Institution, where beer is served by the half pint and the walls tell the story.

Watered we head to Bi Bim Bap on Greek Street. Named after this icon Korean dish, served sizzling and best mixed for maximum flavour it’s the ideal quick and cheap Soho stop. A bottle of Hite washes it down for about a tenner each.

My first screening of the year is Carnage. As the lights come down I know no more about it than that it’s Roman Polanski’s latest. This is how I’d ideally watch most film. Without expectation of what I’m about to see. So I’m loathe to tell you the plot. I’ll just say the performances build to be wonderfully comic, John C Reilly fast becoming a benchmark of a must see.

A perfect Soho evening, I’m just hoping that the rest of the festival lives up to it.

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