The Independent has a small preview of the East End Film Festival which starts tomorrow:
The festival opens with Richard E Grant, director-in-residence, introducing his own directorial debut Wah-Wah - a family drama inspired by his experiences of growing up in the Sixties, starring Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson and Julie Walters. Other highlights include the Palme d'Or-nominated Election, a Hong Kong Triad thriller starring Tony Leung; It's Nice up North, in which the comedian John Shuttleworth sets off to find out whether it is; and premieres of Charlie's Party, about a 30th-birthday sex party, and Ski Jumping Pairs, a mockumentary from Japan about getting a new extreme sport accepted as an Olympic event.
This festival came under the Raindance East banner for the last four years, but has now struck out on its own. Full details of all the screenings are here.
If we had to recommend one film it has to be Johnnie To's Election. To is often a hit and miss director, but we've been big fans ever since being wowed by his Barefoot Kid. Last year's Firecracker Showcase also featured his sublime Running Out of Time and its frankly nuts sequel. Election though is a real grown up movie centering on the traditional and surprisingly democratic election of a new Triad leader and more importantly what goes wrong when the vying factions disagree over the outcome. It's got a very subdued performance from Tony Leung and has a similar feel to the first Godfather movie, with a large cast and a very restrained To behind the camera... right up until the finale which is as memorable as it is disturbing. There's a sequel on the way that we're itching to see, but if you enjoyed the scope of say Infernal Affairs II then this could be just your kind of evening out in the East End.