Best For Film had a party, and it was brilliant

As you will definitely know if you’ve been anywhere near Twitter, Facebook, this website or any pub in the East End that accepts inept flyers in the last three weeks, we’ve been planning a party. Well, we had it, and it was great.

The venue was the peerless Genesis Cinema, our absolute favourite motion picture palace and home to the beautiful Bar Paragon. The guests included luminaries from the worlds of graduate recruitment, dentistry journalism and getting-fired-from-the-Civil-Service, some meeting for the first time after years of flirting on Twitter and indiscriminately giving each other LinkedIn endorsements. The evening kicked off with a screening of the brilliant Wide Eyes, the winning short from the 2011 KCL Short Cuts competition, and a Q&A session with Francis Newall and Freddie Slaughter, two of the four brilliant minds behind it. What’s that, you really wish you’d got to see Wide Eyes? Ask and you shall receive:

Things continued with an acoustic set from our very own Harry Harris, almost certainly the only Welsh folk musician ever to talk about Rita Hayworth and cover ‘Superbass’ in the same evening, and a frankly maniacal quiz (sample question: which film was retitled He is a Ghost! for its Chinese release?) – all lubricated with our special noir-themed cocktails, including a classic Whiskey Sour and our very own Blood Simple, invented especially for BFF Presents… by the Bar Paragon’s magical head barman Ali. And finally, when everyone had had a pie (there were pies too. It really was a hell of a night) and refilled their drink, we settled down to actually watch a bloody movie. If you haven’t seen the Coen brothers’ first feature Blood Simple, probably the best way to introduce yourself to it is in a bar full of slightly drunk journalists – it’s like being back in the womb.

Happily, we’re not the only ones who enjoyed ourselves – a selection of BFF partygoers have written about the night, proving conclusively that it actually happened and we weren’t just tripping in a skip somewhere. Did you enjoy your night, Vincent?

Vincent (did a raucous Nic Cage impression that lasted for several minutes):
What a lovely surprise to see that the genial atmosphere, delectable bar service and fantastic events of BFF Presents reached even my bitter and cholesterol-ridden heart. The highlight was the screening of Blood Simple. It was fascinating to watch the burgeoning talents of the brothers Coen, and felt like a film ahead of its time. The best part was watching it in a room full of like-minded and sickeningly talented folks. You guys make it all worth it. Roll on BFF Presents… II!

Aww. Harry, you’re famously choosy about where you spend your time and your dollars. Did you have fun?

Harry (sang the N word, but nobody noticed):
Sometimes when you’re writing blogs, reviews, songs, making films, whatever, it feels like you’re shouting into a well and never hearing anything back. Social media is great for sharing work, but nothing beats getting a lot of like minded people in a room, showing them a film, giving them some drinks and leaving them to their own devices. The more of these that happen, the wider our community can grow, the more people will want to join, the louder we can shout into that well, the more likely we’ll hear something from the other side.

We know what you’re thinking – ‘Jesus, BFF Presents sounds like a right sausage fest’. Nothing could be further from the truth, could it [conspicuous female] Hannah?

Hannah (kept going on about grass):
If you weren’t at the first ever BFF Presents then you are clearly a loser. No seriously, you’re a loser. What were you doing instead? Bet you weren’t drinking custom made cocktails, watching award winning short films, listening to amazing acoustic guitar or watching some vintage Coen Brothers. Plus to top it all there was the most epic quiz to end all quizzes featuring a lot about marmite-man Nicholas Cage. “Yeah, you’re right. I’m a loser” I hear you say. Well, you can rectify this at next month’s event that promises to be even better. Joking aside, BFF Presents… looks set to become the ultimate film club for fun, filmy folk. Who could ask for anything more?

You’re squirming with frustration now, we can feel it – this is what it must have felt like to be the only hippy who didn’t think Woodstock sounded worth the effort. You’re coming to the next one, aren’t you? Obviously you are. Bring us home, Carlotta:

Carlotta (went totally mental when offered a shiny dinosaur sticker):
And so, the BFF crew went out and did a real thing with all you terribly kind, wonderful and brilliant humans who also love BFF, and we all hung out together and drank wonderful noir-themed cocktails and listened to even better noir-themed songs by our very own Harry Harris, and we all attempted to socialise in between whiskey sours and BFF editor John’s raging Nic Cage quiz and it was so very excellent and BFF. Everyone was happy and tipsy and united in Coen Bros love, even if no-one quite knew how to react to that burial scene in Blood Simple. Can I get a B! Can I get an F! Can I get another F! Can I … okay, you get the message.


We think we’ve made our point. Thanks again to everyone who came, everyone who helped (particularly Ella, who will almost certainly go on to run the world) everyone who signed up for BFF or said they wanted to write for us (write for us!), everyone who tweeted and twatted and bought drinks and ate pies, and especially everyone who’s planning to come to BFF Presents… 2 on August 13th. You’re all marvellous.

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