Nick Hasted's been out and about at this year's London Film Festival. Here's his first report.

The London Film Festival has just reached its half-way point. As ever, it’s an opportunity chance to see brilliant films from every genre in just 13 days – the cinematic equivalent of the rock festivals I’ve spent the summer attending. Minus the mud, and with slightly less alcohol.


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"Never create anything," says, uh, "Bob Dylan". "It'll just be misinterpreted."

Just as Dylan himself has been open to an awful lot of misinterpretation over the years, it seems highly likely the same fate could befall Todd Haynes' film I'm Not There, which I saw this morning, ahead of its first public screening next Saturday (Oct 27), at the London Film Festival.


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UNCUT's Stephen Dalton reports from the Athens Film Festival...

The closing weekend of the Athens Film Festival and your Uncut reporter is still working hard on your behalf. On Friday night I do a live interview with Theo Ioannou on Athens International Radio. He grills me about pop, politics, the music business and Uncut’s editorial policy. I bluff and waffle for over an hour, but Theo is polite enough not to laugh in my face.


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Stephen Dalton is currently at the Athens Film Festival, where he's serving on the jury. Here's his first report...

Greetings from the strangely wonderful parallel universe of the Athens Film Festival, where your Uncut reporter is serving on the jury of the Music & Film section. A very bizarre experience, being on the other side of the fence for once, doing press conferences and interviews instead of asking the questions.


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And considering the competition -- Spider-Man 3, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End -- that takes some beating. Admittedly, last week saw something of a bumper crop of UNCUT friendly movies (The Assassination Of Jesse James, American Gangster, The Darjeeling Limited), but all the same -- Across The Universe is a truly dreadful film.


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Settling down into my seat at last night's press screening for Planet Terror, I overheard the chap sitting next to me giving his friend a crash course in the film's back story. "You know Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof was originally part of a double-feature called Grindhouse? Well, this is the other bit." Quite how Robert Rodriguez would respond to having his film referred to as the "other bit", I don't care to imagine, the Mexican temprament being notoriously fiery. It's a stroke of luck, then, that his name appears 7 times on the opening credits, just to reinforce the fact that there's more to Grindhouse than just Tarantino's movie.

In fact, Planet Terror is far and away the better of the two movies, Rodriquez cannily remembering to include some of those elements in his film Tarantino left out -- plot, character, humour, simple things like that. Though, thankfully, Planet Terror conspicuously lacks the rather nasty, misogynistic streak that made Death Proof such an uneasy viewing experience for me.


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The arrival of a new Wes Anderson film is pretty much always a cause for celebration in the UNCUT office. He's a master of dry, melancholic comedies and a meticulous visual stylist, with a fine ear for music and who's surrounded himself with a peerless roster of actors -- Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Gene Hackman among them -- who faultlessly bring his peculiar, poignant stories to life.

It's perhaps emblematic of Anderson's universe that, in the production notes handed out at last night's press screening for The Darjeeling Limited, Anjelica Huston describes her character in the film as "something of an action hero nun." I am also warned, half-seriously, by the film's press officer to prepare for the continuous use of Peter Sarstedt's ballad "Where Did You Go To (My Lovely)" over the soundtrack. Oh, and Bill Murray crops up for the opening five minutes in a mute cameo.


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After a week off, holed up in the Cotswolds since you ask, it's been a busy time for film screenings. I went to see The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford on Tuesday, this time on a proper 35mm print rather than the beta tape I saw a few months back, and tonight there's Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited that I'll hopefully blog about tomorrow.

Last night, though, our album reviews editor John Robinson and I went to see American Gangster, at close to three hours as epic as it gets, with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington manfully chewing chunks out of the scenery in late Sixties/early Seventies' New York.


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I went to see Atonement over the weekend -- and a very fine film it is, too -- and before the film started, the cinema showed trailers for Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart and The Kingdom, produced by Michael Mann. These are Hollywood's latest attempts to engage with George Bush's misadventures in the Middle East and the fearsome War On Terror.


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Occasionally, in a quiet moment, I might find myself reflecting on the demise of the Western. At a recent preview screening for 3.10 To Yuma – starring marquee names Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, no less – the attendance was barely into double figures.

I wonder, then, how the brilliant The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford will fare?


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The 39th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A lot to get through here, but I'm indebted once more to the resource that is www.nyctaper.com, who this week have posted two amazing live sets by Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Elsewhere, there's a new Waterboys track to check out,...