Visit London Blog » film premiere Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:51:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Disney’s A Christmas Carol World Premiere in London Wed, 04 Nov 2009 10:04:44 +0000

Last night, all the excitement of Christmas came to London with the big Christmas light switch-on at Oxford Circus, on Regent Street and in the City of London.

We watched the performances at the slightly quieter St Paul’s stage. Little Boots performed her sparkly pop with professionalism, before the newly reformed Spandau Ballet took to the stage to sing crowd-pleaser Gold, followed by one of their new hits.

In a co-ordinated switch-on which slightly reminded us of the Eurovision song contest (a few pauses while the brave DJs from Heart FM chatted through video link-ups with different areas of the city), the lights on Regent Street and at Oxford Circus were turned on by Colin Firth and a very beardy Jim Carrey, while a beautiful, more serene light display was started by Bob Hoskins at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The St Paul’s Cathedral Choir then led the crowd in a warm-up singalong of O Come, All Ye Faithful, before the wonderful Andrea Bocelli (this time live from Leicester Square) took the lead in a rousing singalong of Silent Night. It was a lovely moment; it felt like the whole city had stopped for a moment to sing along with Andrea’s fantastic voice.

And did we break the world record?! Early reports suggest that we did!

(If you were at Regent Street or Oxford Circus, tell us about your evening in the comments below!)

Then there was just time to run over to Leicester Square for the world premiere of the film itself: Disney’s A Christmas Carol.

We passed through a gorgeous winter wonderland in Leicester Square (snow, more carollers and celebrities adding to the festive atmosphere!), along the red carpet, and into the Empire cinema.

After a quick intro from Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins and Jim Carrey, the big moment had arrived.

And our verdict on the film? The 3D animation is really spectacular, and there are some great moments flying above Dickens’ London in the snow. It’s quite scary at times, although maybe more so for adults than for kids! Jim Carrey plays all three ghosts with typical enthusiasm. And if you’re excited about seeing the gorgeous Colin Firth, you might be disappointed: his motion-capture character isn’t nearly as good looking as he is in the flesh!

If you were there, let us know what you thought!

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London Film Festival Programme Announced Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:28:05 +0000 Aaron Johnson as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy. Photograph:Liam Daniel

The full programme for The Times BFI London Film Festival has just been revealed.

Now its 53rd year, the London Film Festival is a celebration of both British film and movies from around the world.  This year’s festival includes 191 features and 113 shorts. The exciting lineup ranges from high-profile films by big-name directors to more obscure works from around the globe, many of which would not otherwise be seen on the big screen in this country.

There are at least three films starring George Clooney: the opening night gala world premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox, directed by Wes Anderson; The Men Who Stare At Goats, inspired by Jon Ronson’s bestseller about secret units in the US military; and Up in the Air by Juno director Jason Reitman.

Julianne Moore in A Single Man Other highlights include the closing night Gala world premiere of Nowhere Boy – artist Sam Taylor-Wood’s directorial debut tells the story of John Lennon’s younger years. French film MICMACS by Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, remastered 1920s film Underground about love on the Tube, Frederick Wiesman’s documentary Le Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, and fashion designer Tom Ford’s A Single Man starring Julianne Moore.

As well as highlighting New British Cinema, London Film Festival will screen movies from 46 countries around the world.

For a full programme, visit

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Visiting London: Sophie May Wed, 15 Jul 2009 14:26:30 +0000 Where are you visiting from? I live in Los Angeles, but I’m staying in Somerset for the school holidays. I was in London for just one day last week and I hope to come back again before the end of the summer.

How was your day in London?  I spent the day with my mum and auntie and had the most interesting and exciting time. I truly saw what this wonderful city has to offer. The combination of things we did in one day was astonishing.

Claude-Oscar Monet: The Beach at Trouville, 1870. Copyright National Gallery, LondonTo start the day we went to the National Gallery which has a great collection of art. One of the best things is that it’s free, like many other museums in London which is wonderful because everyone can appreciate the art the city has to offer. We saw the new exhibition Corot to Monet which is a collection of landscapes by European artists. After the exhibition we looked at some of the museum’s vast permanent collection.

Did you go anywhere nice for lunch? Yes. We walked down The Mall to a great Japanese restaurant called Sake No Hana. The food was amazing, the service was good and everyone was friendly and organized. The interior was very interesting and designed in an authentic Japanese style with a modern twist.

What came next? We went to Dover Street Market in Mayfair to look at the interesting clothes and shoes. The new Haunch of Venison gallery is round the corner so we went there too. I thought the contrast of the lovely old building with contemporary art inside was really interesting.  The Royal Academy of Arts was our next stop and we saw the J W Waterhouse exhibition, which was lovely and featured some beautiful paintings.

The Parlour at SketchWe needed a rest after all that art and went for afternoon tea at Sketch - a restaurant, tea room, art gallery and bar close to the Royal Academy. The interior is amazing. Each piece of furniture and art is different and better then the next. The afternoon tea was delightful and I will definitely go back.

What was the highlight of your day? The most exciting part happened right at the end. We went to a  charity preview screening of Harry Potter and the Half  Blood Prince! It was at the VUE cinema in Leicester Square at the same time as the premiere. The movie was wonderful and it really made a great end to the day.

My day in London was so interesting and diverse, there is so much happening and each experience is different. There is so much to see and do in London and that’s what makes it an amazing city.

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