Londonist's email newsletter - it's the only email circular that I look forward to receiving every day. Full of ideas of what to do, where, on the cheap (often free), Londonist has saved me several times when I've woken up in a total panic on Saturday morning, realizing I have absolutely nothing on my agenda and will probably waste away my weekend by aimlessly roaming my local area, desperately searching for a play or concert I kind-of-don't-really-actually-want-to-go-to or worst yet: vegging out in front of the TV (that's what being sick is for).
Anyway, thanks to Londonist, I discovered that the London Short Film Festival is currently on (January 4th-13th) and I was certain that there'd be something knocking around in Dalston. Sure enough, I slept in just in time for New Shorts #3: Romance at the Rio, a series of seven films with, you guessed it, a romantic theme, being shown at Rio Cinema, one of my favorite places in Dalston (and a convenient 15-minute walk for me). Intrigued, I grabbed tickets and we headed up there after a lazy lunch at home.
I'm so glad I booked, because the hipsters of Dalston and surrounding area turned up in abundance to this portion of the film festival, making it a completely full house. After a short welcome from Philip Ilson, the festival director, and shoutouts to some of the directors of the films who were in the audience, the show started.
You can learn more about each individual film here, but in short, I really enjoyed the afternoon. Highlights for me included Simon Warwick Green's Albatross: A Love Story, an eccentric look at very common anxieties we come across in life; Andrew Morris & Rob Silva's The Beyond, which quite cleverly accomplished that sought-after "twist in the story" within a very limited period of time (and succeeded in making me tear up, as well); plus Joseph Spray's The Eternal Not, a hilarious, but slightly sinister short based on Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well. All three films had terrific acting and witty, superb dialogue and direction. This wasn't, unfortunately, true of all the shorts that were shown, but that's part of the fun of seeing something on this shorter, bite-sized scale - you never know what to expect.