Bono and Geldof are C**ts – Comedy Tickets Competition

Jane Bussmann

Probably a prize for someone who can fill in the blanks in the title of this competition and not be offended…

On the 8th and 9th November at University College London in Bloomsbury the first ever One World Media Festival is being held. The festival “brings together the most innovative minds from across the global media industry for two days of insight and inspiration.” Closing the festival is Jane Bussmann with a live comedy show that you simply cannot buy tickets for enigmatically titled Bono and Geldof are C**ts. The show will be performed at UCL on 9th November 2013 at 6:30pm. More details below:

In this special presentation of her live comedy show, award-winning author and comedienne Jane Bussmann takes an acerbic look at how celebrities manipulate the media in order to control global conversations. How celebrities, fuelled by charities, steal the voices of the most vulnerable and present messages that instead of alleviating the problems they campaign for, in fact precipitate them. Bussmann deconstructs and lays bare how 30 years of the most sophisticated charity media campaigns has created “The Poverty Industry”.

Jane Bussmann is an award-winning British comedy writer and performer who has written for over fifty shows including South Park, Brass Eye and double Emmy-winner Smack The Pony. She has written columns for The Guardian, the Mail on Sunday and The Face.

We have four (FOUR!) pairs of tickets to give away to the event, to be in with a chance to win simply enter your details below and four winners will be chosen at midday on 7th November.

This competition has closed

Entrants much be at least 18 years of age and be a UK resident. The competition closes on 7th November 2013 at midday. Four winners will be selected at random from the entries submitted and will be contacted using the details provided in the competition entry.

ONE WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL takes place 8 & 9 November visit for details.

Thor: The Dark World – Film Review

Thor The Dark World

I may or may not have fallen asleep the only time I attempted to watch Marvel’s Thor on DVD but based on my enjoyment of the sequel I will put this down to my own lack of sleep rather than blame the film. I have however seen (Marvel[‘s]) (The) Avengers (Assemble) so wasn’t completely without backstory as I went into Thor: The Dark World this week. What you need to know before the film begins is that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is from the kingdom of Asgard, has a massive magical hammer, and is in love with an Earth-born scientist called Jane Foster (Natalie Portman in red wellies). Thor’s father is Odin (Anthony Hopkins) king of Asgard and his evil adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is in prison for doing all manner of naughty things to New York.

In Thor: The Dark World Jane is looking for an AWOL Thor and in doing so comes across some evil magic goo that threatens her life and draws the unwanted attention of dark elf (seriously) Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who has plans to use the goo to destroy the universe because what else is an evil guy going to do? With his true love’s life under threat Thor takes Jane back to Asgard and is forced to team up with Loki against Odin’s wishes to save absolutely everyone in the Universe. Cue lots of fighting in the fantastical world of Asgard and also on Earth… in Greenwich of all places.

Thor The Dark World - Tom Hiddleston

While the film opens with a slightly exposition-heavy sequence, and takes itself a little too seriously when focussing on just the Asgardians in Asgard, as the plot moves on and we get to see more of Foster’s team and the irrepressible Loki things become much more fun and far less serious. Yes, the core of the film is about a dark elf trying to destroy the universe but the various set pieces and dramatic moments are nicely punctuated with moments of comedy provided by Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, and good old Chris O’Dowd. For a film that looks more like a fantasy adventure than a superhero film to have such a great sense of humour is a real relief and had it been a little more poe-faced I doubt it would have been watchable, certainly not enjoyable.

The other pleasant surprise that Thor: The Dark World presents is that none of the film takes place in America. With the Avengers franchise being such an American product it was nice to see a film in the series that alternated between Asgard and London without ever feeling the urge to cross the Atlantic. It is rare to see the climactic scene of a major Hollywood release take place in Greenwich and seeing Thor utilise some of London’s trademarks will provide plenty of amusement (and confuse anyone with a basic knowledge of the London Underground).

As much as Thor: The Dark World want to impress you with its stunning visuals, world-ending plot, and explosive action it takes very seriously the task of entertaining its audience. I am not a diehard fan of Marvel’s output and if we’re honest with each other (and I hope we are) I was dreading the screening a little bit. I need not have feared as the result was a delightfully silly and resolutely epic film that goes to show what a piece of pure entertainment should look like.

Thor: The Dark World is on general release in the UK from 30th October 2013.

Out Now – 25th October 2013

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Bad Grandpa
Johnny Knoxville plays an elderly man travelling across the country with his grandson in a Jackass film with a plot. I’m imagining something like Borat but with more violence and self-harm. The film is a 15 which pretty much sums up the target demographic.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Flint Lockwood’s food generating machine is wreaking havoc again but this time the food isn’t taking the form of weather, it is coming out in weird animal/food hybrids. Reviews are moderately positive.

Ender’s Game
A sci-fi film that takes itself very seriously based on the book of a self-confessed homophobe. And yet I can’t over the fact that the evil alien race in the film are known as “the Buggers”. “They blew up Earth! The little buggers!”

Closed Circuit
“A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team – testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy.”

One Chance
A few years ago Paul Potts surprised everyone on Britain’s Got Talent by managing to be both unattractive and a good singer a full two years before Susan Boyle. Now he is played by James Cordon in a film that wants so badly to be Billy Elliot so badly they’d probably rather we just stayed home and watched it on DVD.

The Selfish Giant
No plot synopsis so let’s see if the IMDb keywords are any help: junkyard | working class | northern england | friendship | domestic violence

The Reef 2: High Tide
A strange off-brand animated feature about a fighting fish.

The Taste of Money
“Newly-hired gofer Young-Jak Joo becomes a key pawn in a powerful South Korean corporate-crime family obsessed with sex, money, and intrigue.” I love the idea of a crime family being obsessed with intrigue. Sex and money I can understand but intrigue sounds like a lot of effort to maintain for no good reason.

It’s a Lot
No synopsis, no plot keywords. All we have to go on is that the film is a British comedy with a 15 certificate and estimated budget of £2,000,000. Tempted?

Muscle Shoals
Documentary celebrating the work of Rick Hall an all round music legend person who founded and owns FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

A Belfast Story
Terrorism, murder, and Belfast. For a film supposedly taking the subject of terrorism seriously they took a serious misstep when they sent journalists a press kit including a balaclava and some nails. Naturally we didn’t get the press pack anyway.

A Magnificent Haunting
Italian comedy drama about an aspiring actor who moves into a haunted house. What makes the haunting magnificent remains to be seen. By you. In the cinema.

Project Wild Thing
Documentary about a concerned father who decide to try to market nature to families.

Nosferatu : A Symphony Of Horrors
Re-release of the silent German classic that first brought a version of Dracula to the silver screen. Amazing to think that this film is now 91 years old.

The Exorcist
Another classic horror re-release for Halloween week as a young girl gets possessed by a demon in Mark Kermode’s favourite film.

Wolf Children
Japanese animation about… wolf children?

“In July 1979, during the Summer holidays, in a house somewhere in Brittany, a whole family (parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other relatives) are gathered to celebrate Granny Amandine’s sixty-seventh birthday. Albertine, who was ten years old at the time, vividly recounts this brief but life-changing experience.”

No/Gloss Film Festival 2013 – Festival Debrief

No Gloss Film Festival

Anyone who knows me know that I love food, and if I’m well fed then I’m generally predisposed to enjoy myself. The offerings at No/Gloss Film Festival certainly fulfilled that side of things – I had delicious pulled pork (Saturday) and burnt ends/beef brisket (Sunday) sandwiches from Crowder Barbecue, as well as a lovely slow cooked pork burrito provided by Barburrito. There was tea and cakes, craft beer and on Sunday morning I was even handed a bag of free tortilla chips and salsa.

The good news is that there is absolutely no reason for me to spend the rest of this review focusing solely on the food, because the festival as a whole was just as impressive and well organised as I’d hoped.

Returning for a second year, No/Gloss is a Leeds based independent film festival dedicated to films created on a limited (or in many cases zero) budget. The final line-up included a massive variety of films with different themes, styles, country of origin and ranging in length from 1 minute to 104 minutes. There were a good number of full length features scattered throughout the programme and the phrase ‘something for everyone’ definitely applied.

Many of the submissions came from overseas – glancing back over my programme guide there are listings from Argentina, Israel and Bolivia alongside the numerous films produced in the UK and USA. It made it all the more impressive how many of the film-makers were able to make it to their screenings. If I had a minor quibble about anything over the weekend it would be that it was often hard to see over people’s heads to read the subtitles on the foreign language films. It made following along difficult if you weren’t sitting in the first couple of rows, but once I figured that out I made sure to snag myself a seat further forward!

The festival ran for ten hours on Saturday and seven on Sunday and with two screens running simultaneously both days it was impossible to see everything. I’d picked a few must-see selections from the programme in advance and took in as much as I could, though I wish I’d been able to see it all. There were so many films on display I’ve chosen my top five instead of trying to say something about everything I saw – Tim wouldn’t have received this write-up until well after Christmas if I attempted to do that!

The Compositor

The Compositor (32 minutes)
The Compositor has won a number of awards, including a Student Oscar, and it’s easy to see why. Despite being a sci-fi story it’s also semi-autobiographical, created by real-life film compositor John Mattiuzzi. We follow Paul as he struggles to keep his real life separate from the digital realities he creates for a living. The visual effects are impressive throughout and that’s really the film’s main focus and the reason it was one of my favourites. Paul’s life outside of the computer and his personal issues are in many ways of little consequence when it comes to how enjoyable the film was.

Frau Schwein geht in die Scheissedisko

Frau Schwein geht in die Scheissedisko (8 minutes)
The synopsis in the guide describes this as something that will ‘either make you laugh in total bemusement or wonder what the hell just happened’, and that’s absolutely accurate. It’s 2D animation created entirely out of felt, making the experience of watching a pig eat, digest and excrete various items for eight minutes strangely compelling. The film-makers were on hand to tell us a little about the animation before we saw it, and even they admitted that they’d started animating without a story in mind so I don’t think it’s a slight to their talents to say that two days later, I’m still left wondering what the hell just happened!

Qui a tue Cendrillon

Qui a tue Cendrillon? (85 minutes)
‘Who Killed Cinderella?’ is, surprisingly, a comedy. It opens with a news bulletin telling us of the death of actress Coralie Bonnet, best known in France for her role as Cinderella, and then takes us back through key moments of her life including the reality television programme that won her the role. Her life story is told via a True Crime-style documentary investigating her death and trying to solve her murder and despite the dark title the film is thoroughly enjoyable and very funny. It even succeeds in throwing you off the scent with a couple of unexpected twists before we finally find out who did kill ‘Cinderella’.


Kenneth (72 minutes)
Kenneth is, to use production company Monster Island’s own description, “a film about love, friendship and an invisible ear goblin”. It’s a heartfelt quirky tale about love and loss and star Duncan Casey is great as Kenneth, confused about how his life became such a farcical mess so quickly. Going in, I was expecting something that was a mixture of the League of Gentlemen, Harvey and the TV series Wilfred, and while I wasn’t a million miles away Kenneth is actually a lot deeper than any of those. There are plenty of laughs but the comedy of the goblin and his new homeless friend Peter blends well with the drama of Kenneth’s recent unemployment and problems with his girlfriend.

Two thirds of the way through I’d already decided it was one of my favourite films of the weekend, even before I realised one of the scenes had been shot around the corner from my house. I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised and excited to recognise part of Yorkshire at a Yorkshire based film festival, but considering it came hot on the heels of a short film from Mexico it sort of felt like I was in a weird little locationless bubble – not Leeds.

Lad A Yorkshire Story

Lad: A Yorkshire Story (95 minutes)
Lad was the last thing I watched at No/Gloss 2013 and it was a perfect way to end. We had a brief introduction from the film’s teenage star Bretten Lord, and I was impressed with his confidence in front of the audience! The film had a feel of something like Calendar Girls – family-centric, heartwarming and with some lovely Yorkshire scenery to boot. When Tom Proctor’s father dies suddenly of a heart attack he’s forced to grow up quickly, and after stealing a tractor and covering the local bank in slurry as part of a mini rebellion, he’s slapped with a Community Service Order and sent to work with Yorkshire Dales ranger Al. What follows as Tom gets to grips with the changes in his life is a joy to watch, and I’ve never enjoyed watching something involving dry stone walling as much as I enjoyed this!

Wonderfalls DVD Competition


Anyone with their finger on the pulse of cult TV will remember the series Wonderfalls. The show only lasted one season and originally aired a decade ago but it is a gem and falls into that long list of shows that were cancelled long before their time. Having only aired in the UK on Sky One it has taken a long time for Wonderfalls to make it to UK DVD but the long wait is over on 28th October 2013.

If you aren’t Wonderfalls-savvy then let me fill you in. The series revolves around Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas), a recent graduate who is stuck in a dead-end job in a Niagra Falls gift shop. Her uneventful life takes on a strange new direction when inanimate objects start telling her to do things. Unsure whether she is actually receiving messages from a higher power or simply going insane Jaye soon finds that following the objects’ advice leads to unexpected, often remarkable, consequences.

The show is very funny, incredibly unique, and is much mourned by myself. While I would encourage you to buy the DVD when it is released next week we do have one copy to giveaway to a Mild Concern reader so for a chance to win simply fill out the form below:

This competition has closed!

Entrants much be at least 18 years of age and be a UK resident. The competition closes on 28th October 2013 at 5pm. One winner will be selected at random from the entries submitted and the prize will be sent to the address given in the entry.

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The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable – Trailer

The Drowned Man A Hollywood Fable

You may or may not have heard of Punchdrunk, they are an award-winning theatre company who take over locations to creative a fully immersive theatrical experience. In a Punchdrunk performance you are free to wander about and discover story threads at your own pace and perhaps go into rooms nobody else will find and have an evening unlike any other member of the audience.

Their latest piece is their biggest yet and they have teamed up with the National Theatre to take over an entire four storey building next to Paddington Station. This performance has particular intrigue for us at Mild Concern as it is set in a film studio in the 1960s, the official blurb explains more:

Amidst the fading glamour of 1960s Los Angeles, stands Temple Studios – a crumbling monument to the golden age of film, seducing wide-eyed dreamers with the promise of wealth and fame. Here, movie stars mingle with hungry young upstarts, while beyond the gates lies a forgotten hinterland where the many rejected by the studio system scratch out a living. Inspired by Georg Büchner’s fractured masterpiece Woyzeck, The Drowned Man explores the darkness of the Hollywood dream.

Intriguing no? The trailer below gives a greater sense of the style and atmosphere of the performance.

Tickets can be bought online and the show runs until 31st December 2013. Fingers crossed we’ll be going soon and will share the experience with you.

Saving Mr. Banks – LFF Film Review


Mary Poppins is a special film for me; it is one of those childhood films that I have watched countless times and so holds a special place in my film-loving heart. Because of this a film about the creation of the classic musical is not going to have to try very hard to win me over. That said I wasn’t expecting Saving Mr. Banks to get to me so much that I’d have to start keeping a tally of just how many times I had cried. From the opening moments when a piano played the film’s overture to the closing credits I was a mess.

Saving Mr. Banks covers the period in Disney’s development of Mary Poppins when the original novel’s author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) reluctantly travelled to Disney studios to work on the script and decide whether or not she would finally be willing to relinquish the rights. Travers did not want any singing or animation in the film and generally disapproved of any attempt to Disney-fy her book so screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) and songwriters the Sherman brothers (B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman) were given a hard time by a woman who was not afraid to speak her mind. Walt Disney himself (Tom Hanks) was heavily involved in the project as if he couldn’t get Travers to sell him the film right he would be breaking a promise he made to his daughter decades earlier.

Alongside the story of the making of the film we see flashbacks to Travers’ childhood and meet the inspiration for Mr Banks, her father Robert Goff Travers (Colin Farrell) and for Mary Poppins herself (Rachel Griffiths). While the scenes at Disney are mostly fun and played for laughs, as Travers’ British bulldog nature comes to clashes with the cheery American sensibility of Disney and friends, the childhood scenes gradually turn from lighthearted antics to an all more serious nature. By the end of the films things have all gone a little bit tragic as we see the real reason Travers wrote the book and why she is so defensive about any changes Disney wants to make.

This being a Disney film about Disney they obviously don’t come out too badly but they are brave enough to poke a little fun at themselves and their overly cheery nature. In one scene Travers says to a stuffed Winnie the Pooh bear “Poor A. A. Milne” which shows they aren’t censoring the real writer’s disdain for Disney adaptations. As for the cast, everyone is firing on all cylinders as Emma Thompson once more manages to break the whole audience’s heart simultaneously with a single subtle look, and even Colin Farrell pulls of both comedy and pathos convincingly. Worth noting that Paul Giamatti rounds out the cast as Travers’ chauffeur who slowly wins her over with his sunny charm.

The combination of the dramatic childhood scenes, the heartwarming period at Disney, and my own personal connection to the original film of Mary Poppins proved to be a little too much for me to handle. At five separate occasions I found myself welling up in spite of myself and tears were frequently falling down my cheeks. In the scene when Let’s Go Fly A Kite is first performed all three elements combined together and left me an emotional wreck. I consider myself as someone who very rarely cries at films but that one scene had me weeping like never before in a cinema. I just hope none of the other critics saw.

Would this film be of any interest to someone who hasn’t seen Mary Poppins? Probably not but as someone who considers the film and integral part of their childhood it is a completely subjective masterpiece that hit me in just the right spot to have me making a spectacle of myself in public.

One star for every moment I got all weepy.

Saving Mr. Banks is in UK cinemas on 29th November 2013.

BFI London Film Festival 2013

12 Years a Slave – LFF Film Review

12 Years a Slave

Slavery is not quite a taboo subject but is certainly not one that is dealt with seriously in cinematic terms very often. At the start of 2013 we were given Tarantino’s Django Unchained which tackled slavery in a stylised fashion with bloodshed being the main method of emancipation and without me ever really getting a sense of the brutality of life as a slave. With Tarantino at the helm the film felt all too fictional to have an effect. Within just the first few minutes of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave I felt like I could finally comprehend just how slaves were seen in pre-Civil War America in the eyes of their masters. These were not human beings, they are a commodity and closer to cattle than anything deserving basic rights.

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as the free black man Solomon Northup who is kidnapped and sold back into slavery while his wife and children are left behind to assume him dead. More used to a life as a relatively respected gentleman and musician Solomon finds himself stripped of everything he owns down to his name and struggles to retain his dignity and sense of self. After being sold on to a relatively kindhearted plantation owner, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Solomon struggles to keep his head down and after rubbing up an overseer (Paul Dano) the wrong way is sold on to a brutal new master called Epps (Michael Fassbender) and his equally cruel wife (Sarah Paulson).

It is on this second plantation that Solomon suffers the most as he gradually loses all hope of ever returning to his civilised life and more importantly his family. His learned past does not do Solomon any favours as his intelligence frequently threatens to leave him out of favour with his master and therefore suffer at the thin end of a whip. The only slave sticking out more than Solomon is a young woman Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) who has caught the amorous eye of Epps and with it the scorn of Epps’ wife. Patsey brings about some of the most graphic violence in the film which hits home, hard.

The plot of 12 Years a Slave is not a complicated one as we stick with Solomon throughout his years spent enslaved. The day in, day out barbarism that surrounds him is displayed without glamorisation by McQueen in a film that is beautiful to behold but positively painful to watch. Here the violence is not cartoonish and the audience is made to feel every lashing delivered by the whip and you are never sure when the next beating will come. The whole 2+ hours were a hard-hitting experience and while I would never suggest that I enjoyed the film as such it truly is a masterpiece that manages to be powerful and intimately epic.

Ejiofor may be surrounded by more recognisable names (other than those already mentioned Brad Pitt and Paul Giamatti also pop up) but he more than holds his own as he takes the substantial weight of the film on his shoulders. It is Ejiofor who leads us on this journey with every grimace and wince his detailed performance brings with it. He is nothing short of magnificent which will be no surprise to anyone who has seen any of his work to date.

12 Years a Slave is a searing film that takes its weighty subject seriously whilst not scrimping on cinematic artistry. I cried for the second time this week and the audience of press applauded the film which is not a common occurrence. Expect to be hearing a lot about this film when the Oscars come around.

12 Years a Slave screens at the festival on the 18th, 19th and 20th October and is in UK cinemas on 24th January 2014.

BFI London Film Festival 2013

Out Now – 18th October 2013

Prince Luigi

Imagine a snail infused with the power of super speed. JUST IMAGINE! If you are struggling to imagine such a thing Dreamworks have made a film that might help.

Escape Plan
Schwarzenegger and Stallone co-star in a film about two men trying to escape the world’s most secure prison. My favourite things about the poster is that they are both wearing Velcro shoes. Almost cute.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks stars as the captain on a cargo ship taken hostage by pirates. Expect lots of Maersk product placement.

Enough Said
This synopsis has too many pronouns in it: “A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she’s interested in learns he’s her new friend’s ex-husband.” The he in question is James Gandolfini in one of his final performances.

When you Google the title of this anthology horror it translates it to “1 ((volt / henry) / siemens) / 2” which equals “0.5 m2 kg s-4 A-1” which is certainly something.

Prince Avalanche
Twee indie cinema at its best as Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch play a pair of road workers with nothing but each other for amusement. I thought it was “a stripped back, gentle comedy with two strong and genuine performances at its centre.”

Walesa: Man of Hope
Walesa? Who is that? Oh, man of hope. OK then…

The Epic of Everest
The BFI, God bless ’em, have gone and restored this 1924 documentary about a legendary expedition up Everest. In colour!!

Like Father, Like Son
Despite numerous opportunities I have sadly failed to see this Japanese film about a man who discovers his son was switch at birth and is forced to decide which boy to keep.

The Lebanese Rocket Society
Documentary about a 1960s group who developed rockets in Lebanon. You’ll never guess what this group was called.

The Broken Circle Breakdown
A Belgian drama about an inter-faith couple whose love is put to the test when their daughter falls ill.

Love, Marilyn
Documentary comprised of modern-day famous folks reading the memoirs of people who knew Marilyn Monroe. I only hope one day actors of the future do the same for me using my friend’s diaries.

Last Passenger
“A small group of everyday passengers on a speeding London commuter train battle their warped driver who has a dark plan for everyone on-board.” Something a London commuter might regret watching.

Either Way
The original Icelandic film that Prince Avalanche is based on. What a weird double bill you could have.

The Armstrong Lie – LFF Film Review

The Armstrong Lie

Lance Armstrong was once an American hero; despite a brutal battle with cancer he managed to win the Tour de France a total of seven times and in 2009 was going for his eighth victory. Documentarian Alex Gibney was filming Armstrong’s return to cycling in 2009 but abandoned his documentary amidst a further drugs scandal involving the champion cyclist. Armstrong, like many cyclists, has had his career marred by accusations of doping but had always denied taking any steroids and had the test results to prove it. When in 2013 Armstrong appeared on Oprah to confess to having used performance enhancing drugs for the length of his career Gibney picked up his camera again to complete the documentary, this time not to tell the story of a returning hero but of a fallen star.

I am no fan of cycling either as a pastime or a spectator sport and previously had only a passing knowledge of the Armstrong scandal. As I started to watch this documentary I remained baffled as to why this was such a big deal. Does it really matter who rides the fastest and wins the race? It is just cycling at the end of the day. What The Armstrong Lie taught me more than anything is just how much money rides on the success of a cyclist and in particular how many people in America relied on Armstrong’s story to give them strength when battling cancer. What’s more it is not as if Armstrong was the only cyclist to have been found guilty of doping, in fact doping seems to be the norm in the sport but Lance could only hide in such a prominent position for so long.

Lance Armstrong does not come across well in this documentary. As Gibney had access to the disgraced cyclist both before and after he was forced to admit to his rule breaking and had his Tour de France victories taken from him we get to see two different sides to Armstrong. Across numerous years we have footage of the man vehemently denying the claims made against him and throwing anyone who dares speak out, with what turned out to be the truth, under the bus. Clearly an accomplished liar Lance seems almost sinister as he never hesitates to blame anybody but himself and can never quite face the truth unless he has no other choice.

What made The Armstrong Lie was getting to see Gibney lose all objectivity on two separate occasions. This is very much a documentary with an opinion. Back in the 2009 footage Gibney himself confesses to have been completely swept up in the Armstrong fever as he bought the story of his struggles and willed him to win the tour without ever suspecting he was using drugs. When it came to finishing the documentary in 2013 Gibney is clearly a hurt and angry man who is setting out to expose someone who so blatantly lied to his face on camera.

I’m still not hugely interested in cycling and it seems even more ridiculous to place such importance on who wins the Tour de France when it seems like everyone competing is doped up. Hopefully films like this will help to drive drugs out of the sport. The Armstrong Lie proves to be a far more engrossing way to enjoy cycling than actually watching a race and is a fascinating portrait of a devilishly good liar and a world-class manipulator that let down an entire nation.

The Armstrong Lie has no UK release date yet.

BFI London Film Festival 2013