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BFI London Film Festival: Have You Seen My Movie? – Review

I have to preface with all honesty: I’m a cinema purist. I work in film in every aspect of it including the marketing I do for an independent cinema in London. There is something completely magical about the experience, there is nothing like being immersed in darkness and guided through the world that is flickering on the big screen. The feelings, the emotions, the glorious evenings spent in the home of a cinema, it’s an indescribable and addicting event.

As film lovers, we have to truly appreciate the film and as artists, we hope our work can change and evoke greatness within overs.

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For Have You Seen My Movie? director Paul Anton Smith gathers moments in film that masterfully depict the cinema going experience.

If I were to say to you that a two and a half hour long film that is spliced together scenes from other movies based in the movie theatre would be the most completely poignant film of the London Film Festival. While not all the clips are based in the cinema (there are some from classic films shown on the big screen,) Smith takes us through the whole experience: From buying tickets and snacks to when the credits roll. Of course, interspersed here are the dangerous and romantic clips: Murders and sexual exploits are rampant too. Follow your favourite characters as they do this everyday activity and enjoy a good ol’ movie themselves.

Have You Seen My Movie? drags you into this wondrous immersive experience of watching a film. Whilst telling the emotions through characters similarly caught on the reels of stories, Smith engages his audience with familiarity. Joy, anger, fear, lust, and love all develop in a gleeful montage of the greatest clips.

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It’s hard to quantify what works so well with Smith’s work. After all, it is literally a scarf of video clips knitted in a multi-coloured and vibrant manner. On paper, it shouldn’t work and at places, it can feel strained – especially in the beginning when you are trying to figure out

But for anyone who has had their life altered by watching a film, you’ll see exactly what Smith is trying to convey and how he has joyfully captured it. The purist essence of cinema viewing is greatly achieved in this timely movie that’ll have you happily pointing out your favourite moments as Smith glides through genres and eras with smooth and striking imagery.

Have You Seen My Movie? bounds with this creativity that must’ve taken a lot of effort to craft: Swimming through hundreds of moments and linking them together to create a viable narrative and an addictive two hour movie. For fans of the movies, this is certainly a must – a treat for anyone who has found their becoming within a film. Or maybe you are interested in the intellectual way that Smith has harnessed this tale.

Regardless, this is a slick production sure to amaze.


Have You Seen My Movie? is showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival  

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