Not that they've ever mucked about with the London Film Festival, but this year the BFI went a bit mental for the opening première of Fantastic Mr Fox in London's Leicester Square. It's impossible to get a picture to do justice to the temporary red-carpeting of almost the entire square, nor to the baroque scaffolding arrangements that kept the onlookers out (and under) and those of us who had bought tickets in. It was quite an event.
Luckily this wasn't the end of the fun. Once we'd made it inside the cinema, the screen was showing coverage of the celeb-cast meet-n-greet. Choice moments included Jason Schwarzman talking feverishly about his 'best friend' Wes Anderson and Bill Murray's interviews - the first, improbably, with Peter Andre (!) and the second, with the T4 presenter Rick Edwards, subverted by Murray's distraction at his voice being broadcast across the square.
Once the circus outside had subsided the entertainment switched to a short set played on the Odeon's stage organ before the introductions: BFI director Amanda Nevill introducing the Time Editor James Harding, then the film festival's artistic director Sandra Hebron introducing Wes Anderson. He spoke nervously about doing the film in 'outer East London' before introducing a selection of the cast - Clooney ("you know everyone dies at the end, right?"), Murray ("and a big shout out to outer East London!"), Wallace Wolodarsky, Schwartzman, Jarvis Cocker and the film's score composer Alexandre Desplat, amongst others. A wonderful evening's set-up for a film deserving all the buzz.