London calling indeed. Our son Mik was cast in his first movie role about a year ago. The Void is a Canadian indie retro horror movie currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit. On Saturday there was a screening at Picturehouse Central near Piccadilly Circus in the heart of the city for the BFI Film Festival. How could we not go?
We arrived Thursday afternoon and found our way from Gatwick to our hotel near the Edgware Road Station. The sounds of the city came rolling in from non stop traffic, sirens and the sound of people in the streets when we opened the window in our first floor hotel room. A very stark contrast to the quiet Croatia we had left just hours before.
We took in the vibe of this major metropolis on an evening stroll. First stop, Piccadilly Circus. From there we sauntered through the Horse Guards in Whitehall past Downing Street 10, Big Ben and onto dinner near Leicester Square. Wonderful to be back in London and I must admit I had underestimated and simply forgotten how majestic and beautiful Big Ben is at night.
Our destination Friday morning was the Portobello Street Market and we were lucky to arrive early before the heavy flow of tourists. It was a crisp, but not cold, fall morning. Beautiful, just as Amanda had promised. The sun was trickling in, food was being prepped and vendors were setting up for another day of business. The smells of baked goods, coffee and fall were lingering in the air and we were happy to be out and about.
The hotel had a strict noon check out time. The front desk clerk knocked on our door at 12 pm sharp to make sure we were leaving. We greeted her with suitcases in hand so it was a bit awkward. Check out completed, we hopped on a bus to Hyde Park and after a short rest in the park we ventured down Oxford Street. The plan was to meet up with Lars, an old childhood friend, at Tottenham Court Station. We had not seen Lars for 15 plus years but we had no trouble recognizing one another. We hailed a cab and were quickly on our way to Muswell Hill in North London. Lars had prepped a fabulous dinner and we spent the evening catching up over several glasses of wine.
The big movie event was Saturday evening. Our anticipation grew as we neared Piccadilly Circus and Picturehouse Central. Seated in the packed theatre with baited breath, we took it all in. The lights dimmed and there he was, up on the big screen. We exchanged a look and pinched ourselves. Was this for real? It was thrilling to say the least. After the movie there was a Q&A session with the directors and producer of the film. It was special to meet some of the people Mik had worked with when they filmed in Ontario last December. Our friend Lars is an actor and screenwriter himself. Check out his website, Christopher Dane. After the movie, Lars was able to bring the proud parents back down to earth and we have since had ongoing discussions about the industry, the movie and Mik's performance, which was stellar by the way.