8th Oct - The (BFI LFF Opening) 'The Imitation Game' Premiere

So after all the waiting, it's finally time for BFI London Film Fest. And I'd just come from a late lunch with a girl I really like to whom I'd had to explain that it wasn't that I'd EVER choose Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch over her, it's merely that I hoped it wouldn't come to that. But I'm guessing you don't want to know about my tragically nonexistent love life... you're probably here for photos of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Very well. Here's how it went down.

With a scant two hours to go, a red carpet it laid and I'm here to photograph it from my perch in a rather surprisingly rare front row position at the far corner of the large public pen. I'm hoping that by giving up a spot near the drop off, near the disabled, and near the paparazzi I'll profit from proximity to the main interview area. Fingers crossed.

With a scant two hours to go, a red carpet it laid and I'm here to photograph it from my perch in a rather surprisingly rare front row position at the far corner of the large public pen. I'm hoping that by giving up a spot near the drop off, near the disabled, and near the paparazzi I'll profit from proximity to the main interview area. Fingers crossed.

This movie is about WW2 codebreaker/ mathematician/ logician Alan Turing, and his story is one of genius, brilliance and breathtaking unfairness as far from being heralded as a true hero who saved countless lives through his efforts in World War II, he was instead lionized for his private life... one of the most awfully unfair things to happen to a person who had done so much. He was issued a public apology by the UK government years and years later but... well... let's just say : watch the movie. I'm yet to, but it looks very good.

This movie is about WW2 codebreaker/ mathematician/ logician Alan Turing, and his story is one of genius, brilliance and breathtaking unfairness as far from being heralded as a true hero who saved countless lives through his efforts in World War II, he was instead lionized for his private life... one of the most awfully unfair things to happen to a person who had done so much. He was issued a public apology by the UK government years and years later but... well... let's just say : watch the movie. I'm yet to, but it looks very good.

"Jacques, you know nobody holds an umbrella with as much elan as you". Our first arrivals are Keira Knightley and a resumption of Rain. Well done, BBC Weather forecasting... you screwed up again. Fortunately, my camera is fairly weatherproof. Unfortunately, neither my jacket, jumper or beanie are.

"Jacques, you know nobody holds an umbrella with as much elan as you". Our first arrivals are Keira Knightley and a resumption of Rain. Well done, BBC Weather forecasting... you screwed up again. Fortunately, my camera is fairly weatherproof. Unfortunately, neither my jacket, jumper or beanie are.

It's too late for me to do anything professional like fact-check, so I'm going off vague memory and saying that this is most likely Andrew Hodges, the author of the book on which this movie was based. Also possibly Graham Moore, the screenwriter. Very unlikely Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy. (edited to add : he's Graham Moore)

It's too late for me to do anything professional like fact-check, so I'm going off vague memory and saying that this is most likely Andrew Hodges, the author of the book on which this movie was based. Also possibly Graham Moore, the screenwriter. Very unlikely Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy. (edited to add : he's Graham Moore)

Morten Tyldum at right is the director of this film, which is also his first English Language feature. Incidentally, while I'm as much of an uncultured swine as the next person (arguably more so) I do happen to have watched one of his other films, "Headhunters (2011)" which was pretty great. (I know... I'm totally credible!)

Morten Tyldum at right is the director of this film, which is also his first English Language feature. Incidentally, while I'm as much of an uncultured swine as the next person (arguably more so) I do happen to have watched one of his other films, "Headhunters (2011)" which was pretty great. (I know... I'm totally credible!)

"The second umbrella is really helping. Thank you." Alex Lawther plays young Alan Turing in the film. And while the horde of excited young girls/women might ordinarily be into young heartthrobs, I'm pretty certain they're mostly to see the actor who plays ADULT Alan Turing in the film.

"The second umbrella is really helping. Thank you." Alex Lawther plays young Alan Turing in the film. And while the horde of excited young girls/women might ordinarily be into young heartthrobs, I'm pretty certain they're mostly to see the actor who plays ADULT Alan Turing in the film.

That feeling of cold dark dread you're feeling is the presence of Charles Dance, who despite what imdb.com is currently telling me, is certainly best know for playing the infamous Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.

That feeling of cold dark dread you're feeling is the presence of Charles Dance, who despite what imdb.com is currently telling me, is certainly best know for playing the infamous Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.

"Is this where I can buy Maltesers and Choc-tops?" Matthew Beard, who appropriately enough elected not to come to this event clean-shaven, plays the role of Peter Hilton in the film. He was also in 'An Education (2009)' with Carey Mulligan. That was a great film... the female genre equivalent to, say Terminator 2.

"Is this where I can buy Maltesers and Choc-tops?" Matthew Beard, who appropriately enough elected not to come to this event clean-shaven, plays the role of Peter Hilton in the film. He was also in 'An Education (2009)' with Carey Mulligan. That was a great film... the female genre equivalent to, say Terminator 2.

Has never heard of 'An Education (2009)' likened to Terminator 2 before. To be fair, nobody has. But I stand by me recommendation of that film (and obviously also James Cameron's Terminator 2)

Has never heard of 'An Education (2009)' likened to Terminator 2 before. To be fair, nobody has. But I stand by me recommendation of that film (and obviously also James Cameron's Terminator 2)

Although he's not in this film, actor John Hurt is always a welcome presence on red carpet events - he's a really, really nice man (AND he was in V for Vendetta. You can do a fair bit of evil and still get credit for being in V for Vendetta in my opinion. It's a great film)

Although he's not in this film, actor John Hurt is always a welcome presence on red carpet events - he's a really, really nice man (AND he was in V for Vendetta. You can do a fair bit of evil and still get credit for being in V for Vendetta in my opinion. It's a great film)

"Benedict Cumberbatch? Sure I can point him out for you. He looks almost exactly like this" Let the screaming commence : our lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived.

"Benedict Cumberbatch? Sure I can point him out for you. He looks almost exactly like this" Let the screaming commence : our lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived.

"I can't literally sign for all of you. I'd miss the movie, and it's pretty great if I do say so myself". I fully understand, although I think the largely female crowd around me isn't fully supportive of Benedict Cumberbatch not signing and/or posting and/or hugging and/or high-fiving everyone here.

"I can't literally sign for all of you. I'd miss the movie, and it's pretty great if I do say so myself". I fully understand, although I think the largely female crowd around me isn't fully supportive of Benedict Cumberbatch not signing and/or posting and/or hugging and/or high-fiving everyone here.

According to imdb, apparently Allen Leech has been in no less than 38 episodes of Downton Abbey, none of which I've watched but I've been advised by numerous people I should rectify that. Well... sure. I'll get right on that once I watch all of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, The West Wing and all of Doctor Who

According to imdb, apparently Allen Leech has been in no less than 38 episodes of Downton Abbey, none of which I've watched but I've been advised by numerous people I should rectify that. Well... sure. I'll get right on that once I watch all of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, The West Wing and all of Doctor Who

As the Red Carpet gets ever-soggier, Keira Knightley approaches to be interviewed in front of me, and however many assistants it takes to keep her dry who will block my view of her.

As the Red Carpet gets ever-soggier, Keira Knightley approaches to be interviewed in front of me, and however many assistants it takes to keep her dry who will block my view of her.

" 'Pentax'. Is that, like a real brand?" Ummm.. .kind of. Keira Knightley and I share a brief moment as she's introduced by the lady doing the interviewing this evening whose name I don't recall because even if I'm not staring at Keira Knightley, I'm at least regarding her lacey dress with some slight interest.

" 'Pentax'. Is that, like a real brand?" Ummm.. .kind of. Keira Knightley and I share a brief moment as she's introduced by the lady doing the interviewing this evening whose name I don't recall because even if I'm not staring at Keira Knightley, I'm at least regarding her lacey dress with some slight interest.

"Piracy? Well, I'm against it, obviously. OH, you mean the movies. Okay". In other news, I don't think I've ever wanted a blonde woman to move about a meter away from me (left or right) quite so much before.

"Piracy? Well, I'm against it, obviously. OH, you mean the movies. Okay". In other news, I don't think I've ever wanted a blonde woman to move about a meter away from me (left or right) quite so much before.

Argh. And I was already holding my camera about fifty centimetres to my left to take this photo. Curse my short, human, non-chimpanzee proportioned arms just this one time!

Argh. And I was already holding my camera about fifty centimetres to my left to take this photo. Curse my short, human, non-chimpanzee proportioned arms just this one time!

Benedict Cumberbatch, meanwhile, because you're interested, is still doing interviews and the odd bit of autograph signing / high-fiving / selfie-ing to my far right and out of view. Stay tuned... he'll get here eventually (at the premiere they had large screens that frequently showed his progress and whereabouts... I'll attempt to do the same here)

"I'm just going to say nothing and let the question hang until it's time for my interview further below"

"I'm just going to say nothing and let the question hang until it's time for my interview further below"

Meanwhile, directly in front of me:

"Benedict Cumberbatch? He's over to that guy's right, signing autographs, high-fiving fans, blessing infants and kissing babies". That's pretty much what I said.

"Benedict Cumberbatch? He's over to that guy's right, signing autographs, high-fiving fans, blessing infants and kissing babies". That's pretty much what I said.

"Did I think about my sizeable Balding Men Fanbase when I decided to put on hair for this role? What kind of question is that?? Of course I did!!". Mark Strong, along with Jason Statham, remains a personal hero of mine.

"Did I think about my sizeable Balding Men Fanbase when I decided to put on hair for this role? What kind of question is that?? Of course I did!!". Mark Strong, along with Jason Statham, remains a personal hero of mine.

"Maybe the hair in the movie was real, and maybe it wasn't. But the eyebrows? They're real, baby". Mark Strong is probably best known for his role as the villain in the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film, but he was also in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (with Benedict Cumberbatch, no less) and ... umm.... Green Lantern...

"Maybe the hair in the movie was real, and maybe it wasn't. But the eyebrows? They're real, baby". Mark Strong is probably best known for his role as the villain in the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film, but he was also in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (with Benedict Cumberbatch, no less) and ... umm.... Green Lantern...

"Benedict Cumberbatch? I think he's signing autographs, doing high-fives and selfies over to that guy's right.....?"

"Benedict Cumberbatch? I think he's signing autographs, doing high-fives and selfies over to that guy's right.....?"

FINALLY! To the quivering excitement of the girls to my right, left and behind me, the man of the hour has arrived and has settled within sighing-distance to answer some questions.

FINALLY! To the quivering excitement of the girls to my right, left and behind me, the man of the hour has arrived and has settled within sighing-distance to answer some questions.

"Hi, I'm Benedict. I might just wait for the screaming to die down before I start answering questions". Spirits were fairly high in our area....

"Hi, I'm Benedict. I might just wait for the screaming to die down before I start answering questions". Spirits were fairly high in our area....

"Well.. I can deduce that you're about to ask me a question that's nothing to do with the movie I'm in, for one thing" Good call, that.

"Well.. I can deduce that you're about to ask me a question that's nothing to do with the movie I'm in, for one thing" Good call, that.

Possibly seeking eyecontact with me because in the public pen I'm in, right now I'm one of the few people not actively propositioning him, holding up something for him to sign, or looking to hug him right now, regardless of what question the interviewer asks next.

Possibly seeking eyecontact with me because in the public pen I'm in, right now I'm one of the few people not actively propositioning him, holding up something for him to sign, or looking to hug him right now, regardless of what question the interviewer asks next.

"Spoilers for Sherlock? Well, I shoudn't. But let's just say I've filmed all three episodes so if I appear to die in episode 1 or 2 it's likely a fake-out?"

"Spoilers for Sherlock? Well, I shoudn't. But let's just say I've filmed all three episodes so if I appear to die in episode 1 or 2 it's likely a fake-out?"

"I'm not sure that request is called for, or quite possibly legal. I'm flattered though, certainly".

"I'm not sure that request is called for, or quite possibly legal. I'm flattered though, certainly".

"Christmas already? But I was still looking forward to a few more weeks of Pumpkin Spice Lattes before all the Festive Season flavours arrived"

"Christmas already? But I was still looking forward to a few more weeks of Pumpkin Spice Lattes before all the Festive Season flavours arrived"

"Could I ever see myself playing a Bond Villain? Certainly... check this out!"

"Could I ever see myself playing a Bond Villain? Certainly... check this out!"

"Seriously, though. Check out the movie. It's pretty great. And yes, full disclosure : I'm in it."

"Seriously, though. Check out the movie. It's pretty great. And yes, full disclosure : I'm in it."

And at that, Benedict Cumberbatch returned to the crowd to sign and hug and pose for a while, before returning to continue yet more media interviews.

Charles Dance is unlikely to apologise for Tywin Lannister being directly or indirectly complicit in the deaths of any of a number of your favourite Game of Thrones characters.

Charles Dance is unlikely to apologise for Tywin Lannister being directly or indirectly complicit in the deaths of any of a number of your favourite Game of Thrones characters.

"No I don't need you to hold my umbrella. I can't take the risk of anything that could be used as a weapon falling into the hands of anyone who isn't a Lannister. And, frankly, any one of several who ARE Lannisters"

"No I don't need you to hold my umbrella. I can't take the risk of anything that could be used as a weapon falling into the hands of anyone who isn't a Lannister. And, frankly, any one of several who ARE Lannisters"

"What about I ask YOU some questions?" Charles Dance is pretty awesome... in a scary/cool way.

"What about I ask YOU some questions?" Charles Dance is pretty awesome... in a scary/cool way.

The Lannisters Send Their Disdain.

The Lannisters Send Their Disdain.

"Yeah, I was pretty choked up at Joffrey's death too"

"Yeah, I was pretty choked up at Joffrey's death too"

"Guys, the movie is about to start, and I don't mean The Imitation Game.. I mean 'Fury' on Sunday... the gala is going to be over by the time I finish answering all these questions and I haven't high-fived and hugged everyone". Sad but true... he did try, though.

"Guys, the movie is about to start, and I don't mean The Imitation Game.. I mean 'Fury' on Sunday... the gala is going to be over by the time I finish answering all these questions and I haven't high-fived and hugged everyone". Sad but true... he did try, though.

"Peace out guys... get yourselves home and warm and dry." Which is pretty good advice. I might just do that.

"Peace out guys... get yourselves home and warm and dry." Which is pretty good advice. I might just do that.

So... that was that, and BFI London Film Festival 2014 is off and running. I'm pretty much planning to live in Leicester Square for much of the next fortnight.

It's another one for "The Archive of Movie Premieres"

Until next time! (ie. Tomorrow!)

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals, feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo or facebook at premieresdotco.