It wasn’t like the last time I’d visited the British Film Institute. The buildings were all the same, massive cubes of concrete sitting along the bank of the Thames. Their façades were aglow with pink and blue lights, as I remembered them last time, glinting off of the river as we crossed Waterloo Bridge. But it was hard to ignore the general quietness.
I’d visited Southbank years ago. I was on a date at the Winter Market just a stone’s throw from the BFI; it was a frigid November evening but the whole riverside was packed. Here I was again, my date from that night now my fiancée, accompanying me to a London Film Festival screening of Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli. This time there were hardly any pedestrians milling about despite it being a fairly balmy October evening. I’d been back since for other film screenings but now, as we stood outside the building waiting to be let in — under the new rules, we weren’t allowed to queue in the lobby — I considered how drastically cinemas have changed to accommodate safety recommendations.
Read the full article on RogerEbert.com here.