Went to a special screening of Mirrormask last night at the Duke of York's. According to its producer Simon Moorhead in the Q&A after, it's been nominated for a Golden Groundhog award, as a film eagerly awaited but which proved a disappointment. Designed and directed by local boy Dave McKean (with a little help from even localler Ian Miller) it has a troubled goth Alice in Wonderland (Stephanie Leonidas) on a quest to save her mother (Gina McKee) meeting up with various masked persons and CGI creatures in a yellow and black world of her imagining - I only really sussed what was going on in the 'review' in this morning's Leader. The story (by Neil Gaiman) is pretty dull, slow, tedious and cliched (give me Jan Svankmajer or Terry Gilliam any day) and presumably aimed at a young audience (a new Labyrynth is what Lisa Henson wanted). The CGI was done on the cheap by a load of students in a North London studio, with the sound of ice cream vans and crows in the background, but it's pretty good, albeit dim and murky. The live action takes place in the unrestored Embassy Court, rather dangerously on a sun deck without railings! Rob Brydon (Dad) and Dora Bryan (Gran) have cameo parts and the music (Eastern European circussy jazz) is by the wonderful Iain Ballamy - a Guildford boy I remember as a 16-year old prodigy playing with his dad at the Stoke Hotel jazz club. Rant: the film was advertised as starting at 6 and got going around 20 past, so why do some people arrive some 40 minutes later and expect you to stand so they can push past you or sit in front of you snogging their date and rustling crisp packets? No photos because Dez Skinn, Stephanie Leonidas, Dave McKean and Simon Moorhead were sitting in the dark!

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