‘Hope Gap’ will have its first public screening at the Toronto Film Festival, on September 6 2019, and its second at the London Film Festival on October 4. This means it will get its first reviews, a couple at least, even though it won’t be released until next year. Right now I’m living under the happy illusion that the film is something very special, because only people who are kind to me have seen it so far. After Toronto and London, that will change. I’ve endured some brutal shocks following screenings at Toronto: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ had a triumphant screening and a poor critical response; as did ‘Breathe’. I was in Toronto for ‘Mandela’, but not for ‘Breathe’, where the shock was all the greater because the screening, they told me, was so applauded. It’s a powerful film, beautifully directed by Andy Serkis, and will live on, but these festival roller-coaster rides are tough on the system. All this by way of indicating that I’m braced for whatever comes.
Glancing down the list of films also showing in Toronto and London makes me giddy: the kind of giddiness that takes the form of realising, when you look up at the stars on a clear night, how insignificant you are. So many famous directors, so many famous stars.
The solution: to set my thoughts firmly on the new project which I am even now devising, and to tell myself that whatever happens, the future holds wonder and glory. So I leap from one illusion to another, forever excited by tomorrow, like a small child. I suppose on my death bed I’ll be caught murmuring, ‘The best is yet to come…’