Edinburgh. The Athens of the North. Auld Reekie. Or, as I like to call it, home.
Which is why I am proud to be able to access and review the movies this year on behalf of Flickfeast. Surprising as it may seem, I have never before managed to attend any of the festival screenings.
I hope to see a selection of varied and interesting movies from the indie horror movie Outcast (already receiving good word from American and Ireland and having been filmed here in my home city) to the (possibly Kick-Ass asskicking?) delightful-sounding Superhero Me. Donkeys is another movie full of predominantly Scottish talent that I want to see and Cherry Tree Lane could very well be an urban take on the horrific material that Eden Lake gave us. It’s directed by Paul Andrew Williams who so impressed me with London To Brighton so hopes are high.
Rest assured that this is only the tip of the iceberg and I shall be doing my very best to review anything and everything I can get my eyes fixated on.
Update 28th June: Ten Days of Film Festivities…
Well, that’s it. It’s all over for another year. The Edinburgh International Film Festival has now lowered the curtain and left the city to quieten down for a spell (though silence is never a prominent feature of Scotland’s capital city).
I must say that it was quite a ride while it lasted, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun and worked so hard at the same time. From that opening screening of Zwart Water to the preview show of The Illusionist right up until the last movie I crammed in, Monsters, I had an absolutely exhausting whale of a time.
Highlights would include, of course, meeting up for my chat with Paul Andrew Williams but the brief, incidental conversation with the immensely likeable Steve Sale (who I wish nothing but good things for with his little doco, Superhero Me) was also a great little moment.
Supping on a coffee while waiting to see Jackboots On Whitehall saw me sitting almost opposite Sir Patrick Stewart, Britt Eckland and Rafi Pitts while Ben Miller was being interviewed at the opposite end of the room. Quite a surreal little memory I shall cherish for a long time.
Movie-wise, I was definitely impressed by the homegrown talent on display. Scotland itself was very well represented by the likes of Donkeys and Outcast (which hopes to get a general release soon, after many positive reviews). The other UK films, such as The Kid, Pelican Blood and Monsters, were all of a satisfyingly high standard and showed a definite willingness to try and mix it with their American counterparts. And there are many others who loved Cherry Tree Lane, too.
Documentaries are such a great form of cinema and yet easy to forget about until you see something as visceral as Restrepo.
Although I disliked Lola many others loved it so it gets to sit alongside Shekarchi and Zwart Water as one of the many beloved entries from the World Cinema category.
And America was able to get involved with features ranging from the light fluff of The Rebound to the classy brilliance of Get Low (which I am happy to see won the Standard Life Audience Award).
With Evil-In The Time Of Heroes from Greece and Red Hill from Australia I think I didn’t do too badly in my cinematic globetrotting this year.
It’s a shame I missed Skeletons, the winner of the Michael Powell award for best new British feature film but you can’t see ’em all and anyone viewing this article (telling you all about the winners) will quickly see that: Award winners announced at 64th EIFF.
Anyone who has read my reviews and strongly disagreed with some of them should at least remember this: love or hate the films, festivals are all about getting the exposure. I’ve tried to give just as much space to the movies I disliked as to the movies I did and, in this way, support the effort it has taken to get each and every one of them made, even if I disliked the final product.
I’d just like to end by thanking everyone involved in the festival (from the filmmakers to the staff who ushered us into each screening). It was a huge task, everyone helped to make it run smoothly and I hope that even the casual filmgoer who attended was reminded of a) the range and quality of independent film that’s always out there and b) the need to support it in local cinemas.
Speaking of local cinemas, a mention must be made for Edinburgh residents to never forget the pleasure you can have viewing a new cinematic gem in the likes of The Cameo (currently fundraising to improve facilities) and The Filmhouse (officially, 25 years young this year). Cineworld also played a giant part this year and this co-operation between the “arthouse” cinemas and the multiplex served as a nice reminder of the relationship that independent cinema needs to maintain with it’s blockbuster siblings.
And I’m done, off to rest my eyes under some cucumber slices and to then watch something as simple and instantly gratifying as Wanted. Hey, sometimes you just need to switch your brain OFF. I hope others enjoyed the movie coverage. Same time next year?