We came, we saw, we saw more, and we saw lots and lots more. Yes, as you may have already noticed, it was that most wonderful time of year again. The Edinburgh International Film Festival. As a resident Edinburgher, I always try to make the most of this time, but this year was better than ever. More movies seen, with SO many covered between Chris Binding and myself, more socialising (ummmm . . . . . . . . . . . note to self, don’t stay up so late next time), and more exuberant festival atmosphere.
For my 5th year attending the festival for Flickfeast I really tried to take things to another level, and I succeeded (I think). By the very last day I was tired, needed a shave, and resentful of the writing I still had ahead of me. But, then again, I’d just spent almost an entire fortnight watching movies and meeting celebrities who all kindly allowed me to get a photo taken with them. Screenwriter Paul Fraser, director Damien O’Donnell, the writer-director and stars of Hyena, the opening night movie, the absolutely lovely Moe Dunford and Kerry Fox (whom I bumped into the very evening after watching both give astonishing performances in Patrick’s Day, and I was delighted to eventually meet writer-director Terry McMahon), Antony Petrou and Leeshon Alexander (We Are Monster), the one and only Noel Clarke (who also kindly signed my Bluray of 184.108.40.206), Aubrey Plaza (in town with Life After Beth) and The Woman herself, Pollyanna McIntosh.
Chris and I enjoyed one or two drinks together, and it was great to spend some time, as rare as it was, chilling out with a colleague. In previous years, I just haven’t managed to meet as many other Flickfeast writers as I’d have liked, but this year was all about turning EIFF 2014 into a whole package that allowed me to beam like the fanboy I am, while also spending most of my daytime hours being as professional and prolific as possible.
I hope that mix somehow filtered through in our coverage here on the site, and I hope that many other people enjoyed EIFF 2014 as much as we did. Oh, but what did we actually see? Well, the films covered are all brought together here, for you to remember, forget, or argue about, at your leisure.
Hyena opened the festival. I loved it and gave it 9/10.
X/Y was a bit of a step down. 6/10.
The Anomaly tried, but failed to impress. 5/10.
Let Us Prey makes up for any shortcomings with a truly bonkers third act. And Liam Cunningham owning every scene he’s in. 6/10.
Liar’s Dice was my first unexpected delight. 8/10.
Cold In July was as great as I’d hoped it would be. 9/10.
As was The Green Inferno. Another 9/10.
Finsterworld didn’t work as well for me as it did for some others. 6/10.
Jack was the main film that Chris didn’t stop raving about. 9/10.
The Skeleton Twins was another winner. 8/10.
Snowpiercer seems to have been unanimously loved. I really liked it. 8/10.
Chris liked Intruders enough to give it a solid 7/10.
Club Sandwich easily won me over. 8/10.
Letter To The King received the same score from Chris. Another 8/10 film.
Some people liked Doc Of The Dead, but I thought it was a huge disappointment. 4/10.
Runaway Day – another movie that I ended up really liking, despite some hesitation at the beginning. 7/10.
While Pierrot Lunaire was not my cup of tea at all, I was able to see the many good qualities it had. 6/10.
Virunga would be one of my other top choices from the festival. 9/10.
The Guvnors wouldn’t. 4/10.
A Practical Guide To A Spectacular Suicide was even worse. 3/10.
But nothing was as bad as Perfect Garden. 2/10.
Thankfully, things picked up with Garnet’s Gold. 8/10.
Coherence was another enjoyable feature. 8/10.
Joe meant that, at this point, I was on a roll. Another 8/10.
And then Still Life kept up the high standards. 8/10.
Chris also found a winner, when he saw, and enjoyed, Galore. 8/10.
A Most Wanted Man will undoubtedly end up widely available in the near future. Do check it out. 8/10.
Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case was another goodie, according to Chris. 8/10.
I embraced my inner child, and thoroughly enjoyed Zip & Zap And The Marble Gang. 8/10.
Perhaps not as much fun, Chris tried his luck with Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza. 6/10.
Samuel Fuller received due praise in A Fuller Life. 8/10.
That Guy Dick Miller proved to be another festival highlight for me. 9/10.
Technical problems aside, Chris also ended up a fan of The Fat And The Angry. 8/10.
Hardkor Disko is one to mull over, and perhaps revisit. But not right now. 6/10.
The Infinite Man was great fun. 8/10.
Scintilla, on the other hand, wasn’t. 5/10.
Tony Benn: Will And Testament was a fine tribute. 9/10.
I was disappointed by Tochter AKA Daughters. 6/10.
Thankfully, Chris enjoyed We Gotta Get Out Of This Place so we were maintaining a decent good to bad ration. 7/10.
Honeymoon tried to be a bit different, but didn’t quite work. 5/10.
One Of A Kind, going by that introductory paragraph by Chris, really feels like one of a kind. 8/10.
It’s always good to mix things up during the festival, and Chris and I checked out an animated movie for all the family each. He saw The House Of Magic (6/10) and I saw The Nut Job (5/10). Neither were great.
Hellion is worth your time. 7/10.
My Accomplice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . isn’t. 3/10.
We’ll Never Have Paris tries to win you over. It didn’t work for me, but it wasn’t painful. 4/10.
Chris then checked out some TV on the big screen with Bannan. 7/10.
Hide And Seek was loved by some, but not by me. 4/10.
And then I got to Something, Anything. 5/10.
Miss Zombie is NOT what you might expect. 6/10.
Chris had enjoyed Korso as part of the enjoyable ‘Teen Spirit’ strand of EIFF 2014. 7/10.
I’m Not Him won’t be enjoyed by all. I’ll be interested to see if anyone likes it as much as I did. 8/10.
I also liked I Believe In Unicorns more than others might have. 7/10.
Castles In The Sky may well have been the safest movie I’ve seen in years. Didn’t stop me really enjoying it though. 7/10.
The Japanese Dog is another film that I hope gets a chance to reach a wider, appreciative audience. 8/10.
Chris enjoyed the ‘Teen Spirit’ strand so much that he also decided to check out the Teen Spirit Shorts programme.
Another programme attended by my fellow Flickfeaster was the Mclaren Awards 2014: New British Animation. Reading the write-up by Chris, I am now kicking myself for my habit of sacrificing shorts for features every year I attend the festival.
Uncertain Terms was a decent enough film, allowing Nathan Silver to return to the festival. I only gave this one 6/10, but Silver is someone to keep an eye on.
It just remains for us to thank all of the staff at EIFF 2014, from the great press team to the many volunteers who help make it all possible every year, to the fine folks manning the various departments at The Filmhouse, The Cameo, Cineworld, the Odeon, and even The Dominion this year (which held a special screening of Braveheart). Thanks to all who brought their films, and also the many who brought themselves along to make themselves available in support of their films, and to all of the film fans who make this festival the hustling, bustling occasion that I know and love.
See you all again next year.