As sure as night follows day, does the Sheffield DocFest end, only to be replaced by the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). Now into its 68thyear, the festival has long been a staple of the film calendar and for the third year running Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second will be there to cover events, with Rob Girvan, our regular attendee there from open ’til close. You can follow Rob on Twitter for further coverage.
From last year’s festival winner Leviathan or 2012 documentary The Imposter, to those titles which broke into the mainstream such as Frances Ha and Killer Joe, there is always something for everyone.
Ahead of its opening Rob has selected a few of his most anticipated titles;
That Guy Dick Miller: Last year at EIFF there was a documentary about Harry Dean Stanton. This year another popular character actor gets a chance to shine. From Roger Corman to Joe Dante, Dick Miller is a face well known to any kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s. This long overdue tribute to the man is sure to be a hit with movie lovers.
Snowpiercer: Finally it’s here! Last year Bong Joon-ho was a judge at EIFF which led many to think that perhaps Snowpiercer would be the annual Surprise Film. It ended up being About Time. Since then there has been a lot of drama around its release, with claims of heavy edits being made and then reversed. Many have already picked up a Blu-ray which is out in other markets. However, I am glad to have held off doing this, and will have the chance to finally see this sci-fi drama (uncut!) on the big screen. From all indications, it is unlikely to disappoint.
Culloden: This 1964 piece of television from one of the UK’s greatest and most underappreciated directors, Peter Watkins, essentially invented the modern docu-drama and gets a well-deserved special screening this year. A retelling of the last land battle to be fought in the UK, it is a masterful piece of filmmaking. Hopelies will be looking at it in greater detail.
Cold in July: Jim Mickle has scored twice, with his post-apocalyptic vampire tale Stake Land, and the family cannibal drama We Are What We Are. He now takes on the crime genre with Cold in July. Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, the film has already received strong notices from the States and looks like it may be following Killer Joe as another welcome entry into the Texan Noir genre.
Hardkor Disko: All I know about this Polish film comes from a foreign trailer which makes it look like an unreleased Von Trier, and this note from EIFF;
When a young man arrives in the city and makes his way to the door of a successful middle-aged couple, his motives for being there are unclear. What quickly becomes apparent is that his overriding desire is to kill them both.
But hey, isn’t that the fun of festivals?
Welcome to New York: Abel Ferrara is back! King of New York, The Funeral,The Addiction and Bad Lieutenant. Just some of the films great films Ferrara has made during his career. While his later work has been off the boil (avoid4:44 – Last Day on Earth like it was the last day on Earth) I am always hopeful that Ferrara can knock it out of the park. This film has already generated a huge amount of controversy in France, due to being inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.
Joe: The law of averages dictate that Nicolas Cage makes so many films that now and again he will actually do a good one. Michael Caine employed the same strategy in the 1980s. David Gordon Green continues where he left off with Prince Avalanche and brings Cage along for the ride. Reviews suggest that this is a film so good that you may forget he is also starring in the Left Behind movie later this year.
Let Us Prey: This Irish horror movie is being compared to Carpenter and Argento. Starring Liam Cunningham who has form in low budget horror with Dog Soldiers, the trailer brings the gore and intrigue. But will it come with a smart script as well?
It is also interesting to note what isn’t at EIFF this year. Recently the Festival has played host to the UK/European premiere of the annual Pixar film. As the studio is sitting out from releasing anything in 2014 this tradition has come to a halt. Fingers crossed for next year!
Also notable is the lack of Scottish films. Last year, we had For Those in Peril and Fire in the Night, among many other features. This year, there seems to a lot less home produce, with documentary A Most Dangerous Game leading the charge. This story http://www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/film/edinburgh-film-festival-calls-crisis-summit-1-3439872 suggests it is an issue the industry is well aware about. Fingers crossed for next year!
As ever, the EIFF will be full of surprises. It’s going to be a great two weeks!