EIFF 2018 done and dusted

The Edinburgh International Film Festival for 2018 is over and done with, but did Supa Modo stay at No1 or did another film nudge it to No2? Nah! Supa Modo is a thing of rare beauty; there’s so many friends that I think would love it, I do hope it gets a decent release, not just a few arthouse cinemas.

A close second place was homegrown Anna And The Apocalypse, a fun zombie-filled musical set at Christmas (so a December release in cinemas would be great!) Typical teenager, she heads out to school, music blasting in her ears, singing and dancing down the street totally oblivious to everything around her – including that half the neighbours are now zombies attacking the still human half! This film has great songs, teenage angst, lots of laughs, plenty gore and fun ways to kill zombies; and whilst the young’uns were all generally excellent, it was great to see Mark Benton as Anna’s father and Paul Kaye is in blisteringly good form as a tyrannical Headmaster!

Joint third place to Unicorn Store and Humor Me. Unicorn Store, well, it has unicorn in it’s title (automatic points for that alone 😊) and Brie Larson not only stars in it but it’s her directorial debut, directoring no less than Samuel L. Jackson as the Salesman at said Unicorn Store. This is an oddball of a film with just the right amount of quirkiness and some beautifully played surreal and absurd moments. My only niggle was some of Kit’s (Larson) millennial traits, hey, I’m an older generation, they bugged me, ok!

Humor Me (clearly American from the misspelling of humour)  was a very different kettle of fish with the excellent casting of Elliott Gould and Jemaine Clement as father and son, along with great support from the likes of Bebe Neuwirth and Annie Potts (she’s wonderful as Meemaw in Young Sheldon)This is a slow charming film about families, aging and Jewish jokes; it has a well-balanced bittersweetness.

Also seen was Flammable Children by director Stephan Elliott (He did Priscilla Queen of the Desert). I did really enjoy it, just not as much as the above films but probably 4th equal with Blood Fest. It did have Guy Pierce and Kylie Minogue looking like you’ve never seen them before!! It’s an autobiographical look on Stephan’s early film-making career – think The Goldbergs in 1970’s Australia. Ah yes, this had a great Q&A afterwards, we found out he has upset family and friends with it and his sister says the queue outside her bedroom was not that long!

So that’s the Film Festival wrapped up, tomorrow the CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival begins at the Corn Exchange here in Edinburgh. Besides an awful lot of beer there’ll be 30+ ciders and perries, heaven 😊

Well, that’s my Film of the Fest found!

Three days since my last post and three more films from around the globe: Mug from Poland, The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches a French Canadian film and Supa Modo from Kenya. Sometimes my ‘not getting’ a film is possibly as much to do with a different cultural way of looking at the world, as a film being ‘too arty’ for my tastes (or being just crap). Mug was ok, a very slow and deliberate film, not sure about the ending. The Little Girl …. was ok to odd, at least the ending made sense in it’s bittersweetness.

Sunday afternoon when the sun was blazing outside I hid myself away in the underground warren of the Odeon to see Supa Modo, jackpot!!! This will be, without doubt, my Film of the Fest this year. It had humour, pathos, grief, family issues, hope, defiance and just how amazing people can be when they come together. Jo, her sister Mwix and mother were brilliantly written and portrayed. We could see how the mother only wanted to protect her terminally ill daughter but she couldn’t see it was too much, Mwix’s love and positivity for her little sister was heartwarming and Jo herself just wanted to be a superhero. Just a perfectly formed film, and we even got a Q&A afterwards, despite it being the second showing! Usually there’s only a Q&A with the first screening (if there is one at all) so I wasn’t expecting there to be one.

Some films you hurry out of to avoid the Q&A, some films you wish you’d avoided the Q&A, but 5☆ to this one, Likarion Wainaina the director came across so well, he was interesting, informative and pretty cool. It was the sort of Q&A that makes you want to watch the movie again to appreciate the insights you’ve picked up; hearing about the children’s ward he visited that made him rethink the storyline and how he went back afterwards to show the film to the children; how the filming affected the lives of the people in the community. Yep, besides Best Film I’ll give it Best Q&A too!

There’s more musings on Q&As on last year’s Bruce goes to the movies

Toodle pip!

 

Late night at the Film Festival

Edinburgh nights in early summer are great, there’s always still that faint bit of light in the sky. It always takes me back to my college days, tipsyly walking back to my digs in Portobello after another night carousing at Grindlay Street Union. It was one such balmy night at one o’clock this morning as I left the Filmhouse, hence the photo!

First off after work I saw The Devil Outside, not horror but  disturbing and it left me with a sense of unease afterwards. An okay film but the ending was somewhat “huh!?!?” and by the end I felt it could have worked better as a tv series to really develop the characters.

Had a simple tea of mushrooms in cream on toast followed by a G&T to wash it down; strange, I don’t like cream per se, no cream cakes or trifle for me, but in recent years I find myself enjoying it in sauces like a little wicked decadence! At nearly eleven o’clock I headed out into the night.

Friday night in the old town has all manner of creatures out roaming. The Cowgate and Grassmarket will already be spawning debaucherous hordes. Spot the hapless family of tourists heading back to their hotel, anxiously trying not to make any eye contact. Despite the Cowgate being closed off to traffic after 10pm there’s always an odd car goes through, maybe a taxi and of course there’s always the pedicabs zooming about (my tablet just tried to turn pedicabs into pelicans, just as well I spotted that 😂!)

I made it to the Filmhouse in plenty of time to grab a drink from the bar to take into the Film. Blood Fest had attracted quite a crowd, and yes, being horror, there was Bob a few rows in front. Bob was a friend of a friend some years ago, I know who he is but he doesn’t know me, at least I don’t think he remembers me. I always see Bob at least once during every Film Festival, it’s a natural law it seems. Blood Fest was great fun, tongue-in-cheek, using all the cliched rules of the horror genre – think The Cabin in the Woods with added cheese!

By 1am on a weekend morning the Grassmarket/Cowgate route is not unlike a horror movie set, so I opted to head home via the Royal Mile. Interesting, another film being shot there by the City Chambers in the wee small hours, I wonder what this one will be. Will it appear at a future EIFF? Hmmm.

Toodle pip!

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There’s trouble at’ mill!

There was I all pleased with how quickly I sorted my choices to see at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018, ten tickets bought so I got the 35% discount, woohoo. All marked up on my calendar after a trip to darkest, dampest Yorkshire next weekend. Then this morning I gets a text, oh dearie me, someone failed to organise the piss-up in the brewery and I may have to head south the weekend after I had planned i.e. the first weekend of the Film Festival when I was going to see five films! Aargh!!

Yes, someone forgot one of the fundamentals of running an event – book the venue! Never assume, don’t put it by because it’ll be fine, turns out it isn’t fine at all, and everything’s been printed for that day, everyone’s expecting it that day, it’s traditionally that day! I’m hoping against hope that the situation can be resolved to restore tradition – and my films.

My initial reaction was, well I won’t be able to come down, but my second was a heavy sigh and acceptance that yours truly has to be there to help make it happen. Really, they couldn’t manage without me! I can still make the first film if I shorten my trip and the other tickets with my discount cost just £7.80 each so I reckon I could find takers for them.

So what will I be missing? Friday was to be humerous horror night with The Devil Outside then Bloodfest late on, Saturday’s film is Mug, a Polish film about a guy who receives a face transplant, it’s “a farcical comedy drama” and Sunday’s is Supa Modo about a young Kenyan girl who is terminally ill who believes she has superpowers. Supa Modo is the one I’m  most unhappy about missing but hopefully it will resurface with a limited general release in the UK at some point. You never can tell what will or won’t get picked up for distribution or how long it can take to appear.

My remit for EIFF tickets is films that most likely won’t get shown at the multiplex where I have an unlimited pass. At one time it was films that were unlikely to get any release in the UK but now that the tickets aren’t as comparatively expensive compared to usual cinema prices, it’s cheaper for me to see films at the Festival than at the Filmhouse the rest of the year.

Ho hum, it would be a shame if I had to miss the films, but as they say,  worse things happen at sea. Aaand, it’s now after midnight, later on TODAY the full Fringe programme is officially out! Yayyy!!!

Toodle pip!