It’s time once again for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not that most people here notice it. Really, it doesn’t seem impinge on the consciousness of the Edinburgh public at all. I mention I’m going to see some films at the Festival and it’s “Oh has it come round again? Doesn’t seem like a year”.
Up until 2007 it was on in August, so colliding with the Fringe and International Festivals, as if the town wasn’t busy enough! It was usually over the last ten days of the Fringe, as we wised up to this we started waiting until the Film Festival programme came out before booking ourselves up and missing out on good films. Yeah, my Fringe buddy shared my love of films too and between us we could get the discount deals.
It’s good to go to screening where there’s a Q&A afterwards, even if the film turns out to be awful or dull, in fact that can be more fun watching the Festival guy trying to enthuse about the film with it’s director. Probably one of the most interesting Q&As was with Paul Schrader in 2005 after a showing of Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. This was his original prequel to The Exorcist before the studio decided to completely refilm it. Was he bitter? Not half! But he did have a great story to tell and he suggested we, if we hadn’t already, should watch the other version. Oo, we did, yikes!! It truly was awful and not just in comparison with Mr Schrader’s work, which, incidentally we thoroughly enjoyed.
That same year we saw the premiere of Tsotsi by Gavin Hood. What attracted us to it? Our keen sense of things to try was as honed for films as for stage shows, wow, it was a wonderful film and we came back again and again to Tsotsi’s fate after the final scene. Watch it and decide for yourself.
2006 saw the first cinematic outing for the Treadaway twins, Harry and Luke, in Brothers of the Head. I spotted this one as a few years before I’d bought a battered old copy of the book, written by Brian Aldiss, at the Meadows Fair. This was a very disturbing tale of siamese twins (with a third dormant head) with exploitation, rock stardom, jealously and rage. The third head doesn’t appear in the film version (I’m pretty sure), there was probably enough to do without that complication.
After the oddity of Brothers the following night was Clerks II by the great Kevin Smith, not the first showing, those tickets would have gone in a trice, but there still a huge buzz to be seeing it.
Mind, the biggest buzz of all my film festivals was the world premiere of Serenity, we queued quite some time for it, all the main cast were there and Joss Whedon, all very happy to meet the fans and not only at the premiere but all the additional screenings, we saw Adam Baldwin at the fourth! Yeah, so I’m a Whedon fan.
This year? Saw Vampire Cleanup Department late last night, it has the cutest vampire ever and also probably the funniest way for vampires to get about that you’ll ever see. I have my ticket for Repo Man and another bit of nostalgia, not seen on the big screen before, Time Bandits. I do like a good festival.