Please crunch your popcorn quietly!

Hurray! The 2019 Edinburgh Film Festival programme came out on Wednesday and I’ve already sorted which films I want to see. I toodled along in the evening to grab my two copies – same procedure as Fringe planning, one to peruse and refer to, the other to cut out all potentials; then, as it wasn’t a huge diversion, I popped into the Jolly Judge for a couple of ciders and a quick flick through of this year’s offerings.

No showings at Cineworld this year, I take it that’s just because of the huge renovation works still going on there at the moment and not an end to their participation. I do hope so, fewer cinemas means a greater chance I’ll have to see something at Vue in the Omni centre. Huh? I don’t know why, I just really don’t like the Vue cinema at Omni. Yes, I have been in it, twice; it feels “wrong” to me, my fur bristles and I’m ill at ease, odd I know.

I’ve selected thirteen films to see, but this may have to whittle down to eleven. I can guess you’re thinking this will make a sizeable dent in my Fringe Fund, but probably not nearly as much as you’d think. Tickets are generally £12 for new films and £8 for the retrospect (this year it’s A Retrospective Celebration of Modern Spanish Cinema, yay), which is comparable with usual cinema prices; then, add in a discount for seeing more than six films (25% up to nine, then 35% above that) and it’s very reasonable. Those thirteen films will cost me £89.60, bargain! As usual, to be included in my selection, none of my choices are ever likely to be shown at Cineworld – I don’t pay to see films I can see with my unlimited card later.

So once I’ve picked out my choices I have to see if I can fit them round each other, this is the tricky bit! New films are shown twice, retrospects once, with everything crammed into seven weekday evenings and four chock full weekend days (there’s very little in the week day times), so many choices will collide with each other! You think you’ve solved this Krypton Factor puzzle, stroll up to the Box Office and discover one of your definite must-sees is already sold out for the showing you chose!! This can kick everything else, so carefully planned, into touch. As I book early nowadays this is unlikely to happen (he says, touching wood) but I always have my list in order of preference and my mapped out diary with me when I buy my tickets (like a good boy scout I’m always prepared).

Looking at my cutouts I’m quite happy with them, but if I have to let any go, ummm. Oo, one other thing I take into account is that first showings may have a Q&A with the director, the second showing won’t. I say that, though there was the exception of Likarion Wainaina after the second showing of his film Supa Modo last year, which was delightful and very insightful. I haven’t mentioned the names of my choices of films as I don’t want to jinx anything! The tickets went on sale to the masses today so I should get on. Toodle oo.

Just one more thing, those clever peeps at the EIFF have only gone and snaffled a showing of all six episodes together of the new tv adaptation of Good Omens!!! How glorious would that be to see!! Yeah, but those tickets will all be long gone (no doubt within an hour or two) and it was in Vue anyway. Ho hum.

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!

 

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!