Total films seen this year: 163
Films seen in the last week: Blood, Behind the Candelabra, Snitch, The Frozen Ground
FILM OF THE WEEK: POPULAIRE
2013 Edinburgh Film Festival line-up
This week I attended the press launch for the 2013 Edinburgh Film Festival. Regular readers of this blog (both of you, etc) will know that I’ve been going to #EdFilmFest every year since 2001 (or ‘the Amelie year’, as I call it) and I see no reason to stop now. Hell, I was even there for Edinburgh’s Annus Horribilis in 2011 (though I don’t want to talk about it). At any rate, under artistic director Chris Fujiwara, last year’s festival was a glorious return to form, so there was every reason to be excited about what he’d come up with this year, now that things are officially Back To Normal.
That said, the festival seems to be sticking to the template it laid down last year, with very little in the way of what might be thought of as ‘big hitters’ (the centrepiece Pixar movie – Monsters University this year – aside) and a strong focus on international films and quote-unquote ‘discoveries’.
As an indication of how resolutely non-mainstream the festival is, I have only seen five films in the line-up so far: The Bling Ring, Frances Ha, Upstream Colour, Breathe In and The East – tellingly, four of those are in the new American Dreams strand and one is the opening night film. With this in mind, Frances Ha is already one of my favourite films of the year and I’m giving four stars to all four of the other films, so that’s pretty promising.
The one thing I love about Chris Fujiwara is the fact that he really knows his way around a retrospective – this year, they’re on Richard Fleischer (the campaign to get Raquel Welch to fly over for the Fantastic Voyage screening starts here) and Jean Gremillon, a director I’m completely unfamiliar with, so I’m going to try and see as many of those (there are 12 in all) as possible.
Edinburgh has a terrific reputation for documentaries and this year looks like being a bumper year, even by Edinburgh’s own standards – docs I’m looking forward to include: Natan (about forgotten French cinema giant Bernard Natan); Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (self-explanatory); Hawking (ditto); The Great Hip-Hop Hoax (in which two aspiring Scottish rap stars fake being American); Mark Cousins’ A Story of Children and Film (looking at the way filmmakers around the world have portrayed children); Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell (about the history of her own family); Fire in the Night (about the Piper Alpha disaster) and Keep Smiling, my pick for this year’s heart-warming competition-based documentary (my second favourite Edinburgh genre), about the Georgia Mother 2010 contest.
I’m also looking forward to: What Maisie Knew (starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan); We Are The Freaks (a 1990-set British coming of age movie); Scottish drama Blackbird (about a young ballad singer who’s dismayed at his village slowly dying out); British internet thriller uwantme2killhim?; psychological thriller Magic Magic (starring Juno Temple) and closing night romcom Not Another Happy Ending, starring Karen Gillan.
Oh, and I’ve just realised there’s a film at the festival starring CHRISTINA HENDRICKS (Struck By Lightning), so you’ll have to excuse me while I go into a corner and hyperventilate. Talent bookers, don’t fail me now! Anyway, the festival runs from June 19th to June 30th and the full line-up is on the official Edinburgh Film Festival website.
The ViewLondon Film Blog
Total films seen this year: 163
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