FREE FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY THE OFFICAL GFF DAILY GUIDE
WHAT’S INSIDE? 2 — TODAY’S PICKS From must-see to maybe-try, we can tell you where to look 2 — CROSSING THE LINE Learn how to spell Apichatpong Weerasethakul 3 — REVIEWS Beyond the Hills The Final Member Strings WE ARE NORTHERN LIGHTS
Scotland’s first ever mass participation film project, We Are Northern Lights, has its world première at GFF. We spoke to NICK HIGGINS, the driving force behind the venture INTERVIEW : JAMIE DUNN ON THE RESPONSE “We had over fifteen hundred submissions in the end – I think the exact figure was something like 1,529 – which resulted in about 300 hours of footage. We’d hoped for about a hundred hours worth of footage, so we got three times as much as we thought, which is in many ways a good problem to have because you’ve got plenty to choose from, but it was a bit of a challenge in terms of being able to watch everything. All of that ended up as 14,000 clips, so our poor assistant editor had to log every single one of them; it was quite an undertaking.” ON JUXTAPOSING SCOTLAND’S CONTRADICTIONS “There are obviously a lot of stereotypes about Scotland, but there’s no denying that we have all sorts of problems: health problems; drink problems; drug problems; housing issues; all these things. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we’re in a country of miserabilists and that’s pretty much the way we positioned it. So we tried to keep the light and shade in there so we would end up with a kaleidoscope. If you asked the question ‘what is Scottish identity?’ we wanted to give many people’s answers to that question, not just one filmmaker’s view.” ON ACCESS “We went to great lengths to make
sure that people who don’t normally participate in these projects – people from deprived areas, those with mental and physical disabilities, black and ethnic minorities, as well as women and older people – were able to do so. We specifically went out and targeted them, and we worked with several groups – Diversity Films, Screen Education Edinburgh, Station House Media in Aberdeen and Room 8 over on the East Coast – who all do a lot of media outreach work and workshops. So it was a massive social endeavour in that regard, and that’s very different from a lot of previous projects of this nature.” ON INDEPENDENCE “It shouldn’t really be that surprising that if you pose a question at this particular period of time – about the future of Scotland – that some people might choose to answer it in relation to the proposition of independence. What was most interesting for us was that the majority of those people who raised that issue themselves were not born in this country! They were English, or asylum seekers, or refugees. We didn’t have, as I expected, a whole bunch of people get on their soapbox. But the other thing I think is amusing is we somehow managed to pull off a film that is relatively feel-good. I think Scottish cinema somehow has a reputation for
producing miserabilist films – even my own editor, Colin Monie, has got some responsibility for that [Monie’s CV includes NEDs, Orphans and Young Adam]. So I think it’s interesting that when we produce something more positive that people become more sceptical about it, that it might have a political undertone.” ON SCOTLAND, IN A NUTSHELL “In the end, I felt that the conclusion, which might not sound quite like a ringing endorsement, is the same as the American girl in the film who tries Irn Bru for the first time, and her response was ‘it’s not so bad.’ And that’s maybe the feeling we got at the end, that most people had a look, pointed their cameras, spoke to people, recorded things and they thought to themselves ‘you know, our country is not so bad.’ And that’s not a bad conclusion to come to! It’s not saying we’re brilliant, it’s not a jingoism, but it seemed like a quiet sense of pleasure in our own country and its diversity. That, for me, is very gratifying and encouraging.”
4 — WHAT’S NEW ONLINE The whole world and its grandmother is talking about GFF 4 — PICS OF THE DAY Does not feature John C. Reilly 4 — WHAT DO YOU THINK? The opinions you should care about
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GFF BOX OFFICE Order tickets from the box office at www.glasgowfilmfestival.org.uk
SCREENS 16 FEB – GFT 1 @ 15.15 WE ARE NORTHERN LIGHTS: MEET THE FILMMAKERS, A FREE INFORMAL DISCUSSION WITH DIRECTOR NICK HIGGINS AND EDITOR COLIN MONIE, WILL TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY (17.30) AT OUR FESTIVAL CLUB WEARENORTHERNLIGHTS.COM
or call 0141 332 6535 or visit Glasgow Film Theatre 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY THE CINESKINNY 1
TODAY’S PICKS CAESAR MUST DIE 16.00 @ CINEWORLD
Reality and fiction blur in this striking offering from the Taviani brothers, in which the inmates of a Roman prison prepare for a performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Winner of the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlinale.
CAESAR MUST DIE
STRINGS 16.15 @ CINEWORLD
Director Rob Savage will be in attendance for this first GFF screening of his debut film, a raw and uncompromising depiction of messy teenage romance. Working with a budget of just £3000, Savage was 18 at the time of filming.
HIGHLANDER 23.15 @ GFT
There can be only one... screening. The beloved 80s genre film, starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, plays as part of the Kapow! strand..
CARNIVAL FEATURING BLACK ORPHEUS 19.00 @ CCA
Rio comes to Glasgow in a party that’s not to be missed. Expect a screening of the Academy Award winning Black Orpheus, dance workshops and free drinks.
LORE 18.00 @ GFT
Based on former Glasgow University student Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room, Lore is an intelligent, engrossing film from Australian director Cate Shortland. Seiffert and young star Saskia Rosendahl are expected to attend tonight’s screening.
CINEMA’S OUTER LIMITS
We preview CROSSING THE LINE, the GFF strand where movies escape the restraints of traditional genres and narratives WORDS: JEAN-XAVIER BOUCHERAT
HOW OFTEN do you become truly aware of a medium being stretched to its absolute limit? The limit of comprehension for example. The limit of personal endurance, or of sensual intake. Great films can often approach these without alerting a casual viewer to the experimentation at play, but such is the immersive nature of cinema that to consciously push at these boundaries is to turn the camera on itself, thus drawing attention to the creative process. Consider Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take, a film that’s loosely centred around an imaginary encounter between Alfred Hitchcock and a lookalike on the set of The Birds. The combination of archive footage, Cold War coverage, original material and on set shots of Hitchcock double Ron Burrage constitute a film that’s not just about cinema itself, but one that thoroughly documents its own genesis. A film about a film about film, and one that is self-absorbed, enlightening and wonderfully daft in equal measure. GFF’s Crossing the Line programme gives festival goers a chance to witness a diverse selection of directors disregard convention and pursue the ideas contained in cinema’s self-reflexive elements to the outer limits. Grimonprez himself is present as part of Random Acts, a collection of 24 three-minute films with other contributors including Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and noted pretty-boy James Franco. The individual films deal with a variety of topics, including the use of child soldiers, the final resting place for Britain’s clapped out Clios, and a vicious scam widely referred to as conceptual art. A common theme ties the pieces together - in the past, all contributors have been involved with works that seek to subvert the politics and aesthetics of the omnipresent beast we call television. Random Acts may thus be considered a conference of minds from multiple disciplines, cultivating ideas together on what methods and motives lie behind the airwaves. Also featured in the programme is Weerasethakul’s feature length Mekong Hotel, an exploration of how solid entities and ideas can, over time, transform into amorphous and fictional forms. Set on the Mekong River near the Thailand /
Laos border, an area devastated by floods in early 2012, the film has the director’s regular cast ruminate on his many recurring themes, essentially transforming the piece into a collaborative process. These include romance, childhood ghosts and Thailand’s bloody legacy of violence, dictatorship and revolution. With this follow up to his Palme d’Or winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Weerasethakul has been hailed a visionary, unafraid to hold a mirror up to his art and focus on the cracks. Other works from the programme include Stephen Sutcliffe’s Margaret Tait award commission Outwork, as well as a documentary on the illusive, Orkney bred filmmaker herself entitled Margaret Tait, Film Poet. One particularly relevant offering comes in the form of Staande! Debout!, a piece that speaks of industry, a sector that fell in the West long before the high street. Shown as part of CCA’s Economy exhibition. The film follows Felix, an
ex-car factory, worker who, along with 4,000 others, brought Belgium to complete halt as part of industrial action in the late 90s. A fictionalised account based on true events, Felix deconstructs the myths produced by solidarity and struggle, and in doing so asks questions about the nature of source material and the trauma of truth. RANDOM ACTS: 17 FEB – 17.00 @ GFT 2 – JACQUI DAVIES AND PARTICIPATING ARTISTS IN DISCUSSION MEKONG HOTEL – 20 & 23 FEB @ CINEWORLD STAANDE! DEBOUT! – 22 FEB @ GFT 1 WWW.GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/WHATS_ ON/STRAND:CROSSING_THE_LINE_AT_GFF GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL, HUGH FRASER FOUNDATION, GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL, NEW ARTS SPONSORSHIP GRANT SUPPORTED BY THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH ARTS & BUSINESS SCOTLAND, AND MR & MRS WILLIAM DONALD MEMORIAL TRUST PER MACTAGGART & CO, SOLICITORS LARGS
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BEYOND THE HILLS DIRECTOR: CRISTIAN MUNGIU STARRING: COSMINA STRATAN, CRISTINA FLUTUR, VALERIU ANDRIUTA
Director Cristian Mungiu established himself with the Palme D’Or-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days , a gritty tale of illegal abortion and rape in Communist Romania. Beyond the Hills follows in the same stylistic and thematic vein with long, winding takes observing the denigration of two women, both of whom have grown up in care and now find themselves residing in a strict Orthodox convent. Alina has returned from a waitressing job in Germany to persuade her childhood companion and former lover, Voichiţa, to leave Romania. A stunning opening set piece sees the couple reunited as devout Voichiţa struggles against
a tide of people to meet skeptic Alina. After moving into her friend’s monastic abode, the disbeliever begins to suffer from violent seizures, believed to indicate possession by evil spirits. An uncanny hybrid - appearing to reference The Exorcist at one point - Mungiu’s work offers a complex mix of realism and symbolism that tugs on both intellect and emotion. A stunning addition to the recent wave of lauded Romanian cinema. [Helen Wright] 15 FEB - CINEWORLD 18 @ 13.15 17 FEB - CINEWORLD 18 @ 18.15 WWW.GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4647_BEYOND_THE_HILLS BEYOND THE HILLS
THE FINAL MEMBER DIRECTOR: JONAH BEKHOR, ZACH MATH STARRING: SIGURÐUR HJARTARSON
The proud owner of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, Sigurður Hjartarson suffers from a peculiar form of penis envy. His collection could rightly be described as the crown jewels of phallic display and is certainly the largest of its kind in the world. Unfortunately for the retired teacher, a detached human penis remains frustratingly outwith his grasp. The Final Member opens by introducing a vast array of specimens before focusing on the museum’s quest to obtain its holy grail. The documentary is often unintentionally comical, but also surprisingly dark with Sigurður stating that he cannot die in peace until he has possession of the titular organ. Luckily, prospective donor Tom Mitchell and his penis Elmo offer increasingly obsessive hope that the latter will soon achieve celebrity status. The promise of impending wackiness as our heroes race towards death keeps this unsettling story somewhat interesting, but ultimately it’s predicated on too ridiculous a concept to really impress. [Nicola Balkind] 15 FEB - GFT 2 @ 15.00 16 FEB - CCA @ 19.00 WWW.GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4706_THE_FINAL_MEMBER
STRINGS DIRECTOR: ROB SAVAGE STARRING: PHILINE LEMBECK, OLIVER MALAM, HANNAH WILDER, SID AKBAR ALI
For a teenager to do anything other than get smashed all day and draw their name on bus stops is pretty impressive. Writing, directing and shooting a feature by 18, as Rob Savage did here, is nothing short of a wonder. The young filmmaker’s confidence and technical proficiency are evident in every frame of Strings and, unfortunately, this proves to be the picture’s major weakness. Focusing on two young couples over the course of a summer, Strings
admirably attempts to present a raw and authentic take on teen romance and aimlessness. Oddball Grace (Philine Lembeck) and introvert Jon (Oliver Malam) start a casual fling, while distance grows between longterm partners Scout (Hannah Wilder) and Chris (Sid Akbar Ali). Savage’s efforts to capture an intimate portrait of his subjects are undermined by a desire to dazzle. Jump-cuts, soft focus cinematography, hyperactive editing and discordant audio all
vie for the viewers’ attention and ultimately distract from the work’s overall goals. Undoubtedly a talent to watch, with some restraint Mr. Savage could be a really big deal. [Chris Fyvie] 15 FEB - CINEWORLD 18 @ 16.15 16 FEB - CINEWORLD 18 @ 21.15 WWW.GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4740_STRINGS
FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY THE CINESKINNY 3
WHAT’S NEW ONLINE? THE SCOTSMAN
The Scotsman gets in an early roundup of the Festival, with Alistair Harkness quick to praise Bernie, calling it Jack Black’s finest performance yet. tinyurl.com/ScotsmanGFF
The Festival’s news stream have just announced a host of celebs coming to grace the red carpet, including Cloud Atlas and Hitchcock star James D’Arcy. tinyurl.com/GlasgowStars
CINEMA DO BRASIL
Festival co-director Allan Hunter investigates the Brazilian cinema on offer at GFF, highlighting the unique opportunity to see cinema from that part of the world.
Designer Lesley Barnes takes a closer look at her excellent work on the trailer and poster for the festival, giving it this year’s distinctive look. tinyurl.com/LesleyBarnes
The Herald considers We Are Northern Lights, which they call ‘the most extensive documentary yet made about modern Scotland.’
Of course, for the lowdown on everything GFF, you need look no further than theskinny.co.uk.
FESTIVAL CLUB Join us at our new Festival Club! Open every day, 12noon till late. Come along for free talks & live DJ acts.
SARAMAGO TERRACE BAR, CCA, 350 SAUCHIEHALL STREET
MATT LLOYD AND MORVERN CUNNINGHAM CELEBRATE A SUCCESSFUL END TO GSFF
WHAT DID YOU THINK? THE BEST TWEETS @SIPARMAHAM We and the I directed by Mr Gondry had me oohing and aahing all over the place. Wonderful film. #GFF #CINESKINNY
@FILM 4 A very special happy Valentine’s Day to @glasgowfilmfest, which launches today! Great programme: http:// www.glasgowfilm. org/festival #GFF #CINESKINNY
@HOPEDICKLE Good luck to the @glasgowfilm festival which kicks off tonight. Looking forward to Populaire #valentineavoidance #GFF #CINESKINNY
@GLASGOW TRAMWAYLoving Crossing the Line @glasgowfilmfest. A celebration of visual arts & film. Check our Random Acts- this Sun. #GFF #CINESKINNY
@JAYGO COMMS @ glasgowfilmfest includes 368 screenings, a film in stunningGlasgow Cathedral and a screening of our very own @goodvibesfilm #visitscotland #GFF #CINESKINNY
@GLASGOWFILMOur GFF Surprise film is selling fast, so don’t miss out. What film would be your worst nightmare as a surprise? #GFF #CINESKINNY
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PICS OF THE DAY
Published on Feb 15, 2013
As the festival progresses, Jean-Xavier Boucheart previews our art strand, Crossing the Line; Jamie Dunn chats to Nick Higgins from We Are N...