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the CineSkinny

The Official

DAily Guide Tuesday 17 February 09

What’s insIde? 2 » Tomorrow’s picks Our highlights of tomorrow’s films and events 2 » Glasgow Youth Film Festival Becky Bartlett finds out what’s going on at GYFF 3 » reviews Cape No. 7  Second Sight  Prince of Broadway 

A Not-So-Old Story Becky Bartlett talks to director John Crowley about his film Is Anybody There?, a poignant drama that explores society’s attitude to the elderly. “I’ve always liked being around old people”, states John Crowley, director of Is Anybody There? “I enjoy their life experiences and what they pass on, especially in a profession like acting. There’s something about the dignity older actors have, they usually can smell out the truth in a scene. It’s astonishing to me.” As a director, Crowley enjoys new challenges, desiring to never conform to genre stereotypes. A quick glance at his back catalogue confirms this - after bursting onto the scene with gritty Irish drama Intermission, and gaining fans on both sides of the pond with the suspenseful Boy A, one could be forgiven for not expecting Is Anybody There?, a character-driven film set in a retirement home. Crowley recognises there are few similarities in his work, noting “Intermission had a crazy manic energy to it and it did have very strong plot lines to it. With Boy A it was all about the suspense.” With Is Anybody There? Crowley had the opportunity to move a bit slower - sometimes out of necessity. “The tone was very different [to my previous films]. One of the actors said it was like a party for them every day”. And with such a great ensemble cast of older actors, it is


no surprise there were some great stories to be told. “I was always the one who wanted to get started and stop the actors being nostalgic” laughs John. “The nostalgia was like this continuous river flowing, and I’d have to go ‘okay guys, enough fun, we’re going to shoot a movie’.” Surely after successfully managing former casts that have included the likes of unruly wild-child Colin Farrell, this ensemble of older, character actors should pose no problems? Or maybe not. “It was like being in charge of a bunch of unruly school kids!” states John. In contrast, the one real child onset, Bill Milner, impressed his director. And perhaps a bit of older mentality had passed on to him. “We needed a kid that had that sort of ‘twelve going on fifty’ thing about him. His attitude suggested a maturity beyond his years”. Despite the whimsy, Is Anybody There? is also a touching and very poignant film, examining a serious social issue - what do we do with our old people? So it is impressive, and heart-warming, to see such a talented selection of older actors still working. “They were professional, they wanted to work”, confirms John. “It was a very happy set”.

4 » what’s new online Updating you on new online content 4 » From Russia with Chips Michael Gillespie celebrates James Bond and the nation’s favourite delicacy… 4 » win tickets! Enter our quiz and win 2 tickets to see Good

the cineskinny Produced by The Skinny magazine in association with the Glasgow Film Festival editors Gail Tolley


Michael Gillespie Eve McConnachie

GFF Box Office Order tickets from the box office at or call 0141 332 6535 or visit Glasgow Film Theatre 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB



Glasgow Youth Film Festival Don’t be deterred by the title - the Glasgow Youth Film Festival caters for all ages. Becky Bartlett finds out more.


21.00 @ Cineworld

Biopic of notorious prisoner Charles Bronson. No fluffy bunny rabbits here.

Future Shorts and Lights in the Dark

19.00 @ The Arches

Local and international short films to tickle all taste buds.

American Teen

18.45 @ Cineworld

Documentary centred around 4 American High School teenagers.


16.45@ Cineworld

Powerful US indie flick looking at a broken American society.

Song of Sparrows

20.45 @ GFT

Ostriches run amok in this charm-filled Iranian picture.

Now in its fourth year, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival offers workshops for budding filmmakers and a diverse selection of films chosen by the GYFF Youth Group. Encompassing retrospectives, horror, documentary and comedy, among many others, the selection is only slightly marred by its representation of exclusively Western filmmaking, indicating perhaps a current dislike of subtitles within the general viewing public. Yet there is something for everyone within the twenty-five films being screened. The youth of today can find themselves not only well represented by films such as 32A, American Teen, Worlds Apart and Palme D’Or winner The Class, all of which focus on aspects of teenage life, but have the opportunity to showcase their own talents. The Diversity Films Night has free entry and shows screenings of a selection of films made by members of the local Easterhouse film community, including the premiere of Glasgow’s Urban Collective, which follows young people within the independent music industry. The Co-Operative Young Filmmakers Festival gives 9-21 year olds the chance to display their works, with an array of short films of all genres. Meanwhile, those with a very limited attention span should head to The Arches on 17 February for a mid-festival party, at which the winning entry of the one-minute film competition will be shown. Including a broad selection of films from all strands of the Glasgow Film Festival, the Youth Film Festival can be seen as an unofficial best of. Films include Werner Herzog’s unconventional Encounters at the End of the World, which won Best Documentary at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2008 and has now earned him his first Oscar nomination. Also collecting awards across the globe is music documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Far from being another mockumentary in the style of This Is Spinal Tap, it confirms


that the real world of rock ’n’ roll is equally, if not more, ridiculous than any spoof. From documentaries to Hollywood comedies like Marley and Me or Hamlet 2, any prospective filmmaker can find inspiration within the GYFF. To show just what determination and an imagination can accomplish, look no further than Elevator, a claustrophobe’s nightmare shot in Romania for a mere two hundred Euros. The GYFF also acknowledges its roots, with a selection of retrospectives. A young Errol Flynn proves his worth in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood, and the iconic Audrey Hepburn is flaw-

less in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Taking into account the constant appeal of the blood-sucking undead, Nosferatu is being shown with live music accompaniment, representing the vampire’s origins on celluloid, while Swedish export Let the Right One In promises to revamp the vamp for modern audiences. Despite the lack of non-European or American films, the choices made by the GYFF Youth Group indicate the interests of Scottish youth, and their selection ensures all audiences will be satisfied, whether young or simply young at heart.

Reviews Cape No. 7

Director: Wei Te-Sheng


Bad Boy Aga has fallen out with Taipei, and moved back to his mad Taiwanese backwater, Hengchun. Model Tomoko has been dumped in the same town by her company, who want her to find a warm-up act for a Japanese singer. Aga’s Dad, Hengchun’s mayor, holds auditions which bring about the mottliest pop group since The Commitments. And there’s also a parallel storyline, about love letters written by a Japanese man to another Tomoko, in 1945. Present day Aga and Tomoko are patently going to fall in love themselves.

Second Sight

Director: Alison McAlpine


The music is dire, the story by turn shonky and mystifying, and the schmaltz is wielded like a blunt instrument. But Taiwan’s biggest film since Titanic is charming, and it’s funny, and each individual character is bursting with personality: from Frog the drummer, in love with his boss’s wife; to Old Mao the postie, who wants to be in the band at any cost. Think Titanic’s Jack and Rose... plus Father Ted, Jack, Dougal and Mrs Doyle. Cara McGuigan

Prince of Broadway

Director: Sean Baker


Wispy tendrils of mist finger the mountain tops of the Isle of Skye as the island’s inhabitants recount tales of headless spectres appearing along the roadside and ghost cars careening towards them before suddenly disappearing into the night. Second Sight is on face value a ghost story. Octogenarian and filing cabinet fanatic Donald Angus MacLean takes us on a journey across the island visiting various friends who themselves have had their own chance encounters with unearthly beings. But it is much more than just a ghost story. First-time director Alison McAlpine borrows straight from the traditions of cinema verite, silently pointing the camera at her subjects and shooting. But from it she constructs a story not about ghosts but about a man’s life and times and his contemplation on what comes next. The mountains and wild moors of Skye are a fitting backdrop for this whimsical and heartening tale. Marjorie Gallagher

The premise of Prince of Broadway could easily be taken straight from an episode of Maury; a disinterested, dominated young mother abandons a toddler who may or may not be the offspring of Lucky (Prince Adu). The unnamed child is the one semblance of innocence amongst the foul-mouthed hustlers, who sell knock-off bags

and trainers from the back room of a shop on Broadway. What saves the film is Prince Adu, who successfully conveys the panic and desperation felt by Lucky. While he may be embroiled in the seedy underworld of city life, he comes across as likeable and sympathetic, giving multiple layers to what could easily be a two-dimensional character. It

is easy to forget Prince of Broadway is fictional, and for that it should be commended, however the slow pace of real life does not always provide the substance required for a great film. Becky Bartlett


From Russia with Chips Scotland is home to many of the world’s finest things, not least the best James Bond and the best chippies. So, with that in mind, as well as a crisis of faith about the franchise after Quantum of Solace, we’ve decided to pitch the ultimate Scottish Bond series. DR CHIPS: 007 faces a race against time to prevent Roy Walker’s nefarious sidekick from gaining a PHD. FROM RUSSIA WITH CHIPS: Blofeld devises an evil scheme to litter all chips with a deadly poison, laced in Russian newspaper wrapping. GOLDCHIPS: Bond faces a villain with the ability to turn everything he touches into chips. THUNDERCHIPS: Like the end of Magnolia, but with chips. LIVE AND LET CHIPS: Even Bond finds this plot too darned obscure. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN CHIPS: Just like Goldchips, but with safari suits. THE SPY WHO LOVED CHIPS: Bond finds the high salt content taking its toll on his libido. MOONCHIPS: Like Moonraker. But not as silly. FOR YOUR CHIPS ONLY: And all because the lady loves Sarson’s and chips. OCTOCHIPPY: An evil chippy owner has eight fryers and he ain’t afraid to use em’!

What’s new online? Comment online at the GFF site, MySpace, Facebook & on The Skinny’s web forums.

Pic of the day


Following on from our article on minor TV stars in surprising film cameos Dave on the forum has this to say: “There’s no Cheggers involved, but who could have anticipated that the kids who starred in Bugsy Malone would come to find acclaim as Agent Starling from Silence of the Lambs, Dave from The Bill, Chachi from Happy Days, Spike from Press Gang, Bonnie Langford from that there Wombles film, and of course the cockney bloke from the Parklife video? You can stick Reservoir Dogs and Much Ado About Nothing up your jacksie, THAT’S an ensemble cast.”

PHOTO: stuart crawford

Celebrating the obscure and surreal with Twitch & Wilkes and guest DJ Jackmaster. Optimo: Short Film Festival Closing Party featuring classic avant-garde shorts and an eerie Lynchian Red Room!

win tickets! We have two tickets for Vicente Amorim’s Good to give away. An adaptation of C.P. Taylor’s play, the film is a powerful WWII drama about the compromises taken by a nation of inherently good people at a time when the rest of the world watched in horror. Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs and Jodie Whittaker star. Miss Whittaker will introduce the screening, and answer your questions afterwards. To win, answer this question:

Jodie Whittaker made her breakthrough in which film with Peter O’Toole? email by 10am 18th Feb to enter

What did you think? We asked those coming out of Still Walking what they thought

THE LIVING CHIPS: All of whom are more charismatic than Timothy Dalton. GOLDENCHIPS: Like the other “gold” ones, but with hilarious postmodern ironic asides! THE WORLD IS NOT CHIPS: Could the energy crisis be solved with chips? DIE ANOTHER CHIPS: Mr Chips clones himself, has diamonds on his face and there’s parasurfing and an invisible car. Or is that farfetched? Michael Gillespie


Kirsten Very realistic, it reminds me of families from everywhere with a slight sparse touch.

Kirsikka Really relaxing and slow. It had a happy ending but without a firm resolution.

ben It seemed to me to be a contemporary version of Tokyo Story about parental expectations.

Licily It was quite slow. I usually like that slowness, but it didn’t seem to be as deep as other Japanese films I’ve seen so far.

Glasgow Film Festival - Cine Skinny - 17 February 09  

The Cine Skinny is your indispensable guide to all things GFF. There’s so much going on, you could feel more spoiled than Roger Moore in a s...

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