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FREE WEDNESDAY 20 FEBRUARY THE OFFICAL GFF DAILY GUIDE

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WHAT’S INSIDE? 2 — TODAY’S PICKS The CineSkinny team won the

film quiz, so we know what we’re talking about

2 — SHELL Interview with great Scot, Scott Graham

3 — REVIEWS The Fifth Season In the House Sonic Cineplex

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4 — WHAT’S NEW ONLINE We sort the wheat from the

digital chaff

4 — PIC OF THE DAY The editor offered to pose topless. GFF threatened to sue

MEN AT WORK

NAKED LUNCH

4 — WHAT DO YOU THINK? No tweets about Heaven’s Gate, as people are still watch-

ing it

Susan Sontag questions the motives of Seán Ó Cualáin’s MEN AT LUNCH from beyond the grave WORDS: HELEN WRIGHT SUSAN SONTAG wrote that the medium of photography led to a diminution of reality. When repeatedly captured through photos, she claimed, the world loses its veracity. Men at Lunch, a documentary exploring the iconography of a well-known picture featuring eleven workmen nonchalantly eating their lunch on a steel girder 840 feet above the ground, is an attempt to restore reality to an image that has become so ubiquitous as to be banal. Unfortunately, director Seán Ó Cualáin’s film succeeds only in shoring up the hokum of a portrait that can be bought from any discount poster shop. The exalted photograph was taken in New York during 1932, a year in which the Great Depression was crippling America. According to research, the image was staged by the Rockefeller Centre, one of whose buildings was in mid-construction when

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the snap was taken. The image was published in the city’s Herald Tribune and achieved legendary status thereafter. Ó Cualáin’s doc buys into the propagandistic nature of the photo, wheeling out a succession of experts to proclaim its sincerity as an emblem of the hard-working nature of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants. A voiceover informs that an average of forty steelworkers died each year from the precarious job but this is somewhat brushed over in the film’s rush to pay homage to the American Dream. A cynic might point out that marketeers at Rockefeller were further risking their employees lives by getting them to pose hundreds of feet above the air for the sake of a few publicity shots. Adding to Men At Lunch’s proselytising untruth is its inclusion of an Irish village claiming to have borne two of the characters in the photo. One of their alleged sons

whips out a snapshot of his father, who bears scant resemblance to the gentleman swinging his feet off the beam. We also learn that literally thousands of other starspangled banner-struck Europeans regularly testify to being the progeny of one or the other of the men dining in the sky. The fact that this film has zeroed in on some unlikely lads from Shanaglish in Galway probably has nothing whatsoever to do with its funding from the Irish Film Board. Ironically, the latter has effectively replicated the original exploitation of the image by using it to make an eighty minute long advert for sleazy tourist-baiting jingoism. Perhaps Sontag was right after all? 20 FEB GFT @ 15:50 21 FEB GFT @ 15:15 GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4797_MEN_AT_LUNCH

Produced by The Skinny magazine in association with the Glasgow Film Festival Editors Designer Digital Deputy Editor

Lewis Porteous Jamie Dunn Marianne Wilson Nathanael Smith Josh Slater-Williams

GFF BOX OFFICE

Order tickets from the box office at www.glasgowfilm.org/festival or call 0141 332 6535 or visit Glasgow Film Theatre 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB boxoffice@glasgowfilm.org

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TODAY’S PICKS MEKONG HOTEL 21.15 @ CINEWORLD 16

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is quite unlike any other director working today. The abstract Thai auteur returns with a hypnotic blend of fact and fiction. Variety report that his next film wilI be Iron Man 4.

MEKONG HOTEL

DEAD CALM 20.30 @ THE TALL SHIP

Docked on the Clyde, The Tall Ship is the perfect environment for enjoying nautical cinema. Tonight offers a screening of Nicole Kidman’s breakout role Dead Calm. GFF has booked a hole in the ground for next year’s screening of Buried.

ROLLER GRRRLS 17.00 @ CCA THEATRE

If you haven’t heard of roller derby by now, it’s time to clue yourself up. This event’ll see Gary Erskine launch his Glasgow-based comic book about the sport by screening two relevent documentaries. You have heard of comic books, haven’t you?

GRANDMA LO-FI

GRANDMA LO-FI 20.00 @ THE OLD HAIRDRESSERS

Sigridur Nielsdottir is the master of home-recorded pop albums. This charming documentary examines the mind behind the music and is to be followed by a concert. One for fans of R Stevie Moore, Jad Fair etc.  

MARGARET TAIT AWARD:OUTWORK 19.45 @ GFT 2

Named after a Jacques Derrida essay and inspired by the work of Erving Goffman, this ‘filmic collage’ will be introduced by director Stephen Sutcliffe and promises to be one of GFF’s most novel events. Free, ticketed.

A HARD SHELL We speak to SCOTT GRAHAM ahead of his debut film’s screening at Glasgow Film Festival INTERVIEW: ALAN BETT SCOTT GRAHAM admits to a certain level of trepidation when we speak in advance of Glasgow Film Festival’s screening of his debut feature Shell. Considering his subject matter, he has every right to be apprehensive.“I wasn’t sure if just because I felt empathy for a character when I was writing, whether audiences would feel it when they saw the film,” he tells me. “So I just had to hope that the same empathy that I have for Shell and Pete would carry into the feature.” It would seem impossible not to. Both characters live in an isolated highland petrol station with nothing but the gaping hole left by the desertion of Shell’s mother and the lines blur between the roles they play for one another. “That’s the thing about co-dependency, that’s what Shell has with Pete, it would be better for one to let the other go. If [what she causes] is torment I think it’s not conscious. She’s meeting the needs of others without addressing her own, consciously or unconsciously making them more dependent on her.” Pete is a fragile character, seemingly ruined by his wife’s rejection. His pain manifests itself in the infirmity Graham has afflicted him with – seizures so severe he bites deep into Shell’s hand, drawing blood. Shell is presented initially as a ray of hope, providing rare moments of joy for those who cross her path. In a well framed scene, warmth and light burst from a kitchen window as she sings and dances, unaware of Pete, her voyeuristic audience left out in the cold. But what begins as tonic turns to anguish as, while maturing into her mother, she only serves to remind her father of what he has lost. There is a touching but excruciating scene where lonely customer Michael Smiley wraps his arms around her for an uncomfortably long time, desperate for the warmth lacking from his estranged family. And here she may be seen as a succubus, or as with Nabokov’s Lolita, a temptress revealing her demoniac nature to bewitched travellers. Whether she hurts or heals depends upon the way you look at it, the way the suns glints off the truth at any given time. My personal viewpoint changed

SHELL

throughout the film and was tangled for days afterwards, so I was pleased when Scott admits “I think I do respond to films that allow me to have space to feel and imagine and fill in blanks in terms of, not just history but emotions; everything that goes into making a human being” By providing little in the way of answers Graham offers so much. What might be seen as an empty table is in fact laden with possibility. The film remains in touching distance with reality but is infused with elements of the mystical, enough to elevate the film above and beyond a kitchen sink drama into something more lyrical. “I think life is poetic,” say Graham, “so I actually think there is a lot of truth in poetry and art.” And in many ways Scott continues in a specifically Scottish movement, something more than simply a current trend for our domestic filmmakers, which Hannah McGill labelled wonderfully as “an oft-maligned tradition of slum-bound Scottish miserablism that stretches from Bill Douglas to Lynne Ramsay

and David Mackenzie.” It seems true of our fun loving nation that our filmmakers centre so often on pain and misery; what is it that germinates such feeling? “I think it probably goes to the heart of what it means to be Scottish,” Graham tells me.  “All filmmakers and all artists do is try to express something which is true to them in the hope that it’s going to be true to someone else. And if so much of it is melancholy or miserable at times then that must be somehow in us...maybe we’re all still healing in some way.” A bigger question for another day; but of the mood of Shell, his outstanding new feature, he is as optimistic as he fully deserves to be. “I think there is hope in Shell, I think there is light...maybe you just have to look for it.” 21 FEB – GFT 1 @ 20.45 24 FEB – GFT 1 @ 11.00 SHELL IS RELEASED IN THE UK 15 MAR BY VERVE PICTURES GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4839_SHELL

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REVIEWS

THE FIFTH SEASON DIRECTOR: PETER BROSENS, JESSICA WOODWORTH STARRING: AURÉLIA POIRIER, DJANGO SCHREVENS, SAM LOUWYCK

 The Fifth Season is one of those films that borrows from everyone – there are shades of Bergman, Tarkovsky, von Trier, and a generous sprinkling of The Wicker Man – but retains a clear style of its own. A curse befalls a Flemish township as spring never arrives and the community is plunged into an endless winter, a plight that any Glaswegian can sympathise with. There’s a brilliant shorthand to the images from co-directors Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens: the opening five minutes is a thing of beauty as the townsfolk are introduced with the clear-eyed precision of a Wes Anderson prologue. We like these people – a puce-faced farmer with a

disobedient rooster, two young lovers who share an erotic kiss in the frozen woodland, a lanky beekeeper and his wheelchair-bound son – and watching them face the coming apocalypse is a moving experience. File with The Turin Horse and Melancholia as one of the great end of the world movies of the 2010s. [Jamie Dunn] 20 FEB – CINEWORLD 17 @ 21.00 21 FEB – CINEWORLD 17 @ 13.30 GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4704_THE_FIFTH_SEASON

THE FIFTH SEASON

IN THE HOUSE DIRECTOR: FRANÇOIS OZON STARRING: FABRICE LUCHINI, ERNST UMHAUER, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, EMMANUELLE SEIGNER, DENIS MÉNOCHET

After his limp 70s comedy Potiche , the latest offering from François his finds the director back on top form. With its exploration of voyeurism and manipulation, In the House covers similar territory to Ozon’s earlier Swimming Pool , but is distinguished by its crafty sense of humour. Fabrice Luchini plays Mr Germain, a school teacher and failed novelist whose curiosity is piqued when student Claude (impressive newcomer Ernst Umhauer) writes a short story detailing his exploration of a friend’s home. Soon Germain and his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) become co-authors of the narrative and push the teenager further into the lives of his companion’s family in their eagerness to know more. It’s a tale that could be played for laughs or squeezed for maximum tension and Ozon does both, neatly working multiple layers of intrigue and perfectly timed surprises into his screenplay. Are we being told the whole story here? Or is Claude playing us all for fools? A second viewing may be required to answer those questions and that would certainly be a pleasure. [Philip Concannon]    20 FEB GFT @ 18:10 21 FEB GFT @ 16:00 GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL/ WHATS_ON/4761_IN_THE_HOUSE

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METROPOLIS AT SONIC CINEPLEX

SONIC CINEPLEX THE ARCHES , 16 FEB

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Sonic Cineplex promises one of the most diverse and innovative lineups of the 2013 Glasgow Film Festival. Cocurated by Cry Parrot, aka promoter and DJ Fielding Hope, who is joined on the decks in the atrium by Carl Clandestine of Clandestine Records for some interstitial audiovisual action focusing on music from soundtracks, the event features several legends of electronic music performing exclusive AV sets and specially-created cinemixes for the audience of technoheads, soundtrack fiends and cinema junkies thronging The Arches. The first live cine-mix, a performance of a new score for renowned German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Adam

Stafford, is unfortunately cancelled at the last moment, leaving the organisers to screen the film with a pre-recorded score of strident, creepy strings. It’s lost none of its visionary power as a seminal screen classic, although Stafford’s absence is a disappointment.  Luckily it gives the audience a chance to catch the fantastically retro AV set by Optimo-signed Golden Teacher, the collaboration between members of Silk Cut and Ultimate Thrush. Abandoning the post-punk/ disco/house flavours of their Dante & Pilgrim 12” in favour of a sparse, industrial soundscape of scrapes, clicks and drones, their visuals are dispensed from an overhead projector

– photographs and drawings of skulls, statues, faces and strange objects are covered with textured gels, creating analogue 3D effects. It’s a claustrophobic, eerie performance. Similarly impressive is Krautrock legend Dieter Mobius’ new score for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a strong contender for the title of ‘greatest movie ever made.’ Watching the restored 2010 print, which includes reinstated footage central to the plot that was once thought lost, is an experience. Even without English title cards, the narrative is clearer and more coherent than in previous prints, the stunning design and technique of the film pointing the way for the huge majority of science fiction movies [continued...]

WEDNESDAY 20 FEBRUARY THE CINESKINNY 3

PHOTO:EMILY WYLDE

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WHAT’S NEW ONLINE? SLEEP TIGHT

Jamie Neish reviews the Spanish horror/thriller and makes it fairly clear that you won’t be able to sleep tight after seeing it. It is a “truly terrifying ordeal” tinyurl.com/SleepTightGFF

FESTIVAL DIARY

More unmissable writing from Sean Welsh as he blogs about his GFF experiences, this time reporting on his anxieties before the Calamity Jane Barn Dance. “There are people here wearing guns...” 

ALIENS LIVE REVIEW

STV Entertainment catch up with Robert Florence after his ‘postmortem’ of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and praise James Cameron’s magnificent sci-fi tinyurl.com/AliensLiveReview

FLIX CAPACITOR

Stephen Carty’s review site has pieces on Cloud Atlas, The Look of Love and Populaire, with more to come tinyurl.com/flixcapacitor

tinyurl.com/WelshGFF

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

DOCTOR WHO FANS ARE GREETED BY A DALEK

WHAT DID YOU THINK? THE BEST TWEETS @ANDGINGER Simon @DEVASMITH Entre Munnery’s Fylm Makker Chien et Loup a melting was genius last night. Brilpot of awkward, inspir@SOMEONEONTWITTER @SOMEONEONTWITTER liant one liners, hilarioousI thought this film ing,was crass, refreshing I thought this film was quite good. quite good. and very very I’ve seen worse, creativeness! Good I’ve seen worse,animation but also seen better but also seen better overwhelmingly orange. too as well! #GFF work @CoombesHenry too as well! #GFF #CINESKINNY #CINESKINNY #GFF #CINESKINNY @glasgowfilmfest #GFF #CINESKINNY

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[...continued from p.3] made in its wake. Moebius’ score is crepuscular, angular and hypnotic, with themes and leitmotifs resurfacing throughout as washes of synth underpin more organic sounds of water, woodwind and double bass.  Glaswegian experimental post-rockers Remember Remember perform a thrilling and intensely emotional set to a film shot using early VHS-based special effects that show a Japanese woman in flowing robes moving in slow, Kabuki-style motion against a backdrop of stormy seas, tropical vistas, rolling clouds and sunsets. The music is the focus, though, as the band swoop and soar through intricate melodic progressions that recall the best of Don Caballero or Sigur Rós. The brooding, majestic electronics of London duo Raime are perfectly twinned with their visuals, which show a ruined, industrial space populated by a sole, semi-naked survivor. Dirt-streaked and shrouded in a heavy military jacket, he moves through the grime and soot-streaked garbage in infinitesimally slow motion, his destruction of an old table becoming a graceful ballet, and his final upward leap into a sun-lit torrent of water reconfigured as the ascent of an angel or a superhuman. Using strings, deep, rumbling sub-bass and minimalistic percussion, Raime’s performance is mesmerizing. As the end of the evening approaches, difficult choices must be made – we abandon Andy Votel and Sean Canty’s Neotantrik set in favour of headliner Jeff Mills, who’s premièring his new cine-mix for a lesser-known Fritz Lang work, Woman In The Moon. At three hours long, it’s an epic journey tracing an expedition to the moon from the destitute hovel of a disillusioned scientist, through the intrigues and betrayals of the expedition’s backers, to the journey itself. The film is yet more proof of Lang’s visionary approach to filmmaking, with ground-breaking special effects so ambitious that they have the power to amaze nearly one hundred years later. Mills’ score, meanwhile, is a revelation – he uses his knowledge of the dynamics of techno to create an emotionally-literate, thrillinglytimed sequence of peaks, crescendoes and lulls, employing classic film score techniques – strings and washedout synth tones, repeating melodic phrases – as the backdrop for some intense moments of four to the floor sonic propulsion, vividly bringing the silent images to life. It’s a show-stopping climax to a varied and innovative day of AV entertainment and gains Mills a much-deserved standing ovation. [Bram E. Gieben]


CineSkinny – 20 Feb 2013