FREE MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY THE OFFICAL GFF DAILY GUIDE
WHAT’S INSIDE? 2 — TODAY’S PICKS What’s happening at GFF today 2 — INTERVIEW: DEXTER FLETCHER The CineSkinny meets with the actor-turned-director to discuss his debut film 3 — REVIEWS Backyard ★★★ Finisterrae ★★★★ Babycall ★★★ 4 — WHAT’S NEW ONLINE The latest news, comments and pictures from the festival
BRITISH FILM LOOKING HUNKY DORY AT GFF
4 — COMPETITION Win tickets to see Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest by answering one simple question
The CineSkinny speaks to Marc Evans and Jon Finn, respectively director and producer of HUNKY DORY, one of GFF’s delights INTERVIEW: JAMIE DUNN TODAY’S CINEMA is all about the past. In the last twelve months filmgoers have been transported back to 20s Paris, the golden age of Hollywood, and 60s civil rights-era Mississippi – and that’s just the Oscar nominees. But even if you’re feeling fatigued by this wave of nostalgia you should seek out Hunky Dory – the title pretty much reviews itself – a high-school movie set during a sun-bleach summer in a South Wales suburb in 1976. “The original conversation was, ‘why is it that [British filmmakers] don’t make that kind of school film which is uplifting?’, but, you know, not in a cheesy way” says the film’s director, Marc Evans, in a thick Cardiff accent that betrays the autobiographical nature of this humane coming-of-age musical. “Americans just seem to celebrate that youth culture so brilliantly,” adds Hunky Dory’s producer Jon Finn. The kind of films Finn and Evans are talking about are Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater’s hip love letter to his 70s school years, and George Lucas’s hymn to 50s youth culture, American Graffiti. “Those were two big influences,” says Evans. “American Graffiti, in the sense of the ending that we stole [Hunky Dory closes with the same “where are they now” coda]. And with Dazed and Confused you go, ‘why don’t we make that in Britain? Our music’s just as good.’”
By taking the music of their youth – ELO, Pink Floyd, and Bowie, whose 1971 album gives the film its title – and incorporating it into a story of a hippieish teacher (Viv, played by Minnie Driver) who mounts a musical production of The Tempest with her sixth form drama class, Evans’ film has drawn extremely misleading comparisons to US TV phenomenon Glee. The use of Bowie et al. is respectful and inventive and the young cast of unknowns sing in a refreshingly straightforward manner that’s the antithesis of Glee’s melismatic strangling of asinine pop ballads. “Every bit of music you hear, and every bit of song, we didn’t fuck with it at all,” says Finn. Driver impresses as Viv, an easygoing lefty whose biggest struggle is finding the correct teacher/pupil boundaries with her ne’er-do-wells, and from the way Finn tells it, it sounds
Every bit of music you hear, and every bit of song, we didn’t fuck with it at all JON FINN
like she went method. “You’d be on the set and you’d fucking hear this racket coming from the back and you go ‘look, man, this isn’t a youth club...’, you’d be in the middle of this rant and you’d realise Minnie was right at the centre of it all, and you’d be like, ‘right Driver, get back to your trailer.’” Watching the film is as much fun as this anecdote suggests the cast were having, but there’s barbed wire wrapped within the candy floss. As well as exploring the emotional open wound that is adolescence, Evans’ film also has a strong sense of the period’s social history. “If I’m honest, we started looking at that time because of the music, but if you start looking at ‘76 socially, you could make a case for it being an end of an era.” The inclusions of a pre-leader of the Tory party Margaret Thatcher giving her famous “sweeping away of Socialism” speech on a background TV set certainly sets this tone. “Thatcher was round the corner, punk was coming, Elvis dies in ‘77, and so suddenly you have a sense of where it’s placed, and the Thatcher clip was something that we really wanted to put in there because there’s something very effecting [about it], and very much in the general melancholic mood of the film. These kids didn’t know what was coming.”
Produced by The Skinny magazine in association with the Glasgow Film Festival Editor Designer Subeditors
Jamie Dunn Sean Anderson Becky Bartlett David McGinty
GFF BOX OFFICE Order tickets from the box office at glasgowfilm.org/festival or call 0141 332 6535 or visit Glasgow Film Theatre 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB
SCREENED 18 FEB AT GFF OPENS NATIONWIDE 2 MAR
MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY THE CINESKINNY 1
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE EAST END
TODAY’S PICKS MONDAY 20
The CineSkinny press gangs actor DEXTER FLETCHER to discuss his directorial debut, a London-set pseudo-spaghetti western about redemption and parenting INTERVIEW: NICOLA BALKIND
IN THE FAMILY
IN THE FAMILY 17.15 @ GFT Multi-talented writer/director/actor, Patrick Wang will be attending for a special Q&A following the screening of his independent film about a gay father trying to retain custody rights after the death of his partner.
CLOUDBURST 18.00 @ GFT Brenda Fricker stars in this awardwinning film as an elderly lesbian in a loving relationship. Director Thom Fitzgerald will be available to answer any questions after the screening.
DREILEBEN 15.00, 17.00, 19.00 @ CINEWORLD Three films telling one core story from three different perspectives, screened back to back – guests might want to bring a sandwich.
GFF FILM QUIZ 20.00 @ THE BERKELEY SUITE Test your knowledge of all things cinematic at the GFF Film Quiz, with hosts, critics and fellow film buffs Paul Gallagher, Paul Greenwood and Keir Hind.
THIS WEEK, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Dexter Fletcher makes his way to Glasgow FIlm Festival for the first time to screen Wild Bill. This impressive directorial debut is everything but the kitchen sink, a tale of suburban London social realism imbued with a western edge. Honing in on a low-income family in East London, the film begins as “Wild” Bill (Charlie Creed-Miles) is released from prison and returns home to find his estranged 15- and 11-year-old sons have been abandoned by their mother. Sound like Ken Loach territory so far? Think again. “I didn’t want the film to start feeling like it was brow-beating anyone. There are social issues in the film and I do my best to deal with them, but at the same time I’m trying to leave it open so as to observe it, rather than making a big laboured point about it,” says Fetcher. “There’s a realism about that – it’s not so much about the massive emotional effects of that, it’s about how people in life invariably get on with it.” As well as taking an alternative view on social issues, the western elements of Wild Bill take the film further from the doldrums of the kitchen sink and into more cinematic territory. “I looked at a lot of westerns in terms of how I wanted to frame [the film],” says Fletcher. “Even though I’m telling a small, contained story set in a council estate, I wanted to give the film scope,
I want people to know that it’s a festival film, that it’s not about horrible gangsters dealing drugs and beating each other up! To me, it’s more than that. I needed to make something that I felt had humour and heart and hope in it. The festival circuit is a great place to show that DEXTER FLETCHER
and these westerns felt like a good place to look. It always spoke to me. It kept that sense of drama, giving drama to something that otherwise could’ve felt quite small and kitchen sink-y. It was about paying homage to those films that I love and, at the same time, retaining this sense of scope of the big city out there.” It’s a technique that raises the bar for gritty local films bringing universal issues into the mix and, as Fletcher says, “you could make this film anywhere.” The film is dedicated to his father, and it’s easy to see why. “My issues are tied up in that film – my dad and mum were together for 50-years, and we all lived very nicely in a nice house in the suburbs of London, but I still have issues with my dad. I still felt that I couldn’t do enough to please him and a lot of the issues [in the film] are about me trying to communicate with my father.” The father/son relationship is another factor that distances the film from its presumed genre. “I want people to know that it’s a festival film, that it’s not about horrible gangsters dealing drugs and beating each other up! To me, it’s more than that. I needed to make something that I felt had humour and heart and hope in it. The festival circuit is a great place to show that.” SCREENING 20 FEB AT 20.30 AT GLASGOW FILM THEATRE FOLLOWED BY A Q&A WITH DEXTER FLETCHER, ALSO TUE 21 FEB AT 13.15
Be the star in your own movie
WWW.STOW.AC.UK CREATIVE INDUSTRIES SCIENCE, HEALTH & CARE ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS & CONTINUING EDUCATION
Let Stow College play a supporting role 2 THE CINESKINNY MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY
T: 0844 249 8585 THESKINNY.CO.UK/CINESKINNY
REVIEWS BABYCALL DIRECTOR: PÅL SLETAUNE STARRING: NOOMI RAPACE, KRISTOFFER JONER, HENRIK RAFAELSEN
★★★ Noomi Rapace (Millennium Trilogy) turns in a ferociously intense performance as Anna, a traumatised mother relocated with her young son to escape an abusive husband. Under the unnecessarily sinister watch of child services, Anna is holed up in a soul-crushing, prison-like apartment block where her increasingly paranoid guard of the boy raises eyebrows. After she purchases the eponymous child-monitor, it begins to pick up worrying noises from elsewhere in the building; is she hearing cruelty similar to that endured by her family, or is all not quite as it seems?
Writer/director Pål Sletaune maintains a fraught, creepy atmosphere throughout, making excellent use of the claustrophobic interiors and sparse, crumbling neighbourhood surrounds. Oppressive, unnerving sound design and stark lighting also add to the predominant air of dread. Though it doesn’t quite hang together, and one can justifiably feel slightly cheated by Sletaune at the dénouement, this is an uncomfortable watch and Rapace is again superb... but she really does need to get some cakes in her. [Chris Fyvie] SCREENED 17 FEB AND 18 FEB AT GFT
BACKYARD DIRECTOR: ÁRNI SVEINSSON STARRING: MÚM, FM BELFAST, HJALTALIN
★★★ In deciding to host an open-air concert in his garden, Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson cites modest intentions: “we just wanted to record some group of friends in a simple way,” he shrugs. Director Árni Sveinsson unfussily documents the resulting mini-festival from set-up to hot-tub wind-down, as the toast of Reykjavik’s music scene (with the exception of local giants Bjork and Sigur Ros) thrill an ever-growing crowd. As you’d expect from so small a city, there’s a genuine sense of community among the participants, which makes the domestic nature of the venue (Hlöðversson’s flat is given over to coffee stations) rather apt. Musically, there’s plenty to enjoy, both familiar (Múm’s If I Were a Fish makes for a spellbinding centrepiece) and less well-known (Retro Stefson’s disco-rap and Reykjavik!’s hardcore screams deliver welcome variety). Both gig and film culminate with Hlöðversson’s band, FM Belfast, performing signature track Underwear, the ennui of its refrain “nothing ever happens here” firmly contradicted by the buzzing atmosphere they’ve helped create. [Chris Buckle] SCREENING 21 FEB AND 22 FEB AT CINEWORLD
FINISTERRAE DIRECTOR: SERGIO CABALLERO STARRING: PAU NUBIOLA, SANTI SERRA, PAVEL LUKIYANOV
★★★★ Crossing the Line, the new strand at this year’s festival, brings experimental and avant-garde films to Glasgow, exploring the crossover between cinema and visual art. Finnisterrae is, in many ways, an excellent introduction to experimental filmmaking, blending stunning vistas with an unusual, almost farcical storyline of two ghosts in limbo. Tired of being spirits, they ask oracles
Excellent food and impeccable service WWW.UBIQUITOUSCHIP.CO.UK 12 ASHTON LANE, GLASGOW 0141 334 5007
and whimsical beings how to become living creatures, resolving to take a journey to Finistarrae – the end of the world. At once weird and wonderful, gently creepy, but remarkably structured, it’s a slow and philosophical pilgrimage that invokes odd recollections of Silent Running and Monty Python. Some segues into visual art – a dream of naked dancing ghosts and a self-conscious insert
of 80s Catalan visual art – feel forced, but these are balanced with beautifully wacky run-ins with creatures of the netherworld. Above all, the striking image of white-cloaked beings staring into the camera with their jet-black eyes makes Finisterrae an innately compulsive watch. [Nicola Balkind] SCREENING 20 FEB AND 21 FEB AT GFT
Download your free Glasgow Guide App www.seeGlAsGow.com MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY THE CINESKINNY 3
GSFF: HANNA TUULIKKI IMAGE: STUART CRAWFORD
WHAT’S NEW ONLINE QUIZ TIME FIVE QUESTIONS Wild Bill director Dexter Fletcher answers five quick questions on GFF’s blog in preparation for his Q&A tonight. http://bit.ly/DexterFletcher DR WHO AND THE BRIDE Teddy Jamieson of The Sunday Herald talked to actress and screenwriter Sally Phillips on the set of British rom-com The Decoy Bride, prior to its screening at GFF. http://bit.ly/TheDecoyBride STV’S TOP TEN STV’s Michael MacLennan offers his ten essential GFF viewing experiences, including ultra-violent thriller The Raid, Michael and Into the Abyss. http://bit.ly/TopTenFilms
SOUND ON SIGHT Coverage of GFF continues on Sound on Sight with a review of Play, which Josh Slater-Williams describes as “frequently harrowing and thoughtful.” http://bit.ly/SoundOnSight CINESKINNY You can find all our reviews, previews, and interviews online at theskinny.co.uk
Win Tickets to Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
at Cineworld. To enter, head to theskinny.co.uk/competitions and answer the following question:
In the late 1980s, fresh-faced and straight out of high school, New Yorkbred A Tribe Called Quest formed and set about transforming the face of hip hop. Their innovative style would lead them to no fewer than five gold and platinum selling albums and they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop. Beats, Rhymes and Life explores the history and methods of the group throughout their existence. Beginning on their 2008 reunion tour, we see what twenty years can do to childhood relationships when music, ego and creativity become involved.
Q. What was the name of A Tribe Called Quest’s first album? Competition closes: 5pm Tuesday 21 Feb Winners will be notified on Tuesday evening. For full terms and conditions, go to theskinny.co.uk/about/terms
We have a pair of tickets to give away for the 13.00 showing on Wednesday
DID ❝ WHAT ❞ YOU THINK?
SIX OF THE BEST FROM TWITTER TWEET US @SKINNYFILM
PAUL GALLAGHER @PAULCGALLAGHER Glasgow film trivia fiends! [On Monday] night it's the #GFF12 Movie Quiz. We will tax your movie-lovin' brains: [http://bit. ly/filmquiz12]
@ALNWICKIST On way from station to hotel & discover new vegan cafe bar @heavenlyglasgow on Hope St. I love #Glasgow. #GFF12
JONATHAN MELVILLE @JON_MELVILLE It's turned into a day of classics at #GFF12 – the restored A Night to Remember from @ parkcircusfilms is up next.
@FRANKSERIES Not sure this film could be ever described or explained – Finisterrae at #gff12 http://bit. ly/xqQGYg
LOUISE IRVINE @MISSLOUIRVINE Off to see musical classic Singing in the Rain at #GFF12 #loveoldschoolmovies
@FILMSTALKER #GFF at the Glasgow Cineworld, a time when you get the fancy seats for the same price as the normal.
4 THE CINESKINNY MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY
Jamie Dunn talks to Hunky Dory director Marc Evans and producer John Finn. Nicola Balkind interviews Dexter Fletcher about Wild Bill. Revie...