Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010.

On Saturday 26th June 2010 we reached the end of our first Edinburgh International Film Festival (their 64th) with Get Low in Cineworld at Fountain Park. What a great seven days it’s been, we’ve seen 17 films, spoke to many other film lovers, had our picture’s taken with celebrities, been to premieres and old films alike and danced with a famous actress.

In my opinion the best film was Argentina’s The Secret in Their Eyes and the best new British film was without doubt Morag McKinnon’s wonderful Donkeys. I managed to catch four of the films included in The Retrospective: After the Wave all of which were hugely enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to meet two very famous British film directors and to see one of my favourite British actresses in two movies I had never seen before.

I have produced short notes on each of the films in the form of a diary which will hopefully encourage you to seek out and see some of them, I would expect that the RBC will feature some of these and perhaps other films from the Festival. Where possible I have attached some photographs. Please feel free to post your comments.

Sunday 20th June 2010

British Gala World Premiere.


· Director Ben Miller

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 80 mins

Cast: Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris, Oliver Chris, Michelle Ryan, Tamsin Egerton, Thandie Newton, Russell Tovey.

Comedian Ben Miller’s directorial debut took eight years to come to fruition and was financed mainly by using his own money. Its based on a play he co-wrote with Jez Butterworth and Simon Godley back in the early nineties. Stand-up comedy duo Warren and Clark played by Johnny Harris (London to Brighton) Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) are an unlikely double act meets quite by accident and attempt to get into the big time comedy circuit.

This uneven comedy started very well but looses its way and became rather flat and unconvincing towards the end. Harris’s pent up tension may work very well in London to Britain but does not necessarily suit the character he plays in Millers movie. With so many guest comedians on display you know they must be covering for something or has Ben Miller got lots of friends who helped him put up the money?

Rosebud UK Premiere


· Directors Michael Noer, Tobias Lindholm

· Country Denmark

· Year 2010

· 90 mins

Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Dulfikar Al-Jabouri, Roland Møller, Jacob Gredsted, Kim Winther, Jorg Beutnagel, Georg A. Svendsen.

This gripping Danish prison-drama will be appreciated by those of you who were captivated by other examples of the genre like the French A Prophet or Steve McQueen’s Hunger. Filmed in a notorious real-life prison near Copenhagen that only closed its doors weeks before shooting began and using a group of chilling ex-convicts as extras adds to its life like intensity. The plot focuses on Rune, prisoner R of the title, sentenced to two years for violent assault and incarcerated with hard-core lifers who rule his every waking hour. Directors Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm wanted to carry on the tradition of Dogme 95 and create a prison drama that attempted to capture the reality of prison life through one man's experience. What they successfully achieve is to encourage you to care what happens to Rune by making him human. The movie concentrates on the prisoners and not the prison and again demonstrates the divide between the ethnic groups forced together by the prison system.

This is a tough gritty film helped by the use of hand held camera’s, hard to watch at times and you feel as if you have served a sentence of your own by the end of it but highly recommend all the same. The young Danish actor, who plays "R" Pilou Asbaek, gives a performance you will not forget. The Village Voice described R as "claustrophobic and rank with testosterone and gym-sweat, a smothering lesson in prison-yard pecking order."

Monday 21st June 2010.

Retrospective: After the Wave.


· Director Mike Hodges

· Country UK

· Year 1972

· 95 mins


• Michael Caine as Mickey King

• Mickey Rooney as Preston Gilbert

• Lionel Stander as Ben Dinuccio

• Lizabeth Scott as Princess Betty Cippola

• Nadia Cassini as Liz Adams

• Dennis Price as Mysterious Englishman

• Al Lettieri as Miller

• Leopoldo Trieste as Marcovic

• Amerigo Tot as Partisan

• Robert Sacchi as Jim Norman

Mickey King’s is a low-rent pulp fiction writer who has been commissioned by Ben Dinuccio to ghost-write the memoirs of ex-movie star Preston Gilbert known for playing gangsters and notorious for hanging out with real-life mobsters off the set. Now dying of cancer, Gilbert wants King to jot down his life story before he dies, what initially should have been a simple and lucrative task turns into a very dangerous assignment when the body count begins to mount up.

On Monday afternoon the large Film House audience where privileged to be in the company of the fit looking 78 year-old film director Mike Hodges who not only introduced this lost classic of British cinema but also did a Q and A session once it was over. A year after making Get Carter Hodges was reunited with Michael Caine and producer Michael Klinger and travelled to Malta to make this deliciously funny comedy set in Italy. Mafia interference stopped the film actually being shot on Italian locations! Hodges informed the attentive gathering that the movie reflected the dubious Italian Fascist politics of the time and was based on a real life scandal in Rome when a young girl was found dead on a beach. He had to fight United Artists objection to Rooney appearing but the star arrived on set word perfect and requiring very little direction. Although Caine did not like Malta he was not a problem to work with.

Mickey Rooney gives a glorious over the top performance and Michael Caine, served well by Hodges’s brilliantly funny script, is the master of one-liners with his spoken narrative being a highlight of the movie. Watch the film for some great movie in jokes including the Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorrie sound and look a likes and the appearance of the Maltese Falcon. Great soundtrack by legendary Beatles producer George Martin. The film also features the final screen appearance of Lizabeth Scott.

 Mike Hodges Director introducing Pulp and with the awe stuck author.


Gala European Premiere

The Runaways

· Director Floria Sigismondi

· Country USA

· Year 2010

· 107 mins


• Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie

• Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett

• Stella Maeve as Sandy West

• Scout Taylor-Compton as Lita Ford

• Michael Shannon as Kim Fowley

• Johnny Lewis as Scottie, roadie and love interest to Cherie Currie

• Alia Shawkat as Robin, the band's fictional bassist

• Riley Keough, as Marie Currie

• Hannah Marks as Tammy, a groupie

• Keir O'Donnell as Rodney Bingenheimer

• Tatum O'Neal as Marie Harmon, a singer and Cherie's mother

• Brett Cullen as Mr Currie, Cherie's father

• Brendan Sexton III as Derek

This is the story of the late seventies all girl rock band The Runaways, it reveals the unbelievable speed with which this legendary band were catapulted from schoolroom to stadium. Original members Joan Jett (one of the films executive producers) and Cherie Currie were schoolgirls when they got together with Svengali Kim Fowley to create an all girl group. The band was very influential but short lived due to the infighting and the copious amount of drug taking.

Premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in January, the film offers the chance for us to admire the surprisingly good performances from both Kristen Stewart, who transcends her roles in both the Twilight saga and the dreadful film Adventureland, and Dakota Fanning, who really comes of age in this her best film to date. Michael Shannon gives a scary portrayal as the main man at the centre the LA rock scene. Although entertaining, the film is somewhat superficial with Italian born Floria Sigismondi’s video background apparent in some of the musical scenes. The film has an absolutely magic soundtrack with music recorded between 1966 and 2009.

The legacy of the Runaways Japanese tour can still be felt today with Japanese bands like 5,6,7,8s, the band in Tarantinos Kill Bill, who incidentally I saw live in Glasgow as part of the launch of the Kill Bill 2 DVD!

Tuesday 22nd June 2010.

Retrospective: After the Wave.


· Director John Mackenzie

· Country UK

· Year 1972

· 101 mins

Cast: Carol White, Roy Harper, John Castle, Margery Mason, Doremy Vernon, Sam Dastor

During the late 1960s, Carol White was considered one of the most promising actresses in British cinema. Born in 1943 in Hammersmith, London, she achieved rave reviews for her performances in the television version of Nell Dunn's Up the Junction (1965), she followed this with equally successful roles in Cathy Come Home (1966) and the films Poor Cow (1967), all directed by Ken Loach, and I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967). Alcoholism and drug abuse damaged her career, and from the early 1970s she worked infrequently. Carol White died in 1991 in Florida, at the age of 48.

Hannah McGill introduced this ultra rare showing of Made in which we see why Carol White was regarded as such a great talent. Based upon Howard Bakers stage play No One Was Saved that, it was rumoured, was based on the lyrics of the classic Beatles song Eleanor Rigby. Valerie (White) feels caught in a domestic rut, coping with the stresses of single-parenthood and dealing with a terminally ill mother. She meets the rock singer Mike (a rare appearance by singer songwriter Roy Harper who was in competition for the part with other Rock musicians of the time) who injects some much-needed passion in to her life. Two other men are interested, one a do-gooding priest and the other a wannabe poet who works at the same telephone exchange. Both of whom she rejects for the freewheeling singer, a decision that carries an emotional cost.

John Mackenzie, who had worked with Ken Loach on the TV plays Up The Junction and Cathy Come Home and who went on to make The Long Good Friday (1980) gave Made an authentic lived in feeling, social reality with rock music; it would have been interesting to see what Ken Loach would of made of it? Hannah McGill described Whites performance as electrifying, brave and touching to that I must add sensitive and moving. Unfortunately you may never get another chance to see this movie again as its now very rare.

British Gala / European premiere

Mr Nice

· Director Bernard Rose

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 120 mins


Rhys Ifans as Howard Marks

Chloë Sevigny as Judy Marks

David Thewlis as Jim McCann

Elsa Pataky as Ilze

Andrew Tiernan as Alan Marcuson

Omid Djalili as Saleem Makik

Jamie Harris as Patrick Lane

Christian McKay as Hamilton McMillan

Ken Russell as Russell Miegs

Based on his autobiography of the same name and adapted for the screen by director Bernard Rose the film tells the story of celebrated British cannabis smuggler Howard Marks. More The Boat that Rocked than a Requiem For A Dream it tells, with a great deal of humour, the ups and downs of Marks life over a period of some twenty five years
and the effects it ultimately had on his family life.

As this was the European Premiere we had in our audience Bernard Rose, actors Rhys Ifans, David Thewlis and the man himself Howard Marks who all took part in a Q and A session following the film. Rose described the film as a story worth telling and explained that although the BBC owned the rights to the book they turned down the opportunity to make the film as they had an issue with the subject matter. He also explained how he used black and white and archive footage to illustrate the movies time span. Ifans explained his 15 year friendship with his Welsh hero Marks after meeting him at a Supper Furry Animals concert and Marks commented that he always had Ifans in mind for the film role when his was writing his book. Marks did however point out that he personally had no creative input into the film. The movie is due for general release in the UK on the 8th October 2010; go see it, but with an open mind!

David Thewlis was awarded the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British feature film as the Irish terrorist Jim McCann.

 Wednesday 23rd June 2010.

Retrospective: After The Wave

Savage Messiah

                                Mr and Mrs Ken Russell introducing Savage Messiah

· Director Ken Russell

· Country UK

· Year 1972

· 103 mins

Cast: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren, Lindsay Kemp, Peter Vaughan and Michael Gough.

‘Art is sex. Everything else is propaganda’. Watching this vibrant biopic six row’s behind one of the most infamous British directors of all time was quite surreal, it made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up: strange feeling! This very seldom seen movie (a DVD has never been released any where in the world) is based on the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and his infatuation with an older woman Sophie Brzeska, the love of his life. H S Ede’s book of the same name came from the letters exchanged between the pair. The book was adapted for the screen by Christopher Logue.

Dorothy Tutin plays Sophie in a performance that’s has to be seen to be believed; Henri is well served by the mysterious Scott Anthony who, we where informed by Russell and his wife, has vanished from the face of the earth and cannot be found! How do you recommend this film, perhaps by just saying it’s a typical Ken Russell or perhaps pointing out that Derek Jarman designed the sets or maybe the very naked form of Helen Mirren who portrays the feisty suffragette Gosh Boyle with such panache? Visiting Tate Britain encouraged Russell to make this film he has, as in some of his other movies, provided something once seen, you’re never forget.

Directors Showcase UK Premiere.


· Director Brillante Mendoza

· Country Philippines, France

· Year 2009

· 110 mins

Cast: Anita Linda, Rustica Carpio, Tanya Gomez, Jhong Hilario, Ketchup Eusebio

Grandmother Sepa is striving to pay for her son’s funeral, his killer is caught and placed on trial. Matters take a complex turn when the killer’s elderly mother asks for Sepa’s forgiveness and her son’s release – for which she is willing to pay.

This very absorbing world cinema film by the Palme d’or-winning director of Kinatay (a film I now need to watch) illustrated two things to me about the Filipino way of life, poverty breeds contempt and secondly that life is cheap when justice, for the horrendous crime of murder, can be served with money! This social drama is a compassionate study of forgiveness and redemption tracing the aftermath of an everyday killing in a poverty-stricken Filipino community, the film frames its story through two elderly women implicated in the event: the grandmothers of the victim and the accused, respectively.

A very well directed film and with its wonderful camera work brings out Manila’s seething atmosphere with constant downpours of torrential rain playing a large part. The cast are very convincing right down to the young children, you have no idea who are extras and who are the actual community? The two main leads Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio, the Lola’s of the title, (“Lola” is a local term for “grandmother.”) play their roles beautifully. Lets hope this film gets a wide release to enable lovers of good and interesting cinema to see this remarkable film.

British Gala World Premiere

Just three London boys at a film premiere, I'm the good looking one on the left, the other two are Nick Moran the director and Kevin Lewis author and screenwriter.

The Kid

· Director Nick Moran

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 100 mins

Cast: Rupert Friend, Augustus Prew, William Finn Miller, Natasha McElhone, Con O’Neill, Ioan Gruffudd

Nick Moran described the film as Slumdog Millionaire set in Croydon but its much more than that. It’s the moving and harrowing depiction of crime writer Kevin Lewis’s fight to escape the confines of an abusively brutal family on a tough rundown council estate in the 1970’s. When Kevin Lewis met his future wife he was so traumatised that he could not explain his past to her other than writing it down in a notebook and giving it to her to read. The Kid was published as an autobiography in 2003 and The Kid Moves On followed this in 2004.

Following the Joe Meek biopic Telstar in 2008 Lewis, adapting his own book for the screen, approached Nick Moran to direct his life story, although better known for his acting roles, this would be Moran’s second opportunity to direct. The author knew that it would be a difficult story to film and that the roles would not be easy to portray. Moran, he felt, was ideal, as he had had almost twenty years experience and therefore knew the ‘business’ from an actor’s stance. Although it is a distressing story it was felt that the film must be made as a commercial project to build awareness. We were informed that the NSPCC would be involved in the London premiere, the film is due for a September release.

After the showing I asked Kevin Lewis if it was hard to watch the film? He told that he had only watched the film once and had no intention of ever watching it again! He came across as a very genuine and was portrayed on the screen very authentically by Rupert Friend.

Thursday 24th June 2010.

Rosebud / World premiere


· Director Morag McKinnon

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 78 mins

Cast: James Cosmo, Brian Pettifer, Martin Compston, Kate Dickie

Red Road (2006) was the first of three films planned by Advance Party, a Danish project instigated by director Lars von Trier. Three directors were challenged to make films using a clearly defined set of rules, which included using the same group of characters and the same pool of actors. This is the second of the trilogy to emerge but without the same set of characters, although we do have some of the original cast. Apparently when Morag McKinnon asked von Trier whether she could select which characters to use, rather than including the full ensemble he told her ‘Just use the ones you want and have the others go past on a bus’ that’s why we only see Tony Curran appear very briefly driving a van, so much for the rules!

Morag McKinnon told us that her starting point was the 65 year-old Alfred (James Cosmos) a likable man who has certainly made mistakes in his life. Kate Dickie, who appeared in the earlier film, play’s his estranged daughter Jackie who has not spoken to the old man since her husband died some ten years ago. Following his mother serious illness Stevie (Martin Compston another actor who was also involved before) returns home from a 4-year prison sentence. Life gets even more complicated for Alfred whose acute health problems are not getting any better.

It’s a film about friendship, forgiveness and deep-seated family secrets. With its well-handled mixture of tragedy and comedy, it brings to mind the Mike Leigh classic Secret and Lies. The success of this movie in the truth of the characters that like the ones in Red Road are totally believable. Even in the direst circumstances humour seeps from this movie to make this an exceptionally enjoyable film and one that could do very well at our own RBC cinema in Dumfries. No release date has yet been confirmed.

Having a chat with Morag McKinnon after the screening of Donkeys. What a lovely lady she was, she seemed genuinely pleased that I liked her film.

Rosebud / UK premiere

Gravity (Schwerkraft)

· Director Maximilian Erlenwein

· Country Germany

· Year 2009

· 96 mins

Cast: Fabian Hinrichs, Jürgen Vogel, Nora von Waldstätten

Frederik Feinermann is an up-and-coming young bank employee who lives an ordinary life. When a bank customer, whom Frederik has denied a loan due to the bank crisis, shoots himself in front of Frederik, he snaps. Together with ex-con Vince Holland he begins to live out a new, dark side of himself. He robs his rich bank customers' homes and gives the money to the needy. The initial rush of crossing social boundaries soon develops into an addiction to ever-greater thrills.

This intriguing psychological drama is a great example of modern German cinema, with its very tight cast, intelligent camera work excellent colour tones and a soundtrack to kill for. A Coenesque film that will reward subsequent viewings.

Under the Radar / World premiere

 Spanking in Paradise

· Director Wayne Thallon

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 94 mins

Cast: Andrew Hawley, Simon Weir, Leo Horsfield, Danielle Stewart, Robert Harrison, John Gaffney

This film is said to be loosely based on stories told to the director by his Uncle, a notorious Edinburgh criminal, stories which Thallon would turn into a book called Cut-throat: The Vicious World of Rod McLean.

While a young human rights lawyer from London waits for his US visa to be processed he visits his family in Edinburgh. He gets a job in his uncle’s sauna ‘Birds of Paradise’. His uncle Rab has a wee problem, one of the regulars has done his mum out of her savings and things must be sorted out: our young lawyer is expected to help, will he loose his visa?

That’s the plot! More of a sketch designed for TV than a movie, maintaining interest becomes a problem as you watch this rather amateurish film. Watching the world premier with what seemed like the complete cast and crew of 70 seemed to indicate that they had a lot of fun making the film and that their was a lot of private in jokes. Made just in time for the Film festival, it was difficult to understand the dialog and I don’t imagine that it would play well south of the border, more suited to a DVD release that could include subtitles and subsequently could become a cult film of the future.

Friday 25th June 2010.

Retrospective: After The Wave

The Squeeze.

 Director Michael Apted

· Country UK

· Year 1976

· 106 mins

This is my fourth and unfortunately, my last film in the Retrospective: After the Wave, which featured lost and forgotten British Cinema between 1967 and 1979. Overlooked by memory and in some cases technology, many films in this section are not available on DVD anywhere in the world including the criminally neglected The Squeeze.

Based on the novel Whose Little Girl Are You by David Craig it tells the story of an alcoholic ex-police inspector Jim Naboth (Stacy Keach) who is drinking himself to death. Naboth’s ex-wife Jill (Carol White) is abducted by sadistic thugs lead by Keith (David Hemmings) and Vic (Stephan Boyd), to force Jill’s current husband (James Fox) to rob his own security firm.

A very good 1970’s crime thriller which has the feel and excitement of an old-fashioned ‘B’ movie, the ones in which censorship was ignored. Keach gives a terrifyingly authentic performance of an alcoholic. Freddie Star, who plays Teddy, the ex-cops best friend and carer, is a astounding. Carol White, in a surprisingly frank role gave her normal class performance.

West London plays a big part in the film with location shots at Notting Hill including the regular carnival that takes place each year and at the West Way junction with its community of social misfits living below. A great build up to a thrilling climax ended my enjoyable Friday afternoon in the cinema.

Gala / UK premiere

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

· Director Werner Herzog

· Country USA

· Year 2009

· 90 mins


Michael Shannon - Brad McCullum

Grace Zabriskie - Mrs. McCullum

Willem Dafoe- Detective Havenhurst

Chloë Sevigny- Ingrid

Loretta Devine - Miss Roberts

Irma P. Hall - Mrs. Roberts

Michael Peña - Detective Vargas

Brad Dourif - Uncle Ted

Bill Cobbs

Udo Kier- Lee Meyers

James C. Burns-Swat Commander Brown

Brad McCullum (an unforgettable Michael Shannon) has committed murder and barricaded himself inside his house. With the help of his friends and neighbours, the cops piece together the strange tale of how this nice young man arrived at such a dark place…

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? is a film directed by Werner Herzog and produced by David Lynch, loosely based on the real and tragic story of murderer Mark Yavorsky a San Diego man inspired by Euripides' Orestes who stabbed and killed his mother with an antique sabre. Yavorsky was at the time a graduate student at UCSD who had recently been cast in the lead role of a production of The Eumenides. Yavorsky was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity, and spent many years at Patton State Hospital before his release. The film was shot in and around San Diego, near Yavorsky's home. Other scenes were shot on the Urubamba River in Peru, a favourite location of Herzog’s, which appeared in his earlier films Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo.

More Lynch than Herzog? The question that’s always raised with films of this pedigree is have we just witnessed a masterpiece or a load of pretentious crap? Somewhere in between is this intriguing but not exceptional movie. Yes, all right I’m sitting somewhat on the fence with this one! Time, and perhaps subsequent viewing, will eventually answer the question!

British Gala / World premiere

Cherry Tree Lane

· Director Paul Andrew Williams

· Country UK

· Year 2010

· 78 mins

Cast: Rachael Blake, Tom Butcher, Jumayn Hunter, Ashley Chin, Sonny Muslim, Jennie Jacques, Corinne Douglas, Kieran Dooner, Tom Kane.

A prosperous middle class couple Mike and Christine are enjoying normal low-level hostility over their evening meal and bottle of wine when unexpected visitors arrive. Sebastian, their teenage son, has grassed up a cousin of one his schoolmates resulting in a prison term. The visitors, who are prepared to wait for him to get home, take out their obvious frustrations on the waiting parents.

What would Michael Haneke make of these funny games? This credible urban thriller from the director of London to Brighton (2006) can be a chilling watch as the tension builds to its conclusion highlighting on route the different cultural and financial divide between the classes. As with London to Brighton Williams brings out the best of the unfamiliar younger elements of the cast. Well worth a look.

Saturday 26th June 2010.

Director’s Showcase / UK premiere

The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)

· Director Juan José Campanella

· Country Argentina, Spain

· Year 2009

· 129 mins

Cast: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella

This is my personnel favourite of the Festival, and after seeing it have no doubt that it fully deserved the 2010 Oscar for The Best Foreign Language Picture. It has been described as ‘gorgeously shot, lushly detailed and narratively satisfying, but with touches of intelligent unorthodoxy that complicate its pleasures’. In other words its got a great plot line that’s keeps you guessing, the acting is first rate and it’s a beautiful film to look at. The backbone of this satisfying whodunit/thriller is a sad and moving story of a 25 year, unfulfilled, love affair.

Based upon a novel by Eduardo Sacheri, the Argentinean director weaves this carefully constructed story around retired federal justice agent Benjamin (Ricardo Darin) who is attempting to write a novel about an unsolved case from his earlier career: the horrible rape and murder of a young woman. He pays a visit to old associate Irene (Soledad Vilamil), now department chief, and together they re-examine this unpleasant murder mystery and realise that something in the original investigation just didn’t add up!

This is a must see movie, which has an exceptional soundtrack that completely compliments what’s happening on screen, will be released in August 2010.

Gala / UK premiere

Get Low

· Director Aaron Schneider

· Country USA

· Year 2009

· 101 mins


• Robert Duvall as Felix Bush

• Sissy Spacek as Mattie Darrow

• Bill Murray as Frank Quinn

• Lucas Black as Buddy Robinson

• Gerald McRaney as Horton

• Bill Cobbs as Charlie Jackson

• Andrea Powell as Bonnie

• Rebecca Grant as Joan

• Scott Cooper as Carl

• Chandler Riggs as Tom

No one really understands Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), who lives as a hermit deep in the woods. Rumours surround him, like how he might have killed in cold blood, and that he's in league with the devil. So the town is surprised when Felix shows up in town, demanding a "living funeral" for himself. Frank Quinn (Bill Murray), the owner of the Funeral Parlour, sees an opportunity for some money, and agrees to let the townsfolk tell Felix Bush the stories they've heard about him. Things get messy when an old mystery is brought back by Quinn's protégé Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black), involving a local widow named Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek). When Felix's funeral rolls around, however, he'll tell the townsfolk exactly why he's been alone in the woods for so many years.

Aaron Schneider, who had previously been a cinematographer, introduced this his debut feature film. Inspired by a 1930’s American folk tale he told us that it took six years from conception to completion and that the classical soundtrack was by the award winning Jan A.P. Kaczmarek and mixed with traditional Americana played on a Dobro (with great results). The acting as you would expect from this very experienced cast was outstanding with Lucas Black holding his own in such prestige company. This was our only period drama of the Festival and the 1930’s detail seemed spot on. My 27 year-old daughter enjoyed this movie very much finding it very sad and moving. I can’t understand why this very pleasurable black comedy, which received the Standard Life Audience Award, has not received a release date?

Extra Curricular Activity.

· Directors Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins (with help from Laurel & Hardy)

· Country Lothian Road’s Festival Square Scotland

· Year 27th June 2010

· About an hour, all told

Cast: Brian Matthews, Barbara Matthews, Tilda Swinton, Mark Cousins Brian Cox and several hundred extras.

                                Two of this mornings cast get to know one another.

On Saturday morning before the days cinema experience began, we accepted an invitation from actress Tilda Swinton and filmmaker Mark Cousins to join with others in Lothian Roads Festival Square and dance in public! The idea was to learn the dance with the help of the download section at the Laurel and Hardy website, something we did not have time to do, (we’ve been at the Film Festival all week for goodness sake) The musical number in question was featured in the 1937 Laurel and Hardy classic Way Out West.

The purpose of this crazy exercise was to launch the new 81/2 Foundation, its mission is to inspire children to celebrate the age of 81/2 as their ‘movie birthday’ by being given DVD’s as gifts, and to allow more children access to films through schools, art organisations and community groups.

All done in the best possible taste and great fun. See last Sundays Scotland on Sunday for a full report and some great quotes from a Kirkcudbright couple. See also http://www.eightandahalf.org/

                                I just wish that we could get started!!

                               We can smile at last.

Gives you an appetite this dancing.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you both had a fab time, great piccies to prove your memories which is always good after a holiday.. We'll be glad to see you both back at the RBC soon. xx Susan.