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GFF Diary days 3&4: Alan Rickman, ballroom dancing, power suits and pussycats.

by Jennie Kermode

Strictly Ballroom at Kelvin-Groove!
Strictly Ballroom at Kelvin-Groove!

By day 3 of the Glasgow Film Festival, people were starting to get into the swing of things, and despite chilly weather the GFT and CCA were starting to attract a crowd that didn’t go away between films. The CCA bar was crowded as it always is by this time and the publication of a handy guide to burger restaurants near the festival helped to keep the crowd full, but our writers didn’t have much of a break, with lots of films to get to.

Nick Hall introduces I Need A Dodge!
Nick Hall introduces I Need A Dodge! Photo: Stuart Crawford

First up was Jodorowsky’s Dune, a documentary back by popular demand after sold-out screenings last year. It’s something to keep fans going as Jodorowsky works on crowdfunding his next film, Endless Poetry. It was followed by a film with similar appeal, the Oscar-nominated Wild Tales, whilst two documentaries – small business disaster movie Family Goldmine and Spanish curiosity I Need A Dodge! Joe Strummer On The Run played at the CCA, where some fans had been waiting for the latter for hours.

The evening saw the UK première of François Ozon’s latest, The New Girlfriend, whose star Roman Duris shared his thoughts on it with us a few weeks ago. There was also a chance to see the thoughtful Japanese tribute to cinematic history that is Uzumasa Limelight, and the first Scottish screening of inventive horror film It Follows, a treat for those looking forward to Frightfest’s visit to the festival next weekend. Meanwhile, one of the most spectacular events of the festival took place in the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, with a special screening of Strictly Ballroom followed by a dance event, with Scotland’s ballroom dancing and Latin dance champions Tibor Poc and Hilary Mouat the stars of the show.

Power suit party - dressed for success!
Power suit party - dressed for success! Photo: Ingrid Mur

Saturday was a day for romantics, kicking off with the inimitable Casablanca, while dog lovers could enjoy the film that warmed the hearts of festival-goers a couple of years ago, Red Dog. Even Burroughs: The Movie proved a more affectionate film than many fans of the literary giant might have expected, but it certainly didn’t disappoint them. Young film-goers, meanwhile, had a treat to look forward to in the afternoon, when the Maya The Bee Movie got everybody singing.

This year’s festival has a strong feminist slant (quite accidental, its directors assure us) and there was a chance to do something a bit different in the CCA, starting at 11am, with a special screening of classic melodrama Mildred Pierce. This was followed by a discussion on power as expressed in women’s fashion, and in the evening there was a screening of Mike Nichols’ subversive classic Working Girl, followed by a party with free drink and karaoke at which guests did their best to live up to the request they wear their power suits.

Alan Rickman introducing A Little Chaos at Glasgow Film Festival
Alan Rickman introducing A Little Chaos at Glasgow Film Festival Photo: Eoin Carey

The biggest guest star of the year’s festival, Alan Rickman, arrived in the early evening to introduce his new film as a director, A Little Chaos, before an excited crowd. He also stars in the film as Louis XIV, and the right royal romp seemed to go down a treat. As far as many festival attendees were concerned, however, the biggest event of the evening was a pre-Oscar chance to see Still Alice. Julianne Moore has won almost every Best Actress award going this season for her performance as a professor gradually losing her memory. Wash Westmoreland recently shared his thoughts with us about working with her on the film. Also screening that night was moody Italian crime drama Black Souls, and a ceilidh was held at St Andrew’s in the Square to celebrate Glasgow’s contributions to film history.

Despite all these events, if you’ve been following the local press, you might well think only one thing happened in Glasgow over the past few days: the Internet Cat Video Festival. Why meet your acting heroes or watch Oscar-tipped stars when you could be looking at amateur videos of kittens doing foolish things that somebody selected from YouTube? The event, at any rate, was sold out, and the audience was left purring with delight.

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